Day 13: Teach A Child About The Miracles Of Fasting
Okay guys no time to waste
Get out your notebooks, pens and reading glasses.
Today’s good deed is a bit academic. This is important. We need to know our stuff.
Silence in the classroom please loool
You know, when children ask why Muslims fast in Ramadan or why God wants to torture us with thirst and hunger, they deserve a better answer than ‘We fast to feel the poor’
Like come on, who are we kidding?
A dinner table with lots of delicious hot dishes, cool yummy drinks, whipped cream covered desserts and ‘zombying’ out on the couch coz we can’t breathe after eating too much wouldn’t really convince a child we’re fasting to feel the poor.
They deserve real, logical, mind boggling answers to their question…
They deserve our investment in their knowledge of their own beautiful religion…
(And frankly we deserve it too! We need to know why Allah believes it’s ‘good’ for us to fast)
So without further ado, I present to you the Golden list of ’99 Reasons of why Muslims fast in the Holy month of Ramadan’
I tried to keep it as brief as possible, but of course I urge you to dig deeper if you need more information (that would be the advanced level for this good deed)
Here we go….
- 1- Fasting speeds up metabolism
- 2- Helps improve insulin sensitivity
- 3- Fasting helps us lose weight (Sambousa-less and Konafa-less fasting that is loool)
- 4- Fasting promotes longevity since it gives the body organs time to rest
- 5- Fasting improves hunger by releasing the correct ‘hunger’ hormones and in turn fighting obesity
- 6- Fasting improves the immune system since it reduces free radical damages and lets the body focus on healing itself
- 7- Human growth hormones are released during fasting, facilitating fat burning and muscle gaining
- 8- Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called ‘autophagy’, resulting in cellular repair such as removing waste materials from cells
- 9- Fasting promotes Gene expression (which are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules) protecting us against diseases
- 10- Fasting reduces Oxidative stress and inflammation in the body
- 11- Fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as cholesterol levels and triglycerides
- 12- Studies show fasting can help prevent cancer! (Yay!)
- 13- Fasting also reduces the side effects caused by chemotherapy
- 14- Fasting is a complex and complete detoxification system for the body
- 15- Fasting has been proven to improve the senses of vision, hearing and taste
- 16- Reduction of allergies is also one of the many benefits of fasting
Here is also a list of medical conditions improved by fasting (according to Dr. Fuhman’s Book ‘Fasting and Eating for Health’)
- 17-Adult onset diabetes
- 18- Acne
- 19- Arthritis
- 20- Asthma
- 21- Atherosclerosis (if anyone knows what that is, please translate it to us in human language loool)
- 22- Autoimmune Illnesses
- 23- Benign Tumors
- 24- Chronic back and joint pain
- 25- Chronic fatigue
- 26- Colitis
- 27- Deterioration of the Musculoskeletal system
- 28-Digestive disorders
- 29- Eczema
- 30- Hay fever
- 31- High blood pressure
- 32- Hyperactivity (Should probably let the kids fast more often so we can finally take those long baths)
- 33- Hypoglycemia
- 34- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
- 35- Insomnia
- 36- Lupus
- 37- Epilepsy
- 38- Osteoporosis
- 39- Psoriasis
- 40- Substance abuse and addictions (well, if you can get drug addicts to fast that is)
- 41- Uterine fibroids
- 42- Sinusitis
- 43- SchizophreniaOkay sheeeeshhh! I have a newfound respect for doctors who use these words in their daily conversations. I’m already tired just typing them out loool
Mental Benefits Of Fasting:
- 44- Fasting is the most sophisticated will power workout ever (makes sense right? If you can’t control yourself, what can you control?)
- 45- Fasting dissipates cravings for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other less harsh, yet addictive drugs.
- 46- Fasting increases neurochemical levels in the brain such as ‘Dopamine’, the happy hormone that elevates your confidence to the roof!
- 47- Fasting actually increases the number of brain cells so it literally makes you smarter
- 48- Fasting increases clarity, cognitive functions and promotes your ability to make better critical decisions.
