SAWM – A PILLAR OF ISLAM

1. What is the Arabic word for fasting?
‘Sawm’ is the Arabic word for fasting.
2. What is fasting?
Fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking and conjugal relations; from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah.
3. On whom fasting is obligatory?
Fasting is obligatory on every sane Muslim, male and female.
4. What sort of people may not fast?
Fasting is not incumbent upon the sick, the travellers, the very old, the very young and the women who are pregnant or have infant children to feed. But the sick and the travellers should make up the days they have missed, when they are able to do so.
5. Mention some of the virtues of fast?
According to a hadith, “Every good of man is granted manifold increase – ten to seven hundred times. But Allah says, ‘Fasting is for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish”. True fasting leads to forgiveness of all sins.
6. What is a voluntary fast?
It is a non-compulsory fast observed in days other than Ramadan.  Voluntary fast is called as ‘Sawm an-Nawafil’.
7. Mention the days over the year on which Sawm an-Nawafil is commended.
1. Six days of Shawwal
2. Ninth of Dhul-hijjah (that is, Day of Arafah)
3. Tenth of Muharram
4. 13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month
5. Mondays and Thursdays
6. In the month of Shaban
7. On alternate days

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