By Farwa Akbar
25 May 2018
IN linguistics, “Deen” means religion whereas, in Spiritualism, it implies a pattern of thinking and actions. The Prophets’ pattern of thinking was completely moulded in Allah’s will and wish, so were their actions. They acquired this outlook by thinking of everything with the reference of Allah only: they wouldn’t establish a direct relationship with anything. In fact, their pattern of thinking was fully imbibed with this thought that Allah is the owner of everything present in the universe including them.” This mode of thinking had its firm roots within. Their minds tended to think of Allah first instead of the thing with which they engaged. As a habit, their focus of attention automatically shifted to Allah and they began to develop this feeling that they were linked with this particular thing not directly but through Allah. When they had developed this pattern of thinking, each activity of their minds got imbibed with the presence of Allah. With this overwhelming feeling, Allah became their audience as well as centre of their vision.
According to the law, Allah’s Characteristics started to shape their feelings. Gradually, His Characteristics attained a prominent position in their minds. More precisely, their minds became a focal point of Allah’s Characteristics. When they reached this point, each activity of their minds became the activity of Allah’s Characteristics. The Prophets lived for Allah only and died for Him alone. Quran sheds light on this fact as:
Say! My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are for Allah only, the caretaker of all the worlds. (Surah Inaam 62) Fasting is such a program of submission to Allah. It is a 30-day exercise to develop this pattern of thinking that whatever man does, he does for Allah only.
Life is a synonym of urges which create senses. Hunger, thirst, social tendencies and other inclinations are all urges and man is amalgam of urges. The domination of a certain urge in man’s minds shapes his senses. In this way, human urges and senses become interdependent on one another.
In daily routines, one is mostly preoccupied with fulfilling physical urges: foraging, earning livelihood, taking rest, and other worldly affairs. On the contrary to this, Fasting brings man to a point where he begins to negate the physical urges. He abandons foraging, adjusts his sleep cycle and makes Allah the focus of his intentions and actions. By negating his physical urges, he weakens the grip of the physical senses which confines him in space and time. By controlling his thirst and anger, sleep, and correcting his moral compass, his latent senses are activated.
Fasting is, in fact, an all comprehensive program to enable man’s latent vision so he can observe the Unseen. Everything has been created in pairs, so is the case with human senses. There are two categories of senses: · The physical senses which take man away from God · The latent/spiritual senses which bring man closer to God.
In the physical senses, man is confined in space and time but when he learns to operate his latent senses, he breaks free from the shackles of time and space.
The latent/spiritual and physical senses have been respectively termed as “Lail (Night)” and “Din (Day)” in the Holy Quran. The sensory perceptions which are operative in day time are called Day Senses and the ones which are functional in Night are called Night Senses. Fasting is the program of activating the Night Senses. The Unseen can be observed by activating Night Senses only. Quran explained this law at various points by different examples. For instance, in the case of Moses, Quran mentions:
“And We did appoint for Moses thirty nights (of solitude) and completed them with ten (more), so the appointed time of his Lord was complete forty nights.” (7: 142).
For forty days, Moses stayed at Mount Sinai day and night yet Allah the Sublime mentioned only night. This, again, suggests that he remained under influence of the Night senses. Humans live their life in two states, state of wakefulness and state of sleep. In the state of wakefulness, humans perform routine works and engage in cognitive and behavioural responses to the external world such as communication, eating, drinking and other activities. In the state of sleep, commonly known as dream, humans perform the same actions, engage in similar activities and experience exactly the same they do in the state of wakefulness.
In Ramzan, man becomes closer to God by controlling his actions in all aspects and takes special care of his intentions. In other words, he focuses more on the latent side of his deeds by linking each of his thought with God. He does not eat because, in fasting, he is not permitted to eat before Iftari. He does not quench his thirst despite having water in front of him. He controls his anger and takes extra caution in his social conduct just for the sake of Allah. Moreover, he reduces his sleep timing and stands in front of his Lord in night. All of his wishes and whims are concentrated on one thought: He is taking every action for the sake of Allah only. According to the Hadith, “Fasting is for me (God) and I am its reward.” If fasting is performed with all its prerequisite, man gets his reward. Unfortunately, Muslims do opposite to the spirit of Ramzan. They lie, they deceive hoard and creates problems for Allah’s creations. They quarrel and squabble over petty issues. Moral degradation and lust for material resources reaches its peak. It is time for introspection and correcting our outlooks on life, especially when Allah has showered us His blessings on us, again, in the form of Ramzan, this year.