Fasting during the Month of Ramadan is the 4th pillar of Islam. The Holy Month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and can last 29 or 30 days. Muslims fast by abstaining from eating, drinking, chewing gum, smoking, and partaking in any sexual activity from dawn to sunset. Fasting in Islam does not consist solely of refraining from food and drink; instead, you abstain from evil, selfish desire, and wrongdoing. The purpose of fasting is not merely for the body; instead, it’s for the spirit as well.
Fasting during Ramadan is for the benefit of your soul, mind, and body. You are commanded to refrain from gossiping, backbiting, slandering, lying, cheating, looking at material that is prohibited, nursing a grudge, using sinful speech, and any wrongdoing. You must adhere to the morals of Islam strictly during your fast, as failure to do so can violate your fast.
Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for every sane, healthy Muslim who is not ill nor traveling long distances, whether male or female, unless a female is on her menstruation cycle or experiencing post-childbirth bleeding. The primary reason Muslims fast is that God the Almighty has commanded us to do so in His Last and Final Revelation, the Holy Quran.
“O, you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may become righteous and (hopefully learn) self-restraint.” (Quran 2:183)
Fasting is an act of worship beloved by God. The Holy Month of Ramadan and the prescribed fasting is a gift and mercy to you sent directly from the Almighty. God prescribes no rulings to his slaves unless they come complete with great wisdom and benefit. God, the Almighty, states the act of fasting and abstaining from what is prohibited will increase your Taqwa (God-fearing piety, righteousness, mindfulness, and consciousness of God, where you are aware God is always watching). Fasting develops spiritual endurance and self-restraint, helping you control your anger, words, and actions. Fasting helps one to resist unlawful desires and wicked habits, which in turn serves to guard against evil. Fasting during Ramadan suppresses worldly desires and strengthens one’s spirituality.
The Holy Month of Ramadan is special and blessed because the Holy Quran, God’s final Book, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be up him, in this special month. Therefore, Muslims recite the Holy Quran frequently in this blessed month. During Ramadan, Muslims try to establish or re-establish a relationship with their Creator and the Holy Quran so they may be guided down the right path. Ramadan is a month for deep inner reflection.
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