Fasting is about cleansing the soul first. And a lot of us have lost site of that. Ramadan is so much more than the simple act of refraining from eating and drinking. The Prophet said: ‘Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.’ [Bukhaari]. The act of fasting in it self is not enough. Ramadan is meant to be a time to revisit our ability to constrain our selves and the extent of which we can resist wrongful desires. It is a time to practice staying clear of our bad habits and a time for us to dedicate our days to God, and be more generous and charitable than ever. And as we enter the last week of Ramadan this is a general reminder of the common mistakes we make, and a wake up call to fast right.
- Taking Ramadan as a ritual
Ramadan is increasingly becoming more of a tradition and ritual rather than a form of regaining and emphasizing on our faith. It has become more about the Iftar parties and late night Sehour hangouts rather than Taraweeh prayers and reading the Quran.
“Fasting in Islam does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing. The fast is not merely of the body, but essentially that of the spirit as well.”
- Stressing too much on food and drink
Another common mistake is our emphases on the food were going to eat when the clock strikes 7 and the dessert after that and then what we will have for Sehour to keep our stomachs full. So instead of following Gods path of moderation and learning to suppress our desires we end up asking and wanting more.
- Sleeping all day
By sleeping all day, we barely get to feel that hunger that’s meant for us, therefore passing out the chance to exert that self-control God asked of us.
- Lying, Cursing, Gossiping
Although these need the most stress they all fall under the same sort of mistake. These are all acts, especially Egyptians, have gotten so accustomed to, that its even hard to let go of during this one holy month. Lying has become so common with the everyday Egyptians who happen to swear on anything and everything. Cursing is a whole other story, if it’s not you or your group of friends, than your bound to hear some cursing happening on the street. And finally gossiping and talking about others behind their backs one of the greatest sins that we have overlooked over time, and especially during this month we forget its ability to nullify our fast.
Just encounter almost any fight in Alexandria and your guaranteed to see absolutely no humility or modesty of any sorts. Any kind of rudeness starting from cursing to hitting will take place and sadly that’s no different in Ramadan
- Sinful thoughts
Suppressing your sexual desires and thoughts is a must during this month. Like previously stated Ramadan is all about self-control and that applies here more than anything.
- Not praying
Although I am a strong believer that doing something right is better than doing nothing at all, but fasting without praying is a job half done. And God has made it clear that that will not be accepted. So take that extra time out of your day to pray to Him and ask for forgiveness and maybe make some Dua’s as well (and praying only on the 27th of Ramadan is no better).
- Not being modest
Over and over again we’ve heard of modesty in the Quran. And obviously this applies more to women than men and while they don’t have to exactly get veiled for Ramadan, being reserved is essential.
Mualana Mohammed Ali:
“The real purpose of fasting is to attain righteousness. A person who undergoes hunger and thirst, but does not behave righteously, has done nothing. If someone is told the aim and object of doing a certain duty, and he does that duty but does not attain the required aim and object, it is as if he has not done that duty.”
Someone once told me live your life as if God is right there with you, as if you can see Him watching you, and it stuck with me, because that thought pops up in your head whenever you feel like your doing anything that might not please Him, and maybe that’s just what we need to stay on the right path.
By Hana Kira