Categories
Fasting Hadith Islam Ramadan

Losing the Rewards – Qawl Az-zoor

Bismillah.

Doing good deeds is so easy. But hanging on to the hasanat (rewards) that one earns from them is so hard. Here is one of the ways we lose the hasanat of fasting:

قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏من لم يدع قول ‏ ‏الزور ‏ ‏والعمل به فليس لله حاجة في أن يدع طعامه وشرابه ‏

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, whoever does not leave qawl az zoor and working in accordance to it, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and his drink.

[Bukhari]

What is qawl az-zoor? Zoor means: the top part of the chest and to bend. Qawl az Zoor are statement that are twisted/bended/folded, so it’s statement away from the truth. It is a very comprehensive word that contains many meanings, and it is usually translated as false testimony, but in this hadeeth, it has a different meaning which is: saying anything haraam that is displeasing to Allah. Some examples include:

  • lying or false speech
  • backbiting
  • gossip
  • using foul language
  • spreading rumors
  • complaining and negativitiy

The hadeeth continues to say: “and working in accordance to it”, which means to act upon qawl az zoor, for example, like cheating or stealing or any other action that is haraam.

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: الصيام ‏ ‏جنة, fasting is a shield [Bukhari]. Fasting is not just about leaving food and drink, it is a shield for us from all kinds of vices–in speech and action. The purpose of fasting is about inner purification and development, as Allah says in the ayah of fasting [Surah Baqarah: 183].

Taqwa is the fear and consciousness of Allah that protects us from committing sins and to obey Him as He commanded. We are warned in this hadeeth that indulging in qawl az zoor can greatly reduce our reward of fasting, and may not even be accepted by Allah. One of the salaf used to say: “The weakest of fasts is that in which only food and drink is left out.”

How to Counter Qawl az Zoor

Categories
Islam Ramadan

The Purpose of Fasting

Bismillah.

What is the purpose of fasting?

As Muslims, we believe that God Almighty is fully aware of what we do, what we think, what we conceal and what we reveal. Moreover, we also believe that every person – regardless of their race, gender or ethnicity – will be reborn after their death to be held accountable for what they did in this life. And based on what they do, they will either be rewarded with paradise out of God Almighty’s mercy, or banished to hellfire.

So, fasting is not something that we do because our parents said so. Think about it, can’t we eat and drink something when no one is looking? Of course we can. So why don’t we do this? Because we know, that God Almighty is fully aware of what we do. And we also know, that God Almighty will resurrect us – each and every one of us – and hold us accountable for our actions.

This sense of God-consciousness is present in each human (whether its suppressed and hidden within themselves is a different issue) and that is why we fast, so that we can cultivate and develop this sense of consciousness of God Almighty and draw closer to Him.

What is fasting?

Fasting in English means to abstain from food or to eat very little. However, Islamically fasting is abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn to sunset.

How long do Muslims fast?

For a month. That month is called the month of Ramadan of the lunar calendar.

Who is supposed to fast?

Every sane, adult Muslim. If you’re sick, or traveling, then you need to make up your fasts that you missed.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the month in which the Quran – which is a guidance for mankind and the Criterion of what’s right and what’s wrong – was revealed by God Almighty. It is also the month in which Muslims fast.

Isn’t not eating/drinking unhealthy?

No, the objective of fasting is not to make a person sick or put their body under stress. As mentioned above, if a person is sick or traveling they can opt-out of fasting. God Almighty does not intend difficulty for those who He created, He intends for them ease. However, He requires that a set number of fasts be completed in the month of Ramadan, so that we may magnify and glorify God Almighty for guidance and clarity, and also so that we may become thankful for His favors that we enjoy on a daily basis.

What else is done in Ramadan?

God Almighty says, “When My creation asks about Me, tell them that I am very close to them. I listen to them when they communicate with Me. So, let them listen to Me and believe in Me so that they can be fully successful.”

So, one of the most important things that anyone should do – at any time, but particularly in Ramadan – is to communicate with God Almighty. Just pray to God Almighty – the One True God, not any idols or humans – and ask Him to guide you in your life, to grant you what is best for you and to give you the ability to recognize Him through His creation.

You mentioned that sexual relations are not allowed in Ramadan. Please elaborate more on this.

Sexual relations with between spouses are allowed during the nights in Ramadan. This is because a wife is a garment for a husband, and a husband is a garment for a wife: they hide each other’s faults, they beautify each other and they protect each other. This is how Islam views marriage. So, during the nights the spouses can engage in sexual pleasure, seeking chastity, fulfillment and children that have been pre-ordained for them.

Categories
Advice Fasting Hadith Life Ramadan Sunnah Tazkiyyah

Be an Orange

This Ramadan…be an orange!

Say what?

The example of a believer, who recites the Quran and acts on it, is like an orange (utrujjah) which tastes nice and smells nice.

And the example of the believer who does not recite the Quran but acts on it is like a date that tastes sweet but has no smell.

And the example of the hypocrite who recites the Quran is like a sweet basil which smells good but tastes bitter.

And the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the Quran is like a colocynth (bitter apple) which tastes bitter and has a bad smell.”

[Allah’s Messenger [SAWS], reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari]

Subhan Allah!