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THE JOYS OF RAMADAN FASTING
---Fasting--an exercise in
By Shahid Athar, M.D., F.A.C.E., F.A.C.P.
---Fasting--an exercise in
Ramadan--the month of
righteousness, reflection and giving is here. Allah swt called it His
Month. This is a special time to ask for His Mercy. May we benefit from
this month to reinforce our Islarmic identity and connection to Allah. May
we pray to Allah to grant us pardon and well-being in this world and the
Happy Ramadan to all our readers,
was ordained to us to learn self restraint.
"O you who believe fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed
to those before you so that you can learn self restraint".
The Arabic word is Taqwa is translated in many ways including God
consciousness, God fearing, piety, and self restraining. Thus we are
asked to fast daily for one month from dawn to dusk and avoid food, water,
sex and vulgar talk during that period.
But why do we need to fast? It is our experience that temptations
and ways of the world tend to spoil out purity and austerity. Thus
we indulge in food all of the time, snacking and nibbling the whole day,
leading to obesity. We drink too much coffee, or tea, or carbonated
drinks. . When we argue, we leave our decency aside and resort
to vulgar talk and even physical fighting.
Now when one is fasting, he or she cannot do all of that. When he
looks at the mouth watering food, he cannot even taste it and he has to
give up snacking and nibbling as well as smoking cigarette if he does.
No constant coffee, tea or Coke drinking either. Sexual passions
have to be curtailed and when he is provoked to fight, he says "I am
fasting that I cannot respond to your provocation".
To achieve God consciousness or God nearness, a better word, we are
advised to do additional prayer and read the Quran. The medical
benefits of fasting include lowering blood pressure, blood sugar,
cholesterol and a small reduction in weight and psychological tranquility.
These effects will last if the lessons learned during Ramadan are carried
after Ramadan is over.
Fasting is a special act of worship which is only between humans and God
since no one else knows for sure if this person is actually fasting.
Thus God says in hadith qudsi that "Fasting is for Me and I only will
reward it". In another hadith, the Prophet Mohammad (peace be
upon him) has said "If one does not give up falsehoods in words and
actions, God has no need of him giving up food and drink".
courtesy: Ali Hassan Jarchavi
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