The Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“Every deed of the child of Adam is for him except fasting. It is for Me and I shall reward it. The breath of the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasing to Allah than the perfume of musk.” [Bukhari]
Fasting is very pleasing to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. He loves the person who fasts. And why is that? Is it because Allah likes to put burdens upon us? No, Allah wants ease for us; He does not want to put us under hardship. Is it because Allah wants to save some food and drink from our consumption? No, Allah has plenty. His treasures will not be exhausted. He multiplies His blessings upon us during the month of Ramadan and gives us more. Allah loves a fasting person because he/she becomes more aware of Allah, becomes a better human being. The purpose of fasting is not to make us hungry and thirsty and to deprive us some of our comfort and conveniences. The real purpose of fasting is that we learn Taqwa (piety).
Taqwa is highly emphasized in the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are more than 158 ayaat of the Qur’an on taqwa and there are hundreds of ahadeeth on this subject.
Taqwa means the consciousness of Allah. It is to do one’s best efforts to live by His commands and to avoid His prohibitions. The Qur’an has used the word “taqwa” to mean: fear of Allah, worship of Allah, sincerity in faith and avoiding disobedience to Allah. Fasting can help us acquire taqwa if we do it in the right way. Fasting can be very pleasing to Allah if we keep in mind its real purpose. There are some important things that we should do. Here are some reminders. They are all taken from the guidelines given to us in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
1. Niyyah (Intention): Remind yourself again and again that you are fasting in obedience to Allah. Be sincere in your intention. You want Allah to accept your fasting.
2. Sunnah: Observe the sunnah in fasting. Take the sahoor meal a little before dawn and end your fast at sunset. Observe all the rules of fasting.
3. Wara` (Avoiding everything haram [forbidden] or makruh [disliked]): Be conscious to have halal (lawful) food, halal relations. Avoid watching bad TV programs, videos, movies, etc. always but especially while you are fasting. Keep your body and mind very clean. Avoid wasting your time in useless things and pursuits.
4. Qur’an: Spend more time with the Qur’an. Read Qur’an every day. Try to finish at least one time the whole Qur’an during this month in your own personal reading. Read some hadeeth and the books of seerah (the Prophet’s biography).
5. Salah, du`a and dhikr of Allah: Pray on time and observe all prayers. Perform more supererogatory prayers. Do as much worship as you can. Make more dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and du`a (supplication) for yourself and for others. Repent and ask Allah for forgiveness as much as you can. This is the best time for devotion and seeking Allah’s forgiveness.
6. Zakah, sadaqah and generosity: Be very charitable and generous. Give more and more to help the poor and needy and to help good social and community projects. Also be good to your friends and neighbors.
7. Husn As-Suluk (good relations with others): Try to be extra kind and courteous during this month. Forget your quarrels and disputes. Reconcile and forgive. Do not get involved in backbiting, lying, cheating, and anything that is wrong. Be very good to Muslims and to all human beings.
8. Tafakkur (contemplation): Think, reflect, and plan to improve the moral and spiritual condition of your own self and your family. Think about any wrong things and sins you may have been doing and decide to correct yourself. Think about any deficiencies you have in your Islamic observances, and plan to change yourself. Think what you can do for the Ummah and for humanity to make this world a better place for everyone.
May Allah help us to take full benefit of our worship. May He keep us on the right path and bless us now and always. Aameen.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Published with the permission of OnIslam.net. We express our gratitude to them for allowing us to put their work on our blog. May Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala bless them for this generosity. This has been modified to read the original click here.