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Interfaith Understanding, Islam

Four commenters of different faiths share their thoughts on, and experiences of, fasting

It’s been a few years since I went on a fast – for spiritual, or health reasons, but being the daughter of an alternative medicine proponent and holistic health practitioner (my mother), I have been inspired to do, or directed to do many fasts over my adult life – from water fasts, to juice fasts, to master cleansing, you name it, I have tried it (one involved drinking only sauerkraut juice – not my favorite memory).

Fasting for spiritual purposes is different, in my opinion, from fasting for nutritional purposes. I remember the first time that I was told that you should use the “extra time” that you are not eating to pray, or contemplate and meditate, or to help others less fortunate. That is, not just “not eating”- but replacing that time you would be eating, preparing to eat, or cleaning up from a meal to do something to strengthen your spiritual self.

This article shares perspectives of fasting from four commenters of different faiths – a timely topic during the Muslim month of Ramadan, where the faithful fast daily during daylight hours. The writers, who are Muslim, Eastern Orthodox, Mormon, and Jewish, share their experiences of fasting within their own worship traditions. There are also some interesting perspectives in the comments (Although, the reader always has to beware when they venture into the world of comments online. A word is enough for the wise. :-). )

To read the rest of the article, visit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/04/peoples-panel-ramadan-fasting .



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