Sawm (صَوْم) is the Arabic term used to describe the act of fasting. Passed the age of puberty, Muslims are required to fast during the month of Ramadan, which entails abstaining from food, drink, sexual relations and displeasing speech and behaviour from sunrise until sunset.
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and includes the night in which the holy Qur’an was first revealed to mankind, known as Laylat al-Qadr (the night of decree). The month of Ramadan therefore marks an important moment for mankind and requires special devotion from Muslims.
During this sacred time, Allah asks that Muslims temporarily abstain from their needs and base desires that make up our human selves.
Doing so provides Muslims with the opportunity to acquire a sense of control over their needs, desires and distractions, giving them room for a heightened sense of introspection and their purpose in life – to worship Allah.
Keeping the Sawm for the sake of Allah alone, is a special act of devotion for which there is a unique reward.
The second part of the Shahada requires Muslims to acknowledge and testify to the belief in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as Allah’s messenger. This serves as a reminder to Muslims of the importance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but also as a reminder to never associate partners with Allah, for Muhammad (peace be upon him) is just a messenger, and Allah remains one God alone.