Historical, religious and scientific facts prove that fasting is necessary for good health. Practices of fasting have been known and practiced by humans for millennia. The oldest historical documents of fasting are carved in ancient Egyptian temples. They practiced fasting on specific days The Brahminical and Buddhist traditions also contain this practice. These traditions of fasting are rooted in the holy books of these religions. Fasting has the ability to regulate the digestive system and to allow the renewal of damaged tissue. Fasting is thus an excellent opportunity for most of the body’s organs to rejuvenate.
Professor Nikolaev Bylwi, in his book ‘Hunger for Health’ (1976), shows the advantage of fasting for the human body, saying: ‘Everyone, especially the populations of big cities, should practice fasting and restrict their eating for 3 to 4 weeks each year to enjoy good health throughout their lives’.
Mac Vadon (health of American Scientists) states: ‘Every person should practice fasting. Over time toxins accumulate in the body which give rise to various illnesses. This can make the person makes him sick, tired and less active. If he fasts, he will lose weight. Within a 20 day period after the end of the fasting period the cells in his body will be renewed.’
Alexis Karel, Nobel laureate in medicine, in his book ‘Unknown Truths’ says: ‘The ability to cope without constant feeding is a significant factor in the survival of animal species. Therefore, people have practiced fasting throughout history, and all religions have included fasting among their rituals’.
Shelton in his study of fasting in book ‘Le Jeune’ shows the merit of fasting, listing some of the most important benefits as follows:
1- Fasting gives the body a rest.
2- Fasting stops the process of waste absorption which allows toxins to be assimilated into the body. It is the only effective means of allowing such toxins as have been absorbed to be expunged.
3- Through fasting, the body’s internal organs are given time to empty themselves of harmful substances. This process of purification improves the body’s overall functionality. It is for this reason that the stomach is required to be empty for blood tests and so forth, as the impurities usually present would affect the result.
The Holy Qur'an exhorts to fasting in verse 183 of Al-Baqara: ‘O You who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that
you might remain conscious of God.’