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Fasting is Part of the Indian Culture

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This has reference to an informative article under the column ‘Quran speaks to you ““ “Fasting ““ a manifestation of Man’s submission to Allah” (June 2016). Fasting is a spiritual practice that makes you closer to God/Allah. Keeping a fast is an integral part of the Indian culture and tradition. It basically connotes willingly abstaining oneself from eating certain or any kind of food, drink or both. Our religious scriptures state that fasting is not only a part of worship, but a great instrument for inculcating self-discipline too. Though people in India, both Hindus and Muslims may keep a fast for varied reasons, the most important ones pertain to the spiritual aspects. Fasting is an exercise in self-restraint. It’s seen as a way to physically and spiritually detoxify by kicking impulses like morning coffee, smoking and midday snacking. The motivation should be centered on God/Allah and a relationship with Him, not on our body or our relationship to others. The word ‘Ramzan’ is Persian, against ‘Ramadan’ which has Arab roots. It comes from ‘ramad’, denoting an object intensely heated by the sun. Linguistic scholars say this holy month was named Ramadan because it “burns the sins of the faithful”. Ramadan is a time to detach from worldly pleasures and focus on one’s prayers. The spiritual significance of fasting is being forgotten today as man is losing contact with his inner being. Nevertheless the science of fasting, as preserved in the Vedas, Shastras and Quran, is a method of purification which can aid man in his mundane and spiritual life. Prophet Muhammad, said: “When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, “I am fasting.”

Vinod C. Dixit,
[email protected]