In Suratul Baqarah the second chapter of the Quraan Verse 183, Allah The Exalted tells us that:
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” Sahih International Translation.
When a person fasts he abstains from what is lawful for him such as food, drink, and halaal intercourse. If he can keep away from what is lawful for him for Allah’s sake then it becomes easier for him to kick aside what is wrong, in its very essence, such as slander, fraud and other abominable acts.
Saying no to food, drink and marital relations is meant to build strong self-discipline. But the fasting will amount to nothing if the fasting person’s character has not undergone any positive changes. Allah says that He has no need for someone to keep away from his food and drink if he still has a vile tongue and harms people with it.
Abu Hurayra reported that The Messenger Swallah alayhi wassalam said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and evil deeds while fasting, then Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 1804.
You, as a fasting person, might just be spending the day hungry and thirsty if you are still, Allah forbid, lying. Lying, even jokingly, is prohibited in Islam. In fact, one of the signs of a hypocrite is that ‘whenever he speaks he tells a lie’ Sahih Al-Bukhari Book 73 Hadith 116
While lying might not invalidate your fast, it certainly diminishes it’s purity. Such a fast would, then, resemble a medical or weight loss fast which does not actually involve the spirit or one’s connection to His Lord and Creator.
SLANDER, INSULTS, BACKBITING AND RUMOUR MONGERING.
If you need not much provoking or little excuse to shout at your employees, co-workers, your own children or neighbours; if you need no motivation to badmouth your colleague then you must understand that you have not understood the true meaning of fasting.
To use your tongue in a way that displeases Allah the Exalted does not even have to be done face to face with the person involved. These days it takes no effort to post something online or in a private message for the damage to be done. Thus, the fasting person must exercise extra caution to safeguard the purity of his fast.
When provoked to lash out in anger and spit out words that will stain his fast, the fasting person should say, as the Prophet Swalla Allah alayhi wasalam teaches us, “I am fasting.” Sunan Ibn Majah.
OTHER MISDEEDS THAT RUIN THE PURITY OF THE FAST
- Fast Without Prayer: While both are pillars of Islam, the prayer is the first thing a Muslim will be called to account for in the Hereafter. How then can a fast without prayer-the pillar of the faith- be anything but defective? It might not invalidate it but how can righteousness be achieved without prayer? which ‘prohibits immorality and wrongdoing’? The Quran Chapter 29 Verse 45
- Eyes Glued To The Unlawful: It is not only the mouth that fasts. The eyes must fast from all indecency. Ramadhan days spent in watching movies, and indecent content are days spent in sin. If the fast was a bucket it would be full of holes. The same applies to the ears spent listening to music, gossip or other lewdness.
- Time Wasted on Pursuits Best Left After Ramadhan: If an activity a fasting undertakes, while not haram, like watching how to videos, can possibly wait, then it is best left for after the Holy Month. As it is, Ramadhan days seem to gallop at an alarming speed such that, no sooner is it Ramadhan, then Eid takbeeras are being heard. A day spent fasting, especially during Ramadhan, should look nothing like an ordinary day would. A day spent fasting is a sieve to sift out our bad habits and refine our character so that morality and righteousness become ingrained in us for the long term.
“Nothing is heavier on the scale of the believer on the Day of Resurrection than good character. Verily hates the vulgar, obscene person.” Sunan Al-Tirmidhi 2002.