Category Archives: Wisdom behind Fasting

◦Some of the Merits of Ramadaan – ‘Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan

 

 

Some of the Merits of Ramadaan

‘Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 27-29)
Al-Ibaanah.com

 

Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

 

“Every deed of the Son of Aadam will be rewarded ten to seven hundred times its worth. Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, said: ‘Except for the fast, for indeed it is for Me, and I will reward it. He leaves off his desires and his food for My sake. There are two times of joy for the one fasting. The time of joy when he breaks his fast and the time of joy when he meets His lord. And the scent coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the smell of musk.'” [1]

 

This hadeeth is proof for the virtue of fasting and the great station it possesses in the sight of Allaah. Four of its many virtues occur in this hadeeth, and they are:

1. Those who fast will receive their reward in full without any reckoning, for every good deed is rewarded ten to seven hundred times its like in worth, except for the fast. Indeed, its reward is not limited to this number, but rather Allaah will reward it with manifold its likes in worth. This is because the fast is from (the forms of) patience and Allaah has stated:

“Verily, the patient ones will be given their reward in full without any reckoning.” [2]

Al-Awzaa’ee said of this (ayah): “It will neither be weighed for them nor measured, but rather it will simply be served to them as food is served.” [3]

2. Indeed Allaah connected the fast to Himself in conjunctive form, above all other types of deeds. And this conjunction is enough to show its noble status. This, and Allaah knows best, is due its state of encompassing the entirety of the day. Thus, one can find that the individual fasting has neglected his desires, while his soul constantly yearns after them. This, along with its lengthened duration, is not found in anything else besides the fast, especially in the days of summer due to their length and severity in heat. The individual’s abandonment of the things he desires is an act of worship, which will be rewarded. This is because the fast is a secret kept between the servant and his Lord. No one knows of it except Allaah, the most High. It is an inward (hidden) action, which cannot be seen by the creation, thus riyaa’ (showing off) cannot enter into it.

3. When the one who fasts meets his Lord, he will be delighted by his fast due to what he will see in it from its abundance, good standing and his reward by having his fast accepted, which Allaah granted him in the first place.

As for his joy at the time when he breaks the fast, then it is due to the completion of the act of worship and its being free from evil and those things that have been forbidden in it. This is from the praiseworthy types of joy since it is a joy that emanates from the obedience to Allaah and the completion of the fast, due to which great reward has been promised. This is as Allaah says: “Say: By the grace and mercy of Allaah, and by that, then rejoice.” [4]

4. The breath coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the scent of musk. This beautiful smell will be for the Day of Judgement for that is the day when the rewards for deeds will be manifested. This is based on one narration of the hadeeth: “…more pleasant in the sight of Allaah on the Day of Judgement…” [5]

Likewise it will be in the life of this world, since that is the time for the manifestation of the signs of worship, due to the report:

“And the scent coming from the mouth of the one fasting when he breaths out from the food (he ate previously) is more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the smell of musk” [6]

This scent, although disliked by the people who smell it in this world will, however, be more pleasant in smell in the sight of Allaah than the scent of musk. This is because it is something that originates from the obedience to Allaah.

Ibn Hibbaan (rahimahullaah) said: “The sign that will mark the believer on the Day of Judgement is the brightness (of their faces) due to their ablution (wudoo’) in this world, causing a distinction between them and the rest of the nations. And their mark on the Day of Judgement due to their fasting will be pleasant smelling breath, more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the scent of musk. This is in order that they may be known amidst that group for that deed. We ask Allaah to grant us blessing on that day.” [7]

And from the merits of Ramadaan is that Allaah has distinguished those who fast with a specific door from the doors of Paradise. No one more righteous than them will enter through it. Sahl Ibn Sa’ad (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily, there is a door in Paradise, which is known as Ar-Rayyaan. On the Day of Judgement, the ones who fasted will enter in through it, no one other than them will enter in through it. And when they have entered, it will close, so no one will enter through it (after them).” [8]

And in addition to the wording: “And whosoever enters will be given to drink. And whosoever drinks will never feel thirsty again.” [9]

However, these merits will not be attained except by the one who fasts with sincerity by abstaining from food, drink, intercourse, abstaining from hearing the unlawful, looking towards the prohibited and earning from unlawful means. Thus his body limbs must fast and abstain from sinful acts. His tongue must fast and abstain from lying, foul speech and false swearing. This is the legislated fast, the result of which will be great reward. And if this is not so, then the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has said: “Whosoever does not abandon false speech and acting upon it, then Allaah has no need for him to abandon his food and drink.” [10]

And Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Perhaps, all that one who fasts will get from his fast is hunger and thirst. And perhaps all that one who stands at night in prayer will get from his standing is sleeplessness.


