Fasting in Islam
Fasting in its essence is the refrainment of food and drink for a certain period of time. Fasting is not only done by Muslims. In fact, religions all over the world practice it although the terms and conditions vary considerably.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Arabic term for fasting is Sawm. Fasting in Islam refers to the abstinence of food and drink from dawn till dusk. The fast starts with the Sehr, which is the breakfast. Once you hear the Fajr prayers, you should make a Dua in which you make the intention to fast and from here onward you cannot eat/drink till the Maghrib prayers. As soon as you hear the Maghrib prayers, you should make a Dua of opening the fast and then break your fast, preferably with a date. The meal you have while breaking the fast is known as Iftar. The Ramadan fasting times and hours are all available on our website for your convenience. If you are on the go, you can always download our app, Athan, which maps out the prayer timings and is available on both Android and iOS. Moreover, it comes with an inbuilt Athan feature!
In Islam, fasting is divided into two categories; obligatory (farz) and voluntary (nafl). Voluntary fasts include those Muslims keep in other months of the year. For instance, many Muslims fast in the month of Ashura.
The people used to fast on ‘Ashura (the tenth day of the month of Muharram) before the fasting of Ramazan was made obligatory. And on that day the Kaa’ba used to be covered with a cover. When Allah made the fasting of the month of Ramzan compulsory, Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so.”(Bukhari 1592)
When a Muslim fasts, he/she not only abstains from eating and drinking but also steers clear of all evil. We ensure that in addition to refraining from eating/drinking we also indulge in maximum Dhikr of Allah (SWT). Moreover, we are taught to stay tolerant throughout the day no matter how difficult of a situation we are in. Fasting and prayer, which is another pillar of Islam, go side by side. As a Muslim you cannot forego prayer and just refrain from eating/drinking. A Muslim has to offer prayer five times a day to complete his/her fast.
In Ramadan, fasting is obligatory for all Muslims. Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar, is considered one of the most blessed months in Islam. Muslims fast during this month. This month is full of celebration and festivity as the Muslims immerse themselves in reading the Quran and Duas. The Muslims fast the whole month as it teaches them the true meaning of perseverance and tolerance. During this month, Muslims are not only supposed to refrain from eating and drinking during the stipulated timing but they are also required to curb all negative emotions like anger and prove themselves to be the perfect Muslim. This month of Ibadah is culminated with the Muslim festival of Eid ul Fitr. Moreover, the Quran was also completed in this month. The month of Ramadan culminates with the festive occasion of Eid ul Fitr as Muslims thank Allah for the blessed month of Ramadan, celebrating it with religious fervor. Laylatul Qadr, also called the ‘Night of Power’ is one of the most coveted nights of the Islamic Year. It is one of the last ten odd nights in the month of Ramadan and is full of blessings.
Frequently asked questions
Q When does fasting start?
A In Islam, the fast starts at dawn and continues till the Maghrib prayer, after the Athan of which Muslims can break their fast.