Islam is based on the following five (principles), which are also the forms of worship; the first two (Shahada & Salah) are daily, next two (Zakat & Saum) are annual and the last Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makka) is once in life:-
1. To testify (Shahada) that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad(peace be upon him) is Allah's Apostle. This is a spiritual form of worship.
2. To perform (iqamat as Salah), five canonical daily prayers. This is physical, spiritual and social for m of worship in congregation.
3. To pay Zakat (obligatory alms), a financial, social and spiritual form of worship.
4. To observe Saum (fast) during the month of Ramadan, a physical and spiritual form of worship.
5. To perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makka once in life time if one can afford financially and physically). This form of worship has physical, financial, social and spiritual aspects.
FASTING; THE 4TH PILLAR OF ISLAM
Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from early morning till sunset, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations (with wife). It is a unique Islamic way of worship which creates sincere love to God. Fasting infuses creative sense of hope, devotion, patience, unselfishness, moderation, willpower, wise saving, sound budgeting, mature adaptability, healthy survival, discipline, spirit of social belonging, unity and brotherhood. The tradition of Fasting as a unique form of worship, different form Prayer and Zakat. This is very old form of worship which existed in very old societies. It is mentioned in Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil);”(Qur’an;2:183).
Fasting Mentioned in Bible: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”(Exodus; 34:27-28) Also Leviticus; 16:29-30, Psalms; 35:13, Jeremiah; 36:6, Mathew; 16:16-18, Acts; 13:2-3, Mark; 9:29
Significance of Fasting (Saum) in Islam:
The significance of Fasting has been emphasized in Qur’an: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and (He desires) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.” (Qur’an;2:185). Read more: http://wp.me/sCgrB-fasting