“But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.” (2:184)
Each year, almost 7 billion Muslims around the world ensue on a month long journey of spiritual and physical fasting during the month of Ramadan. This fast, from the break of dawn until sunset, is often described as an opportunity for spiritual purification and renewal as all those fasting spend the month focused on building and strengthening his or her connection with Allah. The benefits of fasting are abundant and many are undeniable. Most often, it is the spiritual gains that are highlighted, but the health benefits of fasting are now being explored.
In the series below, Dr. Gasser Hathout, uses modern medicine to site the correlations between fasting and physical health. Some of the benefits he analyzes are improvements in weight, glycemic control and reductions in the risk of diabetes, decreased cardiovascular disease risk factors, improvements in immune system function, decreased cancer risk, and better neurological and brain health.