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 The wisdom behind fasting

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InläggRubrik: The wisdom behind fasting   The wisdom behind fasting Emptytis nov 25, 2008 11:04 pm

Från: Umm_Amatillaah (Ursprungligt meddelande) Skickat: 2005-05-02 01:45
Bismillah wal hamdulillah wa salaat wa salaam 'ala ashrafel mursaleen, wa ba'd!

The Wisdom Behind Fasting
Author: Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih al Uthaimeen
Source: Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan [pgs. 41-43] (trans. Ahl ul-Qur'an was-Sunnah Society)
Article ID : IBD090006 [2659]

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From the wisdom of fasting is that: It is an act of worship done for Allaah, in which the ‘abd (servant) draws closer to His Lord by abandoning the things that he loves and desires, such as food, drink and sexual intercourse. So because of this, the truthfulness of his Faith and the completeness of his servitude to Allaah become apparent, as well as his love for Allaah and his longing for what Allaah has prepared for him (of good). This is since the one who fasts does not abandon something that is beloved to him except for that which is greater to him than it (which is Allaah). When the believer knows that Allaah’s contentment lies in the fasting – which is abandoning those desires that he naturally loves – he will give his Lord’s contentment precedence over his desires. So he abandons his desires no matter how much he longs and yearns for them, because his delight and the tranquility of his soul lies in his abandoning all that for the sake of Allaah.

Because of this, many of the believers – if one of them were to be beaten or forced to break his fast during a day in Ramadaan without a valid excuse, he would not break his fast. So this is from the greatest and most profound aspects of wisdom behind fasting.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it is a means of attaining Taqwaa, as Allaah says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, in order that you gain Taqwaa.” This is since a person who is fasting is commanded to do the obligatory duties and to avoid sinful acts. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever does not abandon false speech, acting upon that (false speech) and (acts of) ignorance (i.e. sins), then Allaah has no need of him abandoning his food and drink.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree] So when a person is fasting, every time he desires to do a sinful act, he will remember that he is fasting and thus withhold himself from that. This is why the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) ordered the person who is fasting, when cursed at and abused, to say: “I am fasting”, cautioning him (the reviler) that a person fasting is commanded to refrain from cursing and reviling and reminding himself that he is fasting and cannot counter with cursing.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that the heart opens to contemplation and remembrance (of Allaah). This is since fulfilling one’s desires leads to heedlessness and perhaps the heart becomes hardened and blinded from the truth. This is why the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) advised us to eat and drink little, where he said: “The Son of Aadam does not fill a vessel worse than his stomach.” [Reported by Ahmad, An-Nasaa’ee and Ibn Maajah]

And in Saheeh Muslim, Handhala Al-Usaidee RAA, who was one of the scribes of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), said to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam): “Handhala has become a hypocrite.” So Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Why is that?” He said: “O Messenger of Allaah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Hellfire and Paradise, as if we see them with our own eyes. But when we depart from you, we meet our wives and our children and our homes and we forget much (of what we heard from you).” In the last part of the hadeeth, the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said to him: “But O Handhala, there is a time for this and a time for that (three times).” Abu Sulaimaan Ad-Daraanee said: “Indeed, when the soul hungers and thirsts, the heart softens and becomes pure. And when it is fed, the heart becomes blinded.”

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that the person who has wealth is caused to realize the blessing of wealth that Allaah has bestowed on him, such that Allaah blessed him with food, drink and sexual intercourse. Many people are deprived of these things, so he should praise Allaah for these blessings and thank Him for granting him them. And he should remember his brother who is poor and who probably goes through the day starved and hungry. So he should be generous to him and give him charity so that he can clothe his nudity and satisfy his hunger.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it trains one to curb the soul, and it gives one strength to withhold his soul by its bridle, such that one can govern it and lead it towards that which is good for it and what will make it prosper. This is because the soul commands one to do evil, except for those souls that my Lord has mercy on. So when a person undoes and lets go of his (soul’s) bridle, the soul lands him into many dangers. But when he controls it and curbs it, he is able to lead it to the highest of levels and the greatest of goals.

And from the wisdom of fasting is that the soul is broken down and restricted from having pride, to the point that it humbles itself to the truth and softens itself before the creation. This is because eating, drinking and having sexual intercourse with women – all of these things bring about insolence, arrogance, vanity and pride over people and over the truth. The soul preoccupies itself with trying to obtain these things because of its need for them. So when it obtains these things, the soul feels like it has conquered what it desired and so it falls into the happiness and proudness that is condemned. And this is a cause for its destruction. Only those whom Allaah protects are saved from this.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that the passageways of blood (in the body) become narrow due to hunger and thirst, so therefore the passageways of the Devil in the human body also become narrower. This is since the Devil flows through the son of Adam like the flowing of blood, as is authentically recorded in the two Saheeh collections. So by fasting, the whisperings of the Devil are subdued and the strength of one’s desires and anger are subjugated. This is why the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “O young men! Whoever amongst you can afford it, should get married, for it is the best means for lowering one’s gaze and the best way of keeping (one’s) private parts chaste. But whoever is not able to marry, then let him fast, for it has protection.”

And from the wisdom behind fasting are the health benefits that come as a result of it, which are attained by in-taking little food, allowing the digestive system to rest for a specified time, which lets excess wastes and excrements that are harmful to the body be discharged.

So how great and profound is the wisdom of Allaah, and how beneficial are His commandments to His creatures!

O Allaah, give us comprehension of Your Religion and allow us to understand the inner secrets of Your commandments. Rectify for us the affairs of our Religion and our worldly life. And forgive us and our parents and all the Muslims, by Your mercy, O Most Merciful. And may the peace and blessings of Allaah be on Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and on his family and all his Companions.

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InläggRubrik: concerning fasting   The wisdom behind fasting Emptytis nov 25, 2008 11:06 pm

Från: Umm_Amatillaah (Ursprungligt meddelande) Skickat: 2005-05-02 00:54
Bismillah wal hamdulillah wa salaat wa salaam 'ala sayyid anbiya'e wal mursaleen, wa ba'd!

Concerning Fasting
Voluntary Fasting in Islaam
Author: Abdul Kader at-Tayebi
Article ID : IBD090001

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Voluntary Fasting
As we are beginning our new year with the great month of Muharram in which there is the great day of `Ashourah that the Muslims fast in revival of the practice of the Prophet Mousa alaihi as-Salam, I thought sharing with my dear brothers and sisters some important facts regarding voluntary fasting.

Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship of all time. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.

In prayer most of us pray Sunna [supererogatory/optional/voluntary] prayer before or after mandatory prayer, called Rawatib, such as four Rak`at before and two after, two after Maghrib and `Isha and the two rak`at of Fajr. These are prayers we pray before or after a mandatory prayer.

Similarly, there is a mandatory fasting and that is in Ramadhan. Just as the one performs the Rawatib before and after the Fardh prayer one should fast before and after Ramadhan, and just as the Rawatib were set by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam the in some specific manner and amount, the Nafl [optional] Fasting was also set by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. In this short article we shall review the fasting of some days that were recommended by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam.

1- Six days of the month of Shawwal:
Abu Ayyoub reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it by fasting six days during the month of Shawwal will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year. [Muslim, at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad by way of Jabir].

These days can be anytime during the month of Shawwal except the first day because it is unlawful to fast the day of Eid. These days do not have to be at beginning of the month nor do they have to be consecutive. Hence, Muslims should seize this opportunity and fast these six days to get Allah's reward.

Why the fasting of six days of Shawal after Ramadhan equates that of the whole year? Some `Ulamaa' say that the good deed is rewarded ten times. Thus fasting six days is like fasting 60 days, added to 30 days of Ramadhan times 10 (i.e. 300) it makes it a year.

2- The day of `Arafah: This is for those who are not performing the Hajj (pilgrimage)
Abu Qatadah said : the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said: "Fasting on the day of `Arafah is an expiation [of sins] for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it and the fasting the day of `Aashuraa' is an expiation for the year preceding it. [Muslim, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood].

