The term fasting in Arabic is called “as-Shiyaam” or “as-Shaum” which means “to hold back”. Meanwhile, according to what was stated by Sheikh Al-Imam Al-‘Alim Al-Allamah Syamsuddin Abu Abdillah Muhammad bin Qasim Asy-Syafi’i in his book “Fathul Qarib” that fasting is to refrain from everything that invalidates the fast with a certain intention in all or every -every day that can be made fasting by healthy Muslims, and pure from menstruation and childbirth.
Allah says in QS al-Baqarah, 183: “O you who believe, it is obligatory upon you to fast as it has been prescribed to the people before you so that you may become pious”. (Surat al-Baqarah, 183). This verse is the shariah basis for fasting in Ramadan. The verse contains Allah’s call to believers to fast.
After we know the meaning and law of fasting in Ramadan, we must also know the Levels of Fasting, Quoting Imam Al-Ghazali’s message in the book of Ihya Ulumuddin Fasting has three levels. Namely fasting for ordinary people, fasting for special people, and fasting for special people.
Imam Ghazali in his book Ihya Ulumuddin explains the stages of fasting. General shaumul, special shaumul, and special special shaumul. These three are like the steps of the ladder that draw the fasting person in order to reach a special level.
First, the fasting of the common people
The first level of fasting is known as the general shaumul or the fasting of the common people. This level of fasting is what most people are used to or has become a common habit. It’s mediocre, or maybe if it’s scored it’s just good, not very good, let alone excellent.
The practice of fasting at this level is limited to holding back thirst and hunger as well as other things that invalidate fasting according to the Shari’a.
Second, fasting for special people
The second is called shaumul khushus or fasting for special people. The value level is very good. They fast more than just to endure thirst, hunger and things that invalidate.
But they also fast to keep their hearing, sight, tongue, hands, feet and all limbs from committing sins and immorality. His mouth not only refrained from chewing, but also refrained from gossiping, gossiping, let alone slandering.
In this day and age, this might include holding his fingers in order not to spread fake news or hoaxes.
Third, Fasting Super-Special People
This is the highest level according to Imam Al-Ghazali’s classification, called shaumul khushusil khushus. This is the practice of fasting for special people, excelent.
They not only refrain from immorality, but also hold their hearts from doubts about the things of the hereafter. Holding his mind from worldly problems, and keeping himself from thinking about other than Allah.
The standard of breaking their fast for them is very high, that is, if they think about other than Allah in their hearts and minds, such as tending to think about worldly wealth and wealth.
In fact, according to this third group, fasting can be reduced in value and even considered invalid if in the heart there is a hint of doubt, even if only a little, over the power of Allah.
Fasting in the third level category is the fasting of the prophets, shiddiqin and muqarrabin, while at the second level is the fasting of pious people.
So, where have we been fasting so far?
Imam Al-Ghazali’s efforts to classify fasting people into these three levels are none other than the aim is that those of us who fast every year in Ramadan can climb a higher ladder in the quality of their fasts.