Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi
What prayers seek to do five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan (the
ninth month of the lunar year) does once a year. During this period we eat not
a grain of food nor drink a drop of water from dawn to dusk, no matter how
delicious the dish or how hungry or thirsty we feel.
What is it that makes us voluntarily undergo such rigours? It is nothing but
faith in God and the fear of Him and the Day of Judgement. Each and every
moment during our fast we suppress our passions and desires and proclaim, by
so doing, the supremacy of the Law of God. This consciousness of duty and
spirit of patience that incessant fasting for a whole month bring us face to
face with the realities of life and help us make our life, during the rest of
the year, a life of true subservience to His Will.
From yet another point of view fasting has an immense impact on society, for
all the Muslims irrespective of their status must fast during the same month.
This emphasises the essential equality of men and thus goes a long way towards
creating in them sentiments of love and brotherhood. During Ramadan evil
conceals itself while good comes to the fore and the whole atmosphere is
filled with piety and purity.
This discipline has been imposed on us for our own advantage. Those who do not
fulfil this primary duty cannot be relied on to discharge their other duties.
But the worst are those who during this holy month do not hesitate to eat or
drink in public. They show by their conduct that they care nothing for the
commands of Allah in Whom they profess their belief as Creator and Sustainer.
Not only this, they also show that they are not loyal members of the Muslim
community - rather, they have nothing to do with it. Only the worst can be
expected of such hypocrites.
Source: Towards Understanding Islam