Document Type: Letter to the Editor
Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran
The Islamic fast during the month of Ramadan is strictly observed worldwide by millions of Muslims. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar and fasting during Ramadan is the religious duty of all healthy adult Muslims. A whole month of intermittent fasting, from dawn to dusk, every year is particular only to Islam and considering that Islam has over 1.5 billion followers worldwide, it can be assumed that a few hundreds of million people observe Ramadan fasting each year. The experience of fasting teaches Muslims self-discipline and self-restraint and enables them to empathize with those less well off, the suffering and the impoverished. Fasting is not obligatory for children, menstruating women, or the sick and travelers; pregnant and lactating women are also exempt and permitted to postpone their fasting to an appropriate time when it can be observed without it affecting their maternal obligations (1).