Do Muslims even understand why they fast?

“Some who fast obtain nothing from it but hunger and thirst.” Muhammad ﷺ

Sadly, it’s true. Many Muslims simply starve themselves during Ramadan and don’t understand the purpose behind fasting.

The problem with a lot of human beings who follow a religion is that dogma blinds them rather than guides them. In other words, the commands and obligations in religion make people feel compelled to do something without them even understanding why they are doing it. I hate to say it but religion often makes people forget their common sense. But that’s another issue.

This Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, a month in which Muslims fast, it has really hit me how empty the act of fasting is for many Muslims.

I quite often hear Muslims talking about how best they can “waste time” during the day so that Iftar (the evening meal which Muslims break their fast with), will come quicker. That is completely missing the point of fasting. Wasting time is the exact opposite of what one is suppose to be doing. Ramadan is a time to journey into oneself, to discover who we are, why we are here and where we are going.

Fasting from food, drink and bad behaviour is a way of making us realise that we need to take care of our inner dimension, our soul, and not just our bodily needs. Don’t let fasting become devoid of meaning. It’s a time to spiritually ascend.

According to the Qur’an, the purpose of fasting is to attain Taqwa, God consciousness (2:183). But, sadly, far too Muslims are only conscious of the lack of food in their belly.

Here are some tweets which kind of led me to write this blog.

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