Have you ever been stuck with a habit that kept you inside of it as if you were in a prison?
A cup of coffee to start the day that you get a terrible headache without .
A huge amount of sugar intake all through the day that you simply cannot stop or even control.
Anger, temper, intolerance or ego.
These are just examples of many habits and actions that we all dream of getting rid of, but unfortunately they control us instead of us controlling them.
Talk to me about freedom from all the cuffs in your life and I’ll tell you about ‘Sawm’ (i.e Muslims fasting).
Definition of ‘Sawm’
Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during the 29/30 days of Ramadan all adult Muslims must give up the following things during the hours of daylight:
- Food or drink
- Smoking, including passive smoking
- Sexual activity
30 days of beating down your desires ..
30 days of clarifying your body and soul from all the ties inside out .. starting from the cup of coffee passing through sexual relations and ending with long prayers at night teaching you patience, self discipline and asceticism.
Ask any Muslim how does he/she feel during the month of Ramadan ..
They will tell you there is some suffering of headaches and lower concentration levels in the first days, few days later; something changes .. there is light and peace .. there is a huge transformation.
By the 6th day of fasting, here are the words of a Muslim lady:
“And after few days of fasting you will start feeling like a type of uprising going on inside you” .. it’s the freedom!
Freedom From All Controlling Habits
Muslims fast from Dawn to Sunset, in some countries it’s 16 hours of fasting, and in other countries are even more, imagine; having the patience to challenge your thirst, hunger, anger, pride, ego, sex, smoking and almost every habit you used to for 16 hrs?!
Since in Islam we believe that success begins with breaking your own bad habits, things that actually keep controlling your behaviour, kind of directing you where you hate to go, and from this step you can simply face any other problem in your life .. you are truly liberated from your slavery.
Controlling Habits isn’t Only about Eating and Drinking:
The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” Narrated Abu Huraira
This is the type of discipline that Sawm teaches you .. it’s not only the materialistic things prohibited .. it’s also the evil spiritual things .. or otherwise you are just thirsty and hungry with no reward!
Al Khoudri said: “Prophet Muhammad said: “Allah frees some people from hellfire every day and night – meaning of Ramadan – , and every Muslim has an answered supplication every day and night [of Ramadan].” 
Sawm in Islam is on the mental base and the physical base; true freedom, you are actually liberated from your cuff from bad habits and bad manners that keep you tied to hell fire.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” [Reference: Bukhari & Muslim]
This hadith (i.e prophetic quote) points out to the new beginning you will experience after training yourself with Sawm. It’s as if you are born again..the peace you will have inside .. the patience you will experience to hold on against your desires .. the bridle you will put on to yourself to prevent it from doing what been controlling it all way long; will open up a new horizon for you; making you feel of how powerful and capable you are of leaving every bad habit and sin in your life .. thus deserving forgiveness!
It’s complete submission to the orders of God!
It’s complete freedom from the lust and desires!
 Reported by Al Bazar and authenticated by Sheikh Albaani in Saheeh Targheeb No. 1002