Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Value of Fasting in Islam

The blessed month of Ramadan is a favour of Allah for Muslims, but it would be a great benefit [to us] only when it is taken into account. Otherwise it would be nothing for us. It is foolish to shout “Ramadan, Ramadan!” and then that’s all. In a Hadith it is said, “If people knew what Ramadan is, then they would want the whole year to be Ramadan.”

It is also said in another Hadith that fasting during Ramadan and in addition three days of each month keeps bad intentions and doubts away from the heart.

Now it had to bring great blessings, especially the fast of Ramadan - so that the Sahaba (ra) even in wartime during Ramadan would take all the precautions to observe the fast.

Hazrat Salman (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) at the end of the month of Shabaan, gave them a speech saying: “O people! You are going to enter an important month, a blessed month, a month that contains a night that is better than a thousand months. Allah has made its fast compulsory and the prayers made during its nights supererogatory. Anyone who does a good supererogatory deed in it is like someone who observes a compulsory action outside this month. 

Anyone who performs a compulsory action in it is like someone who performs 70 compulsory actions outside of Ramadan. It’s a month of patience. Patience will be rewarded with admission to paradise. It is a month of mutual consolation, a month in which the subsistence granted to the believer is increased. Anyone who gives a faster something to break their fast in it will get forgiveness of their sins and freedom from hell. He will be rewarded for this act without his initial reward being reduced.”


Listening to this, the Sahaba said, “O Prophet of Allah (pbuh), we do not all have something to give [iftar] to a faster.”

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied: “Iftar does not mean to give food to satiation because even by giving a date or a little water, Allah (swt) will grant you this reward.”

This month is divided into three parts of ten days:

    1) The first ten days is the blessing of Allah.
    2) The second part of ten days is the forgiveness of Allah.
    3) The third and last part of ten days is the liberation from hellfire.

There are four things we should do as often as possible, if not continuously, during this month. Two of them will be for the contentment of Allah:

    1) Testify that there is no god besides Allah (To recite the Shahada).
    2) Solicit His forgiveness profusely.

And the other two that you need to constantly seek:

    1) Entrance in paradise and
    2) Refuge from hell.

These four things are brought together in the following formula: Laa Ilaaha illallah astaghfirullah as-’alukal jaanah wa aouzubika minan-naar.

Know that fasting is abstinence (imsak) and elevation (rif’a). Fasting has been called so because it rises in degrees above all other works of worship. Allah (swt) raised it by denying any resemblance between it and these works. He placed the reward of the one who qualifies through it in His own hand and made it His. He related the fast to Himself, in it all resemblance!

Fasting is not an act but the abandonment of an act (tark). The negation of all resemblance is itself a negative attribute which reinforces the analogy between fasting and Allah.

Allah the Most High said about Himself: “Nothing is like Him.” (Surah Ash-Shura, 42: 12).

He denied that He could have a duplicate [someone or something which resembles Him]. Both the created intellect and the sacred law indicate that there is nothing like unto Him. No one looks like Him. He is unique. He alone is God, without partner. It’s Him Allah. And that’s all !

Nasa├» reports this words of Abu Umama: I approached the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and said to him: “Give me an order that I will take directly from you.” He replied, “Adopt fasting because nothing is like it [i.e. no other pious deeds resembles it].” He denied that any of the works that God had prescribed for His servants could be compared to it. This is why Allah (swt) said: “All acts of the son of Adam belong to him except fasting because it is Mine and it is I who shall pay the price.”

Fasting is a shield: if one of you fast one day, let him abstain on that day from indecent words and screams/ cries, and vain arguments. If someone insults him or fall upon him [to fight with him], let him say, “I am fasting, I’m a faster.” By him who holds the soul of Muhammad (pbuh) in His hand, in truth the breath that comes out of the mouth of the faster will be more fragrant to Allah, on the Day of Resurrection, than the scent of musk. Two joys belong to the faster: when he breaks his fast, he rejoices in his break (bi-fitri-hi) and when he meets his Lord (swt) he rejoices in his fast (bi-sawmi-hi).

Know that the faster meets his Lord by means of the qualification “Nothing is like Him”: on the one hand, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) denied any possible comparison with fasting according to the hadith of Nasai, on the other hand (according to what the Qur’an says about) God, “Nothing is like Him”. The joy of the fasting person is due to his attachment to the degree of non-similarity!

God attributes the fast to Himself by saying: “... except fasting, because it is Mine”. That is to say: the attribute As-Samad, which indicates independence (tanzih) with regard to food, belongs only to Me; if I attribute it to you, it expresses only a conditioned aspect of transcendence (tanzih), not absolute transcendence which is only suitable for My Majesty. It is Allah (swt) Who is the price of fasting when the faster returns to his Lord and meets Him with the qualification “Nothing is like Him”/ “Nothing is like it”. That is to say with fasting. Then the Legislator [Allah] states against the faster a prohibition which itself marks an abandonment and a negative qualification, by saying: Let him abstain from indecent words, arguments, fights and wars filled with hatred and jealousy, and shouting, singing, raising your voice loud and laughing loudly, showing no respect for this month of divine grace and blessing. He did not order an act but prohibited that certain acts be performed. As fasting is an abstention, here there is a significant relationship between it and what is thus forbidden to the faster.

