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Who was the first person to fast in history?

Many people link fasting to Islam or Ramadan only. Although they generally are linked, it is not always the case. In fact, The Quran itself declares that other people fasted before it was prescribed on Muslims. God Almighty says: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183).  So, who was the first person to ever fast? This article answers this intriguing question.

an image about fasting

The first religion/human who started the practice of fasting?

According to many Imams and Islamic scholars, Prophet Adam was the first person to ever fast in human history. It is believed that the first fasting (done by Prophet Adam) was after his descent to earth and God’s acceptance of his prayers and repentance.  It is also believed that he fasted 3 days each month during the entire year; they are the 13th, 14th, and 15th

Another account holds that Prophet Adam fasted also on Muharram 10th as a token of gratitude to Allah (SWT) for allowing him to meet his wife Eve. Prophet Noah was the one to fast after Prophet Adam. He kept the prophetic tradition of fasting 3 days a month additionally to the day Allah (SWT) rescued him from the flood. 


Despite the different accounts regarding Prophet Adam’s fasting, it is agreed upon by Muslim historians that he was indeed the first person to ever fast. Prophet Adam was the first human on earth after all. Yet, it is amazing how the first fasting was done as a way to show thankfulness and gratitude to Allah (SWT).  This is a great lesson that further advocates the idea that God almighty did not prescribe fasting the month of Ramadan as a form of punishment but rather as an opportunity to repent and purify our mind and souls.

Check out other articles about Fasting/Ramadan:

Powerful Duaa to recite in Ramadan

Citation about Ramadan

How to finish the Quran in Ramadan?

Smoking during Ramadan