Fasting during the month of Ramadan is compulsory upon all healthy Muslims. That is, all who have recognized, understood and accepted the reality of Islam. It is not compulsory upon those who have not recognized, understood and accepted Islam!
It is not compulsory upon the Jews and Christians… They may not fast… For, fasting is a practice that is obligatory upon those who know and understand Allah and Islam!
But what is fasting?
How many types of fasting are there?
There is a form of fasting pertaining to the common, a form that pertains to the “hawass” (the intimates), and to the “Muqarrab” or the “Hassul hawass” (the intimates of intimates)!
As I have explained in The Human Enigma fasting that pertains to the common entails the minimization of brain energy that is usually dispersed in consuming, digesting and distributing nutrition.
There are two types of energy that enters the body. The first is via the food we consume. The electrical potential of the world is mainly negative. Hence the energy that enters the body through the things we eat and drink are generally charged with negative energy! On the other hand, the energy that enters the body through the oxygen we breath in is positive.
These negative and positive energies are processed in the brain and uploaded to the wave-body called the 'spirit’. This is how we shape, develop and strengthen our after-life body!
According to my understanding…
Fasting for at least one month in a year has been made compulsory in order to increase the positive energy and minimize the negative energy upload to the spirit!
Fasting begins at dawn, when the night gives way to daylight! Until this time one may eat and drink as usual. The time to break fast is at sunset, when the red light of the sun disappears from the horizon!
The clock wasn’t invented neither at the time of the Rasul (saw) nor for a very long time after. Making punctual declarations about the exact minute fasting begins or can be broken is therefore unfounded.
Same applies to the times of salat!
Suppose it is time to pray the afternoon salat (dhuhur). Observe the position of the sun in whatever location you may be, when it’s at its highest point in the sky you may stand to prayer… Or the evening salat (maghrib)… Watch for the sun to disappear form the horizon then pray maghrib or break your fast…
To claim the time for maghrib is 18:32 is a superficial approach and is a total fabrication! A few minutes earlier or later does not make any difference!
This type of shallow approach reduces religion to superficial, materialistic values and obstructs the experience of the inner, deeper values!
Now let us have a look at the divine wisdom and profundity behind fasting from a different perspective…
Why weren’t we advised to begin fasting at sunset and break it at sunrise?
The brain expends a lot of energy to digest the food we eat throughout the day. We fast during the day in order to minimize and preserve this energy so that it can be uploaded to the spirit. This is imperative to the survival of the spirit when in the future the parasitic radiation from the Sun begins to deform and harm it…
The foremost limitation during fasting is eating, drinking, and sexual activity! When we eat and drink, raw material enters the body! As for sexual activity, electrical discharge takes place. In other words, in both cases the brain and body lose energy!
Hence the priority and main purpose behind fasting is to prevent this energy loss. When this is prevented the powerful potential of the brain can become even stronger during ‘fasting’ and be uploaded to the spirit.
There is a significant difference between the spiritual practices done by one who is fasting as opposed to someone who is not fasting. While one is uploading at 50% capacity the other is uploading at 100% capacity!
There is a Qudsi Hadith regarding fasting:
“Every good deed performed by the son of Adam is a credit for him but fasting is exclusively Mine and I give reward for it.”
The credit of all other good deeds is ten credits per one good deed. But the credit and rewards of fasting is unknown, its benefits are beyond fathomable!
The hardest part of fasting during Ramadan is the first two days… Because the brain is programmed to receive certain foods at certain times usually sugar levels drop on the first day causing headaches or migraine… But two days later the body adapts, headaches disappear and it becomes much easier to continue fasting for the rest of the month… This is the physical benefit of fasting.
Fasting was practiced in different forms by different Nabis before Muhammad (saw).
Fasting is not just an act of ceasing food and sexual activity however... There is another much important point to fasting…
To discern “fasting for Allah” means to stop gossiping, backbiting, and deceiving others for personal gain! Beyond the bodily benefits of fasting, the most important aspect of fasting in terms of the inner dynamics is this!
Someone who was gossiping while fasting was told:
“You’re eating meat while your fasting!
Because the Quran likens the act of gossiping to “eating the flesh of your deceased brother.” So, when one who is fasting talks about others, whether it be their friend or foe, it is no different than eating dead meat!
Gossiping includes all statements made about someone, which if they were to hear, would upset them. Claim to be fasting all you like, the instant you say something about someone which would upset them if they heard, you’ve eaten raw dead meat. I’m not talking about a juicy steak my friend! Raw, dead meat! What kind of benefit can you reap from that kind of fasting?
This is the aspect of fasting pertaining to the common…
As for the aspect concerning the hawass…
The fasting of the hawass entails the recognition of the Absolute ONE who is the Absolute Administrator of existence and ceasing all perception of duality!
When the hawass fast they not only cease food consumption, they refrain from seeing anything other than Allah! When they encounter someone engaged in an activity, if they attribute that activity to the person, their fast will be broken! This is how sensitive it is, but this pertains only to the hawass, not us…
This kind of fasting concerns the hawass, or the intimates of the reality who aspire to reach Allah, who are at the levels of the Inspired and Peaceful Self… The instant they think badly of or judge someone who displays what seems to be an unpleasant behavior their fasting becomes invalid and must be compensated!
Additionally, every person or event they encounter, they must preserve their non-dual perception and recognize that “The real doer behind all doers is Allah and every deed done by Allah is appropriate and based on divine wisdom” without feeling disturbed or upset by the situation.
If they feel upset and angry or think of it as inappropriate, then they must compensate for that fast. I repeat however, this is only applicable to the hawass, not us…
The Real Doer is Allah and Allah does as He wills. None can question His doings! This is the principle upon which the hawass base their fasting… The instant they digress from this their fasti becomes invalid!
As for the fasting of the hassul hawass… This level of fasting entails refraining from all humanly processes! They fast from seeing creation! The attribute of “Samadiyyah” manifests through their act of fasting!
But this is impossible to explain and may only be known through experience!