Why We Fast #2
Channel: Tom Facchine
File Size: 54.77MB
Sit on my account after law
It's the 23rd of Ramadan
This is going to be the second part of the talk that we began last week why we fast
and in just a minute.
I'll give a brief
reintroduction since we had technical difficulties last week.
But I started doing it from my phone and so that seems to work a lot better.
Okay, Bismillah annual Rahim Al hamdu lillah wa salatu salam salam ala.
last week, we started on this talk, why we fast. And this talk was based off of a book
Sheikh Mohammed ibn Abi Abdul Rahman Al Bukhari, we talked about a little bit about who he is, he was one of the teachers of Sahaba Hidayah, author of El Shaddai. And the famous book effect on the Hanafi madhhab. About his book was called mahasin al Islam, which we could translate as the advantages of Islam, or some of the
excellent qualities of Islam, and about how this type of book, this mahasin genre, if you will, it's not like most of other books. It's it moves like a fifth book, it begins with the harder and will do, and it moves through the acts of worship, and then it goes to other aspects of law. So it's organized like a fifth book. But how the purpose is very different from the fifth book, the purpose is much more about Tibet, both
reflection and meditation, upon the wisdom behind a lot of these acts of worship are these rulings that Allah has given us in our Sharia, and some of the fruits that we see from these sorts of things.
So it's a reflective type of genre. It's a reflective literature, and it's not meant to get at absolute certainty. And it's not meant to give us rulings. Halal and Haram is meant to just make us ponder and reflect about Allah and how merciful he is, and how comprehensive this religion is, and how
all encompassing and carefully laid out for our benefit the *ty Islamic law is. So we talked about those things. And we talked about we got into it. One of the things that we mentioned last week was the was the fact that we fast because fasting, targets our two most fundamental desires and needs.
Those two desires and needs being food, or hunger, if you will, and
sexual desire, intimacy,
and how the fact that human being is temporary, and fundamentally finite, he's going to die
is what gives rise to these two needs, he needs to eat, he needs to drink, because he has to put off his death. And then he also needs to engage in intimacy and companionship, and find a spouse so that he can procreate, and he can continue the species and continue his family. And that
these things in and of themselves, these two hungers, if you will, they're not evil in Islam, by themselves, they're not evil.
But the fact that Allah has made them so enjoyable,
that they can easily cross the limits into sin depending on how we use it or how we satisfy these two urges. So that leaves us to sit and wonder and think about what's where's the boundary? Where's the limit? When does it cross over into sin? When are we still in? In the clear? So we'll look at these one at a time.
Allah frequently draws our attention to food in the Koran. And
the vast majority of the time that Allah does this, it's not to take us to task for a particular problematic relationship we have with food
or that we're being gluttonous or No, it's not at all. In fact, he uses it to demonstrate his right to be worshipped alone. And he uses it to demonstrate his creative power. He talks so often about the variety of plants that Allah has created, and how we derive so many uses from each and every plant. Similarly, the animals how many uses that we derive from them, their meat, and their milk in their their fur, and their skin, and their horns and their bones, all these sorts of things that we used to be a little more in touch with in the pre modern era, Allah uses them time and time and time, again, to draw our attention to the mercy that he has put in the creation. Because Allah has
created all these things for our benefit, and has given us full right to use them.
So when he is referencing these things, he's doing it because these things are good. They're enjoyable, we love them. And they have a lot of secondary benefits as well. Other than just the pure nutrition we get, and the amazing flavors, right? Just think about all your favorite YouTube vloggers, who do things about cooking and cuisine and travel the world just to find new flavors and new dishes, not just the flavors, and the amazing variety of things that we can eat and sustain ourselves with. But also the secondary benefits that happen from eating, we don't eat alone, usually we come up and around the table us and our families or our friends and our relatives and the people
of our faith. They say in English that the way to a hand, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Right. And so this kind of is in this vein, where we see that there's so much going on here with food, and the great majority of it is very good.
When we eat in moderation, when we eat what is permissible for us, then we're in the clear, this is how Allah wants us to use our provision. So when is it that this need and this desire crosses over into transgression? When does it become problematic? When does it become sinful, and hurt ourselves? A couple different ways.
The primary way is when there is opulence and waste attached to it. Okay, what do we mean? I mean, look at your table for if ta
account for yourself, what are all the varieties of food that you have on your table?
How much do you have enough feeds of food to feed an army?
And how much of that food that you set out every day? Are you actually eating?
Are you only eating a quarter of it? Or a third of it or a half of it or more?
And what happens with the leftovers? What are you going to do with the food that you don't eat?
Allah says in the Quran, or Kulu was Raghu Wallah 234 in the hola yo headman was riffin Allah does not love those who waste and so this is something this opulence and waste with our food. This is something we have to look out for. We have to be careful of this is one of the ways that feeding this desire can become spiritually problematic. The other way other than opulence and waste is exclusivity.
