Fasting – With the Seven Organs
by : Professor Jan Ali Kazmi
One of the most important practices, which help to make the willpower strong, is the act of fasting, and there are many types of fasting.
Fasting - Stomach
To strengthen the willpower a man can begin from the fasting of the stomach, to check if he is in control of his appetite or is he a slave of his eating habits. A man can begin by avoiding food for fifteen hours, and then he can gradually practice it further. First he can fast for three continuous days then for ten and so on, but all this should not be at the expense of ones health. The practice of fasting should be undertaken only when a man is healthy because the willpower gets weak if the body is not healthy. Then gradually if a man practice the act of fasting for one full month then this can help to make his willpower strong.
Fasting - Eyes
There are seven parts of the body. After the stomach a man can take up the fasting from the eyes. This means that a man should avoid acts such as casting (throwing) a lustfully see other woman, and to avoid looking at things which are forbidden, and in this way he can judge whether his eyes are under his control or not. And if his eyes are not in his control then it proves that his willpower is not strong enough.
Fasting of the Ears
Next a man can fast from his ear, in this he should avoid hearing forbidden things like music, backbiting unkind remark behind the person) or slandering (defame), and test himself if he is free from the slavery of these trivial things or is a slave to them.
Fasting - Hands
In the same manner a man can fast from the hand, and keep a check that his hands would not steal or rob, would not beat anyone purposelessly (not intentionally), and would not commit any wrong act.
Fasting - Feet
Then a man should undertake fasting from the feet, and take care that his feet would not tread towards the forbidden and sinful acts.
Fasting - Tongue
Moreover after this the most difficult fasting is that of the tongue. Here a man can begin by avoiding talking with any one for twenty-four hours but teaching and guiding is not prevented; this is to check if his will power is strong enough to control his tongue. Fasting from the tongue is difficult but it helps to strengthen both the human reason and willpower. Then he can prolong (make longer) this act by avoiding any speech for three days and gradually increase it to forty days. But if it a question of saving someone’s life or instructing others then a man can talk while he is fasting because these are themselves acts of goodness.
The willpower of a man is greatly strengthened by this practice of fasting of the seven parts of the body. Moreover if these acts of fasting become ones habit then a man has the strength to perform many difficult acts with ease.
Remember God during Fasting
The ideal situation in the act of fasting is that along with fasting a man should continuously remember God. Because if a man fasts and keeps on remembering his God then a connection is developed between man and the unseen world and also a relationship is developed between man and the Lord of the invisible world. In this way man is guided and assisted by God in all his confusions and problems. And many realities of the world especially those related to ones own existence open before a man.
Now what does remembering of God mean? Remembering God means to converse with God, to share ones difficulties and problems with God and to seek help from God.
The remembrance of God along with the practice of fasting is necessary because a man can be found in two a condition for example, either he is negligent of God or remembrance of God. A man commits sin when he is negligent of God or His knowledge.
God is ever watchful over our act and deeds what ever we do and wherever we do, God is well aware of it, and we cannot hide from God even for a single moment. But because he is also the most Merciful so He does not punish us instantly and provide us with thousands of chances to repent and seek forgiveness. At the same time a man should not forget that forgiveness is possible only till a man is living.
Thus the remembrance of God makes a man modest; it strengthens the resolve and saves man from sin. Similarly there are other advantages of the remembrance of God, for instance if a man shares his problems and difficulties with God then he will be relieved of all his mental burden and torments (suffering) and he will feel no need to visit a psychiatrist, or to take intoxication drugs. This is because one half of man consists of the body and it requires food and drink for its survival while the other half of a man is the soul and the soul requires prayers, worship and communication with God for its survival.
There are many hidden forces in man. These forces when brought into practice can perform great deeds of excellence like making the impossible possible or performing miracles and getting to know the unseen and the unknown world.
This light remains hidden in a man, and those who have a weak willpower cannot attain this excellence, and they spent a life very similar to that of animals, which like the animals eat, drink, bear children and die.
But people who interlock (join) themselves to God by making their willpower strong attain this eternal light. Just like a bulb which can be illuminated once it is connected with the switch through electricity, in the same way many lights remain hidden in a man, which become obvious when a man relate and unite himself with God.
Thus there are many advantages of the fasting from the seven parts of the body. The final practice of fasting includes the control of the human thought, and if a man succeeds in this practice then his willpower is strengthened to a great extent. To exercise this type of control is the most difficult of all but it is equally fruitful. The human thought is like a bird, which hovers at different places and does not remain fixed to one place. But if a man is able to control his thought then all the doors to the hidden world gradually open before him.
But how can a man control his thoughts? This can be done by repeating certain practices, for example, a man can fasten his attention towards God for one minute and repeat without interruption (disturbance) and with full concentration, “O God forgive me and guide me to the right path” and then repeat “O God forgive me and guide me to the right path”, and if in this one minute no worldly thought of the school, the market the dress etc, hinders his concentration then this is a great success. Then a man can repeat this act for two minutes and then for five and fifteen minutes and if he is successful in this then it is a great achievement. It is possible that it might take some people a long time to attain this type of concentration but this is one of the best ways to make the will power strong and resolute.
Then when this remembrance become a habit a man can continue it at all his work places, and enjoy the immense pleasure of unity with his Lord, a pleasure which surpasses (exceeds) all the pleasures of the world and illuminates the human thought and mind both in the world and the hereafter.
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