The Feast of Ramadan Essay

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The Feast of Ramadan

(a) (i) What is meant by fasting?

According to Webster's Dictionary, a fast is defined as:

"To abstain from all food."

"To eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance."

"An abstinence from food, or a limiting of one's food, especially as a religious observance."

"A day of period of fasting."

- Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

From the dictionary, we can understand that fasting has something to do with abstaining from something during a certain period of time. Religious fasting is the deliberate control of the body by an act of will.

(ii) Describe what happens at the Fast of Ramadan:

Ramadan is the
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As fasting is one of the five pillars, its importance in the religion is obvious. As it is one of the five pillars, Muslims carry it out. Muslims carry out Saum for several different reasons. The meaning of the word Muslim, is to submit to God totally and completely. Muslims believe that the Qur'an was revealed unto the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the Angel Jibril, and is the word of Allah, and the word of Allah tells us:

"O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you..."(2:183)

"One may eat and drink at any time during the night until you can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight; then keep the fast until night."

- Qur'an

Therefore, primarily, Muslims fast, as they believe that Allah has asked them to do so. To give themselves more incentive to fast, Muslims often stress its benefits. It develops self-control, curbs the passions and selfishness, helps one feel for the poor and hungry, and so on. But the primary reason Muslims fast is that they believe God has commanded them to do so. Closely associated with this is the idea that fasting "pleases God"--and will weigh in their favour on the Day of Judgement. Fasting teaches self-control, encourages a focus on prayer and the life of the spirit, and allows practitioners to devote their attention to worship, and draw closer to God. Muslims also fast to practice the

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