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Text Preview Explain how sawm shows devotion to Allah. [25]
Sawm is the fourth pillar of Islam and is an important act of ibadah. The word "Ramadan" comes from the Arabic root word for "parched thirst" and "sun-baked ground." It is expressive of the hunger and thirst felt by those who spend the month in fasting. As opposed to other holidays, when people often indulge, Ramadan is by nature a time of sacrifice.The month of Ramadan is sacred because the first revelation of the Qur'an is said to have occurred during this month. By tradition the month starts with the sighting of the new moon by at least two Muslims. For the entire month, Muslims must fast from daybreak to sunset by refraining from eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse. It is an apparent sign of devotion as it shows obedience, submission and servitude to God, the Exalted. By fasting, a Muslim expresses his submission to Allah's command, his response to His will, and control over his own desires and wishes at the God's command. In the holy month of Ramadan, a Muslim's abstaining from food, drink, sexual intercourse, during the prescribed hours is the very manifestation of devotion to the Creator's will. This self-deprivation represents a state of self-control and of overcoming pleasure, desire, and enjoyment, for the blissful love of God. It is a triumph of pure love over one's pleasures for the eternal ones promised by God, the Almighty. This response to the Divine commandments represents and incarnates true devotion and is a brilliant display of spirit, intellect and decisive willpower. This purification allows them to prove their devotion to Allah by demonstrating they will honor the fast whether they are alone or with others, because it is His wish that they do so. Through fasting the Muslims are able to share in their unity with each other and their community, and display their gratitude to God for being given the words of the Qur'an. Through increased devotion, Muslims feel closer to their Creator, and... Show More

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