Fasting – the Divine Call | The Official Website Of Grand Ayatollah Saafi Gulpaygani
      در این دیدار حجت الاسلام آقای سید کلب جواد نقوی گزارشی از وضعیت شیعیان و حوزه های علمیه هندوستان محضر مرجع عالیقدر ارائه داد. معظم له نیز با ابراز خرسندی از فعالیت های ایشان برای توفیق روز افزون علمای هندوستان و رفع...
چهارشنبه: 1397/05/24 - (الأربعاء:3/ذو الحجة/1439)

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Fasting – the Divine Call

Fasting – the Divine Call


(یا ایھا الذین آمنوا کتب علیکم الصیام)[1]

O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting.


O faithful men and women! Listen to the word of Allah. It is you and only you who has been addressed in this verse by the Lord of the Universe. Allah invites you; He calls for you.

It is narrated from his holiness, Imam Sadiq (peace be upon Him), that he said:

          “It is the taste and sense of pride that Allah has proclaimed the believers and has called for them, which takes away all the difficulties and hardships of worship”.[2]


The Divine Call

                                                (یا ایھا الذین آمنوا)

O Believers! O Muslims! O men and women who have faith in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon Him and His Progeny)!

O Followers!

You are the addressees; Allah is speaking to you. Be aware!

Allah has called for you!

You must answer Allah’s call!

You are the ones who will respond to Allah’s invitation!

You are the ones who have accepted the command of Allah, the Halal and the Haram, and all the other rules and orders of Islam!

You are those who know Allah as the Guardian of all affairs and the One with complete Authority, and the One who sent down the Sharia and constituted the rulings; and you do not ascertain for Him a partner in the constitution of rulings, the do’s and don’ts, the Haram and Halal, in the creation of regulations, and the passing of laws.

You are the ones who are, by the order of faith and belief, obligated to abide by the rulings of Islam and the teachings of Quran. And you consider the obligation according to every program, method, every system and law, and every process which is different from the divine orders and outside the boundaries of Quranic teachings, as misguidance, deviation and sin.

It is you who have accepted Islam as your faith, creed and system of life, governance and nation, social law, peace and war, and have considered it everything for yourselves. You do not answer to any call which is from outside the boundaries of Islam and is not the voice of Islam; and you do not respond to any other invitation.

It is you who have attained the actual freedom with the blessings of faith in Allah. You have entered the society of freemen, who do not have a supreme Authority and Lord apart from Allah.

It is you humans who have tasted the sweetness of Islamic freedom; who have freed themselves from the bondage and slavery of the false rulers and authorities; who have delivered themselves from the humiliation of serving as a slave to the false religions and tyrant governments, and the rules which have been constituted by weak thoughts and incapable brains; you have attained dignity and honor by worshiping the Unique Lord and abiding by His orders, and complying to his laws and commands.

Allah has addressed you and said:

(يا أَيهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيكُمُ الصِّيامُ)[3]

Now witness the bounties of Allah, the Merciful.


The Lord who has created us, and all the other human beings, all the small and big living objects of this universe. The Lord who has gifted us with endless blessings, both inside and outside our existence.

The creational and legislative hand of the Almighty Lord has extended towards everyone, so that each one of them progresses from his deficiencies towards completion. He has prepared his special and pure servants for the performance of their duties and obligations, for their fasts, mortifications and intended training; it has encouraged them towards obedience, so that they can obey more and more of His commands with happiness, cognition and perception; and the deprivation from the animalistic pleasures, foods and drinks, and the perseverance from this divine regime does not become difficult for them. In the verses 183, 184 and 185 of the second chapter of Quran, 19 addresses and in the 187th verse, he has honored us with 20 addresses in this regard. In these verses, such favors and graces have been shown, which is both a proof of its miraculous eloquence as well an evidence of its excellent attention paid towards the self and psychological aspects, and nurturing points.

The expressions present in these verses depict that the rules of Islam are not just a series of dry and soulless laws, or the programs for safeguarding and managing the social and political relations of individuals with the government, which does not have any other guarantee of implementation apart from mere bayonet power, terror, fear of punishment and retribution.

Islam establishes inside ones inner self, the systems of obedience and honor of the law, keeping in mind all the welfare issues and inner and outer aspects of human existence. And more than anything, it wants us to follow and believe in a God, who is the constitutor of the laws and rules, and a Prophet who has brought these things, from the depth of our hearts.

