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“Decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may obtain Taqwa”

5 Things You should do Before Breaking Your Fast

5 things before breaking fast

Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

Researching this topic has been very enlightening for me.

Though we practice certain actions during this month, revisiting what should be or needs to be done, or reasons why certain practices are performed, served to produce calm and surety. Almost like a rehearsal before a speech, making familiar again the rules of the game, the codes of conduct, the flow and progression of ideas, ensuring maximum benefit from the experience.

This prompted the question:

Why do we fast?

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may obtain Taqwa”.
{Surah Al Baqarah 2: Verse 183}

Interestingly enough, while on this information adventure, I purposely stumbled upon a lecture by Nouman Ali Khan. What resonated was the fact that the word Taqwa (Shaykh Khan is a skilled Arabic lecturer as well) is derived from the Arabic word that refers to ‘protection in/from’. So the reason we fast is to gain protection from Allah – protection from Allah for our benefit and to obtain blessings; protection from Allah to please Him; protection from our negativities, from Allah’s unhappiness and from further loss.

So in essence, Allah gave us fasting to protect ourselves and to train our bodies and selves into a higher state of being – spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s like mastering the art of living.

Five of the many things we could practice

There are such a vast number of ways to gain reward during this month, but for the purpose of brevity, and inspiration, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Intention

We belong to a belief of intention. Our actions are always awarded according to the intention rooted within it. Concerning the decreed fasts of this month, having the intention to fast within the heart at the inception of Ramadan is sufficient and sound. (As a matter of interest, non -obligatory fasts during the rest of the year require that the intention-either silent or vocal- be made before Fajr Salaah.) One could gain even more reward by repeating this intention every night or at the time of suhur, during Ramadan. A small and simple act, that yields additional reward.

  1. Suhur

A very blessed act of worship is partaking in Suhur. This fact is supported by many hadith, one of which is:

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said :”The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Eat Sahur, for in Sahur there is blessing.” 
[Sunan an-Nasa’i ]

It is beautiful to note that the requirements for garnering its bountiful blessings are minimal; a gulp of water at the right time literally gains the Mercy of Allah, His mention of you to His closest angels, and those angels in turn seeking your forgiveness:

Abu Said al-Khudri said: The Prophet (S) said: “The Suhoor is a meal of blessings, so do not leave it, even if one of you just takes a gulp of water, since Allah sends mercy and His angels seek forgiveness for those who take Suhoor”.
[Ahmad and Ibn Abi Shaibah]

  1. Tahajjud

The best prayer after obligatory prayers is the night prayer. Allah descends to the lowest portion of the heaven in the last third of the night, and asks if there is anyone supplicating, so that He may respond to this supplication, and if there is anyone is asking for something so that He may grant it to him, and if there is anyone seeking forgiveness so that He may forgive him.

Bearing in mind that during this month rewards are multiplied indescribably, this is definitely an opportunity of which to take advantage. And considering its high regard, it may be an action to indulge in during the rest of the year.

  1. Quran recital

An interesting point made by Nouman Ali Khan, is that every nation needs a capital to distinguish its identity, and a constitution to govern it. For us, it’s Makkah and the Quran respectively. Our constitution was first revealed in this month, and has been made super special by a pillar of Islam- fasting- being decreed for this month with its combined amplified blessings. In light of this, reciting the Quran and memorising what is easy to do, practicing and learning it,becomes so much more meaningful and valuable.

  1. Practice fasting, not just hunger

This month is almost a training session; training within controlled parameters to equip ourselves for the rest of the year. Caged up is shaytaan, evil people generally less evil, and fasting filled with barakaah so made easier; in essence goodness made easier.

So made easier for us are practices that will be of benefit. Abstaining from food helps to calm other inclinations. Ever been so hungry that the only thing you’re concerned about is your stomach? At this point ones self-restraint kicks in, and the ability to focus on other actions becomes more acute.

Hunger should be used as a vehicle and not the conclusion, to curb gossiping and backbiting, cursing and negativity; using it to practice goodness, kindness, mercy and forgiveness, love and friendship, honesty and modesty, in personal, social and business avenues.

Researching, reading and listening to those who understand proves fruitful in perceiving the point of it all. The reason we do it, inspires us to persevere. And that makes all the difference.

May you be inspired to share and celebrate your discoveries of Ramadan, and its highly prized endeavours.

Authored by “M” 
Edited by H. Ruzzana

"Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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