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Ramadhan - A quick and easy summary on the meaning, purpose and benefits of fasting in Islam in the light of Holy Quran and Hadith

Introduction

The month of Ramadan is around. We are happy to present information on Ramadan which, we hope, will prove to be useful source of knowledge for you. This, we expect, would help you to explore more about Ramadan, appreciate the significance of this blessed month.

We hope that this article will make your fasting purposeful and rewarding. In another way, this is Ramadan gift for you.

Ramadhan is the ninth month of the islamic lunar calendar. It is obligatory on Muslims to fast in this month.

Fasting means abstinence. To stop eating, drinking and sexual activity from dawn to dusk.

People who are exempt from fasting are as follows:

  • Minor
  • *Aged
  • **Sick
  • **Traveler
  • **Pregnant Women
  • **Suckling Women
  • **Mensturating Women
  • Mentally Retarded

  • * Should donate a meal to the needy
    ** Should fast an equivalent number of days afterwards

    This is clearly defined in Holy Quran

    “… but whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks.” -Quran- 2:185

    The goal of fasting is to develop self-restraint. Holy Quran states: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may develop Taqwa (self-restraint) ” [2:183]

    Fasting was prescribed to the nations of earlier Prophets as well. Example: God says about Mary in the Qur’an that she said: “Verily!, I have vowed a fast to the Most Beneficent…[Maryam 19:26].

    Now the question arises, WHAT IS TAQWA? Taqwa is an Arabic word. It is the state of heart that motivates virtuous conduct and prevents evil action.

    Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
    address on the eve of Ramadan:

  • People, a great blessed month has come upon you.
  • Allah has made fasting during it an obligation, and steadfastly observing its nights in worship a voluntary act.
  • Whoever undertakes an act of obedience to Allah during this month with a righteous deed, it is as if he has performed an obligatory act at other times,
  • and whoever performs an obligatory act during it is as one who performed seventy obligations at other times.
  • It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise.
  • It is the month of goodwill, during which provisions are multiplied.
  •  

    At another occasion Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

  • “ Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain from telling lies and acting on them even while observing fast.”

  • “ When one of you is fasting, He should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, ‘I am fasting.’”

  • Regarding the REWARDS of fasting, Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) proclaimed the reward of fasting:
    “Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk.”
    Ramadhan is also the month of the Revelation of the Qur'an as explained in the following verse: “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction”- Holy Qur’an 2:185

    Benefits of Fasting
    Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Fast and you shall become healthy”

    This hadith is proved by the modern day scientist and recent perspectives are:

  • “Fasting gives the body the environment to heal itself--physiologic rest”
  • “Abstinence from food for a short time can in no way operate to the disadvantage of a normal person.”
  • “In fact, individuals affected with certain types of gastrointestinal disorders are benefited by fasting.”
  • “Fasting has also been used in cases of diabetes and obesity.”
  • “It is a cleansing process and a physiologic or functional rest which prepares the body for future correct living.”
  • The role of fasting according to Dr Jack Goldstein ('From the Book Triumph Over Disease By Fasting and Natural Diet')

  • It promotes elimination of metabolic wastes
  • It allows the body to adjust and normalize its biochemistry and also its secretions
  • It lets the body break down and absorb swellings, deposits, diseased tissues, and abnormal growths;
  • It restores a youthful condition to the cells and tissues
  • It increases the powers of digestion and assimilation (absorption and utilization of food into the system)
  • It permits the conservation and re-routing of energy; It clears and strengthens the mind;

  • Dr Jack Goldstein ('From the Book Triumph Over Disease By Fasting and Natural Diet') thereafter nullifies the following misbeliefs about fasting and states that:

  • cause the stomach to atrophy
  • paralyze the bowels
  • deplete the blood
  • produce anemia
  • cause the heart to weaken or collapse
  • produce deficiency or mal nutritional disease
  • reduce resistance to disease
  • harm the teeth, the nervous system, glands or vital organs
  • weaken the vital powers or cause mental disturbances.
  •