Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Role of Fasting in the Ummah- Past, Present & Future

Scholars Q&AThe Role of Fasting in the Ummah- Past, Present & Future

The Prophet (PBUH) told us that fasting is a shield-Junna. So what is that? On the surface, a shield is a badge of insignia. However, its deeper meaning is:

  •  A cover or screen to protect and keep safe, or
  • Something to ward off danger

This is an insightful description of Saum. Life in this world is a journey and there are many pitfalls and challenges one encounters along the way. These challenges can be spiritual, moral, mental, physical or social and if left unchecked, can be destructive to the individual.

Allah ta’ala tells us that the legislation of fasting was that the believer could attain, Taqwa. Now, Taqwa is more than just an idea or concept, because ideas and concepts only live in the mind. It is only the application and implementation of such ideas and concepts that finds practical expression in the everyday life. Taqwa is meant to give a practical expression to the Iman of a believer, and that is the whole reason for attaining Taqwa. To make one a better person, a better Muslim, a better believer.

Fasting then, is one of the tools Allah ta’ala has given to this Ummah to safeguard and preserve it, as it traverses that path of life in this world. Over the generations fasting has become an institution that screens the Ummah from the many pitfalls of life’s journey and prepare them to face the challenges of life.

Ramadan, the designated month of obligatory fasting comes with its many blessings:

a) It teaches the believer moderation because moderation makes one thrifty

b) It accentuates ones humanity, so that the believer becomes more humane

c) It teaches humility, sincerity and makes one trustworthy

The institution of fasting has become a clinic where the believers can have their yearly check-up. A whole month to detox. An opportunity to regain control of the Nafs and have a complete tune-up:

  • To Check our Islam
  • To top up in Iman
  • To strive harder for Ihsan
  • To strive harder to perfect our Ibadah
  • To examine our sincerity and commitment
  • To strengthen our brotherhood
  • To reinforce our patience
  • To increase our generosity

The two worst enemies of man are the Shytaan and the Hawa-passions and desires.

  • The Shytaan is external but has the ability to influence man
  • The Hawa is internal and is part of his Nafs

The institution fasting can help us to both repel the Shytaan and take control of the Nafs.

Author

  • Imam Daud Abdul Haqq Profile Picture MuslimPerspectives

    Imam Daud Haqq, originally from Barbados, received his Islamic background at the University of Madinah, earning a diploma in the Arabic Language. He has actively participated in many Islamic leadership seminars including “Parenting Skill for Effective Child Development” at the University of Bahamas and many other family and youth developmental programs. He’s been an acting Imam, educator, and advisor in many Muslim communities around the Caribbean including: Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and the Bahamas. From 1988 to 1997, Imam Daud Haqq has volunteered at various universities including: Ceril Potters Teachers College in Guyana, University of the West Indies in Barbados, the Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute, and The Boys Industrial School in Bahamas, where he lectured on subjects as Comparative Religion, Comparative Law, and Self-Awareness & Human Development. Imam Daud Haqq currently resides in Newark, New Jersey where he stands as the Imaam of the NIA Masjid & Community Center, President of Muslim Outreach for Anti-Violence (MOAV), and an active member of numerous social groups including: the Tri-State Imaam’s Council, Newark Imams’ Council, and Muslim Community Leadership Coalition. Today, he is a well-known motivational speaker and Family & Marriage counselor.

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