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Critique and Analysis

 

 

Philosophy of Fasting

 

Philosophy of fasting lies in the evolution of body and soul, because it has been said that: healthy mind is in the healthy body. The Islamic and non-Islamic scholars have written many pamphlets and books in this regard and they have expressed some of its effects. Among them are the sure of dyspepsia, strengthening the public health, preventing appendicitis, clearing urine urethras, removing illnesses and celerity illnesses and emitting waste lipid. Fasting is effective in curing many incurable illnesses. However, the role of fasting in health of body and evolution of soul is undeniable.

One of the God’s orders to humans is fasting, so that the human can be able to be secure from any corruption and illness in the shadow of that and by rescuing themselves from devil traps put themselves in the way of prophets and Imams (AS). Quran expresses this order in this way: “o you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).” (Baqara, 183)

Fasting is the class of piousness; it is a practice to become pious. There is no better result and benefit for an individual but to guarantee felicity of his world and afterlife by fasting. In a divine narration, Prophet Mohammad (S) asks God: what is the first worship? God answers: fasting. Then the Prophet (S) asks: oh God! What is the result and benefit of fasting? God states in answer: the result of fast, is to reach wholehearted knowledge and wisdom, and the result of wisdom is knowing God and the result of cognition and knowing God is to reach a complete belief; thus, whenever the servant of God reached belief, all his person and life would depend on God and if his life passes with severity or convenience, no changes occur to him. When that lover servant of God is dying, angels stand beside his bed and slake him from water of Kowsar and heavenly wines until the hardship of his death goes away. Then, they give him a big annunciation and say: good to you, what a divine position and high-ranked place you have! Now, he flies to divine court in a twinkling of eye and reaches near God and no obstacle will remain between he and the glory God. *2

 

Ramadan, Month of God

The origin of universe and creator of earth and sky is the glory God, but in monotheism culture some places and some times own especial value. Month of Ramadan which is called the Month of God has unique specialties and particularities that no other times enjoy them. Nights, days, hours, and seconds of month of God are superior to all times. So that Prophet Mohammad (S) states that: *3

(Oh people, be aware that month of God has come to you with a back of blessings and mercies and divine remissions. Ramadan is a month superior to all months before God. Its days are the most virtue ones and its nights are the best ones. Hours of this month are the best hours and seconds. Ramadan is a month in which all of you are invited to the God’s reception and this is the big blessing of God that enters you to this month.) *4

Some factors of superiority of this month can be understood from the words of Prophet Mohammad (S). All blessings of God are valuable, but the blessing of guidance is the best of blessings and this is such a gift that God granted the believers in this month. There is no blessing better than that human attends beside the extended table of God and vitalizes his droopy soul with water of spiritual life. There is no blessing better than that human becomes free from the captivity of the world and pelf and sings the song of justice on the peak of freedom. There is no blessing better that the human forgets his brute life and evil vagary and smoothes the way of his growth and spiritual evolution. And eventually, there is no blessing better than that the human understands evolution toward God and believes that his value is much higher than that he only materially contents himself and limits all his matters in earthly blessings and issues.

Islam has seriously denounced self-indulgence meaning self-rearing and lechery, but it has necessitated developing body meaning taking care of and keeping health and has considered any activity which is noxious to the body as null and void. Wherever an obligatory issue such as (fast) is probably harmful to the body, Islam refuses it and even knows that issue void.

Many customs have been passed in Islam based on the healthiness of body. Some people may not differentiate between developing body which is a healthful issue and self-indulgence in worldliness meaning which is a moral issue and think that Islam is against developing body; that is, it is against healthiness of body. Hence, being unconcern in keeping health and doing such things which are harmful for health of body are improper in Islam. Like worldliness and sensuality which are against spirituality and causes spiritual illness, they are also against health and correct developing of body and result in physical illness.

 

Philosophy of fasting

Philosophy of fasting is the evolution of body and soul, because it has been said that: healthy mind lies in the healthy body. The Islamic and non-Islamic scholars have written many pamphlets and books in this regard and they have expressed some of its effects among them are the cure of dyspepsia, strengthening public health, preventing appendicitis, clearing urine urethras, removing illnesses and celerity illnesses and emitting waste lipid. Fasting is effective in curing many incurable illnesses. However, the role of fasting in health of body and evolution of soul is undeniable. Prophet Mohammad (S) stated that: do fast so that your health be guaranteed. Even a woman who in her period is not necessary to prayer in order to compensate the prayer who has not said but it is on her to fast for the days she has not fasted. *5

Fasting removes the fatigue of all body organs, tissues, vessels, glands, nerves, parts of body, intestines, and arteries, because due to the constant and round-the-clock acts, different parts of body weaken. Do not misunderstand, when we say the body relaxes due to fasting, it does not mean the body stops working, but it means that body reduces the speed of working tin order to rest and obviate its fatigue and thus fasting obviates faint, urine strangulation, obesity, arteriosclerosis, stomach wound and its blockage. This is why we say fasting prolongs lifetime, rejuvenates body, and rescues human from indisposition and lassitude and make human free from illnesses and pains. *6

Recently, some hospitals have been established that cure many illnesses through fasting. When Ramadan comes, programs of life change and this change in program freshens the human soul and rejuvenates human, because human soul understands changes in eating and sleeping programs and like them. This is an issue that has been cleared by experience and psychology. Such happiness happens to those who fast at the time of Iftar which is not comparable to any kind of happiness, because an individual who has to observe some matters (eating – drinking) when Iftar comes feels free from those constrain, and such understanding of freedom brings a kind of happiness to human. In some narrations we read that there are two kinds of happiness for the person who fasts: one is at the time of Iftar and the other at the time of meeting God.

