The purpose of fasting is to gain Allah’s (swt) Taqwa as is the purpose of any of the worships. But the obligation of fasting deepens in the human soul the meaning of self-observation so that the person leaves his pleasures and desires voluntarily and receptivity; this is because the Muslim’s Tarbiya (discipline) is achieved by the fasting, the behavioral and spiritual discipline, by his abstention from eating, drinking, fornication and obscenity, and by observing his movements, his resting, his thoughts and all his actions. They are all to achieve the meaning of Allah’s Taqwa. Taqwa is to comply with the commands and abstain from the prohibitions and to stop at Allah’s limits and comply with His rulings out of fear and hope as mentioned in the Hadith, «يَدَعُ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ وَشَهْوَتَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي» “He (man) leaves his food and drink and desire for my (Allah) sake” (Agreed upon).
Allah has decreed upon His slaves to fast the blessed month of Ramadhan to achieve the meaning of Taqwa, by conquering the soul, breaking desires and preserving the heart and the limbs, so that the slave gets closer to his Lord, thus seeking his reward and pleasure, as Allah (swt) says: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” [Al-Baqara: 183]
It is regrettable that many of our women miss this great opportunity in the month of Taqwa by wasting their time and killing it between the kitchen and Iftar and suhoor tables until they become trapped inside their kitchen; which steals their night and day and deprives them of the true meaning of this great worship and reaping its fruit, i.e. Taqwa. And perhaps Ramadhan after Ramadhan will pass by the Muslim woman without leaving any effect on her behavior, or rectification of her mistakes and shortcomings towards her Lord. This is due to the size of physical pressures and financial burdens that exhaust and restrict her, and waste her opportunity to increase in Taqwa, in the season of good and times of blessings and spirituality.
The media targeting the Muslim woman, especially in the month of Ramadhan, has played a major role in stealing her time and wasting it completely, rendering this blessed month to become a huge media season that film production companies, satellite channels and the viewers are waiting for. A season that promotes cooking programs and exaggerates in broadcasting them, in addition to the abundance of food advertisement and showing as many desires as they can of meals and dishes and marketing presentations for cutleries and mattresses, and audio and visual pollution and the drowning of women in obscene series that deliberately exaggerate the obscenity and indecency during this blessed month to display all forms of beautification and disintegration and illegal relations and moral corruption. This image is deliberately amplified to link the viewer to it!! So how can a Muslim woman accept for herself what displeases Allah (swt)? How can she waste her chance to revive her relationship with her Lord again and deepen her connection with Him (swt) by imprisoning herself all day long in the kitchen and at night in front of the television?
I do not mean that the Muslim woman abandons her responsibilities as a mother, wife and a housewife and neglects her duties to attain the meaning of Taqwa in Ramadhan. The work of the house and the service of the husband and attention to children in their food and drink are all rules that apply to the Muslim woman, whether in Ramadhan or the rest of the months of the year. She is responsible in her house for those under her care, rather, she must increase in Taqwa during performing her duties, so she is more observant over herself when she serves her husband and takes care of her home and raises her children and cooks and mops and cleans, and seeks the reward from Allah (swt), and watches herself and her work to look after the affairs of her family and adheres to the orders of Allah and abstains from His prohibitions, as is the case in the worship of fasting, and this is what brings her the Taqwa.
As for the individual acts of worship that the Muslim woman do in the month of Ramadhan, if she saves herself the time and energy to recite the Qur’an and and to increase her prayers, charity, supplication and qiyam, then are these actions stemming from the concept of Taqwa she holds and the impact of fasting over the rest of her duties, and does it last after the end of the month of Ramadhan with its spirituality, or does it end when Ramadhan ends?
It is true that Ramadhan is the month of the Qur’an, the month of forgiveness and being freed from the Hellfire. In origin we must seize the opportunity in this blessed month to seek Taqwa and get the provision, which helps us to worship Allah in the rest of the year at the same level of Ramadhan, because Allah (swt) made the worship of fasting in this month a protection for us and training for ourselves so that it becomes the best action in this month, Saeed Bin Al-Museeb said (May Allah have mercy on him) «الْوَرَعُ عَنْ مَحَارِمِ اللهِ» “Taqwa is to fear falling in the prohibitions of Allah”
The month of Ramadan is like a catering station, where we spend a few days to take the spiritual support that deepens our relationship with our Lord and makes us more keen to abide by the rest of the rules, and learn from the worship of fasting the meaning of jihad of the nafs and self-control and to observe our movements and resting times and to fortify our hearts and our limbs in all other worships in the rest of the months of the year. So that we approach every obligatory and voluntarily actions by choice, submission and acceptance of Allah’s law (swt). And the worship of carrying the call and saying the word of truth and to be ruled by the law of our Lord would be at the same level of worship in the month of Ramadhan, by the same insistence, striving, competition, patience and persistence, which we learned from the worship of fasting. And our love for the other obligations that require sacrifice and tests will be like our love of the obligations in the month of good and mercy, and our Iman in Allah and our hope for His victory and His mercy and the truthfulness and His promise in the rest of the worships is as our belief and hope in the blessed Ramadhan.
Our sincerity in our work and our worship and seeking the reward of Allah would be as our sincerity and loyalty in the worship of fasting and is pure for His sake. This is what Allah’s Taqwa mean in every action!
So to every Muslim woman: take advantage of the month of Ramadhan by strengthening yourself and fortifying it to prepare it once again for the rest of the obligations acts, whether heavy or light, so you will be pure, pious, clean, solid, rushing to fulfill all the orders of Allah, and abstaining from His prohibitions. And make Taqwa your provision as it is best of provision. Allah (swt) says:
وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
“And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding” [Al-Baqara: 197].