Ramadan is the (ninth) month during which the Qur’an was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. God wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify God for guiding you, and to express your appreciation. (Qur’an 2:185)
Insha’Allah, Ramadan will fall on the 21st of August in most countries, this year.
Allah (SWT) is the Sole Creator of mankind and knows its every wish, desire, and need. Our most basic needs are food and water. Any person derives a great deal of satisfaction from a full stomach and a thirst that is well-quenched not just in the sizzling hot weather but throughout the year.
Without doubt, food and drink are very dear to man. It is, in fact, a test for man in this world.
We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast. When an affliction befalls them, they say, “We belong to God, and to Him we are returning.” (Qur’an 2:155-156)
During the holy month of Ramadan Allah (SWT) tests us further in this respect. The Qur’an explicitly explains the conditions for fasting in the following verses:
O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation (learn Taqwa). Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast. If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But fasting is the best for you, if you only knew. Ramadan is the (ninth) month during which the Qur’an was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. God wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify God for guiding you, and to express your appreciation….. You may eat and drink until the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn. Then, you shall fast until sunset. (Qur’an 2:183-187)
With resources comes the misuse of resources. A person bestowed with a lot of wealth uses it all on himself. Why shouldn’t he, as he is the one who has earned it? This attitude has led to extreme poverty in certain parts of the world. Instead of spending his wealth in the way of Allah (SWT) he over-indulges in food and drink. Fasting serves as a reminder of what the poor go through. It also serves as reminder of the compulsory payment of Zakah. It is a month full of reminders and self-realization.
Fasting teaches us how to monitor ourselves. While marital intimacy is highly approved in Islam, some people overstep this allowance by overdo it. Any act that leads you away from Allah (SWT) is a form of fitnah. Fasting is an excellent means for those people who are obsessed with this sole aim of their lives.
During arguments people usually leave their decency at home and resort to obscenity. While fasting the person learns to resist provocation. In the long term it changes the disposition of the person making him a more patient and resolute Muslim.
Fasting brings one closer to Allah (SWT), instilling piety and steadfastness.