Column: Ramadan Islamic Month Of Fasting

May 8, 2019

[Written by Shabnam Jheengoor]

This week, Muslims around the world welcomed the month of fasting, Ramadan. Fasting is an institution found in all world religions in one shape or other.

Fasting in Islam was first prescribed in the year 2 A.H. [After Hijrah, equivalent 624 A.D.], when the following verse was revealed in the Holy Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.”

This was followed by the commandment that earmarked Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar, as the month for fasting: “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month let him fast therein. But who is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and desires not hardship for you.”

Accordingly, Ramadan of the year 2 A.H. became the first ever Ramadan to be observed as the month of fasting. Fasting is obligatory for every adult Muslim; those who are sick or on a journey should fast the same number of other days, to make up for the missed fasts, when they recover or when their journey terminates.

Those who are permanently sick, face long-term ill-health or suffer from ailments that do not enable them to fast for medical reasons, are advised to feed a poor person for each fast, if they can afford to do so. This rule also applies in the case of pregnant women and those nursing their children. Those who are permanently on journey, like drivers, train guards, pilots etc. are not exempt. For the purposes of fasting, they are not counted as travellers, as travelling is part of their profession.

The Islamic fast is observed from dawn to dusk. The faithful abstain from food and drink and all kinds and conjugal relations for this period. Having breakfast before dawn is advised as to avoid unnecessary burden on the body and immediately after sunset, the believer is commanded to open his fast without unnecessary delay.

Email us at for a free copy of the Holy Quran with English translation and commentary.

- Shabnam Jheengoor, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bermuda


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