Ramadan Offers an Excellent “Weight Control” Strategy | Ahmed Motiar

EVERY YEAR, MORE than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world observe Ramadan fast. For Muslims fasting is a religious obligation (Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:183), it being the fourth pillar of Islam. Yet fasting is also an excellent “weight control” strategy. The key point is not “weight loss” but rather “weight control”. While those who fast admit they lose some weight during Ramadan, few have actually considered its significance as a “weight control” mechanism, nor its value as a “behavior modifier”, nor even its merits to “fine tune and tone” the human body and its various systems. All these benefits, as well its spiritual advantages, were understood by the bygone Prophets.

The Muslim fast, as prescribed for those past the age of puberty, is simple. It requires one to abstain from taking any food or liquids at all from dawn until dusk. Between hunger and thirst, most find thirst to be more difficult to cope with, especially on very long and hot days as Ramadan fasts will be in the northern hemisphere. As the fasting month is determined by the lunar calendar, which is 10 or 11 days shorter than the solar calendar, in 36 years every Muslim in both hemispheres will have the opportunity to fast during all four seasons. This ensures equity in terms of both ease and hardships endured for people living in both hemispheres.

The Best-Kept “Diet” Secret
Around the world diet-books fly off store-shelves in record numbers, as diet gurus offer their latest fads for losing weight to a population that is grossly overweight because of over-indulgence. Many of those who have gone on such diets appear on radio and TV talk shows to narrate their personal experiences. The overwhelming opinion seems to be that most diets work for a short time, but as soon as the dieter stops dieting the lost weight reappears; some dieters even exceed their previous weight. In all the shared experiences about such diets, one centuries-old formula is seldom or never mentioned. It is the simple fast that the Prophets of all the major faiths engaged in regularly and enjoined their followers to do. Fasting is not new, yet it seems that, as a possible diet option, it is one of the best-kept secrets and no one seems to have explored its potential.

Encouraged to Eat in Moderation
At the end of the fasting day Muslims are enjoined to eat in moderation and engage in ʿibâda, meditation (thikr) and contemplation or thoughtful analysis (tafakkur). The emphasis is on small simple meals, yet many ignore this injunction and consume large and elaborate meals. However, Allah’s divine scheme is unbeatable: humans are created in such a way that the body itself brings one round to eating smaller meals. Those who eat heavy meals at the end of the day often suffer from constipation and other discomforts. It is interesting to note that at the end of the fast, because of the hunger pangs, one thinks that one will be able to eat much more than one normally does. However, one discovers that this is not so.

This discovery usually comes about after a few days of fasting when a person begins to find she is unable to finish the food in her plate. Often the amount one is able to eat is less than the normal meal one would have consumed in the regular three-meals-a-day routine. This is because as the fasting days increase, the body undergoes a physiological change as the stomach begins to shrink and, however much one may desire to have more at the end of the day, the shrunken stomach limits the amount of food that can be consumed. It is critical that one takes heed of these body signals and not disregard them by gorging one’s self to an extra helping of food or be seduced by the many “varieties” of food some families spend hours preparing. In addition to its being totally contrary to the purpose of fasting, this kind of extensive table spread of food hampers the stomach from achieving its full shrinking potential.

For those who do not gorge and restrict themselves to one simple meal at the end of the fast, are the ones most likely to experience the full benefit of the stomach shrinking which ensures the fasting person will lose some weight by the end of the month. While the “weight loss” is obvious, the inevitable follow-up question is how fasting is a “weight control” tool, a “behavior modifier” or a means of “fine-tuning and toning” one’s body?

Most diets fail because they do not bring about a change in the dieter’s “physiological” condition, as the month-long fast does. Fasting helps one to alter one’s unhealthy over-eating habits and establish a moderate intake of food. If one looks at the example of the Prophet ﷺ, we find even when the month of Ramadan ended, he celebrated Eid with rejoicing and “feasting” – sharing a simple meal with neighbors, relatives and, most important, the needy. He also emphasized the need on this festive day to visit the sick and give charity (ṣadaqa). It is important to clarify that “feasting” according to the Prophet’s practice was not self-indulgent. For the Prophet ﷺ, “feasting” was an occasion for “sharing” Allah’s bounties with others, especially the poor and the needy. For the wealthy who may have food in abundance, it is the “sharing” of Allah’s bounties with the poor that is intended by “feasting.”

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ deplored over-eating by saying: Kill not your hearts with excess of eating and drinking. Over-eating, especially on the day of Eid, (when folks are seduced by the many favorite dishes families prepare for this day) is the quickest way to undo the benefits achieved during Ramadan. The physiological change that facilitates moderate eating is the secret of fasting as a “weight control” mechanism. Although over a period of time the moderate eating habits developed during Ramadan usually get somewhat eroded, the fasting month returns after 11 months to re-establish the good habits. However, it is possible to sustain the physiological change which ensures “weight control” by reinforcing the habit of moderation by also fasting at other times during the year, which the Prophet ﷺ did regularly.

