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Starter: Odd one out. What is Sawm , and why do Muslims do it?. L earning Objectives: To describe what Sawm is To give examples of what it involves To make connections between Islam and our own lives. Intro: How would it affect you if you’d had no food since 6am?. Just thought….

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What is Sawm, and why do Muslims do it?

Learning Objectives:

To describe what Sawmis

To give examples of what it involves

To make connections between Islam and our own lives


Just thought…

How many people said they’d be very tired?


List every thing you ate yesterday. Include:

Every meal you had

Any snack you had (even if it’s a crisp from your friend’s packet!)

Every drink you had

  • Imagine if you couldn’t eat anything ALL DAY for a MONTH.
  • This is what Muslims do during Ramadan. To go without food for a while is calledFASTING.
  • Muslims fast during daylight hours- when it’s dark they can eat again.

Ramadan is actually the name of the month in which Sawm, the fast, takes place. It is the fast of food and drink and also sex, and is compulsory for all* Muslims who have reached puberty.


Exemptions -

  • Travellers
  • Pregnant women
  • The sick or infirm

Anyone who misses the fast either has to make up the missed days later, or, if this is not possible, pay money to a charity.

Those who cheat at Ramadan also have to fast again later.


The fast is during daylight.

The fast takes place between dawn and sunset

So, obviously, when Ramadan falls in winter it is easier than when it comes in the summer


“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint." (Qur'an 2:183)


‘Self Restraint’ is translated from the Arabic word ‘taqwaa’

Muslims take part in Ramadan to gain taqwaa.

Taqwaa is a fear of Allah, bringing the faster into a respectful relationship with God.


During the last ten nights, one of the odd numbered nights, normally the 27th, is celebrated as being ‘Lailat Al-Qadr’

The last ten nights of Ramadan are the most holy.

Many Muslims take ‘seclusion’ in the last ten days to fully dedicate themselves to worshipping Allah. This is called being in masjid.


Lailat Al-Qadr

This night in Ramadan remembers when Muhammed had the Quran revealed to him.

The night is known as the ‘Night of Power’, it is seen as a special night and is said to be ‘better than a thousand months’


Allah has said that

“Fasting is for me and I reward it”.

It is because of this that the Sawm is so important, it is a duty to Allah and it comes with benefits


These benefits include -

  • Patience
  • A greater knowledge of Islam
  • Submission to Allah
  • Community with other Muslims all over the world
  • A better understanding of the unfortunate
  • Discipline
  • Fasting can also promote better bodily health

Watch the video

Complete a Spider Diagram and mention as many:

  • Facts about SAWM
  • Benefits of fasting

THINK: What do you show commitment and dedication to, even though it is hard work?

what does it feel like to fast what do muslims think about during ramadan
What does it feel like to fast? What do Muslims think about during Ramadan?

As you watch the video, think about these questions


Only two of us canteen workers are Muslims. The other one was pregnant last Ramadan so she couldn’t fast, but usually she does. During Ramadan, if we need to check something like salt, one of the other cooks tastes it. While the others have elevenses, we just sit outside or carry on working. Normally, when we’ve served our meals and cleared up, we al have our dinner before going home. In Ramadan I go home as soon as I have cleared up. I try to have a lie-down before my children get home.


The mornings are ok when we are fasting. The afternoons are harder. A Ramadan day is quite different from any other. We start fasting before dawn and finish after sunset. When Ramadan falls in summer, we get up very early, before its light, then go back to bed until it’s time to go to school or work.

My husband works in a factory. In Ramadan, when he’s on the night shift, he can eat during breaks, but when he’s on days it’s not so good. There’s only the cafeteria for people to go to.

Explain why fasting during Ramadan can cause problems for Muslims living in the UK. (Give examples of occupations in your answer)

  • Muslims celebrate the festival of ……
  • During this month, they fast. This means…..
  • During the festival, Muslims think about…
  • Muslims might think that fasting is difficult because…
  • However, they might also think fasting is a good thing, because…

It would be even better if you could include some of the key words you have just learnt.

to finish
To finish…

Can you use key words and your knowledge from this lesson to tell me something about these pictures?

eid ul fitr

At the end of Ramadan Muslims celebrate the festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr. It marks the end of a difficult month of fasting. Before the festival begins Muslims observe Zakat-ul-Fitr. This means giving money for the poor. It is usually the amount of money it would cost for a family to eat a meal. The idea is that everyone should have enough to celebrate the feast.


The first day of the festival begins with a light meal. Then Muslims meet at the mosque. Eid-il-Fitr is a time for meeting friends And relatives, so it is common for large groups to meet at the Mosque for prayer. The special prayers take place from dawn till noon. Then they visit friends and family. There are often parties and sugary sweets are eaten. Children often wear new clothes. Many Muslims also send cards to each other.