The History Of Ramadan Fasting

Fasting for a whole month during Ramadan is obligatory for Muslims who are balig and have a healthy mind. Muslims are required to fast for 29 or 30 days during Ramadan since the second year of Hijri.

Fasting, by withholding hunger and thirst, has been done by the ancients in various parts of the world.

However, with diverse practices and times. For Muslims, the command to fast is listed in Surah Al-Baqarah:183

Before the obligation of fasting a whole month in Ramadan, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) fasted the day of Ashura (10 Muharam) as is common in the Quraysh.

This is narrated from Aisha, “In the past, the day of Ashura was the day the Quraysh used to fast in the time of ignorance. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did the fast.”

When he reached Medina, the Prophet fasted on that day and commanded the people to fast on that day.

Then when the fasting order of Ramadan came down, then the fast of ‘Ashura was abandoned.

In Kasyifah al-Saja by Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani mentioned, “Ramadan fasting is obligatory or difardukan on Sha’ban year 2 Hijri.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted nine times during Ramadan. After the revelation of Surah al-Baqarah:183, the Messenger of Allaah frees Muslims, whoever wants to fast ‘Ashura then let him fast, while whoever does not want to fast, then the fast of the day of Ashura can be abandoned.

How Ramadan fasting was begin?

At the beginning of fasting, Muslims are obliged to fast until the time of Maghrib. It is permissible for them to eat, drink, and have intercourse until they pray ‘Isha’ and sleep.

However, after that, they do not eat and drink until it is time to break the fast. At that time people did not know the limit of when the start of fasting in a day. There was a friend of anshar, Qais bin Shirmah Al Anshari.

When it was time to break his fast, he went to his wife, and asked “do you have anything to eat?” There is no food in Qais’ house. The wife then took the initiative to find something for him.

However, when the wife left, Qais, exhausted from work and endured a day of hunger, overslept. When awake, Qais automatically thought he was not allowed to eat anymore. He must fast until the time of breaking the fast the next day.

Qais then returned to work on his land, but he collapsed before noon. This is the revelation of Surah al-Baqarah verse 187.

In this verse, Allah allows Muslims to eat, drink, and have sex with their wives throughout the night of the fasting month until dawn.

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