Day 2: Fasting is a Shield
Alhamdulillah! By now fasting mode has been activated. The mind and body is gradually getting accustomed to the thirst. For some of us, we are striving to keep up with righteous good deeds while staying away from iniquities. Islam is a very beautiful way of life and Allah has blessed the believers with numerous rewards for obeying His commandments. One good example is fasting — a sacred religious obligation. Allah blessed us with fasting as a protector from hell and a guarantor for paradise. However, no one will make paradise by his mere good deeds save by Allah’s mercy and grace.
From Mu’adh bin Jabal, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: I said:
"O Messenger of Allah, tell me of a deed which will take me into Paradise
and will keep me away from the Hell-fire." He said: "You have asked me
about a great matter, yet it is, indeed, an easy matter for him to whom
Allah Almighty makes it easy. (It is) that you worship Allah without associating anything with Him, that you perform the prayers, that you pay
the zakat, that you fast during Ramadan, and that you make the
pilgrimage to the House."
Then he said: "Shall I not guide you to the gates of goodness? Fasting is a
shield; charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire; and a man’s
prayer in the middle of the night." Then he recited: "Who forsake their
beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have
bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a
reward for what they used to do". [Qu’ran, Surah al-Sajdah (32): Ayah 16- 17] Then he said: "Shall I not also tell you of the peak of the matter, its pillar, and its topmost part?" I said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." He said: "The peak of the matter is Islam (submission to Allah), the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is jihad." Then he said: "And shall I not tell you of the controlling of all that ?" I said:" Yes, O Messenger of Allah". So he took hold of his tongue and said: "Restrain this." I said: "O Prophet of Allah, will we be held accountable for what we say?" He said: "May your mother be bereft of you! Is there anything that topples people on their faces (or he said, on their noses) into the Hell-fire other than the jests of their tongues?"
[Related by Al-Tirmidhi, who said it was a fine and sound hadith]
Even the Gospel revealed to Jesus (AS) testified to the beauty of fasting vis:
In the NINTH month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, A TIME of FASTING before the LORD was PROCLAIMED for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah. — Jeremiah 36:9
- Fasting is a shield that guards one from immoralities and even saves from the fire
- Indulging in charity erases evil deeds
- Standing up in the middle of the night before Allah to supplicate and seek His forgiveness is a virtuous act.
- Beware of the tongue! It is one of the easiest things that slips one into fire.
We should endeavour our best to keep away from acts that vitiate our fast. Common amongst which are telling lies, slandering, lustful gaze and intermingling with the opposite gender. Allah is not in need of the fast of the one who lies, while others are sinful acts which we often take for granted.