ALTHOUGH ‘Fasting’ and ‘Roza’ are synonymous, there is a gulf of difference between these two. Roza is a Persian word whose equivalent in Arabic is Saum. These two must not be equated with mere abstention from food and drink Al-Siyam (Siyam is the plural of Saum) is something much more sublime, more solemn than mere fasting.” It is an armour,” declares the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “with which one protects oneself.”(Bukhari).
Rozah calls for full exercise of self-restraint on all the senses and limbs, a total and absolute control on all evil acts and unbridled thoughts — control of not only wrath, malice, arrogance, greed, jealousy, hatred and enmity but of all indecent and unholy dreams and desires.
The holy Prophet (pbuh) ordains: “So let not him act in an ignorant manner; and if a man quarrels with him, he should say twice, “I am fasting.”(Bukhari).
Abu Huraira (RA) testifies that the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) said: “He who does not give up falsehood and act according to it, Allah has no need of his giving up of his food and drinks.”(Bukhari).
Ramadhan is derived from the word Ramz which means ‘to burn’, ‘to scorch’. A Rozdar in the holy month of Ramadhan tries his best to ‘burn’, ‘to scorch’.
A Rozdar in the holy month of Ramadhan tries his best to ‘burn’ all his evil thoughts and indecent acts in the flame of Taqwa or self-restraint. The emotional exuberance and selfish recklessness of his sinful life shed many of its leaves and petals in the spiritual hot blasts of the unique austerity known as Saum. Cleansing his body and soul through the ‘scorching’ but sublime ‘heat’ of Rozah a Muslim turns himself into a Rameez, a person ready for ‘the bliss of the touch of the One in the play of the many.’
Islam introduced a new meaning, a new vision, a new idea, a new spirit into the institution of Fasting. For the first time in history, Fasting was blessed with a systematic regulation, a scientific method, a noble justification. In the days before the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Fasting meant the suffering of some privation in the hours of mourning and sorrow. Islam introduced a revolutionary innovation. Al-Siyam stood not for mere suffering or abstinence but for an institution for the uplift and spiritual evolution of the human soul. A Muslim Fast never indicates mere abstention from food and drink and sex, and Fasting in Islam is never meant for self-torture. It is undoubtedly stricter than other fasts, but … continue reading at thedailystar.net