WHY DO YOU FAST?

15 Jun
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who believe, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may perhaps become righteous (2:183)
  • This call is called nidaa at-tashreef wa takreem. It has honor, prestige and respect in it.
  • Allah SWT did not say furida — obligatory. Kutiba has the additional meaning of legislated.
  • What does siyaam mean? Linguistically it means abstinence.
  • What is the difference between siyaam and sawom (صوم)? The former is used in the Quran to abstain from eating and drinking, while the later is used to refrain from speaking.
  • This similarity is with respect to the legislation and not the nature or the number.
  • Who are these people? Ibn Abbas said it was made obligatory on all the previous nations.
  • This is also mentioned to encourage the Arabs to fast, as they had never fasted before.
  • Many Muslims inform non-Muslims that the reason they fast is to understand the sufferings of others. This is a small reason but the main reason is to attain Taqwa.
  • Taqwa is a state of fear in which one abandons all evils and engages in all good, in order to guarantee protection from the punishment of Allah.
  • Allah SWT said that if you fast perhaps you will gain taqwa; He did not guarantee that you will receive it. This is because most people do not realize that taqwa is connected to the heart and not the stomach.
  • Prophet SAW “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions and does not abandon foolishness, Allah is not in need of his leaving food and drink [i.e. Allah will not accept his fast]” (Bukhari).
  • Umar ibn Abdul Aziz said, “Taqwa is not attained by fasting during the day nor by praying at night. Rather it is attained by avoiding what Allah has forbidden and only engaging in what He has made permissible. And whoever has been granted above this have been granted good upon good.”

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