Fasting in Ramadan – Purpose and Method (Sehri, Iftar)


Fasting is obligatory (wajib) for the whole month of Ramadan. We fast in the month of Ramadan so we can get closer to Allah, for “Ramadan burns the sins and faults as fire burns wood.” It saves us from Hellfire and leads us to the peace and comfort of Paradise.

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By fasting, a Muslim subjugates his worldly desires and strengthens his spiritual powers. He comes to realize that nothing (not even his body & soul) is his own. After it, he can appreciate the freedom given to him by Allah during the past eleven months.

When you fast, you keep away from eating or drinking anything from before the break of dawn to after dusk, the time of Maghrib. The meal you have at the beginning is called Sehri and the meal after maghrib is called Iftar. You must do niyat to keep the fast, to become close to Allah.


Fasting starts with the Niyat (intention) that I will refrain from all those things which can breakfast from the prescribed start time of Fajr (Dawn) to the prescribed time of Maghrib (Dusk) wajib qurbatan ilallah.
Recite Surah Qadr and Dua e Sahar at the time of Sehri.

Niyat for fasting in Ramadan can be done each day before fajr, or the night before each day, or can be done once for the whole month at the beginning of Ramadan.
[Roza rakhta/rakhti hu Mahe Ramzan ka pehla/dusra.. etc wajib qurbatan ilallah]
Sehri meal is eaten before fajr prayer.

Imam Sadiq (a.s): Your fast day should not be like other ordinary days. When you fast, all your sense – eyes, ears, tongue, hands, and feet– must fast with you.” How?

Eyes: Keep your eyes off unlawful things and objects.

Ears: Abstain from hearing unlawful gossip, lies, music, etc.

Tongue: Do not tell lies; do not spread rumors or, damaging gossip about other persons.

Hand: Do not inflict injury upon others by your actions; instead strive to help them as far as you can.

Feet: Do not go towards forbidden places, like bars and cinemas.

Some of the things which are not allowed in fast are:

  • 1. Eating intentionally.
  • 2. Drinking intentionally.
  • 3. Vomiting intentionally
  • 4. Letting dust or smoke enter your throat.
  • 5. Lying about Allah and the Ma’sumeen.


At the time of iftar, we recite Surah Qadr and Dua e Iftar :
“Allahuma laka sumto wala rizqika aftartu wa alaika tawakaltu.”
“O my Allah for you I fast and with the food You give me I break the fast, and I rely on You.”
Then you can break your fast with dates and water.

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