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."

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ramadhan- Stages of Fasting -Part 2

4. Maintaining Good Behaviour

Ensuring every part of the body is free from sin : legs and hands are ensured to be kept from committing acts which are discouraged (makruh) and keeping the stomach free from food and drinks which are unconfirmed as to their purity when breaking fast.

Fasting comes to nothing when we stop eating and drinking during our Fast by keeping away from eating halal food and drinks during the fasting period but then breaking the fast with forbidden foodstuffs!

Whoever fasts as such is likened to someone who builds a palace but then after completing it, goes ahead and destroys the building!
Even halal foods can cause harm not because oftheir quality but because when breaking fast, one goes and gorges on them.

Thus Fasting is to actually springclean one's stomach from unwanted cholesterol and toxins which remain undigested and accumulate in the digestive system throughout the year. By fasting, all the unnecessary fats and cholesterol are burned off by our body. The result is a healthier body and soul.

By fasting, we also get to experience how it must be for those who feel hunger every day. Those of us who are wealthy and have never experienced hunger pangs get to go through what others feel each and everyday of their lifes.

By experiencing fasting, the rich and wealthy amongst the Muslims will realise how it must be for the poor to go without proper food and drinks whilst the affluent splurge and waste precious wealth on pricey foods and drinks everyday.

The result will be that the rich and famous will repent from their wasteful practices all this while and waste no more. They will be more charitable after Ramadhan and appreciate the advantage that they have over the others in terms of their purchasing power.

God willing, such appreciation of their riches will open up their hearts and souls to be more humble and generous to the needy amongst society and cause them to do good for others.

Fasting is thus enjoined on all, young and old. To help us heal our bodies from internal ailments. Fasting is proven to be so beneficial to mankind. A person who completes the Fasting month of Ramadhan, comes out as a better person.

A healthier person, for having successfully burned off all the fatty deposits of cholesterol in one's body and also all those undigested toxins in one's system.

Persons who have been sick but do fast in Ramadhan, will recover sooner than those who don't do so.Fasting accelerates the process of healing and is beneficial to us all.

It's irrational for anyone to consume poison and all that is harmful to him or her. Foods which are forbidden are like poison to those who want to live according to the religious principles. Halal foods are like the antidote to our various illness and ailments of the heart and soul.

Even then, we need to be moderate when we consume such foods especially when we break fast. Too much of anything is always bad and so do we need to exercise proper control and decorum when breaking fast! Never eat excessively for it will defeat the purpose of fasting in the first place.Be moderate in all that we do.

Rasulullah saw said, "Alas, so many people fast but do not get anything except hunger and thirst!"! (Related by An Nasa'i, Ibnu Majah).

This is in conjunction with those who fast but break it with forbidden foods.There is also a parable of those who break fast with the flesh and blood of their fellow mankind as a result of their backbiting and gossip by badmouthing others!

This is also because such people have failed to follow the example shown by the Prophet SAW and his Companions.

Fasting also helps one to clean one's soul and get more blessings by offering prayers and dhikr to Allah SWT! Many a sufi mureed and student of Islamic spiritual awareness fast regularly as a means to heighten their sense of being closer to Allah SWT during their seclusion from society in general and focus towards their amals.

A soul that is devoid of ego and pride tends to be more humble towards its Maker and fasting helps us to concentrate our energies towards our glorification of Allah the Almighty!

To be continued