Why Do We Fast In Ramadan?
The Month of Ramadan is considered the holiest in the Islamic calendar. It is believed that it was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was sent down from the heavens to shed light upon mankind, to guide us along right path. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of faith of Islam.
During the Ramadan fast, we abstain from food and drink (not even a sip of water trickles down our throat) from sun rise to sun set. For others (non Muslims) this appears to be an extreme ritual. But frankly, we do not find it so. Every healthy and able Muslim at the age of adolescence undertakes this fast with great faith and genuine happiness that he/she has got this opportunity to fast during Ramadan.
The fasting during Ramadan is not only about avoiding food and drink, it has a much deeper significance. In fact, here are some of the reasons why we fast in Ramadan.
Reasons Why We Fast in Ramadan
- It is what Allah Wants us to Do
The Holy Book says that fasting during Ramadan is a way to get closer to Allah and do wants He wants us to and abstain from all that He prohibits. About fasting in Ramadan, the Prophet (peace upon him) says “Whoever spends the month of Ramadan in complete faith and self rectification, his previous sins will be forgiven” So we go ahead and fast during Ramadan because we want to obey our beloved Allah.
- It Makes us Thankful for What we Have
Living life routinely, we tend to take all our pleasures and comforts for granted. Fasting during Ramadan, which also includes abstinence from sensual and material pleasures helps us appreciate all that we have. And we get the opportunity to reaffirm our faith to Allah and thank Him for bestowing His blessings on us.
- It Creates Compassion and Empathy in Us
It is a fact that this world is made of people at different levels of poverty and richness. While we are assured of everything we need in life and more, there are people who are unable to have even one square meal a day. By fasting during Ramadan, we experience and understand the pain of hunger. This makes us more compassionate and empathetic towards those who are poor and we undertake acts of kindness and charity with even more sensitivity and feeling.
- It Brings the Family and Community Closer
Ramadan happens to bring together the entire family that is otherwise busy in their own day to day life of earning and surviving. This month teaches us to remain close, to maintain faith in Allah as a family and a community. The joy of breaking the fast together with loved ones is too ecstatic to be described in mere words. One has to experience that and in front of that feeling, the rigours of the day long fast (if any) truly fade away.
These are just some of the reasons why we fast in Ramadan. There are many more. Each individual may have his or her own reasons, but the fact is Muslims all over the world are bound by this ritual and it reaffirms our faith in ourselves, our community and our beloved Allah- the ever merciful.