Discovering the Purpose and Benefits of Fasting in Islam: A Journey towards Self-Discipline and Spiritual Growth

What is Fasting in islam

Asslamu alaiqum ( Roza ) Fasting is called sawm( Arabic) in the Quran .The word” sawm” means “ to abstain”,any religious fast,but especially the fast of the month of Ramadan during which muslims abstain from food or drink each day from fajr until maghrib.

The purpose of fast is to practice piety and generosity.

Fasting in islam
ROZA

Importance of Fasting in islam

Fasting is a fundamental aspect of Islamic religious practice and holds great importance in the faith. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and is considered to be a way of demonstrating obedience to God and a means of purifying the soul.

The Roza of Ramadan is the most well-known and widely observed fast in the Islamic world, during which Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset.

This period of abstention is meant to serve as a reminder of the suffering of those less fortunate and to increase feelings of empathy and compassion towards others. It is also seen as a means of promoting self-discipline, self-control, and self-reflection.

Fasting ( Roza ) is also considered to be a form of worship that brings the individual closer to Allah. By abstaining from food and drink, Muslims are able to focus their minds and hearts on God, and to cultivate feelings of humility, gratitude, and devotion.

In addition to its spiritual benefits, fasting is also believed to have numerous physical and mental health benefits, including reducing stress levels, boosting metabolism, and improving digestion.

Overall, fasting is a fundamental aspect of Islamic life and plays a central role in the spiritual, moral, and physical development of Muslims.

Narrated Ibn’ Umar

“Allah’s Messenger said, when you see the crescent(of the month of Ramadan)t,start fasting,and when you see the crescent(of the month of Shawwal),stop fasting;and if the sky is overcast then regard the month of Ramadan as of 30 days”

Reference (Sahih Bukhari:1900)

Obligatory Fasting (Roza) in Islam

Fasting during Ramadan was first mentioned in the Quran during the alternate time of the Hijra( the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina).

During this time, Muslims were instructed to gormandize for many days as a sign of devotion and  deification. The Prophet Muhammad  later made it  mandatory to gormandize during the entire month of Ramadan. 

They also  rehearsed  tone- discipline and abstained from pleasures  similar as eating, drinking, and smoking

Allah says in the Quran 

 “O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).”

(Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Purpose of fasting in islam

The purpose of fasting in Islam varies depending on the context and the individual’s own personal beliefs and intentions. However, some of the most commonly cited purposes of fasting in Islam include:

Obedience to Allah :

Fasting is considered to be one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is seen as a means of demonstrating obedience to God. By abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs, Muslims demonstrate their submission to God’s will and their devotion to His commandments.

Purification of the soul: 

Fasting is seen as a means of purifying the soul and attaining spiritual growth. By abstaining from worldly desires and physical needs, Muslims are able to focus their minds and hearts on God and to cultivate feelings of humility, gratitude, and devotion.

Empathy for the less fortunate: 

Fasting is meant to serve as a reminder of the suffering of those less fortunate and to increase feelings of empathy and compassion towards others. During Ramadan, for example, Muslims are encouraged to give to charity and to share their food with those in need.

Self-discipline and self-control: 

Fasting is considered to be a form of self-discipline and self-control. By abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs, Muslims are able to cultivate feelings of self-discipline and to demonstrate their mastery over their physical desires.

Physical and mental health benefits: 

Fasting is believed to have numerous physical and mental health benefits, including reducing stress levels, boosting metabolism, and improving digestion.

These are some of the most commonly cited purposes of fasting in Islam, but individual beliefs and interpretations may vary. Regardless of the specific purpose, fasting is considered to be a fundamental aspect of Islamic life and is widely practiced by Muslims as a means of spiritual, moral, and physical growth.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (SAW)said, 

“None of you should fast a day or two before the month of ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting(Nawafil) then he can fast that day “

Reference(Sahih Bukhari:1914)

Rewards of Fasting in islam

In Islam, fasting is considered to be a highly rewarding act of worship and devotion. The rewards of fasting are believed to come both in this life and in the hereafter. Some of the most commonly cited rewards of fasting in Islam include:

Forgiveness of sins: 

Fasting is believed to cleanse the soul and to help purify the heart. As a result, it is believed that fasting can lead to the forgiveness of sins and the attainment of spiritual growth.

