• What is the purpose from fasting Ramadan?

    In our country, Ramadan, this year, has been quite different from others, especialy in terms of weather. As it was summertime, it was very hot, and we fasted a little bit more than usual. Indeed, climatic changes could never affect or hinder the event of fasting Ramadan, but it would, rather, make it more real and meaningful. The principle is that in our Islamic thought " the more hardship we endure,the more we are rewarded, and the more our sins could be forgiven", but forgivness and reward could not be real only if we fulfill the conditions of fasting. Let me speak about the "notion of reward" in itself; Reward has two different meanings in this context. First, I meant by reward getting the forgiveness and satisfaction of God, because, in the first place, we fast to satisfy God, and get His everlasting reward of "paradise". However, during the experience of fasting, one can discover other kinds of "rewards", which are more physical and spiritual. During fasting, the stomach empties itself automatically from useless substance, through the processus of digestion. The food that we, normally eat at night, gets enough time to be digested during the day, while vitamins and minerals, get ,also, time to be absorbed by the blood." Blood is able to run though your whole body more evenly rather than sending much of ittoyourstomach for digestion purposes". Thus, blood circulation becomes more focused in maintaining the good functioning of our body, that one feels himself pure and more ready to deal with the different tasks daily life than usual. Another, physical benefit of fasting Ramadan is more related with smokers, drug addicts, and alcoholic people. Most people who are used to getting different kinds of drugs or harmful substances to the body, and have the willingness to get rid of such bad habits can take a real benefit , not only, from fasting once or twice, but for a much longer period. fasting could be a good occasion for ending or ,at least, reducing smoking or drug addiction habits, as the body gets a lesser amount of nicotine and toxics than usual and during a period at least of 30 or 29 days. Enabling oneself to reduce the amount of toxic substances that the blood abosrbs every day, the body becomes adjusted to take lesser amounts of it, and the blood is purified, gradually, from these toxic substances. The body acclimatises itself to take less, but give more, as our whole concentration would shift to the most rewarding and useful activities like family life, prayers, work, helping others, or artistic activities. In Ramadan, people get enough time to accomplish their day life tasks or,even, accomplish new activities like sport, writting, reading, or research that is in general, but most of the times Muslims devote it to prayers, and reading the Quran. Thus, one can easily take notice that the physical rewards of Ramadan fasting gives us the opportunity to take care of the spiritual side. Fasting is a code of conduct, it educates people to shift from selfish needs to remember those people who are obliged to overcome hunger for the whole their life time. Through fasting, one can have enough time to care about removing the bad habits of nature, like eavesdroping, backbitting, telling lies, which usually spoil the meaning of fasting. Fasting educates people to bemorepatientand loving, as theyget rid of bad habits in human nature, and devote their time to helping others, or involve in charity activities. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was crucial in this point when he said: "there are those who gain from fasting, nothing but hunger, and those who gain from (night) prayers nothing but loss of sleep". I think that this saying sums up that " the principle of our practice is to become a better person". Life is a very hard struggle, and these struggles are deeply embeded and engendred by religious events like Ramadan.

                                                    A. Siham

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