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29 Jul. 2011

Ramadhan Mubarak!
    

Allah says in the Qur’an: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint.” (Al-Baqarah:183) 

The holy month of Ramadhan is a blessed month. Fasting for the sake of Allah is a virtuous form of worship. No one but Allah wholly realizes its reward. It is one of the pillars of Islam. Allah has prescribed it for the believers to become a shield, mercy, benevolence and a cause of good health for them. It is to be performed in a manner that shall revive and awaken the feeling of taqwa in their hearts and repress the fervor of their lusts. 

 

The blessings of the months of Ramadhan are too many to be counted. If one does recognize them and realize their importance, he wishes to have Ramadhan to be throughout the whole year. These blessings are given by Allah to the fasting Muslims, who are to fast with full faith and expectation. 

Fasting is observed for one month every year. During this fast man abstains from food and water from sunrise to sunset in obedience to the command of Allah. This act is performed in order to reduce man’s materialism and increase his spirituality, so that he may be able to lead a truly spiritual life in this world. In the process, he spends more time in the worship of Allah. 

Fasting awakens in man the feeling of gratefulness. The temporary deprivation of food and water stresses for him the importance of these things as divine blessings. Then when he partakes of food and water after having experienced hunger and thirst, he can feel how truly precious is the food and water provided to him abundantly by Allah. This experience increases manifold his feelings of gratitude to Allah. 

Fasting produces moral discipline within man. By restricting the basic things he desires, the devotee is trained to lead a life of self-restraint and not of permissiveness. 

By having a curb put on his various desires for one month at a time man is trained to lead a life of self-restraint for the whole year, making no attempt to exceed the limits set by Allah. 

A person, who can restrain himself from the essentials of life for sometimes and for the love of Allah, deserves a reward from the Creator Himself. The Prophet said: “The fasting person leaves his food, his beverages and his lusts for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I am the One to reward. A good thing is to be rewarded ten times….(Abu Hurairah). 

What man does by fasting is engaged himself more and more in the remembrance and worship of Allah, and in the recitation of the Qur’an. Thus fasting serves as a strategy to increase the efficacy of worship. In this way Allah accepts our worship in its heightened form. 

The Muslim must receive this great month happily and gratefully, while praising and thanking Allah and with full readiness and a pure intention to practice all forms of worship in this month. He must look forward to spending the days of this month fasting and reciting Qur’an and the night praying and supplicating. 

Fasting is, in short, a training course. Its purpose is to place man on a special spiritual plane for one month so that he may be better able to lead the life of a true devotee of Allah and a true lover of humanity.

May Allah (S.W.T.) accept our fasting and all of our ibadah.

(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)