Fast and You Shall Be Healthy

In a previous article, we mentioned the effect of fasting on the mind, body and soul of the person performing fasting, some of which are obvious while others are hidden, obscure and unknown to anyone but God.


Medicine reveals to us each day the benefits of fasting, which can be a testimony to the inimitability of the Quran “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers,” and as a proof of prophecy “Nor does he speak from his own inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.”


One of the recently-discovered benefits is fasting’s effect on the immune system and the ability to fight illnesses and cancer.


Dr. Osama Kandil, a professor and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University and a former professor at the Immunity and Infection Department at Harvard, conducted 8-year-long studies in coordination with other specialized researchers from the University of Harvard and the Islamic Medicine School to study the effects of fasting on the activity of the white blood cells and the immunity system during the month of Ramadan.


In one of these studies, researchers measured the ability of natural cells to kill cancerous cells in the lab before the beginning of Ramadan, then tested again after 21 days and after 28 days after the beginning of the month of Ramadan, in participants who suffered from weaknesses in their immunity systems. It was found that the cells activity increased clearly after 21 and 28 days of fasting. The results were studied statistically and it was discovered that they were true.


Not only that, but other similar studies conducted by the same team of researchers showed an increase in the number of Helper T cells, which are responsible for helping other white blood cells in fighting disease in general, as well as killing cancerous and virus-infected cells in particular.


The prophet (PBUH) said in the divine hadith “All man’s deeds are for man except fasting; it is for me and I reward it. And fasting is a Junnah (protection)so if it was a fasting day for one of you, he may not have sexual relations and may not be noisy, and if he was verbally insulted by someone let him say “I am fasting.”


Ibn Al-Qayem said in the “Fasting Chapter” of “Prophetic Medicine”: “Fasting is a Junnah (protection) and is one of the cures of the soul, body and heart.”


The hidden medical benefits of fasting are a lot greater than all that, as it holds a lot of good and unrivaled rewards from God.


“And if you fast it is better for you.”