Imagine for a moment that it’s raining. It is pouring, in fact. And inagine that you are inside your house, watching as it falls. But imagine that there is something very different about this rain. It is unlike any other you’re ever seen. On this day, it is not raining water. It is raining something much more precious to you. Imagine that on this day it is raining hundred rand bills. Continue Reading →
It has been mentioned in the Holly Quran that
“Who is an enemy to Jebrail! For he it is who hath disclosed (this scripture) to thy heart by God’s leave, confirming that which was (disclosed) before it, and a direction and glad tidings to believers.”
The month of Ramadan comes with great blessings for Muslims. It has been referred to as the ‘gift’ of Allah to Muslims, and a month in which Muslims get the opportunity to shun hell fire and straighten the path of their lives. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) always emphasized on the importance of Ramadan and fasting. The importance of Ramadan can be highlighted from the fact that Ramadan was the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed as an absolute source of guidance for mankind.
Of the twelve months in the lunar year, Ramadan is the only one whose name has appeared in the Holy Quran, and Allah has also mentioned its importance. The days and nights of this holy month carry Allah’s blessings, mercy and forgiveness, and hence, are unparalleled to the days and nights of any other month in the year. Continue Reading →
Most animals are similar in the way their bodies work physically. In all the animals, food is digested in a similar way and air intake occurs through a similar process. Energy generation, movement and all other bodily functions occur in a similar manner.
What makes humans unique as a race is the fact that their minds are much more developed. Scientists have always connected the functioning of human mind to the processes that occur in the human brain. Unlike animal minds, human minds do not just gather information about food, water and shelter and process it accordingly to reach these things. Human mind carries the powers of visualization and reflection. In this article, we will discuss the possible effects of religious fasting on the human brain.
According to researches carried out at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore, fasting can help people with mental conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Fasting for one or two days per week can even help people with perfectly sound brain operations. Professor Mark Mattson who is a professor of neuroscience at a leading medical school in the U.S was the lead author of this study. A great part of the study was based on the comparison of humans to other animals, and a lot of deductions of the study were drawn from an analysis of the specific effects produced by different actions in the other animals.
The results of the study were striking. Scientists who carried out this study have compared the effects of a cut on human food (energy) intake on the human brain cells as the effects of exercise on the muscle cells. Although most people think that a carefully crafted and properly controlled diet plan that runs throughout the week is a great way of losing weight. This continuous dieting, however, can affect the brain and some hormones in the body adversely. Scientists who carried out this study suggest that intermittent breaks from meals for one or two days per week work better than continuous dieting plans, because these ‘fasting’ plans help improve the functioning of the brain.
In the following, a few positive impacts of fasting on brain are enlisted:
- Short term fasting induces an increase in neural autophagy
- Boost in the production of ketones
- Reduction in risk of trauma, stroke and depression
- Calorie restriction through intermittent fasting reduces the risks of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.
In some animals, restriction of calorie intake results evidently in a prolonging of lifespan, and most scientists believe that the same is true for humans. However, no concrete evidence of this has been furnished yet.
Religious fasting may help us to not only become better human beings, but also to improve our physical and mental fitness.
Muslim community terms Ramadan as the month of blessings. Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed on the final messenger of Allah. Quran too is the final revelation of the Almighty God. Allah declares “learning self-restraint “to be the main purpose of this month in following verse:
“Fasting has been prescribed upon you as it was prescribed upon nations before you so that you may learn self-restraint“.
In the month of Ramadan Allah alters the rewards of our deeds. He rewards a Nafl prayer with the reward of an obligatory Farz prayer and increases the reward of a good deed seventy times. A person seeking forgiveness is granted forgiveness and Muslim community is rewarded with the day of Eid for keeping fasts throughout this month. However, abstaining from sins is just as important as committing good deeds.
Allah dislike sins and committing sins in the holy month of Ramadan is even more disliked. Committing a single sin in this month is equivalent to committing seventy sins in any other month. In this way Allah discourages believers from sins and at the same time Allah encourages them to seek forgiveness from their past sins. A hadith says “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Furthermore, in this month Muslims are obliged to observe fasts. Fasting in Islam is not merely abstaining from food and drink; it is also abstaining from any wrongdoing, in general. If a Muslim does not anything from dawn till dusk but takes or any other haram activity Allah does not accepts his fast so when a believer keeps a fast he gets bound to keep himself away from sins. Not only, he has to avoid all haram activities but also control his temperament.
If a Muslim keeps a fast he cannot abusive or insulting language against anyone, also he cannot harm anyone by his hands if he does he violates the basic rules and regulations of the fast. Generally, any individual uses his hands against others when he is in angry so when Muslims keep a fast, they ought to control their anger. In this way fasting teaches Muslims to control their diet and anger thereby learning self-restraint.
In a nut shell, all sources of Islam clarify the fast that fasting makes all believers control their anger and remain away from sins. Allah has used fasting as a tool so that all believers learn self-restraint i.e. they learn to control themselves from evils and Allah gives Muslims several incentives so that they may start following the right path. The following hadith further clarifies the point; it says “One day of fasting keeps a person away from hell 80 years”.