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Fasting Ramadan:

Signs and Benefits

By Ali Al-Hail, October 14, 2009


Almighty God has told the faithful about the signs which help them recognize the right time to start the fasting month of Ramadan. Amongst these signs are the crescent, the White Line (which signals the beginning of the new day time,) the Black Line (signaling the departure of the night,) the sun, the earth orbit around the sun, the night, and the day time, all harmoniously, participate in hailing the fasting month.

In a reference to the fact that the fasting process is vertical, Allah, Almighty God says in the Holy Qur'an: "Eat and drink until you do observe and distinguish the white line out of the black line of the night then, fast up to the night" (The Holy Qur'an 2: 187.)

 Almighty God, Allah praise to Him, says in a Hadeeth (saying of the Prophet, pbbuh): Fasting is for me, and I do reward for it." As such, fasting is different from other Islamic practices. It's an exceptional worshipping.     

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him (pbbuh) said, in another Hadeeth about the fasting process, said: "Once, you observe the Crescent, start fasting, and once, you observe it stop fasting."

Unlike other human religious rituals, such as the Christmas or the Easter. For, they don't rely on the crescent, as in the case of Ramadan, in order to occur. Rather, they rely on the Church or the inherited customs.

 Additionally, Islamic fasting is a radical revolution over the daily routine and bureaucracy. After eleven months of daily eating and drinking, all of a sudden this  routine is stopped by the fasting.

 Simultaneously, this process is accompanied by a revolution over the routine of the senses: Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. Fasting requires the faithful to refrain from looking at indecent views, hearing unpleasant conversations, speaking obscene words, smelling distasteful sources, and to avoid sexual interactions with one's spouse during the day time.

Fasting means abstaining from eating and drinking during day time for 29 or 30 days, which is also a radical revolution for the internal organs. These organs take advantage of such a golden opportunity to renovate, maintain, and reactivate their potentials, in preparation for going back to business as usual after the fasting is over.

Recent medical studies show for example, that fasting helps the skin - the first line of defense for the human health to become fat free. This enables the skin cells to clean and refresh. Other studies found out that, breathing becomes better while fasting, compared to other non-fasting times.

Further more, correlations were found between fasting and hard mental and physical work. This could explain why the Prophet (pbbuh) urged the faithful to delay the 'Sohor' (the meal eaten just before dawn.)

 Brain analysis studies have proved that a fasting person can keep working hard mentally, physically, or both, despite the thirst and hunger. She or he can focus on working and programming their brains saying to themselves, for instance, "I do this for Allah, for which I will be rewarded…," then fasting becomes more and more a solid state of mind.    

Professor, Dr. Ali Al-Hail, Professor of Mass Communication, Twice Fulbright > Award Winner, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Vice-President Of Qatar Fulbright Group, CSR Award Judge, Psychosomatics' lecturer, Management Trainer and Board Member of AUSACE, ASC, IABD, NEBAA, BEA, IMDA and EAJMC American Associations.




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