Footnotes:

[1] Al-Bukhaaree (4/103) and Muslim (1151)

[2] Surat-uz-Zumar: 15

[3] Tafseer Ibn Katheer (7/80)

[4] Surah Yoonus: 85

[5] This wording is found in the hadeeth of Muslim (Book of Fasting: 163)

[6] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan and Ahmad

[7] See Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan (8/211)

[8] Al-Bukhaaree (4/111) and Muslim (1152)

[9] This increase to the hadeeth is found in the Saheeh of Ibn Khuzaimah (no. 1903)

[10] Al-Bukhaaree (10/473)

[11] Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan and others with an authentic chain of narration

Fasting – Ordinances, Wisdoms & Merits – by Saleh asSaleh – 11 Pages [PDF]

Fasting-SalehasSaleh

The Inner Secrets of Fasting – by Imam Muwaffaq-ud-Deen Ibn Qudamaah Al-Maqdisee

 

 

The Inner Secrets of Fasting

Imam Muwaffaq-ud-Deen Ibn Qudamaah Al-Maqdisee

 

This article is taken from the book Mukhtasar Minhaajul-Qaasideen (p. 38-41), This article was translated by Isma’eel Ibn al-Arkaan and edited by Abu Khaliyl.

___

Know, that in the fast (Sawm) is a special quality that is not found in anything else. And that is its close connection to Allaah, such that He says:

‘‘The Fast (Sawm) is for Me and I will reward it.’’ [2]

This connection is enough to show the high status of fasting. Similarly, the Ka’bah is highly dignified due to its close connection to Him, as occurs in His statement:

‘‘And sanctify My House.’’ [3]

Indeed, the fast is only virtuous due to two significant concepts:

THE FIRST:
It is a secret and hidden action, thus, no one from the creation is able to see it Therefore riyaa‘ (showing off) cannot enter into it.

THE SECOND:
It is a means of subjugating the enemies of Allaah. This is because the road that the enemies (of Allaah) embark upon (in order to misguide the Son of Aadam) is that of desires. And eating and drinking strengthens the desires. There are many reports that indicate the merits of fasting, and they are well known


THE RECOMMENDED ACTS OF FASTING:

The pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and delaying in taking it are preferable, as well as hastening to break the fast and doing so with dates. Generosity in giving is also recommended during Ramadhaan, as well as doing good deeds and increasing in charity. This is in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allaah. It is also recommended to study the Qur‘aan and perform I‘tikaaf (seclusion for worship) during Ramadhaan, especially in its last ten days, as well as increasing upon the exertion (towards doing good deeds) in it. In the two Saheehs, ’Aa‘ishah said: ‘‘When the last ten days (of Ramadhaan) would come, the Prophet would tighten his waist wrapper (izaar)’’ [4] The scholars have mentioned two views concerning the meaning of ‘tighten his wrapper (izaar)’ The first is that it means the turning away from women. The second is that it is an expression denoting his eagerness and diligence in doing good deed. They also say that the reason for: the last ten days of Ramadhaan was due to his seeking of the Night of al-Qadr (Laylatul-Qadr).

