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Saturday, September 19, 2009

The meaning of Puasa


Taken from exabytes free e cards:

http://exabytes.com.my/webhosting/currentpromo/raya09/gcards/compose.php?imageid=9&PHPSESSID=76a481740d9ba45007893a1f5358e9f7

Hari Raya is just around the corner or tomorrow to be precise.

After a month of 'puasa', our Muslim friends are celebrating this meaningful event where they gather as a family and have a wonderful time.

As a non-Muslim,  I was curious about what the true definition of 'puasa'.

With the help of wikipedia.com, I found out that the word puasa was derived from the Arabic word:

Sawm.

"Sawm (Arabic: صوم‎) is an Arabic word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence. In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means "to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse".[1] The observance of sawm during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but is not confined to that month."


"Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual intercourse from dawn (fajr) to sunset (maghrib). Fasting is essentially an attempt to seek nearness to Allah and increase one's piety. One of the remote aims of fasting is to sympathize with those less fortunate ones who do not always have food and drink readily available. Also one must try to avoid cursing and thinking evil thoughts. Fasting is also viewed as a means of controlling one's desires (of hunger, thirst, sexuality, anger) and focusing more on devoting oneself to God.

Sawm also carries a significant spiritual meaning. It teaches one the principle of love: because when one observes Fasting, it is done out of deep love for God."

Hmmm.. Pretty deep.  A single word could mean so much.


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