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Home Practices Fasting The secrets of fasting

The secrets of fasting

There are three types of fast:

  1. The fast of the general Muslims – to restrain oneself from drinking, eating and sexual intercourse.
  2. The fast of the select few – as well as observing the above they restrain themselves from the sins of the hands, feet, eyes and other organs of the body.
  3. The fast of the Awliya (saints) – they practise the fasting of the above and the fasting of the mind. These people do not think of anything other than Allah (s.w.t.). It is said by the awliya that “One sin is written for one whose efforts during the day are made only for the preparation of breaking fast.”

The fast of the select few consists of six duties

  1. Fasting of the eyes: to restrain one's eyes from looking at that which is unlawful or diverts one’s attention away from the remembrance of Allah (s.w.t.).
    Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) said: “Eyesight is a poisonous arrow from the arrows of the devil. If a man protects his eyesight, then Allah (s.w.t.) gives him such a faith of which the taste is tasted by the mind."
  2. Fasting of the tongue: To restrain the tongue from useless talk, slander, backbiting, gossiping, lying, abusive speech, obscenity etc. One should keep oneself in the remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Holy Quran.
    Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurairah (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s) said “Fasting is a protection for you so when you are fasting do not behave obscenely or foolishly and if anyone argues with you or abuses you say, I am fasting, I am fasting.” Al-Muwatta by Iman Malik page 147 hadith 57.
  3. Fasting of the ear: To restrain the ear from hearing evil talk, for what is unlawful to utter is also forbidden to hear. That is why Allah Almighty has equated the listener of evil talk with the profiteer."
    Al-Quran Surah Al-Maidah verse 4: "(They like to) Listen to falsehood to devour anything forbidden."
    AL-Quran Surah Al-Maidah verse 63: "Why do not the Rabbis and the religious learned men forbid them from uttering sinful words and eating unlawful things."
    It is also to be noted that it is unlawful to remain silent when you hear evil talk or backbiting as it states in the Holy Quran Surah Al-Nisa verse 140 “You are then just like them.” This is also why the Holy Prophet has said the backbiter and the listener are co-partners in sin. (Tabari )
  4. To save all one’s limbs and organs from evil deeds and save ones stomach from doubtful things at the time of breaking fast.
  5. To eat lawful food in moderation at the time of breaking fast since the point of fasting is to be obedient to Allah (s.w.t.) and to control one’s own nafs (desires). When one's stomach is full the nafs, especially sexual desires, become strong. Whereas a stomach which has less food within it leads to a strong soul.
    “Eat to live, do not live to eat.“
  6. The fast of the mind: To keep one's mind, soul, body and heart in total remembrance of Allah, so that nothing except the remembrance of our Lord remains in each and every atom. The fasting person should be in a state between fear and hope not knowing whither his actions, especially his fasting, will be accepted by Allah (s.w.t.) or whether he will be brought close to his Lord Allah Almighty.
    Jabir relates from Anas that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) said “Five things destroy fasting: falsehood, backbiting, slander, perjury, and sight with sexual passion."

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