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29.04.2019 Religion

Virtues & Blessings of Ramadan -The Sweet Taste of Hunger: The Spirituality of Fasting

Ahmed Abdallah
News Virtues & Blessings of Ramadan -The Sweet Taste of Hunger: The Spirituality of Fasting

In order to combat materialistic evils, all the religions of world have made it a primary condition of fasting from food and drinks to various extent. The real object is that a human being might gradually decrease the multiplicity of his needs and by continuous efforts of trying to free himself of excessive desire. All sins and crimes are the end results of these desires. If these desires are lost, then surely he will be able to see a glimpse of the Angelic world in this human world.

All nations before have specified a certain limited periods for abstaining from food, one should avoid all wants which can possibly be avoided and thus try to attain the status of an angelic being for that short while at least, as the duty of an angel is the obedience and worship of Allah ﷻ, a human being should also regard this to be as far as possible, the duty of his own life for that period.

Fasting allows one a break from materialism and shifts focus to the heart and soul. It “interrupts” one’s daily routine and breaks their connection to the things they are so used to. While severing the connection to the materialistic, it also forces inner-reflection. Fasting sharpens our spiritual awareness so that we can connect to Allah. Although many people’s bodies are nourished, they still experience emotional and spiritual emptiness. The soul and heart yearn for something more. When they are unable to find that, they turn again to materialism in hopes of filling that void. This creates a situation where one is constantly trying to keep up in the never ending cycle of getting the newest cars, gadgets, clothes etc., in order to finally feel happy. This results in constant disappointment because one only finds a fleeting moment of happiness in these things and then returns to a starving and empty soul.Fasting person intentionally denies themselves the strongest cravings of their body in order to focus on the cravings of the soul. When one fasts they give their body a break and focus on their soul.

The holy Quran has unveiled all these secrets by a single word 'Taqwa' (self-restraint)

*Fasting is prescribed to you as It was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint...* (Quran 2:183)

The object and purpose of fasting is self-restraint (Taqwa), i.e. to keep one's desires under control and to keep oneself safe from emotional turmoil. From this, it is evident that fasting has been made compulsory to work as a spiritual treatment.

Fasting is an act of worship in which one can easily cheat by eating or drinking when they are alone, but they don't as they know Allah is watching. This instills God consciousness in the heart. Therefore, fasting brings sweetness to the act as it is only between the person and Allah. When one does a rigorous workout, it is difficult and challenging, but there is also a positive emotion of accomplishment that one experiences. Likewise, fasting is challenging, but is a spiritual workout that weakens the body and strengthens the soul.

_To be continued In Shaa Allah ..._