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  • Fasting Ramadan is one of Islam’s foremost pillars and greatest symbols. Many of its purposes relate to God’s Lordship and giving thanks for His bounties, as well as to humanity’s individual and collective life, self-training, and self-discipline.”1)
  • Fasting Ramadan is the key to a true, sincere, comprehensive, and universal thanksgiving. Many people cannot appreciate most of the bounties they enjoy, for they do not experience hunger. For example, a piece of dry bread means nothing to those who are full, especially if they are rich. However, the believers’ sense of taste testifies at the time of breaking fast that it is indeed a very valuable bounty of God. During Ramadan, everyone is favored with a heartfelt thanksgiving by understanding the value of Divine bounties.”2)
  • Fasting Ramadan contains many Divine purposes related to self-training and self-discipline, such as: The carnal self desires—and considers itself—to be free and unrestricted. It even wishes, by its very nature, for an imagined lordship and free, arbitrary action. Not liking to think that it is being trained and tested through God’s countless bounties, it swallows up such bounties like an animal and in the manner of a thief or robber, especially if its wealth and power is accompanied by heedlessness. During Ramadan, everyone’s selfhood understands that it is owned by One Other, not by itself; that it is a servant, not a free agent. Unless ordered or permitted, it cannot do even the most common things, like eating and drinking. This inability shatters its illusory lordship and enables it to admit its servanthood and perform its real duty of thanksgiving.”3)
  • “Ramadan is the most proper time for such a profitable trade in the afterlife’s name. It is like a most fertile field to cultivate for the afterlife’s harvest. Its multiplication of rewards for good deeds make it like April in spring. It is a sacred and illustrious festival for the parade of those who worship His Lordship’s Sovereignty. This is why fasting Ramadan is obligatory, why believers are not allowed to gratify the carnal self’s animal appetites and indulge in its useless fancies. Since they become like angels while fasting or engaging in such a trade, each believer is a mirror reflecting God’s Self-Sufficiency. They move toward becoming a pure spirit manifested in corporeal dress by abandoning the world for a fixed period. In fact, Ramadan contains and causes believers to gain, through fasting, a permanent life after a short period in this world.”4)
  • Fasting also enables people to abandon sins committed by their bodily senses or members and use them in the acts of worship particular to each. For example, those who fast should stop their tongue from lying, backbiting, and swearing by busying it with reciting the Qur’an, glorifying God, seeking His forgiveness, and calling His blessing upon Prophet Muhammad. They should prevent their eyes from looking at, and their ears from listening to, forbidden things; rather, they should look at things that give a spiritual lesson or moral warning and listen to the Qur’an and truths. When the factory-like stomach is stopped from working, other members (small workshops) can be made to follow it easily.”5)
  • “One purpose of fasting is to put people on a physical and spiritual diet. If the carnal self acts, eats, and drinks as it wishes, people’s physical health is harmed. But, and more importantly, their spiritual life is harmed because they do not discriminate between the allowed and the forbidden. Such a carnal self finds it very difficult to obey the heart and spirit. Recognizing no principles, it takes the person’s reins and drives him or her as it pleases. Fasting Ramadan accustoms it to dieting, and self-discipline trains it to obey. The stomach is not harmed from overeating before the previous meal has been digested properly and, learning to forsake what is allowed, can follow the decree of reason and religion to refrain from what is forbidden. Thus the carnal self tries not to corrupt its owner’s spiritual lifeFasting cures impatience and the lack of endurance, which double humanity’s misfortune.
  • Fasting Ramadan reminds us that our bodily members were created for more than just serving the stomach. During Ramadan, many bodily members take and experience angelic and spiritual—as opposed to material—pleasures. As a result, fasting believers receive degrees of spiritual pleasure and enlightenment according to their level of spiritual perfection. Fasting Ramadan refines the person’s heart, spirit, reason, and innermost senses. Even if the stomach complains, these senses rejoice.”6)
  • Fasting is an excellent worship, in which the sense of fidelity is manifested.”7)

Further Reading

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Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Letters, New Jersey: The Light, 2014, p. 390.
Ibid., p. 391.
Ibid., p. 392.
4) , 5)
Ibid., p. 394.
Ibid., p. 395.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Fasıldan Fasıla-2, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2008, p. 47.
fasting.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/15 13:57 by Editor