Introduction to Fasting
Along with prayer, pilgrimage, and charity, there is fasting. Islam points huge worth of the act of fasting, classifying it as one of the five pillars of worship and Islam. In fact, the act is a common form of worship amongst the unalike religions around the globe. In the meantime, it is extensively known for its spiritual advantages. However, fasting may vary from one belief to another regarding the timing, practice, frequency, or period (WhyIslam, 2014).
“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness’ (Q 2:183)
Reading the verse above, it shows that Islam imparts that Allah sent several prophets since human race began, counting from Adam to Mohammed, peace be upon them all. Therefore, this religion assigns vital values like believing in Allah accompanied by an assurance to justice and faith with other religions like Christianity and Judaism.
For Muslims, fasting is, as mentioned above, one of the chief five pillars of the faith or the religion, also a way of achieving the realisation of Allah. Besides the physical phases of the act, improves our patience, purifies the soul, starts the concept of self-reflection, and it inspires the virtuous life.RamadanConsistent with the Islamic lunar calendar, when the new moon is being seen, Ramadan is the ninth month of the year. Throughout the period of this month, Muslim people around the globe are bound to abstain from eating, drinking, or even having sexual relations from the time of dawn till the sun sets. Hence, as what the Prophet Mohammed educated, Muslims are preferred to break their fasting with water and dates, then followed by a meal that varies from one nation to another (Husain, 2017).
In fact, it is not obligatory and mandatory for Muslims that are facing difficulties to fast or pursue the fourth pillar of worship. Fasting can be postponed until the difficulty is ended. Therefore, people who are believed to be weak, old, rationally sick .etc can either provide support to a needy individual by feeding them, if they are capable of doing that, or postpone their fasting.
“whoever fasts and prays during Ramadan with pure intentions will have their past sins forgiven”-Prophet Mohammed. Hence, we can relate from the saying above that people who fast are rewarded for all decent actions, since it is an act that is considered as obedience to Allah.
Subsequently, Muslim people are obligated to stay aware of the full meaning behind their fasting, as the prophet specified, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then God has no need that they should leave their food and drink.” Accordingly, the Prophet guaranteed to deliver his message to his followers by saying that. Therefore, besides the physical facets, it is important for individuals to keep the spiritual and social factors in mind, so that they can gain the maximum benefit of the act.
In relation, performing the act of fasting in the month of Ramadan is a chance for Muslims to be revived in both ways, physically and spiritually, that occurs yearly. Therefore, fasting is in fact makes the heart of these individuals come near the remembrance of Allah, and during this month, they focus on the solidification of their relationship with their God. Thus, the discipline and self-control performed in the month of fasting makes the heart and brain adapted to the commemoration of Allah and to keep obeying his orders.
To sum this idea up, fasting throughout this month is a spiritual routine and a recapture for the mind and body. So, Muslim people dedicate themselves for such period for prayer, spiritual reproduction, and good actions. The cleansing of the spirit during Ramadan results in the regeneration of the purpose of worshiping Allah through the year (Husain, 2017).Advantages of FastingFasting aims to inspire care, sympathy, and self-control in Muslim people. Those people are motivated to surge their generosity and kindness during Ramadan. They are driven to split the blessings that Allah offered them by donating to charities, since being rich is viewed as a trust from the creator.
Absolutely, fasting makes Muslims furtherly mindful of the uncountable abundances of Allah. So, going through the experience of hunger and thirst permits them to sense the worry of such a problem like hunger and cause them to recognise the poor. In relation, Hamza Yusuf stated that “Fasting allows us to experience once a year what many throughout the world experience almost daily. Hunger, for them, is not a choice; it is simply a fact of life”. In fact, Hamza is a famous Muslim leader founded in the United States.
The fourth pillar of Islam retells Muslims of how dynamic it is to value what Allah has catered them with, and not to waste such opportunities. As of how generous God is and the idea that he graces them with his favouritisms. Thus, fasting supports the idea that wasting or ignoring his bounties is a symbol of ingratitude to the creator.
