And that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know
Every lunar year, the month of Ramadan arrives, it is the month when Muslims fast, from sunrise to sunset. During the fasting period, we restrain our selves from eating and drinking, and we also restrain ourselves from bad behavior and lust.
In the early days of Islam, fasting was not compulsory until the following Ayah was revealed [2:183] O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil); The next verse stated the rules of fasting [2:184] (Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number of other days; and for those who can afford it there is a ransom: the feeding of a man in need – but whoso doeth good of his own accord, it is better for him: and that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know
Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam, so the reward is in the afterlife; Mohammad the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied for him, between ten and seven hundred times for each merit. Allah said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward for it.’, the trailing paragraph of the Ayah (and that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know) stood out, as it sounds related to this life not to the afterlife and it was also related to knowledge (science).
So I researched to find a relationships between fasting and science and came up with the following:
In a study conducted by Harvard University in 2017, it revealed that “Intermittent Fasting and Manipulating Mitochondrial Networks May Increase Lifespan”, the study, published October 26 2017 sheds light on the basic biology involved in cells’ declining ability to process energy over time, which leads to aging and age-related disease, and how interventions such as periods of fasting might promote healthy aging. In this study, the researchers showed a causal link between dynamic changes in the shapes of mitochondrial networks and longevity.
In a recent study conducted by MIT in 2018, it concluded that Fasting Boosts Stem Cells’ Regenerative Capacity, that is, as people age, their intestinal stem cells begin to lose their ability to regenerate. These stem cells are the source for all new intestinal cells, so this decline can make it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infections or other conditions that affect the intestine. The researchers found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice.
This one you are going to like, another Harvard study associates intermittent fasting with weight loss, intermittent fasting is a diet regimen that cycles between brief periods of fasting, with either no food or significant calorie reduction, and periods of unrestricted eating. This is more effective that prolonged very low calorie diets which can cause physiological changes that may cause the body to adapt to the calorie restriction and therefore prevent further weight loss.
Growth Hormone! yes, fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man.
Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
An article at the this link lists several benefits of fasting, some refer to topics we have mentioned earlier.
So it all boils down to this, “and that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know”
By Husein Kattab