Five scientific benefits of fasting you probably didn’t know about.

Fasting as we all know brings many health benefits. Although these health benefits can motivate an individual to fast, Muslims, regardless of their health benefits should fast because Allah commanded it in the Quran. The following includes a list of scientifically proven health benefits:  

1.Fasting can lower risk of diabetes

Fasting can be an alternative to calorie restriction approach for… diabetes risk reduction.

(Barnosky et al., 2014)

2.Fasting can assist in lowering fat

short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%

(Mansell, 1990)

3.Fasting can reduce oxidative stress (aging)

Fasting extends lifespan and increase resistance to age-related diseases”

(Mattson and Wan, 2005)

4.Fasting is good for brain health

Fasting may increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should benefit the brain function.

(Lee et al., 2000)

5.Increase of Human growth hormone

Two days of fasting induced a 5-fold increase… in growth hormone rate.

(M L Hartman., 1992)

 

Bibliography

(M L Hartman., 1992)

M L Hartman, J D Veldhuis, M L Johnson, M M Lee, K G Alberti, E Samojlik, M O Thorner; Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1992; 74 (4): 757-765. doi: 10.1210/jcem.74.4.1548337

 

(Mansell, 1990)

Mansell, P. (1990). Enhanced thermogenic response to epinephrine after 48-h starvation in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 258, p.1.

 

(Barnosky et al., 2014)

Barnosky, A., Hoddy, K., Unterman, T. and Varady, K. (2014). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research, 164(4), pp.302-311.

 

(Mattson and Wan, 2005)

Mattson, M. and Wan, R. (2005). Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 16(3), pp.129–137.

 

(Lee et al., 2000)

Lee, J., Duan, W., Long, J., Ingram, D. and Mattson, M. (2000). Dietary Restriction Increases the Number of Newly Generated Neural Cells, and Induces BDNF Expression, in the Dentate Gyrus of Rats. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 15(2), pp.99-108.

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These are the things that do and don’t break your fast.

Every Muslim should be aware of the things that do and don’t break their fast.

We’ve compiled a short concise list to help you.

(Please Note: This is not a comprehensive list, please consult with a local Imam for further details).

Things that break the fast

  1. Deliberately Eating or Drinking
  2. Sexual Intercourse
  3. Deliberately vomiting.
  4. Any nutritious injection
  5. Intentional ejaculation.
  6. Menstruation.

Things that don’t break the fast

  1. Accidentally eating or drinking.
  2. Brushing teeth
  3. Having a shower
  4. Swallowing saliva
  5. Vomiting unintentionally

 

Imam of Haram: Episode One

We sat down with the Imam of the Holy Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Khaled Al Ghamidi, what it feels like to lead prayer in the Holiest Mosque in the world.

The above video captures his response.

“In reality, I cannot describe the feeling. It’s a feeling that joins between prestige, majesty and reverence for this great sacred place.”

“Especially because, when I stand before the Kaabah, there is no one standing before it, but me.”

Sheikh Khaled Al Ghamidi

The above video is an excerpt of a series of questions we put forth to the Imam as part of a new series.

More videos with the Imam will be released over the coming weeks.

Verses welcoming Ramadan

Verses welcoming Ramadan

In the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims are required to fast from the break of dawn until sunset. This includes abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse. One must also be physically and mentally able to fast. Further, travellers are exempt from fasting. Fasting promotes patience, discipline and increases purity of the mind and piety.

The month of the Ramadan, is one of the holiest months in the Islamic Calendar, it is also known as the month of the Quran.

It is the month in which the Quran was revealed, , it is also known as the month of the Quran and a month in which the gates of Heaven are opened while the gates of Hell are closed.