In the Islamic rulings, attention has been paid towards the aspects of faith and belief, intellect and conscience, emotions and sentiments, welfare and betterment, relief and easement, and also towards the spiritual and physical capabilities of human beings; so that everyone shows interest in its execution and regards its opposition as the opposition of faith and belief, guidance and governance, intellect and the voice of conscience, and the opposition of the common good and interest.

  Islam has laid the foundation of executing its laws on the hearts and faith of human beings. This is because a majority of rules and Islamic programs cannot be enforced forcibly or by means of military power; it is not possible to control the human system for continuously moving forward on the right path without deviating from the correct course, by relying on physical weapons and power. That which can be possibly executed through physical and military powers does not go beyond the safeguarding of the apparent boundaries. In the end, force and power cannot act as the political factor and the pillar exclusively for an individual in a systematic, sequential and lawful society.

Even then, Islam has not neglected this issue and it has not ignored the circumstances where it is compulsory to use power for the progress of welfare and the enforcement of rules. In order to maintain peace and social justice, it has predicted punishment and retributions for the implementation of rights and removal of oppression and injustice. Its execution is the duty of the noblest and strongest executory and defensive powers.

One of the best signs and evidences on the excellence of the Islamic nurturing methods and programs for obligating the society, is the honor of the laws and rules in the present social conditions of the Islamic world.

Even though the misguiding propagations, factors deviating and weakening faith, and the obstacles that hinder the intellectual progress of Islam, are numerous; and almost in all the Islamic societies, Muslims are free to disobey the religious order without any obligation, but their majority has still safeguarded the rules and signs of Islam and are obligated towards it, even after the immense pressure put on them to abstain the religious traditions.

For instance, majority of Muslims offer Salaat and keep fasting. They perform pilgrimage (Hajj); they respect their transactions and bilateral deals; they greet by saying Salaam; they participate in the congregational prayers; they pay Zakat and all the other Sharia alms; they donate heavy amount of money to the charitable organizations, for building mosques, schools, hospitals and clinics, libraries etc.; they do not drink alcohol; they do not commit adultery; they do not take interest; they do not gamble; they do not commit theft; they do not commit oppression or tyranny; they do not usurp other’s wealth; they do not disrespect other’s rights; they do not sell underweight or cheat; they do not tell a lie; they do not accuse others; they do not do flattery; and they do not leave the path of piety, devoutness and chastity.

The cause of this compliance and obedience towards the rules and laws is the law making method of Islam. It is issued from the source of revelation and all the aspects have been observed by it. It has brought into use the faith, belief, nature, intellect, logic and true emotions and sentiments of human beings in order to create the sense and inclination towards the respect and honor of laws and rules.

As regards the points, precisions, subtlety and eloquent expressions of the noble verse:

1. The Address of {یا ایھا الذین آمنوا}, attention paid towards faith and belief, acting upon the demands of belief in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon Him and His Progeny) and remembrance, is the dignity of a believer who has become suitable for specific define address due to his position of faith.

Faith in One God, prepares a person for the obedience of rules; makes the noble and wicked, good and bad, evident for the servants; and fills the soul of a believer with self – respect, dignity and nobility, and it keeps him from going near wicked acts and disobedience of Allah’s command.

A faithful and god – knowing servant honours Allah’s law more than all the other laws and principles.

The rules and laws created by human beings can never replace Allah’s rules. Knowledge, propagation and governing power cannot grant it such dignity and recognition.

For example, international laws or the constitution of United Nations and the likes of them, are the part of such laws which are apparently honoured by governments and a few nation heads to some extent, and they introduce themselves as its supporters. But do they really respect and support it? Or is this respect due to the political helplessness and for the sake of safeguarding their individual or national benefits and profits? If these profits weren’t expected, or were endangered, would anyone pay respect and attention towards these laws for their own sake?! The nations who consider themselves a member of such international societies, or who themselves are the founders of these organizations, do they not stampede its principles when their personal benefits demand it?

Probably it is not yet seen or heard that at sensitive and dangerous times, rightness and justice is observed by these organizations, or that they might have answered the call of their conscience!

It is only the faith in Allah which creates the sanctity and holiness of the rights and laws automatically in the eyes of the faithful, and demands him to take the right from all the aspects. And it tells him:

[4](وَلَا يجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى)

{And ill feeling for a people should never lead you to be unfair. Be fair; that is nearer to God wariness}

Or on another instance:

[5](يا أَيهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَينِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ)

{O you who have faith! Be maintainers of justice and witnesses for the sake of Allah, even if it should be against yourselves or [your] parents and near relatives}.

