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Why do Muslims fast in Ramadan?

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Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Fasting (sawm in Arabic) is an act of worship and devotion in which Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical pleasures during the daylight hours.

Here are five points explaining why Muslims fast during Ramadan:

  1. To fulfill a commandment from God: Fasting is a commandment from God that is mentioned in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 183, it states: "O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous." Fasting is seen as a way to demonstrate obedience to God and to seek his favor.

  2. To grow spiritually: Fasting is believed to be a way to purify the mind and body and to draw closer to God. It is also seen as a way to cultivate patience, self-control, and humility. In the Hadith (sayings and actions of Muhammad), it is said that "Fasting is a shield. When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from sexual pleasures and foul language. If someone fights with him or insults him, he should say, 'I am fasting.'" (Sahih Bukhari, Book 31, Hadith 118)

  3. To remember and show solidarity with those in need: Fasting is also seen as a way to remember and show solidarity with those who are less fortunate and who may not have enough to eat or drink. In the Hadith, it is said that "The smell coming out of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk." (Sahih Bukhari, Book 31, Hadith 125)

  4. To learn self-discipline and self-control: Fasting is also seen as a way to learn self-discipline and self-control. By abstaining from food and drink during the day, Muslims are able to develop greater self-control over their thoughts, actions, and desires.

  5. To mark the revelation of the Qur'an: Fasting during Ramadan is also seen as a way to commemorate the revelation of the Qur'an to the prophet Muhammad. According to Islamic tradition, the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan, and fasting is seen as a way to honor this event and to renew one's commitment to the teachings of the Qur'an.

References:

  • Qur'an, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 183
  • Sahih Bukhari, Book 31, Hadith 118
  • Sahih Bukhari, Book 31, Hadith 125

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