Then, he was ordered to say to the one who insults or attacks him: “I am a faster!” - That is to say, “[I am] in a state where I abandon this act that you are performing yourself, O you who is lashing out on me and who insult me!”

At the behest of his Lord, he rises (nazzaha) above the response [in such a fighting stance] and announces that he abandons it; in other words, there is no insult or will to fight in him. Muslim reports this hadith transmitted by Sahl bin Sad: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Verily, there is in paradise a door called Ar-Rayyan: it is through which the fasters will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will go through it after them. It will be said, “Where are the fasters, so that they enter through it?” When the last of them has entered, it will be closed and no one will enter through it.”

He did not say this for any work that was the subject of an order or defence except for fasting. He clearly showed, by this mention of Ar-Rayyaan, that the fasters reach perfection in the field of works of worship: they qualify by what has no similar and what has no similar [duplicate] is actually perfect.

Being firm and enduring in faith describes this state of the believer where he is so enamoured of faith in God, that no test can make him fall or succumb. In this state, righteousness itself changes its appearance; indeed, the effort exerted, the repugnance or the disgust generally experienced at the time when one must do pious works disappear completely, and from now on, the effort is no longer necessary. Therefore, like food, pious works will nourish the soul, and without them, the soul would somehow perish. This degree of firmness in faith, obviously superhuman, exceeds the framework of human effort, and cannot be acquired by the sole effort of the latter. Like the soul, this type of firmness and endurance is a gift, a grace whose granting comes only from God.

So fasting is the very essence and the climax of all worship. It leads straight to the goal of existence. It also allows man to fulfill his obligations towards other men as well as towards God, in a perfect way. Unfortunate are those who will live this month but will gain no benefit from it and no divine blessing.

Remember to always make such supplications that will be heard in heaven; that is, by Allah and the angels. The angels of God spread these supplications all over the world. The members of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam must considerably raise the level of their Salaat (prayers). You must do the same for fasting (Sawm, Roza).

Fasting is the most distinguished form of worship (of Ibadat) after Hajj; fidya has a mandatory aspect as well as a voluntary aspect. The gates of hell which according to the hadith are closed during the month of Ramadan are in fact the five senses of man. Islamic fasting is a shield against sins. Neglecting fasting is a very serious breach. Get your small children  used to offering at least two Rakaat of the Salaat-ul-Tahajjud before taking the Sehri; [the grown-up children, the youths all the Tahajjud Rakaat as per Sunnah (4 x 2 Rakaat)]

Before I end my sermon, I would like to share some divine revelations that I have received this week. The revelations are in French, Arabic and English; so here is a translation of these revelations.


Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

DIVINE REVELATIONS

On Monday 27 April 2020 at 1.45 pm after the Zuhr prayer (3rd day of fasting), in a state of vision (Kashaf) I heard in the Bait-ul-Zikr a voice say aloud (in French):

“You are the Khalifatullah on this earth,
Just like Hazrat Adam (as) was in his day.
I bless you and I will protect you and I will give you victory.
Today is a blessed day; People find in you only your faults,
But I see your Love for Me.
Little by little, I will transform your faults into good qualities.
You have become the king of the earth; I will teach you the reign of My Throne.”

On Wednesday 29 April 2020 after the Tarawee prayers, I received the following revelation (in English) before going to bed: 

“The Mohyuddeen Khalifatullah has come to turn an associated world to a universal word, that is, ‘Laa Ilaaha Illallah’. The best of man is the one who recognizes My Unicity. The best of man is the one who accepts what I have sent to them for their sake without arguing.”

And on Thursday 30 April 2020 at 4.35 pm (6th day of fasting), I received these duahs (prayers) in Arabic and English:

Rabbijalnee ghaaliban alaaghairee
Rabbih faznee fa-innal qawma yatta-dhu-nanee sukh-ratan.

O my Lord, empower me over my opponents.
O my Lord, protect me, as this nation has decided to laugh at me.

I pray a lot for you, so that you can make the most of this blessed month of Ramadan, Insha-Allah. May Allah fill you all with His blessings and bring you into His Mercy and make you witness to this exceptional bond which binds the sincere Muslim faster to Him. Insha-Allah, Ameen.


---Friday Sermon of 01 May 2020 ~ 07 Ramadan 1441 AH delivered by Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hazrat Khalifatullah Munir A. Azim (atba) of Mauritius.