Building (Framing) the Faith Upon Action: “Fasting is for Allah”
 The above essay is edited from a Jumah Khutbah given at the Islaamic Center of Dothan, Dothan, Alabama
We Begin all things With the Illustrious Names (99+1) of Allah,
The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
Dear beloved Muslims, Fasting is for Allah (G-d). This fast (Ramadhan); has been prescribed that man may learn obedience. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an 2:153, “O ye who believe! Seek help with patience, perseverance and prayer: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” Then again Allah says in Sura (Chapter) 2:168, “O ye people! Eat of what is on Earth. Lawful and Good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you and avowed enemy.” Allah also says in Chapter 2:183, “Fasting is prescribed for you that you may learn obedience to Allah.”
This period that we call Ramadhan is a time of deep devotion, obedience and regardfulness to almighty Allah. Fasting gives us protection against low motives or the lower self. Allah wants to raise human being above the animal level, so he teaches man restraint that it may refine the nature of the human being and that he may be a servant of Allah and live for Allah’s pleasure. We must remain conscious of the fact that the fast has been prescribed for us by Allah. The Arabic word Siyam which translates to fasting or fast; comes from the root word Saama. Saama means to abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse; too fast. Another root Saum means: abstention, abstinence. The fast (Siyam) of the Muslim during the month of Ramadhan is a complete fast or abstention.
“Allah says, “Oh you, who believe, be regardful of the fire.” Why should you be regardful of the fire? It is because the fire represents sin and influences of sin. The passion for sin will destroy your true form like fire destroys the things put into it. Have you seen things put into fire, and how fire will just twist up the forms? You can see the twisting, bending and breaking of the thing in the fire.
We must work to keep our true self intact from the fire of sin. And again, we point to something wonderful in this progressional sense of man. That is the urge for peace and security. The man (Human Being) needs a sense of peace. It is termed in other ways as a sense of wellbeing.” (From the published lectures of Imam W. Deen Mohammed)
The word “peace” has been defined by Imam W. D. Mohammed as to come at rest with our human sentiments. Speaking on the Human Sentiments the Imaam has said: “Human sentiments can only be brought to rest by its love for G-d first.” Fasting allows us to get control of those urges that causes the Human Sentiments to be in a state of unrest.
Al Islaam is a faith-based religion (Way of Life). In Islaam deeds are more valuable than words; we only get the credit for belief, if we put it into practice. Belief without action is not enough. In the act of fasting (abstinence), we have the best example of this principle. Fasting allows us to get a grip on the desires of the lower self. It allows us to come into peace (agreement) with the Human Sentiments. The fast of Ramadhan is a sign of how the Muslim life should be structured. Not just in the ninth month of the lunar calendar (Ramadhan), but all year round. The Muslim life must be patterned and structured upon faith, action and discipline.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with Him) that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) use to say that Allah said: “Every act of the son of Adam is for him save fasting; which is done for my sake, and I will give a reward for it.” Henceforth by Allah in whose hand is the life of Muhammed, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter unto Allah than the fragrance of musk. (Saying of Prophet Mustafa Muhammed Al Amin, collected and recorded by Imam Muslim in his collection of A’hadith)