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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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ramadhan - Stages of Fasting

First and foremost, I wish each and every Muslim visiting my blog here:
'May you have a very Blessed Ramadhan and your fastings and amals accepted by Allah, God Almighty!'I also seek your forgiveness if I have hurt any of you with my words and writings.
I apologise to any of you who have been offended by my posts but wish to reiterate that I write according to what I hold to be true and have done so as a Caller to Islam. I do admit that I too have my ego that dictates to me as to my offense or defense of my faith.May Allah SWT guide me as such.May this Ramadhan heal us all. Ameen.

I want to share with you some information I have about Ramadhan and the significance of being in accordance with the different stages of one's fasting.

Let us also express our gratitude to Allah, God Almighty for blessing us with the opportunity to be alive in this holiest of months in our life as Muslims.

'Alhamdulillah, We thank you O Allah, for gracing us , your servants and creation to be able to perform our obligations as Muslims to perform our Saum @ Fast in this blessed month.

We thank you for giving us the chance to cleanse our souls, spring clean ourselves, in spirit and in physical health, to seek the bounty of your rewards to those of us who perform our acts of prayer and our charitable deeds, giving us to purify our hearts and our selfs in ways that we are enjoined to and for uniting us in our will to be among those who submit only to You Dear Allah, our Lord and Master, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful!

Forgive us of our sins, gather us in the Hereafter amongst those whom You Favor and bless us all in this Earthly Life and in the Yaum al Akhirat! Spare us from the Tortures in the Grave and from the Hellfire!

Give us our sustenance here on Earth and increase our levels of knowledge and faith in You.

Heal us from our ailments , body and soul and protect us from the Evil Syaitan both from amongst the Djinns and Mankind.

Save us from those who mean us harm and danger. Enrich us with wealth from halal sources and protect us and our families from anything that is hrmful to us and our properties.

Protect us from our Nafs and our Ego's and purify us as You want us to be .

Ameen ya Rabbal Alameen.

Stages of Fasting

Verily there are 3 stages of fasting: normal, specific dan exclusive.
  • Normal fasting, means abstaining from food and drinks and sexual intercourse between husband and wife during the fasting period.
  • Specific fasting , means controlling one's hearing, sight, speech, limbs and body from indulging in sinful actions.
  • Whereas Exclusive fasting means fasting of the heart and soul where one stops thinking or even imagining anything forbidden by Allah SWT and focuses on observing one's religious practices and performs them devotedly with sincerity to seek the Blessings of Allah the Almighty and doesn't pursue worldly interests which are worthless.
Those who are included in this category are those who feel that they are committing sin when they waste each and every precious second when they engage in useless pursuits and worldly distractions.

Allah knows best who are in this category but it is safe to assume that the Prophets, Messengers, Sahabahs, Tabi'ins and their heirs will surely be amongst them.

As for the general Ummah living in these times, Blessed be them who manage to stay clear from all the worldly distractions and excesses taking place in our lifetimes get to ever be amongst them.

Spiritual Conditions

Specific fasting is an act of ibadah (religious act) that is practiced by those who are pious and dedicated towards their faith. This stage of fasting means to be in total control over their body and soul to the extent of taking the utmost care in not committing any sin and need to fulfill the following six conditions :

1. Controlling our Eyesight - Not looking at anything disliked by Allah Swt.

It is a trait of purity to be able to ,stop looking at something that is forbidden (haram) such as looking at pornography, exposed aurats (parts of the human form that needs to be covered for preserving one's sense of modesty) or discouraged (makruh),or anything that distracts one from Remembering Allah swt.

Prophet Muhammad saw. said:

"Uncontrolled eyesight is one of the Satan's arrows and condemned by Allah SWT. Whoever takes care of their vision, purely for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT out of compliance to Almighty Allah, verily Allah will shower them with Iman, as sweet as the feeling of Faith in their hearts!" (Authentic Hadith related by Al Hakim).

Jabir r.a. relates from Anas r.a , that Rasulullah saw. has said:

“There are 5 matters that can obliterate the fast of someone : lying, gossipping, spreading issues (backbiting), false witnessing and looking with lust."

2. Control of speech

Controlling the tongue (speech) from wasteful words , lying, backbiting, spreading rumours, rude and insulting words, inciting enmity (confrontative and controversial) ; by being silent, reciting the dhikr, reading and researching the Al- Qur'an.

This is the fasting of speech. Rasulullah saw. has said:

"Fasting is a shield. Whoever amongst you is fasting, do not speak anything evil and out of ignorance! If anyone attacks you or insults you, tell them : I am fasting, I am fasting!" (Bukhari Muslim).

3. Controlling one's Hearing

Controlling one's hearing from anything that is sinful; for anything that is forbidden to be uttered is also forbidden to be heard. That is why Allah SWT does not differentiate between those who love to listen to anything that is (haram) forbidden and with those who love to eat anything that is (haram) forbidden.

In the Qur'an Allah SWT. says, "They are fond of listening to lies and consuming that which are not halal." (Q.s. 5: 42).
In another Ayat, Allah SWT. asks, "Why do their rabbis and priests amongst them do not stop them from sinful speech and eating forbidden things?" (Q.s. 5: 63).

So, it is best to be silent and avoid backbiters.

Allah SWT says : "If you remain with them , then verily you too are as them!" (Q.s. 4: 140).

That is also why Prophet Muhammad SAW said:" Those who backbite and those who listen to them are united in sin"
(Hadith related by At Tirmidzi).


To be continued.