Fasting is for the mind, body, and soul

By Nurul Saadah

GOMBAK, 2 May 2020: In conjunction with the holy month of Ramadan, IIUMtv presents a new tv show called the Chit Chat Ramadan.

The first episode on how fasting can enhance the mind, body, and soul was held on Tuesday (28 April).

The discussion, moderated by Dayang as host, highlighted that people should not think that when fasting they will only get tired and become unproductive. Fasting not only brings benefits to a person’s mental health, but also in terms of physical and the spiritual, which are interrelated to each other.

According to Aiman Azlan, “We cannot separate the mind, body, and soul. These three concepts are being divided in order to understand each one better but it does not mean that we should focus solely on one concept such as the body alone.”

He said, “There will be an imbalance if people are focusing too much on just one aspect without showing much care towards others. After all, we are all three at the same time. It is impossible to not engage these three aspects in whatever we do.”

The speaker is a social media influencer, and the author of the best-selling book ‘Unshakeable’.

He elaborated, “The idea of hunger is a physical thing, but how we see it is a thing of the mind. Right now we are being trained in a difficult situation such as hunger and thirst. This situation is making us think and interpret difficulties differently. For example, we regard this as an exercise of humanity showing solidarity towards others as there are many people who starve every single day.”

“Hence, by fasting, we are training our minds to see the positive sides out of a difficult situation.”

Aiman Azlan agreed when the moderator mentioned how fasting is helping people to change their bad habits.

“In my opinion, fasting is showing us that we can do it. We put ourselves voluntarily in a challenging situation as we hold ourselves back from eating, drinking, and other things such as smoking that can cause our fasting batal or invalid.”

He added, “If people are able to persevere and can excel in that challenging situation, they are actually proving to themselves their ability in overcoming their problems.”

Aiman Azlan emphasised that Ramadan is teaching us not about whether we failed or succeed to change. “It is about being in the process, persevere, and learn from it. You may not change the way you hope for. However, during the learning process, you are not the same person as you were before. It is a form of success as you are learning something.”

Answering a question on whether fasting is the opportunity to become healthy or unhealthy, he explained, “It depends on what you choose.”

“Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim once told his talk regarding body, mind and soul about how he managed to lose 60 kg. A psychologist he met took his hand and asked, “Whose hand is this?” and “Who controls this hand?” The last question was “Who controls this hand when it reaches for food, and put in his mouth?”

“This means he cannot blame others for his own action and choice. Although in life, there are so many things we cannot control, at the same time, there are also many things that we can control such as what we do,” Aiman Azlan said, adding that “during iftar, it is true that it is difficult to restrain yourself from eating a lot of delicious food, but if you want to be healthy, control yourself from overeating.”

The emphasis is that it is our choice to have a healthy Ramadan, like physically speaking, our body. Otherwise, people can choose to indulge, keep making excuses, and thus, lead an unhealthy lifestyle during Ramadan.

Aiman Azlan gave two possible scenarios regarding where and how to start the journey of rejuvenating our soul and making the Ramadan meaningful.

1.Know your priority and do not compare yourself with other people

If you have a list of the things you need to change within yourself, arrange them according to priority such as number one, number two, and so on. After that, just start with the number one, and focus on that consistently. Do not overthink it.

Other than that, if you see someone is able to do a lot of zikrs, solat at one time, do not compare yourself to that other person. Let it be slowly but meaningful and enjoy the ibadah.

2.If you are clueless, just pick anything

If you need to change but you do not know which part that you have to change first, just choose anything. There are many people who struggle in deciding which aspect is more important. Therefore, choose one, start and keep the momentum.

For the full video of “Chit Chat Ramadan: Fasting is for the mind, body and soul”, you may go to this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZeNHsYo2CQ&t=126s (IIUMtv’s Youtube Channel)***

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