Ramadan, not only about abstinence from food, drink

An Islamic poet says: A believer sees his sins as if he were sitting beneath a mountain which he fears will fall on him, whilst the sinner sees his sin as if it was a fly trying to find its way in his nose and he waves it off.

Fasting has been ordained on as it was done on generations before you. The Quran 2:183 is clear in what fasting is meant to do – drive us to piety.  The spiritual and physical exercise of fasting are premised on gaining (taqwa) piety.

A believer will have good relationship with Allah; if he seeks, Allah will give, if he knocks, Allah will open. It is a pleasurable relationship that considers Allah first before anything.

It is the month of blessing, month of holiness, month of cleansing the soul from iniquities and month of charity; a month in which the Quran was revealed, a month in which there exist a night better than 1000 months. A month when the devil is chained, and the door of hell shut. A month when blessings descend from Allah and day and night. The doors of paradise are opened for the believers.

As Ramadan provides us these unquantifiable mercies of Allah, it is better to use the period very well, maximise the opportunity and become a better being even after Ramadan. It offers a unique opportunity to earn Allah’s pleasure. The process starts now.

The entire idea of fasting is definitely to get closer to God. In doing this, it must be a period of total re-dedication to Allah with an increase in activities that are in consonance with the dictates of Allah while also shunning the ways of shaytan (devil).

In observing the fasting, Muslim must ensure that the exercise goes far beyond abstinence from eating and drinking. It includes a change of ungodly habits to a tradition that will put you on the track of righteousness. Some of them are as follow.

See not what displeases Allah
Cultivate a chaste regard, restrained yourself from viewing anything that is reprehensible, or distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God. The Prophet, said: “the furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God, will receive from Him, great and gracious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.”

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As related by Jabir from Anas that Prophet Muhammad, (s.a.w) said: ‘Five things break a man’s fast, these are lying, back-biting, scandal, perjury and a lustful gaze.’

Speak no evil
Guarding one’s tongue from vain talk, lying, backbiting, scandal, obscenity, rudeness, wrangling and controversy is beneficial; instead, occupy yourself with the remembrance of Allah and with recitation of the Quran. This is otherwise termed the fasting of the tongue. The Prophet said: ‘ Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say:”I am fasting, I am fasting!”

Hear no evil
Closing one’s ears to everything reprehensible. It has been said that listening to evil talk is as bad as uttering it. That is why Allah equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer “(They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden” (Quran 5: 42).

Do no evil
Keeping all organs and parts of the body away from sin and evil: the hands and feet must be kept away from acts that can vitiate your fast. Refrain from idle and vain talk and do not spending considerable time on TV programmes and the social media, they are capable of distracting you from activities that will earn you rewards. 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.’ 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.’

Break your fast with halal food
Also, keep away from questionable food at the time for breaking fast, not only to stay purified from unlawful food but also to keep you healthy.

It is meaningless to fast, to abstain from lawful food, only to break one’s fast with what is unlawful. How many of those who fast, get nothing from it but hunger and thirst as a result of not being able to keep away from all unlawful things that have been spelt out as capable of vitiating fast.

Let’s, therefore, direct all our efforts to earn as many rewards as possible and to stay away from sins. Even as the month provides us with a chance of multiple rewards, the multiplication is all tied to the sincerity of our worships and the intensity with which we carry out the ibadaat.
May Allah guide us rightly.

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