Fasting and Curbing of Desires
Author : Dr. Hassan Abu_Arqoub
Date Added : 20-12-2022

Fasting and Curbing of Desires


The blessed month of Ramadan is an annual school that opens for thirty days to teach the believers how to curb desires and graduate holding the certificate of piety and righteousness.

The term "Curbing Desires" refers to the steering of instincts and desires according to the teachings of Sharia and controlling them by the Muslim.

One who is able to control his/her desires during daytime hours is able to control them for the rest of the day. Fasting is a training course that aims to achieve the meaning of humanity where the wisdom of mind and Sharia prevail over desires and instincts.

Fasting isn`t a form of torture; rather, it is intended to curb human instincts because when a human controls his/her instincts, he/she becomes human, but when they control him/her, he/she descends to the level of animals.

This is to weaken man`s power in order not to go too wild with his/her desires and instincts. Narrated 'Alqama: While I was walking with `Abdullah he said, "We were in the company of the Prophet (PBUH) and he said, 'He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power." {Transmitted by Bukhari}. In other words, fasting diminishes sexual power.

In addition, the Messenger of Allah said: "Fasting is a shield." {Transmitted by Nasa`i}. In other words, fasting screens a Muslim from Hell.

Amongst the objectives of fasting are reducing the desire for food, drink, and women. This is in order not to get attached to the blessings and go astray as a result, but to get attached to the One bestowing them. The only method to curb desire is patience. “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) counted them out in my hand” - or - “in his hand: ‘At-Tasbīḥ is half of the Scale, and “All praise is due to Allah (Al-Ḥamdulillāh)” fills it, and At-Takbīr (Allāhu Akbar) fills what is between the sky and the earth, and fasting is half of patience, and purification is half of faith.” {Transmitted by Tirmithi}. Fasting is half of patience because it entails endurance to perform this act of obedience (Fasting) and not committing sin (Breaking obligatory fasting). What is left is patience at times of calamity. Taking the narration where it was stated that patience is half of the faith, then fasting is quarter of the faith.

Allah wanted to curb our desires because indulgence in desires-even the lawful ones-could cause a person to fall into forbidden desires. Anas b. Malik reported: "The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations." {Transmitted by Muslim}. The desire for food, drink, and enjoying women exists in every man and is allowed throughout the year except during the holy month of Ramadan. This is meant to achieve the following:

First: Teaching a Muslim that desires are a means not an end since food and drink are a means to preserve life and enjoying women is a means to preserve offspring. Accordingly, a Muslim shouldn`t dwell on the means leaving the ends. 

Second: Reminding a Muslim to abstain from lawful things and blessings during the daytime of Ramadan, following the command of Allah in this regard. 

Third: Strengthening the role of self-monitoring because abstaining from food and drink during the daytime of Ramadan, although able to eat and drink in private, makes a Muslim fear none but Allah, and he/she should remain conscious of this for the rest of the year.

Fourth: Hunger and thirst make a Muslim appreciate Allah`s blessings, so he/she shows gratitude when he/she needs them and doesn`t employ them in disobeying Allah. This is because gratitude is not to disobey Allah using His blessings.

Fifth: Fasting makes a Muslim remember his fellow Muslims who are deprived from food and drink or those who can`t afford marriage expenses, so he/she comforts them with supplication, at minimum. And all perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.




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Summarized Fatawaa

A man who was on travel prayed Duhr as four Rakhas upon leaving Tafilah heading to Amman. However, on his way to Amman, he prayed Asir as two Rakhas (Shortened). Is what he did correct from an Islamic perspective?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds. May His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
What he did is correct; he is liable for nothing before Allah The Almighty, since combining and shortening prayers during travel are two separate concessions. Therefore, it is permissible for a traveler to shorten prayer without combining it with another. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

My maternal aunt`s son is living abroad; however, both our families have recited Al-Fatehah declaring our engagement. We have been engaged for three months, but the marriage contract wasn`t concluded because he couldn`t come to Jordan since my mother and brothers are abroad. Is it allowed that he sees my picture without Hijab knowing that the marriage contract will be concluded at the first opportunity?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
Betrothal is a promise to marry, so your betrothed is a stranger to you and isn`t permitted to look at you even through a picture. Once your marriage contract is concluded, you become husband and wife and he can look at you as much as he wants. Moreover, he may deputize his father to carry out the procedures of the marriage on his behalf. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

What is the ruling on a person who isn`t able to fast due to old age, or an incurable disease ?

Paying the ransom is due on such a person, and that is giving a Mod(600 grams) of wheat, or rice, or the price of that amount to a needy Muslim for each missed fasting day.

Is it allowed for me to donate a flat to each of my children except one considering that the tuition fees I paid for the latter`s university study are equal to the price of the flat? In other words, he has received his share and this is why I`m donating a flat to my other children?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
Yes, it is permissible because you want to treat them justly. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.