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Ramadan and Fasting رمضان و الصوم Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

         Today is the eighth day of the holy month of Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar. For all Muslims all over the world, Ramadan is the special month when they fast. Fasting الصوم /As’sawm/ is the fourth of the five pillar of Islam. It is a duty for all Muslims who are sane, capable and pubescent.

      In the terminology of the Islamic law, sawm (fasting) means to abstain from eating, drinking (including water), smoking and any sexual relations from dawn (Fajr الفجر ) until sunset (maghrib المغرب ) during the whole month of Ramadan. That is on the physical level. On the moral and behavioral level, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip and trivial nonsense.

       Sawm or fasting is essentially and attempt to seek nearness to Allah الله  and to increase one’s piety (Taqwa  التقوى ). One of the remote aims of fasting is to sympathize with those less fortunate ones who don’t always have food and drink readily available. Also, one must avoid cursing and thinking evil thoughts. Fasting is also viewed as a means of controlling one’s desires; (of hunger, thirst, sexuality, anger) and focusing more on devoting oneself to Allah (God). Sawm also carries a significant spiritual meaning. It teaches us the principle of Love الحُب . When one observes fasting, it is done out of deep love of Allah and to learn self-restraint.

        Those who are sick, elderly or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year and before the next Ramadan. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed.

      Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification تطهير النفس . By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.

      In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Qura’an. Also, Special prayers called Taraweeh التراويح  are held in the mosque or at home every night of the month. During these prayers (Taraweeh) the whole Qura’an is completed all over the month. The prayers are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of  the Qura’an to Prophet Muhammad was begun during Ramadan.

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Peace  سلام  /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


Comments:

  1. Wrdah:

    Thank u for the nice description..

    I just want to comment on this statment
    (( Those who are sick, elderly or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast, ))

    I think it is better to differentiate between the one who must break the fast and the one who can if there is need. I mean the women who are menstruating or (( nofas نفاس )) they must break the fast.

    Hope my point is clear to u and no more confusion..(:

  2. Fisal:

    Thanks sister, your point is clear.

  3. asus:

    I’m no longer sure where you’re getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

  4. Fisal:

    You are welcome, asus.
    Don’t panic brother, I am a Muslim, Egyptian native speaker of Arabic!
    Best regards,
    Fisal

  5. daisy:

    I got a friend (with benefits ) and he just tell me if he dont fasting he call me to have sex but he almost always are …what does that mean ??

    • Fisal:

      @daisy Ahlan, daisy. Sex is not allowed during fasting. Also, in Islam it is not allowed outside lawful marriage.