29 May 2024

The Effects of Fasting on the Brain

The Effects of Fasting on the Brain


The Effects of Fasting on the Brain

Research has shown that fasting improves brain function. A correlation has been found between fasting, improved cognition and the prevention of neuro disorders.

In some cases, there was an indication that fasting reduced the effects of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. Clinical studies also highlight that fasting slows the progress of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis [i]. 

As Muslims, we are encouraged to regularly use our brains and contemplate Allah’s signs.

The messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“A servant of God will remain standing on the Day of Judgment until he is questioned about his (time on earth) and how he used it; about his knowledge and how he utilised it, …”


The brain is at the core of this process of contemplation, reasoning, teaching, and memorisation. Because of this, we should look after our brain just like we look after other muscles in our body.

Another benefit of fasting is increased willpower because it requires mental strength and the ability to resist short-term gratification for long term rewards. When we fast for a whole month, spend our nights in prayer and complete the recitation of the Quran, we feel a renewed sense of accomplishment.

Modern science is still catching up with the wisdom that Muslims have understood for 1500 years. We know that when we fast, our bodies have fewer toxic materials flowing through the blood and lymphatic system, making it easier for us to use our energy for brain functions. This is because, after a few days, the body clears itself of toxins. The brain then has access to a cleaner bloodstream, resulting in clearer thoughts, better memory, and increased sharpness of senses.

Let’s make the most of this blessed month by exercising our brains in the remembrance of Allah.

credit: International Learning Movement (ILMUK).

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