Sawm, the requirement to fast during Ramadan, is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, and special because it was the month the Prophet first began to receive revelations of the Qur'an from Allah. During this month, Muslims give up food, liquid and smoking between the hours of daylight for 29 or 30 days of Ramadan.

This clip is from:
Belief File, Islam: Values
First broadcast:
22 March 1996

Use the clip to promote deep discussion and reflection on the nature of Islam, religion and being human. For example: In the clip, the young Muslim man talks about being '"100% Muslim for a month." Ask the class: "Is it good enough to be 100% committed to your religion for only a month? Or should you be 100% committed all year round? If less than 100% is acceptable, at what percentage point does the cut-off come? Why? What are you 100% committed to in your life? Why? How is this shown in your life? What does it mean to be 100% committed as a Muslim? Does it involve more than fasting? If so, what? What would you say are the top 3 most important things for a Muslim to be committed to? Put them in rank order, with reasons. How important is self-control in life and in religion? Why? Do you think fasting is a good way to identify with those in Ethiopia and Somalia? Is it enough to feel sympathetic? How would a Muslim answer that question? What else do Muslims do for the poor? Is fasting an effective way to reflect and feel close as a family? Why do you think this is important in Islam?"