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SAUM & TAQWA

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SAUM & TAQWA

 

People of Imaan! Siyaam (fasting)
 has been ordained for you just as it
 was ordained for those before you so
 that you attain Taqwa! [Quran
2:183]

 

Siyãm is among the fundamental
acts of Ibãdat. It has been
 ordained by Allah Ta’ãla for the
 development of Taqwa (piety) in
 the Mu’mineen. Fasting is
 extremely efficacious for the
 acquisition of Taqwa. A Muslim
 cannot acquire Divine Proximity
 without Taqwa. Without Taqwa,
 the Muslim must necessarily drift
 far off the straight Path (Sirãt-ul-
 Mustaqeem) which leads to Allah
 Ta’ãla and everlasting success in
 the Ãkhirah.

 

One who denies the fardhiat
 (obligation) of Saum no longer
 remains a Muslim, and the one
 who does not fast during the
 month of Ramadhãn is a fãsiq
 (transgressor) of the highest
 order. Such a fãsiq totally
 destroys his spirituality and
 morality.

 

There are numerous benefits,
 both spiritual and physical, of
 fasting. The prime benefit in the
 pursuit of Taqwa is the
 suppression of the inordinate
 desires and demands of Nafs-
 Ammãrah (man’s base carnal
 propensity). The Nafs is
 perpetually in collusion with
 Shaitãn to spiritually and morally
 ruin the Mu’min. If the Nafs is
 allowed unrestrained freedom, it
 will succeed to make man the
 slave of passion, lust and base
 emotions. His Imãn will suffer.

 The Noor of his Imãn will be
 extinguished. It is, therefore,
 essential that the Nafs is put in
 fetters. Fasting greatly aids in this
 direction.

 

By fasting, the Muslim learns to
 restrain his lowly desires. The
 Nafs is not allowed free
 expression. The Nafs becomes
 accustomed to submit to the
 Shariah’s restrictions. Carnal
 desires are weakened and the
 ability of inculcating Taqwa is
 created.

 

Fasting produces purity in the
 Rooh (soul). For such purity to
 come into the Rooh, spiritual
 authorities (the Auliya) say, there
 is nothing that has greater
 efficacy than fasting. While
 fasting results in even physical
 health, it creates a feeling of
 palpable spiritual purity in the
 Mu’min. The Door of Roohãniyat
 (the spiritual domain) is opened
 up by fasting.

 

Fasting creates pleasure in
 Ibãdat. It also makes the heart
 more conducive for Ibãdat. The
 bond with Allah Ta’ãla is
 strengthened and the Mu’min
 acquires a greater awareness of
 his spiritual and moral goals for
 which he has been created.

 

By fasting, the Mu’min
 progressively draws nearer to
 Allah Ta’ãla. Once Rasulullah
 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)
s upplicated "O Rabbul ‘Ãlameen!
 When does the servant become
 closest to You?"

 

The Divine Reply came: ‘When
 the servant is hungry and when
 he is in sajdah."

 

The development of lofty, angelic
 attributes are engendered in the
 Mu’min by fasting. In fasting,
 man brings about in him a
 resemblance with the angels since
 the latter do not eat. They are
 devoid of evil inclinations and all
 things base. Man, by reducing his
 worldly relations and by
 increasingly stripping his Nafs of
 emotional desires, moves closer
 to the angelic domain. Zikrullah
 is the nourishment of the angels.
 By increasing His Zikrullah,
 especially in the state of fasting,
 the Muslim enters the realm of
 Divine Proximity.

 

Fasting engenders a feeling for
 the poor. Man becomes more
 conscious of his less fortunate
 brethren and their hardships. He
 thus learns the lesson of
 sacrificing some of his wealth, to
 aid others in need. He inculcates
 in him feeling for humanity.

 

The greatest and highest benefits of fasting are the acquisition of Allah’s Pleasure and lofty ranks in the Ãkhirah. In a Hadith-Qudsi, Allah Ta’ãla says: "Saum is for Me. I shall (personally) apportion out the reward for it." (Bukhãri).

 

For the acquisition of the numerous benefits of Siyãm, there is, however, one vital condition, viz. abstention from sin and futility. Sin and futility negate the beneficial effects of fasting. It is therefore essential for the Sã-im (the fasting person) to exercise utmost care and abstain from sin and all things of futility. Should the Sã-im not be heedful of this important condition, his mere abstention from food and water will be akin to a chained animal which is denied food. Spiritually, such abstention from food and drink is of no value. The Muslim should therefore understand well the purpose of Saum and transform his abstention from food into a higher and spiritual act of Ibãdat for the achievement of all the lofty benefits by abstaining from sin, futility and all such things, acts, attitudes and thoughts which neutralise and nullify the efficacy of Saum.

 

In addition to the adoption of the moral principles for gaining the spiritual and moral effects of Saum, it is essential to adopt all the Fiqhi (juristic) rules necessary for the validity of Saum. Without these rules the Saum is rendered utterly worthless and at times totally invalid.

 

Tarbiyatus Sãlikeen

Editor Shaykh Mufti Zubair Dudha

Published By

Islãmic Tarbiyah Academy

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