- 49- Fasting encourages better motor skills functioning and precision
- 50- Research has found that fasting improves the overall quality of your sleep
- 51- Fasting increases productivity. Like Robin Sharma says ‘If you want to get more done, eat less food”
- 52- Fasting regularly results in mental breakthroughs and increased free flow of intelligence and creativity
(Girls, did you just scroll down to this one?)
- 53- Fasting promotes glowing clear skin by accelerating the body’s self healing ability
- 54- Fasting promotes faster cell regeneration, which means healthier nails
- 55- Fasting leads to healthy shiny hair
- 56- Fasting promotes faster healing of scars and wounds
- 57- Fasting lowers stress levels, and stress is one of the main culprits for premature aging
Emotional and Spiritual Benefits:
- 58- Fasting boosts self-esteem (it confirms in our minds the notion of ‘YES WE CAN!’)
- 59- Deprivation leads to appreciation, which is the root of joy.
- 60- Fasting trains us to be mindful and consciously aware
- 61- Fasting teaches us ‘delayed gratification’, a concept proven to be the number one element behind success in this world
- 62- Practicing patience during the month of Ramadan adds to our personal growth and us attaining maturity
- 63- Fasting provides tranquility and peace to the heart and mind
- 64- Fasting is the method of moving towards self-realization and reaching ‘super conscious energy’. This explains how we can stay up all night praying, feeling spiritually charged even though we are food and sleep deprived.
- 65- Fasting is described as ‘Spiritual Catharsis’ (Sort of like a reset button to restoring the soul)
- 66- Fasting in this Holy month expels, discharges and vacates impurities within us to purify ourselves and connect with Allah (like a shower to the soul)
Other Extremely Important Reasons:
- 67- So yeah in simple terms we fast because Allah said so. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, without it our religion isn’t complete.
- 68- Allah says ‘O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed to you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to) attain taqwa’ (Holy Quran, 2:183)
Attaining Taqwa (piety and fear of Allah) is the MAIN reason why we fast. It serves as a shield to protect us from sinning.
- 69- Fating trains us to listen to our heart and make it the boss! (So when the heart s
ays ‘lower your gaze dude’, or ‘stop gossiping girl, you’re fasting’, you’ll do it)
- 70- Ramadan schedule encourages time management since every minute of the Holy month counts!
- 71- Fasting teaches us flexibility. Even when we’re tired and cross-eyed, we still go to work and get things done under dire circumstances.
- 72- And here it comes, finally, the most popular reason we all quote: Fasting helps us feel the suffering of the poor and hungry.
- 73- Fasting strengthens faith! Even when we’re parched, cranky or just downright exhausted, we will still fast. And we won’t break it even when no one is around, because we know Allah can see us.
- 74- In Ramadan, our sense of competition is heightened, especially with ‘who is at which chapter of the Qur’an’ kind of thing loool (or is that just me?!)
- 75- The most beautiful ‘ummah unity’ happens in Ramadan. Two billion Muslims suddenly speak the same language, eat the same food for suhoor and even tell the same jokes (The “Ramadan is my favorite month coz I have a ‘date’ every night” tweets never get old loool)
- 76- Which reminds me, when you follow the sunnah and have a ‘date’ for iftar, (the fruit of course!) on an empty stomach, you’ll gain multiple health benefits, since dates are rich in potassium, iron, minerals and nutrients. They’re the queens of all fruits.
- 77- In Ramadan we pray Taraweeh together at the mosque. Do I need to list the amazing rewards of that? (Easy bonus point)
- 78- In Ramadan, we are more likely to invest some time in learning about our religion. (Since we are right there at the mosque, we might as well listen to the shiekh’s lecture)
- 79- And when you stand in line to pray next to hundreds of other people, you realize you’re just the same like everyone else. Ramadan is the month of unpretentiousness and humility
- 80- Of course you’re not gonna get up and run outside right after prayer! You’ll probably say your ‘salams’ and ‘may Allah accept you’ and ‘what did you guys have for iftar?’ Praying together strengthens human relations since you see the same people every day, and get a chance to socialize with practicing Muslims.
