Tuesday, July 3, 2012


It is the obligation of every Muslim to fast the whole month of Ramadan, abstaining from eating and drinking and sex from dawn until sunset. During that time it is also important to watch one’s emotions, cleansing them from criticism and anger and other negative feelings, as well as protecting oneself from negative impressions, negative thoughts and negative words. For the people at the level of Hadrat Ibn ‘Arabi, fasting extends to the whole being. Nothing but God and the godly should enter, not only one’s physical being, but also one’s heart. Nor should anything leave the being but that which is pure. Ibn ‘Arabi says that the meaning of fasting is self-denial – to deny the evil-commanding ego and the flesh their wishes, which in turn will render the human being pure. No other form of worship or effort to come close to God can equal fasting, for there can be no hypocrisy in it. It is a secret between the Lord and His servant. When one fasts without resentment, sincerely and lovingly, the relation between the fasting servant of God and the Lord becomes selfless, total obedience. One gives up one’s will and one’s desires, and acts upon the wish of the Lord. That is why God says, “All acts and worships of humankind are for themselves and belong to them. Only fasting is done for Me, and the reward of it is from Me.” God also says that the smell of the breath of the one who fasts is sweeter to Him thank musk, because what the Lord smells is not the bad odor but the manifestation of His attributes of Patience and Compassion. The one who fasts for God’s sake exhales these in each breath. (The Tree of Being:Shajarat al-kawn. An Ode to the Perfect Man. Interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti. Archetype Pub. London, 2005)

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