At present, almost 2 billion human beings on earth are actually counted among the Islamic faith, and fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is a unique annual affair shared by a huge percentage of Muslims. It is undoubtedly one of the most profound worldwide spiritual experiences.
Why do we fast in Ramadan, and what are a few of the advantages of fasting in this holy month? While, in fact, the rewards for fasting in the holy month of Ramadan are countless and its full advantages known just to Allah, the following are a few extremely significant reasons why Muslims are encouraged to fast during Ramadan.
What Does Ramadan Fasting Really Look Like?
Fasting in this holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with prayer, charity, the profession of faith, and pilgrimage. Healthy Muslim adults avoid all food, drink (comprising water), and sexual activity from sunrise to sunset, consuming a meal before the fast and another for breaking it.
Suhoor or Sehri is the meal we have early in the morning before fasting for the day. The dusk meal for breaking the fast is known as Iftar. Dates are a significant part of the Iftar table. Frequently, Muslims gather with friends, relatives, family, or their local community for Iftar.
The meal tends to have numerous courses, including sweets and special dishes. Each Muslim that has reached puberty and is physically capable must fast. Muslims are excused from fasting if they’re nursing, pregnant, ill, or menstruating.
When Was Fasting Introduced In Ramadan?
According to the Holy Quran, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said Islam is built upon five pillars, and fasting during Ramadan was one of them in the seventh century. Today millions of individuals all across the globe choose to avoid drinking or eating between sunrise and sunset in Ramadan. Fasting will start at dawn after suhoor and then end at sundown with Iftar.
If you break your fast, it’ll have to be compensated for by fasting at some later date. Or, in its place, one might pay Fidyah, a religious terminology, for the donation of money or food. According to the Islamic tradition, when somebody can’t fast in Ramadan and can’t make up for those lost days, then they ought to pay Fidyah, which denotes paying for somebody else to be fed.
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Why Do Muslims Fast In Ramadan?
- A Pillar Of Islam:
The basis of Islamic spiritual practice is recognized as the five pillars of Islam, which form the foundation for the spiritual culture created for offering a perfect environment for spiritual evolution and personal growth.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam, constituting one of the most significant spiritual practices created for transcending the ego and empowering a person in overcoming the self, the one true veil between a person and their Creator.
It is factual that one usually doesn’t realize what they have until it is gone or not accessible, and by fasting during Ramadan, Muslims become deeply aware of the unlimited profusion of divine favor Allah Almighty has blessed humankind with, mainly with regards to sustenance.
- Community And Family:
One of the best advantages of fasting during Ramadan is renewing harmony and cultivating relationships with one’s community and family. The only one who observes fasting during Ramadan can really know the joy and beauty of breaking fast with others, celebrating the gift of life every day for 30 days with the nearest and dearest. Fasting during Ramadan is really one of the best social experiences a person can ever experience, and it’s one of the most significant aspects of such a unique pillar of Islamic practice.
It’s now been scientifically recognized that the single most effective practice for improving human longevity and health is the reduction of consumption and intake. Fasting during Ramadan permits your digestive system, the engine of your body, to rest from the usual demands of breaking down food and processing, freeing up the system resources for cleansing and purifying your body of the accumulated toxins, thereby permitting more effective tissue repair and healing. Fasting during Ramadan keeps your body healthy and youthful (provided one doesn’t overeat when breaking fast).
- Spiritual Purification:
One of the main advantages of fasting during Ramadan is spiritual purification, the necessary objective of Islamic Spirituality. Although we tend to think of the body, mind, and spirit as separate parts, in fact, they’re all connected and correlated, and perfection in any one naturally affects improvement in the others too. Fasting during Ramadan purifies your body, mind, and spirit, leading to greater health, sensitivity, and clarity.
- Non-Attachment And Simplicity:
When living without restraint and discipline, life rapidly becomes excessively complicated, leading to a hefty load that causes needless anxiety, stress, difficulty, and unhappiness. By fasting during Ramadan, we limit indulgence and excess, facilitating the return to non-attachment and simplicity, releasing one from reliance on the world, and so contributing to happiness and psychological health.
- Self-Discipline And Restraint:
The modern world and today’s culture are mainly defined by consumption, materialism, and instant satisfaction of desires. It causes the diminishment of human awareness, the regression of terrestrial culture, and the soul’s suppression.
Yet by fasting during Ramadan, a Muslim deliberately curtails this unhealthy standard by deliberately practicing self-discipline and restraint, separating themselves from the animal kingdom, which is ruled by the unconscious drive for satiating one’s immediate desires and needs.
Fasting during Ramadan is thus a necessary practice for attaining true independence and freedom from the world and for the soul’s liberation from the self, the mind-body that’s unconsciously driven by the struggle for survival and fear.
- Compassion And Empathy:
Even though we exist in a world of natural abundance, of providence, and divine grace, sadly, because of a lack of compassion, empathy, and solidarity among humans, there are countless throughout the world who still struggle with poverty, hunger, and scarcity.
When Muslim fasts during Ramadan, they feel the hunger that numerous experience every day as a normal outcome of their conditions. By fasting during Ramadan, we grow the holy qualities of compassion and empathy, becoming even more conscious of our inherent connection and oneness with all humans regardless of labels or borders that generate artificial separation among the human race.
- Selflessness And Humility:
By fasting during Ramadan, a Muslim realizes how completely reliant we as humans are upon the divine grace of Allah for survival, and humility is a natural upshot of this comprehension. Usually, we undervalue things and become neglectful as a result of living in the world, yet by fasting during Ramadan, we’re continually reminded of the frailty, leading us to reverence, humility, selflessness, and piety, the main objectives of Islamic Spirituality.
With the continuous demands of the present life, it is all too simple to become lost and overlook who we really are, and so to unconsciously overlook our destiny and divine purpose. Without the continuous reminder, we become lost in the dream and disengaged from reality. Fasting during Ramadan for 30 days is a great practice in restoring direction, focus, purpose, and balance to our lives.
Fasting During Ramadan Is A Gift From Allah:
The chance to fast during Ramadan is a gift from Allah, permitting us to develop and grow as humans, allowing us to become more caring, compassionate, grateful, and kind. Fasting during Ramadan is really a unique chance to develop religiously and gain control and strength over ourselves, the nafs, and our egos. By fasting during Ramadan, a Muslim has a unique and profound chance to become even more present, peaceful, and spiritual, the very objective of Islam.
Fasting during Ramadan is an important exercise of devotion and faith for Muslims all around the world. It is a way to reflect on the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us and appreciate the life we have. Ramadan is also a time for Muslims to come closer to Allah and strengthen their relationship with him. By fasting, Muslims are able to strengthen their spiritual connection to Allah and gain greater insight into their faith. Ultimately, fasting during Ramadan is a way for Muslims to show their gratitude for the many blessings Allah has given them, and to become closer to him.