Health Benefits of Fasting

During Ramadan, Muslims basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 12 or so hours is not necessarily bad for health and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.Here is some benefits of fasting:

1. Fasting controls desire

Saum or fasting, is the fourth pillar of Islam. Every healthy adult Muslim is supposed to abstain from eating, drinking and sex, from dawn to sunset, in the complete lunar month of Ramadan. The Glorious Quran says in Surah Al Baqarah Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 183,

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. [Al-Quran 2:183]

Today the psychologists inform us that if a person can control his hunger, it is very likely that he will be able to control most of his desires. The Quran rightly mentions that fasting helps you to learn self-restraint i.e. in controlling your desires.

2. Fasting in Hinduism

Fasting is also prescribed in other religions. There are different types and methods of fasting in Hinduism. According to Manusmriti Chapter 6 verse 24

Fasting has been prescribed for a month for purification. [Manusmriti 6:24]

Fasting has also been commanded in Manusmriti chapter 4 verse 222 as well as in Manusmriti chapter 11 verse 204

3. Fasting in the Bible

It is mentioned in the Old Testament that all the children of Israel fasted and offered peace offerings before the Lord.

Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. [Book of Judges 20:36]

Furthermore, David (pbuh) fasted and prayed to God for his ill son.

David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. [2 Samuel 12:16]

Moreover, Jesus (pbuh) also stipulated fasting in various verses of the New Testament.

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. [Gospel of Matthew 17:21]

And he said unto them, this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. [Gospel of Mark 9:29]

4. Helps to inculcate good habits

Along with fasting during the holy month of Ramadan many Muslims do good deeds like charity, helping the poor, etc. which later on become a part of their routine activity in their lives.

5. Helps to overcome many Evils

In the holy month of Ramadan, besides fasting, the person tends to be more pious which helps to overcome many evils. If a person can abstain from smoking cigarettes from dawn to dusk in Ramadan, he can also abstain from smoking cigarettes from the cradle to the grave. If a person can abstain from drinking alcohol from dawn to dusk, he can also abstain from drinking alcohol from the cradle to the grave. All intoxicants are forbidden in Islam.

6. Every machine requires servicing

Every machine requires regular servicing. We service our car or motorcycle once every 3 to 4 months. The more complicated a machine is, more is the requirement for servicing.

7. Fasting is servicing of Human-Beings

If you allow me to call human being a machine, I would say it is the most complicated machine on the face of the earth. Don’t you think it requires servicing? According to me, fasting during the month of Ramadan is the annual servicing of the human body and spirit, i.e. once in a year during one complete month.

8. Fasting gives rest to Body

During fasting, Muslims abstain from food, drink, etc. from dawn to dusk. While fasting, many organs of the body get rest, which is important for their good health.

9. Medical Benefits of Fasting

a. Fasting increases intestinal absorption.

b. Fasting also lowers cholesterol level, which prevents several Cardio-Vascular disea-ses.