“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may practice ‘no harm’ ” Quran 2:183
Fasting is common amongst all nations and is an ancient practice.
It is also researched in modern universities.
The clearest and most comprehensive documentation is found amongst Muslims.
The Arabic word for fasting is sawm – صوم –
It is obligatory for Muslims to fast one month a year.
This month is called Ramadan – رمضان –
The fasting starts at dawn and ends at sunset each day.
People who have health issues are exempt from fasting.
This health issues could be permanent or temporary.
This also applies to those that fasting may be a threat to their health.
For example, a woman who is breast feeding may not be feeling strong enough to fast. Hence she is exempt.
Fasting is mainly a ‘no obvious outward action’ way.
Hence during the fast, you are not allowed to eat, drink or have a lawful sexual intercourse.
The main action happens in your ‘inner world’.
That main action is to sharpen your resolve not to harm.
However, if that is not possible then you move to the next level and that is to reduce harm.
This harm could be personal, family related, communal, environmental, local or global.
Hence someone who truly fasts will naturally support the following causes:
-no to harming oneself or others
-investments in public health
-no to the use of religion (or anti-religion) to support corruption in an administration
This is all summarised in one word -تتقون- as found in Quran 2:183
During fasting, you will find that your senses are sharper.
All of a sudden you will find that you can clearly hear and see. Even the sense of smell is sharpened.
The mind is also sharper.
There is no better activity than contemplating the meanings of the Quran and helping the needy.
When you feel tired, rest.
From ancient times, humans used the sun and the moon to manage their daily life.
This is clearly found in Sumerian literature and it is from them that we inherited the 60 minutes in an hour , 360 degrees of a circle etc.
The use of the moon is the easiest, simplest and clearest in marking the beginning and the end of each month.