” Fast to be healthy”, said the Prophet (Sallalla Hu Alaihe Wa Sallam.)
Physicians today acknowledge the many benefits of fasting that ensure health and the soundness of one’s body and mind. Some of these positive points have a direct influence on psychology and physique of the fasting individual. Including those of the digestive systems, such as chronic stomachache, inflammation of the colon, liver diseases, indigestion, and conditions such as obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, diphtheria and many other maladies.
Islam announces fasting not as a negative act of humble contrition or penance, but as a practice possessing scientific significance serving to improve the welfare of body and spirit. Also fasting helps learn self-restraint from moral indecency by controlling two aspects of the human body, which are the root causes of human downfall, namely the stomach and the private parts .
A great deal of ailments originate from stomach indigestion. This is why the Messenger of Allah (saas) says:
“The son of Adam will never fill a container with something worse and evil than his stomach. It will suffice him some morsels (food) that will keep him on his feet, otherwise, he should divide his stomach into three parts: one third for his food, the other for his drink and the other third for his breath.” (Ibn Hibban)
The saying indicates that the stomach is the origin of harmful bacteria. Stomach and intestines are first to be affected by fasting. They receive a complete rest. If they have been over worked, the rest they receive during the fast strengthens them. Ulcers and inflammation are frequently healed. A distended or prolapsed stomach shrinks to its normal size and resumes its original position. Morbid sensibilities and appetites are overcome.
The stomach is a muscle, and this muscle requires rest like any other muscle in the body. The only way in which the stomach can get rest is to deprive it of food, and when this is done, it at once begins to repair any injury done to it and to recuperate from the excessive work which had previously been thrown upon it.
As soon as the stomach empties, a general re-constructive process begins. Broken down cells are replaced by healthy ones, being nature’s method of repairing the diseased or injured part of the organism. This replacement of tissues means that in time a NEW STOMACH is created – a new stomach in every sense of the word – and this stomach is enabled to digest food for long periods of time unless it too is abused.
The spleen, liver and kidneys derive striking benefits from the fast, though they may have added work thrown upon them during the early days of a fast. An enlarged spleen rapidly reduces in size. Abscesses of the liver and Kidney infections have been completely cured. These results are not surprising when we appreciate the fact that the toxic encumbrance of the liver lessens, it also reduces irritation to the kidneys.
The lungs are the direct purifiers of the blood they are among the first organs too feel the beneficial effects of fasting. Any congestion of the lungs, is rapidly removed during the early days so that a free and unobstructed passage of air is readily provided and the feeling of clearness and the ability to talk and sing, together with a clearer range and depth of tone are sometimes observed in patients who are fasting.
It has been recently discovered that fasting renews the youth of all the cells of the bodily functions that distinguish youth from old age. Fasting enhances all of man’s mental powers. Memory is strengthened and by association, powers of reasoning are improved. And often restores the sense of taste, sometimes entirely lacking or dulled. Inflammation of the bones and the teeth are greatly benefited by fasting.
Fasting is the greatest blood purifier. By the fast, the body burns the most useless and toxic materials contained in the blood stream and body. These non-assimilated food materials and wastes block and choke the small blood vessels and congest the lymph vessels.
Therefore, when you are fasting during the month of Ramadhan or otherwise, you must remember these processes are taking place within the body during the fast giving a rejuvenating and revitalising effect.