Singapore Infopedia

by Suchitthra Vasu


Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other four pillars are: a firm declaration that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His apostle; the keeping up of prayers; the payment of obligatory charity; and the performance of the pilgrimage to Mecca.1

Every year, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.2 The fast begins before dawn breaks and ends at sunset.3 No food or drink is allowed while fasting, and smoking is also forbidden.4 It is believed that the highest dimension of fasting is achieved when one is at his or her moral and spiritual best by being charitable, compassionate, good-tempered and truthful while devoting his or her time to prayer and meditation. Self-control during fasting also involves the curbing of one’s passions, for example, sensual desires and feelings of anger.5

Muslim children are trained to fast for half a day when they are six years old so that it will be easier for them to fast for a full day when they grow older. Converts are also encouraged to fast for half a day in the beginning.6

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims around the world celebrate their one month of fasting with Aidilfitri, or Hari Raya Puasa.7

Suchitthra Vasu

1. Altaf Ahmad Kherie.(1994). A comprehensive guide-book of Islam. Delhi: Adam Publishers & Distributors, pp. 219–220. (Call no.: R 297 KHE)
2. Altaf Ahmad Kherie. (1994). A comprehensive guide-book of Islam. Delhi: Adam Publishers & Distributors, p. 278. (Call no.: R 297 KHE)
3. Muslims begin their month-long fast today. (1990, March 28). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. A pillar of Islam. (1999, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Muslims begin their month-long fast today. (1990, March 28). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. A pillar of Islam. (1999, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. A pillar of Islam. (1999, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.


Rights Statement

The information on this page and any images that appear here may be used for private research and study purposes only. They may not be copied, altered or amended in any way without first gaining the permission of the copyright holder.

More to Explore



Gasing is a term that refers to both the Malay spinning top and the game of top spinning. Gasing was a popular game played in the kampongs (“villages” in Malay) of Singapore and Malaysia, especially among members of the Malay community. Competitive gasing is still played in Malaysia today....

Sabar Menanti Restaurant


Located in the nasi padang belt of the famous Kandahar Street in Kampong Glam, Sabar Menanti is a well-loved Malay restaurant serving authentic Minangkabau (from West Sumatra, Indonesia) dishes. The restaurant is aptly named Sabar Menanti, for in English it means “wait patiently”, which one has to do as the...



Raoul is a local fashion brand established in 2002. Known as one of Singapore’s largest womenswear export labels, Raoul is managed by fashion company FJ Benjamin and the brand’s products are produced by a team of international designers and consultants directed by Douglas and Odile Benjamin....

Mohamed Mustafa and Samsudin Co Pte Ltd


Mohamed Mustafa and Samsuddin Co Pte Ltd (MMSC), established in 1971 and located in Little India, is one of Singapore’s local retail giants. Hard work, honesty, humility, and the importance of listening to customers’ needs are the guiding principles behind its monumental success. Commonly known as “Mustafa’s”, it was named...

Warong Nasi Pariaman


It is believed that Warong Nasi Pariaman is the oldest surviving stall in Singapore that serves nasi padang – rice with mixed dishes, originating from the city of Padang in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The stall is famous for its authentic Padang dishes, particularly beef rendang, which is cooked without coriander...

Madrasah education in Singapore


The word madrasah is Arabic for “school”. In Singapore, a madrasah refers to an Islamic religious school. Local madrasahs offer a dual-education system that combines secular and religious learning. As at 2017, there are six fulltime madrasahs in Singapore registered with the Ministry of Education: Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah, Madrasah Aljunied...

Mustaq Ahmad


Mustaq Ahmad (b. 8 June 1951, Uttar Pradesh, India–) is the co-founder and managing director of Mustafa Centre, a popular 24-hour shopping centre in Little India frequented by many Singaporeans and tourists. The success of Mustafa Centre has earned Mustaq Ahmad accolades such as the Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year...

The Baweanese (Boyanese)


The Baweanese are a significant community among the Malays of Singapore. They were originally from Pulau Bawean (Bawean Island) in East Java, and migrated to Singapore from the early 19th century. In the early days, many of them found jobs as drivers and horse trainers. They lived in communal...

Jawi Peranakkan


The Jawi Peranakkan, the first Malay newspaper in Singapore, was founded in 1876 and remained in circulation until 1895. The rise and demise of the newspaper was closely associated with the history of the Jawi Peranakan community in Singapore. The Jawi Peranakan were the Straits-born children of Malay-Indian parentage. ...



Ketupat is a diamond-shaped rice cake. This Malay food staple is made of cooked rice compressed and wrapped in woven coconut leaves. Originating from Indonesia and Malaysia, ketupat is often consumed as an accompaniment to meat dishes such as satay (skewered barbecued meat) or stews, although the traditional version has...