Fasting



Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other four pillars are: a firm declaration that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His apostle; the keeping up of prayers; the payment of obligatory charity; and the performance of the pilgrimage to Mecca.1

Every year, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.2 The fast begins before dawn breaks and ends at sunset.3 No food or drink is allowed while fasting, and smoking is also forbidden.4 It is believed that the highest dimension of fasting is achieved when one is at his or her moral and spiritual best by being charitable, compassionate, good-tempered and truthful while devoting his or her time to prayer and meditation. Self-control during fasting also involves the curbing of one’s passions, for example, sensual desires and feelings of anger.5

Muslim children are trained to fast for half a day when they are six years old so that it will be easier for them to fast for a full day when they grow older. Converts are also encouraged to fast for half a day in the beginning.6

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims around the world celebrate their one month of fasting with Aidilfitri, or Hari Raya Puasa.7



Author
Suchitthra Vasu




References
1. Altaf Ahmad Kherie.(1994). A comprehensive guide-book of Islam. Delhi: Adam Publishers & Distributors, pp. 219–220. (Call no.: R 297 KHE)
2. Altaf Ahmad Kherie. (1994). A comprehensive guide-book of Islam. Delhi: Adam Publishers & Distributors, p. 278. (Call no.: R 297 KHE)
3. Muslims begin their month-long fast today. (1990, March 28). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. A pillar of Islam. (1999, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Muslims begin their month-long fast today. (1990, March 28). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. A pillar of Islam. (1999, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. A pillar of Islam. (1999, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Ethnic Communities>>Customs and Traditions
Customs
Philosophy, psychology and religion>>Religion>>Islam
Pillars of Islam
People and communities>>Customs>>Festivities
Fasting--Religious aspects--Islam
Islam--Customs and practices