All Muslims in Malaysia will start fasting today 22/8/2009. Hmm...I've been waiting for this month to come.
Fasting is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam and involves fasting during Ramadan.
In Islam, fasting for a month is an obligatory practice during the holy month of Ramadan, from fajr (dawn), until the maghrib (sunset). Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, angry, smoking, and engaging in sexual intercourse while fasting. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Pillars of Islam, and thus one of the most important acts of Islamic worship. By fasting, whether during Ramadan or other times, a Muslim draws closer to Allah by abandoning body pleasures, such as food, drink and sex. This makes the sincerity of their faith and their devotion to Allah all the more evident.
The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Koran was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
Muslims believe that fasting is more than abstaining from food and drink. It also includes abstaining from any falsehood in speech and action, from any ignorant and indecent speech, and from arguing and fighting, and lustful thoughts. Therefore, fasting strengthens control of impulses and helps develop good behavior.
Fasting also inculcates a sense of fraternity and solidarity, as Muslims feel and experience what their needy and hungry brothers and sisters feel. However, even the poor, needy, and hungry participate in the fast. Moreover, Ramadan is a month of giving charity and sharing meals to break the fast together.
The Siyam is intended to teach Muslims patience and self-control, and to remind them of the less fortunate in the world. The fast is also seen as a debt owed by the Muslim to God. Faithful observance of the Siyam is believed to atone for personal faults and misdeeds, at least in part, and to help earn a place in paradise. It is also believed to be beneficial for personal conduct, that is, to help control impulses, passions and temper. The fast is also meant to provide time for meditation and to strengthen one's faith.
To some people this is the month of agony...but with faith you can overcome the challenge easily. Your stomach need a break...eleven months of eating... it's just like an engine...it can't work the whole life.
I feel sad seeing an adult who is capable to fast not doing it. It just doesn't make sense...my eleven years old daughter tried very hard to finish her fasting for the day...if she can do it...why can't them. My non muslim friends sometime asked me.."Hey...I saw some muslims not fasting...can they do that huh?". I answered...they are muslim but not a good one..hehe..and that's the reason why Islam forbid you eating in the public.
Anyway...I take this oppurtunity to wish all the muslims " Happy Fasting".