By Abdel J. Nuriddin, N.D., PH.D.
Allah revealed to Muhammed the Prophet (SAW), out of all the things He has given to the sons of Adam, the fast is for Him (Allah).
The beauty, serenity, happiness and peace that accompany the spiritual awakening one will experience during the Blessed Month of Ramadan is beyond one person’s collective explanation. It is something one must experience for him/herself to really know its benefits.
Abstaining from food, drink and sex during the daylight hours, reading of the Qur’an daily, the extra prayers one engages in become stimulants to this awaking process.
Allah tells us in the Qur’an, the fast has been given to us to teach us self-restraint. (Holy Qur’an 2:183) In addition, there are great health benefits (side effects) attached to the fast that are also blessings from your lord.
Many people, as they begin the fast, will not sense a loss of strength at all. In fact, they will begin to feel stronger. This is not an unusual experience.
In the medical sense, a fact that has been observed in thousands of invalids is that instead of losing strength while fasting, they gain it. Invalids who were growing weaker on so-called nourishing diets, that are commonly advised, will frequently begin to grow stronger as they start to fast.
The paradox that we see, of sometimes the weakest person deriving the greatest benefit from a period of abstinence, is a reality. The weakness is not due to a lack of food but in many cases to a toxic state of the body.
The idea most popular is the weak must be built up. They are told they are too weak to fast. Even while the person is steadily growing weaker on what is called good nourishing food, it is assumed the food build-up must go on. Sometime this is a great error.
Even when the patient is in the bed without the ability to turn over, in pain, with fever, and getting weaker as the days past because they are unable to digest their food, many physicians believe we must keep feeding.
If you feed the person abundantly, will they recover? Sometimes they will, but the feeding is not the cause of the recovery. If they die at this critical time, over feeding could be the cause of death.
Will fasting save their life? Not always, but sometimes they have a better chance for recovery with supervised fasting than eating.
It is a popular belief that man is heavily dependent on food supplies every few hours, and if he misses a few meals he will get weak and die. Well or sick, contemporary man is expected to eat three meal per day.
We are to be deaf and blind and silent to the internal distress signals we are receiving and continue to eat despite them. If there is no desire for food eat anyway; if there is a acute repugnance for food, disregard it; if there is nausea, eat; if digestion is impaired and impossible, eat anyway.
If a person has cancer they may not want to eat, but that is one exception.
Thousands of people are feed to death annually in hospitals, nursing homes and at home by well meaning persons who are ignorant of the regenerative properties of fasting,
Herbert M. Shelton points out in his book titled “Fasting Can Save Your Life”: “In the animal world, fasting is a tremendously important factor of existence. Animals fast not only when sick or wounded but also during hibernation or aestivation.”
He also states, “Animals also survive forced fasts during periods of drought, snow, cold and live for long periods when no food is available.”
Further relevant to man, he says, “In mankind, fasting has been practiced in various parts of the world over centuries for religious reasons, for self-discipline, for political purposes and as a means of restoring health.
“Only in recent centuries has the concept that we must eat to keep our strength become a deeply entrenched idea.”
One of the greatest side effects of the Ramadan fast is the detoxification process. As the body is free of having to digest, it has more strength to cleanse and detox itself. It seems as though, the more rest the internal organs get, the greater their ability to heal themselves.
The human body is designed upon the pattern of dynamism (Fitra). Dynamic activity leads to dynamic rest, and dynamic rest leads to dynamic activity.
For example, if you watch children, they are in motion from the time they get up until the time they go to bed. When they go to sleep its like they are in a coma. The more dynamic their activity the deeper is their sleep. The deeper their sleep the more dynamic is their activity.
Our internal organs are on this same pattern: The more rest you give them from digestion, the stronger they become.
Fasting does not heal your body; the body is always in the process of healing itself, if it has the strength. Fasting merely affords the climate the body needs for self-healing to take place.
Fasting will not heal a broken bone or repair gum disease or get rid of tumors. But the body has the ability to correct these problems naturally, when the conditions are ripe in it.
Fasting will detox the blood stream of impurities that circulate throughout the body, which ultimately cause the metabolic processes to restrict vital functions such as sleeping adequately, thinking sharply, remembering, seeing, hearing, etc.
The body will provide us with all these functions in an optimal sense, if we will give it a chance. Fasting clears the way for the body to work upon itself.
Weight lost is also a side effect of the Ramadan Fast. Just by virtue of the fact that most of us will be consuming less calories, the weight most likely will be reduced. And we are cautioned not to be gluttonous at the breaking of the fast each day.
The clearing of the complexion, skills of concentration sharpened, more effective management of ones affairs are all positive side affects of the Ramadan Fast.
A nutritious Sahoor Meal before daybreak, will be helpful in directing the body toward cleansing and regeneration. A good vitamin and mineral supplement will help stimulate the immune system. A green drink will help in blood building and energy production during the fast.
Exercise some if possible, but you don’t have to over do it. The body wants the rest. You don’t want to spend the entire fast sleeping, but when you feel the need, rest.
Keep the fast, read the Qur’an and keep up prayer. And if it is Allah’s Will, you will have a great Ramadan.
Ramadan Mubarak (in advance)!
By Abdel J. Nuriddin, N.D., PH.D.