Islamic Worldview, Fasting and Health

Document Type : Letter to the Editor


Department of Sociology, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


Fasting effects on health and well-being. Although this effects were studied based on biological view, however there is a different view based on our Islamic teachings. Fasting is related to human virtues such as piety and cautious. These virtues are related to others characteristics in Islamic view which show the holistic view of Islam on health. In order to answer this question refer to Holy Qur’an which says in Chapter 2, Verse 183: ‘Believers, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will be cautious’. As this verse shows fasting is related to piety and cautious. Here, the main function of fasting is not health but is another function which is piety. Therefore, fasting effects on health indirectly. As Fig.1 shows fasting alongside with other Muslim behavior such as attending Masque, daily Prayer, reading Qur'an, Devotion & Surrender, and Pilgrimage (HAJ) effect on several things. Human virtues such as forgiveness, honesty, self- discipline, altruism, generosity, humility, gratefulness, patience and dependability are affected by them. As we know these characteristics are important for being a healthy man. These items effect on all dimensions of health which are physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. Therefor piety leads to a features such as hope, contentment, patience and not being greedy. These characteristics leaded to our health and well-being generally. Theoretical and practical debates is recommended.


  1.   Sadati AK, Lankarani KB, Gharibi V, Fard ME, Ebrahimzadeh N, Tahmasebi S. Religion as an empowerment context in the narrative of women with breast cancer. Journal of religion and health. 2015;54(3):1068-79.
  2. Holt-Lunstad J, Steffen PR, Sandberg J, Jensen B. Understanding the connection between spiritual well-being and physical health: an examination of ambulatory blood pressure, inflammation, blood lipids and fasting glucose. Journal of behavioral medicine. 2011;34(6):477-88.
  3.  Kazemi M, Karimi S, Ansari A, Negahban T, Hosseini S, Vazirinejad R. The Effect of Ramadan Fasting on Psychological Health and Depression in Sirjan Azad University Students. Journal of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences. 2006;5(2):117-22.
  4.   Nikoo MK, Shadman Z, Larijani B. Ramadan fasting, mental health and sleep-wake pattern. Ṭibb-i junūb. 2012;15(2):137-50.
  5. Ghahremani M, Delshad A, Tavakolizadeh J. The study of Ramadan fasting effect on Moslems mental health. 2000.
  6.  Koenig H, Koenig HG, King D, Carson VB. Handbook of religion and health: Oup Usa; 2012.