The Unsung Hero
Proclaiming My Mind For Him

The Third Pillar of Islam

Every year, for the month of Ramada, people of the Islam faith go through what is called Sawm or Fasting. From dawn till sunset they do not eat food, drink, or engage in any sexual activities. People who are sickly, pregnant, or simply unable to Fast are permitted to skip the task, but make up for it when healthy. I bet most of you knew something about this before reading the first couple of sentences. It is one of the more well known Islamic Pilllars, that is the foundation to Muslim life. So most will believe that if you fast, you’re Muslim. That is completely wrong. The term Fasting is defined the act or practice of abstaining or self-denial. In this case, to deny one’s self from a certain action. Here’s another example of how it’s defined. ‘Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of God.  God states in the Qur’an:  “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint.” (Qur’an 2:183) Right now, I decided to take up the act of fasting. But instead of from food, I decided to fast on something that won’t get me yelled at. Namely, soda in general (no Mountain Dew…) and only listening to music on a single playlist on my ipod (50 songs out of 1000, no radio). Two very big things I care about, music and Mountain Dew. I have so far been fasting for over a week, but it isn’t so bad. Sure some food started to taste more bland, but it gave me a lot of free time. I’m starting to appreciate more of the simpler things while still not going bored. For me, more time to think is time that can’t be bought. The strangest of all is that I find more entertainment in doing house work (much rather clean the house than outdoor work). The point I am trying to make is that taking a break from something not needed can really open your eyes. By getting out of the routine of doing this and this everyday, things get mixed up in a good way. Now don’t go off thinking that fasting is only for Muslims because apparently you haven’t read the Bible lately. He doesn’t demand it, but many cases throughout the Bible, people would fast before making an important decision (Acts 13:4; 14:23). Fasting is also linked with prayer (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Althought the Qur’an requires it, the Bible acknowledges the fact that fasting can be beneficial. Just so you know, when Muslims fast, they still eat at night. So don’t go off starving yourself just for an excuse for your parents so you can lose weight. Go on a diet and exercise you slacker.

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