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ramster83

Ramadan- Fasting

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ramster83

Hey everyone . My father comes from the Muslim faith and is currently fasting for Ramadan (he thinks im fasting- but im not). Look i've come to the conclusion that fasting is absolutely useless in this day and age, maybe 1,400 years ago when there werent many direct ways in helping the starving they felt that fasting was a good way to purify ones soul and feel what its like. Yet nowadays to see people fasting i dont know i dont see the point.

You know why? Because we *KNOW* we're going to be eating at sunset- we *KNOW* we will have dinner prepared and made out and we will pig out after that- how does this "help" the poor or even "purify" ones soul? I've made a deal with God- that is i will NOT fast but to compensate i will give to charity instead, this is the NEW AGE way for any Muslim to directly help the poor. I see the idea of fasting as a pretty nice one the whole purifying of ones soul, no food or water or dirty thoughts- its nice.

Yet i think God would too be pleased with someone directly helping those worse off than you and thats what ive planned to do for Ramadan. Does anybody else here think not eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset is a nice idea? Or is it pointless? :unsure2:

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101

I don't know but as a Christain fasting is done for about two weeks at a time with no food. It helps you focus on God and not earthly things. *shrugs* But I don't see why not eating during daylight hours would matter. Maybe it is because Muslims pray during the day mainly. Right?

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ramster83

I don't know but as a Christain fasting is done for about two weeks at a time with no food. It helps you focus on God and not earthly things. *shrugs* But I don't see why not eating during daylight hours would matter. Maybe it is because Muslims pray during the day mainly. Right?

Christian and Muslim fasting differ- mainly because the Muslim one is more strict i think. I just looked it up and this is the basic idea of it (which as i said is nice- but i'd rather help people directly)

Fasting, on the other hand, is an annual institution containing all conceivable attributes for human excellence. It is a training for the body and soul, a renewal of life, encouraging the spirit of sharing and giving. Muslims fast for the below reasons:

Self-Restraint (Taqwaa)

Allah (SWT) states: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may (learn) self restraint." (Al-Qur`an, 2:183)

Many other reasons- not just giving to people- which makes my excuse for not fasting only part right heh! :blush:

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justcallmefox
Self-Restraint (Taqwaa)

Allah (SWT) states: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may (learn) self restraint." (Al-Qur`an, 2:183)

wouldn't the point of fasting be, then, to learn self-restraint? :hmm:

Edited by justcallmefox

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ramster83

wouldn't the point of fasting be, then, to learn self-restraint? :hmm:

Yeah i think you are right- that quote basically answered my question. Thats annoying seeming i work at a cafe and serve up food for 7 hours- my father expects me not to be having anything to eat or drink during my lunch- i understand self restraint, but it just makes me feel ill to not eat a thing under hot conditions, surrounded in food and drinks- nah i dont like the sound of it. Charity for me. :tu:

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justcallmefox

perhaps you could explain that to your boss and see if you could work evening hours.

if not, (or if sunset's at 10 PM) and i know this is going to sound dumb- just remember the point of what you're doing- self-restraint. it will pay off when your holidays come! :tu:

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Irish

Yeah i think you are right- that quote basically answered my question. Thats annoying seeming i work at a cafe and serve up food for 7 hours- my father expects me not to be having anything to eat or drink during my lunch- i understand self restraint, but it just makes me feel ill to not eat a thing under hot conditions, surrounded in food and drinks- nah i dont like the sound of it. Charity for me. :tu:

I tip my hat to you ramster83. There is nothing more valuable to give than our time helping others.

Fasting is good for you to cleanse your digestive system but after a few days it loses its health benifits and becomes distructive mentaly and physically. :tu:

As for fasting for 12 hours I don't see any benifit other than supper will tast extra good.

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mako
As for fasting for 12 hours I don't see any benifit other than supper will tast extra good.

