Sawm is a word you hear quite often whenever Islam is the topic. Islam has many five basic pillars. One of them is Sawm or fasting. Sawm is the fourth pillar of the five Islamic pillars and it has a great significance in Islam. Fasting exists in many religions and in Islam it is called sawm and it has many rules regarding how it is performed. It is also one of the best ways one can come closer to Allah.
Sawm is when any Muslims refrain from food, drink, sexual activity, and any forbidden act from dawn till sunset.
What is the meaning of sawm?
Sawm in Arabic means fasting. Fasting in Islam means refraining from certain actions from sunrise to sunset.
- These actions include
- Sexual activity
- Any forbidden act
which pillar of Islam does sawm refer to?
Sawm itself is not one of Islam’s five pillars but rather the sawm or fasting of the holy month of Ramadan. The fast of Ramadan is considered the fourth Islamic basic pillar. In which Muslims fast every single day of Ramadan from sunrise to sunset. During Ramadan fasting is obligatory, while on any other day it is by choice.
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Surah Baqarah Ayah 183.
“ O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous”
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Surah Baqarah Ayah 185.
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for your hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you, and perhaps you will be grateful”.
why is sawm important in Islam?
- It is the fourth pillar of Islam
- It cleanses the soul and spirit from all negative influences
- brings one closer to Allah
- holds great meaning to bear fasting just for Allah
- makes the bodies and spirit stronger
- It is a reminder to help the poor and feed them
- It weakens the devils and makes the Muslims even stronger
- There is a door or gate in heaven made for those who fast called Al Rayan Door.
What is the sawm pillar?
sawm the fourth pillar of Islam is the 30 obligatory days of the holy month of Ramadan that are supposed to be fasted by Muslims. Without fasting of The holy month of Ramadan the Muslim faith is not complete and can be in a terrible place in akhira.
The Sawm of Ramadan is obligatory and if a person misses a day for an excuse they have to compensate for it by the proper means whether fasting it or by another way depending on their excuse.
Is sawm only during Ramadan?
No. Sawm or fasting is obligatory during Ramadan but it can be practiced on any day of the year. The more someone can fast the better. Also, the more someone does sunnah fasting the better.
What is sunnah fasting or sawm?
It is the days that prophet Muhammed used to fast other than Ramadan including:
- Full Moon Days
- Mondays and Thursdays
- Any six days of Shawwal Month
- Any day in the month of Shaban
- Ashora’s day and the day before it.
- Arafat Day
- The first 10 days of Zul hijjah month.
Why does sawm occur in Ramadan?
The month of Ramadan has a great place in Islam. It is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him. As God Mentioned in the Quran
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqani faman shahida minkumu alshshahra falyasumhu waman kana mareedan aw AAala safarin faAAiddatun min ayyamin okhara yureedu Allahu bikumu alyusra wala yureedu bikumu alAAusra walitukmiloo alAAiddata walitukabbiroo Allaha AAala ma hadakum walaAAallakum tashkuroona
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you, and perchance ye shall be grateful.
How long is sawm in Islam?
Sawm in Islam is from dawn till sunset. This translates to different hours depending on your location. Muslims fast one obligatory month and any other extra days they wish to add.
what to say when breaking fast in Islam?
The dua for breaking you are are fast especially during Ramadan is: “ Allahumma inni laka sumtu, wa bika aamantu, [wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu], wa Ala rizqika aftartu”
translation: Oh Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You [and I put my trust in You] and I break my fast with Your sustenance.
what is the age of fasting in Islam?
Fasting in Islam is obligatory once a child reaches puberty. But children from age six or seven can start practicing and fast till noon or till sunset if they can. As sawm for kids is not obligatory nor necessary and they can practice at their own pace.
Benefits of sawm
Sawm of fasting has plenty of benefits
- Body detox
- Boosting immunity
- Sharpens the brain and mind
- Releases antioxidants to help fight cancer cells
- Cleanses soul and spirit
Hadith on sawm
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah (SWT) says:
“All the actions of the children of Adam are for them except for fasting it is for me and I alone will reward for it.”
Sahl ibn Sa‘d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyān through which only those who fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will enter through it. It will be called out: ‘Where are those who used to fast?’ So they will stand up and proceed towards it. When the last of them has entered, the gate will be closed, and no one else will enter through it.'”
Noor and Nora ( House of Quran ) will be their friends during this amazing journey.