Sawm meaning in Islam. What is the purpose of Sawm?

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Sawm meaning in Islam. What is the purpose of Sawm?

Bismillahir Rahmani Rahim, Today’s topic of discussion is what is the meaning of the word Sawm, what is Sawm, what are the types of Sawm and what is the main purpose of Sawm.

What is the meaning of the word Sawm?

The Arabic word Sawm (صَوۡمُ) means abstinence. Its plural is Siam (صِيَام). In English, we know Sawm as Roza but it is not correct. Roza is a Persian word meaning to fast. So we should use the word sawm or siam.

Sawm definition

In the terminology of Islamic Shari’ah, Sawm is the name of abstinence from all kinds of eating, drinking, sexual immorality, and vices from dawn till sunset.

What is the main purpose of Sawm?

Referring to the purpose of Sawm, Allah Almighty says:

O believers! Sawm is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you. So that you adopt piety. (Surah Baqarah 183).

In this verse, Allah (SWT) has briefly discussed the purpose of making Sawm obligatory. If we discuss it in a little more detail, the objectives we find are as follows:

First of all:

Allah (SWT) created mankind only to worship Him. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an: “I have created men and jinn only to worship Me.” (Surah Zaryat: 56)

And people worship their Lord through Sawm. Because when a man loves someone, he trusts him first. Then expresses his loyalty; Then, if necessary, he leaves home for him. Then he leaves food and drink etc. for him. In the same way, people trust God through faith. Then first expressed obedience through prayer. Leaving home through Hajj. Spending money through Zakat. And using Sawm, he renounces food and drink and his wife. In this way, through Sawm, the servant expresses the ultimate worship of Allah (SWT).


There are two opposite traits in humans. One of the characteristics of angels is to worship Allah. And the second is the characteristics of animals and that is eating and drinking, using wives, giving birth, sleeping, etc. But only the first of these two characteristics is the main purpose of human creation. And the second is necessity. Through Sawm, people are giving up the attributes of animals and giving priority to the attributes of angels, indicating that we can leave them and worship Allah despite our needs for food, drink, and use of wives.


People treat their secret diseases like lust-anger, greed-infatuation, etc through Sawm. Because the basic elements of all things are four. A. fire b. water c. soil d. the wind These four basic elements are also present in humans. And each of these has a deadly disease. Arrogance is the natural characteristic of fire. If the fire is lit, it climbs upwards. This is why Iblis was proud. The natural property of water is greed. Because of this, if the water is left on a flat surface, it easily occupies as much space as possible. The natural characteristic of soil is poorness. That is why whatever is placed on the ground gradually hides within itself. And the nature of air is to perpetuate its existence everywhere.

Since man has all the above four elements, these natures also exist in him. Since there is a fire in him, pride arises in him. Allah (SWT) prescribed prayer to treat this disease of pride. Through Salat, man presents himself as a slave of Allah by standing before Allah with his hands tied like a criminal, then by bowing his head through Ruku, then by Sajdah, his highest body face to the ground. It was as if he said that I am made of clay and will merge with clay, I have nothing to be proud of.

Allah Ta’ala says: From dust I created you, from dust I will return you and from dust I will bring you forth again.” Surah Taha 55.

If you want to gain some dignity, get rid of your ego. Just as a grain of grain settles itself with the soil and presents a beautiful garden.”

Again, since there is another basic element in humans, soil. That is why people are miserly. It is said in the hadith:

Mutarrif (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates from his father, who said that he was reciting the Qur’an when I came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). Then the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Bani Adam used to say ‘My wealth, my wealth’. The Prophet (PBUH) said, O Bani Adam, have you considered what wealth you have? Your wealth is only what you have eaten to your heart’s content and squandered or worn and worn out or sadaqah (stored up to Allah). Therefore, since people have this disease of miserliness, Allah Ta’ala has prescribed Zakat to treat this disease. Another basic element in humans is air.

And it is because of this air that people want everyone to know him. Let his name be known. That is ‘Riya’ or worldliness. But this ‘Riya’ or worldliness is a hidden shirk. Therefore, Hajj has been made obligatory for the treatment of this disease. For Hajj, people have to wear Ihram clothes, thereby leaving the glory of clothing, the glory of language, in Arafa, Muzdalifah, and Mina Maidan, white and black, rich and poor all have to stand in the same field, no one has any special status. And when there is no separate specialty, there is no opportunity to reveal the name and price. Thus, through Hajj, the disease of ‘Ria’ is cured.

