By Ishola Balogun
Fasting is ordained in order that we may gain taqwa, as Allah – the Most High – said: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed upon those before you in order that you may attain taqwa.” Qur’an 2:183
Fellow Muslims! Let your fasting be a shield with which you protect yourselves against sins at all times. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: ‘Fasting is a shield. Let no one of you – during his fasting day – behave in an obscene manner, or become angry. If anybody abuses or fights with him, let him say: I am fasting.’ (Bukhari & Muslim)
So we should ask ourselves, after each day of fasting: Has this fasting made us more fearful and obedient to Allah? Has it aided us in distancing ourselves from sins and disobedience?
Be conscious of your gazes, see not evil, speak no evil about anybody but submerge your inner feeling with the presence of God. See Allah even though you see Him not but He sees you at all times. In this part of the world where crazy wears filled the environment, one needs to be careful never to treat obscenity with a second gaze.
The purpose of fasting is to control the soul and refine it and to protect the limbs. The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Whoever does not refrain from falsehood in sayings and deeds and acts of ignorance, Allah has no need of his abstention from food and drink.’ (Bukhari).
Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking. A fasting Muslim is seen to be meek with high level of self restraint. What is meant by the month of Patience is the month of Ramadan …so fasting is called patience because it restrains the soul from any thing negative.
So, fasting is a means of learning self-restraint and patience. With patience we are able to strengthen our resolve to worship Allah five times daily and cope with life’s ups and downs. With patience we are able to restrain our souls from provocations, transgressions and able to subdue the soul’s ill temperament. We are able to overcome greed and stinginess and thus give part of our surplus wealth in charity.
We should also try to purify our hearts and intentions during the month, seek forgiveness of sins and gained nearness to Allah. “Whosoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have his sins forgiven, and so enters the fire, and then may Allah distance him,” the Prophet said.
Let us use this month to renew relationships with Allah and of course to fellow human beings. It is human to err, relationships may have been broken during the year, and we should try and clear up any disputes or bad feelings with other Muslims or non-Muslims.
So we ask Allah to grant us the ability to change ourselves for the better, during this blessed month, and not to be of those who are prevented from His Mercy and Forgiveness. Indeed He is the One who Hears and He is the One who answers all requests.