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Friday Sermon

EDITORIAL FASTING Fasting is one of the basic tenets of Islam and every able bodied Muslim is expected .to fast daily from dawn till sunset during the month of Ramadhan. Like prayer it aims at self-purification. It helps a person to improve his moral and spiritual condition and through the practice of self-discipline and self-control helps him to face hardships, troubles and tribulations. If a person is able to abstain from lawful things in obedience to God’s commandment then how much more important it is that he should abstain from those deeds and habits which are forbidden by God. According to the Holy Quran the doing of good deeds and maintaining good conduct should be practised only for winning the pleasure of God Who is always ready to bestow His favours on His devout servants. While fasting a person should carefully watch all his actions day by day. He should perform more charitable deeds and pay extra attention to offering prayers. During the month of Ramadhan a person can rise so high spiritually and become so close to God, that he is often blessed with His communion. Commandments and recommendations to fast are to be found in all religions in one way or another. Moses fasted prior to receiving the ten commandments (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9). Jesus also fasted for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:2). He also advised his disciples to fast. On the subject of fasting the Encyclopaedia Britannica states: By the greater number of religions in the lower, middle and higher cultures alike, fasting is largely prescribed: and when it is not required, it is nevertheless practised to some extent by individuals in response to the promoting of nature. The Islamic method of fasting is quite different to the way observed in other religions. The person has not only to abandon eating and drinking but also, to a certain extent, keep himself aloof from worldly attachments. He should read and study the Holy Quran. The result is that his thoughts soar high towards spiritual ideals. It has been testified by people of all religions that a measure of detachment from worldly inclinations is necessary for spiritual development and has a holy influence on the mind.