2. FASTING (SAUM)
Our Trustworthy Advisor, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has directed those persons who are unable to marry and bear its burden to fast. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “0 Group of youth! Those amongst you who have the ability to marry should marry because it lowers the gaze and protects the private parts. And those who cannot marry should fast because fasting breaks desires.”
Fasting increases the strength of intention in a person and through it, he is able to subjugate his desires. The person who is able to refrain from that which Allah has made halal, like food and drink, is much more capable of refraining from that which Allah has made haram. Similarly, fasting increases the fear and awe of Allah within a person. On the contrary, excessive eating and drinking helps in stimulating and arousing desires in a person. Therefore, some youth complain that after eating they feel a strong, irresistible urge within themselves to practice this vile act. Thus to stop the nafs from eating and drinking for a certain period of time helps in breaking the lowly-desire and lessening the current of desires which flow within the body.
Many youth have tried this prophetic treatment and found it to be beneficial and curing. Consider these two ahadith of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):
It is reported from Abdullah bin ‘Amr(radiyallaahu anhu) that Rasulullah(sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Fasting and the Qur’ân will intercede for a servant. Fasting will say: “0 my Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires during the day so accept my intercession on his behalf.” The Qurân will say: “I prevented him from sleep during the night so accept my intercession on his behalf.” Hence, the intercession of both will be accepted.” (Mishkat, pg 173)
Abu Hurairah(radiyallaahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah(sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “For everything there is a purifier and the purifier of the body is fasting.” (Mishkat, pg 180)
Some of the optional fasts that could be observed are:- the six optional fasts of Shawwal, to fast every Monday and Thursday, to fast three days every month, to fast every second day (the fast of Nabi Dâwudalayhis salaam), to fast on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th of Muharram, to fast during the first nine days of Zil Hijjah, to fast on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month, etc.
3. AWARENESS OF ALLAH TA’ALA
A person’s realization, knowledge and conviction (yaqeen) that Allah Ta’ala is thoroughly acquainted with what he does; Allah Ta’ala is seeing him and listening to all that he speaks at all times; Allah Ta’ala knows his secret thoughts and conversations and Allah Ta’ala knows the treachery of the eyes and that which the hearts conceal is sufficient to prevent him from that which Allah Ta’ala dislikes. It is impossible for a heart which knows and understands the meaning of the Names of Allah like: – The All Observing; The All- Knowing; The All-Hearing and The All-Seeing to resort to sin or to persist in it. Indifference to and ignorance of the meaning of these names drives a person to disobey the All- Knowing, the Most Merciful.
Beloved Reader! Remember that Allah Ta’ala is thoroughly acquainted with all that you do and He sees you when you perpetrate this great sin. Closely examine what Allah says:
“Allah knows the treachery of the eyes and that which the hearts conceal.” (Sura Ghafir, ayat 19)
When you dislike that those whom you honour and respect should see you committing this sin, then how is it pleasing to you that your Creator and Sustainer, the Being in whose Control are the matters of this world should see you in a condition which angers Him. Ibne Abbas (radiyallaahu anhu) said: “0 Sinners! Do not feel safe from the temptation and evil consequences of sinning. Not fearing Allah is a greater sin than the sin you commit in your home fearing that you will be disgraced if the wind blows the curtain of your door.”
Ibne Jauzi (Rahmatullahi alaihi) says: “By the Oath of Allah Ta’ala, a person’s thirst to commit a sin will only be quenched when, despite having the ardent desire and capability to do it, realises that Allah Ta’ala is looking at him, feels ashamed and, consequently, discards the sin.”
How excellently an Arab poet has said: “Whenever you pass time any day do not say,” I have passed time,” but rather say, “Upon me is an observer,” (i.e. Allah Ta’ala). Never regard Allah Ta’ala to be unmindful for even a short while. That which is hidden never vanishes from His Sight”
Hadhrat Sheikh Maulana Mohammed Zakariyyah (Rahmatullahi alaihi) quotes the following incident in Fadhaail-e-Sadaqaat:
Once Abdullah bin Umar was going on a journey outside Madinah Munawwarah in the company of his pupils when a shepherd passed by with his herd of goats. He greeted them by saying: “Assalâmu’alaikum.” In order to test him, Ibne Umar said to him: “We want to purchase a goat from you. We shall slaughter it and give you some of the meat for Iftâr.” (The shepherd was fasting). The shepherd said: “These are not my goats. I am only a slave and the goats belong to my master.” Ibne Umar (radiyallaahu anhu) said: “How can your master know? You can tell him that a wolf devoured a goat.” At this the shepherd pointed towards the heavens and said: “Fa’ainallah (where is Allah?) i.e. that Pure Being is seeing. When He is seeing, then how could I say a wolf devoured a goat.” Ibne Umar (radiyallaahu anhu) was delighted and with enjoyment began repeating: “A simple shepherd says, Ainallah, ‘Ainallah ‘(Where is Allah? Where is Allah?)” When Ibne Umar (radiyallaahu anhu) returned to Madinah Munawwarah, he bought the slave together with the herd of goats from his master. Thereafter he freed the slave and presented the herd of goats as a gift to him. This was the condition of the shepherds of that time. In the midst of the desert they were aware that Allah is looking!