The Importance of Avoiding Sins and Disobedience in Ramadān and not just Food and Drink

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The Importance of Avoiding Sins and Disobedience in Ramadān and not just Food and Drink

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in speech and acting on it, and behaving with ignorance, then Allah has no need for him to abandon his food and drink.”[1]

As has been mentioned previously, moral violations harm the fast. If a person behaves sinfully, his fast is valid but its reward is lessened, or he gets no reward for fasting. Moral violations are sinful acts, sinful speech, sinful looking and anything else that Allah (the Most High) has prohibited. So, when a fasting person falls into these prohibitions, he does not invalidate his fast but loses out on its reward, and there is no making up for that fast. Instead, he must repent for his immoral behaviour. Falsehood in speech as mentioned in the hadīth includes all prohibited speech such as cursing, abusing, backbiting and tale-carrying. So, a Muslim is obligated to avoid falsehood in speech and action―and if someone was to curse you or abuse you, you must not respond with vile speech, instead say, “I am fasting”, i.e. that my fast prevents me and protects me from this kind of evil behaviour. This was stated by the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), “If a person is verbally abused or someone comes to fight him, let him say: ‘Verily, I am fasting.’”[2] So, you do not respond to vile people who speak with vile abusive speech―and this should be the conduct of a Muslim whether he is fasting or not.

The physical aspect is to withhold with intention (niyyah) from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. The moral aspect is to withhold from backbiting, carrying tales, rumourmongering, cursing, speaking with falsehood, lying, using foul language, looking at that which is prohibited (such as movies, pornography, etc.) and listening to that which is prohibited (such as music, slander, etc). The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Fasting is not just from food and drink, it is also from vain speech and lewd conduct.” (Al-Hākim 1/430-431, and he graded it as sahīh)

Acting on falsehood means to do harām (prohibited) actions such as fighting, striking, killing and transgressing against others physically.

Behaving ignorantly as occurs in the same hadīth is to be foolish and that is the opposite of acting with deliberation and thought. So, a fasting person does not behave foolishly and ignorantly, rather he is thoughtful, deliberate and wise.

So, Allah (the Most High) is not in need of the fast of such a person, meaning that He (the Most High) does not want his fast because Allāh enjoins upon Muslims a correct fast that is free from sins and transgressions. This narration proves that fasting is not just about avoiding food and drink, rather it must be accompanied by the abandonment of sins. And fasting is a shield from lewd behaviour, as the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “O youth, whoever among you is able to get married, then do so since marriage restrains the eyes and protects from fornication―and whoever is unable, then let him fast because fasting is a shield for him.”[3] It is obligatory for a Muslim to stay from sins and disobedience to Allah (the Most High) at all times but in Ramadan, it is emphasised even more so.[4]

Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “When it is the first night of Ramadān, the wicked devils are chained, the gates of the Hellfire are locked, and not a single gate is left open. And the gates of Paradise are opened, and not a single one is locked shut. And a caller calls out: ‘O seeker of good come forth, and O seeker of evil withhold. And there are many whom Allāh frees from the Fire, and that is in every night [of the month].”[5]

So, do not enter Ramadān intending evil, or to commit sins and disobedience to Allah. If you find yourself inclining to sin, or falling into it, repent immediately and straighten your path once more and turn to Allah because He frees many people from the Fire throughout the days and nights of Ramadān.

No to movies
No to music
No to smoking
No to alcohol
No to pornography
No to TV shows
No to Netflix
No to backbiting
No to slandering
No to rumormongering
No to free-mixing
No to fornicating
No to stealing
No to lying
No removing the hijāb
No shaving the beard
No to ribā and credit cards
No ill-treatment of parents
No ill-treatment of wives
No ill-treatment of husbands
No swearing
No cursing
No fighting
No to hip-hop
No to Hollywood
No to Bollywood
No to racism
No to child abuse
No to bullying
No to boasting
No to domestic violence
No harming of others
No to knife-crime
No to boyfriends
No to girlfriends
…no to sins!

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[1] Al-Bukhāri (no. 6057), Abu Dawūd (no. 2362).

[2] Al-Bukhāri (no. 1904), Muslim (no. 1151).

[3] Al-Bukhāri and Muslim.

[4] See Tas-heel Al-Ilmām of Shaikh Al-Fawzān (vol. 3, Kitāb as-Siyām)

[5] At-Tirmidhi (no. 682).

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