Wherever the factor of faith comes into being, the law will be executed.

In front of the divine law, the faithful men do not pay attention towards its philosophy, benefit and wisdom, instead, their extensive and strengthened faith bounds and obligates them to abide by the religious etiquettes; while they are unaware of most of the interests and philosophies behind the rules.

One of the example for this topic, is the command of fasting itself. Certainly, fasting has its health and physical benefits towards which indications have been made in the traditions also: (صوموا تصحوا) “Fast and become healthy”.

The expert and world famous doctors have also confirmed the clinical and sanitary benefits of fasting. The way of curing a group of diseases is almost dependent on abstention from food. Excessive eating becomes the cause of numerous diseases. There are several diseases which are cured by fasting and many sick peoples have achieved cure by means of fasting programs.

Fasting is beneficial from economic aspect as well. Therefore, fasting is understood as an act of common good.

Keeping in mind all these benefits of fasting and much more than what we are aware of, how many people are ready to fast for the sake of these benefits and hygienic, physical purposes etc. in one single year, irrespective of divine obedience? How many people can forsake all the edibles, drinkables and physical pleasures for one whole month? If this fasting program was prescribed by expert doctors, how many people would have performed this act every year?

Certainly, very few people would have acted upon this prescription. The number of people acting upon this suggestion would be very few if compared to the number of people who fast in the month of Ramadan only for the sake of obeying their religious obligation and for seeking the nearness of Allah and His reward.

All Muslims, obligated or non – obligated ones, pardoned or non – pardoned, and even the immature children, keep fasts under extremely difficult weather conditions only for the sake of obeying Allah. It has been fourteen centuries that the tradition and programs of the month of Ramadan, has affected the individual and social life of Muslims, and it unifies them in this month. This is an example of the impact of faith on individuals.

In this way, we can understand the miraculous beginning of this verse with the address (یا ایھا الذین آمنوا) and the realities and sublime meaning it carries.

Quran invites the believers and propagates the command of fasting, and the believers – who have lent their years to the divine command – for the purpose of obedience, begin to fast from the moment this divine order is issued. The moment they sight the moon’s crescent, they free themselves from the chain of their habits with a spiritual leap.

2. The phrase: (كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ…) explains the point that fasting is not a fresh and new obligation to refrain from the edibles, drinkables, physical pleasures and all other things that can break fast. Instead, fasting was an obligation in the past religions and Sharia as well.

This point, which is a special form of divine sympathy, decreases the feeling of difficulty and hardship that one has to face in forsaking the things that can break the fast. From the psychological aspect, it gives strength and endurance to the person who is fasting.

3. The phrase: (أَيامًا مَعْدُودَاتٍ) is also a form of grace, blessing and sympathy towards the people who are fasting, so that due to its cognizance, they shall not deem fast as something big and lengthy as per its duration.

4. The phrase: (لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ…) indicates towards the great ascetic, nurturing, spiritual and moral benefits of fasting, and its impact on the ethical values and attainment of habitual piousness and God wariness, as well dominance over the animalistic powers and instincts. From this aspect, that which a person who is fasting attains from his fast, holds such benefits and blessings whose importance and greatness cannot be possible explained. The person who is wayfaring, who is in the position of inner improvement, self – betterment and mortification of his soul by means of piety and devoutness, should compulsorily fast in the month of Ramadan.

It can be said with courage that: “the way in which it is possible for everyone to obtain reward, attain the desirable moral values and heavenly characteristics, dominate his self, fight his inner lust, achieve will power and nearness of Allah’s threshold, in this month, such opportunity is not available for him at any other time.”

5. The phrase: (…شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ) explains the merits and grace of this holy month in which fasting is made obligatory on everyone. Due to the revelation of Quran, this month is the biggest source of historic changes in human life and the beginning of the most sublime religious and social movement, and the title of a new intellectual and moral life. Quran – which is the guide and leader of all the human beings and which possesses the ultimate heavenly teachings, and the programs of eternal success – was revealed in this month. Therefore, this month is better than all the other months of the year. Its days are more precious than all the other days and its nights are more dignified than all the other nights. This month is the memento of Quran’s revelation, the commemoration of the history of human dignity and honor, and the announcement of the true rights and actual human freedom.