- 81- The month of Ramadan is a cure for loneliness. I’m pretty sure that’s the most time reverts can make new Muslim friends.
- 82- You’ll see this the most with teenagers. Try telling them anything and they’ll debate it till they’re blue in the face, but when it comes to fasting, they do it calmly. Just proves how much fasting teaches us the most important skill of all: ‘acceptance’
- 83- Ramadan is the month of generosity. We truly experience the joy of giving charity during this month, reminding us to do it more often, which benefits the whole society.
- 84- The Holy month brings you closer to your family. And you know the saying, for a tree to grow high it needs strong roots…
- 85- Ramadan is the month when the Holy Qur’an was revealed. Even Muslims who don’t touch their book during the year, will read it during Ramadan. It’s like an involuntary act, and yet it brings forth multitude of blessings.
- 86- Since the meal of suhour is eaten right before dawn, Muslims follow it by praying Fajr (even those who aren’t used to praying it on time) And you know what the Hadith says: the sunnah of fajr prayer is worth the whole world and what’s in it.
- 87- I know it’s an obligation, but because the Holy month is full of blessings, many Muslims are reminded or encouraged to pay their full zakat during that time. On a wider scale, such activity is good for the economy and when done regularly and promptly should prevent poverty in the Muslim world. (But you know..)
- 88- Performing Umrah in Ramadan is equal to the reward of one Hajj (there you go, an extra gateway for those who didn’t get accepted for Hajj because Allah is so Kareem)
- 89- Two billion Muslims taking part in the same ritual for a whole month is such a powerful demonstration of our power and effectiveness (maybe one day it will be used to change the world to a better place. Amen)
- 90- Muslims know that fasting isn’t just abstaining from food, water and sexual relations. It’s also a practice of self-discipline namely by controlling anger. In essence, Ramadan is like a yearly anger management course.
- 91- Since we completely change our routine, Ramadan is the best chance to adopt some new healthy habits and lifestyles. It’s like a head start for positive change.
- 92- Allah promises us tons of forgiveness in this blessed month, In fact, whoever fasts the month ‘properly and faithfully’ will have all his or her sins forgiven. Ramadan is like a yearly chance for a clean slate with Allah (Doesn’t it just make you love Him more and more?)
- 93- Now you wouldn’t ask and expect all these showers of forgiveness if you can’t forgive others, right? I mean that’s just rude!
Ramadan is the month of mercy and forgiveness and it should make us better people, capable of forgiving one another
- 94- Okay so you’re gonna forgive all these people and not yourself?
The most person worthy of your kindness and forgiveness is ‘you.’ The Holy month comes every year to remind us of that little simple fact. Ramadan is the time to let go of the past mistakes and start anew…
- 95- Which brings us to resolutions and stuff. Yes on New Years, many of us come up with a list of goals and pledges for the year ahead. But in Ramadan, the list is spiritual, related to our relationship with Allah, and our determination to be better Muslims and attain Paradise inshAllah. Ramadan is in a way the beginning of a new year for Muslims.
- 96- We expect our kids to fast when they reach the appropriate age, even though it breaks our hearts to see them hungry and thirsty. But isn’t that the best training for us parents to discipline them? If we can deprive them of the means of survival like food and water loool, we can surely deprive them of what will spoil their brains and lives (like TV, too much candy, bad-influence friends and wasting time on Ipad games)
- 97- For married couples only: Since physical intimacy is forbidden during the day, it makes spouses miss each other. Ramadan rekindles lost romance in marriages, don’t you think? (Insert innocent wink here loool)
- 98- If you think about it, Ramadan uncovers the real meaning and purpose of this world. For when you live your life like ‘Ramadan’, your Hereafter will be like ‘Eid’ (Deep huh? Loool)
- 99- And the finale….
Dan Dan Daaaaaaaaaaaaa
Laylat al Qadr: the night which is better than 1000 months. Worshipping Allah on that night is worth more than spending over 80 years (your whole life basically) worshipping Him day and night.
What more could be said here?
So, when we say ‘Ramadan Kareem’, we actually mean it…
In 99 different ways…
All my best,
Lilly S. Mohsen