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CHARACTER BUILDING THROUGH SIYAAM

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    CHARACTER BUILDING THROUGH SIYAAM

    MUSTAFA SUBH
    http://www.troid.org


    The Islamic values that Siyaam builds and nourishes in the soul of the fasting Muslim are broad and comprehensive. The fasting person enriches his fasting by the remembrance of Allah, the recitation of the Qur'an., the night prayers, zakah , sadaqah (charity), and by refraining from sins and obscenity. The fasting person lowers his gaze and suppresses his desires. He guards his tongue from vain talk and obscenities. He guards his hands and legs from the prohibitions of Allah. He employs his hand and legs in the good and virtuous deeds.

    Siyaam is not the mere refraining from eating and drinking, it is also refraining from vanity and obscenity.

    "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their salah with khushoo'a (all solemnity and full submissiveness). And those who turn away from vanity. And those who guard their chastity Except from their wives and that their right hands possess (captives of legitimate war), for them, they are free of blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and covenants. And those who strictly guard their salah (prayers)."
    [23:1-9]
    Among the benefits of Siyaam is the building of a strong will and the nourishing of a truthful zeal in the soul. This is achieved when the person willingly fasts during the days and prays during the nights of the month of Ramadan, despite severe heat or cold. It is also achieved when the fasting person happily struggles to work for his sustenance and resists his desires and temptations. The Prophet (Pbuh) said,


    "For the fasting person there are two joys: one when he breaks his fast and another when he meets his Lord." (Bukhari and Muslim) And, "Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadhan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's reward, then all his past sins will be forgiven."
    (Bukhari and Muslim)
    Also among the morals of fasting is the building, within oneself, of the strength to bear difficulties and hardship and to learn perseverance. When the fasting person deprives himself from food and drink, the necessities of life without which he may become weak or even die, then he is more capable of controlling his desires, capricious whims, and temptation

    Among the morals Ramadhan instills in the Muslim is the unity and equality among all the members of the Muslim Ummah. All Muslims fast during the same month. All perform Qiyaam during the night of this month and all seek the Night if Qadar. They all hasten to break the fast at one time, they delay their Suhoor (night meal), and they all make the Niyyah (intention) for fasting after Suhoor and before Fajr. They all offer Zakat-ul-Fitr at the end of the month. Then they all celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr together. By doing this together during this month, the ummah becomes like one body living in harmony. The members of the ummah join together like the heart of one man in unity and solidarity, commitment and dignity. Allah says,

    "And verily! This, your ummah is done ummah, and I am your Lord so have taqwa of Me (keep your duty to Me and fear Me)."
    [23:52]
    He also says,
    "And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah's favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together so that by His Graceyou became brother."
    [3:103]
    Among the morals of fasting is promoting the awareness that Allah watches over us at all times, in private and in public. The fasting person can break his fast away from people but he keeps fasting because he believes that Allah sees him and and knows what he does. And in addition, he is always alert and cautious not to fall in to something that might spoil his fasting or anger Allah.

    Among the morals of fasting is that it elevates the person from the marerial life to the higher spiretual life. Fasting can make the person approach the spiritual level of the angles, who worship Allah day night without tiredness.

    Fasting builds many other values, such as humility, compassion, coopration, diligence,firmness, affection, fear of Allah, trust in Allha, and much more. It is because of all of these that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala answers the duaa of the fasting person, when he supplicates to Him. Allah says,

    "And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (let them know) I am indeed near (to them). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when the calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me so that they may be led aright."
    [2:186]
    "Fasting helps one build a strong will, humility, affection, diligence, fear of Allah, trust in Allah and more."




    ------------------
    "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)"
    (11:55-56)
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