Irish, you slay me! That is funny enough that you should consider a career in stand-up comedy! :yes:

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Sherapy

My best friend and i a few years ago decided to do ramadan My friend is Christian and I'm _______? as a friend of mine around here says( very skeptical i might add) It was for the girl who worked with us who was Muslim we made it the whole 30 days I lost a 20 lbs that has not come back on and both of us had horrible sinus issues in the winter both have cleared up, we are also both vegans she wasn't at that point but I was she has become vegan , It wasn't religious to us it was an experiment so the point is try it see what it does for you maybe that is nothing maybe alot like us and we also have a very diverse place I work and we can all actually get along and many of us disagree with the other but we are willing to get to know another 's religon, we talk politics and religion and we often debate but what my friend and discovered if you are the first to respect another even when you don't agree you will get the same in return, we listen to each other and many are growing as people much like this forum we learn from each other and we are all growing in the way we need to or we wouldn't be here. just my opinion Namaste Sheri

Edited by Sheri berri

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angrycrustacean

A Muslim friend explained to me that her family does Ramadan because for them it symbolizes what it's like to live in a third-world country with very little food. Still, in a third world country you don't always get food when the sun goes down. Sadly many of them still have to continue starving. :no:

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Yelekiah

^That is not the true reason for fasting, and in my opinion that is rather ignorant. Fasting is tradition in a lot of ancient cultures and many religions. For some it is symbolic of "suffering for a god" and was popular in Egypt, Israel, etc.

The reason in some cultures is to alter perception altogether, a perception that is more in tune with that of one's creator. Fasting is also good for your health as long as you do so appropriately.

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laily

Yeah, and you're right, Yelekiah. Ramster, that's just like saying "oh!! We can eat pork now!!!! Since there's machines, and technology!!!!" Yes, and things had changed since 500 ad. But that's like modifying the Quran, saying that you don't have to fast anymore, and you can eat pork.

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skeksis

I don't know but as a Christain fasting is done for about two weeks at a time with no food. It helps you focus on God and not earthly things. *shrugs* But I don't see why not eating during daylight hours would matter. Maybe it is because Muslims pray during the day mainly. Right?

focus on god? if i dont eat all i can think of is a burger! LOL.

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ramster83

Yeah i try and respect his religion and i try to do things in terms of both my parents faith- seeming im a Unitarian i try to fast in ramadan, i read some of the Quran, i celebrate Christmas with my mother, and easter- ive been to mosques and churches. I try to see both worlds of their faith - but i cant follow them to the core unfortunately, but still i will keep with good deeds.

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RaginCajun

i HATE people that don't STUDY and try to learn before they open thier mouths. don't judge ANYTHING until you have studied and learned about it. only then will you understand it's meanings then you can come to a conclusion. go take cultural studies.

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ramster83

i HATE people that don't STUDY and try to learn before they open thier mouths. don't judge ANYTHING until you have studied and learned about it. only then will you understand it's meanings then you can come to a conclusion. go take cultural studies.

Thanks for directly stating that you hate me ;)

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skeksis

i HATE people that don't STUDY and try to learn before they open thier mouths. don't judge ANYTHING until you have studied and learned about it. only then will you understand it's meanings then you can come to a conclusion. go take cultural studies.

im with ramster83 on this 1.. u must hate me 2. i dont understand everythign b4 i judge.. i hav opinions on a lot of things but i dont know everything about it all thats for sure.. i do welcome the opportunity to learn new stuff tho. thats half the reason im on this site :P

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Jodie.Lynne

While I don't necessarily agree with RaginCajun's tone, I can sympathize with his sentiment.

Before, you can intelligently express an opinion on something, you should at least take the time to learn a little bit about the subject at hand, no?

good journey

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mako
you should at least take the time to learn a little bit about the subject at hand
:tu::yes:

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101

Ramadan

this link is real interesting.

According to the Holy Quran:

One may eat and drink at any time during the night "until you can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight: then keep the fast until night"

The good that is acquired through the fast can be destroyed by five things -

the telling of a lie

slander

denouncing someone behind his back

a false oath

greed or covetousness

link to info above

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nadia88

Hey everyone . My father comes from the Muslim faith and is currently fasting for Ramadan (he thinks im fasting- but im not). Look i've come to the conclusion that fasting is absolutely useless in this day and age, maybe 1,400 years ago when there werent many direct ways in helping the starving they felt that fasting was a good way to purify ones soul and feel what its like. Yet nowadays to see people fasting i dont know i dont see the point.

