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Scientific and Archaeological Explanation of the Ayaats of the Holy Quran

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Surah Al Baqarah
Ayat 183

O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil) M Shakir's Quran Translation

Fasting: A divinely prescribed healing workshop
Muslims fast from dawn until dusk i.e. from the time the day starts up to the ending of the day. The starting of the day is explained by another verse from the Holy Quran.

And eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till night, By saying that as it was prescribed for those before you does not mean that the Muslim fast is like the other fasts previously observed, in the number of days, in the time or manner of the fast, or in other incidents; it only means that the principle of self-denial by fasting is not a new one. Day becomes distinct from the blackness; first appear thin white indefinable streaks of light in the east; then a dark zone supervenes; followed by a beautiful pinkish white zone clearly defined from the dark. This is the true dawn; after that, the fast begins. Till the night appears; from the actual practice of the Holy Apostle, this is rightly interpreted to mean: "Till sunset." Muslims stay away from sexual desires and food and water during the fast time. In a single statement we may say that the main feature of fasting is to "suppress the materialistic desires and invoke spirituality " , but the method of fast prescribed by Allah has many medical ethics as well. The Fasting has been found to be an effective treatment for psychological and emotional disorders. It helps a person to firm up his will, cultivate and refine his taste and manners, strengthen his conviction of doing good, avoid controversy, petulance and rashness, which all contribute towards a sane and healthy personality. Besides nurturing resistance and ability to face hardships and endurance, fasting reflects on outward physical appearance by cutting out gluttony and getting rid of excess fat. The benefits of fasting on health do not stop there but are instrumental in alleviating a number of physical diseases, including those of the digestive systems, such as chronic stomachache, inflammation of the colon, liver diseases, indigestion, and conditions such as obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, diphtheria and many other maladies. The benefits of fasting include: 1-Benefits in the hereafter 2-Spiritual benefits 3-Medical Ethics

1-Benefits in the hereafter
These are the actual benefits for a Muslim because this life is nothing as compared to the hereafter. The hereafter is forever and this life is temporarily. Suppose we live for 100 years, or even a thousand years when we divide it by infinity, we get 'zero'. As compared to the hereafter, this life is 'zero' or 'nothing'. Here are a few of those benefits mentioned in the hadith. AL-TIRMIDHI HADITH NO 611 Narrated Abu Hurrairah: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Ramadan, a blessed month, has come to you during which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast. In it the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of alJahim are locked, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good has indeed suffered deprivation." SAHIH BUKHARI VOLUME NO 3 HADITH NO 128 Narrated Abu Hurrairah: Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.'"

2-Spiritual Benefits
The Arabic word used in this ayat is translated in many ways including God consciousness, God fearing, piety, and self-restraining. Thus, we are ordered to fast daily for one month from dawn to dusk and avoid food, water, sex and vulgar talk during that period. It is our experience that temptations and ways of the world tend to spoil our purity and austerity. Thus we indulge in food all of the time, snacking and nibbling the whole day, heading to obesity. We drink too much coffee, or tea, or carbonated drinks. Some have frequent sexual temptations. When we argue, we leave our decency aside and resort to vulgar talk and even physical fighting. Fasting saves us from all such things. Protection from other sins SAHIH BUKHARI VOLUME NO 3 HADITH NO 128 Narrated Abu Hurrairah: Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.' By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting." Fasting is a protection against the passions. SAHIH BUKHARI VOLUME NO 3 HADITH NO 129 Narrated Alqama: While I was walking with 'Abdullah he said, "We were in the company of the Prophet and he said, 'He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.' " Many young people complain about passion and desire aroused by many factors such as women displaying and exposing themselves in public, dirty magazines in libraries and shops, among other temptations that pursue the young people everywhere. The young person is naturally disposed to have his desire aroused at the slightest cause

especially if the religious impediment in the person is weak. To protect these people and us the above prophetic advice is needed. Practical experience has confirmed the effectiveness of this prophetic medicine that constitutes a substitute to other medicine and a successful remedy to cure the passions of desire. Self-Restraint When a person fasts, whether it be a voluntary fast or an obligatory one, he is constantly reminding himself not to eat or drink This is in spite of the fact that eating and drinking are perfectly lawful for him at other times. He abstains from these otherwise lawful acts on account of Allah’s promise, in hopes of attaining Allah’s reward. It naturally follows that he will abstain from sin, from those acts that are prohibited to him at all times. A Muslim needs to understand that this is the whole idea behind fasting. How can a person abstain from food and drink – though they are lawful to him at other times – and then go on to backbite people, spread rumors, tell lies, and engage in all sorts of other sins? SAHIH BUKHARI VOLUME NO 8 HADITH NO 83 Narrated Abu hurrairah: The Prophet said, "Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink." We know that Allah has no need for us to leave off eating and drinking in any case, even when we abstain from false words and false deeds. What this means is that fasting has not been prescribed because Allah needs us to do so, it has only been prescribed to assist us in restraining ourselves from false words and evil deeds. Therefore, if we do not abandon these things, then to what avail is our fasting? If fasting does not awaken in us this consciousness, then it is to no purpose. We must work to cultivate this consciousness. Fasting needs to bring us to the point where we can easily give up sinful deeds like backbiting, spreading rumors, slander, licentiousness, and all ignoble, destructive traits.

Character Building Another benefit of fasting is that it develops our character by strengthening our willpower and bolstering our patience. This is why fasting is sometimes referred to as patience and Ramadan is sometimes called “the month of patience”. Allah says: “Seek help in patience and in prayer”(SURAH BAQARAH 2:45) Some commentators of the Qur’an have said: “The word ‘patience’ here refers to fasting. It means ‘Seek help in fasting and prayer’.” This is because fasting forces us to exercise our willpower and practice patience. Many of us need to constantly exercise our willpower to keep it strong. There is a psychological benefit in operation here. Researchers into the causes of success say that success requires three ingredients: 1. Desire: All people wish to be strong, successful, and financially well of. Desires like these exist for everyone. 2. Strength or ability: Most people have the mental and physical wherewithal and the skills that they need to succeed if they properly put their minds to it. 3. Willpower: Strong willpower is one of the greatest reasons for success in both this world and the next. Fasting strengthens the will and conditions a person to cope with difficulties in all aspects of his life. It helps to develop the very quality that only successful people possess, the quality of those people who can turn their desires into a reality by using skills and abilities that they have.

3-Medical Ethics
Fasting has its advantages from the point of view of health and hygiene. Islam wants a Muslim to be healthy, clean, alert, agile and energetic. Physicians today acknowledge the many benefits of fasting that ensure health and the

soundness of one's body and mind. Some of these positive points have a direct influence on psychology and physique of the fasting individual. Muslims do not fast because of medical benefits which are of a secondary nature. Fasting has been used by patients for weight management, to rest the digestive tract and for lowering lipids. There are many adverse effects of total fasting as well as of crash diets. Islamic fasting is different from such diet plans because in Ramadan fasting, there is no malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake. The calorie intake of Muslims during Ramadan is at or slightly below the nutritional requirement guidelines. In addition, the fasting in Ramadan is voluntarily taken and is not a prescribed imposition from the physician. In 1994 the first International Congress on "Health and Ramadan", held in Casablanca, entered 50 extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted; however, in no way did fasting worsen any patients' health or their baseline medical condition. On the other hand, patients who are suffering from severe diseases, whether type I diabetes or coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc., are exempt from fasting and should not be allowed to fast Hunger as a Remedy A Swiss physician Dr. Barsilus noted that:" The advantages of hunger as a remedy exceed those ingesting medicine several times" Several physicians advise patients to skip meals, sometimes for a few days, before prescribing them a controlled diet. Fasting hastens the destruction of the decaying tissues of the body by means of hunger, and then builds new tissues through nutrition. This is why some scientists suggest that fasting should be regarded as an effective means of restoring youthfulness and longevity. However, Islam exempts from fasting sick and old people whose health is bound to deter. Slight Dehydration The difference between Ramadan and total fasting is the timing of the food; during Ramadan, we basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 8 to 10 hours is not necessarily bad for health and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity. Treatment of Diabetes The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension. There is a reduction in core body temperature. This is a direct result of the slower metabolic rate and general bodily functions. Following a drop in blood sugar level and using the reserves of glucose found in liver glycogen, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is reduced in order to conserve as much energy within the body as can be provided. Autolysis The benefits of fasting must be preceded by a look at the body's progression when deprived of food. Due to the lack of incoming energy, the body must turn to its own resources, a function called autolysis. Autolysis is the breaking down of fat stores in the body in order to produce energy. The liver is in charge of converting the fats into a chemical called a ketone body, "the metabolic substances acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid", and then distributing these bodies throughout the body via the blood stream. "When this fat utilization occurs, free fatty acids are released into the blood stream and are used by the liver for energy." The less one eats, the more the body turns to these stored fats and creates these ketone bodies, the accumulation of which is referred to as ketosis Detoxication Detoxification is a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph glands, and skin. This process is precipitated by fasting because when food is no longer entering the body, the body turns to fat reserves for energy. "Human fat is valued at 3,500 calories per pound," a number that would lead

one to believe that surviving on one pound of fat every day would provide a body with enough energy to function normally. These fat reserves were created when excess glucose and carbohydrates were not used for energy or growth, not excreted, and therefore converted into fat. When the fat reserves are used for energy during a fast, it releases the chemicals from the fatty acids into the system which are then eliminated through the aforementioned organs. Chemicals not found in food but absorbed from one's environment, such as DDT, are also stored in fat reserves that may be released during a fast. Healing Process During a fast energy is diverted away from the digestive system due to its lack of use and towards the metabolism and immune system. The healing process during a fast is precipitated by the body's search for energy sources. Abnormal growths within the body, tumors and the like, do not have the full support of the body's supplies and therefore are more susceptible to autolysis. Furthermore, "production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently because fewer 'mistakes' are made by the DNA/RNA genetic controls which govern this process." A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs. This is one reason that animals stop eating when they are wounded, and why humans lose hunger during influenza. Hunger has been proven absent in illnesses such as gastritis, tonsillitis and colds. Therefore, when one is fasting, the person is consciously diverting energy from the digestive system to the immune system. Moderation is must Fasting should have its regulations too, and not simply the in orderly skipping meals, that is bound to harm health and stamina, rather than improving them. Here again Islam provides the answer, and in order to realize the benefits of fasting, it recommends the late midnight meals called 'Sahar' (before the formal start of a fast) and the breaking of the fast at the time prescribed. Of course, to ensure good health one should abstain from gluttony after breaking fast. In the holy Quran, there is a Verse gathering the whole matter of medicine. It is: "...Eat and drink but do not be excessive." (SURAH AA’RAF 7:31) This document is based on my under process book. I plan to collect all the Ayaats of the Holy Quran with deal with scientific, historical and archaeological subjects. I am trying to provide explanation to those Ayaats in light of Previous commentaries (Tafaseer), established science, archaeological discoveries and Arabic lexicons. Send in your comments, queries and suggestion at Please do not copy paste without permission, until my book is published, Insha’Allah.

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