O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will become mindful ˹of Allah˺.


Al-Baqarah 2:183

  • Who are those from “before” which fasted according to the Torah?
  • What else do the previous scriptures have to say about fasting and why it was prescribed?
  • Tired and longing for rest for your heart? Come and get detoxed
  • Are there common areas of agreement between the Qur’an Kareem and the Honored Bible?
Biblical and Qur’anic Reflections
Detox of the Heart

A Desirable Goal

Fasting & Social Action

Breaking the Chains of Oppression

Prophets from Before

Moses (Nabi Musa as), Elijah (as) and the Messiah Isa (sa)

The Night of Power

The Blessing of His Presence & Worship

Saum & the Messiah

From Fasting to Feasting

Revelation and Power

Gabriel—Revelation, Purpose and Benefits

Keeping You Strong
In Your Name We Pray

30-Day Prayer Guide

Prayers of Our Prophets

Fuel for the Soul

Inspirational Cards

Downloadable cards to share

Perspectives on Fasting in Christianity and Islam
Frequently Asked Questions

Christians fast. Actually, faithful followers of Jesus (Isa, may his peace be upon us) should fast. It is recorded in the Honored Injil that he said, “when you fast,” not if you fast.

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. (Honored Injil, Mathew 6:16)

Yet, fasting may not be as visible or widely discussed as it is in Islam. Jesus (Isa, may peace his be upon us) did encourage his followers to fast (Matthew 6:16-18). However, Christian fasting is often a personal and individual experience between the believer and God, (swt) rather than a communal practice like in Islam.

Indeed, fasting can help to detoxify the body, improve mental clarity, and support weight management. However, it’s essential for individuals to approach fasting with care and consult a medical professional if they have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Yes, on the Sabbath, which is a day of feasting not fasting. So, when a day of fasting falls on the Sabbath, it will be moved a day forward. The Sabbath is a celebration towards God (swt), and you can’t celebrate fasting, except on the Day of Atonement.

Hebrew has two words that both mean fast, neither one mentioned in the Honored Tawrat, one belongs to biblical Hebrew (tzom, םֹ צו) and the other ta’anit, נית ִעֲת to rabbinical Hebrew (even when it is mentioned once in Ezra 9:5)


  1. tzom, םֹ צו is mentioned in the Nevi’im (prophets) and Ketuvim (writings) and it points to “gathering”. This was a prescribed fasting, therefore obligatory unlike ta’anit. Youm Kippur falls into this category.
  1. ta’anit, נית ִעֲת . the word “ta’anit” comes from the word “ani,” meaning “poor” and “afflicted”. On a ta’anit the believer recognizes that they are lacking (like a poor person), as such it arouses the desire to teshuvah (return, repent) and help him realize that he can be so much greater than he currently is.

1-day fast (sunrise to sunset). Judges 20:26, to seek direction from the God (swt).


3-day fast without food nor drink. Esther 4:16, for wisdom, discernment, protection, and guidance. In Acts 9:9 Saul was converted but for 3 days he went without food and water.


7-day fast. 1 Samuel 31:13. For wisdom, seeking comfort from grief, and guidance.


10-day fast of vegetables and water only. Daniel 1:12, Daniel was fasting for favor, strength, wisdom, and discernment and to honor God’s (swwt) law regarding food.


14-day fast. Acts 27:33-34. Paul and the men on the ship fasted food for protection and wisdom.


21-day fast. Daniel 10:3, for times of distress and mourning. No meat, wine, rich or pleasant food, and no oils. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, and water instead. In modern times, this is a popular fast (diet).


40-day fast. I can only find three 40-day fasts in the Bible. Each person was divinely appointed and touched by God (swt) for this type of fast. They were in God’s (swt) presence to sustain them.

Moses (Nabi Musa as) neither ate nor drank water. (Honored Tawrat, Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 9:9, 9:18)

Elijah (Nabi Elijah as) ate and drank then was sustained his 40 days of fasting. (1 Kings 19:8)


Jesus (Isa al Masih sa) fasted food for 40 days. It says afterward he was hungry (being thirsty isn’t mentioned and Satan tries to tempt him with food, not water). (Matthew 4:2-4)

