IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL.
“Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and the distinction (s o that mankind will distinguish from Good and Evil).And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desires for y ou ease; He desires not a hardship for you; and (He desires) that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you and that you may be grateful to Him.” (Q 2:185)
Allah has ordained fasting once a year in Ramadan f or a month. This annual training programme is obligatory for taking control of the desires of the external faculties, the body, and the mind and connect to the internal faculty of the heart.
Human beings are the best of the creation. “AshrafulMaqlooqath”Indeed Allah has created the human being in the best of forms. [95:4]
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Ramadan an Annual Training Programme “Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and the distinction (s o that mankind will distinguish from Good and Evil).And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desires for y ou ease; He desires not a hardship for you; and (He desires) that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you and that you may be grateful to Him.” (Q 2:185) Allah has ordained fasting once a year in Ramadan f or a month. This annual training programme is obligatory for taking control of the desires of the external faculties, the body, and the mind and connect to the internal faculty of the heart. Human beings are the best of the creation. “Ashrafu lMaqlooqath” Indeed Allah has created the human being in the best of forms. [95:4] We are the best of the creation since Allah has granted us one additional faculty than the animals. Animals have the sense and limited d rational faculty, in addition to that human beings are granted, the heart (some refer to the spiritual heart, a heart of the Self) the seat of realization, ethical, intellect, and conscious faculty. With this faculty, man has the ability to distinguish good from evil, Truth from falsehood, beneficial from harmful and m ake choices. Allah has blessed human beings with three faculties. Two faculties, the sense, and the rational faculty connect man to the external world. The third faculty, realization faculty connects man to the inner world.
“The distinction between good and evil is ingrained in their hearts”. (91:8).
The more important part of your ‘person’ is your inner self. This inner self the Quran calls the qalb or the ‘heart’. The distinguishing faculty is of the heart and not the mind. This is an inbuilt software each individual is born with and he does not need any external knowledge for this, even a Bedouin has this inbuilt ability. This innate inner faculty connects man to the (Ruh) spirit of Allah which is blown inside us when he created Adam. When one’s nafs gets connected internally to the spirit (Ruh) and has control over the two external faculties, the sense and the rational faculty then we are spiritual beings in human form, this is our ‘True Self’. When the nafs connects to the heart, it is in the state of nafs e Muthmainnah and the heart becomes Qalb e Saleem and this heart enters the Heaven. We are Being Humane from the perspective of Allah
“O you Tranquil nafs, return to Your Lord, well pleased, and well-pleasing unto Him! Enter you, then, among My devotees! Enter you My Paradise.” (Holy Qur’an 89:27-30)
‘The day when there will not benefit wealth or children but only one who comes to Allah with a qalb-e-salee m [sound heart]. (26:88-89)
Finally, it is, in reality, the way of the heart for which we shall be accountable, and only the one who brings before Allah a sound and sincere heart will deserve to be saved. Fasting a means to achieve this.
Human Being is at a Loss
In the perspective of Allah when mankind is connected to the two external faculties and disconnected from the internal faculty of the heart, they are dead, in ignorance, darkness and at a loss. The heart is sealed and becomes harder than the rock. The faculty of distinguishing is taken away and becomes blind.
“And most certainly have We destined for hell many of the invisible beings (Jinns) and men who have hearts with which they fai l to grasp (perceive) the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see (reality), and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle – rather, t hey are more misguided. It is they who are heedless.”!” (Quran :7:179)
“By the time, Indeed mankind is in a loss.” (103: 1-2 )
“Despite this, your hearts hardened like rocks, or even harder. For there are rocks from which rivers gush out. Others crack and release gentle streams, and other rocks cringe out of reverence for Allah. Allah is never unaware of anything you do.” (2:74).
Once the heart is sealed or blocked then man is no more a human being. He falls down to the lowest of the low and becomes an animal, no, worse than that he becomes a beast (Satan) and is doomed. He fails to recognize his true identity and the purpose of creation? He gets engrossed in the external world (Duniya) and focus his entire life in developing and relying on the rational faculty, logic, and reason, and deny the Absolute Truth. The Ego (false self) has pride (Takabbur), greed (Hirs), Envy (Hasad), lust (Shahwah), Backbiting (Gheebah), stinginess (Bokhl), malice (Keena) and its sole purpose becomes to chase the worldly desires
Rivalry for worldly gain distracts you until you visit your graves. (102:1)
“….When We brought him down to the lowest of the low.” ( 95:5) “And if they do not respond to you, then know that they only follow their own lusts.
And who is more astray than one who follows his own lust, without guidance from Allah? Verily! Allah guides not the people who are disobedient.”[28:50]
The Holy Quran refers to this lower self (False self) or ego as “Nafs e Ammarah” This Nafs commands us to commit sin (Urges towards evil).
“I do not think that I am free from weakness; all human souls are susceptible to evil except for those to whom my Lord has granted mercy. (12:53)
“Do not follow your low desires because they will lead you astray from the path of Allah.” (38:26)
This nafs e Ammarah is destined to hell.
Allah created us as human beings and our purpose in this world is to maintain this nature of humanity but we fall below the level of animals.
“So set your face sincerely and truly towards this faith, and be steadfast on NATURE whereupon Allah has created mankind. There can be no alteration in the NATURE made by Allah. This is the right and true faith, but most people do not know.” (Al Rum 30:30)
“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness” (Q 2:183)
Fasting trains us to restrain the desires of the lower self and makes it submit to be the slave of Allah (Abdullah). In is a great opportunity to purify the inner self and connect to Allah and the Ego (Satan) is in control during the day of fasting but we let it loose immediately after iftar and the whole night is turned into a festival. The context of fasting is completely lost that of devotion and purification and it has become yet another external ritual to perform and the ego is satisfied.
“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.” (3:8)
(Note: The writer is Editor, Islamic Voice and hosts Discover Yourself workshops where the participants get the ability to distinguish. They are coached to take control of the external faculties, get connected to the heart and purify the inner Self. For comments, suggestions email to firstname.lastname@example.org& for more details visit www.discoveryourself.in. Published in Islamic Voice June 2016 issue)