Medical Aspects of Islamic Fasting

Dr. Shahid Athar


Muslims worldwide observe total fasting (no food or water) between dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan. They do so not for losing weight or any medical benefit, but as it is ordained in Qur’an which says.

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed for those before you (i.e. Jews, & Christians) so that you may (learn) self-restraint.”(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:183)


According to Islamic Laws, children below the age of 12, sick patients, travelers, and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby are exempt from fasting. In addition to staying away from food or water for the whole day, they are asked to stay away from sex, smoking or misconduct during the period of fast. In addition, they are encouraged to do more acts of piety i.e. prayer, charity, or reading Qur’an during this month.

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Brazil’s Growing Muslim Population Adapt For Ramadan


Brazil's Growing Muslim Population

Short days and pleasant weather ease the fast for Brazil’s growing Muslim population.

BRASILIA, Brazil – For Ibrahim Nashawaty, a refugee from Syria now living in Brazil, his first Ramadan away from home has been a strange and unsettling experience so far.

In some ways it is much harder here,” he tells AA, at the only mosque in Brazil’s capital Brasilia. “Everyone is eating and drinking on the streets all the time, because they are mainly Christians.

It is strange for me to see,” he adds.

But the 19-year-old, who fled the civil war raging in Syria six months ago with his three brothers and parents, admits that fasting in Brasilia has its benefits.

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Seven Lights of Devotion in Ramadan

Seven Lights of Devotion in Ramadan

Part 1

Friday, 18 July 2014 00:00


There are a number of highly recommendable worshipful practices to be performed during the days of Ramadan, for those who seek closeness to their Lord and His Companionship.

Even if in the first part of the month we have missed out on one or more of these acts, we can still make an effort from now to reap their benefits in sha’ Allah.

1- Don’t Forget or Neglect the Pre-dawn Meal (Sahur)

It is recommended to partake of a light meal (Sahur)prior to commencing the fast. The fast begins at first light and ends at sunset (maghrib).

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Remembrances of My First Ramadan

By Aisha Robertson

Friday, 23 May 2014 00:00
One of the best things that happened during my first Ramadan was that I got married, al-hamdu lillah.

This upcoming Ramadan will be my fourteenth, al-hamdu lillah, and I am looking forward to it, in sha’ Allah.

I was 27 years old when I converted to Islam and consequently spent 27 years celebrating Christian holidays and birthdays.

I did go through a transition period of adjustment to my new faith and way of life and al-hamdu lillah, I feel a deep sense of ownership and pride in the Islamic holidays I now celebrate as a Muslimah.

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Aishah Schwartz: My First Ramadan

By Aishah Schwartz

American Writer, Activist & Photojournalist
What a blessed evening it had turned out to be

I made my Shahadah in April of 2002, Al-hamdulillah, before that year’s Ramadan, which happened to be in November.

I had decided to take a personal holiday from work to mark the first day of my first Ramadan, and then, quite typically actually, I stayed awake the entire night working on an article that happened to be on the subject of marriage.

The time slipped by so quickly and before I knew it, dawn was approaching and I remembered to make my intention to fast and prepared a small suhoor consisting of oatmeal, toast, and coffee.

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Ways to Maximise Ajar in the Last 10 Days



So the search by many for Laylatul Qadr ensues during the last ten nights, primarily during the odd ones.

So how do we maximise on this opportunity?

· The most beautiful way to start is with intention. This may be the easiest and the hardest endeavour.

Sincerity. Maximum benefit is derived when the deeds lie in the nest of truth and sincerity.

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The Levels of Fasting (2/2)

The Levels of Fasting (2/2)

Dr. Bilal Philips

Source: Why Do Muslims Fast?

Published On: 29/7/2013 A.D. – 21/9/1434 H.


The Psychological Level

This level helps the fasting person psychologically to control evil thoughts and trains him or her, to some degree, how to overcome stinginess and greed. The Prophet was reported to have said:


“Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain himself from telling lies and acting on them even while observing the fast.” (Reported by Saheeh Al-Bukhari)


In this age of immediate gratification, when the things of the world are used to fulfill human needs and desires almost as soon as they have them the ability to delay gratification is an important skill. What is between immediate gratification and delayed gratification is patience. During the fast, the believers learn patience and the benefits of it.

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The Levels of Fasting (1/2)

The Levels of Fasting (1/2)


Dr. Bilal Philips

Source: Why Do Muslims Fast?

Published On: 28/7/2013 A.D. – 20/9/1434 H.


The Ritual Level

This level of fasting requires that the basic rules for fasting be fulfilled, which are avoiding food, drink and sexual intercourse between dawn and sunset for 29 or 30 days each year. On this level, one is basically following the letter of the laws regarding fasting without particular consideration for the spirit of fasting. It is the entrance level which must be fulfilled for the fast to be Islamicly correct, but the other levels must be added for the fast to have any real impact on the fasting person. Fasting on this level alone will not benefit one spiritually, except from the perspective of submission to divine instructions, if one chooses to follow the ritual consciously and not merely according to tradition. Thus, by itself, the ritual level will not purify one of sin or atone for sin.

The Physical Level Fasting on the “physical” level causes the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst when the prophetic (Sunnah) way of fasting is observed. Prophet Muhammad used to consume a very light meal before the dawn (suhoor) and moderate meal (iftaar) to break the fast at sunset, while scrupulously avoiding filling his stomach.

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US Muslims Plead for Ramadan Donations

MIT / Agencies

The Muslim community in Orlando in the US state of Florida is appealing for donations for philanthropic activities to poor families during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The Muslim Women’s Organization of Central Florida said it seeks donations for care packages to help meet the needs of poor families during Ramadan, reported Orlando Sentinel on Thursday, June 6.

The group says a $50 donation will fill a box with enough nourishing food to last during the holy month.

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Teaching children how to receive Ramadan and fasting it

 Teaching children how to receive Ramadan and fasting it
Muhammad Mustafa Himidah

Published On: 1/8/2012 A.D. – 13/9/1433 H.

Teaching children the fasting of Ramadan is one of the things which occupies the minds of parents. It is one of the difficult matters which people have to endure patiently in order to reach their goal of Ramadan. Therefore, we shall direct the parents to how to teach their children fasting and the acts of worship that are performed during that month through the following directions.


First, receiving the Month of Ramadan

Parents should receive the month of Ramadan with joy and happiness and speak to their children about this month in order to make their children feel the greatness of the Month. They should tell them that Muslims wait for this month every year because of its blessings, multiplication of good deeds, and the goodness of its nights. By this, we instill in the minds of children the rearing of the Pious Predecessors: Some of the Righteous Predecessors used to invoke Allah for six months to reach Ramadan then invoke Allah for another six months to accept from them the worship of Ramadan.

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