The fourth pillar of Islam- Roza/ fasting / sawm

Roza/sawm or fasting is obligation (Farz) in Islam. Every Muslim has to offer prayers (Namaz) 5 times a day and has to similarly has to keep fast in the Holy month of Ramadan mubarik, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

In the Quran Allah pak says in Surah Baqarah:

“The month of Ramadzan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed; … Therefore, whoever of you witnesses the month, he shall fast during it, and whoever is sick or on a journey (he shall fast), a (like) number of other days” (2: 185).

According to Shariat, the definition of a Roza is to have the intention to fast for Allah from the break of dawn (from Sehr) to sunset (Aftaar) and to avoid eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse. For fasting in the case of a woman, she has to be clean from menstruation or any bleeding after childbirth. So, the Roza will not count for a woman on her period or still bleeding after giving birth to a child.

And children that have strength should be made to keep fast.

Roza was not an obligation for the Prophet Muhammad’s ummah (nation) but the Quran says in Surah Baqarah:

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint” 2:183

From this ayat we learn that Roza actually teaches us to control ourselves, teaches us self-restraint.

Hadrat Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “When Ramadan begins, the doors of heaven are opened.” A version has, “the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, and the Satans are tied with chains.” Another version has, “the doors of Mercy are opened.” [Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Page 255 and Sahih al-Muslim, Vol 1, Page 346]

Fasting develops self-control and helps us to overcome the evils of selfishness, greed, laziness and other faults. And Roza also teaches us forgiveness, harmony, to feel the pain of the hungry and the poor. It is not only an annual training for the human beings to cleanse the inner self, but also an exercise that humanizes a community.

The Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan. In surah Baqarah Allah says:

“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 any one 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 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.” 2:185

An additional prayer known as Tarawih (20 rakah or 8 rakah) is offered during the month of Ramadan after the last prayer- Isha. 

Hadrat Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward (from Allah) all his past sins will be forgiven. Whoever prays during the night in Ramadan with faith seeking his reward (from Allah) all his past sins will be forgiven. And whoever passes Lailat-ul-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward (from Allah the Most Exalted) all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Page 255 and Sahih al-Muslim, Vol 1, Page 259]

Lailat-ul-Qadr is called: “better than a thousand months” (Quran 97:3)

The spiritual value of Roza is immense. But the medical value is not less as well.

Fasting gives rest to the digestive system. Fasting allows cleansing and detoxification of the human body. Fasting also creates a break in eating patterns, allowing the stored carbohydrate and fat reserves to be used. Ramzan also promotes greater mental clarity and stability.The ramzan also cleanses and heals the “stuck” emotional patterns and makes it easy to take difficult but right decisions. It leads to a feeling of physical lightness, increasing energy level of the muslim keeping the fast. It also promotes an inner stillness, enhancing spiritual connection

Ramazan is not only a form of worshipping Allah but it has various benefits medically and socially.

Some Benefits of Fasting

helps in Anti-aging
Betterment of attitude

Increases the resistance to disease
Cures insomnia and helps sleeping patterns
Improved senses of vision, hearing, taste
More clarity (mentally and emotionally)
More energy level
Diet changes, cleanses stomach
Drug and toxins are removed, detoxification
More relaxation and ease
New ideas and innovation
Proven that it helps in reduction of allergies
Rest for the digestive organs
Teaches to adapt change.
Much clearer planning
Rejuvenates skin
Right use of will
Spiritual awareness
Weight loss

In short, Ramazan is form of worship that is whole and complete, physically, spiritually and mentally.


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