Benefits of Fasting
Fatwa No: 85392


I am a muslim living in Panama. sometimes the non-muslims here ask us why we fast, so I would like to know what is the meaning of fasting, why we should do it, so I can give them a good answer. salaams


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The person's obedience to his Lord stems from his strong faith and his deep belief that Allah is The Creator, The Wise and that what Allah says or does conforms totally with the absolute wisdom. Indeed, Allah does not prescribe anything except for the benefit of His Slaves. Some people may realize this wisdom and some may not; but there is a wisdom behind it. Among the forms of worship that Allah prescribed is fasting in Ramadan for wisdom. Allah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.} [Quran 2:183]

So, reaching piety is the ultimate and noble objective of fasting. But stating this wisdom does not imply the non-existence of other wisdom. This is why doctors give great importance to discovering the wisdom behind fasting as far as health is concerned. Some of their discoveries are as follows:

Fasting from eating and drinking gives rest to the body's systems and organs like the stomach, the intestines, the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas etc. Giving some rest to the liver from performing the necessary digestive operations, gives it some free time to undertake the operation of cleaning the blood system from all harmful things due to the continuous work of our body's cells.

In addition, fasting helps us consume the supply of foods, fats and glucose in our body. This results in losing weight moderately during the month of Ramadan if a person adheres to the Sunnah when breaking the fast and avoids eating too much as instructed by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who said: “No child of Adam has filled a receptacle worse than his or her stomach. It is sufficient for the child of Adam to eat a few morsels (of food) that set his or her back-bone upright. If the child of Adam is under the pressure of his soul inclination (to eat more) he should allot a third (of his stomach) to the food, a third to the drink and a third to the breath (i.e. he should leave a third empty).” [Ibn Majah and At-Tirmithi]

Therefore, the fasting person removes harmful products from his body through the colon, the kidneys, the prostate, the skin, the two lungs, and the nasal sinuses. As a result, we notice during Ramadan an increase in the body's secretions (especially the nasal mucus) which help remove the harmful products that result from the accumulations of the functioning of the living cells. Moreover, fasting has an effect on strengthening the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells (leukocyte), forming antibodies, in addition to improving the lymphatic cells functional ability ten times.

Some research proved that decreasing the number of meals by 60% results in decreasing the number of harmful lymphatic cells to their appropriate average.

Another research proved that fasting has a positive effect on purifying the skin from tumor cells by stopping the reproductive cell division of tumorous cells.

Among other benefits, also, is the effect of fasting on blood pressure. In fact, fasting decreases the person's blood pressure to a degree that is tolerable by the normal person, and this helps the person who suffers from high blood pressure. This is due to the temporary dryness that results from the non-consummation of liquids and to the decrease of the rate of cholesterol in the blood and its fixation on the arterial walls. Some western doctors use fasting to treat such diseases as heart disease, rheumatism, respiratory problems, ulcer, and some digestive illnesses such as gallbladder infection, colitis as well as skin infections.

Finally, fasting is an exercise of piety and fear of Allah. It helps the person to abide by Allah's Orders and avoid His Prohibitions. It also helps him to get closer to Allah, worship Him better, and be patient and good with others.

Allah knows best.

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