Spiritual Nourishment in Ramadan
August 5, 2010
Stomach growl while fasting? Wish you could eat instead? Consider the following hadith:
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said: “Perhaps a fasting person will get nothing from his fast save hunger, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will get nothing from his standing except sleeplessness.” This is related by an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim. Even though the hadith is mentioned in Ibn Majah’s book of hadith, there may be some question as to the authenticity of this specific hadith though its still something very strong to consider.
Anyways, next time you feel even the slightest bit of hunger coming from your stomach in the middle of the day, tell your stomach to “Bring it!” That’s because you are fasting for the sake of Allah (SWT) alone and nothing can beat that. Once your stomach realizes your intentions are pure, your hunger quickly submerges. It’s food for the soul!
The Prophet (SAW) sometimes used to continuously fast to which he stated, “I am not like anyone of you. During the night, my Lord provides me with food and drink.” Ibn Qayyim broke down this statement into two possible scenarios. The first was that the Prophet (SAW) was literally provided with food and the second was that there was spiritually nourishment. The second opinion seems stronger as Ibn Qayyim goes on to explain it in the following excerpt:
“…and those who have even the slightest bit of experience and longing know how little the body needs much physical nourishment when it is instead provided with the nourishment of the heart and soul, let alone when it comes to the one who is joyous, happy, and victorious because he has reached the One he has sought out, and whose eye is cooled by his Beloved, and feels blessed with His closeness, and is pleased with Him and the bounties and gifts of his Beloved.
And His protection showers him at all times, and his Beloved is constantly tending to his affairs, being as Generous as can be with complete Love towards him – is this not the greatest nourishment for the one who loves his Lord? So, how would it be when love of the Beloved – than Whom nothing is more exalted, and nothing is greater in might, and nothing is greater in beauty, and nothing is more complete, and nothing is greater in kindness – when love of Him fills the heart, and love of him takes over all regions of his heart and limbs, and love of Him is as firmly established as can be?
And this is his condition with the One he loves…
So, is such a person not nourished night and day by his Beloved?”
Reposted from last year.