How does fasting make us attain “taqwa”?
During the month the month of Ramadan, we often hear the ayat that fasting was prescribed for us so that we may attain “taqwa” (righteous).
What is “taqwa” and how does fasting help us to attain it. The word “taqwa” has a vast meaning: righteousness, piety, being conscious of Allah (swt) even though He is unseen, doing that which Allah has enjoined and avoiding that which He has forbidden. So how does fasting make us all these?
Here are some thoughts:
1. Fasting is first and foremost an act of obedience to Allah (swt), therefore making us conscious of Him by fulfilling His commands.
2. Usually we humans realize the significance of anything valuable when we lose it. In the same light, when we abstain we realize and appreciate the values of our blessings. It makes us almost beg for the objects of our desires back and this motivates us to be grateful for them and we turn to the source of those blessings by our obedience to Allah (swt).
3. Fasting makes us control our desires naturally. When one has eaten his fill, his desires grow, he is happy, he feels like he is on the top of the world. However when one is hungry, his desires are weaker. The Prophet (saas) said: “O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting one’s chastity. Whoever cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”
4. Fasting humiliates and weakens Shaitaan; thus it weakens the effects of his whispers on a person, reduces his sins and makes him more God-conscious (taqwa). This is because the Shaitaan as Prophet (saas) said, “flows through the son of Adam like blood”, but fasting narrows the passages through which the Shaitan flows, so his influence grows less. Thus one is motivated to do good deeds, and to give up evil deeds.
5. The month of fasting is a training ground. By continuously doing good deeds, obeying the commands, being conscious, giving up haraam and doing deeds that will please Allah (swt), one becomes more aware of the importance of being righteous and if he is sincere, this behavior will come naturally to him, will be part of him, making him more conscious of Allah (swt).
There are many ways to become “mutaqoon” (people of “taqwa”) and fasting is one of them.
Why should we attain “taqwa”?
One reason – so that the Qur’an – the Word of Allah (swt) Himself becomes a Book personally written for us.
“This is the Book; in it is guidance sure without doubt to the muttaqeen (people of taqwa). Who believe in the Unseen are steadfast in prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee and sent before thy time and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance from their Lord and it is these who are the successful”. (Al-Baqarah 1:1-5)
Another reason – So that we are on the path to Paradise promised for people of taqwa. In many Ayat of the Qur’an Allah (swt) says that the reward of the people of “taqwa” is Paradise.
“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the Muttaqeen [people of Taqwa]”. (Aali `Imraan, 3:133).
One more reason – People of “taqwa” have high honor and status with Allah (swt) and He loves them. It makes us worthy of Allah’s pleasure and acceptance.
“Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, then Allah loves those who are Al-Mutaqoon”. (Aali `Imraan, 3:76)
What more reasons do we need?
And Allah knows best.
Let us rush to attain taqwa this Ramadan.
May this Ramadan be a source of blessing for us. We ask Allah swt to increase our emaan, grant us ihsaan, bestow on us sabr, delight us in dhikr, bless us with taqwa, accept our tawbah and honor us in Jannah, Ameen
To your success always in duniya and akhirah.
Everything truth and good in this post, it is a gift from Allah (swt) and any mistakes are my own.
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