Monday, August 13, 2007

Special Fasting

What is fasting? Abstaining from food and drinks, and sexual satisfaction? This is but the basic level a muslim should seek to keep when they intend to fast.

In his Ihya' Ulom ud Din, Imam al-Ghazali writes about 3 grades of fasting - ordinary, where one abstains from food, drink and sexual satisfaction, special fasting, where one keeps their organs from sin, and extra special fasting, a level where one's only concern is with God, and not with anything in this dunya.

While I aspire to the extra special fast, I know I first need to get the basis of my deen in order. What good is it to strive to be one of the true friends of God (awliya) if I don't do my best to follow the guidelines He has set down for us? So I'm on a fast from backbiting.

Prophet Muhammad (saws) said :"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "God and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of God (saws) said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim)

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