Faith: What's Fasting Got to Do With It?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

{source: Crayola}


I. Can't. Believe. Ramadan. Is. Almost. Over. 

It feels like it has only been here for a minute. Maybe it's because I have been working full-time during Ramadan this year and I have had a lot on my plate. Last year's Ramadan experience was more easy going in terms of time management. I suppose that's why Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged us to use our time wisely, as we never know what will come up in the future.

"Take advantage of five matters before five others: youth before old age, health before falling sick, wealth before poverty, free time before becoming busy and life before death." (Hadith explanation: Khutbah.com)


That's why we need to think about our time in this world and appreciate every single blessing God has given us, including Ramadan, the month of mercy and forgiveness. We also need to contemplate on why Allah created Ramadan for us. 

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint.” {2:183}

In another translation:

“O you who believe! Fasting has been made compulsory upon you just as it was compulsory upon those before you (the Jews and Christians), so that you may develop taqwa (piety). {2:183}

What is one of the key components of self-restraint and piety? Iman (faith)! And Ramadan is about strengthening our faith in God. Without faith we won't be able to restrain from food and water (amongst other things) for all those hours. Without faith we won't achieve true and sincere piety and submit to His will completely. And without faith we won't be able to enter Paradise. 

“Anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of pride (kibr) in his heart will not be granted admission to Paradise. And anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of Iman will not enter the (Eternal) Fire.” {Muslim} (Hadith explanation: AbdurRahman.org)

I asked myself, "How do I increase my iman?" and "Which comes first, good deeds or iman?". Then I came across this page in Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani's book and it beautifully explains how we can build our faith in Allah azza wa jal


{Sufficient Provision for the Seekers of Truth (volume 2) - Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, (may God bless his soul)}


Regardless of where we come from, what we do and what faith or belief system we adhere to, we all have this in common: the desire to create meaning in our lives. I know life can be very enjoyable without having faith in God but I also know that life sans faith is not the same despite how much good you do or how good of a person you are. I can't speak for the rest but having faith in Allah (swt) has brought a different sense of meaning and fulfillment in my life.

What sets us apart from one another, in God's sight, is our level of faith and the beauty of that is only He knows who truly has iman because it is something that is deeply embedded in our hearts. Ultimately, faith is not displayed in what we wear or the things we say. Iman is not even in our noble actions. Iman is seen in the way we lead our lives and handle our circumstances. Iman is reflected in what we intend for our lives and intentions can only be judged by the Almighty. Furthermore, because it is a huge part of a person's life, his or her being is a reflection and manifestation of his or her faith. 

To have iman in this life is everything. Because with iman comes inner strength, purpose, gratitude, contentment, and joy in this life and in the hereafter. But iman also fluctuates and that's why we have to work on it, and Ramadan is one of the best opportunities to do so because every good deed we do in this holy month is rewarded seventy times more than usual. That means the effect of our worship on our iman and spirituality is seventy times stronger, inshaAllah.

Even though Ramadan will leave us very soon, it is not too late to make the most of what we have right now. At the same time, let's figure out what we want to improve about ourselves before the next Ramadan. Allahumma balighna Ramadan! Every minute of Ramadan is precious. And you know what they say about Ramadan? It's not about how you started; it's all about how you finish it.

That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another.
And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad)
And that his deeds will be seen
Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense
And that to your Lord (Allah) is the End (Return of everything)
And that it is He (Allah) Who makes (whom He wills) laugh and makes (whom He wills) weep
And that it is He (Allah) Who causes death and gives life {53 : 38-44}

May Allah increase our iman and make us among the steadfast, inshaAllah. Do keep me in your dua's too. If you have spotted my many flaws and mistakes kindly say a sincere prayer for me and the Angels will say the same prayer for you too, inshaAllah.

1 comment:

THEYOUNGMUSLIMAH said...

Masha-allah, this was very well written. I needed this reminder in my life right now