Quran importance in ramadan
Verses Welcoming Ramadan

Allah speaks about this month in the Quran, where He states:

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

Quran 2:185

Everything you need to know about Ramadan

Everything you need to know about Ramadan

In the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, as soon as the moon is sighted, Muslims are required to fast. The fast begins from the break of dawn until sunset, and is compulsory upon every Muslim. This includes abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse. One must also be physically and mentally able to fast. Further, travelers are exempt from fasting (those who are sick or are travelling must make up the days that were missed later). Fasting promotes patience, discipline and increases purity of the mind and piety.

The month of the Ramadan, is one of the holiest months in the Islamic Calendar.

Everything you need to know about Ramadan
Everything you need to know about Ramadan

It is the month in which the Quran was revealed and a month in which the gates of Heaven are opened while the gates of Hell are closed. Fasting in this month is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Allah speaks about this month in the Quran, where He states:

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

Quran 2:185

5 Tips for Ramadan

With Ramadan only moments away, many of you are thinking about how you will make the most out of this holy month.

Ramadan is an amazing opportunity that Allah SWT gives us to spiritually recharge, and improve ourselves.

If you are wondering how you can get the best out of this month, here are a few tips to get you started:

Tip #1 Make a plan

As the famous saying goes” if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This Ramadan set yourself a plan that is both achievable and beneficial. The simple act of writing a plan, will in fact help you manage your time to ensure your goals are met and that leave this month feeling accomplished.

[quote]

For example, write down how much Quran you want to read this month and set aside time each day to do this.

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Tip #2 Manage your time

Your time, is the most valuable asset you have this month, and if you manage it wisely you will reap the rewards.

Avoid wasting time on things that are unbeneficial like hanging out, excessive Iftar parties, watching tv and addiction to social media. When you take advantage of your spare time, and use it to perform acts of worship, such as Salah, reciting Quran, and Thikr, you will experience the beauty of this month, and feel closer to Allah. If you find yourself sitting with nothing to do, you can say Athkar like Subha’Allah, Alhmadulilah, Lailaha ilallah, and Allahuakbar.

[quote]

These words that are light on the tongue, but very heavy on the scales.

[/quote]

Tip #3 Consistency is key

The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are consistent, even if they’re small. Yes, even if they are simple and easy to perform, so as long as they are consistent, and this is your secret to success. Ramadan is a perfect time for change. Develop a good habit, or apply a new sunnah this month that you know you’re going to be able to continue, not only throughout Ramadan but also in the months ahead.

Tip #4 Seek out the right environment

In the same way that a plant requires the right amount of water and sunlight to grow, the environment that you place yourself in, has a big impact on how your Iman will grow this Ramadan.

Make an effort to attend Salah in the masjid, join a Quran halaqah, seek out gatherings of knowledge, because these are the environments that will help you make the change towards the better.

Tip #5 Push yourself to the limit.

Finally, Make this Ramadan better than your last. Never underestimate your potential, and always remember that Allah SWT is giving you this opportunity to shine. The more effort that you put in this month, the greater the benefit – think about the forgiveness of sins, being saved from hell fire, drawing nearer to Allah SWT, and make that your motivation to keep going.

Push yourself to the point you surprise yourself.

May Allah grant you all success this month, and may He be pleased with your fasting and worship.

Credit (Photo iStock)

Manchester Response

Following the tragic attack on Manchester, killing over 19 people, an unexpected individual has stood up in the defence of Muslims who may be consequently targeted for this attack. Aarron Lambo, the founder of Alpha training UK, has posted a video on Facebook defending Muslims and pleading viewers to think before they cast judgement on Muslims who had nothing to do with the attack.[scrolling_box format=””]

How Muslims are Portrayed in Hollywood

How Muslims are portrayed in Hollywood

Muslims are arguably the most vilified group of people in the history of Hollywood. This article will reveal how Muslims are portrayed in Hollywood throughout its years in film production.

Since the emergence of Hollywood as the home of the U.S film industry, the various films made over the years have stolen the identity of numerous groups of people including the Muslim community. However, the consistency of negative Muslim stereotypes has remained from the earliest obscure Hollywood pictures to the most recent blockbuster action films.

