In the previous issue I gave the readers an opportunity to think about the reasons for fasting in Ramadan. I asked them one question and promised to acknowledge the first respondent with the correct answer. The winner is Br. Taj Mohammed of Surrey. My thanks and dua go to all brothers and sisters who sent answers, questions and comments. According to the Quran (2:183), fasting has been prescribed on us as it has been prescribed on the people before us in order to achieve taqwa (piety). This ayah connects two things, fasting (the means) and taqwa (the end). We enjoy many blessings when fasting takes us to taqwa; these blessing were mentioned in the first part of the article (al-Ameen, September 22, 2006, page 31) If fasting does not take us to taqwa, it will mean nothing more than hunger and thirst. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be unto him) said “whoever does not abandon lying, and then Allah does not need him to abandon his food or drink.” (Bukhari)
This Hadith suggests that fasting should apply not only to the stomach but also to other parts; the whole body including tongue, ears, hands, legs, private parts and brain/mind should be fasting too. This instruction is clear and the other of fasting is given not to the stomach but to the person as a whole including all his parts. It does not make sense that a person abandons eating food while eating the flesh of his brother/sister.
Linguistically, taqwa means protection from something and it is derived from the Arabic root of waqa or ittaqa. We can say Ahmad waqa himself from cold weather by wearing a heavy sweater. The muttaqi (pious) is the person who is famous for doing righteous deeds to protect himself from Allah’s anger. Islamically, taqwa means that Allah should find you where He instructed you to be and He should not find you where He instructed you not to be.
Taqwa as a virtue runs through the entire Islamic structure like morals, economic systems, and social relationships. I should underscore that Taqwa is in fact the objective of all acts of worship without exception. The Quran 2:21 says “O you people worship your lord who created you and those before you in order to achieve taqwa.” Our prophet (peace and blessings be unto him) gave an advice to one of his companions; “I advise you to have taqwa because taqwa is the head of this religion.”
Enjoy the balance of Ramadan and may Allah accept our fasting and our good deeds. Before I close I would like to remind you to share this knowledge with other people especially your family.
The responsibility of knowing is sharing. You may wish to teach your family about Ramadan by asking them a simple question: why are we fasting? Please share your experience with me via my
e-mail as shown above. Tell me about their feelings, their answers and the atmosphere you created.
Our respondent will select at random and his/her experience will be shared insha’allah in future issues.