Piety – the basis of fasting

The basis of fasting is piety. The Muslim fast has a body as well as a soul: the abstinence from food, drink and other pleasures is the body; self-restraint and worship is its soul.If one does not strive to nourish one’s soul during fasting, one’s fast will be mere starvation. On the other hand, the soulful fast must purify the heart and mind. The object is not persecution of self, but its elevation.The right place for piety and abstinence is  the heart.

If one has  piety and  fear  of  Allah in his heart, then he is sincere and performs perfectly his duties in obedience to Allah. If he lacks sincerity and fear of  Allah in his heart and the right spirit  of  doing his duties, then he cannot perfectly discharge his duties satisfactorily in spite  of the fact that  the work, whether of this world or  of the  hereafter, is of significant value and importance.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: “There is a piece of flesh in man’s body; if it is good the whole body is good, if it is bad the whole body is contaminated. Understand it! that piece of flesh  is the heart.”From this tradition we know that  of  all the organs of the body, the most reformable organ is the heart.

All human deeds whether  they are of worship, family affairs, industry, business and trade, generosity, trust, justice and fairplay, modesty and decency, compassion and mercy, courtesy and kindness, pardon and forgiveness, toleration and patience, service  and humility, sacrifice and fidelity, chastity   and  purity, so on and so forth, can be  performed perfectly only when man’s heart is imbibed with the beauty of the light of piety and abstinence.

Thee literal meaning of piety is to abstain from  commission of those acts which annoy or displease Almighty Allah — the Master of the Worlds — because of fear of Allah and His pleasure.In other words, piety is that attribute of good deed and high place of abstinence where when one reaches, becomes so pious and straightforward that because of fear of Allah and His wrath, he does not go near vice or sin in any condition, whether openly or secretly, in loneliness or in public, invisible from people’s sight  or even visible.

The Holy Quran has praised piety and abstinence at many places and has called those the best investments for the hereafter.  Allah has made piety the goal of worship — prayer, fast and zakat.  Thus piety is the best means for seeking the pleasure of Allah in  order to live an acceptable life  in this world, and  for peace and success  in the hereafter.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When you will adopt piety and fear of Allah, Allah will make everything of the world fear you (by inspiring them with awe and establishing  your authority) and when you will drive out the fear of Allah and piety  from your heart, Allah will inspire you  with fear (making you a coward).”Piety is that bounty of Allah which, when bestowed on His servant, makes him discharge his duties  and  obligations correctly  according  to the demand of divine law.The worldly affairs, temptations, pleasures, etc., do not possess any attraction for him, and fail to persuade him to do any wrong deed and keeps him secure from fraud and the deception of Satan.Allah while addressing Satan says: “O My people! Worship Allah, you have no  one worthy of worship  other than Him” — 7: 65.

When a servant  of Allah  performs any good deed, he considers it the grace of Allah and His kindness; and in acceptance of  his failings  in the performance of worship, he implores: ‘O Allah! we could not fulfill properly Your right of worship.’, and beseeches for His forgiveness, and supplicates Him for His grace to enable him to perform good deeds. If he doubts even a little about any action not permissible, he abstain from it irrespective of the range of profit involved  in that, simply because of the fear that Allah may be displeased with it.

One who is favoured with the real wealth of piety and abstinence, would not  be tempted even by tones of gold and riches, however poverty-stricken he may be  only because of fear of Allah. The Holy Quran says: “And there are some among the people of the Book who, if you entrust them with heaps of gold, will restore it to you”— 3:75.May Allah bestow on us, both externally and internally true piety, save us and our ‘self’ from the treachery and entanglements of Satan and favour us with His consent and pleasure. – Khaleejnews