Undoubtedly, we are being modern, but many of us are losing our knowledge of our own religious ethics. However, fasting is one of them. It is a practice, which can be seen in every religion. "what is religious fasting" we will find out what the top 5 religions say about it.
Actually, the purpose of fasting is abstaining from food, even drinks. But from the spiritual perspective, it must have some comprehensive rules specified by God. From the ancient time, people of different religions have been practicing their specified fasting mainly to get divine serenity. Medical science has found the massive benefits of fasting.
Various atheists are also joining on abstaining from food for their own health profits, although they do not have faith in God. Maximum religions of the world gave importance to fasting among existing rituals.
Fasting In Islam
Islam recognized fasting as the name of "Ramadan." Basically, Islam established on five pillars. They are Kalima, Salat, Ramadan, Haaj, and Jakat. The followers of Islam follow the activities as the order of Allah (God).
So Ramadan fasting is a compulsory doing from the side of Islam. Muslims can show excused from fasting when they suffer from illness. Nevertheless, they have to complete their leaving fasting after curing.
Islam doesn't compromise with Muslim fasting without any specific reasons. It is not only Islam's ritual. It also a way to lead a healthy life. The Muslims start fasting from the day when the first moon of the Arabic month of Ramadan rises in the sky. Generally, it start before the sunrise till the sunset. Meant, a Muslim has to starve for the whole day. It's a exam of patience for avoiding foods.
They have to keep food fasting for 29 or 30 days regularly. Nevertheless, the surprising thing is they never fall in any sick for staying dissuaded of foodstuff. Also, notable people shared their experience that they feel enhanced even in fasting time.
Fasting restores the mind spiritually, along with bringing a positive effect on the body. If you are a Muslim, you might be pure from small and big evil through fasting. As the devils continuously attempt to bring the human to Hell, and Allah commands his angels to chain them. That is why you are safe from the cheating of devils.
Allah said, "The smell of the mouth's of a fasting person is favorite than Meshak ( Meshak is a perfume of Heaven)
This is not fixed that Muslims practice fast only in Ramadan month, they can obey it in any time of the year except four the days like Eid-Ul- Filter (the first day after the Ramadan month), Eid –Ul- Azha (The sacrificing day of Muslims by slaughtering animals to Allah) and the next three days. The other days are allowed and the best way to fast around a year.
Also remember, Fast in Islam does not indicate only abstaining from food. It is forbidden to take every kind of liquid drink, cigarette, consuming tobacco. Similarly, remain far from evil deeds, doing good deeds, controlling the mind from any wicked thinking. Allah said in the Holy Quran from the fasting verses, "Fasting is just for me, and I will give its reward."
Essentially, the Biblical fasting of Christianity is hard to discuss for the lack of sufficient fast information. Christian religion highlighted several laws about it but didn't clarify. As a result, the Christian people fall in confusion about this. For this cause, some persons ask how do Christians fast.
You may notice there are fundamentals controversy with Christian laws between Jesu's showed path and scholars. Hence, the fasting guidelines changed by an interval of time.
Moreover, social faith, political condition, financial factors equally contributed to changing the fasting process. Christian's traditional fasting indicated a expiate of sin'. It remains for restraining up to 40 days of prayer and considered as the preparation of Easter. The 40 days fast specify from the time of Moses and Elias, who moved toward God for refining themselves. (Exodus 24: 18 and 19:18 Kings).
Jesus, in his time, fasted for forty days before preaching. Moreover, he fasted one day more of Atonement, this extra day is a tradition of Judaism. Really, Jesus's fasting is different by countries where live Christian. Some people abstain from fish; some are from meat. Even doesn't take any fruits, birds, egg, and luxury diets. Some nation's communities eat white bread. As well as the mentioned item is not allowed to eat in some regions. On the other hand, this is not liquid fast, so only liquids are permitted for drinking at a fast period.
It is supportive of purifying own self that creates a close connection to prayer, especially for searching for God. (Kings 21:27). Also, provide strength to acquire brightness of mind.
Remember, The Bibel warns about the dangers of fasting wrongly. Since it is the path of gaining something from God (Isaiah 58:3). The effects of fasting get rejected for the absence of genuine repentance (Isaiah 58:5). We should not treat fasting is only for conserving traditional rule, we should feel remorse for our guilty, keeping mind from all evil thought. Otherwise, its purpose will go to vain.
