Rafed English

Inviting Others for Fast-breaking (Iftar) and Acceptance of Their Invitations

One of the most esteemed etiquette of this month is to invite a fast-observer for fast breaking (iftar), whose profoundreward as described by the Holy Prophet [s] in the Sermon of Sha'baniyah, was mentioned earlier. Of course here too like other deeds and worships, what is more important is the sincerity of the deeds, and the one who wishes to perform this act must strive that his aim and intention should be only for Allah's pleasure as well as to follow divine etiquette and manners regarding this month. Has not Allah invited his servants for a feast in this month and Himself taken the responsibility of their reception and hospitality?

Therefore, to be host and to invite others for fast-breaking (iftar) and food at dawn (saheri) are divine acts and etiquette). Allah forbid that one should perform these acts with the intention of hypocrisy, egotism, publicity, and even for the sake of the reward in the hereafter, or should perform these things because of the influence of following local customs and prevailing etiquette of the society. And since, how to give iftar, type of food, how to treat the guests, who should be invited, etc., all are effective as far as the aim and degree of sincerity or hypocrisy of the host are concerned, therefore, while beseeching Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), for help he should be careful and pay attention towards all these details and in their selection nothing should interfere except Allah's pleasure.

Similarly whenever one accepts other's fast-breaking invitation, lest in acceptance of his invitation nothing should interfere except sincerity and Allah's pleasure, and in attainment of this sincerity, one should make his best endeavours, because, quite often it might happen, that by sincere acceptance of a believer's invitation and sincerely sharing the table with a fellow Muslim one may have access to such huge rewards and profits which cannot be achieved by worshipping of several years or deeds.

Because, what is more heavier than everything else in the acceptance of deeds is this very sincerity and cleansing and not the abundance and frequency. Was not it that Satan's thousand years of worship in acceptance of his deed was weightless but one single repentance of Adam [a] with sincerity was responsible in his attaining divine acceptance, and therefore, it is because of this reason that righteous Allah's servants strive their best for attaining sincerity and purity in their deeds, and not for their repetition and abundance.

Adapted from: "Spiritual Journey of the Mystics (Suluk-i Arifan)" by: "Mirza Javad Aqa Maleki Tabrizi"

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