“Sawm” or fasting is one of the most prominent pillars of Islam that needs to be followed by every practicing Muslim if there are no health restrictions or age matters that might affect the health of an individual. While it teaches us to endure “Sabr” (patience), it also elevates the level of “Taqwa”.
In order to bolster the spiritual connection with the Khaliqin, one must observe fast. This tradition has been followed by many Prophets (AS) in the past prior to the arrival of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(S).
“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may gain self-restraint.” (Holy Quran, 2:183)
The month of fasting in Islam is known as Ramadan which happens to be the holiest and the blessed months. In this month, Quran was revealed.
While the spiritual levels have their own benefits in observing fasts, there are physical benefits too like fasts remove toxins from the body and help the body to rejuvenate. Let me discuss certain points related to the perks of this holy month in relation to our physical body:
Fasting helps to remove toxins from the body. As per Dr. Otto Buchinger; Germany’s great fasting therapist after more than 100,000 fasting cures says: “Fasting is, without doubt, the most effective biological method of treatment, it is the operation without surgery… it is a cure involving exudation, redirection, loosening up and purified relaxation.”
It helps to relieve the body from various diseases as well as allergies.
It helps you to get rid of certain habits for a while and may be that might become life-long too. Like one cannot smoke, this will signal the body to adjust without it and eventually you may one day get rid of it.
It helps to lower cholesterol which in turn increases cardiovascular health and thereby decreasing the risk of heart attack or a stroke.
It helps to eliminate toxins from the body. While the body is fasting, the stored fats and carbohydrates are used to generate energy and also burn any harmful toxins present in the body.
During this time, the organs start to repair themselves and the white blood cells of the body become more active for cleansing the body.
Body’s healing mechanism increases.
It helps to boost brain function and prevents degenerative disorders.
Shaykh Mansour Leghaei in his book “Fasting and the Holy month of Ramadhan” writes on the healing effects of the fasting:
It is quoted from the Prophet of Islam to have said: “Fast, you’ll be healthy”. An Egyptian pyramid inscription in 3800B.C also reads: “Humans live on one-quarter of what they eat; on the three-quarters live their doctor!”
The three fathers of Western Medicine; (Hippocrates, Galen & Paracelsus) prescribed fasting as the greatest remedy and the physician within. Life Magazine in its September 1996 issue considered fasting: the healing revolution. There are more than 500 medical journal articles available on therapeutic fasting on the internet.
The outstanding physicians named fasting as being; the medicine for the 21st century. They believe the human body is designed to heal itself, if only given the opportunity. Dr. Otto Buchinger; Germany’s great fasting therapist after more than 100,000 fasting cures says: “Fasting is, without doubt, the most effective biological method of treatment.. it is the operation without surgery… it is a cure involving exudation, redirection, loosening up and purified relaxation.”
He furthers therapeutically; fasting cures many of our modern illnesses, including the following: allergies, cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases of the digestive system, degenerative and painfully inflammatory illnesses of the joints, myriad disturbances in one’s eating behavior, glaucoma, initial malfunction of the kidneys, tension and migraine headaches, as well as skin diseases.
Preventively, it’s designed to cleanse, and to regenerate, rejuvenate and restore a person’s sense of well-being, in body, mind and soul. As Doctor Buchinger would conclude: “When the body fasts, the soul is hungry; when the body becomes lighter, the soul also craves relief.”
Dr. Joel Fuhrman in Fasting and Eating for Health notes: “Fasting has been repeatedly observed to alleviate neuroses, anxiety and depression.”
Fasting marvelously decomposes and burns all the cells and tissue that are aged, damaged, diseased, weakened or dead, a process called in medicine autolyze or self-digest or detoxification.”
The main purpose of fasting is to gain ‘self-restraint’ as stated in the holy Qur’an:
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may observe self-restraint (al-Taqwa).” [2:183]
Thus it is also the spiritual cleansing because:
It brings one closer to Allah
It imbibes the habit of patience in an individual
The reward for the patient is stated in the holy Quran as:
“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full without reckoning.” [39:10]
One must take this month seriously and commit themselves sincerely in order to enjoy the benefits of fasting that would aid to keep the body healthy.
Thus one must try to be punctual in fasting as it is important from the religious point of view as well as body’s health wise too. Let us pray to Allah to give us strength to fast in the holy month, to elevate our Taqwa and make us a better individual!