Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self-training by means of fasting. Islamic fasting is different from regular “diet” plans because in Ramadan fasting, there is no malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake. The caloric intake of Muslims during Ramadan is at or slightly below the national requirement guidelines. In addition, the fasting in Ramadan is voluntarily taken and is not a prescribed imposition from the physician.
The physiological effect of fasting includes:
- Reduced blood sugar levels,
- Reduced cholesterol
- Reduced systolic blood pressure
- Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension.
Abstinence from water during this period is not bad at all and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.
There are psychological effects of fasting as well. There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. … This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes. … Similarly, recitation of the Quran not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory.
[2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.
Adapted from Excerpts from Shahid Athar, M.D (Dr Athar’s website is: http://www.islam-usa.com/)