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HomeWorshipsWhy Muslims Fast

Why Muslims Fast

Fasting is Commanded by Allah through the verses of the Qur’an [1], it is one of the five important Pillars of Islam.It is fulfilled by staying away from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse for certain times.

The descent of the Quran happened in the month of Ramadan.Afterwards, fasting became obligatory and the month in which fasting was ordered was declared as Ramadan according to the lunar calendar.[2] The start and end times of fasting are also informed by verses of the Qur’an.[3] Even after hundreds of years, the fact that the month in which the Qur’an was revealed is remembered every year and spent with worship and fasting is due to the value Muslims gives to the Qur’an.

Apart from the Ramadan fasting, there are also fasts that a person voluntarily keeps gaining the consent of Allah. These fasts are also called “Nafl fasts”.

Beginning from the prophet Adam (Peace be upon him) to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) the same principles of faith were revealed to all Prophets. Although there are differences in the way of practice, it is stated in the Qur’an that some basic worships were also ordered to previous community(ummahs). Fasting is among the obligatory acts of worship in the era of other prophets in Islam.[4]

In history, However, there is no fasting among the types of servitude performed by the polytheists (those who associate partnership with Allah to be close to their deities. Fasting is an act of worship that is difficult for the soul, but the practice of hypocrisy is far from it. Because a person can perform other acts of worship in public just so that someone can see and know. However, it cannot be known that a fasting person is in a state of worship when viewed from the outside. Thus, he fasts only for the sake of Allah.

Fasting has many benefits. It is possible to list these benefits as follows.

  • Thanking Allah with fasting, it is possible to know the blessings directly from Him and to feel your own need by understanding the value of those blessings. Therefore, a person realizes that he/she is not the owner of the blessings and that he/she is helpless.
  • Fasting provides social balance. Both who are financial independent and those who are not are equal in the sight of Allah. Everyone who fasts stops eating and drinking during the same period and gives up his pleasures just to seek Allah’s pleasure. Moreover, during this month, the rich understand the state of the poor, and feelings such as cooperation and brotherhood come to the fore, and human values ​​are remembered.
  • Fasting is a struggle against the soul and a kind of training of will. It is expected that negative situations such as extravagance, boasting, and lust, which dominate people from time to time, will be calmed and balanced by fasting once a year [5]. Because fasting is not just starving. It is also a reason to be protected from haram and to restrain uncontrolled desires. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said; “Fasting is a shield from the Hellfire, just like a shield of yours in battle.” [6]
  • Muslims wish to gain Allah’s approval and be protected from His wrath by fasting. By obeying the orders and prohibitions mentioned in the verses and hadiths, they hope for a reward only from Allah [7]. The time of fasting ordered by the verse is in the month of Ramadan according to the Hijri calendar [8]. Since the Hijri calendar changes according to the movements of the month, the month of Ramadan comes ten or eleven days earlier each year compared to the previous year. Therefore, the month of Ramadan travels all times of the year; In all weather conditions sometimes at minus degrees, sometimes at 40 degrees. In this way, a grueling worship is done only for the sake of the creator.
  • As a physical benefit of fasting, it has been scientifically proven that the body rests and cells are renewed [9].
  • Iftar (time to break the fast) and sahur (time to start fasting) cause the family to meet at the same table at the same time and strengthen kinship ties.

[1] Al-Baqarah,183
[2] Al-Baqarah/185; Al-Bukhari,Iman 1,2 Prophetic Commentary on the Qur’an (Tafseer of the Prophet (pbuh))(2) 30; Muslim,iman 19-22
[3] Al-Baqarah,187
[4] Al-Baqarah,183
[5] Al-Baqarah,185, In the verse, the month of Ramadan, one of the Hijri months, is stated as the month of fasting.
[6] Al-Nasa’I, The book of Fasting,2
[7] Al-Bukhari, The book of Fasting, 2
[8] Al-Baqarah, 185
[9] Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi, as a result of his research in 2016, proved that fasting is good for autophagy, that is, the regeneration and cleaning of cells, and was awarded the Nobel Prize.(masculine)
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