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Topic initiated on Wednesday, September 13, 2006  -  11:13 PM Reply with quote
Ramadan and Fasting

As the holy month of Ramadan is approaching so we should know and share what we know about fasting.
Despite the fact that Ramadan is the month of fasting, Muslims think about food this month more than any other. Ramadan is also a good time to think about good eating habits.

"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before, that you may be pious."(2:183)

The Muslim fast of Ramadan involves abstaining from food and water from dawn until dusk. This is a total fast. Some health-conscious American non-Muslims would call this Breatharianism, since only air goes past your lips! (Breathe-Air, get it? Okay.)

When a person fasts, his digestive system gets a chance to rest. The body has to break down fats already present in the body in order to utilize the energy there. Thus, harmful toxins which are stored in fat can be expelled from the body.

The expulsion of harmful toxins can be helped along by light exercises. Yoga or other stretching and breathing exercises, biking, walking and swimming are all good exercises to do while fasting, if you feel up to it. If you feel too weak to exercise, a massage or having your skin rubbed with a towel or brush can help stimulate the circulation and help cleanse your system.

When you do break the fast, your nutrients will be digested better if you eat carefully.

How do you eat "carefully?"

First, eat good quality, organic food if possible. This may necessitate a trip to the local health food store, but it is worth it. Your body will thank you. When you can, eat your iftar (fast-breaking meal) with others. This will help you relax, and it promotes harmony and neighborly feelings between people. Chew your food slowly so that the digestive enzymes in saliva will get mixed with the food, and the food will be in smaller pieces so that it can be more readily assimilated in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Don't eat too much, as this will burden the digestive system, and make you feel tired and sluggish. Moderation is the key.

"Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not wasters." (7:31)
The practice of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) indicates that it is recommended to sit down while taking your food and drink. Also, do not gulp your drink at once.
Plaque can accumulate on the teeth more quickly when a person is fasting, so it is good to do something to clean the teeth, such as using a miswak (toothstick). This is what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to clean his teeth. Soak a piece of miswak in a glass of water for an hour or so before using it. You can brush your teeth with toothpaste if you are careful not to swallow anything. A dry toothbrush will also work.

Some people, especially children who are new to fasting, think that if they could just "accidentally" swallow a little water or food, it will make them feel less hungry. Actually, the opposite is true. If you swallow a small amount, your stomach's digestive juices will start to flow and you will feel very hungry. There is great wisdom in God's command to eat and drink nothing for the period of fasting.

However, it is recommended that we eat suhuur, which is the pre-dawn meal. Don't skip suhuur with the excuse, "I'm strong and can handle fasting for say, 18 hours, instead of just 12." The meaning of Islam is submission; the point of fasting Ramadan is to be obedient to God, not to show how tough you are. Even if it is just a mouthful of water, "take your early morning meal for in that is a blessing," said the Messenger of Allah (SAW), reported by Anas in Bukhari and Muslim.

We should also be careful not eat a lot before going to bed, because then the body will not get a chance to rest and rebuild itself. Instead it will be busy digesting and processing food.

Regarding overindulgence: it is not smart to cram 24 hours worth of food into your body in 4-6 hours' time. As mentioned above, this taxes your system and is abusive to your body. When you are very hungry, like near fast-breaking time, you are inclined to take a huge serving of food, when a normal serving would be fine. If you eat it all, you may regret it later when indigestion comes your way. If you don't eat it all, the food may go in the garbage can, and this is not a good thing. Part of the point of fasting is so we can feel more sympathy with poorer people who often don't have enough to eat. Have we really learned sympathy, when the food that could have been shared with a less fortunate person gets thrown away?

Try to relax and avoid stress during Ramadan, because stress hinders the immune and digestive system, and eating during stress will not be very beneficial in terms of supplying nutrients.

One of the reasons why it is important to eat right and take care of yourself is that you will be better able to serve God and propagate His Message.

Who is exempt from fasting?

Among the persons who may be considered exempt from fasting are:

Children under the age of puberty
Insane or retarded people
Elderly people, or the chronically ill
Women during menstruation and during post-natal discharge
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Sick people
People under duress (i.e., soldiers)
If you have a doubt as to whether or not you can be exempt from fasting, check with a scholar, or in a book of fiqh for whichever school you follow. Also, in some of these cases, you are expected to pay some expiatation for not fasting. Again, check the books of shari'ah.

Note of interest:

The early Romans and Greeks and other people who inhabited the Mediterranean coast often ate only once a day. The meal would last about 2 hours and was usually accompanied by entertainment. Occasionally in the morning a biscuit or bread crust was taken in the morning to supplement the one main meal. It is estimated that 60% of Romans and 90% of Greeks followed this kind of eating routine. (from Fasting-Hydropathy-Exercise, by Bernarr MacFadden and Felix Oswald, A.M., M.D.)

Note: Any numbered references (i.e., "2:155") refer to chapter and verse in the Qur'an.

"Essentials of Ramadan, the Fasting Month," by Tajuddin B. Shu'aib, "Islamic Dietary Concepts & Practices," by Muhammad Mazhar Hussaini "The Nature Doctor," by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel, "The Fasting State & Plaque Accumulation in Healthy Subjects," by Patricia Louise Miller.

Posted - Sunday, September 24, 2006  -  3:43 AM Reply with quote
For the academic purpose, there are certain questions given below the following quotes:

QUOTE: - When a person fasts, his digestive system gets a chance to rest. The body has to break down fats already present in the body in order to utilize the energy there. Thus, harmful toxins which are stored in fat can be expelled from the body.

What are the TOXINS stored in the fat of our body?

QUOTE: - If you feel too weak to exercise, a massage or having your skin rubbed with a towel or brush can help stimulate the circulation and help cleanse your system.

Could you please elaborate the point with the MECHANISM?

QUOTE: - First, eat good quality, organic food if possible.


NOTE: No student of medicine must rely on any medical information until he/she confirms himself/herself from the TEXTBOOK, any JOURNAL of the concerned subject or from any authorized MEDICAL websites.

Posted - Friday, August 31, 2007  -  6:58 AM Reply with quote
the full moon of shab'an re-reminding about the beautiful month ahead.
the beloved sws used to prepare for this month before hand.
it's good to remind our grown up children as well so they can prepare in their own way.

besides sp. prayers, shopping a bit ahead and keeping certain things refrigerated, even if possible to sort out some work for eid will give more time during ramadan for prayers, reading and understanding Qur'an as well as more of our studies offered

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