6. The phrase: (…فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ) till the phrase (وَلَا يرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ…) implies on the point that in the Islamic teachings, easiness, comfort and well – being is observed. Any sort of difficulty, hardship or imposition over the true human nature and desires does not exist.

As we shall mention in the following discussion, Almighty Allah has sent our great Prophet (peace be upon Him and His Progeny) with a Sharia that is easy and comfortable.

7. Another point that can be interpreted from the verse, by paying attention towards the general nature and common attention of its addresses, is “Equality for everyone in the issue of obligation”. Each person, irrespective of his position, status and profession, should fast; and obtain its nurturing benefits, worldly profits and its rewards in the Hereafter. People of every age should discipline themselves in this school of excellence and become nurtured. One should strengthen his intellectual and human faculties and dominate over the Satanic and animalistic powers. We should comprehend that human being is not just his apparent body, his flesh and bones, and the human power is not confined to physical strength and overcoming powerful opponent only.

The actual power of human beings is to dominate over their inner – self, lust, anger, and to show steadfastness against difficulties, and to demonstrate patience and endurance.

Binge eating and mere physical nourishment comes with great difficulties and dangers, and it causes the darkness of spirit and blindness of heart and insight.

If physical training, which is given extreme importance in our era, is not considered a stepping – stone for the nourishment and nurturing of one’s soul, thoughts and moral value, then it would remain totally worthless.

We should observe a moderate behavior in everything. Physical training should also be within the moderate limit and everyone should pay attention towards it in order to keep away weakness and incapability from the body and soul. We should not present physical training in the form of an art, profession or job and prevent people from paying attention towards their soul and the duties they are obligated to do in the society.

Islam is the religion of Allah, intellect and logic. Hence, in the cases where nurturing and training the officers and militants who fight and defend the house of Islam and the hometown of Muslims, who maintain peace, and such preparations which are associated with conducting physical competitions; similarly, in the cases which cause the strengthening of the intellectual and creative powers, conducting them and giving gifts in such programs is known to be appropriate.

Nevertheless, the school of ‘fasting’ is where classes are conducted for self – development and are an ascending ladder from which all the Muslims should benefit.

Now, O Muslims and believers! Welcome the holy month of Ramadan and benefit from the vast mercies of Almighty Allah.

We should make sure that the fasting tradition of this month – which is from the great signs of Islam and the depicter of loyalty, steadfastness, equality and compliance of our society towards the religious rules – should be performed with honor and etiquettes in the best possible manner.

Unfortunate is one who deprives himself from the blessings and benefits of fasting without any legal Sharia excuse. And impudent is that belly worshipper who breaks his fast without any legal excuse; or if he has an excuse, he breaks his fast openly, and humiliates the order of Almighty Allah; who disrespects and dishonors the feelings and sentiments of millions of Muslim, and one who does not respect the sanctity of this holy month.

How ungrateful is someone who spend the month of Ramadan by committing sins and crimes, and deprives himself from Allah’s forgiveness. Apart from following the tradition and apparent etiquettes of fasting by forsaking eating and drinking and abstaining all such things that break one’s fast, one should try to habituate his body and body parts to distance them from sins; and we should also purify our thoughts and perceptions from the impure and filthy ideologies and Satanic thinking.

We must try to keep distance from those acts and behavior which do not synchronize with the spiritual, nurturing, physical and other impacts, benefits and motives of fasting.

Refrain from backbiting; do not abuse; do not express immorality; do not utter unsuitable words; do not show lack of patience and endurance; do not go after un – chastity, keep away from ogling and looking at non – Mahram; do not harm people with hands or tongue; do not eat Haram; do not express self – glory; have mercy on your subordinates; respect the people younger than you; observe your relationships; support the poor and needy people; visit the sick people and attend them; express modesty and shame.

Participate in the religious – Islamic meetings and congregational prayers with humility; and witness the unity and dignity of Muslims along with the worthlessness and insignificance of the worldly statuses and positions from the rows of congregational prayers.

Recite those supplications which have arrived in this month for different times: dawn, night and day; it is better if we pay attention towards the meaningful topics and messages they carry.

Study and examine your conditions, moral values, methods and behavior. Lest your job and profession be Haram. Assess the inside of your soul and conscience with precision. Try to compensate your past so that you come out of this month in a pure state.

