A month of self-purification

Believers across the world are through their second day of fasting and this thirty days of fasting and practising abstinence from all evil thoughts, words and actions is nothing but a training session for putting in practice these virtues in the rest of the year.
“Allah doesn’t need anyone starving unless there’s a purpose, a reason and a trial in it. Similarly, thirty days of total deterrence from foods and drinks, and all material pleasures, and brightening your nights with special prayers and seeking spiritual excellence from Allah Almighty is a phase in a 12-month cycle that seeks to purify His dearest creations — human beings,” Qari Mohammed Yousuf reminded the believers in his Friday sermon.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “When the month of Ramadhan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Imam Bukhari)
Fasting is not just keeping away from your favourite foods and starving alone, it is also a fasting of your mind by keeping away from evil talks and actions. And to achieve this, one should start working on their minds which are the houses of evil deeds.
Islam teaches the believers to validate their sources, and not engage in conjecture. Repeatedly in the Holy Quran, the Muslims are warned about the sins of the tongue.
These are valid in the era of technological explosion and growth of social media, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and the like.
“Do not concern yourself with things about which you have no knowledge. Verily, your hearing, sight, and heart — all of them will be called to account” (Quran 17:36). This is highly applicable to the modern day chaos of social media where any unfound news find their own place.
It further says, “Why do not the believing men and women, whenever such [a rumour] is heard, think the best of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”? When you take it up with your tongues, uttering with your mouths something of which you have no knowledge, you deem it a light matter. Whereas in the sight of God it is an awful thing!” (Quran 24: 12-15).
According to Abu Huraira (R.A), the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “whoever fasts during Ramadhan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Imam Bukhari).
In stark contrast to to what most of us believed the month as a time to eat and drink, scholars advocate that those who are over-indulging in material matters such as food and other pleasures, their day-long fast would be subjected to severe scrutiny in front of the Almighty.
Allah says: “Eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” [Sûrah al-A`râf: 31]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The child of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach. Sufficient for the child of Adam are a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air.”
A true believer cannot neglect the repercussions of overindulgence in food and drink has for our religious and worldly lives. These consequences go far above and beyond what we can imagine. Overeating dulls the intellect and impairs our thought processes. It leads to indolence. It also hardens our hearts and ignites our basest passions and desires, giving Satan a chance to take over.
Scholars also say the holy month is not to be wasted in the malls, beaches and parks and eat what all you want to through the night, instead, to spend more time to get in closer touch with Almighty and to seek eternal peace and prosperity.