Once each year, Ramadan comes and comes with blatant commitments, blessings, and plentiful health and spiritual rewards. Ramadan is a month in which Muslims refrain from food, beverages, and lusts. They fast the entire day, from predawn to sunset, following commands and guidance stipulated by the Creator. Ramadan is an obligatory duty upon every adult Muslim who is healthy enough to fast and does not have any other impediments.
Muslims are tasked with numerous commitments during the month of Ramadan. The commitments include fasting, reading Qur’an, praying more Salats (prayers), and giving out more Sadaqa (charity). It may not sound right to some people to fast an entire month, but that is the case for God-fearing Muslims. They buckle down and shoulder the responsibility of abstaining from food, beverages, and intimate relationships over the month’s days. And they do so to comply with Allah’s orders and seek his abundant forgiveness.
How does the body fare without food for an entire day? Well, it is all about discipline and commitment. Because Allah’s commands are bigger than what the body needs, Muslims tame their bodies and put up with the pressures they face during the day, telling their bodies to be patient and wait until the sun sets at which time they resume eating and drinking (I mean having beverages with food).
Another commitment that Muslims are saddled with is reading a lot of the Qur’an, the word of God. However, reading the Holy Qur’an is not mandatory, but fasting is. The more Qur’an one reads during Ramadan, the more rewards that person receives from the Creator, who enslaves that person with dos and don’ts. The amount of read Qur’an during Ramadan is weightier than all other times, and one reason is that Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an to his prophet Muhammad during Ramadan. The prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, got the first verse of the Qur’an in Ramadan.
Allah (swt) also has urged Muslims to be more committed when it comes to helping out the poor and needy. Because any kind of good deed done during Ramadan is multiplied, Allah urges his observing servants to take advantage of the month’s opportunities and double down on paying more sadaqat. As the Qur’an states, lending helping hands to those in dire need is an act of virtue which erases sins and elevates one’s position, both here on earth and hereafter, and charity strengthens bonds between haves and have-nots of society.
Ramadan brings blessings to those who fast during its days and stay away from all sorts of bad things. Blessings that come with Ramadan are purification of the soul, breaking life’s bad desires, and bonding with one another through public iftars (fast-breaking meal after sunset). Because of the above-stated deeds, Allah forgives the sins of fasting people and purifies their souls.
Ramadan is replete with health benefits as well. Scientific research shows that fasting has enormous benefits that help people get rid of their varied ailments. Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016, highlights the benefits of fasting, especially long hours of up to 12 hours. As his research found, during starvation, body cells eat each other, meaning that cells with more proteins help other cells. A process called “Autophagy” takes place inside the body, where healthy cells eliminate bacteria and viruses and get rid of damaged, irrecoverable cells in the body. Eventually and at the end of Ramadan, someone walks away with a healthy body and rejuvenated cells. Amazing! Fasting also contributes to longevity. Based on Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi research, fasting brings about wonders to the human body, and that is why many doctors prescribe fasting for their patients, especially in the West where food is abundant and obesity is on the rise.
Ramadan is a blessing and beneficial Endeavour to Muslims that observe the month’s obligations. Its takeaway is too enormous: blessings, plenty of rewards, and unparalleled health benefits. Allah has obligated to observe Ramadan for various reasons, some of which are visible others not visible.