Fasting in Ramadan to 'ward off evil and become righteous'
Dr Mohammed Fahim, South Woodford Mosque
- Credit: Google
In the Quran, God says in 2:183: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may (learn) self-restraint."
So by practising self-restraint, we endeavour to ward off evil, fear God and become righteous.
Fasting is from dawn to sunset - no food, no drink and no fulfilment of any sexual desire. Also to refrain from vain speech and foul language.
The month of Ramadan is a lunar month which comes 11 days earlier every year. Fasting of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is an obligation on every sane, healthy Muslim, male or female, who has attained puberty.
However, there are concessions for special circumstances.
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God says in 2:185: “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting. But if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later.
"God intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you to difficulties.
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"(He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you and you may give thanks."
So God commands us to fast at Ramadan because the revelation of the Quran started in one of the last 10 nights of this Holy month over 1,450 years ago.
So the first command which was revealed over 1,450 years ago, in the month of Ramadan, was to learn how to read and write to abolish illiteracy and eradicate ignorance.
The Prophet PBUH said: "Seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim male or female."
Unfortunately, at least half of the Muslims worldwide are illiterate.
Seeking knowledge and reflecting on God's creation to help ourselves and serve humanity should be the quest of every Muslim.