Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi rehmatullah alayh says,
“Some people increase their bad deeds in this month (Ramadhaan). This is perhaps due to unawareness, or due to deficient understanding, or perhaps they know it yet do not practice caution. This is indeed a very strange matter that in this month, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has even prohibited those things which were permissible in normal months. Isn’t this an indication that those actions which were already impermissible are now prohibited to a greater degree?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala even mentioned the reason for these fasts “لعلكم تتقون”, that is you fast so that you become more Muttaqi. Now anyone and everyone can judge themselves whether their state outside Ramadhaan is any different from their state in Ramadhaan. Have we secured ourselves from prohibited glances? Have we left aside backbiting? If we have not, then both the conditions are same, without any change. (i.e no progress)
As for the food, the timings have been changed for that as well, although the quantity has not been changed. It is as though the Shariah came to decrease the bad deeds in the person, but the person does not take heed. Some Ulama have even gone ahead and said to reduce the level of food intake as well, in comparison to Sha’baan. However, they did not specify how much should one reduce. Whatever one used to eat in Sha’baan, he should reduce it in Ramadhaan. Some (pious predecessors) even fasted with only the amount of La-Yamut (enough to survive death). They saw some difference within themselves only through such measures. (They say that) we ate nicely all the time, so let us at least give one month for the worship. In effect, these people also reduced in their food. However, this is only for the selected few (who have reached such levels). Everyone cannot comply with such level (of hardship), but the least one can do is leave out the disobedience (to the creator by doing bad deeds).
Eating food is still within the ambit of ibaha (permissibility) (one may eat more or less since both are permissible), but the disobedience does not even cherish that status (i.e it is haraam). In spite of this we continue to be engrossed in disobedience throughout the day, and some even increase in their disobedience (in this month). Lets take an example, whether we pray our Salaatul Fajr at its proper time or not? It has become our habit to delay this Morning Prayer. Many are such that they often pray Qadhaa (makeup), while those who although do not delay it to the time of Qadhaa, still delay it so much that they do not get the Jama’ah (congregation). Yet, they remain content that “at least we are fasting”. How strange it is that one loses his Salaatul Fajr! How will a fast compensate for that? *
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has increase so much in his mercy (in these days of Ramadhaan) that He promises ten times the reward for single deed, yet we do so many bad deeds that despite the rewards being in multiples, our bad deeds overshadow our rewards! The ideal ought to have been that we excel in the rewards over our sins. Leave that as it may, it would have even sufficed that our sins were equal to the rewards, because then they would (at least) necessitate “سبقت رحمتى على غضبى” (My mercy supersedes my anger).
(In our current state) despite having multiple rewards, our good deeds do not supersede our sins; so, what will be the end result? The limit is such that even if one cannot refrain from disobedience throughout the life, then at least one should desist from bad deeds in the month of Ramadhaan.
It is known from experience that the affects of worship remains for eleven months after the act. Anyone who strives and does a good deed in Ramadhaan, will then gain the ability to it even after the month has passed. Similarly, one who desists from something haram in this month then he will gain the ability over refraining from it even after the month has passed. Moreover, it is not really that hard to desist from doing a sin because it is established that the Shayateen (evil jinns) are chained in this month. Thus the disobedience will lessen automatically.
The motivator (i.e the Shayateen) being chained does not necessitate that the disobedience will completely fade away, since the other motivator (i.e the Nafs) is still free. In this month Nafs will motivate one towards disobedience, although with lesser force since it is alone. Hence in this endeavor one can bare a month worth of struggle and try to avoid the sins of each and every organ.
Khutbaat Hakeemul Ummat – vol. 16 pg. 18-19
* The two worships are of two different categories. One cannot compensate for the other. It is a general misconception that if one is fasting then this act of fasting will compensate for ones lack in other facets of deen. Some even go to the extent and avoid fasting all together saying “Since we don’t pray or desist from vulgar language, we ought not to fast and ridicule fasting” Subhanallah! What deductive logic is this which prevents a person from doing good deeds, and not just any good deed rather one which is an obligatory in sight of Shariah? The example of this is like one who has a habit of wasting food. If he was to use such deductive logic and decide that he will stop eating or drinking altogether just so that he does not ridicule the food being wasted, would anyone consider him a sane person. The two are completely different obligations; eating being one and not wasting being another. One cannot compensate for the other. This is nothing but a ploy of ones nafs, seeking ways to ease ones worldly life.