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View Full Version : why fasting is prescribed

Ali_slave of Allah
09-23-2006, 10:14 AM
Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly we must note that one of the names of Allaah is al-Hakeem
(the Most Wise). The word Hakeem is derived from the same root as
hukm (ruling) and hikmah (wisdom). Allaah alone is the One Who
issues rulings, and His rulings are the most wise and perfect.


Allaah does not prescribe any ruling but there is great wisdom
behind it, which we may understand, or our minds may not be guided
to understand it. We may know some of it but a great deal is hidden
from us.


Allaah has mentioned the reason and wisdom behind His enjoining of
fasting upon us, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed
for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may
become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
[al-Baqarah 2:183]

Fasting is a means of attaining taqwa (piety, being conscious of
Allaah), and taqwa means doing that which Allaah has enjoined and
avoiding that which He has forbidden.

Fasting is one of the greatest means of helping a person to fulfil
the commands of Islam.

The scholars (may Allaah have
mercy on them) have mentioned some of the reasons why fasting is
prescribed, all of which are characteristics of taqwa, but there is
nothing wrong with quoting them here, to draw the attention of
fasting people to them and make them keen to attain them.

Among the reasons behind fasting are:

1 – Fasting is a means that makes us appreciate and give thanks for
pleasures. For fasting means giving up eating, drinking and
intercourse, which are among the greatest pleasures. By giving them
up for a short time, we begin to appreciate their value. Because
the blessings of Allaah are not recognized, but when you abstain
from them, you begin to recognize them, so this motivates you to be
grateful for them.

2 – Fasting is a means of giving up haraam things, because if a
person can give up halaal things in order to please Allaah and for
fear of His painful torment, then he
will be more likely to refrain from haraam things. So fasting is a
means of avoiding the things that Allaah has forbidden.

3 – Fasting enables us to control our desires, because when a
person is full his desires grow, but if he is hungry then his
desire becomes weak. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “O young men! Whoever among you can
afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in
lowering the gaze and protecting one’s chastity. Whoever cannot do
that, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”

4 – Fasting makes us feel compassion and empathy towards the poor,
because when the fasting person tastes the pain of hunger for a
while, he remembers those who are in this situation all the time,
so he will hasten to do acts of kindness to them and show
compassion towards them. So fasting is a means of feeling empathy
the poor.

5 – Fasting humiliates and weakens the Shaytaan; it weakens the
effects of his whispers (waswaas) on a person and reduces his sins.
That is because the Shaytaan “flows through the son of Adam like
blood” as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said, but fasting narrows the passages through which the Shaytaan
flows, so his influence grows less.

Shaykh al-Islam said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 25/246

Undoubtedly blood is created from food and drink, so when a person
eats and drinks, the passages through which the devils flow – which
is the blood – become wide. But if a person fasts, the passages
through which the devils flow become narrow, so hearts are
motivated to do good deeds, and to give up evil deeds.

6 – The fasting person is training himself to remember that Allaah
is always watching, so he gives up the things that he desires
even though he is able to take them, because he knows that Allaah
can see him.

7 – Fasting means developing an attitude of asceticism towards this
world and its desires, and seeking that which is with Allaah.

8 – It makes the Muslim get used to doing a great deal of acts of
worship, because the fasting person usually does more acts of
worship and gets used to that.

These are some of the reasons why fasting is enjoined. We ask
Allaah to help us to achieve them and to worship Him properly.

And Allaah knows best.

See Tafseer al-Sa’di, p. 116; Ibn al-Qayyim’s footnotes on al-Rawd
al-Murabba’, 3/344; al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 28/9.

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09-23-2006, 10:23 AM
Thank you for the deeper insight may we all reval that we have been prescribed such things that teach us to be humble and show that having everything is not happiness to serve allah is...to appreciate that which allah has provided for us...

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