Today I will share my new found thoughts on fasting ("asshiyaamu"). As you may have understood I do not follow the majority of Muslims. I have rather distanced myself from their erroneous beliefs. There are many persons and groups I have been guided by; links are given on my site. I do follow the Quran and truly believe it to be FULLY detailed as Allah state there.
We Muslims have just finished fasting in the month of Ramadan; ie. not eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset for 30 days. This is what the majority understand as fasting. So what does the Holy Quran say about fasting:
2:183. O you who believe, fasting ("asshiyaamu") has been decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you, perhaps you may be righteous.
2:184. A few number of days; however, if any of you is ill or traveling, then the same number from different days; and as for those who can do so but with difficulty, they may redeem by feeding the needy. And whoever does good voluntarily, then it is better for him. And if you fast it is better for you if you knew.
2:185. A month, Ramadhan (marked by heat), in which the Quran was revealed; as a guide to the people and a clarification of the guidance and the criterion. Therefore, whoever of you witnesses the month, then let him fast therein. And whoever is ill or traveling, then the same number from different days. God wants to bring you ease and not to bring you hardship; and so that you may complete the count, and glorify God for what He has guided you, that you may be thankful.
2:186. And if My servants ask you about Me, I am near answering the calls of those who call to Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be guided.
2:187. It has been made lawful for you during the night of fasting ("assiyaami") to approach your women sexually. They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them. God knows that you used to betray your souls so He has accepted your repentance, and forgiven you; now you may approach them and seek what God has written for you. And you may eat and drink until the white thread is distinct from the black thread of dawn; then you shall complete the fast ("assiyaama") to the night; and do not approach them while you are devoted in the temples. These are God’s boundaries, so do not transgress them. It is thus that God makes His revelations clear to the people that they may be righteous.
- Why do we fast? To celebrate that Allah sent the Holy Quran to Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him.
- Ramadan; the word means early autumn 2:185.
- So the fast should be inside a month in early autumn. The Quran surah 17:12 tells us about the day and night and the sun as timing devices. That means the calendar system according to Allah’s deen is a solar one. Therefore the Ramadan should be at the same time every year. A year is defined as the Earth rotating around the sun one full circle. A day is defined as the earth rotating around itself in relation to the sun one circle.
- How long should we fast, 2:184 say clearly a few numbered days, and one night (2:186).
So my conclusion is that fasting is two days with the night in between.
But dear reader does it really say “Do not eat during the day”? Is it not a serious business if Allah commands us to do or not to do anything? The whole Quran is full of no-nonsense commands and guidance in clear language. So does "asshiyaamu" really mean fasting (not to eat and drink during the day)?
19:26 So savour* it, and relax, and when you see anyone, then say, "I have pledged to the Almighty a "syauman"; therefore I shall not converse, today to anyone.'"
From the above verses it is easy to figure out what Mary was saying, and what her actions were in keeping with her pledge. Was she 'fasting' in the ordinary way? By Aidid Safar (http://aididsafar.com/fast.html)
Below are the other verses mentioning fast.
4:92. And it is not for a believer to kill another believer except by accident. And whoever kills a believer by accident, then he shall set free a believing slave, and give compensation to the family; except if they remit it. If he was from a people who are enemies to you, and he was a believer, then you shall set free a believing slave. And if he was from a people between whom you had a covenant, then a compensation to his family, and set free a believing slave.Whoever does not find, then the fasting of two months sequentially as a repentance from God; God is Knowledgeable, Wise.
5:89. God will not hold you for your unintentional oaths, but He will hold you for what oaths you have made binding; its cancellation shall be the feeding of ten poor from the average of what you feed your family, or that you clothe them, or that you free a slave; whoever cannot find shall fast for three days; this is a cancellation for making your oaths when you swear. And be careful from making oaths. It is such that God clarifies for you His revelations that you may be thankful.
33:35. Surely, the submitting men, and the submitting women, the believing men, and the believing women, the obedient men, and the obedient women, the truthful men, and the truthful women, the patient men, and the patient women, the humble men, and the humble women, the charitable men, and the charitable women, the fasting men, and the fasting women, the men who keep covered their private parts, and the women who similarly keep covered, and the men who commemorate God frequently, and the commemorating women; God has prepared for them a forgiveness and a great recompense.
58:4. If he cannot find any, then he shall fast two consecutive months before any sexual contact between them. If he cannot, then he shall feed sixty poor people. That is so you would believe in God and His messenger. And these are the limits set by God. The disbelievers have incurred a painful retribution.
Can you find the command not to eat and drink during the day here? I can not.
So is fasting rather to withdraw to your sanctuary or temple for two days, not to idle talk, but to pray, read the Quran and draw close to Allah? I leave this to you my dear reader to answer, but make sure when seeking guidance you use the only fully detailed book on these matters, namely the Holy Quran