"And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do,
for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men.
Truly, I say to you, they have their reward in full.
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;
so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret;
and your Father who sees in secret will repay you." (Matthew 6:16-18)
God told his people through the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah:
"Is this not the fast which I have chosen,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free,
And break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry,
And bring the homeless poor into the house.
When you see the naked, to cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own family?
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth,
And your righteousness will go before you,
The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from among you,
The Pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
And if you give yourself to the hungry,
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness,
And your gloom will become like midday.
And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones,
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins,
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called The Repairer Of The Break,
The Restorer Of The Streets In Which To Live."
Fasting in Islam:
* Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:It is interesting that Muhammad fasted because he saw Jews fasted and someone explained it to him. He didn't know about it before this incident, and there is no indication that Allah had sanctioned it.
When the Prophet came to Medina, he found (the Jews) fasting on the day of 'Ashura' (i.e. 10th of Muharram). They used to say: "This is a great day on which Allah saved Moses and drowned the folk of Pharaoh. Moses observed the fast on this day, as a sign of gratitude to Allah." The Prophet said, "I am closer to Moses than they." So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. (Sahih Bukhari 4.609, and Sahih Muslim)
Ramadan begins on sighting of new moon in the west by 2 reliable Muslims, or by any large group of people, or if the previous month has completed 30 days. Fasting begins at dawn when white thread can be distinguished from black.
Every Muslim of sound mind and physically able must fast, except the aged, the very sick, nursing and expectant mothers, and those making long trips. Women must not fast during menstruation.
The niat (intention) must be said before dawn of the first day, like: "I intend to keep the fast of Ramadan". If the fast is broken, niat must be repeated.
During fasting from dawn to sunset, not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or sex. Not to swallow own saliva or vomit, if possible. Encouraged eat a little meat before dawn, bathe more often, avoid useless and evil talk, do pious deeds, have devotions in mosque, memorized Qur'an, obey parents, be kind to wives, avoid quarrelling.
If fast is accidentally broken, can be made up, else need to give 60 destitude persons a measure of grain, or free a slave, or fast two consecutive months.
Fasting is recognized as physically demanding but spiritually rewarding.
Go Back to Main Index