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What is meant by fasting?

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Introduction

a) What is meant by fasting? (i) Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very important month for Muslims because it is the month when they fast (fasting means not eating for a certain amount of time). For 29 or 30 days Muslims do not eat or drink during the hours of daylight. Nothing must past the lips (not even chewing-gum, a cigarette or even the smoke of someone else's cigarette). Hunger, comfort and sex are the three things which have to be brought under control. No evil thought or deed should be committed, if the emotions or the heart or behaviour of the Muslim are wrong then the fast looses it's real significance. 'There are many who fast during the day and pray all night, but they gain nothing but hunger and sleeplessness.' (Hadith) This quote from the Quran basically means that fasting must be done from the heart, no matter how much you fast or pray, sometimes it just won't make a difference this could be because you don't have a clear mind this results in you loosing your appetite and sleep. Fasting is one of the 'five pillars of Islam'. The fast starts from the moment the new moon is seen, which is the beginning of the month. ...read more.

Middle

It is possible to cheat, but Muslims believe that God sees everything, human beings may be deceived, but you can never deceive God. At the end of the day the tarawee namaaz is prayed by men in the Mosques and women pray it at home but if a woman wants to pray in the mosque there're are separate facilities for them. The tarawee namaaz is only prayed in Ramadan, it's a vital part to the day because without reading the tarawee namaaz you have not fully fasted. In Islam men and women have to be strictly apart so instead of reading the namaaz they don't have desire for the opposite sex because the purpose of namaaz is to remember God. This is probably the only service in the Mosque in the month of Ramadan because aswell as reading the tarawee namaaz there are people who give talks about the religion. More larger meals follow, for at night feasting is allowed. Ramadan is not a slimming exercise and because some of the feasts are so liberal that Muslims actually gain weight. This is how all the 30 or 29 days are spent, even the not so religious Muslims change their lifestyles when it comes down to the holy month of Ramadan. ...read more.

Conclusion

The purpose of this requirement is to insure that no Muslim is unable to break his fast. Ramadan has as 1 of its aims the reminding of the rich of what it means to go hungry. The 30 day experience ought to make them thankful for their wealth, and more prepared to share it with those in need. The fast also stresses the equality of everyone, for when all go without food there are no rich and no beggars, and all share the same duty to obey God by keeping this pillar of the faith. The faster who abstains from satisfying his most basic needs and powerful urges of life for hours together even in hidden and secret places develops in him the feeling that he is an utterly helpless and powerless creature, who is dependent upon Allah's compassion and beneficence for the most ordinary necessities of life; then when he views Allah's blessings from which he benefits day and night in hundred and one ways, he is inclined to adore and worship Him with all his heart and mind. His abstinence from physical needs and desires of the flesh even in secret places where none but Allah can watch him, produces in him a deeper and deeper awareness of fear of Allah and an awe of His Presence so that even a slight suggestion of sin sends shudders through his body. ...read more.

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