Written by: Muhammad Haramain


When I was at elementary school, about 9 years old, before reverting to Islam, I have ever gone hungry for half a day. Actually for a few days in a row. I just did that not to be any different from my schoolmates. I asked my Muslim friends why they didn’t eat and drink. The answer they all gave me was that they were fasting. At that time it wasn’t really clear to me what that means but I wanted to try and join them nevertheless out of solidarity. With enthusiasm I also tried not to eat because I was keen to join them in this ‘special event’.But while waiting for the school bus to bring me back home after the morning session at school was over I saw a few vendors selling delicious snacks right in front of my eyes.I could not resist buying some food and a cup of juice because I wasn’t used to having an empty stomach for so long. I just innocently ate and drank in front of my Muslim friends. It was an intense satisfaction to have it as hungry and thirsty as I was that time.

Only after I became a Muslim I learned all about the fasting month in Islam. What is it all about?

Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and anything else that nullifies the fast which starts at Subuh (signalled by the ‘azan’) till Maghrib (sunset) during the whole month of Ramadhan. Fasting is obligatory for all Muslims, provided they fit the following criteria:
-Being a Muslim
-Being of sound mind
-Having reached puberty
-Being in good physical condition
-Not being on a long journey
-Being in a pure state for females (not menstruating or bleeding after childbirth)

The following actions make the fast invalid if done from Subuh till Maghrib (dawn to dusk):
*Intentionally eating or drinking
*Intentionally inserting anything into cavities of our body
*Intentionally vomiting
*Menstruating or bleeding after childbirth
*Losing our mind
*Intentionally reaching an orgasm
*Having sexual intercourse

Only when I started learning the basic laws/rules of fasting, I realized that me going hungry and thirsty for only half a day was nothing more than a training to get me used to to the real fast. Actually there are many more things I wish to share about fasting and I truly hope you will be interested to read them in the next few episodes of my journey….

*****to be continued**

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