Preventing your bounty to reach those who need it. In an authentic hadith that's more typical or late than Al Bukhari and Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he said shutter rota amiot or animal walima
you will now have many tea her Are You There are Elijah Menya Baba
and the Prophet Muhammad slay Salam said that the most evil food
is guess what? Think about maybe you would think pork maybe you would think something cooked an alcohol maybe you would think roadkill maybe you would have all these other sorts of different things that are more repulsive to you. On a visceral level. However, now the Prophet Muhammad SAW Islam said that the most evil food is the food from a walima a wedding
in which the people who need that food are prevented from coming. They're not invited in the first place. And those who don't need it. The wealthy the rich, though well off.
They are the only ones who are invited.
This is unequal access. This is exclusivity. And this is something that is reprehensible. This is something that can take your permissible activity of feeding yourself of satisfying your your hunger, your need, and it can take it into a sinful activity. So we have opulence and waste and we have exclusivity. So when we fast when we fast
We need to make sure that we're being responsible when we sit down to break our fast in the moment of thought, we need to first of all portion ourselves modestly. I know we imagine. And this is something that, you know, when you're just starting out, you're fast in the beginning of Ramadan, everybody makes this mistake. They think they're so hungry during the day. And you know, a lot forbid you went food shopping like after officer and you buy half of what's in the store. And then you come back to your Iftar table. And you it's absolutely packed out because you're planning for how hungry your mind is, or how hungry Your eyes are. Right? We say, our eyes are bigger than our
You do all of this, and then you actually go to break your fast and what do you find? Can you eat nearly as much as you thought you would be able to eat? No, it's always less, you're always only able to eat less than what you thought.
And so we need to actually, instead of just making the same mistake, every single night of Ramadan, we need to actually realize, okay, I can't put out for my iftop table, all of what I think I can eat. No, I'm just going to put out what I know is good for me, portion yourself modestly. And that which we do eat, we should make sure that the Muslims in our locality in our community have similar apps,
we should make sure that everybody else has what they need to break their fast in a satisfactory way. And we'll talk about more of this in a bit and sha Allah, this will make our fasting, achieve its goal, this will make our fasting actually do the work that it's supposed to do. It would be contradictory, so fast all that. And then when we start breaking our fasts at night, we do it in such a way that is so wasteful, and is so you know exclusionary, that we almost nullify or undo the spiritual work that fasting during the day has done.
So this is the first thing this is hunger, the hunger of the stomach, and the things to look out for. It's a fine and good thing in and of itself. There's plenty of ways to satisfy it in a permissible and acceptable way. But there's a couple of ways in which you have to look out so that it doesn't become a sinful activity.
The second desire, the second primary, fundamental human desire is that of sexual intimacy. Similarly, it's not bad in and of itself.
But we need to ask the question, when does it become bad? When can it become bad? At what point do we cross the line?
One of the primary benefits of this urge that we have is that it pushes us to find companionship.
Marriage is one of the most profound spiritual training grounds that Allah has given us.
Because your spouse knows you, like no one else knows you. Right? All of your shortcomings are on full display, you can dress yourself up for the outside world, for Facebook, for example, I can put on this goofy in this job, right? And look very presentable on, on on Facebook. And then I can even go out and leave my home and go to the masjid and you know, I can make a really good impression. It's very easy to do that. Lots of people do that. But when I come home, to my spouse, that person knows the real me. She knows what I'm lazy to do. She knows my faults, she knows my the things that I neglect the things that I do too much of if I sleep too much. If I talk about about other people
behind their back, she's going to know it. The spouse knows.
So what's the purpose of this, there's a lot just trying to embarrass us by this intimate relationship, we just get embarrassed because we each know each other's dirty laundry, know there's a purpose, there's a purpose for your spouse being so close to you, that each of you knows the other's shortcomings. And that is because you need to be patient with it. And you need to work with it, and cooperate and try to counterbalance each other. You're more dependent on each other than in any other relationship. When it comes to your friends. You can just not pick up the phone.
I don't recommend it. But just try once not picking up the phone when your wife or your husband calls it's not going to go over well. And this is part of the relationship you have expectations, higher expectations upon each other.
And because there's more responsibility and more accountability, and more vulnerability, this makes this isn't these aren't bad things. It actually makes the relationship the strongest and the most meaningful, one of the strongest and most meaningful bonds that exists on earth. So this is the good side. This is what this urge for intimacy and sexual intimacy that we have is designed
To push us towards, towards this bond
in which we can raise a second or a new generation.
But the fulfillment of that need and the satisfaction of that urge can only happen legitimately in the context of a marriage. Where are where there are these kinds of checks and balances, rights and responsibilities and potential for arbitration if a dispute arises. The Prophet Muhammad SAW I said I'm said in an Hadith that it is agreed upon.
He said he I'm not sure Shiva Minister I'm in Carmel
Valley at his allege that in the halls of odd little bustle, while after sun will flourish, while lamea study for LA he the soem for in the hula who was
in the military would relate to this hadith he said that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, Oh, youth, he's talking to the young people,
whoever among you is able to marry should marry.
