Allah says in the Quran: “You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of Allah” (2:183).
In Islam, fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, a major act of worship, and a mean of attaining Allah-consciousness. Along with the physical aspects of fasting, its spiritual dimensions purify the soul, instill self-reflection, and inspire virtuous living.
Fasting is observed as an act of obedience to Allah, one for which He has reserved special blessings. The fasting person is rewarded manifold for all good deeds. In addition, according to a saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), whoever observe fasting and prays during Ramadan with pure intentions will have their past sins forgiven.
At the same time, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught his followers to remain conscious of the deeper significance behind their fast, saying, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah has no need that they should leave their food and drink.” Therefore, fasting is multidimensional – along with the physical aspects of fasting, one must nurture the social and spiritual elements as well to fully benefit from fasting.
In essence, fasting in the month of Ramadan is a yearly opportunity for Muslims to revive themselves physically and spiritually. Fasting redirects the heart away from worldly affairs and towards the remembrance of Allah. During Ramadan, Muslims focus on strengthening their relationship with their Creator. The self-restraint practiced in Ramadan makes the heart and mind accustomed to the remembrance of Allah and to the obedience of His commandments.
Fasting during Ramadan is, therefore, a spiritual regimen and a reorientation for the body and mind. It is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, and good deeds. The spiritual cleansing during the month of Ramadan results in renewed determination to worship Allah throughout the year.
Unlike other faith belief that grace will open the gates of heaven, Muslims believe they must earn their way on the Day of Judgment with good deeds. They believe that the good deeds they perform during Ramadan are multiplied. God will honor their prayers and supplications in a very blessed way during Ramadan.
Let’s keep that in mind and come together as one healthy sound Muslim community at these very critical times Insha’Allah.
Ramadan started Tue. Apr. 13th. and will finish May 12th. this year.
May Allah have mercy on the whole planet.
Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi
Originally published on Sunday, Apr 25th in the Omaha World-Herald