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The understanding of the hidden meanings of fasting is a means for seeking Islamic education, sound mannerism, sentimental attachment to Islam and Ramadan and proper upbringing PDF Print Email
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 19 May 2018 11:28

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to say in his du'aa' اللهم اني اعوذ بك من العجز والكسل, that is he was teaching his nation to ask Allah for protection from misunderstanding. This is one meaning of العجز.

Some people also mixed between the schools and deviated. Hence, abide by what you learned and the school you were taught whether Shaf'iyy or  Hanafiyy or Malikiyy for most of us. Do not go for detailing the issues or follow a judgment you did not learn.

A misstep may cause irreparable damage or put the person in state of having enormous  whispers of shaytan to make him/her nonfunctional.

May Allah guide us. Abide by the way of Ahlus Sunnah's Ulamaa' and stay away from deviating off the right path.

Importance

• The understanding of the hidden meanings of fasting is a means for seeking Islamic education, sound mannerism, sentimental attachment to Islam and Ramadan and proper upbringing. Islamic education highlights the wisdom which the Islamic worship targets for scrutinizing the Muslim’s manners and sharpening the Muslim’s morality and obedience to Allah.

• These hidden secrets facilitate the ways to benefit from fasting and make use of its long-term positive impact on one’s body, heart, soul and mind.

• The hidden secrets go beyond just abstaining from eating and drinking and refraining from fulfilling one’s desires during fasting.

• They expose the internal signs of personal sicknesses and weaknesses and the cure for them, the signs for good Islamic qualities and how to acquire them and the meanings that learned from fasting in particular and worshipping Allah in general.

• The fasting’s hidden secrets, their meanings, the wisdom sought by them and the beautiful and gentle gust they bring are the fasting’s inner core. Their container is having a valid fasting from the perspective of Islamic Law.

• When one learns and understand the Islamic worship’s hidden meaning whether it is fasting, praying, zakah, hajj, du`aa’, reciting Qur’an, visiting the Prophet’s grave, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and other types of worship the person’s commitment to Islam strengthens and his/her love for doing the worship increases. The person will be so eager to do the worship and find enjoyment in doing it.

• Imamul Ghazaaliyy wrote many books about this important and unique topic and we will try to learn from him about what is beneficial for us in this life and Hereafter.

Status of Fasting

• Allah said in soortus Sajdah, 17:

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

The verse means that only Allah knows the reward that Allah prepared for the pious Muslims for what they have done in this life. The doing that also deserves to be referred to in this verse is fasting as Imamul Ghazaaliyy mentioned.

• Allah also said in soortuz Zumar, 10:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

The verse means that those who have been patient in this life are given their reward without count, i.e., without weighing or measuring, unlike other rewards like that for charity, prayer, hajj and other types of worship.

The verse recognizes that those who are patient are the ones who have fasted as the hadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, says. In the Prophet’s hadithul qudsiyy Allah said:

الصَّومُ لِي وأنا أَجْزي به

The person who fasts is sincerely doing so only for Allah’s sake and Allah gives for doing it an enormous reward. (Imamul Qurtubiyy)

• The worship’s reward is usually multiplied by ten times to seven hundred (700) times. The fasting, however, is rewarded without count and the reward is given without a scale.

• Moreover, Allah said in sooratul An`aam, 162:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Allah instructed the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, to say that my prayer, worship, life and death are to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

• The saying of Allah in the Prophet’s hadithul qudsiyy informs that fasting is to Him. No other worship is mentioned and Allah has signaled out fasting from other worship. It means that Allah granted additional status to fasting and made fasting honorable even though all the worship we do is done to obey Allah whether it is praying, making hajj or paying zakah or other ones. Fasting, thus, has a hidden advantage.

• Consequently, we are requested to honor fasting as we worship Allah and this is the result of recognizing the high status that Allah granted to fasting.  We look at fasting in a highly respectable manner according to the meaning Allah revealed about it and invest our time to understand and benefit from its lessons.

Asceticism

• The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said to Mu`aadh bin Jabal:

إيَّاكَ والتَّنَعُم فإنَّ عبادَ اللهِ لَيسوا بالمُتَنَعِّمين

The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, told Mu`aadh to beware of enjoying too much of the lawful matters as Allah’s pious, dedicated servants do not seek such enjoyment.

• Fasting Ramadan associates performance of worship and asceticism.  The person who fasts leaves out the lawful matters which were lawful for him before the coming of Ramadan. Consuming food and drink and enjoying one’s wife were lawful before Ramadan but during the day of fasting they became unlawful.  This fasting is part of asceticism.

• Having asceticism is to leave out the desirable things of life and its pleasures. Its beginning is to protect oneself from falling in the unlawful matters and continues to limit one’s enjoyment of the lawful out of fear of falling in the unlawful. By that, one chooses to avoid being completely and fully immersed in this life. It is a training program for achieving self-control and lessening the inclination to desirable matters sought by one’s self.

• Having asceticism targets leaving out the unlawful and not the lawful because leaving out the unlawful is an obligation. If one is still struggling with leaving out the unlawful, one needs to catch up! One’s speed is slow and he/she is way behind the carven of the righteous. Ramadan is an opportunity to catch up and get used to stay away from the unlawful during the whole year.

Hidden Meanings of Fasting - 2

Worship vs. habit

• The person leaves out eating and drinking in Ramadan not out of health or social reasons, but out of obeying Allah and worshiping Him.  The main goal of fasting is to worship Allah.  Fasting has health-related, psychological, social and mental benefits, but I fast to worship Allah.

• We should take our fasting from fasting out of habit to fasting based on worship. The routine of fasting is a program we do during Ramadan and we should have a sense of worship in all of its components. For example, we consider waking up for suhoor as being out of worship, since it is Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam; our patience on fasting all day should be done out of worship; ensuring Maghrib time has set in before we eat should also be done out of worship, treating other decently in Ramadan should be done out of worship and similarly for other doings.

• Moreover, we ask the Muslims who are excused to breakfast in Ramadan like the sick or traveler not to eat openly during days of fasting, although permissible, to protect Ramadan’s dignity. By that, we discourage those who have no excuse from eating during the day, neglecting fasting and harming Muslims by their negligent behavior.