Fasting during Ramadan, which is mandatory for all Muslims for 29 or 30 days, is a personal process during which prayers, meditations and other introspections are multiplied. If fasting allows the body to eliminate all that is useless and helps to prevent diseases, it is especially an opportunity to take stock and learn a lot about self-control, solidarity but also discipline.
From dawn to sunset, Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and sexual relations during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. Once a year, for four weeks, a divine injunction forces us to deny ourselves these essential concerns that make up our daily lives. Easy to observe? Constraining? For sure, our spirituality and our mind take a blow.
Thus, the true meaning of fasting is to curb one’s impulses and to attenuate the ardor of one’s desires. It leads the faithful to free themselves from daily habits, to get used to the discipline of food, to clean up the functioning of the body in order to get closer to God.
Moreover, fasting creates brotherhood between rich and poor. The abundance of food, drink and the many small earthly pleasures often make us forget that one day we might not have any more. The month of Ramadan has been ordained as a time of awareness and reminder. It is a call to altruism and solidarity.
Thousands of men, women and children live in destitution and poverty. We see it in the press, on television or on the corner of every street we pass. It is time to come to terms with the fact that the sad reality is that a minority controls and consumes most of the world’s wealth.
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