Fasting is often prescribed in various faiths, like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etcetera. It actually works in favor of human health as well. Fasting can be defined as the abstinence from food, water or both for health, medical, religious or ritualistic purposes.
Christians and Muslims, for instance, fast for long hours during the religious contrition period of Lent and Ramadan.
It’s known as the period of repentance and spiritual discipline, wherein people abstain from worldly desires and popular sins like smoking, sex, alcohol, etc.
Strikingly, practices like meditation and fasting are far from new and are common to nearly every religion. It is often associated with an introspection of one’s life or what you call – spiritual cleansing. Furthermore, it allows one to become more conscious of one’s own behavior and actions and their impact on society.
Benefits related to health
In recent years, intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular as a means to lose weight, with the fundamental difference that it focuses on when to eat rather than what to eat. This is not a newly discovered concept, since it involves fasting for a certain period of time.
Furthermore, studies have shown intermittent fasting results in lower blood pressure and cholesterol and overall reduces inflammation. It is believed by some scholars that it slows down the signs of aging.
Various religions throughout the world, like the Chinese, which includes Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism, speak about the spiritual benefits of fasting.
For instance, Daoism presents the understanding that fasting is not only associated with one’s body but also with one’s soul. Therefore, fasting accrue over time, as an individual learns to control their five senses.
At this conjuncture, we must recognize the significance of such religious practices, be it Islam or Christianity or Judaism or Jainism or any other religion, all of which seek spiritual cleansing of an individual, make an individual aware of society and hold them responsible for their actions.
It reiterates the harmonizing elements and humanity in society. Makes us conscious enough to acknowledge the disparity between rich and poor, and at the same time motivates us to bridge that gap to preach unity in society.