Friday, September 4, 2009

The inner secrets of fasting

Know, that in the fast (Sawm) is a special quality that is not found in anything else. And that is its close connection to Allah, such that He says: ‘‘The Fast (Sawm) is for Me and I will reward for it.’’

This connection is enough to show the high status of fasting. Similarly, the Ka’bah is highly dignified due to its close connection to Him, as occurs in His statement: ‘‘And sanctify My House.’’

Indeed, the fast is an excellent act of worshipd due to two significant reasons:

1. It is a secret and hidden action, thus, no one from the creation is able to see it; therefore riya‘ (showing off) cannot enter it.

2. It is a means of subjugating the enemies of Allah. This is because the road that the enemies (of Allah) embark upon (in order to misguide the son of Adam) is that of desires. And eating and drinking strengthens the desires. There are many Prophetic traditions that indicate the merits of fasting, and they are well-known

Recommended acts of fasting

The pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and delaying in taking it are preferable, as well as hastening to break the fast and doing so with dates. Generosity in giving in charity is also recommended during Ramadan, as well as doing good deeds and giving more and more in charity. This is in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

It is also recommended to study the Qur‘an and perform I‘tikaf (seclusion for worship) during Ramadan, especially in its last 10 days, as well as exerting in doing good deeds in it. In the two Saheehs, ’Aa‘isha said: ‘‘When the last 10 days (of Ramadan) would come, the Prophet would grid up his loins’’

The scholars have mentioned two views concerning the meaning of ‘girding up his lions.’ The first is that it means the turning away from women.

The second is that it is an expression denoting his eagerness and diligence in doing good deed. They also say that the reason for his making an extra effort the last 10 days of Ramadan was due to his seeking of the Night of al-Qadr (Laylatul-Qadr). For more read here.

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