KARACHI– Eminent religious scholars, national and international health experts stated that, Fasting is beneficial for healthy Muslims but, it is considered mandatory for the patients, to follow the advices of their doctors in the month of Ramadan. Keeping a fast against the recommendations of health experts is and will be forbidden.
They mentioned that, fasting generally is considered safe for the diabetics, pregnant women and people with cardiovascular diseases and even beneficial for the people with mental disorders, as fasting boosts the mental health and immune system but, doctors must be consulted beforehand, to ascertain their opinions. Certain patients having cancers could also fast, but consulting with doctors beforehand is necessary, as there are certain types of cancers, that make the body weaker, as per experts view. They expressed these thoughts, while speaking at the concluding ceremony of the 4th International Diabetes and Ramadan Conference.
On the occasion, Ramadan Specific Guidelines 2018, prepared by the Ramadan Study Group were launched, which were to be distributed among doctors in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan, so they could advise patients on how to fast safely during Ramadan.
Religious Scholar, Mufti Muhammad Ibrahim Essa, Darul-Ifta, JamiahDaruloom Karachi, stated that, “Doctors become ‘Mufti & Ameer’ for their patients in the holy month of Ramadan. Acting against their advice and keeping fasts when they prohibit it is forbidden and sinful.”
Replying to several questions, he added that, Islam does not ask its followers to kill themselves and that, during certain life threatening conditions like in the case of sunstroke, it is mandatory to break the fast to save one’s life.
Expert Neurologist, Aga Khan University, Prof. Muhammad Wasey Shakir claimed that, fasting boosts mental health as well as strengthens the immunity of a person, while the entire process of fasting plays an unprecedented role in slowing down the aging process in humans.
Egyptian physician Dr. Adel El Sayed added that, in certain conditions, fasting was beneficial for some patients with cardiovascular diseases, provided they improve their dietary habits in consultation with doctors; and that it was scientifically proven that ‘Fasting does not increase the burden of acute cardiac illness.’
Renowned Gynecologist, Prof. Shabeen Naz Masood mentioned that, generally it is safe for pregnant women to fast in the month of Ramadan, although our Quran and Hadith allows pregnant and lactating women to leave their fasts, and follow the injunction when they are done with pregnancy and complete their lactation period.
Presenting a study conducted in Malir, Karachi, she added that, over 85% pregnant women kept their fasts with or without the recommendations of their doctors.
Eminent Radiation Oncologist, AKUH, Ahmed Nadeem Abbassi observed that, some cancer patients including those suffering from skin cancers or tumors in the legs or arms could fast on the advice of doctors but, majority of cancer patients could not fulfill their fasts due to the severity of their disease.