Fasting as a Means to Fine-Tune our Bodies
We often overlook the fact that fasting is Allah’s prescription for humans to fine-tune their bodies, especially the digestive system. All body systems or parts need rest. Sleep is one way for some organs to achieve this; the eyes, mind and muscles are obvious examples. The heart and the digestive system achieve their rest by actively slowing the system or “reversing” the system operation, somewhat similar to a “reverse flush” that is done to clean radiator pipes in a vehicle. Standing on one’s head provides a good means of rest for the heart because it reverses the pull of gravity against the normal flow of blood, just as putting down one’s arms does when one is painting a ceiling. For the digestive system, “fasting” offers the best rest. It is a welcome respite from frequent meals, snacks and drinks such as tea or coffee. This “rest” gives the digestive system the opportunity to clean and rejuvenate itself and thereby make it more efficient, just as a farmer leaves a field fallow or uncultivated for a year so that they provide better and more abundant crops the following year.

Fasting as a Means of Spiritual Cleansing
Fasting, as prescribed in Islam, also requires spiritual cleansing, which at the practical level is reflected in modifying behavior to meet higher ideals. Fasting without worship and contemplation achieves little merit in Islam. In worship a Muslim can seek Allah’s help to become a righteous person who stands up against injustice and oppression. In contemplation a Muslim can examine the behaviors that undermine efforts to come closer to fellow human beings, namely, family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances and others. Modifying behavior is integral to fasting. A Muslim’s behavior or attitude to others must reflect respect, kindness and justice. The Prophet ﷺ himself reminds us: A keeper of the fast who does not abandon lying and evil ways, Allah cares not about his [or her] leaving off eating and drinking.

Fasting is probably the best way for one to get to feel the pangs of the hungry family, the misery of the homeless person and the suffering of the downtrodden individual. Creating empathy for the destitute is Islam’s way of stirring our conscience to become actively involved in addressing the needs of the most unfortunate and most marginalized in society.

At a higher spiritual level, fasting in Islam is seen as an armor against evil. Those who are able to renounce lawful satisfaction of desires in obedience to Allah’s command are more able to renounce unlawful gratifications. Just as physical exercise strengthens the body, so mental, spiritual, ethical and moral exercise through fasting builds willpower to conquer physical appetites and abstain from what is wicked and wrong. The strength built during Ramadan is only the beginning of the journey towards getting closer to God by becoming a better human being through empathy with and concern for one’s fellow human beings. We are reminded of this when our Prophet ﷺ said: If you love your Creator, then love your fellow-beings first. May Allah help us all to progress along this journey not only in the month of Ramadan but throughout our lives.

The Many Miracles Of Honey

miracles-of-honey, benefits-of-honey

Honey is truly called the liquid gold because of its striking formulation. But these benefits of honey have just been discovered by new age science while the benefits of honey in Islam have been described in the Quran which dates back to many years ago.

Honey is one of the foods of paradise and the Quran clearly talks about rivers of honey flowing in Jannah.

Allah, the Almighty, has placed so much importance and shifa in Honey that he revealed an entire Surah by the name of Bees – Surah Al Nahl in which he says,

Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur’an, 16:69)

Note the use of words “Healing for Mankind.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’la ordered the bees to make honey which will be the healing for mankind. Let’s look upon the miracle of honey .

Miracles of Honey
Vitamins – B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
Minerals – calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc
Amino acids.
Antioxidants – Pinocembrin, pinobaxin, chrisin and galagin
Flavonoids and
Phenolic acids.
The Prophet Muhammad once said,
“By Him in whose hand is my soul, eat honey, for there is no house in which honey is kept for which the angels will not ask for mercy. If a person eats honey, a thousand remedies enter his stomach, and a million diseases will come out. If a man dies and honey is found within him, fire will not touch his body.”
– Chaghhayni M. Tibb al-nabbi. Trans. C Elgood. Osiris 1962; 14: 188; Chisti SHM. The Sufi Book of Healing. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International: 59

While these are the nutritional wonders of honey, many researchers are discovering the health benefits of honey which include the following:

Helps the intestine and kidneys to function well.
Gives a quick energy by diffusing in blood within 7 minutes.
Free sugar molecules help in better functioning of the brain.
Purifies blood and helps in good blood circulation.
Protects from capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.
Makes the environment incapable for growth of bacteria.
Anti-aging properties for healthy skin.
Fights high cholesterol.
Health benefits of honey also circulate to us through hadeeth, many of which recommend honey as medicine providing cure for many diseases and a complete shifa.

Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri: A man came to the Prophet and said, “My brother has some abdominal trouble.” The Prophet said to him “Let him drink honey.” The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, ‘Let him drink honey.” He came for the third time and the Prophet said, “Let him drink honey.” He returned again and said, “I have done that. ‘ The Prophet then said, “Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.

Coming back to the words written in the Quran about honey and healing, honey is proven by the doctors to be a painless method to heal burns and infections. Not just that, but honey helps in the growth of new cell tissues thus providing a complete healing. This is a huge miracle of honey.

“There are two cures for you: honey and the Qur’an.”
– Ibn Majah M. Sunan. Trans. MT Ansari. Lahore: Kazi Publications, 1994; Hakim al-Nisaburi M. al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-sahihayn.

