Purpose Of Fasting in Ramadan
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual activity from dawn to sunset while fasting. But is the purpose of Ramadan limited to skip eating and drinking only? If you’re lying, back-biting, abusing, spreading hate and performing other several sins during the fast, then you’ve got it wrong. There’s a difference between starving and fasting. The purpose behind fasting is more to it.
Allah said: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may become righteous.” (Qur’an, 2:183)
The purpose of fasting is to develop the quality of righteousness (taqwa) by refraining from sinful deeds and training ourselves to control our desires by strengthening our spiritual powers.
Uthman ibn Abu Al-Aas reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘Fasting is a shield from the Hellfire just like the shield of any of you in battle’.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, 1639)
Fasting acts as a shield. If a Muslim can develop enough will-power to stay away from eating and drinking during the day, then this will-power will become strong enough to refute sinful temptations at other times. Thus, fasting is a means of preventing the soul from accomplishing immoral desires and lusts.
Ramadan is the right time to achieve closeness to God Almighty. It is the time for a Muslim to increase the communications between the creator and the creation through deeds. Man deepens his personal relation with Allah by having long discourses. The purpose of fasting is to show honest devotion, pleasing God and seeking His Grace. Muslims experience great satisfaction by showing their love For Allah Almighty by obeying His orders.
Fasting raises the realization of the situation of poor people of our society. Due to fasting Muslims experience unity, charity and brotherhood. In the month of Ramadan brotherhood can be seen. The fasting in Ramadan helps the Muslims to be aware of their unity. Fasting is a means for compassion for the poor and gratitude for the favours of Allah. Fasting reminds us of the suffering of those in poverty who do not enjoy proper food or water. By considering their situation, this should cause us to give in charity in order to relieve their affliction and to be grateful for the blessings of Allah. In Ramadan, we learn to give and not to take.
Patience and unselfishness come due to fasting because they deprive themselves of essential needs and pleasures. As Muslims fast, they should control own temper, they should remain calm and abstain from harming others (verbally or physically). Fasting teaches us to be patient and at the same time be thankful to Allah Almighty.
Fasting develops in Muslims a vigilant conscience. The fasting person keeps his fast in secret as well as in public. In Fasting, especially, there is no normal authority to check man’s behaviour he keeps it to please Allah and satisfy his own conscience by being faithful in secret and in public. He develops a faith that Allah is watching him and that resists him from performing sinful acts.
Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H said: “Indeed, there is a special entrance to the heaven called Rayyan from which no one will enter except for people who fast.” So fasting opens the door for the love of God. The abundant reward given for fasting is more than that of other acts of worships. The purpose of fasting must be to seek the attention and mercy of Allah Almighty.
Written By: Ashna Asim