24 May, 2019
Across the world, Muslims or followers of Islam have started maintaining the “Roza” or fast, on account of the holy month of Ramadan or Ramzan as it is more commonly called in India. This holy month culminates in the festival of Ramzan, which is also called the festival of brotherhood. This is a significant month for Muslims, and they religiously observe the fast from the dawn to dusk. It is considered highly sacred, and they do not indulge in or give in to any temptations or distractions during this month.
It is supposed to be spent in prayers, reading the Quran, and spreading love and brotherhood, and sharing and caring. A lot of charity also happens during this holy month, as they believe in giving to those who are underprivileged. In other words, they are expected to think and do good deeds during this sacred time, and they observe it with great faith.
During the month of Roza, the Muslim brothers and sisters, get up early before dawn, around 4 am or so, and have their pre-dawn meal of the day. This is followed by prayers (Namaz) through the day. They do not intake any food or even water till the evening Namaz call at around 6 or 6.30 pm. Then they proceed to break the fast by having some drink or food and say the evening prayers. This is followed by having some proper food, usually with friends and family and Iftar parties are common during the holy month of Ramzan. There are many people of other faiths also who observe the Roza along with the Muslim brethren, as they see the significance and the sacredness of such an act.
There are many reasons why this month of Ramzan fast is observed in this way. While the spiritual benefits are always there, there are also a few other things gained from this.
Self-restraint: By denying themselves any food, drink, luxury, temptation, bad thoughts or deeds, etc., people learn a considerable amount of self-control, which can help them tide through many difficult times in life. It also teaches them the importance of purity and austerity and also the importance of giving. It is overall considered to be a month of self-regulation that helps improve one’s self-control.
Health benefits: It is said that all kinds of fasts are beneficial for our health in some way. You have a nutritious breakfast, that aids you to sustain through the day. You then survive on the energy gained from this, till you proceed to have the evening meal. This kind of fasting can be good for the body, as at times, certain toxins or carcinogens, are also deprived due to the fasting. Also, while dehydration can be an issue when you fast during the summer, one will learn to rely on prayers and the power of the mind to sustain oneself.
There are also exceptions for people from fasting based on certain criteria as below:
Tips for healthy fasting
If you fall into any of the above categories, do check if you need to or can observe the fast. Make sure to have the pre-dawn meal and make it a nutritious one that can sustain you for the whole day. Do not overeat to make up for the two meals you will miss. Limit intake of fat, like that, can make you thirstier during the day, and you will not be able to quench your thirst.
You may follow a rule of filling your stomach with one-third of food and one-third of water and leaving the other one-third empty for a safe and a healthy Ramzan month of fasting. You can take a short nap if you are in a position to do so. You may decrease extreme physical activity, but try to take a small walk to the ring in some fresh air, as that can help you feel better, fresh, and awake. Also, saying the Namaz on time for five times a day is also a healing activity as well as a form of exercise.
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