Fasting in Islam is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is an obligation upon all able-bodied and mature Muslims. It is observed during the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Here are some details about fasting in Islam:
- The Obligation of Fasting: Fasting is obligatory upon all Muslims who have reached puberty, are mentally and physically able, and are not traveling during the month of Ramadan.
- The Purpose of Fasting: The purpose of fasting in Islam is to develop taqwa, or God-consciousness. It is a time for Muslims to strengthen their relationship with Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins.
- The Time of Fasting: Fasting is observed from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, which lasts for 29 or 30 days.
- Abstinence During Fasting: Muslims who are fasting must abstain from food, drink, and sexual activity from dawn until sunset. They must also avoid all sinful behavior, such as lying, backbiting, and cheating.
- Exceptions to Fasting: There are some exceptions to fasting in Islam, such as for those who are traveling, sick, pregnant, breastfeeding, or menstruating. However, they must make up the missed days of fasting at a later time.
- Benefits of Fasting: Fasting has many physical and spiritual benefits, such as improving self-discipline, increasing empathy for the poor and hungry, and developing a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the blessings of Allah.
- The End of Fasting: The end of fasting is marked by the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which is a time for Muslims to gather with family and friends, exchange gifts, and express gratitude to Allah for the blessings of Ramadan.
In summary, fasting is an important part of Islam and is observed during the holy month of Ramadan as an act of worship and a means of strengthening one’s relationship with Allah. It is a time for Muslims to reflect on their behavior and seek forgiveness for their sins while developing self-discipline and empathy for others.
Fasting references from Quran and Ahadees
Sure, here are some references from the Quran and Ahadees regarding fasting in Islam:
- “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” (Quran 2:183)
- “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, 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; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days [are to be made up]. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Quran 2:185)
- Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Fasting is a shield; when a servant of Allah observes fasting, he is to abstain from food and drink and sexual intercourse. And if someone tries to quarrel with him or abuses him, he should say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.'” (Muslim 1151)
- Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” (Bukhari 3277)
- Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was the most generous of the people in charity, but he would be even more generous in Ramadan when Jibril (Gabriel) visited him, and he would review the Qur’an with him. Thus, the Messenger of Allah was more generous than the blowing wind. (Bukhari 1902)
These references highlight the importance and benefits of fasting in Islam. The Quranic verses emphasize that fasting has been prescribed for Muslims as a means of attaining taqwa or righteousness. The Ahadees further explain that fasting is a shield against sin and that the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed during Ramadan. Additionally, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was known to be particularly generous during Ramadan and would review the Quran with the Angel Jibril during this time.