THE PHYSICAL DIMENSION OF FASTING
“O People of Imaan! Siyaam (Fasting) has been ordained for you just it was ordained for those before you so that you attain Taqwa.” (Qur’aan)
Siyaam existed as a compulsory injunction for all Ummats prior to the Ummat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
As for Muslims prior to the Fasts of Ramadhaan being decreed Fardh, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah would fast on the Day of Aashura (10th Muharram) and the Ayyam-e-Beedh (13th, 14th and 15th) of the Islamic months.
Literally Saum means abstention – to stay away – to desist. The Shar’i meaning is abstention from food, drink and sexual relations from Subh Saadiq to sunset with the niyyat of fasting.
Among the different views pertaining to the name Ramadhaan, the popular view is that it is the month which burns away sins.
It is also said that Ramadhaan is one of the Names of Allah Ta’ala, hence the term should not be used without being prefixed with month, i.e. the Month of Ramadhaan.
Siyaam like all acts of Ibaadat consists of Rooh (Soul) and Jism (Physical body). It has two dimensions – Spiritual and Physical.
SAUM IN ABNORMAL TIME ZONES
In abnormal time zones where the sun either does not rise or set for months, the times of the nearest normal region should be taken for beginning and ending the Saum.
FASTING AND HADHRAT AADAM
After Hadhrat Nabi Aadam (Alayhis salaam) had mistakenly ate from the forbidden tree in Jannat, he sincerely repented.
However, his Taubah was not accepted for 30 days because the athr (effect) of the haraam fruit was still in his bodily system. The athr was eliminated only after 30 days.
When he was totally purified even physically of the evil effects of the forbidden fruit, his Taubah was accepted. Thus, 30 days fasting became the practice and speciality of the Ummat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).