Fasting & Ramadan in the Noble Quran - Part 1¶
Streamed Live 17th April 2021
From the book Fasting in Islam
The word for fasting (sawm) and its derivatives are mentioned some thirteen times in the Qur’an. Four of these verses contain the command to fast in the month of Ramadan, five others deal with fasting either as an expiation for some wrong deed or as a compensation for the omission of an obligatory act; another verse praises the act of fasting, while yet another refers to the fast of Mary, the mother of Jesus, during her vow of silence.
The abstention from talking to people enjoined upon the Prophet Zachariah is mentioned in the Qur’an without referring to it as fasting:
He said: My Lord! Give me a sign. He said; Your sign is that you will not speak to people for three nights though you are in sound health. (19:10)
The month of Ramadan is mentioned only once in the Qur’an along with the injunction to fast. The following verse praises the act of fasting:
Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the alms-giving men and the alms-giving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember – Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward. (33:35)
The next verse refers to the fast of Mary, mother of Jesus, who was ordered to refrain from speaking to people as a protection from idle questions about her situation regarding the birth of Jesus:
So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today. (19:26)
During the month of Ramadan, we shared excerpts from the book Transformative Worship: Experiencing Perfection on the matter of Fasting or 'Sawm'. You can find each part below:
Ramadan Fast Verses¶
O you faithful, the fast is ordained upon you, as it was ordained upon those who came before you – perhaps you will have reverence.
For days numbered; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days; and for those who are able to fast, a redemption by feeding a poor man. Yet better it is for him who volunteers good, and that you should fast is better for you, if you but know.
The month of Ramadan, wherein the Quran was sent down to be a guidance to the people, and as clear signs of the Guidance and the Salvation. So let those of you, who are present at the month, fast it; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days; God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you; and that you fulfil the number, and magnify God that He has guided you, and haply you will be thankful.
Permitted to you, upon the night of the Fast, is to go in to your wives; -- they are a vestment for you, and you are a vestment for them. God knows that you have been betraying yourselves, and has turned to you and pardoned you. So now lie with them, and seek what God has prescribed for you. And eat and drink, until the white thread shows clearly to you from the black thread at the dawn; then complete the Fast unto the night, and do not lie with them while you cleave to the mosques. Those are God's bounds; keep well within them. So God makes clear His signs to men; haply they will be godfearing.
Fast in Other Verses¶
Eat therefore, and drink, and be comforted; and if thou shouldst see any mortal, say, "I have vowed to the All-merciful a fast, and today I will not speak to any human.
Fulfil the Pilgrimage and the Visitation unto God; but if you are prevented, then such offering as may be feasible. And shave not your heads, till the offering reaches its place of sacrifice. If any of you is sick, or injured in his head, then redemption by fast, or freewill offering, or ritual sacrifice. When you are secure, then whosoever enjoys the Visitation until the Pilgrimage, let his offering be such as may be feasible; or if he finds none, then a fast of three days in the Pilgrimage, and of seven when you return, that is ten completely; that is for him whose family are not present at the Holy Mosque. And fear God, and know that God is terrible in retribution.
It belongs not to a believer to slay a believer, except it be by error. If any slays a believer by error, then let him set free a believing slave, and bloodwit is to be paid to his family unless they forgo it as a freewill offering. If he belong to a people at enmity with you and is a believer, let the slayer set free a believing slave. If he belong to a people joined with you by a compact, then bloodwit is to be paid to his family and the slayer shall set free a believing slave. But if he finds not the means, let him fast two successive months -- God's turning; God is All-knowing, All-wise.
God will not take you to task for a slip in your oaths; but He will take you to task for such bonds as you have made by oaths, whereof the expiation is to feed ten poor persons with the average of the food you serve to your families, or to clothe them, or to set free a slave; or if any finds not the means, let him fast for three days. That is the expiation of your oaths when you have sworn; but keep your oaths. So God makes clear to you His signs; haply you will be thankful.
O believers, slay not the game while you are in pilgrim sanctity; whosoever of you slays it wilfully, there shall be recompense -- the like of what he has slain, in flocks as shall be judged by two men of equity among you, an offering to reach the Kaaba; or expiation -- food for poor persons or the equivalent of that in fasting, so that he may taste the mischief of his action. God has pardoned what is past; but whoever offends again, God will take vengeance on him, God is All-mighty, Vengeful.
But whosoever finds not the means, then let him fast two successive months, before the two of them touch one another. And if any man is not able to, then let him feed sixty poor persons -- that, that you may believe in God and His Messenger. Those are God's bounds; and for the unbelievers there awaits yet a painful chastisement.