Fasting in Islam is no new institution or new practice.
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye man (learn) self-restraint. (Holy Qur’an Sura 2, Verse 183)
This verse clearly tells us that fasting was prescribed in other revealed books before the revelation of the Holy Qur’an to Prophet Muhammed of Arabia (upon him be peace), and fasting is no new institution for the world.
We do not fast to merely fight the enemies of the spiritual man. We fast to fight the enemies of the total man.
Both male and female are to fast.
The Ramadan fast is enforced as a periodic adjustment in our lives for proper human balance.
With the discipline of the inner body, Muslims read 1/30th of the Holy Qur’an each day so as to complete the Qur’an over this 30 day month fast period.
Many Muslims complete the recitation with the prescribed daily prayers within the 30 day period.
Study the Muslim’s way of worship and you will agree with me that there is no better way of Divine worship. Why? For one thing the Muslim always washes himself before communicating with Allah(G-d).
That is the best state of body, as well as of mind, in which to say one’s prayer.
Among the things to avoid during the fast period is the tendency to be spiritually idle or morally absentminded, and the lazy tendency to miss daily prayers with no acceptable excuse.
As many of you know, among those things to abstain from during the daylight hours of Ramadan are the taking of anything into the mouth such as food or drink; carnal or physical pleasures with wife or husband during the daylight hours.
The fact that the entire month of Ramadan is a month of strenuous discipline should be constantly among our thoughts on G-d’s pleasure, which serves to increase the growth and human excellence.
Everyone of you who is present at your home during that month should spend it in fasting.
The whole month of Ramadan is a month of fasting.
During this month period, Muslims are not to overeat, overdrink, oversleep, or overindulge for selfish pleasures.
Muslims should sacrifice time from their usual past-times of pleasures to give time to Islamic growth.
If you eat expensive cuts of meat, etc., you will miss one of the important benefits of the fast, which is to bring to your mind the hardships of the less fortunate ones in our community so that we will be aware and more sympathetic to the needs of others.
The Ramadan fast has been divinely ordered by Allah.
You are to eat after sunset prayer time and you are to take light food before morning prayer time.
If you fast in excess of the stated time (hours) for fasting (eating every other day or missing whole days), you are missing the discipline of the fast.
Any food that is “halal” (permissible) for consumption in the Holy Qur’an is permissible to eat during Ramadan
The thoughts of all Muslims should constantly be on Allah during the Ramadan season.
Loudness of voice (talk), excessive talk, gossip and aggravating others is strictly forbidden during the fast.
Fasting or abstaining from food and drink is easy if you keep your mind on something that is worthwhile.
If you don keep your mind on Allah and on the higher values of life, fasting will be hard for you.
Remember, the Ramadan fast is not just a fast of physical food, it is a fast of the whole human body (whole human being)
In keeping your mind on Allah and the higher values of life, force yourself to take time from something you have been doing during the day (listening to the radio, watching television, etc.) and read the Holy Qur’an.
The great benefit of fasting is the development of self-mastery.
Almost the whole life of the animal world is ruled over by the drive to overcome hunger.
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah says that fasting is for Him.
Muslims on the Ramadan fast thanks Allah and reflects on the wisdom and the beauty of G-d.
By thinking on Allah’s great wonders, we are kept powerful and very much alive.
This kind of fasting should not be done for extensive periods of time.
At the end of Ramadan, those who have kept the fast will receive their benefits very soon. Not only will you see a change in your personal life, but you will see a change in the community of Islam.