How Is Fasting Related To Piety And Taqwah

Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. In the month of Ramadan when Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala describes the month of Ramadan in the Holy Qur'an, it says, ' Ya ayyuha alladhina aamanu, kutiba 'alaykumu as-siyaamu kamaa kutibaa 'ala alladhina min qablikum la 'allakum tattaqun'(2:183)- 'O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you like it was prescribed for the people before you, so that 'la'allaakum tattaqun'. Not probably, 'la'alla' here is not translated as probably, it will be translated as -'so that'- so that you become pious, so that you become muttaqi - la'allakum tattaqun.

Why does the fasting result in piety? Because all of the 'Ibaadaat; the prayers, the Hajj, the Khums, Zakaat, all of those are an action. They are to perform something, they are to do something while fasting is not to do something, Fasting is to stop you from things. For example, that you must stop yourself from sinning or you must stop...Well, the holy month of Ramadan when you are fasting, you stop yourself, you hold yourself back from eating, drinking, lying, and all of those things, 10 things.

You know, so there are two things - the fasting consists of the intention - niyyat and imsaak - abstention. Intention and abstention- you make an intention that you are fasting for the sake of God and then you abstain, that is all fasting is, it is not doing something. Like prayer is to recite, to go to sajdah, do ruku'. Hajj is, to do tawaaf, Ihraam and so many things. But fasting is not to perform but to stop, so it leads to piety.

Ayatullah Bahjat, Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Bahjat, was asked, he was asked, What is Taqwa? He said Taqwa is not to do something, Taqwa is to to abstain, to stop doing things, to stop doing haraam that is Taqwa. So you become 'muttaqi' once you stop sinning and that results in piety. And fasting teaches you how to stop. When it teaches you how to stop from halaal, then it automatically gives you the strength to stop yourself from haraam. And as a result of stopping yourself from haraam leads to becoming pious.

There are many dimensions to Taqwa. The first is to stop yourself from haraam. Even to leave out your obligations is haraam, so basically in one sentence, stopping from haraam results in Taqwa, in piety or becoming God-conscious. Taqwa the best translation in English is to be God-conscious, to believe and see that there is someone watching over you and not do things. And that is true Taqwa.

So, there are the verses in the Holy Qur'an and also traditions that when the Holy Prophet salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam was asked, Ya Rasulallah, how do we...What is the best deed in the month of Ramadan?, He said, not to sin, to not sin is the best deed in the month of Ramadan.

So, yes, you are fasting, you are praying, you are reading Qur'an, you are giving Sadaqah, you are giving Iftaar, you know, you are feeding other mu'mineen, you are feeding poor people. But the best deed in the month of Ramadan is to control your sinning, especially the sins of your tongue, because the tongue is not being used for eating food and tasting delicious things.

So it should also learn to to do delicious things in terms of du'as and recitation of the Qur'an. And also, and the, and the taste of du'a and the deliciousness of the Holy Qur'an will only come once you learn to control your tongue and by controlling your tongue, you will truly become in the way of becoming pious and 'muttaqi'. Thank you for listening.