Ramadhân has been prescribed for Muslims as the fasting month. During this month all Muslims are expected to have strong will, control their desires and to abstain from anything that brings pleasure to the body. ALLAAH tells us in the Holy Qur’an that the fasting was prescribed unto the previous generations who lived before the onset of Isla “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” (The Holy Quran, 2:183). It is a known fact that Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and explained it by saying: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:2-4.) Moses also fasted forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28).
God expects the people to obey his command so that he answers their prayers if they ask him of his bounties: “And when My servants/worshippers ask you (O Prophet) about Me, surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and believe in Me that they may take the right path.” (The Holy Qur’an 2:186)
Fasting, as the other Morals advocated By Islam, is also meant as an alerting signal about good conscience: “And swallow not up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the authorities so that you may swallow up other people’s property wrongfully while you know.” (Qur’an 2:188) “He who does not give up uttering falsehood and acting according to it, God has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (The Holy Prophet Muhammad)
Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and explained it by saying: “It is written; Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:2-4.) Moses also fasted forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28).
SIGNIFICANCE OF FASTING IN ISLAM:
- Self-discipline and Self-restraint (despite hunger and thirst, yet Muslims will not drink nor eat.
- Strong will to abstain of doing things that displeases God.
- To seek more closeness to God and to seek his blessings as His command for fasting is obeyed.
- To learn to refrain from usurping other’s rights and belongings.
- Giving of one’s self and giving up pleasures of life: when we fast, we voluntarily give up even many things that are rightfully our own; hence we will not think of taking other people’s stuff.
- Feeling with the Poor and hence inclination for Charity and Generosity The deprivation of Fasting makes us experience the deprivation and the suffering of the needy and poor, which instigates us to become more kind and more generous.
- Fasting in Islam is not only refraining from eating and drinking during the hours from dawn till sunset, no matter how long or short the day is, but it is also abstaining from thing that derives pleasure to one’s self.
- Fasting also nurtures spirituality and extreme awareness of our God.