You know why? Because we *KNOW* we're going to be eating at sunset- we *KNOW* we will have dinner prepared and made out and we will pig out after that- how does this "help" the poor or even "purify" ones soul? I've made a deal with God- that is i will NOT fast but to compensate i will give to charity instead, this is the NEW AGE way for any Muslim to directly help the poor. I see the idea of fasting as a pretty nice one the whole purifying of ones soul, no food or water or dirty thoughts- its nice.

Yet i think God would too be pleased with someone directly helping those worse off than you and thats what ive planned to do for Ramadan. Does anybody else here think not eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset is a nice idea? Or is it pointless? :unsure2:

Hello. Yeah my Dad was also brought up a Muslim (he's Moroccan, my Mum's English... I'm stuck in the middle) but he doesn't fast because, like you, he doesn't see the point. Well, I think he sees the point but he believes that the REAL POINT has been lost and now people (at least here in Morocco) fast out of obligation, and then use it as an excuse to be bad-tempered and tired. Which really isn't fair when you think about it. Having said that, though, there are some people (my maid, for example - I don't like to call her that, but that's the situation) who practice Ramadan the way I think it was intended. That is, they get up before sunrise, have a modest breakfast, then they fast all day, and at sunset they break the fast very modestly... and so on and so forth for 30 days. However, in my opinion, people who b**** all day and then pig out as soon as the sunsets are just defeating the purpose, and they may as well not do it.

And yeah that thing about KNOWING you've got a big feast coming at sunset has always confused me. But I guess if you're not expecting anything special it's ok. But what also really p***es me off (I dunno if it's the case in a non-Muslim country - probably not), is that people get all hoity-toity if you start eating in their vicinity and they're all like "Ex-CUSE me! I'm FASTING! Do you MIND??". But if the point is to identify with the poor, then why do they not have a problem with eating in front of poor people when it's not Ramadan??

Edited by nadia88

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ramster83

Hello. Yeah my Dad was also brought up a Muslim (he's Moroccan, my Mum's English... I'm stuck in the middle) but he doesn't fast because, like you, he doesn't see the point. Well, I think he sees the point but he believes that the REAL POINT has been lost and now people (at least here in Morocco) fast out of obligation, and then use it as an excuse to be bad-tempered and tired. Which really isn't fair when you think about it. Having said that, though, there are some people (my maid, for example - I don't like to call her that, but that's the situation) who practice Ramadan the way I think it was intended. That is, they get up before sunrise, have a modest breakfast, then they fast all day, and at sunset they break the fast very modestly... and so on and so forth for 30 days. However, in my opinion, people who b**** all day and then pig out as soon as the sunsets are just defeating the purpose, and they may as well not do it.

And yeah that thing about KNOWING you've got a big feast coming at sunset has always confused me. But I guess if you're not expecting anything special it's ok. But what also really p***es me off (I dunno if it's the case in a non-Muslim country - probably not), is that people get all hoity-toity if you start eating in their vicinity and they're all like "Ex-CUSE me! I'm FASTING! Do you MIND??". But if the point is to identify with the poor, then why do they not have a problem with eating in front of poor people when it's not Ramadan??

Hey Nadia. Nice to meet you. Yeah i totally understand what you are saying. I notice sure when people are fasting their doing it for a good cause but my God do they get moody. My dad was SO moody yesterday and i hate seeing him behave that way, but its simply because he is depriving himself of food when his body wants it. Also if fasting allowed at LEAST water i would seriously consider it more so- yet for someone to have to go to work, as a builder, in the blazing heat and not be allowed food or water just isnt right- im sure you can work around this. God says he doesn't want anyone to feel sick or hurt or uncomfortable and says if given the case that your health is in danger- then stop the fast for the day...which is fair enough. Luckily i havent experienced the "DO YOU MIND? IM FASTING" types so far, the muslims ive been surrounded with have been humble and encouraged me to eat more which was sweet- but thats surely rude of the ones you mentioned. I agree with them not having a problem eating in front of the poor when its not ramadan, a lot of people do it just because its an obligation- many dont enjoy doing it- but im honest to God and basically say that this isnt right for me, and i will try to compensate in some other way like Charity. Which is more direct in its approach to help those in need. :geek:

