Being Ramadan it’s always good to look at fasting and how it isn’t just Muslims who use fasting as a part of their religion.
The origin of why fasting began is unclear. Some believe it was so that the person could prepare their stomach for the sacrificial meal, others believe it was purely for health purposes and others believe it was a communal principle that came about when food was scarce so that all could share and help the needy.
But every religion is more specific these days of why and how they fast. So let’s look and compare what they mean and how they are done.
|How they fast||Why they fast|
|Islam||From dawn until dusk, no food or water during this time, and for 30 days.||To remember those who have not, to give to others who have not and to get closer to Allah.|
|Christianity||Usually to cut out those things that are tempting, e.g. food, sex, alcohol etc for a period of either 1-40 days depending on you..||To get closer to God.|
|Hinduism||To cut out food for a half day, full day or more.||To be beneficial to a certain deity who represents a certain human condition.|
|Judaism||To cut out food to commemorate certain events, however usually not adhered to if the area is not in a state of turmoil. Can be 1-25 days depending on the person’s adherence to the strict rules in their area.||When you area is in a state of turmoil it is a custom for those who have food to abstain from it in order to let others have access to it who may be suffering more from the conflict around them.|
|Buddhism||To abstain from food for a period of time, usually combined with deep meditation. Buddhists can fast for half a day up to 72 days in some traditions in Buddhism.||A way to practice self-discipline to develop self-control in terms of moral and psychological insight.|
Some people purely use fasting as a method of keeping good health and do not do it for any kind of spiritual reason.
So what about you? Do you fast? If so how do you do it and why?