#1 Why Do Muslims Fast?
The main reason that Muslims fast is because it is one of the five pillars of Islam, each of which are specifically demanded of their only God, Allah.
Most often utilized during Ramadan, a period of fasting in Islamic nations to honor heightened devotion and self-reflection. According to Pew Research, in 2015, 1.8-billion people worldwide took part in the “month-long period of fasts, which takes during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and commemorates the first revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad.”
Seen as a period to gain a higher state of mind, Muslims do not consume food or drink between sunrise and sunset.
Statistica found the global average of Ramadan fasting durations during the summer solstice in 2020. In hours, the durations would range from 18.50 hours per day in Oslo, to the shorter days in Melbourne that lead to fasting averages of 11.46 hours per day.
- Allah says “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may develop God-consciousness.” (Quran 2:183).
- Minhaj.org (International)– Qur’anic Versus and Hadith on the Month of Ramadan and Fasting; December 2007.
#2 Why Do Muslims Celebrate Eid?
Ultimately, the day is about family, charity, kindness, prayer, and honoring Allah’s noble word by feasting after Ramadan.
Eid is a two- or three-day celebration that translates in English to (Eid al Fitr: ‘The feast of breaking the fast). After observing the holy fasting period known as Ramadan, this is a celebration that can last for many days and is seen as one of the most exciting national holidays in Muslim cultures.
In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr’s date was specifically determined by the founder and major Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Being that their noble savior and on-earth teacher determined, it is highly sacred to the Muslim community and seen as a day that brings family together.
Not only is it sentimental for bringing the family closer, but it also brings one closer to God.
Remembering Allah is the central purpose of Ramadan, and likewise, it’s celebratory conclusion, known as the holiday of Eid. Muslims will thank him for their blessings, ask for forgiveness, and find ways to give back to those in need. During the ‘breaking of fast’ known as Eid, there will be feasts and indulgences that havenot been allowed to for the preceding month. Able to finally satisfy cravings, hunger, and return to normalcy – the goal is to have achieved a shifted or enlightened perspective.
- “Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa.” (Quran, 2:183)
- “The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [th’e new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you, and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Quran: 21:85).
- The Herald Review – What is Eid and How do Muslims Celebrate it? Uploaded by The White House – May 22nd, 2020.
#3 Why Do Muslims Pray?
Muslims pray five times a day as an obligation of being Islamic.
The reasons that Muslims pray include but are not limited to the following:
- To worship and honor their one true God, Allah – Although Allah does not need human prayers, it is thought to delight and please him
- Muslims are happy when they please Allah, but it is not essential to Allah
- Allah says prayer will reveal what you’re looking for or most need
- It’s seen as offering obedience, self-control, and discipline
- To set a rhythm to the day, praying five times daily
- To honor a tradition that is nearly 1,500 years old
- To connect with the billions of Muslims globally that are praying at the same time, as they did throughout Islamic history
- To harmonize the body, mind and soul
- 2:3-4 Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, and who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].
- Why do Muslims Pray 5 Times a Day? – Dr. Shabir Ally, Let the Quran Speak; October 28th, 2019.
#4 Why Do Muslims Fast during Ramadan?
The reasons that Muslims fast during the month-long period of spiritual devotion known as Ramadan include but are not limited to the following:
- To worship Allah (their one true God).
- The Quran demands it (describing that all who are of a healthy body and a mature age should fast during the hours that the sun is up).
- It is a pillar of Islam (faith, five daily prayers, charity, pilgrimage to Mecca, and fasting).
- To honor Muhammad (the key Prophet in Islam, considered to be the final Prophet that has visited earth. During this time, he became the founder of Islam).
- To look inward (instead of externally to comforts such as food and drink, this is a period focused on self-improvement).
- To gain perspective (this duration of sacrifice is meant to bring self-control, clarity, and discipline to the individual).
- To feel empathy for the hungry (inciting more charity, generosity, and compassion for those in need).
- 4:43: O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.
- Why Do Muslims Fast During Ramadan? May 17th, 2019.
#5 Why Do Muslims Wear Caps?
The primary reason that Muslims wear caps to cover their head, known as Taquiyah, is because their lead Prophet, Muhammad, covered his head. Attempting to emulate, honor, and mimic a person that is so revered in the theology, covering one’s head can show:
- Respect to Allah
- Homage and reverence to Mohammad
- Protect you from sun damage
- Protect the sensitive top of your head, holding the body in high regard (which Allah sees as essential to being a good Muslim)
It is especially important to wear a cap when in public or when praying, and praying without a cap could violate the customs of the Prophet. It is an Islamic rite and honor to wear a Taquiyah.
- BBC.co.uk – Islamic Beliefs: Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil. It is well accepted by most scholars that while praying, women must cover everything except the hands and face.
- Is it Sunnah to wear a Cap and Jubba? – Assimal Hakeem; October 27th, 2017.
#6 Why Do Muslims Wear Hijabs?
Islam is often criticized as a nation that oppresses women and strengthens its existing hierarchies and traditions. A Hijab is a controversial clothing item worn by women to display modesty and honor to God by covering themselves. In the Quran, a head covering (worn by Muhammad) is referred to as a Khimar.
The reasons that female Muslims wear the Hijab are:
- Showing their hair, neck, and chest to only their husbands
- To emulate Mohammad
- To please Allah
- As a means to reduce sexual advances
- To protect themselves (women being more vulnerable in dangerous parts of the world)
- To take the matter into their own hands instead of relying on men to provide self-control
- Mention of women covering themselves is seen in the Quran verse: Surah 24:31. Quran.com writes of this script: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and not to reveal their adornments1 except what normally appears.2 Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their ˹hidden˺ adornments3 except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, their fellow women, those ˹bondwomen˺ in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness. Let them not stomp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful. Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Quran.”
- Why Muslims Wear the Hijab? And Why You Should Too; Relational Religion; February 23rd, 2019.
#7 Why Do Muslims Not Eat Pork?
Muslims abstain from pork for the following reasons:
- The Quran forbids it – stating that one cannot sell, touch, eat, or own a pig. “Pig is forbidden.”
- It is seen as unclean
- It is Haram (sinful and unlawful)
- They have cloven hoofs yet do not chew their cud
- Since it does not regurgitate cud, it is impure
Not only does this include pork, but all foods with even small concentrations of pig-derived matter within it, such as:
- Pig’s milk
- Chewing gum (derived from animal fat, predominantly the stomach of a pig)
- Corn Flakes (contain pig fat)
- In Quran Allah Says “0 ye believe! eat of the good things that We have provided for you be grateful to Allah if it is Him ye worship” (2:172). One such thing that needs to be avoided is swine Flesh or Pork. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty has forbidden the use of swine flesh.
- Prohibition of eating Pork in the Bible – Dr. Zakir Naik; Uploaded by Peace TV on September 26th, 2020.