The inheritance of exaggerated or fabricated images and tales from European travellers (200-150 years ago) have shaped the image of the Muslim we see today in our films. These images have become familiar within almost every film that depicts Muslims. So when Hollywood injects Muslims into their films they either cast them as:

  • The rich, amorous ‘sheikh’ that loves the white American women, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
  • The rich ‘sheikh’ who is trying to buy American Property.
  • The terrorist who is trying to end the American way of life.

Do you see the trend?

The Amorous Muslim Man Who is Attracted to the White, Blue-eyed, Blonde-haired Woman.

The old Hollywood portrayal of Muslims that we have seen in the past is still present in today’s movies, even finding their way into children’s films.

How Muslims are portrayed in Hollywood
The Shiekh (1921) depicts a Muslim man that abducts a white European woman in order for her to fall in love with him:

In this old film, The Sheik (1921), is about a ‘Paris-educated Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan’ who provides brides for wealthy Arabs. The Sheikh is amused by ‘Lady Diana Mayo’, so he abducts her in order to make her fall in love with him. This is not a problem, judging by the time period in which this film was made, because of the numerous offensive movies that portrayed other races in a demeaning manner.

The problem is when you have a film sixty-six years later with almost the exact same plot point in the film Harem (1986). This is the Rotten Tomatoes plot synopsis of the film:

Omar Sharif plays a Turkish sultan who kidnaps a beautiful American woman in the early 1900’s. He adds her to his harem, which angers his first wife, who plots to kill the American. Fortunately, her white knight arrives to save her.

Unbelievably, this is a staggering sixty years later!

Almost the exact same plot. Omar Sharif is an internationally known superstar (which seems to be a re-occurring role for him) in the movie Jewel of the Nile (1985) just a year before Harem, he plays almost a carbon copy of the character he played in Harem. This is the IMDB plot synopsis of the film:

Joan accepts an invitation to go to some middle eastern country as a guest of the sheikh, but there she is abducted…Jack decides to rescue her…

Other movies that inject these traits include (but not limited to): The Happy hooker goes to Washington (1977), Samson against the Shiek (1962), Cannonball Run 2 (1981), Protocol (1984), Never say never again (1983) and Sahara (1983). Why is it that Hollywood keeps on trapping Muslims in this time bubble.

The Rich ‘sheikh’ who Lavishly Buys American Property

This type of stereotype is present in many films. One particular film that stands out is “Father of the Bride 2” (1995). This film portrays a normal American family living the American dream, in their nice house and happy family. The father wants to sell his house, enter the Habibs, a wealthy Middle-Eastern family who are interested in the house. Mr Habib pays $15,000 as a bonus for the American family to move out quickly, which they do. Once the Americans want the house back, Mr Habib accepts to sell it back to them, under one condition, that they pay an extra $100,000 on top of the house value. If the Americans don’t give him the money, the Habibs will bulldoze the house to the ground.

But that’s not enough, during the negotiation, whenever Mrs Habib would talk (in gibberish, not Arabic), Mr Habib would abruptly yell at her, shutting her up.The Habibs instantly become the villains of the story.

Rollover (1981) is a film about Arab’s taking over the stock of banks across America. As the plot moves along, the audience discovers that the Arabs are behind various examples of murder and fraud. By the end of the movie they pull their money out of all the banks in America and possibly all over the world causing a global financial crisis. As ludicrous as that sounds, the idea that the Arabs are behind a global crisis across the globe is well… ludicrous.

Another film that is held as a masterpiece by many critics and fans is The Network (1976). A news anchor veteran, Howard Beale,  is being fired and he is “mad as hell” and he’s “not going to take it anymore”. On his last day, he lets out a ferocious tantrum on live television thus boosting the network’s ratings. The producers of the network allow Howard to continue to rave about corruption in the industry, the condition of the world and the truth about corporate dominance. His program becomes really successful so much so, they dub him the ‘the mad prophet of the airways’. In one of his many speeches on live television, he unleashes one of his angriest rants and says:

The Arabs are simply buying us.

