Ramadhan of Hope
You’re in the car, and you hear, “Yusuf Taiyoob…” whispered on the radio, everywhere you go.
That’s when Malaysians know Ramadhan is around the corner, and it is an especially exciting time for Malaysians, as ironically that is when there will be more food than ever being sold at bazaars at every neighborhood. There are all these special dishes that Malaysians will only eat during Ramadhan (because eating it during other months, just feels wrong somehow), such as tepung pelita, roti john, murtabak, and many more!
However, Ramadhan is supposed to be a truly special month that fills the hearts of Muslims with a sense of awe and wonder. It is a time of spiritual renewal, where we are given the opportunity to draw closer to our Creator and strengthen our relationship with Him. The experience of fasting, of going without food and drink during the daylight hours, is not just a physical act, but a deeply spiritual one that allows us to encourage discipline, self-control, and mindfulness.
Firstly, the practice of fasting during Ramadhan helps individuals to understand and empathize with those who are less fortunate and experience hunger and thirst on a daily basis. By voluntarily going without food and drinks, Muslims are reminded of the difficulties of those who go without basic necessities and are encouraged to be more compassionate and charitable towards them. Ramadhan encourages Muslims to engage in acts of kindness and generosity, such as donating to charity or volunteering. By helping others, individuals are able to empathize with their struggles and challenges, and develop a deeper appreciation for the blessings in their own lives.
Secondly, Ramadhan emphasizes the importance of community and coming together to break the fast. Muslims gather with family, friends, and neighbors for iftar and to perform tarawih prayers. This communal experience creates a sense of empathy and solidarity, as individuals come together to share their experiences and support one another. Ramadhan is also a time where Muslims all over the world come together to share in the experience of fasting and breaking their fasts with loved ones. The sense of unity and solidarity that Ramadhan brings is truly unparalleled, as we are reminded that we are all part of a larger global family.
Moreover, Ramadhan is a month of great blessings and rewards. Laylatul Qadr, which falls within the last ten nights of Ramadhan, is believed to be a night of immense spiritual significance and reward, where our prayers and supplications are more likely to be answered.
PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS
Fasting during Ramadhan has a lot more to offer than just an empty stomach. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined the effects of fasting during Ramadhan on body composition, strength, and power in physically active men. The researchers found that fasting during Ramadhan did not have a significant negative effect on these factors. This means that fasting does not cause any significant harm to the body composition, strength, nor power.
Additionaly, another study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism looked at the effects of fasting during Ramadhan on blood glucose and lipid profiles in healthy adult men. The researchers found that fasting during Ramadhan led to improvements in these profiles which means that fasting during Ramadhan resulted in better blood sugar and cholesterol levels. So for anyone who is looking to improve their blood sugar and cholesterol level, fasting might be the answer for you!
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS
During Ramadhan, fasting isn’t just good for your spiritual well-being, it’s also great for your mental and physical health! According to studies published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, and Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, fasting during Ramadhan was associated with improved mood, decreased anxiety and depression levels, decreased levels of perceived stress, and ultimately improved quality of life. So, if you’re looking to boost your overall health and well-being, fasting during Ramadhan might just be the perfect solution for you!
So, the next time you hear the call of “Yusuf Taiyoub” on the radio, remember that the month of Ramadhan offers not only food at bazaars and buffets, and shopping for Raya clothes, but also a unique opportunity for physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Take caution to not overeat and overspend during this month, as the purpose of fasting is to experience how the unfortunates have to go hungry not by choice, but out of desperation. May we all have a blessed Ramadhan. Let’s come out of the month of Ramadan with a renewed sense of spirituality and healthier mind and body. Ramadhan kareem!