Why Do Muslims Fast During the Month of Ramadan?
We explain the islamic tradition of fasting during the muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Muslims all over the world observe the annual fast during the daylight hours of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, in keeping with a divine commandment documented in Chapter 2, Verse 185 of the Holy Qur'an. Furthermore, Allah states, "O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed to those before you in order that you may attaintaqwa
" (Chapter 2, Verse 183). From this verse, we deduce that.
- Fasting is prescribed for believers.
- Fasting has historically been an institution commonly practiced by various religious communities (for example, during Lent by Christians and on Yom Kippur by Jews).
- Fasting is a means to attaining taqwa.
implies guarding one's self from evil and the imbibing of all elements of righteousness, thus reflecting the essence of piety. In its ethical dimension, it connotes moral rectitude (which is the fruit of God-oriented vigilance), and in its spiritual dimension it connotes purification of heart and mind.
Through fasting, one demonstrates the highest degree of obedience by willfully submitting to abstaining from lawful food, drink, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset one month every year. This regimentation is an excellent means for spiritual and moral improvement.
Through fasting, the human being comes to grip with his carnal self, taming his physical appetites, subduing his greed and lust, and thus traversing a path which progressively elevates his consciousness from the physical to the moral and ultimately to the spiritual dimension of his being. This consciousness and submission is in a cultivation of self-discipline and is the ideal catalyst to improve society by improving the individual self.