The Importance Of Fasting In Islam

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In Islam, Ramadan is one of the five pillars; these five pillars are the main framework of Islam and are very important to the Muslim.1 Ramadan is one of the holy months in the Islamic calendar. Thus, Ramadan fasting is an obligatory and essential practice carried out by Muslims all over the world.2 According to the Holy Qur’an, healthy Muslims are instructed to do fasting in Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar Islamic year. Fasting or Sawm literally means abstinence from food, drink, sexual activities and smoking from sunrise to sunset (when taking the first meal known as Iftar).3,4 In addition, according to some interpretations (Islamic Fatwa), fasting subjects are not allowed to take oral and parental medications and intravenous fluids.1 Besides, the main purpose of Ramadan fasting for Muslims is to purify the soul, teach self-discipline, to sympathise with the poor and hungry people, to develop self-control and God-consciousness.5 While Ramadan fasting is understood by Muslims as being a mandatory for all healthy Muslims to fast according to God’s transcriptions in the Qur’an (The holy book of Muslims),2 there are exemptions for some people from fasting particularly if it is potentially harmful to their health.2 The Islamic rules are very clear about the exemption from fasting for certain groups of people such as; the children, sick people, menstruating, traveling people for a distance more than 80 kilometers, the fragile elderly, the breastfeeding and the pregnant,

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