Why Fasting ?
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” (Al-Baqara 2 :184)
Each year, for a month, more than a billion Muslim believers around the world fast between dawn and dusk. During these fasting hours, they are strictly prohibited from consuming any food, drink, or having intimate relationships between spouses, among other deprivations. Why?
First, what Ramadan fasting is not: it does not have the character of penance, as in other religions.
From the Muslim perspective, it enjoys with God an unparalleled grace with other acts of piety. It is an abstinence which concerns the body and the spirit and/or mind. Indeed, God has given us a brain, a marvellous mind in wonder; our body itself is a perpetual miracle. Our body, our ideas, our decisions are led by our spirit. The better the food of the spirit, the better our faculties and capacities of judgement, of evaluation, the better will be our initiatives. Fasting is thus perceived as total submission to God.