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Saum (Fasting)

Fasting literally means to keep away and abstain from something. However technically it means abstaining from food, drink and conjugal relationships with the intention of worship between dawn and sunset.

The Virtues of Fasting

There are many sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ()indicating the virtues of fasting, here are some of them:

1. Abu Huraira (ra) reports that the Blessed Prophet () said, "All the good deeds of son of Adam (as) are increased from ten to seven hundred times except for fasting Allah (swt) says; it is for Me and I alone will reward it as I wish since he has given up his food and passions for My pleasure. There are two joys for the fasting person; a joy at time of breaking the fast and a joy at the time of meeting his Lord. For his Lord the bad breath of his mouth is better than the odour of musk." (Muslim)

2. The Blessed Messenger () said, "The Qur'an and the fast will intercede for the worshipper on the Day of Judgement. The fast will say; O Lord I stopped him from food and sex throughout the day so please accept my intercession for him. And then the Qur'an will say; I stopped him from sleeping at night so accept my intercession for him." The Blessed Prophet () said, "Their intercession will be accepted." (Ahmad)

3. A man asked Sufyan ibn Uyainah (ra) about the meaning of "All the good deeds of son of Adam (as) are for him except fasting it is for Me and I will give reward for it". He replied, "This is the most authentic Hadeeth. On the Day of Judgement when Allah (swt) will reckon the deeds of his slave, his crimes will be compensated by his deeds until all his good deeds are finished except fasts, Allah (swt) will forgive remainder of his crimes and take him to paradise because of fasting." (Baihaqi)