Selection by: Abu Abdullah
On a sweltering hot day your throat has become parched. You are in the privacy of your home and the refreshingly cool water is within hand's reach. You desire to drink it, but you do not. Why? Simply because you are fasting and while fasting you cannot eat and drink. If somebody prompts you to nevertheless drink it and says: "Nobody is watching," you will immediately rebuke him with the words: "But Allah is watching!"
ALLAH سبحانہ وتعالی IS WATCHING!
Subhanallah! Allah سبحانہ وتعالی is watching. Allahu Akbar! Allah سبحانہ وتعالی is All Hearing, All Knowing, He is Omnipresent. He sees and knows when we cheat while fasting, thus we resist all temptations of food, drink and lawful conjugal relations from dawn to dusk. We have learnt the lesson of Taqwa. We have learnt that lesson which the fasting was meant to teach us. Allah سبحانہ وتعالی is watching! Yes, Allah سبحانہ وتعالی is Watching! Every time there is an urge to eat or drink while fasting, the voice from within cries out: "Allah سبحانہ وتعالی is watching!" Dozens of times daily for an entire month this reality is reaffirmed. Allah سبحانہ وتعالی is watching. So deeply is it embedded in the heart that by the time Ramadhaan is over, a person becomes conscious of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی to such an extent that he is now guided by an inner force that propels him in the direction of righteousness and turns him away from sin.
The fasts of Ramadhaan were prescribed for the purpose and object of attaining Taqwa. This is clearly declared in the Qur'an-al-Kareem. Taqwa simply is to obey the commands of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی and refrain from all sin, The increased rewards for lbaadah (worship) in Ramadhaan and all the blessings of this great month should be considered as the bonus. The object is Taqwa. If one performs an abundance of Salaah, completes the recitation of the Qur'an thirty times and engages in many other acts of lbaadah, but fails to give up sins - one has failed to achieve the object and purpose of Ramadhaan. One has failed to firmly embed the reality of Taqwa in the heart, the Taqwa that cries out "Allah Is watching" whenever one contemplates committing any transgression.
The dictates of Taqwa are not restricted to abstaining from drinking, gambling, adultery, transacting in interest and other such vices. Indeed Taqwa demands that while abstaining from all the above vices one also observes Taqwa in one's business. When the temptation to cheat the customer beckons, or when one is tempted to buy stolen goods, or to indulge in fraud, at that time also the heart should cry out "Allah is watching" and it should restrain one from the sin.
Similarly, Taqwa demands the fulfillment of the rights of the husband/wife, It also demands the joining of family ties. It demands respect for the elders and kindness for the young. Taqwa entails, among other aspects, being honest and clear in all monetary dealings and social interactions. Hence when there is a wedding or funeral, or at the time of distributing the inheritance of the deceased, the same level of Allah consciousness must be displayed as was apparent when refraining from drinking the cold water while fasting.
Likewise, when the laws of purdah are violated, does the heart cry out "Allah is watching"? Or when one intends to watch something on TV., which will most definitely involve one in zina of the eyes and ears, does one hear the voice from within: "Allah is watching," as a result of which one refrains from that sin? The same pertains to the Shari' aspects of appearance and clothing. How often have we done things to appease and please even the enemies of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی and Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم? How often have we abandoned the dictates of Taqwa in order to earn a few coppers? Now is the time to sincerely repent. It is the time to say "Allah is watching" and to do everything to please Him. It is a time to acquire Taqwa.
ABSTAIN FROM SIN
This then is the object of Ramadhaan. This will only be achieved if we conduct ourselves in this great month with Taqwa. Or else the object of Ramadhaan will be defeated. Hence Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is reported to have said: "He who does not forsake lying and other futile actions, Allah سبحانہ وتعالیhas no need for him to give up his food and drink." Thus together with fasting, performing Salaah, reading the Qur'an, serving the cause of Deen, etc,, one must totally abstain from every sin in the month of Ramadhaan and adorn oneself with Taqwa. Insha-Allah this will then carry one along for the rest of the eleven months to abstain from all sins.
May Allah سبحانہ وتعالی enable us to make this Ramadhaan a month where we will truly attain Taqwa. Aameen,