Ramadan – A Key to Physical Fitness and Mental Purity
The holy month of Ramadan and the rituals associated with this month are usually emphasized from the perspective of the mental purity they bring about. It is an undeniable fact that Ramadan and fasting serve the purpose of cleansing the heart of Muslims from all worldly desires, which keep them from following a path of selflessness and spirituality. The essence of Ramadan lies in the fact that it brings Muslims closer to the Almighty, by inculcating the virtues of piety in them. The Holy Quran states that the purpose of fasting is to make the Muslims learn self-restraint:
“O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may learn self-restraint”.(Qur’an al-Baqarah 2:183)
This self-restraint is the key to piety and mental purity. As soon as man discovers a way to control his inner desires, he rises above his material needs and becomes a person with a pure mind, always eager to help others, even if this help comes at the cost of sacrificing some personal interest. This selflessness and humility forms the essence of all rituals and worships in Islam, and fasting is an ideal way to attain these virtues.
People interested in maintaining healthy diets and exercising will also notice another point in the aforementioned details. The concept of self-restraint lies at the heart of most diet plans and weight loss schedules. Workouts and exercise plans require the same ‘self-restraint’ principle. Therefore, one may identify that Ramadan not only brings blessings for mental purity, but also brings a complete code for physical fitness.
It is unfortunate that most Muslims miss out on taking full advantage of the physical fitness code of Ramadan. This is because most Muslims never fully identify the essence of Ramadan i.e. self-restraint. In fact, the most glaring violations of self-restraint, sadly, occur in this month. Seher and Aftaar are considered as occasions for feast and Muslims eat ravenously at these occasions. In this article, a brief overview of a physical fitness plan is presented, which can be adopted by Muslims who choose to explore and fulfill the real essence of fasting and Ramadan.
Seher time: Take 3 servings of water (2-3 full glasses), 2-3 eggs with bread and a few pieces of fruits.
You may replace the egg-bread combination with any other combination having a similar calorie value.
Aftaar time: Keep track of your hunger. Most people do not keep track of exactly how hungry they are until they eat too much. Leave a part of your hunger unfulfilled.
Do not change your walking/jogging routine.
It is better to work out an hour or two before Aftaar. This helps to absorb the nutrients you later take in Aftaari, and the thirst after workout is bearable because aftaar is only an hour away from workout.
Keeping in view all these things, man can attain both physical fitness and mental purity from Ramadan.