Love, Nothing but Hunger, Quran and Salat
Issue 899 » June 17, 2016 - Ramadan 12, 1437
Al-Maidah (The Table Spread) - Chapter 5: Verse 54 (partial)
Love is the attachment of the heart, in exclusive fashion, between zeal and intimacy and in giving and withholding.
It is of three levels:
The first level is love that puts an end to suspicions, imbues the service with pleasure and provides comfort in misfortunes.
It is love that buds from observing the Grace, is consolidated by adhering to the Sunnah and grows as a response to poverty.
The second level is love that causes one to favour the True One above anyone else, to persevere in praising His Name and to attach to the heart His Contemplation.
It is love that emerges from observing the Attributes, looking into the Verses and adhering to the Discipline.
The third level is love that captivates and takes the breath away, focuses on the intimation and cannot be limited by descriptions.
This love is the pinnacle in this matter; outside it are loves that tongues proclaim, that mankind claims and that minds prescribe.
"Stations of the Wayfarers" - Abdullah Al-Ansari, p. 162-164
Nothing but Hunger
There are some clear indications from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that the fast may not have its desired effect in purifying the soul if it is not performed in the proper manner. In particular, while abstaining from food, drink and intimacy, one is required to make an extra effort to abstain from the other acts that Allah forbids at all times. The Messenger of Allah said, "If one does not give up false speech and acting according to it, then Allah is not in need of him giving up his food and drink." [Bukhari]
In fact, the fast is meant to be a period of training and development of taqwa (God-consciousness). If a person does not abstain from forbidden acts during that time of fasting, then he is actually not receiving or enacting the proper type of training. Hence, the act in itself becomes nothing more than a burden and hardship on the person without any beneficial outcome in this life or, possibly, in the Hereafter. Hence, the Messenger of Allah also said, "Perhaps the fasting person gets nothing from his fast except hunger. And perhaps the praying person [at night during Ramadan] gets nothing from his standing [in prayer] except sleeplessness." [Ibn Majah]
"Purification of the Soul" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, p. 249
Quran and Salat
Iman (faith) and Amal al-Salih (good deeds) are the two basic characteristics of Muslims. Iman cannot be ingrained without comprehension of the Quran and Amal al-Salih can never be attained without the good performance of salat.
What is Salat?
- Salat is the communication between servants (ourselves) and the Master (Allah).
- Salat is to beg for all kinds of things from the Ultimate Giver of everything.
- Salat is to admit your mistakes to the Knower of all things and to ask forgiveness for small and large mistakes and sins committed between two salat. It is a secret of which only you and Allah are aware.
- How can you talk to anyone especially to your Master if you do not know what you are saying? From a logical point of view it is ridiculous to offer salat without understanding the words that you are uttering.
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, p. 133