Salaamun 'Alaikum Brothers and Sisters.
This thread is simply awesome. Kudos to all the posts and responses made in this thread.
Brother Zubair, thank you very much for your kind input and breaking down some of the points written in Dr. Zaman's Book. You said something in your post that I have been expressing for quite a while now..namely that the traditional understanding of saum is practiced as an annual ritual which BRINGS FORTH NO CHANGE OR BETTERMENT to the INDIVIDUALS or the COMMUNITY of people engaging in this routine.
Sister UmeAimon, a double thank you for your post which appeals to basic common sense. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Dear Uncle Shabbir, may Allah Bless You and Reward You a thousand fold for demonstrating humility as well as moral and intellectual honesty.
Dear Brother Sidqi, I cannot speak for Brother Zubair but I do believe what he was trying to point out is how the futility of this practice and the fact the "ummah" seems to attain no growth AS A WHOLE/COMMUNITY overshadows the efforts of the handful of sincere individuals who do "as they're told" in hopes of rewards from Allah. At least that is the way that I see it. We are ALL responsible for looking into things ourselves especially when it comes to Islam and The Quran. [17:36]