The last element is water. And the nature of water is greed. That is why if water is poured on a flat surface, it slowly occupies more space. Since there is water in man, greed exists in man because of this water. As a result, he always thinks about how to take possession of other people’s wealth, and land, how to arrange good food and expensive clothes, and how to enjoy another’s beautiful wife or beautiful daughter. For the treatment of this disease, Allah Ta’ala has made Sawm obligatory.

The meaning is: O believers, Sawm is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you. So that you adopt taqwa. (Surah Baqarah 183).

When a man Makes Sawm according to Allah’s instructions, no matter how tempting food and drink, or beautiful women are presented in front of him, he will avoid them out of fear of Allah. This is what is said in the hadith:

Narrated by Abu Huraira (RA). He said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, Almighty Allah said: But Sawm is for Me and I will reward it. Because he gives up his desires, food, and drink for me.

Sahih Bukhari: 6984; Sahih Muslim: 2573; Sunan Nasa’i: 2211; Sunan at-Tirmidhi: 761; Sunan Ibn Majah: 1638.

In this hadith, it is said, ‘Sawm is for me’: whereas all worship is for Allah. But other acts of worship such as Salat, Hajj, Zakat, etc. can be performed by some to show people. But there is no tendency to show off in fasting. Because if you eat and drink in secret, no one knows except Allah. And nothing prevents him except the fear of Allah alone. So Allah himself will reward it. When the donor donates with his hand, he donates more.

In this hadith, it became clear that through Sawm, man attains the quality of ‘Abdiyat’ or ‘slavery of God’ by renouncing his animal nature by controlling his greed for the pleasure of his Lord. So if this purpose is not realized through fasting, then there is no benefit in just giving up food and drink. The Prophet (PBUH) said about this:

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA), he said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whoever observes Sawm but could not give up falsehood and forbidden deeds.” Allah does not need to give up his food and drink. (Sahih Bukhari 1903).

In another hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said:

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA), he said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “There are many Sayyim whose fate is nothing but hunger and thirst.” There are many night worshipers whose fate is nothing but night vigils. (Sunan Daremi 2/301, the hadith is Sahih).

It is very clearly stated in these hadiths that Sawm is not just about being hungry and thirsty. Rather, the main purpose of Siyam is to reject all kinds of animalism accept the rules of one ‘Ilah’, and implement it in all aspects of life. While we are fasting while we are attracted to fine food and beautiful young women, we abstain from it by the command of Allah (SWT) and by the command of the same Allah, lying, cheating, embezzlement, theft, robbery, robbery, fornication, adultery, Abstain from fornication, alcohol, usury, gambling, nudity, fornication, murder, rape, idolatry, fire worship, pir worship, tree worship, fish worship, stone worship, shrine worship, ministerial worship, MP worship, leader worship have to do

A noteworthy point here is that this long discussion proved that Salat, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj, four are the medicines for the four basic diseases and it is known to everyone that if you want to take medicine, you must take it according to the doctor’s advice. Playing upside down is more likely to cause loss than gain. In the same way, these four medicines should not be taken according to one’s own will. Rather, it should be done according to the instructions of Allah, according to the way of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). That is why a Sahih hadith says:

The authority of Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA), said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: that Islam is founded on five foundations. Declaring the Oneness of Allah, establishing Salat, paying Zakat, and Sawm in Ramadan, and performing Hajj.

Sahih Muslim Hadith No. 19; Sahih Bukhari No. 8 Hadith; Hadith No. 2609 in Sunan Tirmidhi.

In this hadith, Islam is compared to a tent. The four corners of the tabernacle have four poles and a large pillar in the middle. If this big pillar is not there then the four pillars of the four corners have no value. Similarly, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj will have no value if they are not founded on Tawheed free from shirk and Sunnah free from innovation. It is said in this hadith that there are five pillars of Islam. And its root is faith. For this reason, this condition has been added with importance to Sawm as well. Narrated in the Sahih Hadith:

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA), he said, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Whoever observes the Sawmof Ramadan with faith and hoping for reward, his previous sins are forgiven, and whoever worships Lailatul Qadr with faith and hoping for reward, his previous sins are forgiven. All sins are forgiven. (Sahih Bukhari 37; Sahih Muslim 1656).

In this hadith, the condition of faith is imposed. Therefore, the main purpose of Sawm will be achieved only if fasting is performed based on the belief of Tawheed.


