Ramadan, Ramadhaan, Fasting Islamweb
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Friday, June 22, 2018
Shawwaal 7, 1439
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RAMADAN 1438 > About Ramadan >

Ramadan: A Great Opportunity to Achieve Taqwa - II

… Continued 

Let us consider the holy month of Ramadan a starting point to pursue piety. Indeed, piety is the optimal clothing [of the soul]. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): 


  •  {…the clothing of piety - that is best.} [Quran 7:26]
  •  {Indeed, the pious will be among gardens and rivers,* In a seat of honor near a Sovereign, Perfect in Ability.} [Quran 54:54-55]

Bear in mind that fasting the month of Ramadan forbids man from committing sins. Allah The Exalted commands us to abstain from eating, drinking and engaging in sexual intercourse during the day of the fast, and deemed doing such acts among the actions that invalidate the fast. This urges Muslims to refrain from misdeeds during the days and nights of Ramadan. This is because Allah The Exalted, Who deemed doing such acts forbidden during the days of Ramadan, although food and drink are indispensable needs for everyone, forbade other acts that are graver and more harmful. Unlike eating and drinking, they are dispensable.


There are many traditions clarifying this point, some of which are the following:


1 - Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The person observing fasting should not use foul language, raise his voice, or behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should say, 'I am fasting." [Al-Bukhari]


The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) emphasized that a fasting person should not raise his voice, utter bad and foul words, or indulge in gossip or finding faults in others or talk about women obscenely and the like. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also stressed that a fasting person should not use foul language, or desecrate or make fun of what is sacred. Indeed, fasting should shield man against doing such immoral actions. A fasting person should abstain from raising his voice, and using foul and obscene language. It should prevent one from committing sins. How could a fasting person refrain from eating and drinking, which are permissible, yet commit what is forbidden?


2 - Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and false conduct, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” [Al-Bukhari]


Allah The Almighty does not command Muslims to fast in Ramadan except for their own benefit. Fasting is meant to inculcate in man the urge to refrain from raising their voices, using foul and obscene language, committing immoral acts, making false testimonies, and committing sins that are related to women and one's faculties. If the fasting person did not do this, then he did not benefit from his fasting. Therefore, Allah The Exalted would not accept his fasting nor reward him for it.


3 - Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Perhaps a fasting person will get nothing from his fast save hunger and thirst, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will get nothing from his standing except sleeplessness.” [Ahmad and Ibn Maajah]


Undeniably, fasting that is not translated in the person’s manners and actions does not avail the fasting person. A sound fast, which meets the due conditions and etiquettes of fasting in Islam, intercedes for the fasting person on the Day of Judgment and testifies for his sake before Allah The Exalted. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Fasting and the Quran will intercede for the slave on the Day of Judgment.”


However, if one fails to observe the due conditions and etiquettes of fasting in Islam, it will be of no benefit for him and he will not be rewarded for it.


A pious man said, “If I do not abstain from hearing what is prohibited while fasting, from looking at what is impermissible and from saying what is unnecessary, then I will get nothing from my fast save hunger and thirst. Even if I claim that I fasted, I did not.”


Hence, fasting should be translated in the person’s manners and conduct. Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “If you fast, then your hearing and sight should also fast, and your tongue should fast from backbiting and tale bearing. Do not harm your neighbor and be calm and dignified on the day that you fast. Do not make a day that you fast similar to a day that you do not.”

In general, a sound fast urges the fasting person to avoid prohibitions. Before a fasting person commits a sin, he should think and reflect on what he is about to do. He should ask himself: how come I want to commit a sin while Allah The Almighty has full control over me? Allah The Exalted bestowed upon me so many blessings and I am performing this act of worship [fasting so as to be closer to Him]. Fasting should have an impact on one's morality and behavior.

One example of those who do not benefit from their fast are those people who smoke all night in Ramadan. Smoking is forbidden and is harmful in all its forms. Undeniably, they do not benefit from their fast, as their fasting is not translated in their conduct.


A fasting person may abstain from smoking all day long, as well as from consuming all forbidden substances, may Allah safeguard us all, yet he consumes them in the nights of Ramadan. This attitude proves that he did not benefit from his fast, rather he will reap the ill-effects of what he had sowed.

A sound fast urges one to avoid committing forbidden acts. If a person thinks about committing a sin and his evil-inclined soul encourages him to look at what is forbidden, such as watching nude scenes in films or looking at unveiled women, he pauses for reflection and introspection. He should think how could he refrain from the physical wants and needs such as food, drink, and so on, which are permissible on ordinary days and commit what is prohibited? Thus, if his evil-inclined soul incites him to consume unlawful money, deal in usury, deceive or trick others in a fraudulent plot or the like, he should say to himself: How can I do a righteous deed and commit a sin simultaneously?

These examples illustrate the fact that a sound and genuine fast benefits the fasting person through urging him to avoid sins, whether the sins that are temporarily forbidden such as eating or drinking during the day of the fast, or those that are permanently forbidden such as drinking alcohol, gambling, smoking, bribery, fraud, usury, adultery, going to nightclubs and the like. Such acts are, definitely, impermissible.


A Muslim should bear in mind that Allah The Exalted forbade such sinful acts and He also forbade us from eating and drinking during the days of fast; both commands must be obeyed. Therefore, he abstains from all that is forbidden.

If your fasting is like this, then you would benefit from your fasting, gain the rewards of fasting and earn the forgiveness of your Lord. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) emphasized that a person can have his sins forgiven through fasting out of sincere faith and devotion. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain the rewards of Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari, Chapter of Fasting Ramadan out of sincere faith]


Fasting in Ramadan should be done out of sincere faith and hoping for the Rewards of Allah The Exalted. Undeniably, the meaning of faith here is to believe that fasting is an act of worship that was deemed obligatory by Allah The Exalted upon Muslims. The other part of the narration refers to hoping for the rewards of Allah The Exalted and this entails being mindful of Him at all times and under all circumstances.

To be continued …

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