Sawm (Fasting During Ramadan) – The Fourth Pillar of Islam

Sawm, Fasting - Fourth pillar of islam

What is Fasting

In Islam, fasting is generally customary to abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sexual activity. During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, fasting is between the dawn and evening azan. One should do fasting for the whole month of Ramadan. Fasting is also called Sawm or Raza, It’s the Fourth Pillar of Islam.

Benefits of Fasting

There are many benefits of Fasting including

  • Promote academic performance.
  • Protect against obesity and chronic diseases that arise due to obesity.
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve fitness of body
  • Helps in losing weight
  • Reduce the risk of metabolic diseases

Importance of fasting in Islam

Fasting is the pillar of Islam. All the Muslims who are healthy are required to fast all day long. Therefore, Muslims fast as an act of worship, an opportunity to draw closer to God, and a way to show more compassion to those in need.

Rules of fasting in Islam

There are some rules of fasting describes below

  1. You should plan to fast every night before Fajar in the month of Ramadan.
  2. You should not do such acts which break your fast. This is the most important rule of fast that is ‘DO NOT BREAK FAST’
  3. Keep your Fast from azan of Fajar to the azan of Magrib.
  4. You are not allowed to eat or drink anything during fasting.

Advantages of fasting in Islam

  • Spiritual fasting is the denial of your physical needs so that your attention shifts from the physical things (usual food) to the spiritual
  • It helps you get closer to Allah (S.W.T.)
  • Fasting opens our heart and develop the ability in us to hear Allah’s voice
  • Fasting creates patience in us. Patience for everything
  • Fasting helps us to control ourselves in sexual needs
  • Spiritual fasting gives strength to our prayers

Do’s and Don’ts of fasting in Islam

The following things you can do in fasting:

  • You can take a shower while fasting
  • You can use anything for your eyes i.e. You can do the makeup of your eyes and you can drop anything in your eyes (e.g., Eye drops)
  • You can wash your face and inside of your nose
  • If necessary, you can have an injection during fasting
  • You can donate blood while fasting
  • You can kiss and embrace your husband/wife
  • If you accidently swollen something, your fasting will be valid

The following things you cannot do while fasting

  • If you intentionally eat something, your fasting will break
  • If you vomit intentionally, your fasting will be invalid
  • Sexual intercourse will make your fasting invalid
  • Menstrual bleeding makes your fast invalid
  • Bleeding before child birth will break your fast

History of Ramadan Fasting in Islam

The fasting period in Islam is known as Ramadan. It is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar, was part of the ancient Arab calendar. The name Ramadan comes from the Arabic root “ar ramad”, which means the heat of summer. Muslims believe that in 610, the angel Jibraeel came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and revealed the Islamic holy book named as the Holy Quran. This revelation is believed to have taken place during Laylat al-Qadr. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during this month to commemorate the revelation of the Quran. In the seventh century, it formed part of the pre-Islamic Arab calendar before arriving in the Holy city of Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia.

Muslims accept Ramadan as the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Monstering – the custom of looking at the moon with the naked eye on the first night of every Islamic month – is a tradition that continues to this day, as Muslims around the world look forward to the arise of the Ramadan moon.

When is fasting prohibited in Islam

Fasting is prohibited on the following days: Day of Eid ul Fitr (The first day of Shawwāl) and Day of Eid ul Azha (the 10th day of Zyl Hajj). For the people who are present at Mina, fasting at 11th and 12th of Zyl Haj is also prohibited.

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