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Why Muslims Fast in Ramadan & Sunnah acts

Ramadan Mubarak , stars, image
Ramadan Mubarak !

Six Sunnah acts to do this Ramadan

1. Break your fast with a date: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates. [Sunan Abi Dawud].
2. Hasten to break your fast: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “The people will continue to prosper as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast”. [Sahih Muslim].
3. Eat the suhoor meal (pre-dawn meal): The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Eat Sahoor, for in Sahoor there is blessing”. [Sahih Bukhari].
4. Pray the Taraweeh prayers: The Taraweeh congregational prayers were introduced by the caliph Umar, whom the Prophet instructed us to follow.
5. Avoid vain talk: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink”. [Sahih Bukhari].
6. Respond to abuse with “I am fasting”: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “if person fights him or insults him, let him respond saying I am fasting”. [Sunan an-Nasa’i].

The real reason why Muslims Fast

Most often when Muslims are asked the question, “so why do you guys fast in the month of Ramadan?”

The most common answer is “to empathize with the poor”, or “to know what it’s like to go hungry”.

Although these answers may be partly true. There’s a lot more to fasting than this, if we were to look in to the Quran it in fact reveals something a lot deeper.

Allah the exalted says:
“يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ” [القرآن 183:2]
{O YOU WHO HAVE BELIEVED, FASTING IS DECREED UPON YOU AS IT WAS DECREED UPON THOSE BEFORE YOU SO THAT YOU MAY ATTAIN TAQWA} [Quran 2:183]

Meaning, that the purpose of fasting is to obtain Taqwa. But what exactly is TAQWA?
Well to answer this, let’s look at an amazing story, whereby Umar Bin Khattab asks Ubay Ibn Ka’ab this same question “what is Taqwaa?”
To which Ubay replies with an incredible example,
He says: “have you ever taken a thorny path?”
So, Umar says: “yes, I have”.
Ubay then asks: “so how did you travel along this thorny path?”
Umar responds and says: “I rolled up my garment and was cautious as to where I would tread to avoid being pricked by the thorns”.
So Ubay responds and says: “this is Taqwa”.

It’s an amazing example that illustrates the meaning of Taqwa. A concept of being cautious and careful as to where you tread, not out of fear of stepping into thorns.

But rather fear of stepping into that which Allah has prohibited. And by fasting, we can gain this virtue of Taqwa, by abstaining from food and drink.

And constantly being cautious to not eat or drink during the day, we develop a heightened sense of awareness of Allah, and more God consciousness, and surely if we can learn to be cautious in avoiding the consumption of food and drink. Which are generally permissible (in other months).

We would similarly be able to train ourselves to be much stronger and much more cautious from falling into that which is otherwise impermissible.

Such as backbiting, gossip, the unlawful gaze, or even disobeying our parents. So if anyone asks you why do you fast, tell them this: “It’s to gain Taqwa”.

May Allah grant us all Taqwa this Ramadan… (By OnePath-Network)

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