Shaykh ibn ‘Arabi (q.s.): Fasting is Negation

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

As Shaykh ibn ‘Arabi (q.s.) wrote, in his Futuhat al-Makiyyah, in reality, fasting is non-action, not action.  The negation of likeness is a negative attribute.  Therefore, the relationship between it and Allah (s.w.t.) is strengthened.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says about Himself:

… there is nothing whatever like unto Him ... (Surah ash-Shura’:11)

He denied that there is anything like Him and so there is nothing like Him by logical proofs and by the shari’ah.  Imam an-Nasa’i (r.a.) related that Abu Umamah (r.a.) said, “I came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and asked, ‘Give me something that I can take from you.’

He replied, ‘You must fast.  There is nothing like it.’”  He denied that it was like any of the acts of worship which are prescribed for the servants of Allah (s.w.t.).

Anyone who recognises that it is a negative attribute, since it consists of abandoning things which break it, knows absolutely that there is nothing like it since it has no source which is described by understood existence.  This is why Allah (s.w.t.) Said, “The fast is Mine.” In reality, it is neither worship nor action.  It is permissible to apply the name ‘action’ to it, as the application of the expression ‘existent’ can be applied to Allah (s.w.t.).  We understand that it is Allowed although the ascription of existence to He Whose Existence is the same as His Essence is not like the ascription of existence to us.


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