Monday, 8 July 2013

What's Islamic fasting all about??

 
Hey All!
Assalamu Alaikum!
With Ramadan approaching us, we can see people everywhere getting ready for it.

Since birth, I have spend all my Ramadan in U.A.E. Being an Islamic country, the Government takes lot of measures to make this month easier and pious for Muslims. Schools and workplace timings are reduced. Articles are circulated to make Muslims as well as non-Muslims aware of the coming month.

Ramadan is the 9th month in Islamic calender. It is considered the holiest months in Islam.
It is narrated by Abu Huraira (R.A)  -  Allah's Messenger (S.A) said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

 Some of my non-Muslim friends ask me how do we bear from morning to evening without eating nor drinking. Also I have often seen them question on whether it is just a time when Muslims sleep, fast and hardly work all day; and then eat, drink, enjoy and stay awake all night?
 In much of the Muslim world today fasting has been reduced to a mere ritual, a month for celebration and festivities instead of religious contemplation and abstinence. Parties are organized with sumptuous meals. As a result, many Muslims complain about gaining weight during Ramadan and doctors regularly warn people about the medical consequences of overeating.

Ramadan is not the time to waste away sleeping and eating only. Nor is it a time to enjoy watching TV serials and other programs to pass time. I was surprised to read some articles in newspaper regarding Media channels getting ready with their schedule for TV serials during Ramadan. With all this, it is easy for a Non-Muslim brother or sister to get the wrong idea about Ramadan and fasting.
 What really is the spirit of Ramadan?
The primary reason of fasting is to bring one closer to God.
 Because of this intimate aspect of fasting, Allah was quoted by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying,
"Every act of Adam's descendants is for themselves, except fasting. It is meant for Me alone, and I alone will give the reward for it." - (Sahih Muslim)
 It has been noted by medical experts that fasting encourages the endorphin neurotransmitter system, related to the feeling of well being - and euphoria, to produce more endorphins and, in fact, makes us 'feel' better.
This is similar to the effect of exercise (but without the physical work).
During the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol (fat) that is often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body.

In the matter of eating food, Islam always supported eating in moderation. Eating your fill till you cannot stand or walk is never supported. Following are some Hadith about eating :-

by Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi 

  • Narrated by Al-Miqdad ibn Ma’ad Yakrib (R.A)  -  Prophet Muhammed (S.A) said, "No human ever filled a container more evil than his belly. The few morsels needed to support his being shall suffice the son of Adam. But if he must eat his fill then he should allow one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath."

by Shahih-al-Bukhari which says,
  • Narrated by Abu Huraira (R.A)  -  Allah's Messenger (S.A) said, "A Muslim eats in one intestine (i.e. he is satisfied with a little food) while a Kafir (unbeliever) eats in seven intestines (eats much).
  • Narrated by Abu Juhaifa (R.A)  -  While I was with the Prophet Muhammed (S.A) he said to a man who was with him, "I do not take my meals while leaning."
  • Narrated by Abu Huraira (R.A)  -  Allah's Messenger (S.A) said, "The food for two persons is sufficient for three, and the food of three persons is sufficient for four persons.' 
 Wisdom behind fasting

Allah is the Most-Wise and All-knowing. Allah does not prescribe any ruling without great wisdom behind it, which we may understand, or our minds may not be guided to understand it. We may know some of it but a great deal is hidden from us. 
 
'O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)'  [Noble Quran 2:183]

Below are the ways in which fasting would help us become more pious and a better Muslim.
  • Makes us appreciate and give thanks for pleasures which we abstain from while fasting (food, drink, sexual intercourse, etc..).
  • Means of giving up forbidden things, because if a person can give up halal things in order to please Allah, he will more likely abstain from the forbidden deeds.
  • Enables us to control our desires and become more patient.
  • Makes us feel compassionate and empathetic towards the poor.
  • Fasting humiliates and weakens the Shaytan (devil); it weakens the effects of his whispers (waswaas) on a person and reduces his sins.
  • Helps one recognize that one can change for the better
  • The fasting person is training himself to remember that Allah is always watching.
  • It makes the Muslim get used to doing a great deal of acts of worship.
 We ask Allah to help us to achieve them and to worship Him properly. Ameen.
 
 For more information you may visit http://www.fastramadan.com/index.php
I pray you all have a blessed Ramadan and many more!
Ramadan Kareem! :) 

4 comments:

  1. Very nice post, Abi!. I loved the Youtube clip. This year, I really hope I eat in moderation and not gain weight!. In the previous years, I have gained weight after Ramadan because in the second half of Ramadan I am so weak that I stuff myself with food. I know I know. It sounds so bad. But well, not this year. Thank you for this post, dear!. I will be sharing it :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey...how are you? Thanks for your comments and I appreciate you sharing it...

      Yes, it is true most of us gain weight and have stomach issues during Ramadan because we end up eating even more, in the process forgetting the real motive of fasting. This year I'm planning to control myself too...Best of luck! :)

      Actually, I have been waiting from 2 days for your comment....I know your support will always be there. :) Love you.....

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  2. Wonder full post abii <3...Hope this Ramadan be a spiritual and blessed one!! :-)

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