Why he answers because it is more restrictive for your gaze mean, it's going to protect your eyes, your eyes aren't going to be looking or tempted to look at things that they shouldn't be looking at.
And it's more chaste, or chaste for your privates. And whoever isn't able to marry must fast. For certainly, it is a shield for him.
Any satisfaction of this urge that we have. So the problem homicides seldom, first of all, and this hadith, he's telling us the relationship between these two things, fasting and this urge, either you're going to satisfy this urge in a legitimate way by marrying, or you're going to fast and keep it in check until you can get married. That's because of the enormity and the dangerousness of absolutely any satisfaction of this urge outside of the context of marriage. And this is something that regretfully is extremely widespread now.
Everything that we have in our,
our normal daily lives that we observed, while they come to sit down enough to love, the spread of the image, right? And clickbait online, this sort of desire can be indulged in and satisfied without the checks and balances of marriage and media is very, very responsible for pushing this, because
that makes money. Anyway, that's a topic for another discussion. However, when it when we fast,
we need to make sure that we are extremely careful, and that we minimize our media consumption, and that we take appropriate measures to protect ourselves. How can we spend our entire days fasting and working against this urge that Allah placed within us, only then to break our fast at nights and watch certain movies or TV shows that are filled with lewdness and obscenity.
And we're going to expect that that fast is going to be doing what it's supposed to do that that fast is going to be doing the proper work upon us. It's not possible, we would be just like with our hunger we talked about a minute ago, we would be undoing the effects that the fast had during the day.
There are other desires and urges that human beings have other than these two, however, our author Sheikh Mohammed Al Bukhari, he says that these two are the fundamental, the two principal urges to which every other urge is tied and springs from
we have something like a hierarchy of desires.
So when other desires manifest, like say, the need for praise or envy or something like this, it's because these two fundamental desires are already taken care of and satisfied.
So when we break and tame and discipline those two fundamental desires, hunger and sexual intimacy,
when we tame them, then by default, we tame every other desire that we have.
The stomachs, hunger or the hunger of the stomach kills, or dampens lessons, the hunger of the eyes, and the hunger of the ears and the tongue in the hand, etc.
Vice versa, When the stomach is full, the eye then becomes hungry, the ear becomes hungry, the hand becomes hungry. So we have this interesting paradox and our author. He points it out, where when we feed the body, it creates other hunger elsewhere in the body. However, when we deprive our body when we fast, were actually satiating and quieting the hungers of the rest of the body. So this is one of the reasons why we fast
another reason the author mentions it
Is that fasting, particularly fasting Ramadan reacquaints us with the cooperative and frugal nature of Islam.
These are two of the most radical qualities that Islam has in today's day and age, our time period which is filled with materialism, where we're taught that everything is based off of competition, and we're taught to indulge ourselves
values that run counter to a lot of what Islam would have us do.
And that's because this kind of materialist idea of what the world is, or what it's based off of, is informed by an idea or a principle of scarcity. Right? That there's, there's really not enough to go around. If you populate or make a list of all the resources, we have all the food or the water or the clean air.
Even the things that are mined, the precious minerals, all this sort of stuff, there's not really enough to go around. And so and so, the result is these two kinds of poles that we're taught to kind of act off of one of them being competition, and the other being indulgence. Looking at competition first and we're going to after of course, talk about how Islam disagrees with this worldview, fundamentally, and how this is relevant for our fasting.
If you watch documentaries, we in my household we watch a lot of documentaries,
especially if you watch documentaries about nature and animals and things like this, you will notice that the narrator often is trying to push a narrative of competition and enmity between allows creatures, beings of the same species are seen and portrayed as being in competition for a limited amount of food and mates. So the one that survives is the fittest right, we hear this all the time survival of the fittest. Similarly, species are shown as being enemies of one another, and surviving in spite of one another.
One documentary I saw went so far as to say that the plants and the grass are at a disadvantage because it can't get up and run away from the grazing cow. And if only that grass had evolved, legs and time, it wouldn't have met such a cruel fate.
Of course, this is an absurdity, Allah has placed the vegetation there not to run away from the cow, but exactly to be eaten by the cat. But according to this other worldview, we are told that everything is locked in a constant struggle, except for a few exceptional cases, here and there. What's the result of this kind of attitude and worldview? The result is that we have developed an ethic of maximizing and securing resources. We're afraid we're afraid that we're going to run out, and so we consume out of fear. We act like Robinson Crusoe alone on our island struggling against all odds to survive.
On the individual level, this manifests in stockpiling, and hoarding. And we've only need to look so far as the last couple of months with the global pandemic. To see how this played out. The so called third world watched as people in the so called First World resorted to fighting each other in grocery stores.
videos and videos came out about individuals that were buying up in bulk toilet paper and hand sanitizer and masks, only to then turn around and resell them at absorb exorbitant prices.
