Page 68 - Islam In Focus

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themselves as a lively reality in the heart of the person who knows how to keep the
Fasting. When he fasts in the proper manner, he is in control of himself, exercises full
command over his passions, disciplines his desires and resists all evil temptations. By
this course, he is in a position to reassure himself, to restore his dignity and integrity
and to attain freedom from the captivity of evil. Once he obtains all this, he has
established inner peace, which is the source of permanent peace with God and,
consequently, with the entire universe
Now, someone may be tempted to raise the objection: If this is the case with the
Islamic institution of Fasting, and if this is the picture of Islam in this aspect, why are
the Muslim not living in an utopia? To such an objection we can only say that the
Muslims have lived in and enjoyed an utopia in certain epoch of their history. The
realization of that utopia was a phenomenon of an unique achievement in the history
of man. We say unique, because no religion or social system other than Islam has ever
been able to realize its ideals in reality. The utopia of other religions and social
systems has always remained in the category of theories or wishful thinking and
dreams – sometimes clear, sometimes vague, sometimes near, most of the time far.
But the utopia of Islam was realized and put into practice and production at full
capacity. In a human and practical sense this means that the utopia of Islam can be
reestablished once again right here on this earth, and that it is raised on solid
foundations and practicable principles.
The reason why the Islamic utopia is not being established nowadays is manifold and
easily explicable. But to restrict our discussion to the institution of Fasting we may
say that many Muslims, unfortunately for them, do not observe the fast or, at best,
adopt the attitude of indifference. On the other hand, most of those who observe it do
not realize its true meaning and, as a result, derive very little benefit out of it or, in
fact, no benefit at all. That is why the Muslims of today, on the whole, do not enjoy
the real privileges of Fasting
Fasting in Comparative Perspective
1. The purpose of Fasting in other religions and philosophies is invariably partial. It is
either for spiritual aims, or for physical needs, or for intellectual cultivations. But in
Islam it is for all these gains and many other purposes, social and economic, moral
and humanitarian, private and public, personal and common, inner and outer, local
and national – all combined together as mentioned above
2. In other religions and dogmas, in other philosophies and doctrines, the observer of
fasting abstains from certain kinds of food or drinks only, but he is free to substitute
for that with other substituting food and drinks. In Islamic Fasting one abstains from
all the things of material nature i.e. all kinds of food & drinks, smoking and intimate
3. The non–Islamic fasting does not demand more than a partial abstinence from
certain material things. But the Islamic Fasting is accompanied by extra devotion and
worship, extra charity and study of the Qur’ an, extra sociability and liveliness, In
particular Islamic Fasting demands extra self-discipline and conscience-awakening:
The Prophet said “ Whoever does not give up lying speech and acting on those lies and
evil actions [i.e. if one does not eschew lies and false conduct], God is not in need of
his leaving his food and drink [i.e. God will not accept his fasting]” ; also The Prophet