Through Siam, the real condition of the poor and helpless people can be realized. Because the Sayyim person eats sari in the morning and night and after Iftari, despite having various kinds of food arranged, in the afternoon, he gets tired of hunger pangs. So the poor who did not get to eat in the past, have no plans for the future, what is his state of mind? Realizing this, on the one hand, thanking God for His blessings. On the other hand, coming forward to help the poor and suffering laborers is another important objective of Siam. That is why the hadith says:

On the authority of Salman (RA), he said, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: The month of Ramadan is the month of compassion. (Sahih Ibn Khuzaima 1887).

What are the types of Sawm?

Sawm is the first of four types. Farz, Nafal, Haram and Makrooh.

Farz Sawm:

Fard Sawm is of three types. (a) Fasting of Ramadan. (b) Siam of Atonement. (c) Fasting of Mannat.

Nafal Sawm:

There are several types of Nafal Sawm. (1) Six Sawm in the month of Shawwal. (2) The first ten days of the month of Zil-Hajj are fasting on the day of Arafat especially for ordinary Muslims except for the pilgrims staying at the Maidan of Arafat. (3) Fasting of the month of Muharram. Especially including the day of Ashura and the day before or after it. (4) Fasting most of the month of Shaban. (5) Fasting in the months of ‘Ashhurul Hurum’ (Zilqad, Zilhaj, Muharram, Rajab). (6) Fasting every Monday and Thursday. (7) Fasting on 13th, 14th and 15th (Iyam Bij) of every month. (8) Sawme Dawood (Sawm one day after another i.e. fasting one day and then not).

Haram Sawm:

Haram Sawm: (1) Two days of two Eids. (2) ‘Iyyam Tashreek’ (three days after Qurbani Eid).

Makrooh Sawm:

(1) Sawm exclusively on Friday. Because the hadith states:

On the authority of Abu Huraira (RA), he said, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said that no one should fast on Friday. But if one fasts a day before or after Jumu’ah then he can fast on Jumu’ah. (Sahih Muslim 2549).

(2) Fasting on Saturdays only. It is mentioned in the hadith:

Abdullah Ibn Busr (RA) narrated from his sister that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Do not observe any fast except the obligatory fast on Saturday.” Even if you find nothing but the bark of the vine or the twig of any tree, you will chew it. (Sunan at-Tirmidhi 744; the hadith is sahih).

(Yet don’t just fast on Saturday because the Jews respect this day).

(3) The fast of ‘Yawmush Shaq’ or ‘Day of Doubt’. If the moon is not seen on the 29th of Shaban because the sky is overcast, the 30th is called the ‘Day of Doubt’. Fasting on this day is prohibited. It is mentioned in the hadith:

On the authority of Ammar Ibn Yasir (RA), he said, “Whoever fasts on the day of doubt opposed Abul Qasem (the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)).” (Sunan Tirmidhi 681).

Another hadith states:

On the authority of Abu Huraira (R.A.), he said, “The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said, ‘Do not fast one or two days before Ramadan.’ But if a person is used to fasting on that day then he can fast. (Sunan Abu Dawud 2337; the hadith is sahih).

This hadith also prohibits fasting a day or two earlier based on the suspicion that the moon may be sighted a day earlier.

(4) ‘Sawm e Dahar’. Fasting throughout the year including forbidden days. In this context, the Prophet (PBUH) said:

Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) said Rasulullah (SAW) said: He who fasts for a whole year has no fast. (Sahih Bukhari 1979).

(5) Wife keeping nafl fast without his permission while husband is at home. It is mentioned in the hadith:

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA), he said, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: A woman should not observe any Nafl fast in the presence of her husband except for the fast of Ramadan without his permission. (Sahih Bukhari 4899, Musnad Ahmad 7343, Tirmidhi 782).

(6) Fasting for a few days without taking any kind of Iftar or dinner at ‘Saume Besal’. This type of fast was kept by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) but he prohibited it for the Ummah. Which is mentioned in the following hadith with reasons:

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA), he said, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Be aware! You live from the bottom of the sea. He said this three times. The Companions said, O Messenger of Allah! You do ‘basal’. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: You are not like me in this matter. My Lord feeds me and gives me a drink when I sleep at night. So take responsibility as much as you can do. (Sahih Bukhari 1865, Sahih Muslim 2622, Musnad Ahmad 7162).

Sawm meaning in Islam. What is the purpose of Sawm?

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