Sawm: Fawa’id

OBJECTIVES OF FAST الأهداف الصيام


PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: TO ATTAIN TAQWA

  • “O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint (Taqwa).” [Al-Baqarah 2:183]
  • Taqwa is an Arabic word that comes from the root word “WIQAYAH” which means prevention or protection
  • Taqwa is God consciousness. It is the state of heart that motivates virtuous conduct and prevents evil action
  • Love of God + fear of God = TAQWA

HOW SAWM LEADS TO TAQWA?

  • The control of the body on the soul decreases. The body gains its nourishment from food, water, marital intimacy. The soul gains its nourishment from knowing its Creator, reading Qur’an, making Dua… So when one fasts, the soul’s craving for its nourishment increases and this leads to Taqwa
  • The sexual desire decreases: Lack of energy
  • Discipline, self-restraint/control increases: You stop eating when it is already dawn. You do not eat during the day, though the food is in front of you and you are hungry. You feel full when sunset comes, you do not eat to your fill, though you are free to eat
  • Accompanying the righteous increases: People attend Tarawih prayers in the mosque, families break their fast together…

SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVES

  • Helps in getting closer to Allah through increased recitation and reflection of the Qur’an and additional worship
  • Aids in increasing faith, sincerity and righteousness
  • Aids in removal of showing off
  • Aids in purification of the heart/soul
  • Moderation: teaching us to control our temper and anger and instead teaches us tolerance. If somebody fights with you, say: “I AM FASTING.” 2 times (The first one for himself and the second for the one he is talking to)
  • Helps to improve one’s character: “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Ar-Ra’d 13:11] Ramadan is a stop to recharge our spiritual batteries for the rest of the year. It is a school of transformation, transition and change. It is training program for character-building

PHYSICAL OBJECTIVES

  • A fasting person experiences some of the hardships of the poor and hungry
  • Physiological effects include lowering of blood sugar, cholesterol and systolic blood pressure
  • Improves strength, endurance and self-discipline  through physical abstentions

SOCIAL OBJECTIVES

  • Equality: rich and poor are the same, experiencing hunger and thirst
  • Feeling of sympathy and kindness for those who are deprived
  • Care and concern for the poor and hungry
  • Helping attitude towards have-nots
  • Refrain from wasting food and drinks
  • Social responsibility
  • Feeling of gratefulness
  • Trains the person to do praiseworthy acts e.g. charity, donations, kindness, generosity, patience…

MEDICAL OBJECTIVES as a result of fasting itself

Many medical researchers among Muslims and non-Muslims have confirmed the fact that fasting helps in the cure and prevention of many diseases. “… and it is better for you that you fast, if ye only knew.” [Al-Baqarah 2:184]

  • Weight management
  • Gives the vital organs a rest
  • Promotes elimination of metabolic wastes
  • Increases absorption and utilization of food
  • Adjusts the body to its normal biochemistry and secretions
  • Lowers high blood pressure
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