Fasting During Ramadan (Sawm)

A physically able adult Muslim must fast during the lunar month of Ramadan. “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint.” [Qur’an 2:183] This month is significant because the first revelations of the Qur’an to Muhammadp occurred during this month. Since a year in the lunar calendar is eleven days shorter than the solar calendar, the month of Ramadan gradually passes through all seasons of the year. Just as alms giving is a form of wealth purification, fasting is a form of self-purification. Fasting begins at dawn and ends at sunset, local time. During daylight hours, a fasting person must abstain from food, drink, and marital sexual intercourse. These activities are permissible from sunset to the following dawn. Fasting teaches self-control and patience. Like prayer, fasting is a way of turning to God in sincere worship. The two holidays for Muslims are Eid Al-Fitr which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha which is celebrated at the end of hajj. Fasting reminds us of the conditions of the needy and gives us appreciation for the simple blessings we often take for granted, such as drinking a glass of pure water or eating food at will.