Stop saying that the reason Muslims fast during Ramadan is to “feel the way poor people feel”!!!
If that were true, then Allah SWT wouldn’t have made fasting mandatory upon the poor as well!!
Also, poor people weren’t placed on this Earth to teach you to be appreciative; stop
centering the purpose of their existence around you.
Can you learn from them? Of course. But is that their sole purpose in life? Of course not.
So addressing the actual reason as to why we fast…
There’s only one section in the Quran that discusses the PURPOSE of fasting. All other verses discuss legalities.
The Arabic word “لعلا” has two meanings:
1. So that…
So the verse is basically saying, “Oh you who have believed, fasting has been decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you SO THAT/ HOPEFULLY you will attain Taqwa.”
The word ‘taqwa’ comes from the Arabic root word “وقاية” which literally translates to “protection”.
So basically we fast in order to HOPEFULLY attain protection. The fact that it says “hopefully” means that we won’t all attain this goal or achieve this purpose, but there is hope that we will.
Okay, so protection from what exactly?
*From landing ourselves in trouble.
*From committing sins.
*From disappointing Allah.
*From disappointing ourselves.
The relationship between fasting and taqwa is psychological and spiritual, but the actual act of fasting is physical.
Even if you’re not a spiritual person, you’re gonna FEEL that thirst, you’re gonna FEEL that hunger.
Fasting is a physical battle between your body and your heart. Your body aches for that sip of water or that morsel of food, but your heart says no; fasting is when you hand over the reigns to your heart and place it in control.
This extends to all other urges and desires as well. From sunrise to sundown, certain things become haram to us (food, water, intercourse, etc) and we have to wait until they are halal for us again.
We won’t always succeed, that’s why the verse says “hopefully”. But we’re given 30 consecutive days to work on strengthening our heart.
Now normally, Shaytan is the primary marketer for all that is haram and forbidden. But during Ramadan, he is locked away. Why?
Well think of it this way. When you train as a firefighter, you don’t run into the first burning building you see and try to save everyone, including yourself.
You go through some simulations first without the actual fire. You have to train before going out and facing the real danger.
Ramadan is the same way. Allah has removed Shaytan from the picture so that you can “train” yourself for 30 days, because after Ramadan is when you have to go out and face the real world and its real dangers.
– Nehal Ahmed Abdullah