Eazy Islam

pratique et pacifique, tel qu’il est … naturellement

EURO-FASTING

 

yellow.jpgdesertflower.jpg Fasting in islam is not about drought and suffering … it is about finding new life, a fresh force that allows a much purer form of dedication to one’s greatest goals !

 

The islamic ritual fasting (also called Siyâm) as done in the month of ramadân, comes next in line after prayer as a pillar of Islam – it actually is the third one (the first one being the shahadah, the proclamation of faith). Fasting became obligatory in the second year of the hijrah, and was introduced in several stages:

 

First came a simple obligation to fast only a few days, with an easy choice between either fasting or providing a meal to a beggar, as we can see in the following verse:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

 

2/183 : O you who believe! Observing As-Siyâm (fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious.

 

أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ وَأَنْ تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

2/184 : Observing Siyâm (fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskîn (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, is better for you if only you know.

 

Second stage: the obligation to fast the whole month of Ramadân was revealed, also comprising a specific rule that whosoever fell asleep before having had a meal, without finding any opportunity to catch up before daybreak, needed to go on fasting until the next night.

 

And then came the third and final stage announcing the form we know today, with all its rules and regulations.

 

An interesting thing to notice is that contrary to prayer, fasting was imposed by a coranic verse, as we have just seen, whilst  prayer was imposed directly in the heavens (please read more on this topic in our series about prayer). Another thing to notice here is that fasting is a static form of worship, since it consists in depriving oneself of a certain number of things (thereby limiting one’s actions), thus actually quite contrary in nature to prayer, which is made up of a number of acts to be performed (thereby expanding one’s actions).

 

In carefully thinking this through, one can easily discover the great degree of mercy contained in the ensemble of obligatory forms of worship that have been prescribed to believers, in a sense that first of all they are introduced in a gradual way, giving preference to ease and comfort and offering a number of choices in the beginning, as we read in the first coranic verse we explored together, and then, later on, the other elements are added to the basic form, still with great softness and consideration.

 

And next, as fasting came to reach its final obligatory form, once again we see how ease and consideration for special circumstances are immediately added, as we read again here:

 

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْـزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ.

2/185 : The month of Ramadân in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadân i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Siyâm (fasting) must be made up] from other days. Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.

 

Here again, we see rather clearly how ease and convenience are really designed to lay at the base of Islam, as we detect their presence within all forms of worships, ….

 (to be continued shortly incha Allah – in case of great impatience or serious remarks/questions, please write us at eazyislam@gmail.com)

 

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