WNIA - West Norfolk Islamic Association

West Norfolk Islamic Association
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Muslims here in the UK and across the globe will be fasting during the month of July - August - known as the month of 'Ramadhan' - which is the their 9th lunar month and one which moves back approximately every 10 days every year due to lunar cycles.

Fasting starts at dawn (which means an early breakfast at approx 2.30am) lasting till sunset (approx 8.45pm) which means a total abstinence from food and water for those who are of sound body and mind!  "Ramadhan" is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, ‘scorched ground’.  Fasting is one of the five major obligation for Muslims towards God (Allah).

Fasting isn't a new phenomenon as it has been enjoyed upon for centuries either for health benefits or as a religious duty as prescribed to other major faiths - to Christians and Jews, where fasting has been mentioned in the Old and New Testament in no less than 40 times.  Jesus Christ is also known to have fasted for 40 days.  Fasting is about the ‘purity of both thought and action’.


Why Muslims Fast

For Muslims, fasting has a number of benefits:

1. It helps one to feel compassion for those who are less fortunate and underprivileged, since each day Muslims feel greater appreciation for what they have as a result of feeling hunger and thirst.

2. It allows one to build a sense of self-control and willpower, which can be beneficial throughout life in dealing with temptations and peer pressure. Through fasting, Muslims learn to control their natural urges such as hunger and thirst, and thus are able to better resist temptations for things which are not necessary, such as drugs or other unhealthy or harmful substances and behaviours.

3. It offers a time for Muslims to "purify" their bodies as well as their souls, by developing a greater sense of humility, spirituality and community. Ramadan is a spiritual time for Muslims, and often they invite each other to one another's homes to break the fast and pray together.

A greater sense of generosity and forgiveness is also characteristic of this time.   Ramadan ends with the holiday and celebration of Eid ul-Fitr.

Category: Ramadan