SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – All great heavenly religions have their own holy book. Bible is Christians’ holy book and Quran is Muslims’. Health has been mentioned in 37 verses (Ayats) of Holy Quran. The first verse has a clear message on fasting.
Even though Quran is not a scientific book, it includes so many scientific points in various areas. Healthy life and living, healthy diet and foods are considered to be very prominent and of great importance.
Fasting is one of the subjects, which has been studied in different countries’ labs and clinics. In the following verse, fasting has been commanded to be done by all Muslims who are healthy and residing in their home town and not taking a journey.
Al-baqara , chapter 2 verse 184: Fasting for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the prescribed number( should be made up) from later days. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more of his own free-will—it is better for him and it is better for ye fast, if ye only knew.
Fasting can refresh our mind and body. It enables billions of biochemical interactions inside our cells, specially the cells that form our gastrointestinal system, including; gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas.
Liver like a gigantic factory is responsible for changing glucose to glycogen and vise versa, detoxification, cholesterol metabolism and etc.
Fasting is indeed, one of the best and most useful health tips mentioned in Muslims’ holy book. Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAW) says: “Soomoo tasehhoo” ,i.e. fast to be healthy.
- Why has Quran considered ill people and travelers as exceptions?
As you know when one is healthy he is balanced, spiritually, psychologically, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Whenever the balanced state is disturbed and untuned, health changes to illness and disease occurs.
What about being on journey? It seems one’s body experiences certain changes during a journey, the least of which is getting exhausted and nervous, diabetic patients experience blood serum rise or some people get constipated.
We can say that journeys unbalance us, as well. So fasting is prohibited for one who is unbalanced during a long trip. Allah is indeed, kinder than moms to their kids
Fasting an effective means of restoring youthfulness and longevity
Fasting has its advantages from Islam’s point of view of health and hygiene. Islam wants a Muslim to be healthy, clean, alert, agile and energetic. “”Fast to be healthy,”" said the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAW).
Physicians today acknowledge many benefits for fasting that ensure one’s mental and physical health. Some of these positive points have a direct influence on psychology and physique of the fasting individual.
Fasting has been found to be an effective treatment for several psychological and emotional disorders. It helps a person to firm up his will, cultivate and refine his taste and manners, strengthen his conviction of doing good, avoid controversy, petulance and rashness, which all contribute towards a sane and healthy personality.
Besides nurturing resistance and ability to face hardships and endurance, fasting reflects on outward physical appearance by cutting out gluttony and getting rid of excess fat.
The impacts of fasting on health do not stop there but are instrumental in alleviating a number of physical diseases, including those of the digestive systems, such as chronic stomach ache, inflammation of the colon, liver diseases, indigestion, and conditions such as obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, diphtheria and many other maladies.
A Swiss physician Dr. Barsilus noted that: The advantages of hunger as a remedy exceed those ingesting medicines several times.
As readers are well aware, several physicians advise patients to skip meals, sometimes for a few days, before prescribing them a controlled diet.
Generally speaking, fasting hastens the destruction of the decaying tissues of the body by means of hunger, and then builds new tissues through proper nutrition.
This is why some scientists suggest that fasting should be regarded as an effective means of restoring youthfulness and longevity. However, Islam exempts the sick and old people whose health is endangered, from fasting.
But fasting should have it’s certain regulations too, and not simply the in orderly skipping meals, that is bound to harm health and stamina, rather than improving them.
Here again Islam provides the answer, and in order to realize the benefits of fasting, it recommends the late midnight meals called ‘Sahar’ (before the formal start of a fast) and the breaking of the fast at the time prescribed. Of course, to ensure good health one should abstain from gluttony after breaking fast.