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Health Benefits of Fasting by Dr. Gasser Hathout

Muslims fast Ramadan for spiritual purification and out of obedience to the orders of Allah SWT.

However, the Qur’anic verse number 184 in Surat Al-Baqarah ends with a statement that says: “for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it.”

Some Muslim scholars believe that out of God’s mercy, it turns out that when we fast, we aren’t just gaining spiritual benefit, but doing good unto ourselves in the physical realm as well.

So much so, in fact, that fasting has become a new vogue in medicine to help people maintain good health and longevity.

Today we present to you a lecture series which sheds light upon the most recent medical literature to do a fairly in-depth exploration of the health benefits of fasting.

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These benefits include improvements in weight, glycemic control and reductions in the risk of diabetes, decreased cardiovascular disease risk factors, improvements in immune system function, decreased cancer risk, and better neurological and brain health.

The lecturer is Dr. Gasser Hathout, a physician and professor at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center of the University of California, Los Angeles, in the United States of America.

The Muslim doctor did his undergraduate work at Harvard University and obtained both his M.D. and his M.S. in Biomedical Physics at UCLA.

He has been an active member of the Los Angeles Muslim community for over 30 years. During that time, he has served on the boards of various organizations, including the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Center of Southern California, and the New Horizon School System.

Hathout has given numerous lectures on Islam, and is the co-author of two Islamic books: “The American Muslim Identity”, and “In Pursuit of Justice”.

You can watch the 4-part series here:  Part 1Part 2Part 3 and  Part 4.

This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.