Ramadan 11: The Fast of the Ear

What we hear will have to be accounted for on the Day of Judgement. Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, tells us in the Qur’an:

“Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned by Allah” (Surah Al-Isra:36)

The righteous people are those who listen carefully to what is said of guidance and follow it. There will be regret for those turned away from hearing the guidance and closed their eyes from the voice of truth.

The ear in Ramadan fasts from listening to obscenities, music and all forms of lewd material. The ears of the righteous abstain from things at all other times as well. Those who are heedless to the ills of these things are described by Allah as follows:

“They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.” (Surah Al-A’raf:179)

They have ears, but they do not listen and ponder over advice. They are like cattle, with no remembrance and no reflection. Among them are those who fill their hearing with forbidden sounds and sinful words. They forbid their ears to listen to the Noble Qur’an.

Yet it is the Qur’an which bears the fruit of faith, guidance, light and prosperity. It fills the heart with wisdom, tranquility, intimacy and contentment. It is a source of protection from dangerous, deviant and sinful thoughts. Thus the power of the ears lies in remembrance, beneficial knowledge, good advice, good manners and righteous speech. Allah praises those who perfect their listening to the Qur’an:

And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah:83)

These are those who take the greatest benefit from the Qur’an. Their ears listen to what it tells them, their hearts are moved by the guidance and they act in obedience to its commands. The ears of those who fast from other things are tuned in to what is beautiful, whilst the ears of the foolish are trained to hear falsehood. Allah describes the two groups thus:

“And whenever there comes down a Surah some of them say: ‘Which of you has had his faith increased by it?’ As for those who believe, it had increased their Faith, and they rejoice. But as for those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubt, disbelief and hypocrisy), it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while they are disbelievers” (Surah A-Taubah:125)

Listening to the truth increases the heart in steadfastness. It is, therefore, the duty of every Muslim to praise Allah for the blessing of hearing and to use it to gain the pleasure of Allah. Towards this end, the Muslim must engage more in reading the Qur’an, studying it and attending lectures to advance their wisdom. We should also ensure that we turn away from hearing all that is frivolous, as Allah advises us:

“And when they hear Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil talk) they withdraw from it and say: ‘To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.” (Surah Al-Qasas:55)

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