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Fasting & Ramadan


From the book Fasting in Islam

The word for fasting (sawm) and its derivatives are mentioned some thirteen times in the Qur’an. Four of these verses contain the command to fast in the month of Ramadan, five others deal with fasting either as an expiation for some wrong deed or as a compensation for the omission of an obligatory act; another verse praises the act of fasting, while yet another refers to the fast of Mary, the mother of Jesus, during her vow of silence.

The abstention from talking to people enjoined upon the Prophet Zachariah is mentioned in the Qur’an without referring to it as fasting:

He said: My Lord! Give me a sign. He said; Your sign is that you will not speak to people for three nights though you are in sound health. (19:10)

The month of Ramadan is mentioned only once in the Qur’an along with the injunction to fast. The following verse praises the act of fasting:

Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the alms-giving men and the alms-giving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember – Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward. (33:35)

The next verse refers to the fast of Mary, mother of Jesus, who was ordered to refrain from speaking to people as a protection from idle questions about her situation regarding the birth of Jesus:

So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today. (19:26).

"The fast belongs to Allah… You are merely the place of its manifestation.”

Fasting in Islam removes everything from you, leaves you in a state of annihilation, and then when all you have left is your fasting, Allah takes that too because it belongs to Him. So what are you left with?

Stillness. Peace. Allah’s Infinite Presence. You become an empty vessel, and Allah fills you with light.

“The fast belongs to Allah… You are merely the place of its manifestation.” - Ibn Al Arabi