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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


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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