Now, this doesn't mean that it's not okay to have some reserves and to plan for tomorrow. No, that's not what anybody's saying. But reserves shouldn't happen if your neighbor right next to you is hungry are in a dangerous situation.
It also means to look about who you are stocking for reserves, are you doing it just for your family? Are you taking care of the poor and your community? And what about the masjid and your communal places of worship? Which one of them has reserves? If your personal nuclear household has reserves and those others don't, then perhaps this is at play this idea of stockpiling and hoarding.
We see it at the collective level as well. Our age is an age of unparalleled environmental degradation, simply because no one can be bothered to lessen their bottom line. Everyone is in a race to extract resources and turn them into
Profit while they still can.
So this is all about competition, the idea of scarcity pushes us towards competition. The other, that idea that it pushes us towards is indulgence. And almost all marketing and commercials is based off of this idea that things buying things or experiences is going to make us happy. Billions of dollars are spent by marketing firms. And their job is to create desires and people where they didn't before exist.
The result is that many people, especially in the United States of America are living above their income bracket. We buy a house that we can't afford, and we drive a car that we can't afford. Because we get to feel like we're existing in that next level up.
Even people who have higher incomes,
they often experience their lives through this scarcity, because all of that extra income that they have is tied up. It's tied up in extra cars, and expensive private schools and entertainment and vacation homes. They also feel the anxiety born of this scarcity. The pandemic has thrown this into relief and highlighted this. We see as the richest people on the planet more sense running to the government for a bailout just a month or two. Without profits. Of course, we're told all the time that poor people would be better off if only they could save money. So it stands to be asked where were the savings of the rich. All of this indulgence, all of this indulgence is running away. It's
filling an impossible void. The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam said, Locanda Livni Adam where the N min Marlin levels of all where the N 30,000 Watt I am Joe February Adam Illa to rob. This is in Sahih al Bukhari and Muslim the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam said, If a man had two valleys worth of money, he would want a third one. And nothing will satisfy people except the dirt of their graves. Obviously this is also the meaning of Surah Catherine Allah says I'll her como Kathal Hatter's or rotomolding map or beer, he says that you are so busy with this drive, to stockpile to increase to compete. And it's going to if you're not careful, it's going to occupy you
and waste your time until it's too late until you reach your grades and Islam. In Islam, we have a completely different accounts of
how this world is put together.
We believe in something called bounty rather than scarcity.
Think of a tree an oak tree, for example.
How many in the fall? How many acorns does an oak tree perhaps provide?
Usually, it's annoying you see in when they all come down there everywhere you have to get out the broom and sweep them up.
But it's not as if how many acorns does that tree actually need to survive to make more trees not that many compared to what it produces?
How many does it need to produce in order to feed all the squirrels in the neighborhood, not as many as it produces. However, it produces more than everything around it needs. Similarly, look at an ear of corn. Everybody here knows corn. Every single one of those kernels on the ear of corn is a seed.
There's something like 700 kernels on an ear of corn.
That's more than enough to plant a whole crop for as much as you could want. That's enough to feed all the birds in your neighborhood that could come in and would want to take some of those seeds. So these things they point to bounty and not scarcity that a lot didn't create the world. With scarcity with only just a very, very limited amount of resources. Everybody needs to fight and struggle and strain against each other in order to get theirs and hold on to it really really tightly. No not at all. Allah has created the universe with bounty, it's overflowing, absolutely overflowing. So the bird isn't in competition with the farmer. When it comes to the corn seeds. Allah has put in enough
The seed is there for both. And so because we have this principle of bounty rather than scarcity, it results in two completely different qualities to Islam that we need to all try to inhabit especially during Ramadan. One of them is cooperation and the other is frugality. When it comes to cooperation
There's an amazing Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam. He praised one of the tribes This is the Ashanti tribe.
He said that oh kala amo early him Bill Medina de Janeiro Maracana in the home faith Openweight in thumb that Tessa Moo hoo been a home fina and why Hayden Biss Surya for whom money? Well, no, I mean home. This also is my typical day in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. So the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam, he praised the tribe of Ashanti, because he said, Listen, if their food got scarce, if scarcity did happen, because of war, or famine, or pandemic or anything like that, they would gather up all of their food in one garments, and would split it up equally between themselves so that everybody had enough. Then he said, so they are from me, and I am from them. And this is
where He praises them. sallallahu alayhi wa salam,
the Prophet Muhammad Ali Salam, He also praised the mother and the family, who went hungry to feed their guests and allow their children to go hungry so that their guests would eat. This is an socketable hottie, a man came to the Prophet Mohammed Salah Saddam. So the Prophet Muhammad, so I said, I went back to his wives and he asked them, he said, Do you have anything to eat? I said, No, we don't have anything except water. So the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he went to the companions, and he asked them, Is there anyone who can take this person in? As a guest, one of the men from the unsought came forward and he volunteered. Notice this, he volunteered before he
knew what he had at home, look at his generosity. Then he goes back home with his guest, and he says to his wife, he says, Let's honor this guest. This is the guest of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa sallam. Now she says to him,
we don't really have anything to give them except our own children's daily meal. I'll go with the husband says he says to her, okay, prepare it for him anyway, and put the kids to bed.
