The purpose of fasting (DW# 907)
Apr 13, 2021
Verse 2:183 of the Quran reminds us of the ultimate purpose of fasting: O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain God consciousness.
The ultimate purpose of fasting then, is not a mere abstention from food and drink but rather the development of inner strength, a super energy which develops our self-control so that we can live consciously and aligned with our ultimate purpose rather than fall prey to momentary passions and desires.
Keeping away from food, drink and other prohibitions during this month is simply the entry point to developing this internal energy, this God consciousness.
Let us remind ourselves of the meaning of Taqwa, of God consciousness.
Taqwa means to be in a perpetual state of conscious awareness of His Presence.
The concept for humans (the forgetful species) being in a state of conscious awareness is easy to understand in the age of video recordings and live-streaming.
If we were live streaming on Instagram, how would we behave? We would put our best selves forward because we know we are being watched and recorded and will be held accountable for what we do and say.
We can understand taqwa in a similar way: that we become increasingly present to His presence at all times. That we remind ourselves that we are, in fact, being watched and recorded all the time. That we have the opportunity to develop intimacy with our Rabb in all the moments of our lives.
And when we do that, consistently, we will feel connected to the All Merciful, and our actions are more likely to become more in line with His Pleasure.
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