Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who are Exempt from Fasting in Ramadan

In Islam fasting in the Religious month of Ramadan is Manadatory on every Muslim adult. The Arabic the word used to define fasting is (sawm). The word sawm (plural siyam) literally means 'to refrain', but as an Islamic term, it means refraining from food, drinks and sexual activity from dawn to sunset. Allah says in the Quran, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2-183):

'O you who believe, siyam is prescribed on you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you may become self-restrained.'

The importance of Siyam in Ramadan is clearly expressed in several sayings of the Prophet(S.A.W.). It is reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said:

'He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeks his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeks his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; and he who passes Lailat al- Qadr in prayer with faith and seeks his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.'
(Bukhari and Muslim)

Fasting in Ramadan is practiced by Muslims all over the world. The most significant aspect of Siyam is the development of Allah-consciousness (Taqwa) in the heart and the soul of a fasting Muslim. One must abstain from immoral behavior and attitude as well. Refraining from food and such is essential during fast but it is not sufficient. The Prophet of Allah is reported to have said:

'If one does not abandon falsehood in words and deeds, Allah has no need for his abandoning of his food and drink.'

Fasting is Compulsory on every Muslim who is sane, adult, able and resident. The following exemptions apply:

  • The insane;
  • Children who are not adolescent yet;
  • The elderly and chronically ill for whom fasting is unreasonably strenuous; Such persons are Required to feed at least one poor person every day in Ramadan for which he or she has missed fasting.
  • Pregnant women and nursing may postpone the fasting at a later time;
  • The ill and the travelers can also defer their fasting.

Allah says in the Qur'an, Surah Al-Baqara:

'But if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period should be made up by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties.'

Women during the period of menstruation or of post childbirth confinement. Fasting during these periods is forbidden and should be made up later, a day for a day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Am still not clear about breat feeding and pregnant women. Are they to repay back fast. Some write ups says they don't ve to as long as they feed someone daily.