Thursday, September 13, 2007

Message for Friday - Keep the inner fast

Hujjatul Islam Abu Hamid Al-Ghalazi (RH) stated that for every outer form of worship, there is an inward form. This hold true for fasting in Ramadan.

Fasting is prescribed for Muslims who are of the age of puberty, sane and not suffering from illness. Those who are traveling a significant distance are exempt from traveling until the end their traveling.

The jurisprudence of outward fasting in Al-Islam is abstaining from food, drink and lawful sexual relations from dawn to dusk.

The inward aspects of fasting are:

1) Avoiding evil talk - i.e. lying, gossiping, back-biting and cursing.

2) Avoiding listening to repugnant speech - i.e. profanity laced music and television/movie shows and giving one's ear willfully to evil talk.

3) Avoiding looking at unlawful objects - i.e. watching television/movies/websites with indecent images and nudity and lowering one's gaze around the opposite sex.

4) Avoiding handling or touching that which is unlawful - i.e. touching the opposite sex, especially with those who feel attraction towards the person or vice versa, stealing and earning money off of unlawful business (selling, transporting, making or buying alcohol or illicit drugs, selling or buying pornography, pork or lottery tickets).

The outward fast is for the purpose of developing more discipline and consciousness for one's daily activities in accordance with the ordinances of G'd.

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) taught us, for example, that G'd is in no need of a person giving up food and drink if he/she does not give up lying or ill speech.

And surely G'd knows best.

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