THE BLESSINGS AND BOUNTIES OF RAMADAN

Pious families prepare iftar for the public in Pakistan:Courtesy flickr.com

Excerpted from a lesson given by: By Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks

GOAL: To highlight the benefits and objectives of fasting

WHAT DOES FASTING MEAN TECHNICALLY?

To refrain from the carnal desires of the private parts and stomach, with the intention of worshipping/seeking closeness to Allah.

  1. WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF FASTING in Surah Baqarah: 2: 183 Objective of fasting: to obtain taqwa.

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ (١٨٣)

Yusuf Ali’s translation: O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.― (183)

The translations of تَتَّقُونَ:

Pickthall: ward off (evil); (183)

Mohsin: Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2). (183)

Abdul Daryabadi: fear God. (183)

Muhammad Asad: Conscious of God 183

And in Urdu:

Ahmed Ali & Jalandry: پرہیز گار ہو جاؤ (۱۸۳

Ashraf Thanvi: متقی بن جاوٴ۔ (۱۸۳

What is Taqwa then?

My Take: None of these translations fully describe the combination of love and fear, of Allah with God consciousness every moment of our life that balances our actions.

Thus my take is “Learn Quranic Arabic to understand the nuances and the depth of meaning of the word that opens the door to Jannah”!”

  1. HOW DO I OBTAIN TAQWA? to avoid the prohibitions and perform those commanded outwardly and inwardly, by doing so one obtains taqwa.
  2. DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE OBJECTIVE!

Hadith: The messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

Whoever does not refrain from false speech and acting upon it, then there is no need (for the sake of Allah to refrain from food or drink (Bukhari)

Hadith: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

Many of those who get nothing from their standing in prayer except tiredness, Many are those who get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst (Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad)

3. REMIND YOURSELF: “I AM FASTING”!

Hadith : The Messenger of Allah said:

Fasting is a junna (two meanings of junnah 1) something that protects your from the punishment of Allah or 2) protects you from following the harm of your desires (it blocks the shawah/desires) so if one of you is fasting then don’t use repugnant speech nor squabble. Thus if a person curses you or tries to fight with you say (to yourself) I am fasting, I am fasting: (Bukhari)

4. THE POWER OF FASTING FOR ALLAH!

Hadith: The Messenger of Allah said:

“When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell closed and the Shaytans are shackled”

(Bukhari)

The gates of Paradise are opened because so much ibadah is going on thus the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed as people try to avoid all the sinful types of acts.

The Shaytaan is shackled, when the person is hungry, shaytaan cannot run through their veins and tempt them. Thus when people are hungry their minds are not on sinful things as they do not have the energy and have their mind on completing their work.

When Ramadan comes, worship is increased, and thus due to the outpouring of worship and good deeds the gates of Paradise are open.

5. THE FRUIT OF FAST “FORGIVENESS:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said

“ whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with sound faith (a person fasts with the intention that it is obligatory) and intention to reap the rewards (think about what you are doing), his sins from the past will be forgiven” Muslim

To be in front of Allah: “Istihdara Allah” to be present when doing good actions, to call upon Allah to be in presence of Allah.

Some scholars say Minor sins will be forgiven, some say both minor and major. We know that Allah can forgive whom He pleases

6. “THE WALKWAY TO STARDOM” VIPS ONLY

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

“ Verily in Paradise there is a gate called Ar-Rayyan which those who fast will enter through on the Day of Judgment; no one will enter through except them, It will be announced “where are those who fasted?” and therein they will (be brought forth to) enter, When the last of them enters, it will be locked and none will enter it after them” Bukhari.

Thus Allah Subhanawataala in the Akhirah treats those who fast as VIPs and they will enter through a special door into Paradise.

End Session

(based on the text of Maqasid As Sawm researched from the Quran and Sunnah by a Maliki Scholar)

Questions:

Q. How does the Sunnah fast pertain to the Ar Rayaan?

Answer: voluntary fasts help further to get into jannah via Ar Rayaan.

Q If someone does something bad like lying or backbiting is the fast broken

Answer: No but what one breaks is one is knocking down the wisdom of the fast. Remember the description of “Junnah” the barakah of the fast goes down.

Q What to do if a Breast feeding mother and does not have the ability to fast:

Answer (Maliki fiqh) If she does not fast because of difficulty: She has to make up the days and for everyday that the fast was broken, give kaffara.

If she fears harm for herself or her child then she is permitted not to fast on that day and make up her fast later when she is feeling better.

End Session.

May Allah Subhanawataala forgive any mistakes in my notes from the lecture and accept my niyyah of passing on what is beneficial for all.

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