Fasting is migration to real life
Our soul, which is called "nafs" by the Quran, is clad in flesh and bones; the contract made between the soul and the beloved Creator in pre-eternity has been forgotten due to the interest in the world and material things; love, whose real aim is Allah, has tended toward ephemeral beauties, lost its aim and has been lost to a great extent.
“It is never too late to mend.” As the saying indicates, man needs to stop for a while and think in order to remember why he came to this world, determine to what extent he is close to his purpose of creation and turn toward the qiblah. Turning toward the qiblah can be achieved by turning away from other directions; what we mean by other directions is anything that prevents the love of Allah.
The soul that forgets the contract and that closes the door to the effect of the divine spirit blown into it will definitely love things other than Allah; it will prefer the ephemeral one to the eternal one; this is the case for most people.
A strong call and inviter/director is necessary for turning toward the qiblah; this call is adhan/prayer. The most important inviter is the worship of fasting. Fasting means keeping away consciously and voluntarily from what the soul likes, the beauties and pleasures of the world for a certain period of time.
For the sake of Allah!
To give up other loves, connections and habits for the sake of Allah are exercises of finding the qiblah. When these exercises achieve their objectives, love will also achieve its objective; migration will take place; the ephemeral will be loved as much as an ephemeral one deserves and the eternal one will be loved as much as the eternal one deserves.
Our Prophet, who is the Guide of Love, spent most of his days fasting. Since it is not possible for him to turn toward a wrong qiblah and since it is not possible for him to love ephemeral ones, fasting wass not an exercise of finding the qiblah for him, it was the opportunity to continue in the target, to experience love and to be happy in a way peculiar to him. For, Allah states the following in the Quran:
“Say: ‘If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’. / Say: ‘Obey Allah and His Messenger.: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith.’” (Aal-i Imran: 3/31-32)
Th golden rules of loving Allah and being loved by Allah are given in the verses:
1. To love the Messenger of Allahand to follow His way.
2. To obey Allah and His Messenger as a natural consequence of it.
We need to love the Beloved One of Allah more than ourselves.
Allah’s Messenger states the following:
“You will not be regarded to have believed unless you love me more than your family, your wealth and everybody.”
Hz. Umar went to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I love you more than anything and anybody else except my soul.” The Prophet said, "None of you will be regarded to have believed unless he loves me more than his own soul and himself.”
Hz. Umar changed with the effect of this statement, realized that he loved the Prophet more than himself and said,
“I swear by the One who sent you the Book that I love you more than my soul and myself.”
The Prophet said,
“O Umar! It is all right now.”
We read above in the verse that “the guide that will take us to love of Allah isthe Messenger of Allah”. This verse is clear evidence that Allah loves the Prophet. A person cannot attain the love of Allah unless he loves the one that Allah loves and follows his way; for, the soul enters between the consent and instruction of Allah and the believer. Material and sensual desires, excitements, motives and ambitions drag man to the pleasures that are common with other creatures. It is not possible or easy for a believer to resist this natural attraction unless he loves the Messenger of Allah more than himself. Therefore, a believer needs to love the Messenger of Allah more than himself; he can make the Messenger of Allah a guide for his life only thanks to a love like that; and this guide will enable the believer to attain the happiness of the love of Allah (being loved by Allah).
An actual example of a believer loving the Messenger of Allah more than himself is the example of Hz. Talha b. Ubaydullah:
Sa´d b. Abi Waqqas narrates the following as an eye-witness:
“Talha was the one that acted the most generously and self-sacrificingly among us on the Day of Uhud. Although we moved to various directions and left the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) from time to time, he never left the Messenger of Allah. Whenever we returned to check the Messenger of Allah, we saw Talha around the Messenger of Allah using his body as a shield for him. Malik b. Zuhayr, who was one of the best marksmanships of the polytheists, took sight and threw an arrow at the Messenger of Allah. When Talha b. Ubaydullah realized that the arrow was going to hit the Messenger of Allah, he extended his hand toward the arrow. The arrow hit his finger and wounded him. The Prophet said, “He who wants to look at a person of Paradise walking on the earth should look at Talha b. Ubaydullah.”
The last part of the poem called Arzıhal is as follows:
If I find a way in Paradise, I do not want a place at the back
Any place away from the beloved one is a prison for the lover
I am a lover; my paradise is where I rejoin my beloved one
No happiness and no love without my beloved one.
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- Umar bin Khattab (r.a.)
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