Fasting is a practice that predates Islam. Throughout history, people of all different faiths regularly practiced fasting; using the time for reflection and prayer. In the Qur’an, Mary was commanded to abstain from speech after the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him). “So eat and drink and be gladdened. And if thou meetest any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious and may not speak this day to any mortal.” [Maryam (Mary): verse 26] While abstention may prove troubling at first, Muslims strive during this month to remember what is more important; our connection with and complete dependence on the Creator.
Naima Barbour serves as Secretary for the Islamic Society of Central New York and is a volunteer at Rahma Clinic, a free health clinic in Syracuse, NY.
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