Increased closeness to Allah : 

By abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs, Muslims are  able to focus their minds and hearts on God. This increased focus and devotion is believed to bring the individual closer to God and to increase their spiritual connection with Him.

Increased compassion and empathy: 

Fasting is meant to serve as a reminder of the suffering of those less fortunate and to increase feelings of empathy and compassion towards others. By developing these qualities, Muslims are able to cultivate a more virtuous and compassionate character.

Paradise in the afterlife: 

In addition to the rewards of fasting in this life, it is also believed that fasting will lead to great rewards in the afterlife. According to Islamic tradition, those who observe the fast of Ramadan with sincerity and devotion will be granted forgiveness and a place in Paradise.

Narrated Abu Huraira

Allah’s Messenger said, ‘’when the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained

Reference (Sahih Bukhari:1899)

These are some of the most commonly cited rewards of fasting in Islam, and they serve to demonstrate the spiritual, moral, and physical benefits of this practice.

Regardless of the specific reward, fasting is considered to be a highly valued act of worship in Islam and is widely observed by Muslims as a means of cultivating a closer relationship with God and a more virtuous character.

Narrated Abu Huraira

“Allah says about the fasting person, he has left his food,drink and desires for my sake .The fast is for me .So I will reward for it and the reward of good deeds multiplied ten times.”

Reference (Sahih Bukhari: 1894)

Exemptions from Fasting in Islam

Of course Islam is the practical religion,Ramadan is an important month for Muslims  all over the world, and fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. During this month, Muslims  presto from  daylight to  evening as a way to exercise  tone- discipline,  tone- control and spiritual growth.

  1.  The  senior, those who are physically or mentally  unable of dieting
  2. Pregnant women,  suckling  maters
Allah says in the Quran

“Allah desires ease for you, and he doesn't ask  for you difficulty’’

Reference (Quran 2:185)

Things that invalidate the fasting in islam

In Islam, there are certain things that, if done intentionally, can invalidate the fast. Things that invalidate the fast and require qaza are the following:

  1. Eating, drinking and smoking deliberately
  2. Deliberately causing yourself vomit
  3. Sexual intercourse during fasting
  4. The starting of menstrual or post child- birth bleeding

Things that do not invalidate fasting in islam

In Islam, there are certain things that, if done intentionally, can invalidate the fast. However, there are also certain things that do not invalidate the fast and do not break the fast, even if they occur unintentionally. Some of the most commonly cited things that do not invalidate the fast include:

Accidental swallowing of food or drink:

If a person accidentally swallows food or drink, their fast is not considered to be broken. This could happen, for example, if a person accidentally swallows their own saliva or if they inhale water while taking a shower.

Using toothpaste or mouthwash:

Using toothpaste or mouthwash does not break the fast, as long as it does not contain any food or drink that is not permissible to consume during the fast.

Rinsing the mouth or nose:

Rinsing the mouth or nose with water does not break the fast, as long as no water is intentionally swallowed.

Taking injections:

Taking injections, such as insulin injections, does not break the fast, as long as they do not provide any nourishment.

Applying eye drops:

Applying eye drops does not break the fast, as the drops do not reach the stomach.

It is important to note that these are general guidelines, and the specific requirements of fasting may vary based on the interpretation of Islamic law and the individual’s own beliefs and practices. Nevertheless, these things are considered to not invalidate the fast, even if they occur unintentionally, and they do not break the fast.

Conclusion

Fasting during Ramadan was first mentioned in the Quran during the alternate time of the Hijra( the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina). During this time, Muslims were instructed to gormandize for many days as a sign of devotion and  deification. The Prophet Muhammad  later made it  mandatory to gormandize during the entire month of Ramadan.  They also  rehearsed  tone- discipline and abstained from pleasures  similar as eating, drinking, and smoking

FAQ – Fasting in islam

Why do Muslims Fast?

As one of the five pillars of islam,fasting during the month of Ramadan is essential for all the adult and healthy Muslims.

Why is Fasting good ?

Fasting has been associated with several health benefits. It might also offer protection against certain conditions like cancer.

Does Toothpaste Affect fasting?

Yes it affects there’s a chance of breaking the fast because the toothpaste has artificial flavor .

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