Sawm (fasting), the fourth pillar of Islam is another act of 'Ibadah (worship). All adult Muslims must fast from dawn to sunset every day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This means abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and conjugal relations during the hours of fasting. Travelers and the sick can defer fasting during Ramadan and make up for it later.
Sawn develops self-control and helps us to overcome selfishness, greed, laziness and other faults. It is an annual training program to refresh us for carrying out our duties towards the Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer. Sawn gives us the feeling of hunger and thirst. We experience for ourselves what it is like to have an empty stomach. This develops our feeling for the poor and hungry people. Fasting teaches us to control the love of comfort. It also, helps us to keep our sexual desires within control. Hunger, comfort and sex are three factors which must be kept under control to behave as the Almighty's servants.
The month of Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, mercy and a means of avoiding the punishment of Hell. So Brothers and Sisters, let's keep our fast and increase our good deeds in this Blessed month of Ramadan.
The purpose of fasting is to make a Muslim able to control his passions, so that he becomes a person of good deeds and intentions. Anger, a common human weakness, can also be brought under control by fasting. A Muslim is expected to keep away from all bad actions during his fast. He should not tell a lie, break a promise or do any deceitful act.
Ramadan was also the month in which the Qur'an was first revealed. There is a night in the month which is "better than a thousand months"(Quran 97:3). This night is called LAILATUL QADR (Night of Power). According to Hadith, this night occurs during the last ten days of Ramadan (likely the odd-numbered nights). A night of great importance; we should worship as much as we can on this night. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr, and offer special prayers and thank the Almighty for his blessings and mercy.
The Islamic Bulletin
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