What is fasting and explain its benefits. Also what are religious fasts and Eid-Ul-Fitr.
Food sustains our life is an undisputed fact
Proves harmful when aimlessly taken
When taken more than our requirement of body
Forces our digestive system to work more ultimately
Producing fatty contents in excess
Than our body actually requires
Being obese is the result of excessive food consumption
Which impairs our body constitution.
Fasting is a willful restraint
From intake of food material
Giving a needed break to our digestive system
In the process regulating the body metabolism
In sync with our body’s requirements
Thus ensuring sound health & wellbeing
And live life in association with Super Being.
Fasting or not eating food for a fixed or for a per-determined period of time with a view to giving our digestive system some break or rest consequently keeping the body free of extra fats and toxins so as to focus on the job at hand without bodily interruptions besides offering prayers to our Lord with ease and peace.
In other words, fasting is intentional skipping of intake of food material, drinks or sometimes both for a fixed or sometimes for a prolonged period of time. It may be for a complete day (24 hours) from early morning to evening (dawn to dusk) or early morning on a particular day to the morning of next day. Then the fasting could be continuously or intermittent; depending on the body requirement or for the intended purpose of observance of fast as a religious tradition being followed in some religions.
While in intermittent fasting, we remain without food, for a fixed time-span and then eat at a set time but in continuous fasting we remain without food for a long period of time – say from morning to the following morning of the day or still more for more days at a stretch.
Fasting is both for regulating and energizing the body metabolism by pepping up / streamlining the digestive system so as to keep the body free of the extra fats and toxins besides keeping the body’s carbohydrates (sugar) synchronized with the need of our body. With slower and regulated metabolism, means our body organs can work for a longer period of time thus prolonging our age.
Then fasting too is undertaken as a religious observance.
Hindu fast on religious and sacred days or on the religious festivals like: Navratris, Puranmashi (Puranmashi is the full moon day in traditional Indian calendar), Ekadshi (Ekadashi is the eleventh day of both the dark and light fortnight of each month), Maha Shivratri (auspicious time for Maha Shivaratri puja activities like Fasting and prayers are performed), Ramnavmi (Fasting observed on the birthday of the Lord Ram) , Krishna Janamashthmi (fasting on the birthday of Lord Krishna) besides many other festivals connected with Demi Gods and fasts relevant to local populace of a particular locality.
The Christians skip their desire for food and instead devote time in seeking God. Meaning, the time spent on preparation of food etc could meaningfully be utilized for prayers and meditation on the Word. This fasting time could be per-determined and hunger for food could be compensated with hunger for the Lord. Jesus fasted from all food and drink. The Bible also describes some extreme times when people fasted.
The Muslims observe fasts in the month of Ramadan or Ramzan. It is a sacred month since Holy Quran was revealed in this month. The word Ramadan has been driven from the Arabic word ramaida meaning intense heat accompanied with dryness of ground. It is called so since it amounts to driving out sins with our good deeds like offering charity and keeping away or desisting from all body enjoyments etc along with intense penance by following the practice of fasting.
The word “fasting” (sawm) literally means ‘to refrain’ – means desisting from not only from food and drinks but also from unethical thoughts and actions which sully our thoughts and actions besides following all the guidance in letter and spirit enunciated in the Holy Quran. In other words, it is not merely restraint from food and drink but also our resolve as to how to control the urge of hunger and thirst besides devote ones energies on prayers thus gain spiritually. This way, the devout learn the traits of self discipline through self restraints too. The fast is broken at sunset before recitation from Holy Quran and thus being in connectivity with Allaha. The fast is broken with a sip of water and some dates.
Fasting is done as an exercise of keeping oneself away from certain activities which prevent devout from being spiritually aesthetical both physically and emotionally. Thus desisting from taking anything and keep oneself away from worldly pleasures i.e. humdrum of eating drinking or even being away from thinking about anything like lust etc and divert all the energies to prayers – five times. Having abstinence means devoting much of time and resources on charities besides prayers infuses self discipline and ushers in all round development in the individual.
Everybody may be aware about IFTAR party – a social event where fast is broken. Here meal is shared with friends and others. Free meals are also served for the general public too at this get-together.
Ramadan is more than fasting. The entire month is devoted to prayers, internal cleansing, charity etc.
The devout devote all his/her energies to focus on God.
No compromise on the practice self restraint – physical or mental.
Re-evaluate lives in the light of Islamic guidance.
Forget and forgive those who wronged.
Purify our lives physically and emotionally besides our thoughts and actions. A devotee thus adopts the qualities of head and heart.
Fasting helps self awareness / self enlightenment.
- Saves a devout from distractions and create the traits associated with sincerity and simplicity.
Restraint helps us discipline ourselves besides a person turns inward with regular prayers.
HEARTIEST FELICITATIONS ON THE AUSPICIOUS DAY OF EID-UL-FITR (THE FEAST OF FAST BREAKING).
God may bestow wisdom and resilience, in ample measure, for bringing dawn of peace, cooperation, goodwill, compassion and brotherhood among peoples of world. As we all are the creations of a single CREATOR, we should cement our love with each other and help each other meet our needs and never have ill-will for our fellow brethren.
After regular observance of fasst with devotion and piety for a period of one month during Ramadhan, devotees celebrate – Eid Day means a day of joy, a day of spreading love and affection, a day to spread fellow feeling besides a feeling of being pure after the observance of fast for one month.
Let this EID and coming EIDS be the torchbearer of our prosperity with Allaha’s Grace. Lets pray that the fervor and enthusiasm of EID remain etched in our hearts for ever and let this festival lasts for eternity with all its benefits.
EID MUBARAKH TO ALL
Eid-ul-fitr – after the month long observance of fast,
Based entirely on article of faith,
Having purified body, soul and mind with fasting,
For the complete holy month of Ramzan / Ramadhan,
Being close to our benevolent One,
It is the anniversary on which Holy Quran
Was revealed by most revered Prophet Mohammed
Chaste in fasting without forgetting our duties,
Dear to us – leaving none,
Or the ones who are forlorn,
Meet their needs with utmost compassion,
Brimming with belief while performing donation,
And our heart feeling pain at others’ pain,
Thus bridging the gap that exists,
Between people of different hues,
Awash with fervor thoroughly,
Also overflowing with of empathy,
Thus generating hope for the hopeless,
Thence engendering basket-ful of goodwill,
Of fond trust,
That there will dawn as a result,
A day which binds all humanity with a holy thread,
Of oneness, and brotherhood,
Sustained and in fact enhanced.