Furthermore, when its time for fasting, it brings about an enlarged consciousness of community with it. Whereas, Muslim people continually wake up at once formerly to the sunrise for Suhoor. Also, they habitually invite other Muslims to break their fasting with each other, and this results to the creation of generosity and love between families, neighbours, or even friends. In addition, several Muslims meet at the mosque with many different meals to share with others, specifically the poor. The Qur’an in Ramadan
In the year 610 C.E and throughout Ramadan, Allah started enlightening the Qur’an to Prophet Mohammed. The holly book of Islam is the final exposure from God and is commonly learnt and recited in its principal Arabic language. Subsequently, during this month, Islam religion encourages its people to put as much time as they can on reciting and learning the Qur’an as one way of approaching nearer to the creator (WhyIslam, 2014).
As means of becoming nearer to the holly bock throughout the month of fasting, Muslim people proposes to increase their congregational prayers in the late evening as soon as they break their fast. Also, during the month, the Qur’an is generally read out in those nightly devotions. So, this is another chance for the Muhammad’s followers to turn out to be spiritually connected to Allah and to follow his terms of guidance (Umar, 2018).
Muslims have faith in that the last ten nights of Ramadan are the holiest and try to increase their good deeds and prayers during this time. In fact, the most holy, sacred, and blessed night between those nights is the Night of Power ‘Lilat Al Qadr’ as it happens on one of the odd-numbered nights in the concluding third of the month. “Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Power. And what will make you know what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) by Allah’s permission with all Decrees. (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” (97:3). In other words, if Muslims worship in this one night, they will accomplish more than the worship of one thousand months. Accordingly, they pursue this dissimilar night by remaining awake for worship throughout the odd-numbered nights (21,23,25,27,29 etc) in the last ten days of the month of fasting (Umar, 2018). Eid-al-Fitr
It means the end of Ramadan, when Muslim people view the new moon, where it is followed by an event that goes by the name ‘Eid-al-Fitr’. All Muslims, without any exceptions, come around in the morning to wear their finest outfits and head to the mosque to perform ‘Salat-el-Eid’ the Eid’s prayer. They keep on voicing thanks to Allah for providing them with the opportunity to encounter the holy month of Ramadan. The three days are occupied with festivity, meeting people, meals, and giving out gifts and money, with many different aspects which were added by different cultures. (WhyIslam, 2014). Conclusion
Even though, the act of fasting may seem harsh, but it is truly a heart-warming period for Muslims. Every single year, these people experience a special enthusiasm and jubilation as the month come close to them. Homes are cleaned and prepared, kids are ready, and most of all, many determinations and resolutions are made.
In conclusion, all of this could bring about nearer to undergoing a real month of fasting, a period that is full of love, intimacy, and awareness of the creator. Additionally, abstain from eating, drinking, and marital intercourse’s may seem hard, but keep in mind that how people use their eyes, ears, mouth .etc. in trading in the sin and desperate acts. Hence, we can settle that it is a month full of breaks from the creator, and Muslims should be thankful about it, and put more effort to fully advantage from such period.
- Facts about the Muslims & the Religion of Islam – Toll-free hotline 1-877-WHY-ISLAM. (2014). Ramadan: The Month of Fasting. [online] Available at: https://www.whyislam.org/brochures/ramadan/ [Accessed 2 August. 2019].
- Husain, H. (2017). A Real Ramadan. [online] Facts about the Muslims & the Religion of Islam – Toll-free hotline 1-877-WHY-ISLAM. Available at: https://www.whyislam.org/article/a-real-ramadan/ [Accessed 2 August. 2019].
- Minahj-ul-Quran International. (2007). Quranic Verses and Hadith on the Month of Ramadan and Fasting. [online] Available at: https://www.minhaj.org/english/tid/2954/Quranic-Verses-and-Hadith-on-the-Month-of-Ramadan-and-Fasting.html [Accessed 2 August. 2019].