Fasting as a Celebration

Fatma Bayram

Friday, March 15, 2024

Fasting as a Celebration

In accordance with the command of Allah and the Hadith Jibreel, which is a widely transmitted narration from our Prophet (pbuh), we understand the significance of fasting as one of the five pillars of Islam. We are also aware of its value in the eyes of Allah. However, some of us harbor an unnamed distress and are hesitant to express it, both during the day while awaiting iftar and as Ramadan approaches. This subtle concern is often hinted at in phrases like "May Allah help us" or "Allah will assist us."

Yet, fasting is not a punishment to be endured; rather, it is a celebration through which we join the angels in joy and happiness. We fast also as an expression of gratitude. For instance, fasting on the morning of sacred nights is a token of our appreciation to Allah for granting us the opportunity to experience those nights. (Of course, there are also expiatory fasts observed as a form of penance to atone for some of our misdeeds. Hence, whether the fast we observe becomes a punishment or a celebration depends on our mindset.)

It is remarkable how swiftly we transitioned from a culture that celebrated through fasting, resembling angels, to one that revolves its celebrations around feasting at lavish tables.

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)

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