DID YOU KNOW?
The English word ‘fast’ comes from the Tentonic ‘Fastan’ which means firm (in the sense of observing something strictly – to the letter of the law).
It is associated with the abstinence of food.
The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Chinese fasted to cure various illnesses. The Egyptians believed that to maintain physical and mental health, one should fast for three days in a month. They also fasted before battle and the Greeks and Romans followed suit believing it to energise them.
Socrates and Plato were known to have fastd for 10 day durations.
The Jews fast 6 days in a year – one of them being Yom Kippur (The day of atonement).
Studies show that just three days of fasting reboots the immune system and even helps in reducing the harmfful effects of chemotherapy.
The word for fasting used in the Qur’an is ‘sawm’ and is used some twelves times. Four of these refer to the command of fasting in the month of Ramadan, five deal with fasting as an expiation for a wrong deed or compensation for omission of wajibat.
One praises the act of fasting and one refers to the fast of Sayyida Maryam during her vow of silence.