One of the verses of the Qur’an we hear all the time in the context of fasting is this one:
Translation: O you who believe! Allah prescribed fasting upon you, as it He prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwa (piety, God-consciousness). [Al-Baqarah, 2:183]
Those last two words summarize the entire purpose of fasting: to attain taqwa.
We hear about taqwa all the time, this beautiful concept of being conscious of God (or being “God-fearing”). But what does it really mean? How can we apply it to our daily lives, and how do we earn it through fasting?
The answer is this–something we’ve all experienced at one time or another during our fast. We say things like “I won’t argue with you, I’m fasting.” “Oops, I can’t lie, I’m fasting.” “Wait, I can’t do that, I’m fasting.” Sometimes it happens deliberately–we acquire a sensitivity to things we can and cannot do. We can’t eat. We can’t drink. We can’t lie. We can’t backbite. We can’t argue. We can’t do so many things!
And that’s taqwa! To be conscious of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), to remember Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) at all times and in all things, and to perform that which He perscribed and likes and to avoid that which He hates and prohibits.
In Ramadaan, we suddenly experience a “taqwa rush”, as we grapple with the task of fasting one month straight. Some of us struggle. Yet we do it.
Our goal is to maintain and nurture that taqwa, and to cling to it outside of Ramadan as well as inside.
May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) grant us all increased taqwa and help us to benefit from this great and blessed month, ameen!