General Analysis Health and fitness

Ramazan: Benefits of fasting – Scientific and Spiritual

What is Ramazan?

During the entire month of Ramazan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.

Ramadhan or Ramazan is the 9th month of the Arabic calendar observed by Muslims world wide as a month of fasting. As per the Muslim belief, it is the month in which the Quran (Word of God in Islam) was revealed on the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). It is seen as a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship.

Each day, before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called the suhoor. After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims begin the first prayer of the day, Fajr. At sunset, families break the fast with the iftar, traditionally opening the meal by eating dates to commemorate Prophet’s practice of breaking the fast with three dates. They then adjourn for Maghrib, the fourth of the five required daily prayers, after which the main meal is served and a muslim is free to eat until the Suhoor again.

Tarawih (Arabic: تراويح) are extra nightly prayers performed during the month of Ramadan. Contrary to popular belief, they are not compulsory

Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran, which comprises thirty juz’ (sections), over the thirty days of Ramadan. Some Muslims incorporate a recitation of one juz’ into each of the thirty tarawih sessions observed during the month.

What is Special about Ramazan?

Ramazan-according to Muslims- is the most sacred month of the year. It is not as boring it might seam to other people, but a whole month of celebration and a time to spend with sincerely with loved ones.

We eat food everyday, but in Ramazan it is different. In normal days, the food is available to us whenever we want to eat, but in Ramazan, it tastes different because of its value. The food might be in front of you, your stomach might gush for it, but you control yourself for about 15 hours (Which vary country to country) and finally when you eat, you don’t just taste the food, but you actually feel the food.

Muzamil Ahmad Bhat told Ganaie

There are many thing I can say why Ramadhan is so special, but I prefer to say it in one sentence; There is this different feel to everything in Ramazan as compared to other months- and by everything I mean EVERYTHING; Playing, sleeping, working, eating, resting and other things.

Abrar Mushtaq told Ganaie

What a typical day is in Ramazan

Muslims wake up about an hour before the Dawn to eat Suhoor or sehri. They try to eat a healthy and protein rich food and drink as much water as possible before the Adhan (Call to prayer) is given after which, Muslims can’t eat anything for the rest of the day. Then they go for the fajr prayer.

After coming from the mosque, many Muslims prefer to sleep again as it is too early and then wake up again to get ready for their usual work.

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It is not supposed for a Muslim to quit their work or school during Ramazan, however in Muslim countries, the working hours might be reduced. But typically, a day during fast is like a normal day.

Though the days seem normal to other people, but for Muslims, it has a different feeling. I would say it is like being closer to Allah – which we believe – we are during this period of time.

Ibrahim Elahi said to Ganaie

Finally at the evening time, the call to prayer indicates that Muslims must now break the fast. Typically the Iftar (Breaking of fast) is done with water and some 2 or 3 dates. Then Muslims go for prayer.

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Do you lose weight during Ramadan?

So do you lose weight during Ramadan? Oh! some of you might have already heard “yes” or believed it to be true, but it is surprisingly not true. You do not lose weight during Ramadan, instead-often- you may gain weight.

This is because of filling your tummy too early in the morning then staying less active in the day as compared to other days and then eating openly from the evening time makes Ramazan (Ramadan) notorious.

“Weight changes during Ramadan were relatively small and mostly reversed after Ramadan, gradually returning to pre-Ramadan status. Ramadan provides an opportunity to lose weight, but structured and consistent lifestyle modifications are necessary to achieve lasting weight loss.” [1].

Scientific benefits of Fasting

There are many benefits of Fasting. which include:

1. Enhances heart-health

Heart diseases contribute in 31.5% of deaths globally. Fasting reduces the risk of heart diseases and promotes heart-health. A study[2] suggests that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting reduced levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides by 25% and 32% respectively – Healthline. it also helps in lowering of blood pressure.

2. Could improve brain function and protect from cognitive diseases

Several studies suggest that fasting could have a powerful effect on brain health. One study which was based on mince showed that intermittent fasting for 11 months improved both the function and structure of brain[3]. Remember that this study was done on mice, so 11 months might not be MUST for humans.

Other animal studies suggest that fasting could protect brain health and increase the generation of nerve cells and enhance cognitive function [4].

Some studies suggest that fasting may protect against conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, even improve against their actions[5].

3. Increases growth hormone, metabolism, and muscle strength

Human growth hormone is a type of protein that is central for your health. Research shows that this key hormone is involved in growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength[6, 7, 8] – Healthline.

4. Makes you stay young for a longer time.

Well yes, Fasting could delay aging. As per one study conducting on mice, fasting could make experience a delayed rate of aging and mice -were seen- lived 83% longer than rats that didn’t fast[9].

5. May prevent cancer

Studies conducted on animals suggest that fasting may benefit the treatment and prevention of cancer.

Some research is lacking in this field but improvements are being made.

Spiritual benefits of fasting adding soon

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