An Introduction to Fasting

SHARE:

Description:  A lesson on the Islamic view of fasting and its virtues as compared to the primitive societies and other religions. Prerequisi...

Description: A lesson on the Islamic view of fasting and its virtues as compared to the primitive societies and other religions.
Prerequisites
·       An Introduction to Pillars of Islam & Articles of Faith
Objectives
·       fasting in primitive societies
·       fasting in Judaism and Christianity
·       the hunger strike
·       fasting in Islam
·       virtues of the month of Ramadan
·       virtues of fasting
New Terms
·       Ramadan, Ramazan, Layla tul-Qadr

Preview of Fasting

Fasting is not unique to Muslims. It has been practiced for centuries in connection with religious ceremonies by Christians, Jews, Confucians, Hindus, Taoists, Jains, and others as Allah says:
“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous.” (Quran 2:183)
But like other rituals fasting was also altered and corrupted.

Fasting In Primitive Societies

Fasting was made part of the fertility rites in primitive ceremonies which were held at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and survived for centuries.  Some primitive societies fasted to avert catastrophe or to serve as penance for sin.  Native North Americans held tribal fasts to avert threatening disasters.  The Native Americans of Mexico and the Incas of Peru observed penitential fasts to appease their gods. Past nations of the Old World, such as the Assyrians and the Babylonians, observed fasting as a form of penance.

Fasting In Judaism and Christianity

Jews observe fasting as a form of penitence and purification annually on the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, which corresponds to the tenth of Muharram (‘Ashura) of the Islamic calendar.  On this day neither food nor drink is permitted.
Early Christians associated fasting with penitence and purification. During the first two centuries of its existence, the Christian Church established fasting as a voluntary preparation for receiving the sacraments of Holy Communion and baptism and for the ordination of priests. Later, these fasts were made obligatory, as other days were subsequently added.  In the 6th century the Lenten fast was expanded to 40 days, on each of which only one meal was permitted.  After the Reformation, fasting was retained by most Protestant Churches and was made optional in some cases. Stricter Protestants like the Puritans, however, condemned not only the festivals of the Church, but its traditional fasts as well.
In the Roman Catholic Church, fasting may involve partial abstinence from food and drink or total abstinence.  The Roman Catholic days of fasting are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
In the United States, fasting is observed mostly by Episcopalians and Lutherans among Protestants, by Orthodox and Conservative Jews, and by Roman Catholics.

Secular Fasting: The Hunger Strike

From being an empty ritual, fasting went to another extreme in the West: the hunger strike, a form of fasting, which in modern times has become a political weapon after being popularized by Mohandas Gandhi, leader of Indian struggle for freedom, who undertook fasts to compel his followers to obey his precept of nonviolence.

Fasting In Islam

Islam has prescribed and retained the ritual of fasting throughout centuries as a means for purifying the soul of a man in order to draw near to his Creator by selfish motives and base desires of self.  It has a special status among all the devotional worships because it is difficult to perform.  It puts a bridle on the most uncontrolled, savage human emotions.  The most unruly human emotions are pride, avarice, gluttony, lust, envy, and anger.  These emotions, by their nature are not easy to control, thus a person must strive hard to discipline them.  Fasting helps do that.
The Islamic calendar consists of twelve lunar months. Muslims measure their year by the cycles of the moon rather than the sun, so the Muslim lunar year is eleven days shorter than the Christian solar year. Muslims are forbidden to adjust their year by adding an extra month, as the Jews do to keep their lunar calendar in synch with the seasons.  Hence, the months of the Muslim year do not relate to the seasons.  Each month lasts 29 or 30 days and occurs during different seasons of the year.  A new month begins when the evening new moon is sighted.  The ninth month is called Ramadan and is dedicated to fasting.  It is pronounced Ramazan by Indo-Pakistanis.
Below we list the virtues and rewards of this month and fasting in general.  In the next lesson we will learn how to fast.  In the third and final installment, we will discuss the social aspects of Ramadan.  In the fourth and last lesson, we will learn about the end of month activities.

Virtues of the Month of Ramadan

To motivate us and to prepare ourselves for the month of Ramadan, let us learn the great virtues of Ramadan as described in the Quran and by Prophet Muhammad.
(1)  Fasting in Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam like salah.  It is the only Islamic month mentioned by name in the Quran.
(2)  The Glorious Quran was revealed in Ramadan.
(3)  A single night falls in the last ten days of Ramadan so virtuous that worship done on it is superior to a thousand months. An entire chapter of the Koran is named after the special night called Layla tul-Qadr.
(4)  Fasting Ramadan is considered equivalent to fasting ten months.[1]
(5)  All previous sins are forgiven to whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and with the hope of reward.[2]
(6)  When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, an indication of intensified divine grace. The devil chiefs are chained, so evil is reduced in the month.[3]