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nadia88

Hey Nadia. Nice to meet you. Yeah i totally understand what you are saying. I notice sure when people are fasting their doing it for a good cause but my God do they get moody. My dad was SO moody yesterday and i hate seeing him behave that way, but its simply because he is depriving himself of food when his body wants it. Also if fasting allowed at LEAST water i would seriously consider it more so- yet for someone to have to go to work, as a builder, in the blazing heat and not be allowed food or water just isnt right- im sure you can work around this. God says he doesn't want anyone to feel sick or hurt or uncomfortable and says if given the case that your health is in danger- then stop the fast for the day...which is fair enough. Luckily i havent experienced the "DO YOU MIND? IM FASTING" types so far, the muslims ive been surrounded with have been humble and encouraged me to eat more which was sweet- but thats surely rude of the ones you mentioned. I agree with them not having a problem eating in front of the poor when its not ramadan, a lot of people do it just because its an obligation- many dont enjoy doing it- but im honest to God and basically say that this isnt right for me, and i will try to compensate in some other way like Charity. Which is more direct in its approach to help those in need. :geek:

Hehe. Nice to meet you too. Though I didn't really. :huh: Never mind. Yeah so anyway we seem to agree on this one, which is cool I guess. So are you Muslim then? And how does that work out? Like what are your parents' nationalities/religions? Just out of interest, that is. :)

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Adrastas

I lived in Cairo for several years and for the first couple of Ramadan seasons, I pretty much kept the Fast. That meant, as it was explained to me, that nothing could pass through the lips during the day. That meant cigarettes and water-pipes, as well, which some of us found to be the most difficult part of the whole idea.

It was also explained that if one is ill, or has some kind of physical or health reason why they are unable to keep the Fast, then they don't lose any points with God.

And Iftar, the breaking of the Fast, in Cairo is an amazing thing to see. The usually wild midday traffic just suddenly dries up. The streets empty 15 minutes before sunset, cars, taxi's, even busses, all gone in a matter of minutes, and in their place, along several of the side streets, people start to gather along rows of long tables that are set out. In other areas people gather at the Mosque, or just inside businesses, in coffee-houses, all along the streets, sitting and waiting for the Call to Prayer

It was in one of those moments, once the food was set out, the cigarettes at the ready, tea waiting to be poured, water by the liter, while we sat, waiting, that we discussed the matter of the traditions of Ramadan with our friends. I was most intrigued by the suggestion that many of these represent a strain of influence by pre-Islamic cultures in the region.

I mean I’ve always kind of suspected that Islam is harder to understand when taken out of a desert context and maybe that’s what the whole point of the Fast is all about. To remind people what hunger and thirst are. I mean, how often does one experience real thirst? Long, lingering thirst, not the “I’ll get up and get a drink of water” thirst? I mean, people eat so much during the night after the Fast, that one isn’t really ever hungry during the day, jest a bit puckish. But the thirst…Ah, there’s the onion.

I think thirst is supposed to be symbolic here of the longing we feel for the Divine. When one is in the city, water can be found on every corner, but once we are back out in the desert, all we have is what we carry with us, and in us. In other words it’s easy to be faithful in the place of worship with the community, but out in the real world, all we have is what we are, what of the Divine we take with us. Maybe it’s supposed to teach fortitude, of faith and of character.

Anyway, not everyone kept to the fast. I vividly remember getting caught by a couple of my native friends hiding on a fire escape on campus to smoke a cigarette in private so that my doing so would not offend them, only to find out that most of them had been sneaking up there at one point or another to sneak a smoke, so as not to offend the more devout Muslims on campus. So, there are degrees to it all.

The first couple of years we made a real effort to stick to it pretty strictly, an expat rite-of-passage sort of thing. However, as the years went on we kept to it less and less. After a point, we gave it up altogether and spent our afternoons at a near-by Christian owned coffee house that served beer in a back room, smoking stones of molasses tobacco from water pipes, and sitting behind a screen to drink our beer, politely shielded the from the devout Muslims on the street.

Edited by Adrastas

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ramster83

After a point, we gave it up altogether and spent our afternoons at a near-by Christian owned coffee house that served beer in a back room, smoking stones of molasses tobacco from water pipes, and sitting behind a screen to drink our beer, politely shielded the from the devout Muslims on the street.

Oh the beautiful and ever so relaxing Argile. I enjoy it so much. Well written mate, it was good to see the meaning and experience of fasting and Ramadan from your angle :)

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