• the • benefits • of • leaving • permissible • desires •

The following is taken from
Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali’s Lataa’if Al-Ma’aarif, pp. 213-214

Allaah Says,
“…All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him: the good deeds will be multiplied ten times to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me and I will reward for it accordingly. He abandons his desire, food and drink for Me…” [Narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].

And His Statement, “
He abandons his desire, food and drink for Me shows that fasting is a means of attaining closeness to Allaah by abandoning what the soul desires of food and drink and intercourse, and these are the greatest of the soul’s desires.

The Benefits of Seeking Closeness to Allaah Through Abandoning [Permissible] Desires:

And seeking closeness to Allaah by leaving off desires when fasting has benefits.

From them: That it breaks the soul, for feeling full and drinking and intercourse with women causes the soul to become used to arrogance and heedlessness and excessive cheerfulness.

And from them: The heart becomes free to think and remember Allaah, because consuming these desires can harden the heart and blind it, and they can come between the slave and between the remembrance of Allaah and thinking, and they cause heedlessness, while emptying the stomach of food and drink illuminates the hearts and mandates sensitivity and does away with the heart’s harshness, and it frees the slave for remembering Allaah and thinking.

And from them: That the rich one will realize the magnitude of Allaah’s bounty upon him, due to His granting him the food and drink and marriage that He prohibited from many of the poor, so when [the rich one] is prevented from this in a specific time, and he undergoes hardship because of it, he remembers those who were prevented from all of those things completely, so he becomes obligated to be grateful for Allaah’s blessings upon him, and it becomes obligatory for him to supplicate for Allaah to relieve his brother who is in need, and he must comfort his brother with whatever he is able.

And from them: That fasting constricts the veins, which are the paths through which the Shaytaan flows within the son of Aadam, for the Shaytaan runs within the son of Aadam through the blood. So through fasting, the whispers of the Shaytaan are quieted and desires and anger are broken, and de to this, the Prophet, salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, made fasting a shield, due to the fact that it breaks the desire for intercourse.

And know: That closeness to Allaah Ta’aalaa through abandoning the permissible desires (like eating and fasting and intercourse with the spouse) cannot be achieved during fasting except after attaining closeness to Him through abandoning what He has prohibited in every instance, like lying and oppression and transgression against people’s blood and wealth and honor. And due to this, the Prophet, salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Whoever does not abandon lying and evil actions, Allaah is not in need of him abandoning his food and his drink” [Narrated by Al-Bukhaari #1903, #6057].

And in another Hadeeth, “Fasting is not [abstaining] from food and drink, rather fasting is [abstaining from] vain talk and indecency” [Narrated by Al-Haakim and Al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibbaan, from the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, and it is Saheeh].

And some of the Salaf said, “The easiest fast is abandoning food and drink

And Jaabir said, “If you fast, then let your eyesight, your hearing, and your tongue fast from lying and the prohibited things, and leave [talking about] what has happened so that there may be peace and tranquility upon you on the day of your fast, and do not make the day you fast equal to the day you do not fast.”

And the Messenger of Allaah said, “”Perhaps a fasting person will get nothing from his fast save hunger, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will get nothing from his standing except sleeplessness.” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah #1690, from Abu Hurayrah, and it is Saheeh].

And the secret behind this is that seeking closeness to Allaah by abandoning the permissible things (like eating, drinking and sleeping) cannot be attained except after seeking closeness to Him through leaving the prohibited things. So whoever commits the forbidden things then seeks to attain closeness to Allaah by abandoning the permissible things is equal to the one who abandons the obligatory deeds and seeks to get close to Allaah with voluntary deeds.”


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