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>>Islam at a Glance
Islam at a Glance
By Suhel Farooq Khan
The Five Pillars of Islam
Fasting (Sawm)

Muslims all over the world observe fasting from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan (Ninth month of the Islamic calendar), every year. Besides completely abstaining from eating, drinking and having sex with spouses during the fasting hours, they also avoid loose talk or harsh words during their fast.

The elderly, the sick, travelers, nursing mothers, pregnant women and women during their menstrual cycles are exempted from fasting. They are required to compensate for their lost days of fasting, by observing those many fasts later.

Fasting is an exercise to gain self control.

God had prescribed fasting for all the other religions before Islam, but they have either forgotten it altogether or have reduced it to mere symbolism.

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