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What Is Ramadan - The Month Of Fasting?

Updated on July 3, 2012

What is Ramadan? What does it mean to be fasting and why do so many muslim people observe this tradition for thirty or so days every year?

When non-muslims hear a muslim person is fasting for a month, they think of many things. These can include things like starvation, health risks, for what reasons etc. I will explain the Islamic reasons as to why Muslims fast in the month of Ramadan.

As i was growing up i did not understand the meaning and the benefits of fasting for the full 30 days of Ramadan. It seemed very hard at first to not be able to eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. As i grew older and understood the Islamic religion myself, i came to understand that it is a compulsary duty for a Muslim to fast in the month of Ramadan as part of the five pillars of Islam.

Ramadan Mubarak
Ramadan Mubarak

What Does Islam Say About Ramadan and Fasting?

The month of Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month that can last 29 or 30 days.

Fasting is part of the five pillars of Islam, this is why it is compulsary.

Intention to fast is made before the first of five prayers of the day before sunrise. After the intention is made, a Muslim person has to refrain from eating or drinking anything. This also includes smoking and medicine. NOTHING AT ALL CAN BE TAKEN IN THE MOUTH. Eating, drinking and sexual relations with ones husband or wife is allowed after sunset, otherwise known as the Maghrib prayer when the fast is broken for that day.

To make it even clearer, participating Muslims cannot eat or drink during daylight.

  • It is also compulsary to refrain from having sexual relations with ones husband or wife
  • Physical activity should be dramatically reduced so as not to put pressure or burden on the body which can lead to thirst and hunger
  • Physical actions such as fighting is forbidden
  • Swearing and arguing is also not acceptable as it will jeopardise the fast
  • All things that can affect the quality of the fast is forbidden and a Muslim has to strive to make their fast as perfect as possible by not allowing Shaytaan to influence towards any bad or evil actions

If any of the above does occur during the time of fasting, that fast will be broken and will not be accepted by Allah. The fast that was broken intentionally has to be carried out at a later date after the month of Ramadan ends. The same amount of good deeds will not be earned as it would have through the month of Ramadan and Allah knows best.

When someone does something unintentionally which may break the fast, for example eat something, and after they realise what they are DOING, then that fast can be continued. If after someone realises what they are doing and carry on, then that fast will be broken and has to be done after the month of Ramadan.

Pray five times a day
Pray five times a day

Fasting and Not Praying

When the month of Ramadan is upon us, many people start to prepare for fasting by eating less and becoming a better person. Most people really look forward to Ramadan but there are a few that dread the fact that they will not be able to eat or drink for a month while the sun is out.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to fasting, one type is religious and practising Muslim, and the other is where they will just not eat while the sun is out and keep their fast.

The problem with the latter is that this person is basically starving themselves and not fasting properly. Ramadan is a month of prayer, contemplation, good deeds, improving relations, striving to improve ones self, a chance to get closer to the creator Allah and many other things.

The most important thing about Ramadan is fasting and praying five times a day in congregation at the mosque if possible.

If you don't pray five times a day but you fast all day, then you are starving yourself and NOT fasting properly. Prayer is a part of the five pillars of Islam and it is a compulsory duty of a Muslim.

Ramadan Mubarak!

I hope this information was useful and people understand the reasons behind fasting in the month of Ramadan and how easy it can be if you want it to be.

Allah has perfected the religion of Islam for us, we shouldn't look to change any of it, insha Allah we all should strive to obey Allah and become better Muslims.

The best thing about Ramadan is that it is the best month of the year and an enjoyable one too.

At the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) people used to look forward to this month as it is a chance for forgiveness for a lifetime of sins and Allah also bestows peace, blessings and mercy upon his slaves.

Fasting can be easy if a person prays five times a day, refrains from any kind of sin, reading the holy Quran and spending time with family and friends. These are all enjoyable things and also good deeds, so there is no need to make things difficult.

May Allah Guide Us All

May Allah make everything easy for us and grant peace, blessings and mercy upon all mankind.

I pray that Allah guides us all and make us better Muslims and better people so that we can practice the perfect religion of Islam as Allah wanted us to.

I also pray to Allah for all the Muslims and non-Muslims in the world to find peace and blessings, and our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) intercedes for us on the Day of Judgment.


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    • G Miah profile image

      Gous Ahmed 5 years ago from Muslim Nation

      True, it is worthless as prayer five times a day is compulsory for every single Muslim person. That's why you get practising and non practising Muslims. Allah has said that He did not create man and jinn except to worship Him.

      So people who fast in the Month of Ramadan or any other day, without prayer it is useless. The only thing someone will get out of fasting i they don't pray is that they will only starve themselves and not receive the full benefit of keeping a fast.

      Thank you for reading.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      An interesting article linking prayer with fasting, without it I guess the fasting is quite worthless?

    • G Miah profile image

      Gous Ahmed 5 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Thank you Uzma, may you also have a blessed month of Ramadan insha Allah.

    • uzma shaheen profile image

      Uzma Shaheen Bhatti 5 years ago from Lahore,Pakistan

      MASHALLAH, an excellent piece of work. I appreciate your effort of making clear the real concept of Ramadan.

      RAMADAN Mubarik, may ALLAH bless us and guide us towards right path.aameen.