The Requirements of Islam

The five “pillars” of Islam make up the framework of a Muslim’s life, they are:

4. ‘Siyam’ or Fasting

Allah has enjoined fasting upon the Muslims as He enjoined it upon previous nations. He, the Exalted, says:

O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the pious. [2:183]

Islamic fasting, which involves abstinence from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and all prohibited habits such as smoking, is observed throughout the daylight hours of the lunar month of Ramadhan. When done in obedience to God’s command, fasting teaches believers patience and self-control, as well as reminding them of their responsibility toward the millions of human beings who lack provisions or are victims of their unjust
distribution. The month of fasting is accompanied by increased efforts toward good manners and righteous deeds, along with additional worship at night. Fasting is not a retreat from life; rather, it is a supplement to the Muslim’s ordinary activities.

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