 Through fasting, the human finds confidence and convenience, because s/he understands that s/he has found communion with God of universe and his Creator through fasting. The holy Quran states that: (be aware that human’s heart will find confidence by mentioning God.) *7 and undoubtedly, confidence is one of the best tools to remove anxiety and fear.

 

Fasting from the scientists’ point of view

Dr. Alexis Carrel writes in his book “Man, The Unknown”: by fasting, the blood glucose decreases in the liver and the fat stored under the skin and proteins of muscles, glands and liver cells are released and are used to feed. Dr. Carrel said: the necessity of fasting is underlined in all religions. During fasting, at first hunger and then a kind of nerve stimulation and after that a faint happen, but at the same time, the hidden qualities that are of so much importance become active and finally, all body organs sacrifice their special substances in order to maintain the balance of internal environment and heart, and hence fasting washes all tissues of body and make them fresh.

Dr. Jean Fromozan interprets the treatment method with fasting as washing the body organs in which at the beginning of fasting, the tongue is heavy, perspiration is excessive, mouth has bad smell, and sometimes water runs from nose which are all symptoms of full body wash. After 3-4 days, the bad smell disappears, urinary uric acid reduces, and the person feels wonderful joy and happiness. In this situation, body organs also have enough rest.

Regarding the advantages of fasting, Dr. Toumanintz writes: the big advantages of eating less and keeping away from foods during a short time is because the stomach has been regularly full during 11 months, disposes its foodstuffs during one month fasting, and also liver that has to repeatedly use bile in order to digest food will use bile secretions to solve the remaining of food. Digestive system will rest a little due to eating less. Fasting means eating and drinking less in a specific time of year, and this is the best way of cure and maintaining health that has drawn the attention of old and modern medicine to itself. Fasting can cure those illnesses relating to digestive system, particularly to liver and kidney, which are not curable by drug. The best way of curing jaundice which is the specific illness of liver is fasting, because most of the times the reason of this illness is fatigue of liver that cannot take bile from itself when it is tired.

Dr. Goel Pa from France says: four-fifth of illnesses is caused by the fermentation of food in the intestines that all will be disappeared by fasting.

Dr. Alexi Soforin writes in his book: during fasting, the body uses the remained materials in the body instead of food, and in this way removes the dirty and infectious materials which exist in the body and are the origin of illnesses. Fasting causes the remission of all diseases. Hence, it is worthy to clean your body by fasting.

The diseases that these scientists have been able to cure by fasting are as following: neurasthenia, gastritis, laryngitis, syphilis, tuberculosis, eye pain, chronic catarrh, chronic chest pain, bloating and swelling of the lungs, neurological diseases, trembling limbs, hydrocephalous, paralysis, psychological distress, general weaknesses, liver disease, and ultimately weakening cancerous glands and addiction.

Dr. Carew from America writes: each of the ill individual has to avoid food at a time of year, because as long as food reaches body, microbes are growing, but when he avoids food, microbes become weak. He further says: the fast that is necessitated by Islam is the biggest guarantee for health of body.

Fasting causes human to control his rogue soul and control his illegal and irrational interests and desires. When we recognize the specific role of fasting in self-purification that we know whatever happens against the humanity all around the world is due to selfishness, lusts and evil tendencies, and until human do not make himself free from these desires and lusts, oppression, corruption, murder, rob and sin will continue. Fasting is a factor by which the human is able to overcome his lust desires and rule over all his organs and control his carnal desires. While human is captured by his carnal desires, he never see the side of prosperity and happiness, because carnal desires, devotions and dependencies are heavy chains that capture human soul and until human do not break those chains, his soul will not become free from slavery constraints and bondages. Carnal desires are the enemies to inner of human, and overcoming these enemies is harder than overcoming the outside enemy.

 

Effects of fasting

Fasting flows the fountain of divine mercy into the heart of right-seeking people.

Fasting brings divine foods on the table of heart of those who fast.

Fasting strengthens the human soul in the patience front.

Fasting changes darkness of selfishness and self-orientation to brightness of humility and sacrifice.

Fasting is the saviour of repentant sinners from the hell.

Fasting grows the enthusiasm in the human to overtake in doing good deeds.

Fasting is the embellisher of face of human’s character in the light of worships.

Fasting puts the life of human in the way of breezes of divine mercy.

Fasting is cleaner of face of heart from the dust of sin and error.

Fasting is a bridge that passes human from poisoned river of carnal desire and makes him reach the coast of prosperity.

Fasting is cleaning heart from sin and dirt.

Fasting sings the song of reaching God to the pious people.

Fasting is the flourisher of plant of faith in the garden of human’s life.

Fasting is slap hitting to devil, the old enemy to guidance.

Fasting pours the sweet nectar of presence in heaven in the heart of the sincere human.

 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 - 12:8

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