Yearning for God Through Fasting
“The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast because of his breaking it and the other when he meets his Lord because of the reward for his fast.” – Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
“Now listen to this reed flute’s deep lament
About the heartache being apart has meant:
‘Since from the reedbed they uprooted me
My song’s expressed each human’s agony” – Rumi
For those of us in much of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly here in the UK, this year’s Ramadan has been an arduous one. Nearly the entire day spent without even a sip of water can be a challenge for even the most capable of us. But somehow through the heat, long days and sleepless nights we get through it for an entire month, while our bodies are depleted of their sustenance, our souls are enriched through our spiritual restraints and sincere intentions to obey our Lord and Creator.
At the end of the long day finally comes the relief. In that moment when one breaks their fast, usually with a date or a sip of water, comes that joy and euphoria of relief from what is one of the most basic and simple of foodstuffs. This simple, short and profound moment was likened by the Prophet (ﷺ) to when the believer who fasted returns to his Lord and basks in His divine presence. The body has received it what it desperately yearns for, and it is a reminder of when man will receive what he truly yearns for. The joy of breaking fast is a reflection of the Beatific Vision, a sign from God to remind us of our true destination and the purpose of our journey. Just as He separated Eve from Adam, and made the union of man and woman a waymark to remind us of this long journey, so too does fasting act as a reminder.