Subhan Allah, the words of Allah and his Prophet are definitely true. And thus, we see how Allah has blessed us with one of his many wonders that lie in honey.

from Quran Academy

EVERYTHING HAS ITS ATHR

Everything, animate or inanimate, exercises an athr (impression / influence ) . Rasulullah ( S a l l a l l a h u a l a y h i wasallam) said: “Do not allow humaqaa’ (ignorant women) to breast feed (your infants), for verily milk is contagious.”
The effect is both physical and spiritual. In this Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) relates the contagiousness to hamaaqah (being stupid /imbecile / foolish). The primary consequence of the hamaaqah of the woman will be the effect of hamaaqah in the child she breast feeds, and this is not a physical disease.
Thus the contagiousness mentioned in this Hadith refers to a spiritual/intellectual malady even if the woman is physically healthy.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had also forbidden sitting on the skins of wild animals regardless of such skins being pure and permissible for use after they have been treated for the expulsion of all moisture.
Almost every Nabi prior to the publication of his Nubuwwat (Prophethood) was made a shepherd by Allah Ta’ala, never a camel-herd or a cattle-herd. The reason for the profession of being a shepherd, is that humility is a natural attribute of sheep which is lacking in camels and cattle. Association with goats and sheep exercises the effect of humility in human beings.
From these examples, the detrimental and harmful physical, moral and spiritual effects of blood transfusion and organ ansplants should be quite understandable.
The article in this regard appearing on page 11 confirms this reality.
Even atheist scientists have established by their own methods the reality of athr.

1 in 10 transplant patients inherit the personalities of their organ donors

Leading scientist claims consciousness lives on after death By Rachel Ellis, London
The transplant was a success. Then the donor came to take it back. That was the premise
of the 1991 film Body Parts, in which Jeff Fahey plays a man who loses his arm in a car accident. The arm of an executed death row inmate is grafted on in its place. The only problem is Fahey soon discovers that the arm is possessed by a force he cannot control.
A leading scientist claims he has proof that patients who undergo major organ transplants can inherit the personalities of their donors.
Gary Schwartz, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, says he has details of 70 cases where this controversial phenomenon has occurred. And he claims that it affects at least 10% of people who have a heart, lung, kidney or liver transplant. (This is according to the findings of the limited testing of the scientist. From the Ahaadith it is clear that such ‘inheritance’ is an almost certainty.- The Majlis)
The theory that personality and character traits can be transferred via an organ transplant has existed for some time, but most scientists have ridiculed the notion. (This
theory has been confirmed by Rasulullah –sallallahu alayhi wasallam – more than fourteen centuries ago. The ridiculers are morons in whose brains Allah Ta’ala has cast rijs –filth which has disturbed their thinking process. – The Majlis)
Schwartz now claims to have evidence that in the most extreme cases patients adopt a donor’s taste in food, take up the same interests and pastimes, and even develop talents that the donor possessed. (In the same way patients adopt the fisq, fujoor and kufr of the
‘donors’ of the organs and the blood. – The Majlis)
In one case, a woman who had been healthconscious and calm began craving fast food and became aggressive, just like the biker whose heart and lungs she received. In another, a sevenyear- old girl had nightmares about being killed after being given the heart of a girl who had been murdered. Schwartz will present his findings at a holistic living conference in London next weekend, titled Icons of the Field. Critics put such events down to chance, the trauma of the surgery or the side-effects of the drugs that transplant patients have to take. (The critics are morons influenced by the devil. – The Majlis)
But Schwartz, who is also a professor of medicine, neurology, psychiatry and surgery and has published more than 400 scientific papers, said that all transplant patients should be warned that there is a chance they will inherit the personality of a donor. (Most certainly they will. It is not merely a ‘chance’. – The Majlis)
‘It is a big ethical question, but I believe transplant patients should be told there is a possibility that they will take on a donor’s characteristics. Then they can have a choice. “They can decide what is important: being active and being with their family, but with the chance that they might take on some traits of the donor that they might not like.” he said.
Our research shows that about ten per cent of patients will inherit some of a donor’s characteristics. It could even be higher, because most patients are afraid to share their experiences,” Schwartz said. “I don’t want to frighten people, but to make it more acceptable for them to share what is happening to them. If this is a real phenomenon, we shouldn’t ignore it and it requires further scientific study.”
Schwartz’s claims are based on the theory that all major organs develop a certain amount of memory. In a transplant, this memory can be transferred-from one person to another. (What he describes as ‘memory’ is in fact athr which is inherent in all things. – The Majlis)
He explained: “When the organ is placed in the recipient, the information and energy stored in the organ is passed on to the recipient. The stories we have uncovered are compelling and completely consistent with this systematic memory hypothesis.”
Since starting his research in the ‘80s, Schwartz has attracted widespread criticism from the medical establishment.
In one startling experiment, he claimed to prove that consciousness lives on after we die. (The kuffaar medical establishment is fundamentally atheist and satanic, hence the criticism. Their brains are polluted with satanism.
– The Majlis)