Fasting in Pre-Islamic Arabia

by amirabbas, Iran, Monday, August 05, 2013, 05:39 (2142 days ago) @ Damon

19:24 A voice came to her from beneath the palm-tree, “Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a stream beneath you."

19:25 "And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards you. It will drop fresh ripe dates upon you."

19:26 "Eat then and drink, and let your eyes be gladdened! And if you see any human being, convey this to him, ‘Indeed, I have made a vow of silence for the Beneficent. So, I may not speak to any person today.’”

19:27 Later, she returned to her people carrying the child with her. They said, "O Mary! You have come with an amazing thing (breaking the rules of the shrine).”

Dear Damon,

once again, please, are you considering the context as well?

In 19:26 the message is clear! Mary was in anxiety and depression and she is told to relax! "Eat and Drink" is always both literal and metaphorical. Yet, one cannot render "eat and drink" only idiomatic and forget the physical and literal aspects of it! Mary is told to both eat and drink (be relaxed, and at ease) and further she makes a vow of silence!

Dear Damon,

Please consider that in the verse 19:26 we are not given all the information regarding Mary!

فكلى واشربى وقرى عينا فاما ترين من البشر احدا فقولى انى نذرت للرحمن صوما فلن اكلم اليوم انسيا

What if Mary fasted after eating and drinking and the abstinence had also "not speaking" included?

We all know that the Jews had strict laws regarding their rituals! What if she was supposed to be fasting on that day but couldn't bear the pain and had to break her fast? And further because of removing the suspicions she was ordered not to speak with anyone? Everyone can speculate! We are only supposed to understand the lesson...

If they had "vows of silence" in their times, then she could simply convey to another person that she was observing "a vow of silence"!

Dear Damon, one cannot reject all the history and tradition so easily to prove their points! Fasting, vows of silence, going on without food and water or little of them, have always been considered sacred and spiritual and i believe they are spiritual acts even today no matter if we are not getting the right results from it!

So, in the context, i can only agree with what the scholars and the Qur'an explanations have to say!

Regarding what you say that "SAUM" is not making anyone righteous: first of all we cannot judge everyone! Secondly, we all know that until we don't have a truly Islamic Government we cannot get all the benefits from the Qur'an, it's commandments, laws and their results!

In my opinion, your thoughts and ideas regarding "SAUM" and "Shahru Ramadan" are very beautiful outside the context and they are applicable and i really ponder upon them and try to understand them. But, in the Qur'anic context, there are so many scholars that are giving their opinions that, to me, sound closer to the truth.

Now, please consider what i highlight from the context that i believe are not compatible with you definition of "SAUM" and "Shahru Ramadan":

2:184... But if any of you is sick or he is on a journey, he may make up the same number of days later. For those who can go through Abstinence only with hardship, there is a way of redemption: the feeding of an indigent. Any additional charity will bring additional reward. However, going through the training program of
Abstinence is better for you, if you only knew.

2:185 ...this collective training... But if any of you is sick or on a journey, let him practice Abstinence for the same number of days later.

2:187 You may eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of light against the black streak of night at daybreak. Then complete the Abstinence until sunset.

2:189 (Self-control is a life-long commitment extending beyond the month of Ramadhan.) They ask you (O Messenger!) about the phases of the Moon. Say, “They are calendars to help mankind determine certain seasons such as Hajj.”

In the context, it all makes sense!

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