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Fasting and Abstinence -letter

We fast for many reasons. Even if there were no other reason to fast, we fast out of obedience as Allah (SWT) tells us to. We also fast to discipline the body so that we can focus more intently on the spiritual. And we fast to do bring patience and honestly in our lives with hope of the greatest profit. Fasting also demands that we satisfy divine justice with some sacrifices, almsgiving, prayer, and other works of the spiritual life. If this teaching is constantly implanted in our minds, and if we drink deeply of it, we can discarded degraded habits and wash our sins clean through fasting

We Can honor our fasting; The honor of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices; Dont limits your fasting only to an abstinence from food. Give proof of it by the works! If see a poor, take pity on him! If we see an enemy, be reconciled to him! For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being pure from rapine and avarice. Let the feet fast, ceasing from running to the unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances, or to busy themselves with strange beauties. Looking is the food of the eyes, but if this be such as is unlawful or forbidden, it demeans the fast; and upsets the whole safety of the soul. Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in refusing to receive evil speaking and calumnies, and avoid receiving and spreading false reports,

But what are the ground realities. For majority of us fasting brings:

Black marketing of items of daily use specially groceries to sale at high price during fasting month.

Theft and briberies in the offices to earn more for preparation of Eid and to eat batter during Ramadan

Keeping ourselves on zero tolerance on our own mistakes and mistakes of others.

Records show the crime rates drastically increases in fasting days.

Two to three murders per fasting month has become very regular over the past many years even in peaceful Chitral.

Fighting on petty issues is seen in every street every day during holly moth of Ramadan.

New enmities are generated in this month of forgiveness.

The activities (prayers) mostly detached from its objectives are frequently practiced.

We think we are fasting because of fear of Allah: in fact majority of us are fasting as customary practice. We are predominantly satisfying our ego instead.

Most of the time I have heard the imams saying Look we can drink or eat sitting in hidden place like bath room, but we dont do that only because of fear of Allah It is true in majority of the cases but a good number of us dont eat or drink in bath room not because of fear of Allah but as challenge to our ego. Lets be honest with ourselves. If we can not bring the spirit of fasting in our daily lives during and after Ramadan, lets be courageous to beat our ego, and dont punish ourselves through restraining ourselves from eating and drinking only.

May Allah give us understanding and courage to honor our fasting (Ameen) --Dr. Khalil (Jughooru), Hamilton ON Canada,
 26 Aug 10
 

 

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