Ramzan motivates believers to be better Muslims30 June 2014
Life Desk :
RAMZAN, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for 30 days.
Fasting starts today for Malaysians. It is compulsory and those who are exempted (pregnant and lactating women, frail individuals such as the elderly, those who are sick and those who are travelling) can postpone it and replace it at another time.
At the end of the 30-day fast, the month of Syawal starts. The first day of Syawal is when the Muslims celebrate Aidilfitri to signify the end of Ramzan.
On this day, Muslims pray the special Aidilfitri prayer. The tradition of visiting friends and relatives is also done.
Ramzan is special as it is an opportunity for physical and spiritual detoxification. Besides refraining from food and drinks, Muslims must also prevent from committing sins and increase charitable acts.
"Maybe a person will break fast with you when in fact he or she did not fast and ate secretly. No one can tell if a person is fasting or not except Allah. That is why fasting is the best test of sincerity. It also teaches individuals to be sincere in all aspects of life," he notes.
The reminder to practice in moderation is an integral part of Ramzan, and this is often repeated by many Islamic scholars including Dr Asri.
"Moderation in eating and drinking is enjoined in Islam and more so during the Holy Month when one needs to pray after breaking fast," he explains in his blog.
Traditions reveal that Prophet Muhammad broke the fast with three dates and a glass of water, and his favourite foods are simple but nutrient-dense foods such as oats, honey, melon, milk, and on rare occasions, lamb.
Experts, such as an anesthetist Dr Rahzeen Mahroof of Oxford in an article, Fasting and your health by United Kingdom's National Health Service believe that Ramzan can be very healthy if it is practised correctly. "The way to approach your diet during fasting is similar to the way you should be eating outside of Ramzan," writes Dr Mahroof.
"Ramzan isn't always thought of as being an opportunity to lose weight because the spiritual aspect is emphasised more generally than the health aspect. However, it's a great chance to get the physical benefits as well."
Fasting makes use of the stored fat in our body to be converted as energy.
"A detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body's fat are dissolved and removed from the body," notes Dr Mahroof.
But what is supposed to be a month of reflection and moderation have often been turned into a hedonistic grab-all-you-can event.
As early as last week, jars of Aidilfitri cookies have already made their way on to grocery shelves.
In the past years during Ramzan, people would form long queues just to get that last bit of buka puasa delicacy at a food stall, and the race to outdo one another affects the larger establishments as well.
Hotels advertise buffets at a price that can reach a hundred ringgit and more per head.
Tables at such places groan with food and many patrons, as if in a race, wait to eat their fill.
One can notice the large amount of food that is unsold and you start to wonder what will become of it.
It is laudable that many orphans and the poor are feted at the hotels, and it is hoped that they're not forgotten just as quickly once Ramzan ends.
On that note, let us remember that avoiding wastage, practising moderation and committing a deed with sincere intention are acts all Muslims should strive for this Ramzan.
Courtesy: The Rakyat Post