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Sawm is defined in the language as: abstaining from a specific thing; Whether it is an action, or a word, which is taken from the verb fast; i.e. abstain, and it is abstaining from speaking, for example, or food, or drink, or other things, and fasting and fasting have the same meaning in the language; Because their source is one, which is the verb (fasted), it is said: two men are fasting, men who fast, and a woman who fasts. i.e. stagnated, silent sun; i.e. astute, and the Persians fasted; any stop, and fasted the day; He moderated.

Defining Sawm idiomatically

The jurists’ definitions of fasting differed. Each sect had an opinion on this, as follows:

  • The Hanafis: They defined it as abstaining from three things that break the fast, namely: eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse, by a specific person, at a specific time for that, with the presence of the intention.
  • The Malikis: They defined it as abstaining from the lusts of the vagina and the mouth, or anything that takes the place of one of them; Obedience to God – the Most High – with the presence of the intention before the time of dawn, or at its time, so that this abstinence includes the entire day.
  • The Shafi’is: They defined it as the abstinence of a specific person, by a specific person, from a specific thing, at a specific time for that.
  • The Hanbalis: They defined it as abstaining from specific things, at specific times, from a specific person, with the presence of the intention.

The names of Sawm

  • Patience (Al sabr); Because the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: (Fasting the month of patience, and three days of every month; the fasting of time), and it was called that; Because a fasting person keeps himself from desires.
  • Tourism (Al siyaha); It was reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the tourists are those who fast; This is because it is a barrier from sins and desires, and it is a psychological sport that connects its owner to learn about the intentions of the king, and the tourist is the mujahid and the seeker of knowledge as well.

Conditions for fasting in Ramadan

Islam requires fasting, as stated by the scholars, but the Hanafi school considered it a condition of obligatory fasting. That is, fasting is not obligatory for non-Muslims, and it does not entail them to make up for it, and the public considered Islam a condition of health.

1) puberty

For Sawm, puberty is required; A Muslim before he reaches the age of obligation is not enjoined to fast; As he is not accountable, and he is not held accountable for what comes out of him, as evidenced by the saying of the Messenger – may God’s prayers and peace be upon him-: (The pen has been lifted from three: from the insane who has lost his mind until he recovers, from the sleeper until he wakes up, and from the boy until he reaches puberty), or the emergence of some natural signs that indicate the passing of childhood, and reaching another stage, as for the girl, her puberty is menstruation, and puberty is known as the completion of fifteen years if any of the previous signs are delayed.

It is worth noting that parents should teach their children worship, including: fasting. The Prophet – may God’s prayers and peace be upon him – said: (Tell your children to pray when they are seven years old, and beat them for it when they are ten years old, and separate them in their beds), and parents begin to encourage children before the age of puberty; That is, from the age of seven, and fasting is measured by prayer in terms of physical ability, and it is not required that the youngster fast the whole month, but he gradually begins to fast until he gets used to it, and the Companions – may God be pleased with them – used to fast their young ones in Ramadan.

2) The mind

The legislative discourse in Islam is directed to the sane person, not to the one who lacks it; The insane and those in his judgment are not obligated to fast, so whoever lost his mind because of forbidden drinking, or otherwise, it is necessary for him to make up for it after recovery and the removal of the cause. No worship is commanded. As the assignment and account have been lifted from him, but if the mind is temporarily absent; He is charged only for the period in which he is sane.

By example, the article illustrates; Fasting of the unconscious person is judged by looking at his condition, and this is explained in the following:

The first case: if the fainting occurred before dawn, and continued until after sunset; Fasting at that time is not valid, and the unconscious must make up for it. Because fasting is abstinence from all things that break the fast with the fulfillment of the intention, and the unconscious person has been absent throughout the fasting period.

The second case: That the fainting occurred during part of the day, so the one who fainted does not have to make up the fast, and his fast is valid, and the Malikis restricted the validity of his fast if the fainting was less than the day.

3) Ability to fast

Fasting is required to be able to do it, as it is not obligatory for someone who is not able to fast.

  • The old sheikh and the old: The scholars have agreed that the old sheikh and the old woman who are unable to fast, or who fast it with difficulty and effort, should break their fast in Ramadan, citing the words of God Almighty: “And He has not made it upon you in terms of religion” and also: God does not burden a soul beyond its scope.
  • Pregnant and breast-feeding women: Pregnant and breast-feeding women may break their fast in Ramadan, according to scholarly consensus. If they fear for themselves, or for their two children with themselves, or for their two children, and it will be necessary for them to make up after Ramadan, by analogy with the sick, as the sick must be eliminated by the words of God Almighty:
  • The sick: It is permissible for the sick person – if it is difficult for him to fast – to break his fast in Ramadan, and he must make up what he broke his fast after the month ends, if his illness is a non-chronic disease, and it can be cured, and does not entail feeding him, but if he is one of the chronic diseases that It cannot be cured from it, for it breaks the fast, and one poor person is fed for each day that he breaks the fast, God Almighty said: (And for those who can afford it a ransom of food for a poor person). His right, and he must fast Ramadan, according to the consensus of scholars.

4) Residence

Residency in the country is a condition for the obligation to fast; That is, it is not obligatory for the traveler, except that he must make up for what he broke his fast because of travel, and the ruling does not differ according to the different means of travel, and the scholars stipulated that the breaking of the fast during travel be permissible; Whoever travels for a sin, it is not permissible for him to break the fast, as the travel distance is required to be approximately eighty kilometers. It is hardship for him to bear, so it is better to break the fast, according to the consensus of the scholars, and if fasting causes him a great and severe hardship that he cannot bear and may cause him harm or death, then fasting is forbidden for him, and he must break his fast.

The Hanafi school is unique among other scholars by stipulating that “knowledge of the obligation of fasting Ramadan,” for example: a Muslim who grew up in a non-Muslim country, and did not acquire knowledge of the obligation to fast.


Conditions for the validity of fasting in Ramadan

1) Absence of menstruation and postpartum

To judge fasting as healthy according to the Shafi’is, the Hanafis, and the Hanbalis, purity from menstruation and postpartum bleeding, and other things that invalidate the fast, must be free from them.

2) Intention

The intention is defined as: a belief in the heart to do something, and the determination to perform it, and to do it without hesitation. whether imposed or voluntary; What was proven in Sahih al-Bukhari from the saying of the Messenger – may God’s prayers and peace be upon him-: (Actions are only by intentions), and it is required to make the intention at night, according to the consensus of scholars; When it was narrated on the authority of Aisha – may God be pleased with her -: (Whoever does not intend to fast before dawn, his fast is not valid for him).

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