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 Sawm the fourth pillar of Islam

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bilalinblack
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PostSubject: Sawm the fourth pillar of Islam   Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:18 am

Three types of fasting (Sawm) are recognized by the Qur'an: Ritual fasting,[2:183–187] fasting as compensation or repentance,[2:196] and ascetic fasting.[33:35]Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins. The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, to express their gratitude to and dependence on him, to atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy.During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, harsh language, gossip and to try to get along with each other better than normal. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.

Fasting during Ramadan is not obligatory, and even forbidden in some cases, for several groups for whom it would be dangerous or excessively problematic. These include pre-pubescent children, those with a medical condition such as diabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Observing fasts is not permitted for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is considered acceptable not to fast are those who are ill or travelling. Missing fasts usually must be made up soon afterwards, although the exact requirements vary according to circumstance.

Many Muslims break their fast with a date because it is claimed Muhammed broke his fast with a date.
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