She did. So they turned the lights low. She kind of kept them going, you know, like, buying time buying time, turn the lights down low until they fell asleep. So they went to bed hungry that night. Everybody went to bed hungry except their guests. When they awoke the next morning they went to the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam, and he told them that how pleased Allah was with what they did.
And one marination he said that Allah laughed last night or he was amazed I Jabba mean fair I likoma And then Allah actually revealed part of the Koran in response to this the actions of this family. He said are you see Runa foresee him while Oh, can I be him console saw while may organize your Hanif see here for Hola, ego hormonal monthly Hoon. This isn't sort of the Hasha. They prefer to themselves, they see me they prefer others to themselves, even if they are themselves in need. And whoever struggles against the stinginess or the caprice of their own souls, they are the ones who are successful. What enabled these people to do such a thing what enabled the Ashanti tribe, to be
able to gather everything up and split it up evenly? What enabled, for example, the this family from going to bed hungry and giving food to their guests. This is something that's very rare these days. What enabled them to do this was their trust in the bounty of Allah. And that allows provision has already been decreed this knowledge and the certainty that they have allows them to practice a radical form of reliance that is very, very rare.
We see this form of reliance and another Hadith. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam he said, Lo Anna come to our calcium Allah Allah He happens our CO de Rosa Kham Kham era Zuko tyre, tough to do. He saw females on what's her Oh, Python and this is an enum. Akhmed records this and ceremony and Sati and in no matter
the problem will happen slowly, Salah Salam said if you relied upon Allah, as you should rely on him, he would provide for you just as He provides for the birds. You would leave your homes in the morning with empty stomachs and you would return in the evenings satisfied.
This is what Islam calls us to reliance and cooperation. It also calls us to frugality and modesty,
minimizing your food, minimizing your sleep, minimizing your speech, these are all things that are praiseworthy in Islam. In an authentic hadith in Sahih al Bukhari the Prophet Mohammed Salah salaam he said at a more minimal yet Qaddafi mere Anwar hidden while cafiero yet coleauxv Serve it
There's actually an amazing story behind this hadith a man stayed the night that they stayed the night at the house of the Prophet Mohammed Salah Saddam. And that person who came he wasn't a Muslim.
He asked the Prophet Mohammed Salah is that I'm for something to drink. And so the Prophet sallallahu Sallam he sent to have a sheep milk for him. The milk came back and the man he was he was offered the milk, he drank it, and he drank all of it. But he wasn't done. He was like, Alright, what else do you got? I want some more. And so the Prophet Muhammad SAW I said, I'm being the most generous person he sent to have another sheep milk. And the same thing happened. He drank it all he wanted more, he sent another and another and another until after several bowls of milk. Finally, the man was satisfied and he went to sleep. Amazing thing. Next morning, he wakes up and he accepts
Islam. And so the Prophet Muhammad Ali salaam, he sent somebody out to milk a sheep and brings it back and offers it to the man to drink. But this time, something amazing happens. The man is not able to finish even one portion, even one serving.
And he's amazed how is this possible he put down he tucked away a whole lot last night and now he can't even put down one. The Prophet Mohammed sly someone responds and tells him the believer eats in one vessel
while as the disbeliever eats in seven.
This is very,
the Prophet Muhammad Ali Salam. He made this a quality of the believer and he made its opposite he described as opposite as a quality of the disbelievers.
The Prophet Muhammad saw them he also said Mama, add me. We I and Sharon mean botany he he has been the Adam Buccola adds on
you yo Kim Nasugbu they encounter LAN Hala for thought Athan little army well thought alternately. Sharabi Worthen lien FC This is an Sunon antenna maybe the problem homicide said I'm said that a person feels no vessel more evil than his stomach. Sufficient for him is enough food to keep him upright. If he can't get by with that, then a third for his of his stomach for food, another third of her his beverage and a final third for air. The problem of hummus I said I'm telling us exactly how intentional and frugal we should be when it comes to our food.
But it's not just for food and we mentioned sleep we mentioned speech the Prophet Muhammad Ali Salam said about talking
in the car Mata Zod Oh, sorry, man mass socket fee that's a kilometer cootie by Lake Oh, like this isn't a Talabani. The problem homicide Saddam said you will remain safe in so much as you keep quiet. For if you were to speak, meaning the second you open your mouth, guess what it's going to be written. It's going to be written down either for you or against you.
There are other things in which we are told to practice frugality, things that might even surprise you. One day, the Prophet Muhammad Ali said on passed by side who was making wool in who was making well, though, and he was using a lot of water. And this is something that regretfully is very widespread today amongst Muslims. So he said the to Assad, he said What's with all this waste? Oh, sad.
