Ibn Qudamah (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) defined fasting in his book "Al Mughny" as abstaining. Allah (may He be Exalted) has spoken about Mary (peace be upon her) saying: "Verily, I have vowed a fast to the Most Gracious (Allâh)." i.e., to keep silent because one of the meaning of Sawm [fasting] is to stop talking.
Accordingly, fasting according to the Shari`ah is abstaining from certain matters in a certain time and by a certain person as our scholars defined it.
Fasting has a great virtue because it is done secretly and people cannot see it, therefore hypocrisy cannot penetrate it. So, it is subjugation to Satan the enemy of Allah because the means of the enemy to man is desires as these desires become strong by eating and drinking. And as long as the soil of desires is fertilized, devils shall come to that pasturage, whereas by giving up desires, all the ways shall be blocked.
Fasting generates the quality of forbearance because one of the reasons of the problems we are living today is excessiveness in consumption, extravagance, and being away from the true religion. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And Allâh puts forward the example of a township (Makkah), that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the Favors of Allâh (with ungratefulness). So Allâh made it taste extreme of hunger (famine) and fear, because of that (evil, i.e. denying Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) which they (its people) used to do." [Surat An-Nahl: 112].
And we all know the story of Korah as was mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an [Surat Al Qasas: 76 - 83], the story of the Pharaoh and others of those who denied Allah's Favors.
Extravagance and wastefulness in consumption is the abuse of economic resources and goods which Allah bestowed on His Servants to benefit from which is deniable by Islam where Allah described extravagant and wasters by being the brothers of devils because this action has negative consequences that are not limited to its doers who practice wastefulness but they extend to include the entire society and the world.
Indeed, fasting has great economic dimensions which the human mind may grasp such as its effect on human health and human resources, whereas some cannot be grasped by human mind, so good tidings are for those who follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his way of fasting and Qiyam.
One of the duties of a Muslim is to provide the basic needs such as food, drink, clothing, and home to maintain his religion, himself, his offspring, his mind and money. Moreover, a Muslim should avoid consumptive tendency as much as possible. If consumption differs from a person to another according to his financial capacity and his asceticism in the world and its joys but there are limits that should be taken into consideration.
Man is more important than any stereotype, theory, or explanation; this has been discovered recently by economists. Man is the one who decides his prosperity level and the degree of his richness because the entire matter depends on his decision and behavior. If he wants, he may become moderate in consumption then he shall have much prosperity, and he may be greed in consumption as it is the case of individuals in most of Western society who eat their fortunes. After economists had been insisting that the state and its policy is the most important element in the production process, they came to admit that consumer and production are the masters of the game. When the society disciplines and directs the conventions of consumption, a large practical decrease of consumption will lead to the complete benefit of the society from its wealth.
Thus, the real key of solving crises lies in consumptive education which is relatively a new concept. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Eat, drink, wear, and give in charity as long as you avoid two [bad] qualities: wasting and show off."
It was reported from Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) his saying: "Every wasting generates a wasted right."
The highest of our wishes is to seize the chance of Ramadan to rectify and reform the soul with physical benefits, so would we seize the opportunity to reform the economy of the nation from a chronic disease which is permanent consumption without enough production?!
Will Ramadan be a chance and a field for possessing the will of facing the greedy state of consumption which we boast of during this month?!
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