Islam is a religion where every practice is connected to a spiritual and a moral battery, which charges up with thawab allowing the Muslim person in question to access an unquestioned peace of heart and mind, or charge down with sins that turn the human soul into a void of darkness and discontent.
Fasting in Ramadan is one of those Islamic religious practices that one performs using their body, but their influence is way beyond body capacities, and into the realm of the heart and soul.
Thus, although fasting in Islam isn’t easy, most Muslims express eagerness to witness the month of fasting, Ramadan.
What is fasting during Ramadan?
Fasting in Ramadan is an act of withholding three main acts from sunrise until sunset: eating, drinking, and sexual activity. These three acts are halal in Islam, within their appropriate contexts of course, in general. Though, while fasting, they become the main pillar on which fasting is built.
Being the main pillar doesn’t mean they are the only pillar though; for there are other practices that make fasting effective, and fruitful. For instance, reluctance from allowing your soul to melt into the lava of sins, and pulling it out is definitely a lot of hard work, but that is the heart of fasting.
What Is The Purpose Of Fasting In Ramadan?
The purpose of fasting in Ramadan is to have Taqwah or piety. God Almighty mentioned the purpose of fasting in Ramadan, which can be explained as:
“O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will become mindful of Allah”Al-Baqara 183.
Fasting is a means to achieve piety, and piety is doing what God Almighty has commanded, and leaving what He has forbidden. Fasting is one of the greatest means that help a person to carry out religious orders.
Fasting subdues the devil and weakens him. The fasting person trains himself to observe Allah Almighty, so he leaves what he desires even though he is able to do it because he knows that God has forbidden it.
What Breaks a Muslim’s Fasting?
It’s important to know though that it’s the three basic aspects of fasting that turn a fasting person into one who has broken their fast.
If a fasting person eats, drinks anything, or has sexual intercourse, they have broken their fast, and if that happened before sunset, they have missed the thawab of fasting that day.
On the other hand, if a fasting person commits any other sin, their fasting has not been broken at all.
What is the history of fasting in Islam?
The history of fasting in Islam dates back to the second year of Al-Hijra, which means the second year after our prophet Mohammed (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) moved into the city of Medina.
Back then, he was commended by Allah to fast the whole month of Ramadan, beginning an immortal refuge for Muslims who wish to purify their hearts.
What are the fasting days in Ramadan?
Fasting days in Islam are many, but also the days when fasting is haram are many. There are also days when fasting is permissible, but not obligatory, nor haram:
Ramadan is basically the only month of the Hijri year when fasting is a must and obligatory. This means that not fasting during Ramadan results in people being burdened with sins.
What are the prohibited days of fasting in Islam?
On the other hand, there are three main days in the Hijri year that are haram to fast, which means fasting on those days would burden one with sins:
1- The first day of Eid Al-Fitr:
Traditionally, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr for three days, but only on the first day, it’s forbidden to fast.
2- The first day of Eid Al-Adha:
Traditionally, Muslims celebrate Eid-Al Adha for four days, but – again – only on the first day it’s forbidden to fast.
3- The day of doubt:
This day takes place when the sky is foggy, and it’s not clear if this is the last day of Shabaan or the first day of Ramadan.
What are the Voluntary fasting days in Islam?
Voluntary fasting can be divided into main five times around the year when fasting is not obligatory, but also not prohibited, which means fasting will help us earn thawab, while not fasting will not force us to be burdened with any sins:
1- The month of Muharram:
Muharram is the first month of the Hijri year; so, what can be better than starting off the year by fasting?!
2- Day of Ashura:
The day of Ashura is on the tenth of Muharram; so, if it’s exhausting to fast the whole month, at least fast on the day of Ashura.
3- The month of Shabaan:
4- Six days of the month of Shawwal:
It’s pretty rewarding to fast any six days of Shawwal, and yes! They don’t have to be in a row. Though, beware that the first day of Shawwal is the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, on which it’s not permissible to fast.
5- First nine days in the month of Dhul Hijjah:
A hadith of the prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) can be translated to:
“There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days – i.e., ten days of Dhul-Hijjah”Sunan Ibn Majah 1727
The Islamic rule regarding the fasting of pregnant women:
To know the reward of fasting during pregnancy, we must look a bit closer at the situation, and see if pregnant women are supposed to be fasting or not in the first place.
The Islamic rule regarding the fasting of pregnant women is divided into three cases. The first of which is if fasting while pregnant will endanger her or her baby, she is not permitted to fast.
The second is if both she and the baby are safe and fasting is not difficult for her, she must fast like any other Muslim.
The third is she is allowed to not fast if it’s not dangerous but simply difficult with her pregnancy.
In the second case, the pregnant woman is fasting like everybody else, facing no dangers or hardships, and getting the same rewards just like everyone else as well.
Fasting is a whole world in Islam, and even mere scratching the surface results in many jewels and diamonds. We wonder what other diamonds is it hiding within its sides.