The Islamic fast
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As is well-known, fasting is one of the 'Pillars of Islam'. It might therefore be expected that as such, it would already have been extensively investigated. But this is not the case, for, besides the many minor points of interest which still require elucidation, it is not an exaggeration to say that even the broadest facts about the beginnings and early development of the Islamic fast have not hitherto been conclusively established. Theoretically, the fast is based in the Quran, yet part of the relevant section in the Quran is consciously ignored by most Muslims, while many of their conceptions as regards the rest are at best ill-founded. It should be stressed from the outset that there is no intention here of implying any conscious perversion in this; the reasons underlying the Muslim view of the fast are expounded later.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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