Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

The Muslim Bloggers Alliance

The Muslim Bloggers Alliance
Bringing Muslim Bloggers Together

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ramadhan - Stages of Fasting - Part 3

5. Avoiding Eating Too Much
It is encouraged to break fast moderately by not eating too much. Some people stuff themselves with food and drinks till it makes them bloated and unable to perform their maghrib prayers. It defeats the purpose of fasting and is contrary to the example shown by the Holy Messenger,Muhammad SAW.

There is no other stomach that is more loved by Allah SWT than the one filled moderately with halal foods. The fasting during Ramadhan is meant to be a way to defeat the urging of the Nafs and is also meant to teach us to be patient and content with being moderate in our feasting and spending, etcetera.

The irony is that some people tend to go overboard in spending more than usual when it comes to buying foodstuff to break their fasts. This is not good and is actually a sin in wasting precious funds which would be better used to save for days when our economies become lean and stretched.

A modern day dilemna facing us today is all the various Ramadan Buffets being offered here and there further enticing those who are flush with cash to forget all the advice and hadiths of Rasulullah SAW about being moderate in everything.

Just imagine, people are willing to spend almost a hundred ringgits each to go and break fast at such Ramadan buffets where so many varieties of rich foods are offered to them.

What will happen to all those who go and break fast at such places? Yes, it will be a classic case of the python that swallows a huge feast and will be incapacitated to move a muscle after their tummies become bloated and immobile!

Forget about Solat maghrib and Isya'! When one becomes so very bloated with food, the eyelids will come down and before you know it, they'd be so sated that they will soon be in the land of the snooze! Before you go and accuse me of badmouthing people, this is the reality of those who over indulge and over consume foods and drinks.

Rich foods tend to be prepared using ingredients that tend to make one feel drowsy and full after eating even a few spoonfuls. Local delicacies and delicious fare such as Nasi Briyani, Nasi Minyak, Nasi Tomato, all those mouthwatering curries and meats tend to make one who feeds on them go into slow mode as their tummies fill up with such meals.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW always broke his fast with a date fruit and a small glass of water. Then the Holy Messenger would perform his Maghrib prayers with the congregation of the Muslims. After the prayers and the dhikrs, only then would the Prophet SAW have a light meal with the people.

After the meal, the Prophet SAW would then again lead the people in the Isya' prayers and after that the Taraweeh prayers. The Prophet SAW prayed 8 raka'ats of the Taraweeh prayers with the congregation. It is reported that the Messenger SAW would offer additional prayers at home.

The 2nd Caliph, Saiyidina Omar Al Khattab during his rule over the Muslims made it 20 raka'ats of the Solat Taraweeh to be prayed in congregation with the ummah.

There are many who do not want to follow such an example for to them it is from the Prophet SAW whom they recognise as the very person from whom they must follow in terms of religious practices and not from anyone else!

It is up to the individual to offer as many prayers to Allah the Almighty as they want to but in Islam, it is enjoined to stick to the limits and statures set by the Greatest Messenger of Almighty God, the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam.

Can we be better than our Most Beloved Prophet SAW in our amals? Surely, not! So it is best to be moderate and not overdo anything, especially when it involves matters concerning prayers and religious practices.

Whoever does anything new or more than what the Prophet SAW has laid down for us is an innovator and commits the sin of Bida'ah! Such sins will bring us to Hellfire and that is not what we all want , do we?

So, play it safe and just do as the Prophet SAW did and do not go overboard in anything.

Verily , the fasting of Ramadhan weakens the nafs that leads us to committing sin and forget our obligations to ourselves and to Allah SWT and to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.

It is therefore better to reduce our intake of food especially after breaking fast in the month of Ramadhan compared to months other than Ramadhan. A stomach that is not filled to the brim will make it easier for us to go about performing our amals and we will feel lighter to do so.

The realisation of having successfully fasted a whole day and then able to perform our religious practices with an ease and comfort gined by following the example of the Prophet SAW will thus gladden our hearts and souls, giving us peace of mind and happiness of spirit bringing about a purification of the soul! Isn't that the objective of fasting in Ramadhan?

Getting dividends and bonuses of sincerity gained by sticking to the Sunnah of the Prophet and not following the settings of Syaitan set throughout the year to those of us who fail to fortify our hearts and souls from falling prey to his instigations and whisperings into our hearts and our nafs!

We believe that in this holy month of Ramadhan, the Gates of Hell are locked up tight where every evil being from the Spiritual World of Syaitan and his legions of doom are incarcerated by the Will of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala!

Yes, the whole world becomes free from the disturbances of Syaitan Laknatullah and his kind but Mankind is not free from the after effects and the set in programmes of Syaitan that is set to run in auto mode in the hearts and minds of the humanbeings who have let him, the Devil to distract us from the Way of the Lord save for those who have stuck to their religious practices which is the best form of protection from the Accursed One and his evil whisperings.

That is why, even in Ramadhan, there will still be those amongst the Muslims who continue to go against the teachings in Islam and even have the audacity to not fast and do so even in public! Only when the Islamic Religious Department go and take action against them do they say that they are sorry, have gastricitis, etcetera all in vain to claim ignorance and so on! Hmmmm..it's the same old story, year after year, time after time.

Ramadhan is a month of purification of our souls and the elimination of our egos and our pride. It is a month where we are enjoined to put aside our differences and our enmity between us and those in our lifes.

It is the best time to go ahead and apologise to anyone whom we have offended and caused hurt or wronged. It is a time to reflect on our past deeds and to forge a better objective in the pursuit of our goals in our life!

Ramadhan is not about forgoing food and drinks in the day and then going all out in stuffing our tummies when the sun sets.

It is meant to be a month where our stomachs which have been at work all year long, day and night is given a much needed rest and overhaul where unburned fats and toxins accumulated all year long gets to be burned off in the period of fasting when we do not eat or drink during the day.

When we do not eat and drink, the body which needs energy to go on, has to activate the stored fats and cholesterol to be burned off as the alternative supply of energy to keep us going. The result is that those of us who are chubby and on the 'plus side', get a chance to get a bit slimmer, healthier and better looking if we stick to the requirements of Fasting in Ramadhan.

Allah SWT loves us when we follow what's right and stop doing all that is wrong in our lifes.

Insya Allah, we can all try, can't we? Better to do what we can instead of just wasting our precious life away!

May Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala accept our amals and forgive us our sins. Ameen.