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    Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi explains in Let Us Be Muslims:

    "In every action we do, there are essentially two component factors involved: The first is the purpose for which a work is done and the second is the particular shape or form of that work which is chosen to achieve that purpose.For instance, take the case of food: your purpose in taking food is to remain alive and maintain your strength. The method or form of achieving this object is that you take a morsel, put it in your mouth, chew it, and push it below the throat. What would you say about a person who eats a morsel of saw-dust or mud, puts it in his mouth, chews and then gulps it? You would only say that something is wrong with this person because this person simply does not understand the real purpose of eating and is suffering from the misunderstanding that only the four component acts or method itself constitutes eating and is sufficient to keep him alive. What would be even funnier is if this person wrongly blames the food for his growing weakness, while not realizing his own stupidity. Although outward actions are also necessary, because without them the food cannot reach the stomach, yet the objective cannot be achieved by merely fulfilling the outward actions.

    If you ponder over this example, you can understand why your worship, such as fasting, has become ineffective today. The greatest mistake we commit is to regard the outward shape of acts of prayer and fasting as the real 'Ibadah (worship) and we suffer from the delusion that whoever just fulfilled these requirements performed the 'Ibadah of Allah. Just as physical strength cannot be obtained from the bread until it is fully digested, in the same way [/b]spiritual power cannot be obtained from fasting until the person who keeps fast fully comprehends the purpose of his or her fasting and allows it to permeate his heart and mind and dominate his thought, motive, intention and deed.[/b]

    Let us ask ourselves: How could a person who is fasting and is thus engaged in the 'Ibadah of Allah from morning till evening can still utter a lie and indulge in backbiting? How does he indulge in acquiring Haram money and giving it to others? How could he or she still be watching and touching something that does not please Allah?"


    It is reported that Imam al-Zuhri would say about Ramadan, "It is recitation of the Quran and feeding of people." Similarly, Imam Malik would cease narrating Hadith and sitting with the people of knowledge, and stick to understanding the Quran from cover to cover. In addition, Sufyan al-Thawri would leave other acts of worship and be addicted to the Quran.

    'Aishah (peace be upon her) would recite from the pages of the Quran starting at the break of day at dawn in Ramadan until the sun had risen. On the other hand, Zayd al-Yaami would bring copies of the Quran when Ramadan began and gather his companions around him for an intense study!

    From:Ramadan: Time for revival or survival? (YMFN)

    "I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has a grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path. (The truth)"