TODAY -

Ramdhan: An event for emptying the stomach & enriching the heart

Mufti Salatur Rahman *

Eid Mubarak on the occasion of Id ul-Fitr
Eid Mubarak on the occasion of Id ul-Fitr :: Art work by Phurailatpam Banti Sharma



Ramadan is the most precious month in the Islamic calendar (Hijri) and fasting is obligatory for the Muslims in the month of Ramadan as it is one of the five pillars of Islam.

1. Fasting in Ramadhan is intended to seek NEARNESS TO Allah and beseech HIS PLEASURE and FORGIVENESS.
2. It is a way to obey the Divine Order, to measure the FAITH of man in Allah and to help to strengthen it by putting it to a severe test.
3. Fasting inculcates in man a spirit of GRATITUDE and consequent DEVOTION to Allah. It also reminds man that the real joy in enjoying Allah's bounties lies in MODERATION and RESTRAINT and not in OVER INDULGENCE.
4. Fasting enkindles in man a spirit of SACRIFICE leading to CHARITY towards his suffering brethren.
5. Fasting affords man an unfailing training in ENDURANCE.
6. Fasting develops COURAGE, FORTITUDE and a FIGHTING SPIRIT IN man to surmount the heavy odds in life. It sharpens his, power of CONCENTRATION, WILL POWER and RESOLVE.
7. Fasting teaches man RELIANCE on Allah and CONFIDENCE in HIM in facing the bitter situations in life. Fasting develops the quality of PATIENCE .
8. Fasting seeks to inculcate in man the right type of attitude in different situations in life of GRATITUDE and THANKSGIVING in plenty and of PATIENCE and FORBEARANCE in difficulty.
9. Fasting is meant to CONQUER ANGER and to develop SELF CONTROL in man.
10. Fasting inculcates a spirit of TOLERANCE.

Fasting in Ramadan helps in achieving righteousness.

Allah says:
"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (achieve taqwa)" (Al-Baqarah, 2:183)
Righteousness is the aim of our existence. Allah reminds us of it in the Qur'an again and again.
"O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims." ('Ali-'Imran, 3:102)
When we change our attitude while fasting and have a good mental state, we can achieve taqwa. Jabir ibnAbullah said,
"When you fast, your hearing, your vision, and your tongue should also fast by avoiding lies and sins. You should not abuse your servant. You should maintain your composure and dignity on the day you fast. Do not make your fasting day the same as your normal day."

Reading Qur'an in Ramadan assists in attaining "righteousness"
"The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion." (Al-Baqarah, 2:185)
Reading Qur'an in this month assists in attaining "taqwa" since it is one of the main objectives of the revelation of the Qur'an. Allah says:
"[It is] an Arabic Qur'an, without any deviance that they might become righteous." (Az-Zumar, 39:28)

A means of gaining Forgiveness of sins:

The Prophet (pbuh) said:
a. "Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."
b. "Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."
c. "Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins."
d. "…from one Ramadan to the next are expiation for sins committed in between, so long as you avoid major sins."

Steadfastness and Patience:

Fasting helps in developing a strong will power. Fasting is patience in obeying Allah, patience in keeping away from the things forbidden by Allah, and patience in bearing the decree of Allah, hunger, thirst, physical and mental weakness. So it combines all three types of patience, thus the fasting person deserves to be counted as one of the patient, and Allah says:
"Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account." (Az-Zumar, 39:10)

Seeking LaylatulQadr-The Night of Power:

Prophet (pbuh) said:
"There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived."

Fasting precludes ar-riya and assists in ikhlaas:

"Allah said: 'Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…'"
Allah didn't say "prayer is Mine", or "Hajj is Mine", or "charity is Mine". Why did He single out fasting? Al-Qurtubi said: Because showing off may enter into all good deeds, but no one can see when a person is fasting except Allah, so Allah connected it to Himself. Hence Allah said in hadeethQudsi, "He gives up his food, his drink and his physical desires for My sake."

Ramadan trains us to have good character and be truthful:

The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it and ignorant behaviour, Allah has no need of his giving up his food and drink".
So if a person refrains from disobeying Allah or gives up sinfulness, then this is true fasting. Meaning, your body needs to fast with you too along with hunger and thirst.
"…and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.'"

A sense of Unity:

All the Muslims participate in this act of worship. All of us are fasting and breaking the fast at the same time. We as a single ummah gather upon a single act of worship directing towards a single purpose.

Ramadan is an opportunity to learn discipline in food and drink:

One of the benefits of fasting is good health. This is something we should seek because with good health, we can worship Allah better and do extra good deeds which we might not be able to do if we did not have it. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone…"

Two moments of Joy:

The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"The fasting person will have two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting."


* Mufti Salatur Rahman wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on July 29, 2014.


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