The Real Purpose of Fasting

Sayyid Abul-A'la Al-Mawdudi

A Purpose For Every Work

There are essentially two component factors in any work which a man has to perform. The first thing is the purpose for which a work is done and the second thing is the particular shape of that work which is chosen to achieve that purpose. For instance, take the case of food your object in taking food is to remain alive and maintain your strength. The method of achieving this object is that you take a morsel, put it in your mouth, masticate it and push it below the throat. This method is adopted by you since it is the most effective and proper one to achieve this object. But everyone of you knows that the main thing is the purpose for which food is taken and not he form and procedure of this action. What will you say if anybody were to make a morsel of saw-dust or cinder or mud, put it in his mouth, chew and gulp it? You will say only this that his brain is out of order. Why? Because this idiot did not understand the real purpose of eating and is suffering form the misunderstanding that only the aforesaid four component acts constitute eating. Likewise, you will call that person also mad who soon after taking the food vomits it by thrusting his fingers into his throat them complains that the benefits said to accrue from taking food have not been availed of by him and that, contrarily, he is daily getting lean and is on the verge of death. This fool blames the food for his growing weakness little realizing that it is due to his own stupidity. He imagined, due to his intellectual deficiency, that life vitality could be got by fulfilling those requirements which constitute the act of eating. As such, he thought why should he sustain the load of food in his stomach?

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