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Fasting has no Equivalent

Farid Haibatan

category: Ramadan

source: islam21c.com

reads: 8114

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... continued from Page 1

He also said, ‘There are three whose supplication will not be rejected: the fasting person at the time of breaking his fast; the just ruler and the supplication of an oppressed person.’ [25]

15. Two occasions for joy

The Prophet said, ‘The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast and the other when he meets his Lord.’ [26]

16. A smell more pleasant than musk

‘Every deed a person does is for his own self except fasting; it is for Me and I compensate for it. Indeed, the smell of the fasting person’s mouth is more pleasant to Allah than that of musk.’ [27]

17. Fasting prevents distraction

Al-Manawi states, ‘Fasting was legislated to tame the desires of the soul and to put a stop to what causes one to be in servitude and enslaved by things; if people continue to satisfy their desires they will be enslaved by things and will be disconnected from Allah. Fasting severs any connection to devoting servitude to other than Him and delivers freedom from being bound to what one covets; the meaning of freedom is to own things and not for things to own a person. If they do own and control him, wisdom is upturned and what is to be preferred becomes the opposite and what is most lofty becomes the most low...’ [28]

18. Realising the need for gratitude

Al-Qastalani says concerning the aims and virtues of fasting, ‘It causes one to offer much gratitude for one’s blessings and bounties and to acknowledge the previous blessings of satisfying one's need because of hunger and thirst; this causes one to strive to be grateful since something is truly known by its opposite.’ [29]

19. Opportunity and incentive to more acts of worship

‘Izz al-Din Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, ‘As for the opportunity to engage in more acts of worship, this is because it reminds one of the hunger and thirst of the dwellers of the Fire so it urges one to perform more acts of worship in order to attain salvation from the Fire. As for restraining impulses of disobedience and violations, this is because a soul that has had its fill desires and yearns for disobedience whereas if it is hungry and thirsty it desires food and drink. The desire of the soul for deliverance (from hunger and thirst) and being preoccupied with this is better than its yearning for disobedience and sin. This is why some of the early generations [salaf] preferred fasting to all other acts of worship; when questioned why, they replied, ‘For Allah to look upon me whilst my soul is challenging me concerning food and drink is more beloved to me than for Him to look upon me whilst it is challenging me concerning disobedience....’ [30]

20. Opportunity for being charitable and benevolent

Al-Qastalani said, ‘...the fasting person experiences hunger so he comprehends the severity of the pain of hunger; this urges him to be benevolent to those who are without food. It also causes him to reflect on the harms of being powerless and isolated; as only one who is afflicted with a difficulty can really be aware of it...’ [31]

21. A gentle heart and safeguarded limbs

The Prophet said, ‘There will enter Paradise a people whose hearts are like the hearts of birds.’ [32]

Al-Qastalani lists as one of the benefits of fasting, ‘The gentleness of the heart and much weeping; and this is one of the causes of happiness. Eating one’s fill does away with the light of real knowledge and imposes harshness and disentitlement.’

He also lists, ‘Safeguarding the limbs from persisting in wrongdoings; this is one of the greatest benefits to fasting. In fact it lies at the foundation of fulfilling the purpose. If one’s soul is touched with the pain of hunger it becomes submissive and obedient and distracted with this circumstance from extending its aspirations towards vile thoughts and thus its limbs will cease from committing improper movements and will stop short of violating what is sacred. The limbs are seven: the eye, ear, tongue, stomach, private parts, hand and foot. The soul supports these limbs and is the considered root. If the root weakens the branches weaken likewise and this is the secret to fasting...’ [33]

1. Surah al-Tawbah 9:112
2. al-Nasa’i.
3. al-Bukhari and Muslim.
4. al-Fath, vol. 4, pp 129-130.
5. al-Fath, vol.4, pg 130.
6. Fayd al-Qadir, vol.4, pg 251.
7. al-Fath, vol. 4, pg 130.
8. Al-Buhkari and Muslim.
9. Ibn Hibban in his al-Sahih and others.
10. al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i.
11. al-Tabarani in al-Kabir, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i.
12. Ahmad, al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.
13. Fayd al-Qadir, vol.4, pg 242.
14. Related by al-Bazzar and declared hasan by al-Albani in Sahih al-Targhib, vol 1, pg 412.
15. Ahmad and others.
16. Ahmad in al-Zuhd.
17. Al-Bukhari.
18. Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
19. Mirqah al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkah al-Masabih.
20. Fawa’id al-Sawm.
21. Related by al-Bazzar and Ahmad. Refer to Sahih al-Jami’, number 6224.
22. Fayd al-Qadir, vol.6, pg 123.
23. Ahmad and al-Tabarani on al-Kabir.
24. al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman and others.
25. Ibn Hibban, Ahmad and others.
26. al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad.
27. Muslim and Ibn Hibban with his wording, and others.
28. Fayd al-Qadir
29. Madarik al-Maram fi Masalik al-Siyam
30. Fawai’d al-Sawm, pg. 25.
31. Madarik al-Maram, pg 76.
32. Muslim.
33. Madarik al-Maram, pp 79-80.

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