Becoming a Practicing Muslim: The Five Pillars of Islam [VI]
Becoming a Practicing Muslim: The Five Pillars of Islam
24 Mar 2018
Third: Fasting (Sawm)
Fasting or sawm is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. When practicing sawm, Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise (fajr) to sunset (maghrib). Sawm, to Muslims, is a way to strengthen one’s faith, patience, endurance and help Muslims feel closer and more compassionate with those who are less fortunate.
Muslims are required to fast throughout the month of Ramadan every year, however, there are exceptions; Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are, either, permitted or required, to break their fast. According to the rules of Islamic jurisprudence, this non-fasting days must be made up either, by fasting an equivalent amount of days in other months, or by paying a fidyah (a recompense). Fidyah is essentially providing a satisfying meal to an impoverished person. In general, paying a fidyah is only permitted if a person is unable to make up for non-fasting days by fasting.
Sawm is obligatory, only, for whoever fulfils the following conditions.
- He or She is a Muslim.
- He or She is past the age of puberty.
- He or She is able to fast.
- He or She is settled (not travelling).
Finally, sawm is not confined to the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims are also encouraged to fast all year long, except during Eid al Adha and Eid el Fitr. On the other hand, fasting every single day of the year is discouraged; as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "He, who perpetually fasts, has not fasted."
In the end, Allah has been merciful in this regard; for although Muslims are required to fast, those who cannot fast are given other options that would actually also benefit those who really need help. This ensures that Muslims always stand by each other.
AL-Isra' Wa Al-Miraj II (The Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven)
In the second part of the journey, which is called Al-Miraj, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met the Prophets as well as angels in heaven. Unusually for him, he saw Gabriel in an angel form, having six hundred wings, although he used to see him as a man when he was sent to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a revelation of Allah, in accordance with what mentioned in the Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): " and then Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and GaREAD MORE
AL-Isra' Wa Al-Miraj I (The Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven)
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was moved by the Almighty during part of the night from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the Mosque of Al-Aqsa in Palestine. The journey was to show the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) the signs of Allah's great power.READ MORE
The Holy Month of Ramadan II
Ramadan is a precious month in which Allah Almighty sends his blessings to all Muslims all over the world. But what is so special about this month that we all wait for from year to year. The answer is found in the Quran when Allah says, “The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺” [Al-Baqarah, 185].READ MORE