What is Fasting in Islam? Importance and Purpose of Fasting


Every year the month of Ramadhan comes bringing along uncountable Godly blessings and joys for the entire Muslim Ummah. For a Muslim, fasting is not only a religious obligation but also a means to attain control on his desires. In the month of Ramadhan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk willingly abstaining from all eatable, drinkables, sex and even from lewdness whether through actions or speech. Islamic traditions strictly guide the Muslims that not only the person fasting has to control his desires but also make sure that his behavior with other people should be exemplary. For this reason, Muslims around the world take this month and the act of fasting as an opportunity to hold himself accountable to his own self.
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Fasting is not only limited to the Islam but all the major religions withhold its concept in one shape or another. In Islam, fasting was not bestowed upon the Muslims at once as it is now. In the beginning the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) instructed the Muslims to fast for three days every month to nurture self-preservation in them. Then in the 2nd Hijri year, Muslims were ordered to fast for one complete month, however there was a concession for those who were unable to fast. They could feed a needy in lieu of one fast. The next year this concession was also taken back and Roza/Soum became one of the basic pillars of Islam being a compulsory act of worship for every Muslim over the age of 11.
The act of fasting is to make a believer not only himself accountable for his deeds but also develop a love for his beliefs, other people and permeate a sense of responsibility in him. Imagine a person feeling dead thirsty in a scorching summer heat having a pot of refreshing cold water near him. There is no one nearby who could possibly object to his drinking of that water. Still he does not take a single drop of it because he knows that he is fasting. This is the commitment and the sense of responsibility a person feels when he is fasting. He knows that he has made a pact with Allah that in return of all what he leaves in this world while fasting, he will be blessed with things that are beyond his imagination the moment he enters paradise.
Even medically, fasting is believed to be a blessing in disguise for every human being. The body gets rid of all the toxins and harmful elements that pile up in the body over time. The human digestive system, circulatory system and endocrine system are the primary systems leading the way for rest of the body that benefits from the process of fasting. Amazingly, modern medical science also accepts these facts as well. Religion and science both agree that there is not a single proven disadvantage of fasting, which makes Roza a flag bearer of everlasting Islamic ideology.
During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims all over the world make special arrangements to get the most out of this month. They make sure that they offer prayers 5 times a day, offer special Traweeh prayers and read the Holy Quran as much as they can. In addition, they take care of other fasting brothers and sisters, share their food with their neighbors, friends and family and needy ones making every moment memorable and satisfying for the body and the soul.


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