Fasting during the month of the Ramadaan is the fourth pillar of Islam. SAWM or SIYAAM is the technical term used for it in Islam which literally means to be at rest. It has been so named because while observing fast one abstains from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk.
Fast creates piety and fear of Allah. The Holy Qur’an says in this connection:
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has been reported to have said, “Fasting is a shield for you as it saves you from sins in this world and would protect you from Hell in the Hereafter. When anyone of you keeping fast, he should neither use indecent language nor speak loud. If someone picks up a row abuses him he should tell him that he is observing fast.”
Great merit and credit has been described to fast in the Traditions. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has said that one who observes fast in the month of Ramadaan for the sake of Allah, all of his sins of the past are forgiven by Him, and that odour of the month of one who fasts is most appreciable to Allah than musk.
“Every good act a man does shall receive from ten to seven hundred rewards”, says Allah, “but the fast is an exception as it is for ‘Me alone and I will give its rewards as much as I like, He who fasts abandons the lust and craving of this appetite for My sake.”
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has said. “If a person does not abstain from telling lies or doing wrong when he is observing fast let it be known to him that Allah does not want that he should stop eating his food.”