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 http://www.isaandislam.com/way-of-salvation to learn more about God’s gift of Salvation. God loves you and waits to hear from you. Jesus 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 Jesus 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?
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