Here i would like to take the opportunity to wish all my fellow muslims a blessed and meaningful Ramadhan! May it be a better one for all of us than the previous years, InsyaAllah.
As for my non-muslim friends, just a quick explanation on why we do this for one whole month yearly. Some of you are aware with the term fast, for it is also practiced in other religions too. But probably a little bit different. Fasting, literally means an abstinence from food and water (and physical intercourse) between dawn and sunset. But it is NOT JUST in the form of physical abstinence. In a nutshell, we are also to watch our words and actions and abstain from being overboard. I know this should be done on a regular basis, but humans being humans, we are no angels. We make mistakes. Thus God make it a compulsory practice for only this one month for us to reflect on our ways of living.
“When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, ‘I am fasting.’” (Al-Bukhari)
Besides the many health benefits of fasting, it is also a form of reminder to us of those who are in need and to cogitate, as well as appreciate our blessings compared to those who are less fortunate. Apart from just this one month of submission to His mercy, we are also advised to fast as much as we can (except on certain days where it is forbidden). For fasting is considered the best deed for a muslim and that during this month of Ramadhan, the heavens gates are open and we are promised His rewards and forgiveness if we do it sincerely.
"Prophet Muhammad PBUH was asked:
“Which is the best deed?” He replied, “Fasting, for there is nothing equal to it.” (Al-Nasa’i)
Allah says: “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.” (Muslim)
Therefore, with this compulsory once a year good deed exercise, it is hoped to manifest in us as a seed to consistent righteous behaviour that will foster a harmonious way of living with one another. Muslims and non-muslims alike. So with this, I end my humble introduction on fasting. If you're interested to learn more about it, OnIslam.net has very nice articles on them. And hopefully i get to share with you the medical benefits of fasting that has been proven by scientists in the next post insyaAllah.
Till then, have a great and blessed month to all.