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Fasting in Judaism
Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) starts for a full day and night, as well as traditional fasting of Jews so that they become impeccable from sin.
There are 5 physical actions prohibited on Yum Kippur, such as eating and drinking, washing, wearing leather shoes, applying lotions, and marital relations. The jews begin fast times for 25-hours, starts after sunset till the next day evening. On that day, all kinds of elements strictly forbidden to take. Even a drop of water is not permitted to drinking.
This is such a day while jews repentance for their sins, which take to the stage of gaining pardon. Yom Kippur is a significant divine day in the Jewish religion. The Jews spend the whole day remaining in Synagogue, pray, regret, and recite the Jewish Bible to acquire forgiveness.
The main quest for Jewish fasting is an apology. Fasting and prayer got incredible value when both of them observed together. According to the Talmud, If you eat on the day before of Yum Kippur, then consider a blessing equally of fasting. The meal is called Seudah Mafseket. Meat is barred in this meal, only poultry acceptable to eat.
Soup has been eating from the traditional fast food ideas, but giving salt a little bit is appropriate to get pure soup. Maximum Jews break their fast at someone's house or with dairy food, get together after fasting for having dinner.
Fasting In Hinduism
Fasting also presents in Hinduism, like other religions in the world. It accomplished from the olden time since Hinduism is acknowledged as an ancient religion.
Hinduism positioned Hindu fasting, not for moral and spiritual practice. They believe it clean both of the mind and body with a divine pardon of the creator. Hinduism divided Hindus into four significant community. Therefore fasting classified by the community. But the adopted methods have few strict rules more or less depends on the family, social and personal beliefs.
In some cases, fasting is not mandatory while the body suffers from sickening or weakness. In Hinduism, sometimes fasting means non-participation from one meal in a day. But all fasting forbids to eat any kind of food or drink.
Occasionally, it points to take some food instead of some specific food. The vegetarian can eat potatoes instead of rice, wheat, barley, and lentils during their fasting period. The meat-eaters do not allow consuming meat while remaining fast.
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Hinduism specified fasting several times. Most Hindus usually follow fast at Ekadashi that run-through twice in a month. The followers celebrate fast at starting of a year for showing respect to Shiva. Furthermore, in July and August months, the Hindu people keep fasting on Monday and Saturday morning to evening. Many Hindu females believe fasting for a day on every Monday gives them a decent husband.
Fasting in Buddhism
In Buddhism, fasting is a manner of self-controlling. The Buddha prohibits monks from taking any solid food after noon time. The laypeople who observe the 8 precepts on a full moon, they abstain from food till afternoon.
''Many critics explain this practice is a religious whim. Indeed, these are not a whim, these are moral and psychological practice for the monks. Likewise, fasting is a preliminary platform of discipline to self-control. Additionally, many religions fixed some vital fasting rules. But the initial determination is to keep the body and mind far from the wicked thoughts. In Mahanaya and Vajrayana tradition, monastics take light vegetarian processed food in a day.
''In Theravada tradition, the monastics fasting from solid food after midday, numerous take only a little food each day. Non-Monastics are not abode by the fasting directions of Buddhism.''
They can avoid abstaining from meals. Even though many lay practitioners are assembling with the monastics community for leading well life cycle. At the current time, the fasting Buddha is not essential for lay practitioners or even for monastics. They may take meat on the day or after the middle of the day. All monastics and lay practitioners from different traditions are allowable to drink fluids entirely and can also break fats anytime.
From the history of fasting, no doubt to say that every religion presented different types of fasting to keep both mind and body from bad things. Many of us like fasting for weight loss. At present, people realize the importance of fasting. That's why they obey this ritual. It doesn't matter why you follow this ritual, fasting has a lot of benefits both for body and spiritual serenity.
Science found that it enriches spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health. Fasting is a way of achieving God's blessing as well as destroy toxic from the body, enlighten the mind, and emotion.
According to the fasting definition of Islam, the chief purpose of fasting is to obey Allah's (one and only creator) command and feel the condition of starving people so that we can realize the actual situation of deprived people. Can you imagine what a great saying this is!
It helps to come under the flag of world brotherhood. There is no hesitation in saying fasting is a perfect solution of physical, mental and spiritual health. If you have inquiries on religious fasting, throw the question in the comment box. I will be in touch to reply.