Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fasting in Islamic Religion and Culture

Fasting is integral to Islamic culture and religion. Like all of the other five pillars, fasting has both an internal and external dimension. As it relates to the internal dimension the Prophet Mohammad says, "Cultivate within yourselves the attributes of God." It is believed that those who do not eat, drink or have sexual intercourse during the Ramadan fasting period can strengthen themselves and cultivate the qualities of God - to become more truthful, less angry, more loving. It is also said that those who fast but do not observe moral behavior, are not truly fasting. "There are many," said Prophet Mohammad, "whose fasting is nothing beyond being hungry and thirsty."

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