OUTLOOK — By Nizar Al Musalmy — When the crescent moon is sighted at night, the next day is the first day of fasting. At the end of the month, when the crescent moon is sighted again, the festival of fast breaking (Eid al Fitr) begins. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Do not fast until you see the crescent moon, and do not break the fast until you have seen the crescent moon, but if conditions are overcast for you then count for it.”
In some instances the sighting of crescent moon may not be visible due to thick clouds and in such situations the Prophet (PBUH) advises people to begin fasting or break the fast after the 30th day in case the crescent moon is not seen on the 29th day. To know if the month has begun or ended, you have to see the crescent moon.
The Islamic calendar has either 29 or 30 days. Since Ramadhan is a month according to the Islamic calendar, it is through sighting the crescent moon that Muslims can know that Shaaban has ended and the new month is born which is Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is the month of fasting.
Fasting is a spiritual thing, it sharpens your spirit. Fasting raises your faith to a level higher than the ordinary. It quickens one’s spiritual ears and opens one’s spiritual eyes to see the unseen. Fasting disciplines the flesh and its carnal desires.
It is the fastest way of building your will power. Fasting is the strongest sign of humility before Allah. Fasting is also a health matter as well. It is a quick way to maintain good health. If done properly; it can be one of the biggest components of weight loss diets.
That is why you always see that pot belly shrinks by noticeable inches during the fasting month. That is if you keep away from overeating at the time of breaking the fast. OK, it does not totally go; but it obviously shows all signs of its way off your body.
Fasting sorts it out because by denying your stomach food you are shrinking it and re-conditioning it to accept less food. The result is getting satisfied on less food and thus your stomach slowly returns to its normal size.
Scientists have proved that fasting helps the body to eliminate toxins from its system. They say that without food, the body’s next source of energy is fat. In support of their argument, they say that toxins reside in fat so as the body burns that fat, it gets rid of toxins in the body. When you fast you get peace of mind and get assurance of victory which translates into long life. Through fasting many people have fought and managed to get off bad habits like anger, drunkenness, smoking etc.
Ramadhan and fasting for that matter, is a good prospect for that special direct connection with your Creator and an opportunity to a healthier and longer life — so get onto the fasting network.
May God the Almighty bestow His blessings and bounties on you and your family and accept our fasting. Ramadhan Mubarak.