MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA—President of Muhammadiyah Haedar Nashir stated that fasting is a process of forming piety that ideally generates the highest and noblest spiritual values . Fasting should not only be an annual worship, but should also significantly become self quality improvement of Muslims. Haedar, then, elaborated several important points of the spiritual values of fasting.
First, fasting is a momentum to get closer to Allah. Fasting, as part of the mahdlah worship, is an activity that can only be done for Allah. Being obedient and submissive to Allah by performing fasting is a step to be a good human being who refrains themselves from doings bad deeds forbidden by the religion such as risywah, namimah, and madzmumah.
“A person who is close to Allah will not deviate, corrupt, and perform bad deeds although they have an opportunity to do. Fasting leads to the highest spiritual movement that every Muslim will be able to live their life mindfully,” said Haedar on Tuesday (21/03).
Second, fasting is a moment to cultivate noble character. Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad to perfect human character. Fasting is one way to shape it. People who fast sincerely will submit their entire soul to Allah. They will always spread messages of goodness and have behavior that upholds ethical and moral values.
“Fasting is a means of self-restraint, so we do not become excessive individuals because fasting teaches us to learn not to be excessive. A luxurious lifestyle is contrary to the habits and virtues of fasting and religious teachings as a whole,” said Haedar.
Third, fasting is a moment to maintain unity and brotherhood. People who fast are good at controlling themselves, especially from anger and hatred. All forms of dispute and hostility will be avoided. Even if significant differences of opinion occur, those who fast will always love peace and brotherhood. Within people who fast, there is no place for anger and conflict instigators.
“Fasting teaches us to live in peace, in harmony, and as brothers and sisters. Fasting should create a national social movement that makes Muslims a binding force for the nation and a bringer of peace that prevents conflict,” said Haedar.
Fourth, fasting is a moment to live with tolerance. Differences in determining dates of Islamic holidays, for example, should not be a mockery. “Fasting should make people practice tolerance and lead to unity. With tolerance, we live in mutual respect. Therefore, scholars, ulama, preachers, and everyone should become more mature and tolerant when encountering differences,” mentioned Haedar.
Haedar hoped that with Ramadan will generate noble and outstanding individuals who are closer to Allah, accustomed to practicing noble character, always maintaining unity and brotherhood, and building a life that is full of tolerance amid differences.