The Sheikh says: My son, fasting is observed in many ways in the various religions and languages. Human beings fast for different lengths of time and for different reasons. But we must reflect on this with wisdom.

Allahu ta’ala. Almighty God, created the food for each being 70,000 years before it was created. There is no one other than Allah who can feed His creations. This truth was told by ALLAH to His prophets and thus to all people. Any man who has faith to absolutely accept this truth will not covet or plunder the wealth or nourishment allotted to another, either in this world or the next. Why? Because he will understand that each creation has already been given his own share of the treasure of all three worlds: the world of the souls, this world, and the next world.

There are some men, however, who will steal the wealth, home and food allotted to others. This quality of stealing exists only in man and not in animals. In the qalb, or inner heart, of man are craving, avarice, selfishness, pride, conceit, and countless such evil and base desires. Because man plundered the possessions of his brethren and thought he could live happily with this world as his hunting ground, Allahu Ta’ala sent down to the Prophet (Sal.) the furud, the five obligatory duties.

The first fard is to have iman, or perfect faith in Allah. The second is to observe the five times of prayer each day, affirming that there is no one worthy of worship other than God, Allahu ta’ala. Third is to give charity. The inner meaning of charity is to keep only the nourishment that Allah has given you for your own and to share the rest. Allah is the only One who supplies nourishment.

It was to explain and make man understand them that Allahu ta’ala sent the laws by way of the Prophet (Sal.). But the people could not observe them properly because of their pride, avarice, and jealousy.

Then Allah sent the explanation of the fourth fard, fasting , to the Rasulullah (Sal.), and said, “Tell your followers to observe fasting which will make them feel hunger, fatigue, and loss of strength. Make them experience this so they can realize the suffering of those whose food, houses, and other God-given things they might think of taking.” This fard was given in order to make man understand that he must not take other’s property and wealth, but that he must return to other what belongs to them.

The fifth fard is to perform the Hajj, the holy pilgrimage. To fulfil this duty you must distribute your property to your wife, your children, and to the poor and needy, and go to Allah in the state of death. That is, you die to the world and make your pilgrimage clad in a shroud-like cloth. Kill the desires of your nafs-i ammarah(Commanding soul), your base desires, by returning all the wealth and property you took from others. Make your passions die and make the world within you die.

In this way, if you make all your thoughts die and take only ALLAH with you, if you discover the way to pray to Him, if you fulfil the hajj and find Him you will receive the wealth of the next world.

Allah did not lay down these furud to cause suffering, but to make people realize and understand. Allah gave the furud so that each creation would be content with whatever it is given. But we have forgotten this explanation.

To have a clear understanding of this, to realize the thoughts within you that are selfishly trying to take what belongs to others, and to make these thoughts die away from you – that is real fasting. All lives must be allowed to experience and enjoy the wealth of the three worlds given by Allah.

To value the happiness and comfort of everyone is Islam. To be happy at seeing unity and peace in yourself and others is Islam. Those who live happily and share their food as one congregation, praising and praying to Allah, are the true believers in Iman-Islam. Those who have no doubt in their hearts, those who receive the resplendent light of iman, those who live in the infinite benevolence of Allah, praising Him in every moment and placing their trust in Him for the next moment – they are the ones who will have the perfect purity of Islam.

If one has eliminated his desires, his fast is praiseworthy and his heart will receive Allah’s wealth of grace. We must understand the significance of fasting and act accordingly.

Sheikh Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (Kadasallahu Sirrahu)

Reference: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen(rh.a), Golden Words of a Sufi Sheikh, Word No:548

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