By: Sadik Mohammed
Ramadan is the holy month of fasting for Muslims, during which they abstain from food, drink and all others that were hitherto permitted them by Allah from sunrise to sunset as divine obligation.
The month long fast serves as the Special Purpose Vehicle(SPV) for seeking forgiveness and nearness to Allah, their Lord who loves piety and righteousness.
Spiritual and Moral Importance
It is indeed an annual opportunity for Muslim to do stock taking, pursue moral and spiritual rejuvenation and seek for re-alignment with their Grand Creator.
This is underpinned by learning to cultivate self-restraint, good manners and behavior, loving kindness through stepping up of charitable activities and doing additional supererogatory worship and prayers in addition to the five daily salat.
These are all important towards drawing Muslims closer to their Lord, Allah and beefing up their spirituality for that matter.
The Ramadan fast also has a socio-economic dimension. In the society we have the poor and the rich. In the houses of the rich they are not in want and have plenty to eat and could chose to eat as many times as they chose to.
Conversely, in the house of the poor, even one square meal is sometimes a problem. How then does the rich also get to taste hunger and feel the pangs of it? Ramadan fasting is the answer.
The Ramadan fast seeks to also inculcate sympathy in the rich for the poor which is good for the maintenance of social equilibrium.
A society where the rich live in extravagance and affluence and are least sensitive to the plight of the poor, risk the generation of bad blood between the rich and the poor the resultant effects of which could be social tensions and undesirable conflict.
Health Benefits of Ramadan Fast
In addition to the foregoing religious and socio-economic significance, Ramadan is also associated with several health benefits. Here are five health benefits of Ramadan:
Weight loss: Fasting during Ramadan can lead to weight loss, as the body uses stored fat for energy when it is not receiving food. However, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet during non-fasting hours to avoid overeating and unhealthy weight loss.
Improved insulin sensitivity: Fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. During Ramadan, the body’s cells become more responsive to insulin, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Reduced inflammation: Fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to many chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improved mental health: Ramadan is also associated with improved mental health. Fasting has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and can improve overall mood and emotional wellbeing.
Many people find that fasting during Ramadan increases their sense of spirituality and connection to their faith. This can provide a sense of purpose and meaning, which can have positive effects on mental health and overall wellbeing.