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“O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you, so that you may be Godwary.”




Those whom God has bestowed strive on the path of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) to arrange Iftar for the orphans and the needy, and also provide for their education and other needs. Let us first recite to you the special supplication for the 16th of this blessed month:

“O Allah, enable me this day to follow in the steps of the pious; hold me back in it from the company of the wicked; and grant me haven in the abode of permanence with Your mercy; by Your divinity, O God of  all the worlds!”

Among the attributes of Allah the Exalted is “Hakeem” which means “The Most Wise”. The word Hakeem is derived from the same root as hukm or ruling, and hikmah, which means wisdom. Allah Alone is the One Who issues rulings, and His rulings are the most wise and perfect. Thus in view of this fact, Allah does not prescribe any ruling but there is great wisdom behind it. We may know some of it but a great deal is hidden from us. Accordingly, Allah has mentioned the reason and wisdom behind His enjoining of fasting upon us, as He says in ayah 183 of Surah al-Baqarah:

“O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you, so that you may be Godwary.”

As is clear from the ayah that we recited to you, Fasting is a means of attaining taqwa, which could be translated as piety, being conscious of Allah, or Godwariness. Taqwa means doing that which Allah has enjoined and avoiding that which He has forbidden. Fasting is one of the greatest means of helping a person to fulfill the commands of Islam.

Fasting is a means that makes us appreciate and give thanks for pleasures, since fasting means giving up eating, drinking and lawful sexual relations, which are among the greatest pleasures. By giving them up for a short time, we begin to appreciate their value. Because the blessings of Allah are not recognized, but when we abstain from them, we begin to recognize them, so this motivates us to be grateful for them. Fasting is a means of giving up religiously forbidden things, because if a person can give up religiously permitted things in order to please Allah and for fear of His painful torment, then he will be more likely to refrain from forbidden things as well. Thus, fasting is a means of avoiding the things that Allah has forbidden. Fasting enables us to control our desires, because when a person is full his desires grow, but if he is hungry then his desire becomes weak.

Fasting makes us feel compassion and empathy towards the poor, because when the fasting person tastes the pain of hunger for a while, he remembers those who are in this situation all the time, so he will hasten to do acts of kindness to them and show compassion towards them. So fasting is a means of feeling empathy with the poor. Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), at least twice in his life of 47 years, distributed among the poor and the needy whatever he possessed of the material wealth. There are lessons to be learnt from the immaculate lifestyle of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in order to create a sound and healthy society where public welfare prevails through such acts of munificence, and where the Satan is not allowed to tempt or mislead the faithful. Fasting thus humiliates and weakens the Satan, and it weakens the effects of his waswaas or whispers on a person and reduces his sins.

The fasting person is training himself to remember that Allah is always watching, so he gives up the things that he desires even though he is able to take them, because he knows that Allah can see him. Fasting means developing an attitude of asceticism towards this world and its desires, and seeking that which is with Allah. It makes the Muslim get used to doing a great deal of acts of worship, because the fasting person usually does more acts of worship and gets used to that. These are some of the reasons why fasting is enjoined. We ask Allah to help us to achieve them and to worship Him properly. And Allah knows best.

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