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This self-deprivation represents a state of self-control, and of overcoming carnal pleasure, desire and enjoyment, for the blissful love of Allah, His proximity, and the eagerness to obtain His consent. It is a triumph of pristine love over one's desires and wants. It characterizes the control over transient pleasures for the eternal ones promised by the Almighty.

This response to divine commandments represents and incarnates true servitude, and is a brilliant display of spirit, intellect and decisive will power.

By fasting,a person keeps himself away from the pleasures of life, with no preventive or hindrance factor, except that of obeying Allah and showing genuine devotion to His commands. A hadith succintly explains this fact : "A fasting person is in a state of worship, even when (asleep) in bed, except when he backbites wwther Muslim."*

"... Every breath you take is (has the reward oj) Tasbih (praise to Allah) and your sleep in worship..." *

In a moving speech, the Messenger of Allah describes the believing soul that fasts for love of Allah out of truthfulness and sincerity, and thus the whole day becomes an altar of worship, and each and every activity of the fasting body, provided it abstains from loathsome acts, is nothing but worship embodied. The Prophet describes the sleep of a fasting Muslim,even the very breathing to be acts of worship, because they emanate from a body regarded as being in continual worship through abstaining from tasting delicious and lawful things, solely out of obedience to the Creator.

The Almighty Himself extols fasting and attributes it as a special blessing for mankind as is clear from a hadith Qudsi.


* Al-Kulayni, al-Fni mm aI-Kafi. vol. 4, The Book of Fasting. p. 190/3rd edition.

* Prophet's Sermon - Uvun Akhbar ar-Ridha.

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