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Narratives reaching us from Prophet Muhammad's (s.a.w.) Ahl-ul-Bait, wonderfully explain these facts.

How beautifully the eighth Imam of the Prophet's pro.geny All ibn Musa ar-Ridha (a.s.) expounds the philosophy of fasting,as a blessing from the Almighty, so that one becomes aware of the hardships of the poor and the needy and quite naturally feels obliged to pay out of what Allah has granted us. Moreover, he says. that by realizing the pangs of hunger and thirst one becomes aware of the Day of Resurrection when people will have to stand for timeless hours waiting their turn to be judged. In short, concludes the Imam, fasting builds up personality because the restraint over desires helps us acquire the virtues of modesty, self- control, humbleness of character, hope, kindness, generosity, forbearance etc..

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has been quoted as saying:

"Allah made fasting incumbent to make equity between the rich and the poor. A rich man does not feel the pains of hunger to have mercy for the poor, since he is able to obtain whatever he likes. (By enjoining fasting) Allah wanted to put His creatures on an equal footing by making the rich taste the pain of hunger, so that he may pity the weak and have mercy on the hungry..." *

Therefore, fasting is an all-ecompassing education whose social, spiritual, hygienic, economic and various other dimensiom which if properly observed guarantee blissful harmony for the human race.


Fasting also has its advantages from the point of view of health and hygiene. Islam wants a Muslim to be healthy, clean, alert, agile and energetic.

"Fast to be heaIthyy" had said the Prophet. And physicians today acknowledge the many benefits of fasting that ensure health and the


* TVasa'iI aS/i-Shju. aI-Hur aI-Amili.

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