And sad replied, is their waste? And although
the Prophet Mohammed bin Salman replied, He said yes, even if you were in a running river.
So how does this connect to Ramadan, and why we are fasting, because when it comes to Ramadan,
we should not spend our entire Ramadan, especially the times that we have to break our fast with a materialist mindset, a mindset that's based off of this idea of scarcity, or indulgence or competition. We need to the whole fastest designed to train us in cooperation and to train us in frugality. So we would be defeating the purpose, we would be undoing all of the work that we have been putting in during the day. If when multipath came and it came time to break our fast. We ate in a way that we're trying to store up or stockpile what's ours and keep other people away from it. Or we feel like we're now this is our treat, we get to indulge in any sort of way we want and frugality
goes out the window. This is not in compliance or in accord with Islamic Guidance. We need to be cultivating this particular relationship with our desires, cultivating reliance, cultivating frugality, cultivating cooperation. The fast is already designed to do that. So we need to make sure that when we break our fast, we don't stand in the way of that work.
Are author. Next he says that another aspect of the fast or why we fast is that it builds solidarity and empathy with the poor.
And this has immense, tangible benefit to everybody in society. It results in mercy and Gordon and goodness toward them.
Because as the author says, Knowing through experience is far more powerful, or we can say that experience as a far more powerful teacher, than knowing something theoretically or indirectly, the author gives us some examples. He says, imagine somebody who's driving or riding on a camel, he doesn't know the weariness of the person who's walking unless he gets down from his ride and walks himself. The citizen of a place doesn't know the loneliness, or pain of the foreigner or the traveler, until he himself travels. And we can think of lots of other examples of this in our contemporary societies. Take, for example, racial discrimination we just had met are very be shot
dead for basically jogging, just because of the color of his skin. I can read all I want, day and night about systemic racism, and how it's been internalized and systematized in the United States of America. But I'm never going to be able to appreciate it the same exact way, as if I were to share a similar experience.
To imagine that leaving my house and just jogging or engaging in exercise is putting my life in danger is something that is pretty far from me. So this is a similar thing. We have another example with converts, a lot of people who are born into Muslim families don't know what a convert goes through, unless for some reason they're thrown into a similar situation. Or if they have someone very close to them that they were personally affected by. One of my classmates here, who graduated before me at the Islamic University of Medina was a convert and he was kicked out of his home when he converted to Islam. He converted to Islam at the age of 13 years old. So imagine being a 13 year
old, imagine what you were doing at 13 year old years old, you probably had the support of your parents in sha Allah, you had you know, you didn't have to worry about where your next meal was coming from, you probably had a lot of games to play and things like this, you weren't really concerned about what to make of yourself. This friend of mine, he was thrown into adulthood immediately, he had to find how he was going to eat, he had to find and plan for how he was going to make a living. He actually was able to stay in the masjid, but he still didn't have any food. He used to put dry spaghetti in a glass jar and put it in a sunny window and let the sun cook it.
That's what he would do for his meals. So when you've been through that kind of loneliness, or you've been through that kind of hardship, then if you ever come across somebody else who's gone through that hardship, you know, you remember those days, and you're going to throw yourself into the service of those people. You're going to race and put your you're going to be on the front lines when it comes to helping those people.
The Prophet Mohammed sigh Saddam
told us that this is something this kind of empathy is something that is required of us. He said Salah hottie he was salam ma'am and OB men betta Shavon Watch out oho Jaya Illa Jambi, he will Hawaii Allenby,
this is empower Ronnie and bizarre. The Prophet Muhammad Ali Salam. He said, he doesn't believe whoever passes the night, who goes to sleep full, while his neighbor next to him is hungry, and he knows about it.
Now, if this is about food, what about other things? What about rent, and the bills, and all the things that bother a person and keep them up at night? It extends to those things as well. So when it comes to community life, we have a huge responsibility, a huge responsibility to know the situation of the people around us, and to be sensitive to it, and to develop empathy towards it.
In another Hadith, this one both in Sahih al Bukhari and in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad Ali salaam, he compared the the believers or the nation of Muslims to one body.
He said that the example of the believers in their mutual love and their mutual mercy and their mutual compassion for one another is the example of a single body. If any part of it complains of illness or infection, the rest of the body responds with sleeplessness and fever.
We don't have an attitude in Islam of it's not my problem. This person they need to go get a job. They need to take care of themselves. They need to put
hold themselves up by their bootstraps. When one believer is hurting, we all need to be hurting. And we need to try our best to provide and be there for that person. So when we fast Ramadan is tied up in this 100% When we fast we're meant to felt hunger. Right. And we talked last week about how so many people when they're fasting, they try to cheat the fast by trying to avoid feelings of hunger either by sleeping all day, or by gorging themselves at night, packing themselves with water until they're uncomfortable. And this is all not what we're supposed to be doing. We're not supposed to be trying to cheat the fast are supposed to feel the hunger, the hunger is there for a good reason. The
thirst is there for a good reason. One of those reasons, as our author is saying here is that it's developing empathy within us. It's developing sympathy and the ability to relate. And that's going to convert into cooperation and helping one another.
