About 1.6 billion Muslims around the world will start fasting on March 23 and observe the holy month of Ramadaan.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just staying without food. It’s also a time for self-control, peace and self-reflection. It’s a time of worship and being a good person to those around you.
But why do Muslims fast?
Fasting has many benefits and it’s a spiritual tune-up, so to speak, so despite not eating and not drinking water, it is looked forward to by many as it’s the fourth “pillar” or religious obligation of Islam.
It is a special time to work on spirituality and getting closer to Allah.
On a physical level, it may serve or help as a detox. It also means you won’t be binge eating and will stay away from things that are bad for you. It is worth noting that starving oneself is not advisable.
Besides the holy month being used to improve our relationship with our Creator and get rid of toxins, it has also been found that fasting can improve mental clarity and reduce stress levels. So no, “pwasa brain” (fasting brain) is not a thing. (Although I realise I might have played myself in case I planned on using “pwasa brain” as an excuse.)
So next time you wonder and want to ask your Muslim friends, “Why are you fasting if you are staying without food and water?”, remember it goes deeper than that, and the spiritual, mental and even physical benefits far outweigh not eating food for 14 hours.