Musings on the Purpose of Fasting

Musings on the Purpose of Fasting July 26, 2014

As Ramadan nears its end, I’ve learned something amazing from one of Yasmin Mogahed’s blogs.

In chapter 2, verse 185, God tells us that “The Quran was revealed in Ramadan, and so we should fast therein.” But it is only when we question and ponder over the Quranic commandments do we realize the wisdom behind them. We should think, “Why, what is the relationship between the two?”

I just did, and was hit by an amazing insight.


See, our abstinence from food and drink is, but a symbolical gesture.  It symbolizes life in general – the greater abstinence of abstaining from detrimental things that the Quran warns against! Fasting is supposed to firm our resolve in doing just that, once Ramadan has passed away. We could take it as a hands-on training period to develop Taqwa (God-consciousness).

But, fasting only holds purpose when we’re able to relate the two things mentioned in the above verse, when it reminds us of a higher purpose. It is, but a means to an end, and not an end in itself as many Muslims make it out to be.


And yet, the Iftar symbolizes that abstaining from the detrimental things seems difficult only in the short-term. In the long term, you will be provided with all that you’ve yearned for – a metaphor for paradise.

Indeed, as the Quran says, there are signs for those who give thought. <3


Related article: 3 Things You Should Avoid This Ramadan To Make It More Spiritually Meaningful!

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