3- Fasting three days of every month:
`Amr Ibn Sharhabeel said : A man came to the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and said : O Messenger of Allah! what do you say in a man who fasts the whole year [time], on this the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : I wish he would not eat anything during the year, he said what about two thirds of the year, he replied "more", he said what about half of it, he said more and then said : Shall I not inform you of what takes away the whispers of the chest, they said yes tell us, he said " fasting three days from every month. [an-Nasaa'i; Sahih]

Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "Whoever fasts from every month three days, it is like fasting the whole year, then Allah revealed what backs this in His book "Whoever comes with a good deed, he is rewarded ten folds", one day for ten. [Ibn Majah and at-Tirmithi].

Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]". [Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]

4- Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:
`Aa'ishah said : The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays". [an-Nasaa'i; Sahih]

Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: "leave them for later." [Ahmad; Hasan]

5- Fasting Tasu'a and `Aashuraa':
Tasu`aa' and `Aashuraa' are respectively the ninth and the tenth day of the month of Muharram.

Ibn Abbas reported: "The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the day of Ashura. He asked them: "Why are you fasting this day?" They said: "This is a great day. Allah saved Mousa (Moses) and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore Mousa fasted on it. "The Prophet said: "We have more of a right to Mousa than you." So he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day." [al-Bukhari and Muslim].

When the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, fasted the day of Ashura, the people told him that this day is a day that Jews and Christians honor. The Prophet said: "When the following year comes, Allah willing, we shall fast both the ninth and the tenth day of Muharram (that is to be different from the Jews and the Christians.)" The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, died before the following year."[Muslim].

6- Fasting during the month of Muharram:
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic year

The month of Muharram is the first month of the lunar year. Abu Hurairah reported: "I asked the Prophet: "Which prayer is best after the obligatory prayers?" He said: "Prayer during the middle of the night." I asked: "Which fast is best after the fast of Ramadhan?" He said: "Fasting during the month of Muharram." [Muslim].

7-Fasting during the month of Sha`baan
Sha`baan is the month before Ramadan Sha`baan `Aa'isha said: "I have never seen the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, completing the fast of a month as he did for Ramadhan, and I have never seen him fasting so much as he would in Sha`baan." [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Fasting of a woman in her husband's presence.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : "A woman is not to fast [even] for one day while her husband is present except with his permission, unless it is during Ramadhaan." [al-Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad]

Intention for voluntary fasting
As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything. `Aa'ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". He said: Therefore, I am Fasting". [Muslim and Abu Dawood]

Breaking the fast when fasting voluntarily and making up voluntary fasting
Ummu Hani reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, entered her room during the day of the conquest of Makkah. He was offered something to drink and he drank from it. Then he offered it to me [Ummu Hani] and I said :" I am fasting". The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : The one who is fasting voluntarily is in charge of himself. If you wish you may fast and if you wish you may break your fast". [Ahmad, ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi, al-Hakim and at-Tirmithi]. In another narration, Ummu Hani said I am fasting but I dislike to return your leftover. He said: If it [the day you are fasting] is a making up for a day of Ramadhan then make up another day for it, and if it is a voluntary fasting day, then if you wish make it up and if you wish not don't" [Ahmad and Abu Dawood]

`Aishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". He said: Therefore, I am Fasting and then he came to me after that day and I was gifted some Hais [a kind of food], so I left it for him, and he used to like al-Hais. She said :" O Messenger of Allah! we were gifted some Hais and I left some for you. He said" Bring it closer to me, though I woke up with the intention of fasting, I will eat from it. Then he said: The example of the voluntary fasting is like the man who takes out money [to give] for charity, if he likes he give it and if he likes he keep it. [Ibn Majah; Hasan]

Conclusion
It is clear that voluntary fasting was something very common among the Sahaba and in the previous nations of believers and the Prophets Dawood and Mousa alaihim as-salaam are good examples. Indeed it is the way of the Believers that we should strive to follow.

Från: Umm-Aicha Skickat: 2005-05-02 12:09
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