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Fasting is considered a religious worship that was one of the most important pillars of legislation among past nations not only in Islam. Allah, the Almighty God said “O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will become mindful ˹of Allah˺” Al-Baqarah: 183. It is legislated for those before us, imposed on them, and confirmed by writing for us and for them, whether the method agrees or differs. Each nation, in its manners of worship, has a law and a method. In Islamic doctrine, fasting is the third pillar and it is obligated in the month of Ramadan every year.

Various examples for fasting of those before us have been mentioned:

One of these examples, what came in the saying of the prophet – may Allah bless him and grant him peace -: ((The best of fasting is the fasting of my brother David, he used to fast one day and break the fast the next day)), and on his authority that he said: ((As for the day in which I fast, I remember the poor, and as for the day in which I break my fast, I remember the blessing that Allah granted us)).

Fasting Ramadan is an obligatory duty for every Muslim, adult, sane, resident, able and does not have any health problem prevents him from fasting

And fasting is not required for the boy until he reaches puberty, nor for the insane:

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and a lunatic till he comes to reason.

But according to the boy, his guardian should instruct him to fast if he is able, to exercise him and to train him on the obedience to become familiar with it after reaching puberty. Following the example of the righteous predecessors – may Allah bless them and grant them peace – the Companions – may Allah bless them – used to train their children on fasting when they were young, and they take them to the mosque and they make a game for them from the ordeal (meaning wool or something similar) so if they cried because they hungry, their guardians give them the game so they forget about the hunger and continue their fasting.

The insane person, if he becomes insane sometimes and wakes up sometimes, he must fast during his recovery.

If a person is unable to fast, a continuous disability that has no hope of eliminating it, like the elderly, and the sick person has a disease with no hope of recovery like the owner of cancer and the like, then it is not necessary for him to fast. Because he cannot, Allah, the Almighty God said “So be mindful of Allah to the best of your ability” At-Taghabun: 16, and said “Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford” Al-Baqarah: 286.

The reason for fasting and its importance:

Fasting is a way to be fearful of Allah. Because if the soul abstains from some necessary permissible things – such as food and drink – In the desire to please Allah, and for fear of his anger and punishment; At that time, it is easy for the soul to abstain from the forbidden things, and to show fear of Allah.

Fasting is a way to be honest; Because when the one is fasting he knows that no one but Allah knows the truth of his fasting, and that if he wants to break the fast without anyone could feel or know, then nothing will prevent him from breaking the fast except his fear from Allah, and nothing encourages him to fast except his seeking for Allah’s satisfaction over him, and if the soul adopted with this vision the human will be full of honesty and sincerity, and this is mentioned in the sacred hadith: “All the deeds of human beings are theirs, except for fasting, it is for me, and I reward according it”. Fasting is a way for gratitude, because by abstaining during the fasting time from what Allah has bestowed upon man from food, drink, and other permissible desires, it becomes apparent to the human being the extent of the blessings and his need for them, and how much the person deprived of the blessings is suffering, so he wants from his deepest part of his heart to thank his great Lord who has granted him all these blessings and gifts without waiting for return or being in need for any benefit back, and the heart overflows with mercy, pity and kindness for the poor, and the needy.

Fasting is a mean to ward off the whispers of Satan. Because it enriches the soul with patience over hunger, thirst, and lust, and the reduction of its hunger and its brutal search for pleasures, the soul that is devoted to the desires and pleasures is very easy to respond to Satan when he adorns the perils and evil things for it. Therefore, the soul is in need for discipline and organization in its enjoyment of the blessings of Allah the Almighty, and for the resistance of Satan, and for this meaning the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family, indicated: “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. Whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will diminish his desire”.

Fasting, in addition to its self-health benefits, has a physical-health benefits. The specialists have elaborated on its clarification and affirmation of its good effects. In the hadith, “Fast for a better health,” Al-Tabarani narrated it from trustworthy narrators. Fasting also teaches people accuracy and commitment, Allah says “˹You may˺ eat and drink until you see the light of dawn breaking the darkness of night, then complete the fast until nightfall”

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