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Fasting: "For Muslims fasting has both advantages and disadvantages"

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Introduction

GCSE RS Coursework C "For Muslims fasting has both advantages and disadvantages" Fasting, or saum, is the fourth pillar of faith that Muslims must obey. Obeying Allah's command is a big factor in why Muslims practise Ramadan. "Worship Allah, be steadfast in prayer, fast during Ramadan, pay alms to the less fortunate..."1 Muslims also believe that following the five pillars of faith will earn them a place in paradise. "Surely those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of paradise"2 Saum is intended to help Muslims to develop self-control. "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint."3 This self-restraint can help them to overcome things such as selfishness, greed and laziness, and is an significant advantage of fasting. Another advantage is the sense of achievement that is felt after completing the month's, or even a day's fasting. "After a day's fasting, I feel as if I have achieved something. ...read more.

Middle

As the fast progresses, it gradually becomes easier to resist temptation. Spiritual strength is another gain from practicing saum, since more time is spent praying to Allah, and the fasting itself is an act or worship to Allah. It is not surprising then, that many people feel a lot closer to God after Ramadan. "Throughout Ramadan I get some very strong spiritual feelings, and I generally feel closer to God."7 A final advantage is more spare time. Although it is not the intention of fasting, missing mealtimes gives Muslims more time to spend with their families and friends. This time could also be spent in prayer or in reading the Qur'an. Of course, fasting does not only have its advantages. There are also a few negative aspects to Ramadan, such as bullying. Non-Muslims might tempt Muslims, either intentionally or accidentally. Bullying can occur too, particularly where Muslims are in the minority. ...read more.

Conclusion

of sunrise and sunset, it is necessary to get up early so that the first meal of the day can be eaten before sunrise. This also contributes to the tiredness and lack of concentration during the day. Overall I would say that for Muslims, fasting has both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantages are becoming closer to Allah, obeying his word and developing self-discipline, but these are just a few of the many benefits of fasting. There seems to be fewer disadvantages. Some of the negative aspects would not be present in countries where the main religion is Islam, because Muslims would not feel any different to their peers and the majority of people would understand about Ramadan. The main detriment is the feeling of weakness that goes with fasting. However, this can add to the sense of achievement when saum is over. In general, I think that the advantages of fasting outweigh the disadvantages, and most of the disadvantages could be overcome with a greater understanding of Ramadan amongst non-Muslims. ...read more.

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