Similarly, our author points out that the fast one of the reasons why we do it is that it achieves an amazing type of unity, the greater Muslim nation, all over the world. It is a big leveling of humanity. It's a gala terian in nature, there is no business class fasting, if you're fasting, if you are healthy enough, and of age too fast, then you are experiencing the same fast as everybody else in the world that's fasting.
This is similar to the restaurant where everybody's wearing the same clothing. You can't tell who's a doctor and a lawyer anymore, who's the street sweeper, who's the guy throwing trash on the back of the trash truck, it's all equal, everybody's fasting the same, just like they were in a restaurant.
And because people feel this similar or exact same spiritual state, this deprivation, this internal state that they're in, it brings us together. It makes us unified. I remember the first fast the first Ramadan I ever fasted. I was in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin, there was only me and one other Muslim in the tiny town that we were in.
And I was a new Muslim. And so I was kind of fasting but not kind of advertising it. And this brother, he was from Morocco was fasting, and he wasn't telling anybody about it. And we were both kind of acting like people accidentally fast. You know, it's the middle of the day. It's summertime, it's hot. We're both just kind of you know, out of it. But then, when we both found out that each other were fasting, we just gave each other a big hug and we had barely met. Right? Just because that unity, that same experience, you know what somebody else is going through. This is part of that is how the fast is designed or what it's designed to achieve.
Moving on another point the author brings up and we'll just list a few more points. Insha Allah is that fasting and Ramadan in particular is a demonstration of Allah's mercy. You say how we're going through all this hardship? What are you talking about Allah's mercy? How's it possible? Well, there's actually quite quite quite a few ways that Allah Demis demonstrates his mercy in the fast. One of those ways is that Allah, if we're really honest with ourselves all of the bounty and blessing that he gives us, he deserves to be fasted for or he deserves that we fast, a lot more than we do.
If Allah had asked us to fast half the year, six months out of the year, it would not be unreasonable, it would be fair, however, he has only asked us to fast a very, very small amount 112, one month out of the year.
Another aspect of Allah's mercy, and the fastest that Allah has given allowances for all different types of people that could be compromised, or particularly vulnerable by this type of worship. So there's allowances for the elderly, and the chronically ill, and the temporarily ill, and the nursing and the pregnant, and travelers. All these different types of people either are excused from the fact entirely and don't have to make it up or excused for as long as their hardship is going on. And so we're allowed to make that up later. This is a mercy and a blessing.
Similarly, Allah's Mercy is demonstrated in his allowance for what we're allowed to do at night. This isn't something that is dangerous to our health. It's just we, you know, we're uncomfortable, we shift our schedules around a little bit. But when it comes Maghrib time we eat, we drink, we're intimate with our spouses. And Allah actually commanded us to do that. He used imperative verbs in the Quran to talk about how to break the fast
and so it's interesting because now we have these activities and they're the same activities and so Allah's Mercy
See, as demonstrated because we're able to now worship Him for 24 hours straight by doing the same stuff. Or I should say, by not doing the same things during the day, we're worshiping, worshiping Him. And by doing them at night, we're also worshiping Him. So look at how we're demonstrating our obedience. It's the same stuff, it's eating, it's drinking, he says, Don't do it on the day, we don't do it, we're worshipping. Then he says, do it at night. We're doing it we're worshiping. So it's a win win situation.
Ramadan is also a specific month of the year with specific blessings. Right? The devils are chained up, it's, we know all of the
a Hadith of the Prophet Mohammed sighs Saddam about how amazing and bless it this month is. However, out of Allah's mercy, if you were to miss a day of it, you can make it up in another month, you can make it up in little care that you can make it up in Muharram, you can make it up anytime, right? Even if it's better to make it up as soon as possible. The fact that Allah is allowing you to make it up in another month, and get the same reward as if you had fasted in Ramadan itself, a more blessed month is very merciful.
Similarly, Allah has measured our fasting days by the day, and not by a number of hours. Now there's a lot of Mercy that's packed into this, one of them is that there is sensitivity to the seasons involved. And so we get to be grateful for the differences and gradual change between the seasons. You know, some years ago, I mean, Ramadan is still technically in summer, it's now in the beginning of summer, but it used to be, it used to be right in the middle of the summer, when the days were very long, and in some places in the world very hot. But in about 10 years from then, then it's going to be in the middle of winter, and people will be able to enjoy the fact that the days are
much shorter. The nights are longer and the temperatures are cooler. And that these changes don't happen all at once. It's not like year to year, once in summer, once in winter. No, every year, it moves a little bit a little bit a little bit.
