« on: June 28, 2015, 02:06:50 PM »
This topis has been debated up and down, but I would like to re-ignite the discussions since we are in that time of year when the majority of Sunni/Shia are fasting and people who follow the Quran are inclined to rethink the topic everytime this happens.
There are a few schools of thought presented:
1. The Sunni/Shia rotating lunar calender which has the fast for the entire month;
2. The Summer/full moon school of thought which has a fast of 3-10 days or one full month (depending on interpretation);
3. The Winter fast which some (myself included) adhere to and which carries a fast of 10 days.
Here is the literal translation of the main verses:
2:183 O you who believe, fasting has been decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you, perhaps you may be righteous.
2:184 A few number of days. Whoever of you is ill or traveling, then the same number from different days; and as for those who can do so but with difficulty, they may redeem by feeding the needy. And whoever does good voluntarily, then it is better for him. And if you fast it is better for you if only you knew.
2:185 A month of scorching, in which the Qur’an was sent down, as a guide to the people and as clarifications of the guidance and the criterion. Whoever of you attests to the month shall fast it; and whoever is ill or traveling, then the same number from different days. God wants to bring you ease and not to bring you hardship; and so that you may complete the count, and magnify God for what He has guided you, that you may be thankful.
The view I have presented on this forum is that the fast is a "few number of days" and that this number is 10 based on the wording "complete the count". The complete count we are told elsewhere in 2:196 is 10.
The reasons I have gone with winter is the birth of Jesus which we are told occurred in the Summer (around August-September) when the dates are ripe in 19:25 as we know Jesus was conceived in the Night of Decree as the Angels and the Spirit came down to Maryam (an event which only happens in the Night of Decree) = December.
Also, if we consider that December 20/21 is the longest night of the year - then that falls in-line with the mercy of God being extended for the longest period to His servants during that night.
Finally, for any of you who have fasted in the Summer - you will know that there is great hardship if you work a normal day and don't just lay in an air conditioned room - a contrast from the fast of Winter and the rule that God does not want to bring us hardship (2:185).