This tv rant is one of the most famous rants in movie history. Can you imagine the reaction if someone on live television said: The Jews are buying us up or The blacks are buying us up

 

 

The Terrorist who are trying to End the American Way of Life

This stereotype comes as no surprise to any Muslim. A number of movies that portray this particular type of character is overwhelming. Jack Valenti said: “Washington and Hollywood spring from the same DNA”, this is no secret. The United States has shown support to its ally, the state of Israel, over its many presidencies. Therefore it comes as no surprise to anyone that the Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters are portrayed as evil terrorists in many of its films.

Just look at movies such as:

  • Exodus (1960) where Muslims are responsible for horrific acts, that which closely resembles the acts of Nazis towards Jews.
  • Cast a giant shadow (1966) is another film that depicts Israelis as the victim of Palestinian Muslim violence.
  • Black Sunday (1977), a Muslim Palestinian WOMAN attempts to fly a blimp into a football stadium in order to kill thousands of Americans.
  • Death before dishonour (1987) Muslims murder an entire Israeli family.
  • The Delta Force (1986) Muslims hijack a plane and terrorise the passengers, specifically the Jewish ones.
  • True lies (1994) portrays a Muslim terror group called ‘crimson Jihad’ terrorising America.
How Muslims are portrayed in Hollywood
Black Sunday (1977), A group of Muslim terrorist hijack a blimp and attempt to fly it into a football stadium.

This is how Muslims are portrayed in Hollywood.

What is the purpose of this article?

The movies that depict negative stereotypes of Muslims that were previously addressed in this article is not an excuse for Muslims to play the victim. This negative trend has resulted in the stolen identity Hollywood has robbed over 1 billion Muslims. If the life of a Jewish man is worth the life of a Muslim man then why don’t the Muslim community deserve the same on screen treatment as a Jewish man?
It is the reason why Governments employ the use of media and entertainment in order to influence negative attitudes towards rivalling nations or people. The Nazis used their power in the media and the cinema to push their propaganda onto German citizens, to brainwash its citizens. The U.S utilised posters, media and films to push their propaganda onto people to participate in its wars.
The image of a race, religion or a particular group of people an individual ingests, defines their attitude towards that particular group of people.

This article was inspired by the research conducted by Jack Shaheen. 

Man calls upon Muslim men to grow #SunnahBeards in response to Islamophobia

Hassan Shibly, a prominent Muslim activist and Attorney from America, is calling upon all Muslim men to grow their beards in response to rising hate attacks on Muslims and Islamophobia.

He is using the hashtag “#SunnahBeard” to inspire Muslim men to publicly display their attachment to the practices or Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He has also encouraged them to do this as a sign of support towards Muslim woman who are generally on the receiving end of Islamophobic attacks due to their overt Islamic appearance.

He has however warned Muslims that it is not simply enough to display Islam on the outside through a beard, but also display Islam through our actions and character.

May Allah allow us to be proud of our faith and display it in the best of manners.

View the video posted by Hassan Shibly Here

Mufti wins Defamation Case against the Daily Telegraph.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad has just won a defamation case against Nationwide News Pty Limited regarding an article published by the Daily Telegraph late last year.

In the article, Daily Telegraph accused the Grand Mufti of not condemning the Paris terror attacks and not doing enough to prevent extremism.

The article created quite an uproar in the Muslim community, considering it was an attack on the highest standing Islamic figure in the country.

Many Muslims took to social media shortly after the article was released to express their support for the Grand Mufti, with the hashtag #IStandWithTheMufti trending within the community.

Today, the Supreme Court of NSW gave a verdict in his favour. The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) have welcomed the decision stating that “It is hoped that the outcome of the proceedings is the first step towards improved harmony between Australian Muslims and the media in the future.”

The Mufti has also thanked the community for their support.