Another aspect of this is that even though
let's say for example, that Ramadan is in the summertime, the days are long, and it's hot, let's say you miss a day
is a law going to require
and demand that you fast a similar day, meaning a day of similar length, a similar number of hours or similar temperature. Let's say it was 90 degrees on the day that you missed your fast for our legitimate reason
is a law is going to tell you no you're not allowed to make up for that fast unless you find another day that's also 90 degrees, no out of Allah's mercy. He lets you make it up any other day, even if that day is a shorter amount of hours, or if it's a cooler, more comfortable day.
Another aspect of Allah's mercy and the fastest that Allah has encouraged us he has used very beautiful and gentle language, when it comes to the fast in the Koran.
One of those things that he's done is that he has addressed us when he said that we were obliged to fast that this is something that the people before us have done to come cote Bala the and I mean publicly. This is encouragement, he's like, Look, don't be intimidated. It's as if Allah is saying, and a lot of his best, of course, don't be intimidated by this act of worship. Maybe you're not accustomed to fasting, maybe you people in Arabia or wherever you didn't use the fast before this, but don't be intimidated. Because Don't worry, we've given this to people before you and they have done it to. Also when Allah refers to the month, he usually doesn't use the word month, he usually
says a limited number of days a yam and Matt do that. Or a Yemen Matt Duda. Right. So this is very gentle and very nice and encouraging that we're not thinking about like, oh Subhanallah it's going to be a whole month. How can I do a whole month it's going to be so hard. No, it's it's a limited amount of days. It's a certain number of days. It's a very, very encouraging thing.
And finally, as for Allah's mercy in the fast, there's more than this, but we're just being brief, that Allah has prevented us from combining two types of hardship because the fasting is hardship in and of itself. However other hardships such as traveling or illness, he has encouraged us to break our fast and to not fast on those days when we have increased hardship, because Allah does not want hardship for us as he said.
He wants for us ease
And finally, our last reflection in sha Allah. For this particular talk, why we fast has to do and the author mentions this, that fasting is a preview, or a dress rehearsal, we could say, for Paradise and entering paradise. Because when it comes to our daily lives, we lose sight of the fact that Allah is the one who feeds us. And Allah is the One who gives us drink and spikes our thirst. And Allah is the one that provides and we lose factor, we lose sight of this fact, because we do it so often. And we do it on demand, you know, we're not tied to like, we don't go out and like, harvest the crop or go out and hunt the animal so much anymore, we usually go to the kitchen and go
to the fridge and we bought that food from the grocery store. And because we do that we've kind of, you know, lost a little bit of the appreciation for how Allah is actually constantly providing for us. And the Companions, whenever they would, they would lower a bucket into a well, they would say Bismillah, because they didn't know what was going to come up. They thought and they they had the tequila and the piety and the reliance and the jaw of Allah to to realize that if Allah wanted, he could turn that water into brackish salty water that was undrinkable. And so they said Bismillah every time that they lowered a bucket down the well. Imagine if we did that with our faucets and
said Bismillah everytime we turn on our faucet, nobody does that. So it's a similar thing with food. We're used to eating on demand. We're used to being in control. When we're fasting in Ramadan. Now we're not doing it on our schedule anymore. We're not just going to the fridge to get a snack whenever we want any more. It's not on demand. It's per Allah's command. When a law tells us don't eat, we don't eat. And then later in the day when Maga comes He tells us eat and we eat.
So this is almost like we said, a preview or a dress rehearsal of what will happen in sha Allah and Jana. And Allah says Kulu was trouble, honey, and when we are waiting at the gates of paradise, and we're waiting, and we're waiting, and we're hopeful, and then the gates of paradise are thrown open to us, and every single one of us will know his place in paradise better than he knew his own address or his own home or his own neighborhood in this life, and then we'll we will, then we will get to indulge Not in this life, but in the next life. And we will get to eat on demand in a true in the true sense of the word. So we ask a lot to give us that experience and to give us Jana insha
Allah and to accept our fast and to accept our prayers and to reflect upon the various wisdoms of that Allah has Laden has filled the *ty are with and particularly Ramadan and cause us to be a benefit to those around us both immediately. And those around us more generally, in our communities, our families. And we ask Allah to accept this very simple thing that we've done this talk that we've given in sha Allah and to free us or forgive me for any of the mistakes that are in that are in it. Or any shortcomings or times I've misspoke or anything like that. We ask a lot to keep us all sincere.
This is the end of the Friday series of talks. Because next Friday inshallah will be eight
or the days of aid. We will resume with the somatic tafsir on the odd nights not tonight because tonight with this takes its place. However, on today's Friday on Sunday, we will resume with somatic tafsir Inshallah, I will try to be more brief My last video was an hour 15 minutes I had set out to only do 30 minutes. Sorry about that. So the next ones, I'll try to keep it to 30 minutes 45 absolute maximum. And we will finish out Ramadan with that in sha Allah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam Salam, wa salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh