why do we have to fast in ramadan

What is Ramadan? Ramadan is a month-long period of fasting, prayer to Allah, reading the Qur an, giving to charity, deep contemplation and self-purification. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and also abstain from smoking and sex during daylight hours throughout Ramadan. Some scholars believe that the Qu-ran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the month, making it particularly holy. Exams will NOT be moved for Ramadan, says Ofsted chief
вGet readyв ISIS announce plans to launch deadly Ramadan attacks. When does Ramadan start? The Muslim festival is ninth month of Islam s lunar calendar, which begins on the sighting of the new moon. This year Ramadan is due to start around Monday June 6 in most parts of the world. In many countries, official confirmation comes from Saudi Arabia s Supreme Court.

The holy festival overlaps with A-level and GCSE exams in Britain this year, but People shop for clothes ahead of Ramadan in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on June 1 What happens during Ramadan? Muslims must wake up at around 4am in order to have time to pray, eat and drink before sunrise. After sundown, also known as iftar, most Muslims break their fast with a traditional family meal which often starts with dates. Students take part in a parade to welcome Ramadan in Aceh, Indonesia, on June 1 Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan? Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam the five key practices that underpin the Islamic faith. Muslims believe that the physical ritual allows them to understand the suffering of others as well as increasing their closeness to God.

The fast of Ramadan is a time for patience, endurance, reflection and spiritual purification. Egyptians buy Ramadan lanterns at a market in Cairo, Egypt, on May 30 When does Ramadan end? The holy month of Ramadan is expected to finish around July 5, but its end depends on the sighting of the new moon. A celebration and feast, known as Eid ul-Fitr, marks the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan. When the body is starved of food, it starts to burn fat so that it can make energy. This can lead to weight loss. However, if you fast for too longб your body will eventually start breaking down muscle protein for energy, which isб unhealthy. Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anaesthetist from Oxford, says there's a strong relationship between diet and health.

БRamadan isnБt always thought of as being an opportunity to lose weight because the spiritual aspect is emphasised more generally than the health aspect, he says. However, itБs a great chance to get the physical benefits as well. Б The changes that happen in the body during a fast depend on the length of the continuous fast. The body enters into a fasting state eight hours or so after the last meal, when the gut finishes absorbing nutrients from the food. In the normal state, body glucose, which is stored in the liver and muscles, is the bodyБs main source of energy. During a fast, this store of glucose is used up first to provide energy. Later in the fast, once theб glucose runs out, fat becomes the nextб source of energy for the body. With a prolonged fast of many days or weeks, the body starts usingб protein for energy.

This is the technical description of what is commonly known as starvation. It is clearly unhealthy and involves protein being released by the breakdown of muscle, which is why people who starve look very thin and become extremely weak. However, you are unlikely to reach the starvation stage during Ramadan, because the fast is broken daily. As the Ramadan fast only lasts from dawn till dusk, the body's energy can be replaced in theб pre-dawn and dusk meals. This provides aб gentle transition from using glucose as the main source of energy, to using fat, and prevents the breakdown of muscle for protein. Dr Mahroof says the use of fat for energy helps weight loss. It preserves the muscles and eventually reduces your cholesterol level.

In addition, weight loss results in better control of diabetes and reduces blood pressure. After a few days of the fast, higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood, making you more alert and givingб an overall feeling of general mental wellbeing. A balanced food and fluid intake is important between fasts. The kidneys are very efficient at maintaining the bodyБs water and salts, such as sodium and potassium. However, these can be lost through perspiration. To prevent muscle breakdown, meals must contain enough energy food, such as carbohydrates and some fat. б БThe way to approach your diet during fasting is similar to the way you should be eating outside Ramadan, says Dr Mahroof. You should have a balanced diet, with the rightб of carbs, fat and protein. Б