Is there a kind of fasting like the fasting of the Prophet, the fasting of water and the fasting of hunger?

Details of the Question

Is there a type of fasting called the fasting of prophet, the fasting of water and the fasting of hunger? If there is, how is it performed; are there certain rules about it? Are the methods that are applied today with this aim regarded as contrary to the Sunnah? Hunger is used all over the world as a method of treatment with the names like the fasting of hunger and the fasting of water. Clinics were set up with this aim abroad. Some schools apply the fasting of hunger by drinking only water twice a day (in suhur and iftar) for 20 days, 25 days and 30 days while Aidin Salih school generally suggests a certain amount of three-days with intervals of 4 or 7 days. As the practitioners of this school, we suggest starting with 36 or 48 hours based on the state of the person and a period of 10-day hunger after the body gets used to it. These kinds of fasting are performed by drinking only water in suhur and iftar.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- In Islam, there is no other fasting than the known fasting that we perform with methods like “water” and similar ones.

However, there is no drawback to applying such a method if the science of medicine today proves that the methods called “the fasting of hunger” and “the fasting of water” are useful.

However, this method of diet can never be regarded as “fasting” that gains a person spiritual thawabs. If a person performs fasting in Ramadan with the intention of only diet, this fasting is not accepted. For, deeds are evaluated based on intentions.

- The fasting performed in Islam as worshipping also has worldly benefits; it is a nice diet for man. It is concluded as a result of some studies made in England that not eating anything two days a week contributes to bodily health. This finding is in accordance with the fasting advised on Mondays and Thursdays in Islam.

- In addition, if the following suggestions of Islam are fulfilled with the intention of worshipping, not with the intention of diet, a person will both worship and protect his health:

“Eating a little,
not eating before feeling hungry,
not eating again before 4-5 hours pass,
performing obligatory fasting once a year,
performing voluntary fasting for 6 days in the month of Shawwal,
performing fasting two days a week”
.

- Acting upon the verse, “Eat and drink, but waste not in excess” Ibn Sina (Avicenna) introduced the following rule: 

"I concentrate the science of medicine in two lines, the best word is the shortest; when you eat, eat little, and do not eat again for four or five hours. Health lies in digestion. That is to say, eat so much as you can digest easily.

The heaviest and most tiring thing for your stomach and yourself is to eat many things one on top of the other” (Lem'alar (Flashes), 147)

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