Ensuring a sincere fast

Ramadan starts on Monday. Ramadan Mubarak. How do we see to it that our fasting is sincere?

Ramadhaan Mubaarak (Blessed Ramadhaan) to you and your loved ones. May God enable us to fast, pray, give charity and recite the Quran in a way that pleases Him.

This is a particularly interesting question, because fasting is a private matter between man and God. You can claim to fast, while sneaking out at times to eat the wash your mouth and come back and no one would be the wiser! You can’t fake fasting.

So, asking about sincerity of fasting is a very valid and relevant question. Indeed, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “There may be a fasting person who gets nothing out of his fast but hunger and thirst!” (Narrated by Abu-Hurayra, Ibn Umar and many other and reported by Al-Munzhiri, Ibn `Asaakir and others and rated between sound and authentic)

That’s a person who did not get the purpose of fasting. The Prophet (PBUH) tells us how to make our fasting sincere. He said,

“Whoever does not leave the utterance and acting of falsehood, then God has no need of him leaving his food and drink!” (Narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by Al-Bukhaari)

Our fast is insincere if we say or do falsehood.

The Prophet (PBUH) also said,

“If one of you is fasting, let him not do profane or offensive things. And if someone offends him, let him say, “I’m fasting. I’m fasting” (Narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by Muslim).

Our fast is insincere if we succumb to our natural instincts, such as to defend ourselves against insults.

The effect of a sincere fast is immeasurable. Your spirit feels it. Your soul is fed while your body is deprived of food! When Ramadhaan ends, not only do you lose weight, regulate your digestive system and feel clean, but you also feel lighter, happier and closer to God. Such are the ones who got the wisdom and benefit of fasting, may God make us among them. And if that’s not your goal from fasting, this may be: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadhaan out of faith and expectation of reward, his past sins are forgiven!” (Narrated by Abu-Hurayra and Ibn Abbaas and reported by Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and Al-Albaani).

I came across this blog post that itemizes things one can do to ensure a sincere fast. Each one of them helps.

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