Ramadan update. Day 10

We're officially a third of the way into Ramadan now, so I thought I'd send out a little update on how my month has been going so far. When people think of Ramadan and what we do during this beautiful month, their only thoughts are of our abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. What many people don't understand is that Ramadan is so much more than that for Muslims and has a much larger impact on our lives than simply going hungry for the duration of the day! 

For me, this month is not just about fasting. It's about trying to set the tone for the rest of my year, getting into the routine of always making time for my prayers, being more patient, using my brain to it's fullest capacity and giving generously. These are some of the qualities that make up a good Muslim, and indeed a good human being. For myself, Ramadan serves as a reminder that giving to those less fortunate than yourself, praying five times a day and striving hard to make a positive impact in the world are the core values that everyone should aim to possess all year round. 

This year, and indeed the next few years, Ramadan has and will occur during the summer months, when the sun is out the longest and the nights are shortest. For some people, this may produce some grumbling stomach's, but I'd urge all Muslim's to not look at it as being a longer fast, but simply more hours of the day to better yourself and the world around you. 

 

I'd like this post with a short poem by Rumi, one of the most inspirational writer's the world has ever known:

"There’s a hidden sweetness
in the stomach’s emptiness.

We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the sound box is stuffed
full of anything, no music.

If the brain and the belly
are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song
comes out of the fire.

The fog clears, and a new
energy makes you run up the
steps in front of you.

Be emptier and cry like
reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with
the reed pen.

When you’re full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your
spirit should, an ugly metal
statue in place of the Kaaba.

When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.

Fasting is Solomon’s ring.
Don’t give it to some illusion
and lose your power.

But even if you’ve lost all
will and control, they come
back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out
of the ground, pennants
flying above them.

A table descends to your
tent, Jesus’s table.
Expect to see it, when you
fast, this table spread with
other food better than the
broth of cabbages."

What happens to our bodies during fasting?

Detoxification Stage 1 (Day 1 To Day 2)

On the first day of fasting, the blood sugar level drops. The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen is pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst. Headaches, dizzinessnausea, bad breath, and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period.

Detoxification Stage 2 (Day 3 To Day 7)

Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the gliceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. The body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing and healing. White blood cell and immune system activity increases. You may feel pain in your lungs. The cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen.

Detoxification Stage 3 (Day 8 to Day 15)

You will experience enhanced energy, clear-mindedness and feel better. On the downside, old injuries may become irritated and painful. This is a result of the body's increased ability to heal during fasting. If you had broken your arm 10 years before, there is scar tissue around the break. At the time of the break, the body's ability to heal was directly related to lifestyle. If you lived on a junk-food diet, the body's natural healing ability was compromised. During fasting, the body's healing process is at optimum efficiency. As the body scours for dead or damaged tissue, the lymphocytes enter the older, damaged tissue secreting substances to dissolve the damaged cells. These substances irritate the nerves in the surrounding region and cause a reoccurrence of aches from previously injured areas that may have disappeared years earlier. The pain is good as the body is completing the healing process. The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected, as toxins accumulate in the legs. Cankers are common in this stage due to the excessive bacteria in the mouth. Daily gargling with salt and water will prevent or heal cankers.

Detoxification Stage 4 (Day 16 to Day 30)

The body is completely adapted to the fasting process. There is more energy and clarity of mind. Cleansing periods can be short with many days of feeling good in between. There are days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh. The healing work of the organs is being completed. After the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or render it harmless, the body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue. After day 20, the mind is affected. Heightened clarity and emotional balance are felt at this time. Memory and concentration improve.