>> Monday, August 16, 2010
InshAllah I will get straigh to it. This is the Ramadan fasting blog. It is the secrets of fast by Imam Ghazzali.
Secrets of Fast
Know, 0 dear readers, that there are three classes of fast. (I) Fast of the general Muslims. It are to restrain oneself from eating and drinking and from sexual passion. This is the lowest kind of fast. (2) Fast of the few select Muslims. In this kind of fasting, besides the above things one refrains himself from sins of hand, feet, sight and other limbs of body. (3) Fast of the highest class. These people keep fast of mind. In other words, they don't think of anything else except God and the next world. They think only of the world with the intention of the next world as it is the seed ground for the future. A certain sage said: One sin is written for one whose efforts during the day are made only to prepare for breaking fast. This highest class of people is the Prophets and the near ones of God. This kind of fast is kept after sacrificing oneself and his thoughts fully to God. This is the meaning of the verse: Say God and then leave them sporting in their vain talks (6 : 91).
The fasting of select few pious men rests on six duties for gaining perfection. (1) To restrain eye sight from what is evil and from things which divert attention from God's remembrance. The Prophet said: Eye sight is a poisonous arrow out of the arrows of the devil. If a man gives it up, God gives him such a faith of which the taste is tasted by his mind. The Prophet said: Five things destroy fasting-falsehood, backbiting, slander, perjury and look with sexual passion. (2) To restrain the tongue from useless talk, false-speaking, backbiting, slander, abusive speech, obscenity, hypocrisy and enmity, to adopt silence and to keep the tongue busy with the remembrance of God and reciting the Quran. The sage Sufiyan Saori said: Backbiting spoils fast. Hazrat Mujahed said: Two things spoil fast, backbiting and falsehood. The Prophet said: Fast is like a shield. If a man keeps fast, let him not rebuke and dispute. If a man wants to assault or make quarrel, jet him say to him : I am fasting. There is in Hadis: Two women kept fast at the time of the Prophet. They were so much overstricken with hunger at the end of the day that their lives were about to end. They were sent to the Prophet so that he might order them to break fast. He sent a cup for them telling them that they should vomit in it what they ate. One of them vomited fresh blood and fresh flesh which filled up half of the cup. Another vomited similarly and filled up the cup. The Prophet then said: The two women fasted with !awful food but broke it with unlawful food. The two women back-bited the people and ate their flesh.
(3) To restrain the ear from hearing the evil talks because what is unlawful to utter is also unlawful to hear. For this reason, God placed the eater of unlawful food and the hearer of unlawful words on the same level. God says: The hearers of falsehood and eaters of unlawful food (5 : 46). God says: Why do not the God-fearing men and the worldly renunciated men prohibit talking sinful words and unlawful eating (5 : 68)? To remain silent at the time of backbiting is unlawful. God says: You are then like them (9 : 138). Thus said the Prophet: The backbiter and the hearer of backbiting are equal co-sharers in sin.
(4) To save hand, feet and other organs from sins from evil deeds and to save belly from doubtful things at the time of breaking fast. There is no meaning of fasting if it is kept with lawful food and broken with unlawful food. He is like a man who destroys a town for constructing a building. it is also injurious to eat lawful food in excess and not to eat it little. He who fasts and does evil deeds is like a patient who restrains himself from eating fruits for fear of disease but who swallows poison. A sin is like eating poison. He who drinks this poison is a fool. An unlawful thing is like poison and it destroys religion and a lawful thing is like a medicine. Its little does benefit and its much spoils. The Prophet said: There are many fasting men who do not gain by fasting except hunger and thirst. On being asked the reason, he said: He refrains from eating lawful food and breaks fast by eating human flesh by backbiting. That is unlawful.
(5) To eat even lawful food so much at the time of breaking fast that it fills up the belly. A belly filled up with too much lawful food is hated more than all other reservoirs. A fasting man eats in full at the time of breaking fast what he could not eat during day time. He prepares different kinds of foods. The object of fast is to keep belly vacant in order to control passion and to increase God-fear. if the belly remains full from morning to evening, sexual passion rises high and greed and temptation reign supreme.
(6) To keep the mind of a fasting man between fear and hope, because he does not know whether his fast will be accepted or not, whether he will be near God or not. This should be the case for every divine service. Once Hasan Basri was passing by a party of men who were playing and sporting. He said:' God this month of Ramadan for running in which the people will 14 running for good deeds and competing with one another. The object of fast is to anoint one with one of the divine attributes. That attribute is Samadiat meaning to be bereft of hunger and thirst and to follow the angels as far as possible, being free from passion.
The rank of a man is far more superior than that of a lower animal as he can control his passion by dint of his intellect, but his rank is lower than that of an angel as his passion is strong and he is tried by it. Angels are near God, This nearness keeps connection with attributes but not with space. The Prophet said: Fast is a trust. Let everyone of you keep that trust. When he read this verse: "God orders you to give trust to its rightful owners (4 : 61)", he placed his hands on his ears and eyes and said: Ear is a trust and eye is a trust. If it had not been a trust of fasting, the Prophet would not have said: I am fasting. In other words, I have kept my tongue as trust for saving it. How can I give it up for replying you? So it appears that for every affair there are secret and open matters.
It is now open to you to observe both secret and open matters or to observe either of them.