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The Mass Media

Ramadan and its benefits

On the evening of April 12, Muslim communities from all around the world began practicing the annual holy month of Ramadan. Throughout this article, I am going to be informing you guys about what Ramadan is, why people fast during Ramadan, and the health benefits that may accompany the fasting during this holy month. I will also be discussing how exactly fasting during Ramadan is different from intermittent fasting that some people decide to follow. 

To begin with, what is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, where the practicing Muslim community spend the month fasting, reflecting spiritually, and praying. (1)

The word fasting isn’t uncommon, religions from all around the world practice fasting each within their own rules. Individuals can also decide to fast for non-religious reasons as well. This is known to be intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is where individuals choose a specific time during the day where they decide to eat, and any other time, they would be fasting (2). 

Despite the fact that intermittent fasting and the fasting that one does during the month of Ramadan can be quite similar, they are different in certain aspects. One of the aspects is that intermittent fasting is more flexible for the individual, where the individual chooses what time he or she wants to begin their fasting process. There are four different types of intermittent fasting: alternate-day fasting, whole-day fasting, modified fasting regimes, and time-restricted feeding. The reason why individuals decide to do intermittent fasting is usually solely for health related issues (3).  

Whereas an individual’s decision to fast during the month of Ramadan is quite different from intermittent fasting, it is also not as flexible. In Ramadan, a person’s fasting hours are from sunrise till sunset. They don’t have the option of choosing what time throughout the day they wish to fast. In addition to that, some intermittent fasting practices allow the individual to drink water and other clear liquids throughout the day. A person who decides to fast during the month of Ramadan refrains from any food or liquid during the fasting hours. Another massive difference between fasting during Ramadan and intermittent fasting is that the reason why an individual decides to fast is because of religious reasons (3).

Now that that’s settled, why do Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan?

The answers to this question vary, as there are a lot of reasons as to why people fast during this month. The first reason is because fasting is considered to be an act of worship. As a matter of fact, it is one of the Five Pillars in Islam, where it encourages personal and spiritual growth. Another reason why individuals choose to fast during the month of Ramadan is to practice gratitude, where individuals will be more appreciative for the food that they have once it is time to break their fast. A third reason why individuals decide to fast during the month of Ramadan is to show empathy and compassion to the less fortunate who don’t have the privilege of having a limitless amount of food like other individuals do. Finally, another reason why it is important to fast during Ramadan is because of certain health benefits that it provides for individuals. There are obviously a lot more important reasons as to why it is necessary for Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan, but if I put all of those reasons within one paper, I would lose track of this article’s topic. (4).

Onto the final question of the article: What are some of the physical benefits that one can attain because of fasting? According to an article published by eduislam.in, there are quite a few benefits in fasting for one’s physical health. 

Firstly, fasting is known to change and improve the function of the cells, genes and hormones. 

Fasting can help an individual lose weight and belly fat, and is also known to improve insulin sensitivity. 

Moreover, it could possibly reduce oxidative stress and inflammation within the body. It is also said that fasting can boost one’s metabolism. 

Fasting can improve the brain and prevent neurodegenerative diseases as well. It can also lower the risk of heart disease and the risk of cancer.

These are only a few of the reasons for how fasting can be beneficial to one’s health. Of course, this article should not be the main reason why people decide to fast all of a sudden. If you do wish to know more about fasting during the month of Ramadan or in general, then I encourage you to do some more research on your own.