Inner Dimensions of Fasting – The Real Purpose !
Reported on the authority of Sahl bin Sa’ad (R) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Jannah (paradise) has an entrance by the name of AR-RAYYAAN which is exclusively reserved for the fasting individuals. On the Day of Judgment, they will be called to pass through this entrance, after which it will be closed behind them and no one else will be allowed to use it.” It should be known that there are three grades of fasting: Ordinary, Special and Extra-special. Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction. Special fasting means keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet-and all other organs-free from sin. Extra-special fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah.See not what displeases Allah: A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or which distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God. The Prophet, said: “The furtive (secret) glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God, will receive from Him, Great and Gracious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.”
Jabir relates from Anas that God’s Messenger, on him be peace,said: “Five things break a man’s fast: lying, backbiting, scandal mongering,perjury and a lustful gaze.” Speak no evil: Guarding one’s tongue from twaddle, lying,backbiting,scandal mongering, obscenity, rudeness, wrangling and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of Allah and with recitation of the Qur’an. This is the fasting of the tongue.
Sufyan said:”backbiting vitiates the fast.” Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: “Two habits vitiate fasting: backbiting and telling lies.” The Prophet (pbuh) said:”Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting!’ ” Hear no evil: Closing one’s ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why Allah equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer ” (They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden” (Qur’an 5: 42).