Why Do We Fast?

By: Imrah Bilal

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Do we fast because we were taught to do so from small days or because everyone says its compulsory. Years are flying by, we fast one whole month each time with no purpose, aim, gain or knowledge. Some of us may know why we fast, but some of us may not as well. So here are a few reasons as to why we do this every year.

Fasting in the month of Ramadhan according to the Quran, Sunnah is an obligatory act that has to be carried out by every sane, healthy adult man & women. The following verse clearly states why we have to fast:

” O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous “(2:183)

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Fasting is not meant as a punishment or self torture, it is to teach us self restraint and make us righteous and God fearing. The keynote of fasting is self discipline, self control, patience, obedience and sincerity. It makes a Muslim able to bear hardships and makes him steadfast. The fasting person also feels his equality with his fasting brethren regardless of their status, wealth or success. It further develops compassion and humanism as he experiences hunger which makes him sympathize with his brethren who are hungry and needy.

Other verses related to fasting are:   “… But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.” (2:185)

” ….the fasting men and Fasting women… for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (33:35)

This is a blessed month despite the struggle of abstaining from- otherwise permissable in our daily life, with the intention of pleasing Allah and obeying His commands.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake.” (Bukhari)

“Whoever fasts Ramadan out of iman (faith) and seeking Allah’s reward then his past sins are forgiven.”

Ramadan teaches us to empty our hearts from desires of our soul and fill it up with the light of the Quran. Listening and reciting the Quran gives our soul the much needed nourishment. One of the roles of Ramadan is to increase our relationship with the Quran.

Allah says in the Quran: ” The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it…” (2:185)

This month gives us a chance to acknowledge our deficiencies, fix and improve us spiritually. We must aim to improve our relationship with Allah through good deeds and seeking forgiveness from Allah.

Prophet (saws) urges us in many hadith to mend our lives acquiring the great virtues and blessings of this month. Ramadan is a great favour for the Muslim. but it can be considered so only if we appreciate it.

So inshallah let us all go into this month with the intention of improving ourselves and preparing to increase our good deeds, so that Allah will make us come out of Ramadan improved, forgiven and closer to Him

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