In this article, we discuss the real reason of “Why we fast”. 

Most often when Muslims are asked the question “So, why do you guys fast in Ramadan?” the most common answer is “to empathise with the poor” or “to know what it’s like to go hungry”.

Now although, these answers may be partly true. There’s a lot more to fasting than this.

If we were to look into the Quran, when Allah speaks about the act of fasting, it in fact reveals something a lot deeper.

“يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ”

“Oh you who have believed, fasting has been decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you, so that you may obtain Taqwa.”


Meaning, that the purpose of fasting is to gain Taqwa.

But what exactly is Taqwa?

Well to answer this, let’s take a look at an amazing story, whereby Umar Bin Khattab asks Ubay Ibn Ka’ab this very same question; “What is Taqwa?”

To which Ubay replies with an incredible example. He says to Umar:

“Have you ever taken a thorny path?”

Umar says, Yes.

He then goes on to ask him “So, how did you travel along this thorny path?”

To which Umar replies “I rolled up my garment and was cautious as to where I would tread to avoid being pricked by the thorns”.

Ubay, says  “… This is Taqwa”.


It’s an amazing example that illustrates the meaning of Taqwa. A concept of being cautious and careful as to where you would tread, not out of fear of stepping into thorns, but rather fear of stepping into that which Allah has prohibited.

And by fasting, we can gain this virtue of Taqwa. By abstaining from food and drink, and constantly being cautious to not eat or drink during the day, we develop a heightened sense of awareness and god consciousness.

And surely if we can learn to be cautious in avoiding the consumption of food and drink, which are generally permissible in other months, we would similarly be able to train ourselves to be much stronger and cautious from falling into that which is otherwise impermissible, such as backbiting, gossip, the unlawful gaze or disobeying our parents.

Blessings from Taqwa

 Allah has guaranteed those who attain this status of Taqwa with many blessings as mentioned in the Quran.

For instance Allah promises to be near to and love those with Taqwa:

“عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ”

“Truly, Allah is with the people who have taqwa”


“وَٱتَّقَىٰ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ”

“Surely Allah loves those who are mindful ˹of Him˺.”


Allah also promises to ease the affairs of those who have Taqwa and provide for them from where they least expect.

“And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them”


So if anyone asks you why do Muslims fast, tell them this. It’s to gain Taqwa, a heightened sense of awareness and consciousness of Allah.

May Allah, the Almighty grant us all Taqwa this Ramadan.

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