Virtues of Fasting

(1)  Allah has chosen fasting for Himself and He will reward it in multiples beyond measure.[4]
(2)  Fasting has no equivalent.[5]
(3)  The supplications of the fasting person will not be refused.[6]
(4)  The fasting person has two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast and the other when he meets his Lord and rejoices over his fasting.[7]
(5)  The smell that might come from the mouth of a fasting person due to an empty stomach is more pleasing to Allah than the scent of musk.[8]
(6)  Fasting is a protection and a strong fortress that keeps a person safe from the Fire.[9]
(7)  Allah will distance a person who fasts a single day for the sake of Allah seventy years distance from the Fire.[10]
(8)  Whoever fasts one day seeking divine pleasure will enter Paradise if it is the last day of his life.[11]
(9)  One of the Gates of Paradise, al-Rayyan, is dedicated for the fasting people, and no one else will enter through it; it will be locked after them.[12]
(10) At the breaking of every fast, Allah, in His boundless grace, chooses people to deliver from Hellfire.[13]


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Muslim
[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[5] Nisai
[6] Bayhaqi
[7] Saheeh Muslim
[8] Saheeh Muslim
[9] Saheeh Ahmad
[10] Saheeh Muslim
[11] Saheeh Ahmad
[12] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[13] Ahmad

COMMENTS

Name

About God,23,Acts of Worship,32,Africa,6,Ahmadiyyah,1,ALLAH,8,and the Quran,1,Angels,1,Approaching the Quran,4,Articles of Faith,11,Asia,21,Benefits of being a Muslim,2,Benefits to Science and Civilization,5,Benefits to Society,6,Bible,11,Bidah,1,Celebrations,1,Christian,12,Coping with Change,6,Dawah,3,Dietary Laws in Islam,3,Dua,1,Education,1,Eid,1,Europe,11,Evidence of Muhammad’s Prophethood,12,Explanation of Quran,6,Fasting,6,Fasting in Islam,1,Features of Islam,3,Finance in Islam,1,Fiqh,2,Five Pillars of Islam,15,Forgiveness for All Previous Sins,1,Future,2,Hadiths,68,Hajj,2,Health Care in Islam,5,Here After,10,Hindu,2,Hobby,1,How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim,6,Human Development,6,Interaction with non-Muslims,1,Islam,60,Islam Growth,1,Islamic Beliefs,26,Islamic Dress Code,1,Islamic Guidelines,2,Israel,4,Jerusalam,3,Jewish,6,Jinn,2,Judgment Day,6,Learn Islam Online,4,Life in Islam,49,Life Style,10,Logical Proofs,12,Marriage,4,Means to increasing faith,6,Medina,1,Men Converted to Islam,9,Merits of Islam,4,Middle East,10,Miracles,4,Mohammad,4,Morals and Practices,24,Mosques in Asia,7,Mosques in Europe,1,Mosques in Medina,3,Mosques in Saudi Arabia,4,Muhammad,1,Muhammad Biography,5,Muhammad Companions,10,Muhammad in the Bible and Other Scriptures,1,New Muslims,10,News,12,North America,9,Oceania,4,Oneness of GOD,7,Paradise,4,Peace,30,Popular Mosques in Afghanistan,1,Popular Mosques in Americas,1,Popular Mosques in Germany,1,Popular Mosques in India,7,Popular Mosques in Middle East,6,Popular Mosques in Pakistan,1,Popular Mosques in USA,1,Prayer,19,Prophet Abraham,2,Prophet Ayub,1,Prophet Jesus,6,Prophet Joseph,1,Prophet Lot,1,Prophet Moses,2,Prophet Muhammad,10,Prophet Noah,1,Prophets,16,Quran,23,Quran and Science,5,Ramadan,6,Repentance,1,Salah,11,Salvation from Hellfire,1,Scientists on Quran,1,Sects in Islam,6,Self Purification,2,Shia,1,Social interaction,21,Sodomy,1,South America,6,Spirits,3,Stories of New Muslim Converts,9,Stories of the Prophets,20,Sufism,1,Sunnah,2,Superpower,10,Taj Mahal,1,Tawheed,8,Technology,3,The Authenticity and Preservation of the Holy Quran,8,The Door to Eternal Paradise,2,The Existence of God,29,The Five Pillars of Islam and Other Acts of Worship,3,The Muslim Community,8,The Purpose of Life,7,The Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran,13,The Scientific Miracles of the Prophet Muhammad Sayings,1,The Six Pillars of Faith and Other Islamic Beliefs,23,Thoughts,1,True Happiness and Inner Peace,9,Truth,10,Universe,7,Various Recommended Deeds,5,What is Islam,11,What Others Say about Islam,3,Women in Islam,1,World Today,6,Zakah,1,
ltr
item
Jama Masjid: An Introduction to Fasting
An Introduction to Fasting
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5qNB5b5aYhc/V0WEQ7SMsAI/AAAAAAAAAV0/9DLVG4rU6xY0OR95zb49tzk5L6TyzwoFgCLcB/s320/fasting_musilm.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5qNB5b5aYhc/V0WEQ7SMsAI/AAAAAAAAAV0/9DLVG4rU6xY0OR95zb49tzk5L6TyzwoFgCLcB/s72-c/fasting_musilm.jpg
Jama Masjid
https://www.jamamasjid.in/2016/05/an-introduction-to-fasting.html
https://www.jamamasjid.in/
https://www.jamamasjid.in/
https://www.jamamasjid.in/2016/05/an-introduction-to-fasting.html
true
490933654339078100
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy