يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
"O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves. (2:183)
To attain greater cleanliness, the second step is to try to be clean from sins: we must guard our eyes, our tongue, our ears, our hands, our feet and all the parts of our body from wrongdoing. We must tell ourself, " O my tongue! Just as you are keeping yourself from tasting food and drink, yet still you must be careful. Don't say anything that is prohibited."
That second step--to clean ourselves from all prohibited actions and sins makes us physically and spiritually lighter; we may move toward higher spiritual stations. Yet it is not enough.
The third step is for hearts: you must attend to your heart. Allah Almighty is telling us: "your heart belongs to Me." Among the Children of Adam, every part of the body belongs to him but one. "Your heart belongs to Me, not to anyone else," He says, "Therefore I am asking that it be clean, absolutely clean."1
How can it be clean? Everything except Allah Almighty and His Pleasure must be put out of your heart. Every time you are by yourself, we can look into our heart to see if we are with our Lord or with someone or something else. Whenever we examine our heart and find ourself with our Lord, Almighty Allah, we must deem ourself fortunate. At that time divine light will enter our heart, and we may reach the true pleasure of faith.
The Prophet (s) said, "The lustful glance is one of the poison arrows of Satan. He who because of pity abstains therefrom will receive from Allah a belief, the sweetness of which will fill his heart."
Thus it is important for every believer to control his or her every action. Without guarding our actions we are destined to lose. And every action begins with a thought. Satan is well-aware of the nature of mankind. In every kind of thought he has put some of his tricks.
Whoever is able to control his thoughts, may be safe from Satan’s promptings; but whoever is unable to control them will have his mind filled with evil ideas and falsehood.
Whoever is under Satan’s control cannot be an obedient servant to his Lord.
As Muslims and believers this must be our first concern--to control ourselves. If we find any of Satan’s control affecting ourself, in either actions or thoughts, we must strive to make them clean.
The one who is able to control himself during Ramadan is going to be able, with Allah Almighty’s support, to take control of himself for the other eleven months. Everything begins small and grows, good things and bad things, good habits and bad habits; for each one we have a beginning. And the beginning is difficult, but you must be patient and continue; if you know that something is right, you must continue to keep on that way, even though it may be so difficult. Difficulties may be overcome by a strong faith and strong faith is with those people who are able to control themselves. Therefore make a firm and continuous intention to increased devotion, not only for for this holy month, Ramadan, but make it continuous always.
So the 4 main points are: "Focus (on self/Nafs), Reflect on Intentions (behind actions), Control (of Nafs/actions), Cleanliness (getting rid of sins, flaws, the illness of your heart)!"