Almost all Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan. In fact, fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Before Ramadan, the price of food slowly rises. Mothers in my neighborhood complain about this. But Muslim teenagers and children are enthusiastic! They make appointments with friends to break fast and have tarawih prayers together.
Different people have different kinds of feelings. Some are very enthusiastic. Some are restless. What about you? How do you feel about fasting?
Fasting During the Time of Muhammad
Fasting is identified as Islamic. But many non-Muslims also fast. The prophets in the Taurat also fasted. For example, Moses fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. “This happened when I was on the mountain receiving the tablets of stone . . . . I was there for forty days and forty nights, and all that time I ate no food and drank no water” (Taurat, Deuteronomy 9:9). The Israelites fasted (Taurat, 2 Samuel 7:6), along with the prophet David (Taurat, 2 Samuel 3:35), and many other prophets.
The Motivation for Fasting
My friends, what is your motivation for fasting? We’ve received some feedback from our Muslim friends about their motives. There is one constant theme in the feedback. They fast because of obligation! “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Qs 2:183). So, is it wrong to fast out of obligation?
I’ll give you an example and let you decide: One driver puts on his seatbelt, because he is afraid to get a ticket from the police. Another driver wears a seatbelt because he wants to be safe. Which one has the right motivation?
What is Your Motivation?
Before entering Ramadan, let’s ask ourselves: What is my motivation for fasting? God’s Holy Book states the motivation for fasting should be to grow closer to God. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Good works, even fasting, will not get us into
heaven. That is because heaven is an additional gift for those who have already received the gift of salvation.
So who can receive this gift? Whoever receives Isa Al-Masih as his Savior has received God’s eternal salvation “guarantee.” God’s Holy Book says, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Have you received this guarantee?
[We invite you to visit us at https://www.isaandislam.com/way-of-salvation to learn more about God’s gift of Salvation. God loves you and waits to hear from you. Isa clearly said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Injil, John 14:6). For a deeper understanding of Isa we suggest you subscribe to “Isa, Islam, and Al-Fatiha” at this link.]
SOME QUESTIONS FOR THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW
We encourage our readers to comment on the article above. Comments that don’t directly relate to the topic will be removed. Please start a dialogue with us by focusing on one of the following questions:
1. Do you fast during Ramadan? Why or why not?
2. What is your motivation for fasting?
3. Have you trusted in Isa for your salvation from sin so you can enter heaven? If not, are you interested in learning how to do so?
If you have a question regarding this article, please contact us by clicking this link.
Stefan Heger says
What about true fasting, according to the prophets? In Isaiah 58:3-5, the Bible wrote: “You wonder why the Lord pays no attention when you go without eating and act humble. But on those same days that you give up eating, you think only of yourselves and abuse your workers. You even get angry and ready to fight. No wonder God won’t listen to your prayers! Do you think the Lord wants you to give up eating and to act as humble as a bent-over bush? Or to dress in sackcloth and sit in ashes? Is this really what he wants on a day of worship?”
Stefan, thank you for your comment.
I agree with you, when we fast, we should turn away from our wicked ways. As written in the Scripture that you quoted, He doesn’t pay attention to the way we pray, whether we don’t eat, act humble as a bent-over bush, dress sackcloth, sit in ashes, etc, but at the same time we neglected His commandments not to get angry, not to fight, do justice, thing about others’ needs, etc. When we fast, our motivation should be that we give full commitment to repent from our wicked ways and do His wills.
I really don’t understand the logic of this particular page. Is there a question that you would like to ask about Ramadan? or are you merely making conversation.
By the way, to understand the reason for fasting during the Ramadan, you would first have to understand the deeper composition of how you have been created (as a human being).
You may in your personal capacity have referenced people like Sigmund Freud etc, who rendered “shooting-from-the-hip” opinions as to the composition of the body, mind etc. Why? perhaps its because that is all the literature you have at your disposal.
If you truly wish to understand the “reason” why we fast during the month of Ramadan?, then you should ask a question.
Thank you for the constructive input that you gave to us. Through the article, we were trying to tell the readers that they should fast not merely because the Quran taught them to do so. But there should be another motivation behind. We were trying to tell the readers what the motivation of fasting conducted by the previous prophets. We were trying to tell the readers what God desires through the fasting that His people do.
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