‘Practise proper fasting etiquette’

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MUSLIMS across the country were reminded to observe several etiquettes while performing the upcoming Ramadhan fast.

During yesterday’s Friday prayers, imams emphasised that fasting entails not only abstaining from the consumption of food and drinks but also any activity that may spoil the rewards that come with fasting.

They listed out guidelines by Imam al-Ghazali rahimahullah so those fasting may achieve optimum rewards during the month.

They reminded Muslims to guard their bodies and actions from acts that may contain sinful elements.

Their sight should be guarded from viewing anything that is ‘blameworthy’ or reprehensible and detested by religious law. They should also guard their hearing from ‘despicable’ acts such as foul talk, lying, gossiping, criticising and arguing.

“Instead use the tongue to benefit us and to reap rewards in the month of Ramadhan by increasing our dikir (remembrance of Allah), supplications and recitation of Quran,” urged the imams.

Other body parts, such as the hands and legs, must be guarded from ‘reprehensible deeds’ and the stomach from consuming doubtful or haram food and drinks.

Muslims were also reminded to abstain from overeating when breaking their fast.

“Performing the fardhu prayer is wajib (compulsory/obligatory) and it is sinful to deliberately neglect or delay its performance until the time for it is over,” cautioned the imams who then suggested for Muslims to break their fast with something light before performing their prayers.

“(Service) providers, on the other hand, should prepare a room or special place where the customers may perform the prayer at its time,” they added.

Imams also reminded the congregants on the benefits of the Sunnah Tarawih prayers that are performed during Ramadhan as it is an “emphasised, supererogatory prayer”.

They recited a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad SAW as narrated by Imam al-Bukhari, which reads, “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadhan in prayer out of faith and in hope of His ridha, will be forgiven his previous sins.”

Besides observing their own fast, those with children should also involve their children in the pre-dawn meal and the benefits of fasting.

“It is already a norm to see parents getting their children to fast so as to train them. It is important that we also teach them about the merits, the blessings and the rewards that they may obtain from fasting and we should invite them to fast gently and with wisdom,” they said.

The Brunei Times