Make it your mission this Ramadan to work harder for Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala so that you are in better shape spiritually than the previous Ramadan.
Surah Al Baqara Verse 183:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى
الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. "
Ibada is not an objective for itself. It is a means to the objective which is taqwa of Allah (generally translated as God consciousness)
Many of the ibadat have patience as their objective. Reported in hadith Al Tarmidhi Ibn Majah with hasan isnad: Fast is half of patience. So in fact it’s a school who’s goal is لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ.
Signs of success for Ramadan fasting:
– Are you better than the previous Ramadan?
– Are you closer to Allah?
Level One (Most Basic): To abstain from food, drinks, intimate relations etc.
Level Two (Fasting of the Body): Making your limbs abstain from forbidden.
Level Three Fasting of the Heart: Avoiding dunyawi thoughts and focusing on Allah only. Devote yourself.
Breaking your fast involves you succumbing to your nafs or desires, but it could also mean anything that disturbs from the muraqabah of Allah Azza wa Jal
There has to be Iqbal: rushing with your body, heart and soul to the observation of Allah. Shroud yourself in the meaning of this when Allah says in Surat Al An’am Verse 91:
قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
"Say Allah and leave them in their playfulness"
Perfecting the Fast of the Awliyah and Saliheen:
1. Fasting of the Eye: Your eyes fasts from looking at haram. As indicated in this hadith:
"The evil glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Shaytan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for the fear of Allah, will receive from Him (Great and Gracious is He) a faith, the sweetness of which he will find within his heart." (al-Haakim.)
If you abandon looking at something forbidden, Allah will cause you to taste a sweetness in your heart. Fasting of the eye also involves abstain from that which occupies the heart that isn’t beneficial, even if its halal.
2. Fasting of the Tongue: From lying, slandering, gossip, backbiting, saying bad words, arguing. Rather than occupying the tongue with argumentation focus on zikr of Allah Hadith:
عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَا زَعِيمٌ بِبَيْتٍ فِي رَبَضِ الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ تَرَكَ الْمِرَاءَ وَإِنْ كَانَ مُحِقًّا وَبِبَيْتٍ فِي وَسَطِ الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ تَرَكَ الْكَذِبَ وَإِنْ كَانَ مَازِحًا وَبِبَيْتٍ فِي أَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ حَسَّنَ خُلُقَهُ
“Abu Umamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allah alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, said, “I guarantee a house on the outskirts of Paradise for one who abandons arguments even if he is right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for one who abandons lies even when joking, and a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who makes his character excellent.”
-Many ulama of Seerah say that Abu Bakr (radi Allahu a’anhu) used to put a pebble on his tongue to prevent himself from speaking.
3. Fasting of the Ear: We refuse to listen to lies or anything that is forbidden such as gossiping etc. Stay away from gatherings where there is gossip or evil discussions.
4. Fasting of the Rest of the Limbs: Hand, foot, your stomach. We need to make peace with our stomach. Avoid overeating during suhoor and iftaar. Don’t overeat!
-Don’t break your fast using haram food. It’s like building a palace and destroying the whole village. It could also mean breaking your fast on gossiping or backbiting other people.
-Lighter in food means more powerful ruh. Eat little to feel the Sunnah. You feel your neediness also for Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala
5. Fasting of the Heart: Your heart is hanging between khauf (‘fear’) and raja’ (hope). Fear of rejection of your good deeds and hope that they will be accepted.
– Sayyidi Shaykh Dr. Muhammad b. Yahya Al-Husayni Al-Ninowy (may Allah Ta'ala continue to preserve him)
Taken from: Shaykh Dr. Muhammad bin Yahya al-Husayni al-Ninowy الشيخ د. محمد النينوي (Facebook) post dated 27th June 2014