The main objective of fasting is to acquire God-consciousness as informed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous,” [al-Baqarah 2: 183].
In order to achieve piety, it is not enough to just avoid eating and drinking during the fast, but one should also stay away from all kinds of sins. If we are to abstain from the permissible (halal) food while fasting, then it is even more important to avoid prohibited actions (haram) such as lies, cheating, backbiting, quarrels, negative thoughts, etc.
Eating is one of our most favorite pastimes which is very difficult to control. However, staying hungry during fasting gives us the strength to overcome our negative emotions as well for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Fasting is not just (abstaining from) eating and drinking, but fasting is also (refraining) from vain speech (laghw) and foul (or obscene) language and sexual actions. If one of you is being verbally abused or annoyed, he should say: I am fasting.” [Saheeh al-Targhib wa at-Tarhib: 1082]
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Some fasting people get nothing from their fast apart from hunger and some people who tend to pray at night will get nothing from their standing except sleeplessness.” [Sunan Ibn Majah: 1690]
Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever does not give up lying, forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink.” [Bukhari: 6057]
Likewise, in another tradition, Anas ibn Malik radhiAllahu ‘anhu reported that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever does not stop speaking falsehood and acting in accordance to it, Allah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” [Saheeh al-Targhib wa at-Tarhib: 1080]
It is as necessary to pay attention to the hidden aspects of worship (such as sincerity, love, hope and fear of Allah) as it is to maintain the physical and obvious rituals. In fact, this is what is meant by the achievement of true piety (taqwa).”
Things to Do:
– Adopt virtues like patience, humility, and God-consciousness through the hunger experienced while fasting.
– Make sure that your fast is not only about abstinence from food and drink, but also about guarding your eyes, ears, tongue, limbs, and heart.
– Channelize most of your time and energies to achieve productivity and refrain from useless activities.
– Do a daily self-analysis to make the present day better than the previous one.
– Make the fear and pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala the basis of even your regular dealings with people.
– Remind yourself every day that it may be your last day of your life so that you perform each deed every day in the most excellent manner possible.
In order to attain piety [taqwa], supplicate to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala every day in the following words: