Islam, Ramadan, and Fasting

 The observance of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of the Muslim faith, along with Confession of Faith, Prayer, Alms­giving, and Pilgrimage. The Koran states: “O believers, a fast is prescribed for you . . . the month of Ramadan.... As soon as any of you observeth the moon, let him set about the fast.... Eat and drink until ye can discern a white thread from a black thread by the daybreak. Then fast strictly till night”
From sunrise to sunset, for thirty days, devout Muslims still mark the ninth month of the Muslim calendar year just as Muhammad taught. Neither food nor drink can pass the lips while the sun is up. There are many reasons for fasting. It is practiced to discipline the body, deepen ones awareness of and devotion to Allah, and teach patience and sacrifice.

There is though much diversity among Muslims as to how they approach Ramadan. Devout individuals may attempt to avoid even swallowing the moisture in their own mouths during the day. They are also likely to spend Ramadan nights sitting with a holy man and listening to recitations from the Koran. Even after dark they may limit their nourishment severely, eating only a few small pieces of watermelon. Others effectively turn the nighttime into a party, throwing themselves into enjoying meals with friends to make up their suffering during the day. Rising before the sun also becomes an important part of the fasting routine, to insure one is able to have a morning meal before the new day of fasting begins.

You can read more about Fasting and Ramadan:

One of the most beautiful writings I found about Ramadan, fasting, and spirituality


Return to Why Fast?

Return to the top of the page