I've notice quite a few post on the subject of Ramadan and peoples opinion on whether food has anything to do with the command Allah gives us.
Constantly throughout the Quran, Allah tells us to use our intellect by using sound reasoning and logic.
I see a lot of peoples emotions are influencing the way they feel about the command...
Here's what I get out of the command by using logic, minus emotions.
In 2:184 it states:
"Just for a fixed number of days. But if any of you is sick or 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 an alternative: the feeding of an indigent. But the one who gives more on his own volition, it will be good for him. However, going through the training program of Abstinence is good for you if you knew better."
I take note of "if you are sick or on journey", "if you incur hardship, feed the needy".
If this Saum that Allah is commanding us to do has nothing to do with food or water, why excuse the sick or the person traveling?
If this Saum has nothing to with food or water, then in reality, everyone should be able to observe it and there wouldn't be any need to excuse the sick, the traveller, or the person who experience hardship in doing so.
That fact that Allah commands us to feed the needy if we experience hardship, strikes a nerve with me. That tells me that the "needy" is exempt from abstaining from food during Ramadan and for everyday you don't abstain from food, on top of you eating, feed one needy person.
Sounds pretty logical to me.
Also, everyone complains about going hungry and thirsty and how it doesn't accomplish anything. Think about all of the people who are unable to eat for days on out due to poverty. I myself have been fasting since I was in elementary school, around 3rd grade. I didn't have to do it, but I guess I've always a strong conviction in Islam. Keep in mind that this was a non-muslim public school. In spite of them taking me to the office and having everyone including the principal trying to convince me to eat, I wouldn't. Not even my mom could get me to do it. I've gone to fast during football practice, while working in the hot sun, ect. All of this was when I was under the influence of N2I, but the point that I'm making is, it allowed me to be able to endure a lot. I've never complained, not once. I've always enjoyed it, because it taught me a valuable lesson in life. I know exactly how the poor feel which is one of the reasons I spend all of my free time on ending poverty. This biggest point that I'm trying to make by giving you a brief history of my past, is that just because you fast from food or water doesn't mean you're going to die or be irritated. If you get easily irritated while you're fasting, than perhaps you need to work on your "self". Don't blame it on the lack of food or water. The person that doesn't get to eat for 3 days doesn't shout at people who turn them down. They continue to seek God mercy in hopes of getting food from someone else. Once you really understand the true purpose of life that Allah has ordain, you'll start to complain less and appreciate more.
Again, if it's hard for you, then feed the needy and keep it moving. What's the problem?
People are going back and forth about what "Saum" means and what it doesn't mean, but lose sight of what was said before and after.
If "saum" for the month of Ramadan doesn't include fasting from food or water, why excuse the sick or traveler?
The only thing a sick person can't do, that a healthy person can do, is refrain from food or water, depending on the type of illness. A sick person can still do good deeds, establish salaat, give zakat, ect. A sick person is able to fulfill all of Allah's command regardless of being sick, so that leads one to believe that fasting from food and water is implied. It seems to me to be the only logical conclusion.
For those of you who say it's hard, Allah simply says feed the needy. So stop complaining just feed the needy.
It wouldn't make sense for Allah to say, if you don't want to do good deeds, or follow my commands by being good in conduct, ect, then feed the needy. I mean come on, that just dumb.
Pay close attention to every word in the ayat. The fact that Allah says if you can't observe it, then do this, plays an important role in understanding the meaning of "saum". Now I don't read arabic, but I do have common sense and I do own a Quranic Arabic Dictionary, and I use logic. Given the context of the verse, no ones reasoning is standing against logic.
If you want to use logic, then think of all of the things you can do while your sick or traveling, but in doing so while create an undue hardship. Once you come up with those things, then I'm sure you come to the correct understanding.