  1. Absolute Fast: This type of fast involves abstaining from both food and water for a limited period, usually due to a life-threatening crisis or intense revelation. Moses (nabi Musa as) (Honored Tawrat, Exodus 34:28), Queen Esther (Esther 4:15-17), and Ezra (Ezra 10:6) experienced it.
  1. Partial Fast: A partial fast involves abstaining from specific foods or drinks but not all sustenance. An example of this fast can be found in the story of Daniel, who chose not to eat the royal food and wine, opting instead for a diet of vegetables and water (Daniel 1:8-16).
  1. Congregational Fast: when a group of believers comes together to fast and pray as a community. The early Christian church fasted and prayed together before making important decisions to discern God’s will. (Acts 13:2-3, Acts 14:23).
  1. National Fast: When an entire nation or community fasts and prays together in response to a crisis or seeking God’s direct intervention. King Jehoshaphat and his people (2 Chronicles 20:3-4) and the people of Nineveh (Jonah 3:5-10) to whom Jonah (Nabi Yunus as) preached fasted in humility, repentance and seeking God’s protection from imminent destruction.
  1. Private Fast: A private fast is a personal and individual fasting experience, often undertaken to deepen one’s spiritual relationship with God or seek guidance. Jesus’ (Isa al Masih sa) emphasized the importance of fasting for God (swt) and not for gaining a reputation of piety (Honored Injil, Matthew 6:16-18).

These types of fasting may vary in duration and intensity, but all serve to strengthen the spiritual connection with God, seek guidance, or express repentance and humility.

Yes, he fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness before he began his public mission (Honored Injil, Matthew 4:1-11). Besides this unique fasting, as a Jew, the Messiah (sa) fasted during the Jewish Day of Atonement or Youm Kippur.

At that time John’s disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast so often, but Your disciples do not fast?” Jesus replied, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.… Honored Injil, Mathew 9:14-15


Note the shift from fasting to mourning. One of the types of fasting was connected to mourning and repentance. Thus, when the disciples of John the Baptist (Nabi Yahya peace be upon him who was cousin with Jesus) came to ask they were at a time of great sorrow. Their beloved teacher was in prison, and they passed their days in mourning and fasting in the hope that God (swt) would reward their piety and release their master. Tenderly Jesus (Isa al Masih sa) answered them. He did not try to correct their erroneous conception of fasting, but only to set them right in regard to His own mission. The day was coming when his disciples would fast too.

While Jesus (Isa al Masih sa) was no earth, this was not a time to mourn and fast. The disciples must open their hearts to “The Way, The Life, and The Truth” which had descended from above to illuminate their minds and hearts and rejoice.


The days will come,” He said, “when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”

And with this words Jesus (Isa al Masih sa) was pointing to his betrayal and crucifixion, On that they, the disciples (hawariuun) would mourn and fast. The day before his death, he spoke in private to his disciples and announced,

“A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me. Verily, verily, I say unto you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” (Honored Injil, John 16:19, 20)

When he would rise forth from the tomb, their sorrow would be turned to immense joy. After His ascension He was to be absent in person; but through the Comforter He would still be with them, and they were not to spend their time in mourning. This was what Satan wanted. He desired them to give the world the impression that they had been deceived and disappointed. And just like Jesus (Isa al Masih sa) had announced, the disciples after a period of mourning, rejoiced at resurrection and exaltation of their beloved Master, and indeed fasting turned into feasting.

Fasting was practiced by the Jews as an act of merit. The strictest fasted two days in every week: Monday and Thursdays. These are not prescribed fastings.

Yes, early Christians practiced fasting. In the New Testament, we find examples of early Christians fasting and praying to seek God’s (swt) guidance and strengthen their spiritual lives (Acts 13:2-3, Acts 14:23). Fasting was considered an essential aspect of Christian devotion, with many church leaders promoting and practicing fasting.

While there is no universally prescribed time or season for Christians to fast, some Christians observe a period called Lent, which lasts for 40 days before Easter. During this time, Christians may choose to fast, pray, and engage in acts of penance to prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of ‘Isa (Jesus) al-Masih (the Messiah) (may his peace be upon us) (Honored Injil, Matthew 6:16-18). However, Christians are free to fast at any time they feel led to do so, depending on their personal spiritual needs (Acts 13:2-3).

Yes, there are similarities between the Bible and Qur’an when it comes to fasting. Both scriptures emphasize the importance of fasting as a means of spiritual growth, self-discipline, and pursuing closeness with God (swt). Both texts also mention fasting in conjunction with prayer and repentance. In the Bible, fasting is mentioned in various instances, such as in the books of Isaiah (Isaiah 58:3-7) and Joel (Joel 2:12-13). In the Qur’an, fasting is prescribed for believers during the month of Ramadan (Quran 2:183-185).

The specific how, who, why and when related to fasting differ. For Christians fasting is personal, with believers choosing when and how they would like to fast (Honored Injil, Matthew 9:14-15). Additionally, some Christian fasting often involves abstaining from particular food items or activities, rather than a strict abstention from all food and drink during daylight hours, as in Islamic fasting (Daniel 10:2-3).