In this month, think a lot about your death, the fate of this world and the material life, about the world after death, the Judgment day, resurrection, questions and assessments; and weep upon the incidents that will occur in future; and whisper the following sentences from the supplication of Abu Hamza:

"ابکی لخروج نفسی، ابکی لظلمۃ قبری، ابکی، لضیق لحدی، ابکی لسوال منکر و نکیر ایای، ابکی لخروجی من قبری عریانا ذلیلا حاملا ثقلی علی ظھری"

(I weep for my soul’s departing my body, I weep for the darkness of my grave, I weep for the narrowness of my vault, I weep for the questioning on Munkar and Nakeer of me {the names of the two angles that question the dead after being laid in the graves}, I weep for the coming out of my grave naked, humiliated and carrying my book {of deeds} on my back)

Then seek forgiveness and return towards Allah. Lest you become hopeless of His Mercy:

“الھی حقق رجائی و آمن خوفی فانّ کثرۃ ذنوبی لا ارجو فیھا الا عفوک"

(O my Lord! Fulfil my hope, secure me from my fear; because with my excessive sins I have no place to seek refuge except Your pardon)

Whoever you are, and in whichever condition you are, in whichever form you were till today in your life, reforming your work is easy. Your impurities will be washed with the water of repentance, forgiveness and tears in the state of invocation and supplication; and you will become pure and without contamination.

Thus, seek mercy and say:

"الھی ارحمنی اذا انقطعت حجتی و کل عن جوابک لسانی، و طاش عند شوالک ایای لبی فیا عظیم رجائی لا تخیبنی اذا اشتدّت فاقتی الیک"

“O my Lord! Bestow Your Mercy upon me when my excuses have failed and when my tongue has ceased to be able to answer to You, and when my intellect has subsided upon Your questioning, So O to whom I submit my utmost hope! Do not disappoint me when my tragedy has intensified”

Indeed, with just a single movement from the dark world of lust and desire, demand of world, mercilessness, oppression etc., fly towards the world filled with light and brightness, virtues and dignity, piety and divine servitude. How much ever you have followed your inner desires, committed sins, disobeyed Almighty Allah, covered yourself with illegitimate lusts, deviated from the path of chastity and purity, chose the path of flattery and undeserving praises, walked on earth with arrogance and pride, oppressed upon the servants of Allah, turn over all this to the divine threshold and weep out of repentance; and take providence for the Hereafter:

"الھی و سیدی وعزتک و جلالک لئن طالبتنی بذنوبی لاطالبنک بعفوک و لئن طالبتنی بلومی لا طالبنک بکرمک"

“O' my Lord and my Master! I swear with Your exalted might and majesty that if You reclaim my sins, I will call upon Your mercy and if You reclaim my meanness, I will call upon Your generosity”

Repent before Almighty Allah and seek pardon and forgiveness from Him:

"یا قابل التوب یا عظیم لمن این سترک الجمیل این عفوک الجلیل این فرجک القریب این غیاثک السریع این رحمتک الواسعۃ"

Always remain Allah’s servant so that you can be free, and run away from the soul prompting to evil, so that you can obtain greatness.

Refrain from sins and walk towards the forgiving Allah. It is unfortunate if our life, time and the bounties bestowed upon us by Allah is wasted. Come and experience the taste of spiritual benefit, the taste of servitude and divine worship, and the dominance over soul!

Sit on the vast dining cloth of Allah’s hospitality in this month and eat from its food; and place yourself before the breeze of divine Mercy.

Make your eyes familiar with the beautiful voice of Quranic recitation, whisperings with Allah and invocations, instead of listening to musical songs. In one sentence, O my dear brother and sister! Think about your future and fate.

(تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ)

“This is the abode of the Hereafter, which We shall grant to those who do not desire to domineer in the earth nor to cause corruption, and the outcome will be in favour of the Godwary.”[6]

An excerpt from the book ‘Maah e Mubarak e Ramadan- Maktab e Aali e Tarbiyat wa Akhlaq’ written by Grand Ayatollah Saafi Golpayegani.


[1] Chapter Al – Baqara, verse 183.

[2] Majma ul Bayan, Tafseer of verse 183, chapter Al – Baqara

[3] Chapter Al – Baqara, verse 183

[4] Chapter Al – Maida, verse 8

[5] Chapter An – Nisa, verse 135

[6] Chapter Al – Qasas, verse 83


Wednesday / 15 August / 2018