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SKZ Foundation

Why Muslims Fast During Ramadan

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a month when Muslims from all over the world observe strict fasting from dawn to dusk. Usually consisting of 29 or 30 fasts, Ramadan holds the title of’month of patience and forgiveness.

Ramadan 2024

This year, Ramadan is expected to start on Monday, March 11th, 2024, and end on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024, depending on the sighting of the moon.

Importance of Ramadan

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating or drinking anything until the sunset. Fasting is not just a physical act but a deeply personal form of worship that draws believers closer to Allah. It serves as a means of spiritual discipline, developing self-control and empathy for those who are less fortunate.

Why fast during Ramadan?

Most non-Muslims asked Muslims why they fasted during Ramadan. The answer to this question is simple yet holds a profound meaning. Here are some of the reasons Muslims observe fasting:

Pillar Of Islam

Islam is a foundation made of five basic pillars. They are:

Shahada (oneness of Allah SWT and having strong belief that Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the last messenger of Allah)

Namaz (to pray five times a day)

Zakat (a yearly deduction of 2.5% from your earnings)

Roza (fasting for the whole month)

Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca)

Roza (fasting) is the 4th pillar of Islam, and it is obligatory for every Muslim to observe fast for 30 days to ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness.

To Attain Taqwa (Consciousness Of Allah)

Taqwa means always being mindful of Allah’s presence and striving to live according to the principles of our faith.

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” [Al-Baqrah]

The act of fasting serves as powerful training, teaching us to exercise restraint over our desires. By abstaining from food and drink, fasting guides us towards the path of Islam, encouraging righteous behavior and restraining us from negative impulses and desires.

To Seek Forgiveness

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim] 

This holy month holds the significance of forgiveness and mercy from Allah (SWT). It is believed that if a Muslim fasts during Ramadan with sincere intention and hope, Allah (SWT) will forgive his past sins.

To Understand The Pain Of Hunger

There are many people all around the world who do not have access to the basic necessities of living, like having enough food or water. Islam’s teaching of fasting extends beyond personal piety; it serves as a lesson of empathy and gratitude. By experiencing hunger, we gain insight into the struggles of those less fortunate, developing compassion and a deeper appreciation for the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah (SWT).

Self Restrainment

Fasting not only means to restraint from drinking or eating but also restraining oneself from involving in bad deeds and sins.

In an authentic Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explains the meaning of fasting beyond leaving only food and water.

“He who does not give up uttering falsehoods and acting according to them has no need to give up food and drink.”

Ramadan

Fasting As A Shield

Fasting serves as a protective barrier, shielding us from engaging in wrongdoing and leading us away from negative actions and thoughts.  

“Fasting is a shield, so when one of you is fasting, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say, I am fasting.”

Hazrat Fatima (RA), the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBH), is reported to have said:

“A man who does not guard his tongue, his hearing, his sight, and his limbs from forbidden acts during his fasting has, indeed, not fasted at all.”

Fasting and Health

In addition to its spiritual significance, fasting during Ramadan offers numerous health benefits. Research indicates that fasting can effectively lower blood sugar levels, decrease inflammation, and enhance cardiovascular health. Moreover, fasting aids in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm, leading to improved sleep quality.

During Ramadan, the fasting period allows the digestive system to take a break, facilitating its rejuvenation. This break promotes better gut health and may mitigate the risk of gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.

Ramadan comes as a blessing for Muslims, not only teaching them self-control and self-discipline but also giving them the best opportunity to seek Allah’s blessings and forgiveness. Apart  from the spiritual growth and progress, Ramadan has countless physical benefits. From burning fats and improving insulin sensitivity to the countless other health benefits, Ramadan is a pure blessing for Muslims, improving their faith and health in every aspect

THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM

The five core Pillars of Islam are: