Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in the Islamic culture. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) preached, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is the considered the greatest act of religious observance that strengthens one’s relation with the Almighty Allah. The fasting lasts from dawn to dusk that not only purifies the soul but also the body.
One of the important aspects is the Niyyah, which means “intention.” This requirement states that a Muslim must “intend in heart that fasting is meant to worship Allah.” It shouldn’t be dietary or anything but the main motive is to worship Allah.
With their profound, spiritual breezes, every sound and breath of air in Ramadan announces in a most exalted and exhilarating style all the pleasures we would like to taste in life and the hopes of good we deeply cherish.
There are several groups of people who scholars agree are not required to fast during Ramadan. These include the elderly, people who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating, people who are ill and travelers.
Okay, worried with detrimental aspects that fasting might bring, let us explore the medicinal and pshychological benefits of Ramadan As the Holy Qur’an is a great source of guidance to humanity and nothing in it is without the objective of benefits.
Medicinal Benefits of Ramadan
Boost Your Brain
A study carried out by scientists in the USA found that the mental focus achieved during Ramadan increases the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which causes the body to produce more brain cells, thus improving brain function. Also reduces hormone Cortisol means stress is reduced before and after Ramadan.
Ditch Bad Habits
Abstain from whatever that is addictive and body will gradually acclimatize to their absence, until your addiction is kicked for good.
Improves Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that people observing Ramadan enjoy a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means there is a reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL, VLDL) in the blood reduces the risk of heart disease.
Lasting Appetite Reduction
The reduction in food consumed throughout fasting causes your stomach to gradually shrink, meaning you’ll need to eat less food to feel full.
When your body starts eating into fat reserves to create energy, it will also burn away any harmful toxins that might be present in fat deposits. This body cleanse will leave a healthy blank slate behind, and is the perfect stepping stone to a consistently healthy lifestyle.
Absorb More Nutrients
Metabolism becomes more efficient. An increase in hormone Adiponectin, which is produced by a combination of fasting and eating late at night, and allows your muscles to absorb more nutrients.
Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
Fasting reduces the oxidative stress and prevents the acute as well as chronic inflammation which may lead to heart disease, arthritis and cancer.
Psychological Benefits of Ramadan
Teaches us to speak truth and be polite with Sabr.
Ramadan help us to develop a behavior of compassion, generosity and mercy to others, exercise patience, and control our anger.
Fasting also includes abstaining from any in speech and action, abstaining from any ignorant and indecent speech, and from arguing, fighting, and having lustful thoughts. Therefore, fasting strengthens control of impulses and helps develop good behavior.
Recitation of the Qur’an not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory.
We pay the Zakat to the poor which help in building the habit of charity in us.
Besides abstaining from food and drinks, fasting involves getting into sublime states of mind in order to develop positive feelings. In an investigation in Jordan, a significant reduction of Para-suicidal cases was noted during the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan can strengthen the family institution and community as well as provide the best practices for the unity of the Ummah.
This blessed month and Ibadah of fasting not only offer us great rewards from Allah but also many benefits, either from economic or health and science, psychological or social perspectives. With this priceless opportunity from Allah, it is hoped that we can keep the spirit of Ramadan alive at all times throughout the year.
Have a blessed Ramadan
Ayaisha Hussain and Ashif Ansari
Ambassadors of CONFIDENCE NEPAL