By Asma bint Shameem

Soon insha Allaah, a unique, a generous and a honorable guest is going to knock at our door….a guest that visits us once a year and brings with it blessings and happiness. A guest that brings with it the wide Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah. A guest that brings with it the smell of Paradise….

That special guest, of course, is Ramadaan.
Ramadaan is the month of the Qur'an, the month of Mercy, the month of Forgiveness, the month of making dua and prayer at night, of Iftaar and Suhoor.And, insha Allaah most of us are going to be fasting. However, it is HOW we will be fasting that is of utmost importance. 

Some of us will be fasting by staying away from food, drink and passion….but, alas, it will be just that and no more…..
Because they will not keep their hands from committing evil and their tongues from committing evil and their eyes and ears from committing evil.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, Allaah has no need of his giving up his food and drink." (Bukhaari)
And the Prophet (pbuh) also said: "It may be that the fasting person gets nothing from his fast apart from hunger, and it may be that the one who prays qiyaam at night may get nothing from his qiyaam but a sleepless night." (Ibn Maajah)

 And some of us will be fasting, not only staying away from food drink, etc., but also watching our ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet and keeping them away from sin. And this is definitely better than the first kind of fasting. 

And then there is the third and best kind of fasting….the kind of fasting that Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala will be pleased with…..the kind of fasting we ALL should aim for and strive for….THAT IS THE FASTING OF THE HEART 

The fasting of the heart is done by emptying it of all evil, all corruption.
It means getting rid, from our hearts, all forms of shirk, bid'ah, false beliefs, evil suggestions, filthy intentions and immoral thoughts.
In fact, the fasting heart is only filled with the love of Allah and the desire to please Him.
Its intention is pure, only for the sake of Allaah, Rabb-ul Aalameen.
It corrects its Aqeedah and rejects all doubts and false forms of worship.
It stays away from greed, envy, rancor and pride.
It stays away from argumentation, gossip and gheebah.
It rejects stinginess and extravagance.

It places complete trust in Allaah, full of patience and serenity.
It doesn't hold any grudges.
It readily forgives anyone and everyone, no matter how much harm or grief they caused it. 

It is conscious of Allaah throughout the day and night, doing its utmost to do good deeds and staying away from all that is haraam…..aware of every thought that crosses his mind, every word that he utters, every action that he commits, lest it be displeasing to the Almighty. 

The fasting heart is generous and kind…..eager to give in the path of Allaah, not only the obligatory Zakaah, but extra acts of charity, with the intention of pleasing Allaah alone, hoping for a reward from Him. 

Its day is spent in complete obedience to Allaah and its night in humble prayer.
At the time of Iftaar, it is overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord, Almighty for providing him with such abundant food, such immense blessings.. 

When it recites the Qur'aan, it is completely softened and totally overcome by the Power of the Words of the Almighty….understanding them, contemplating over them, determined to implement them in his life. 

When the fasting heart stands in front of Allaah, it stands with utmost humility, eyes downcast, trembling with modesty, submitting completely to His Will….
It spontaneously exclaims…..
Yaa Allaah, I will no longer be a slave to MY whims and desires…. they don't count anymore ….my will is nothing. I submit to ONLY what YOU order me to do. 

As it stands for prayer, it does so, full of love for the Almighty….full of awe and Khushoo'.…full of fear of His Wrath….and yet, full of hope for His Mercy. 

As it listens to the recitation of the Qur'aan in Taraweeh, tears overflow from it…. uncontrollable tears of repentance….tears of regret and remorse….for all its previous deeds….all its previous sins….all its previous mistakes.
It cries out…...
Yaa Allaah, You are the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful……forgive me!
I regret all my prior mistakes! I repent to you and I return to you!
It vows to do its utmost best from now on…..It promises Allaah to obey Him to the best of his ability, resolving to stay away from sin….determined to set his life aright. 

O Brothers and Sisters in Islaam,
Are there any hearts out there that are willing to fast like that……??? 

The heart of the believer fasts during Ramadan and outside of Ramadan.
It is from the immense mercy of Allah upon us that He made us Muslims and believers and that He extended our lives till we reached this Ramadan.
It is reported that the Sahabah used to pray to Allah during the six months before Ramadan to extend their lives so that they can fast Ramadan, and in the 6 months after Ramadan they would ask Allah to accept their fasting of Ramadan.
So take this great opportunity that Allaah, the Most Merciful has provided you with.
Make the most of it and don't let it pass you by.