AN EXPLANATION OF THE INNER SECRETS OF FASTING AND ITS CHARACTERISITCS:

There are three levels of fasting, the general fast, the specific fast and the more specific fast. As for the general fast, then it is the refraining of ones stomach and their private parts from fulfilling their desires. The specific fast is the refraining of ones gaze, tongue, hands, feet, hearing and eyes, as well as the rest of his body parts from committing sinful acts. As for the more specific fast, then it is the heart’s abstention from its yearning after the worldly affairs and the thoughts which distance one away from Allaah, as well as its (the heart’s) abstention. From all the things that Allaah has placed on the same level. [5] From the characteristics of the specific fast is that one lowers his gaze and safeguards his tongue from the repulsive speech that is forbidden, disliked, or which has no benefit, as well as controlling the rest of his body parts. . In a hadeeth by al-Bukhaaree: ‘‘Whosoever does not abandon false speech and the acting upon it, Allaah is not in need off his food and drink.’’ [6]

Another characteristic of the specific fast is that one does not overfill himself with food during the night. Instead, he eats in due measure, for indeed, the son of Aadam does not fill a vessel more evil than his stomach. If he were to eat his fill during the first part of the night, he would not make good use of himself for the remainder of the night. In the same way, if he eats to his fill for suhoor, he does make good use of himself until the afternoon. This is because excessive eating breads laziness and lethargy therefore, the objective of fasting disappears due to one’s excessiveness in eating, for what is indeed intended by the fast, is that one savours the taste of hunger and becomes an abandoner of desires.

RECOMMENDED FASTS:

As for the recommended fasts, then know that preference for fasting is established in certain virtuous days. Some of these virtuous days happen every year, such as fasting the first six days of Shawwaal after Ramadhaan, fasting the day of ’Arafah, the day of ’Ashooraa, and the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram. Some of them occur every month, such as the first part of the month, the middle part of it, and the last part of it. So whoever fasts the first part of it, the middle part of it and the last part of it, then he has done well. Some fasts occur every week, and they are every Monday and Thursday. The most virtuous of the recommended fasts is the fast of Daawood. He would fast one day and break his fast the next day. This achieves the following three objectives, the soul is given its share on the day the fast is broken. And on the day of fasting, it completes its share in full. The day of eating is the day of giving thanks and the day of fasting is the day of having patience. And Faith (eemaan) is divided into two halves- that of thankfulness and that of patience. [7] It is the most difficult struggle for the soul. This is because every time the soul gets accustomed to a certain condition, it transfers itself that. As for fasting every day, then it has been reported by Muslim, from the hadeeth of Aboo Qataadah that ’Umar (radiyallaahu ’anhu) asked the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam): What is the case if one were to fast everyday? So he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘‘He did not fast nor did he break his fast or, he did not fast and he did not break his fast.’’ [8] This is concerning the one who fasts continuously, even during the days in which fasting is forbidden.

CHARACTERISITCS OF THE MORE SPECIFIC FASTS:

Know that the one who has been given intellect, knows the objective behind fasting. Therefore, he burdens himself to the extent that he will not be unable to do that which is more beneficial than it. Ibn Mas’ood would fast very little and it is reported that he used to say: ‘‘When I fast, I grow weak in my prayer. And I prefer the prayer over the (optional) fast.’’ Some of the Companions would weaken in their recitation of the Qur‘aan when fasting. Thus, they would exceed in breaking their fast (i.e.. by observing less optional fasts), until they were able to balance their recitation. Every individual is knowledgeable of his condition and of what will rectify it.

Footnotes:

[1] This article is taken from the book Mukhtasar Minhaajul-Qaasideen (p. 38-41) of the illustrious scholar and righteous Imaam, Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.529H). This article was translated by Isma’eel Ibn al-Arkaan and edited by Abu Khaliyl. There were also slight adaptions made to it, such as the exclusion of a couple of statements. [2] Related by al-Bukhaaree (4/118) and Muslim (no. 1151).[3] Sooratul-Hajj: 26 [4] Related by al-Bukhaaree (4/322) and Muslim (no. 1147).[5] (Editors note: Additional comment is required here, The levels mentioned are levels of abstinence. The first of these three levels entails the abstinence which is fulfilled, the fast is considered complete in view of the one having met the legislated requirements [i.e. It does not have to be repeated or made up, the servant has indeed fasted.] The remaining levels deal with the value of the Fast. If the second is level is not met, the fast will be of less value to the servant, than if it were met and likewise for the third. Thus it is said that intentional eating and intercourse render the fast null and void, whereas committing other unlawful acts such, likes speaking falsely, placing the unlawful look to the opposite sex. And so on will constitute a sin of one degree or another, but not nullify the fast. [6] Related by al-Bukhaaree (4/99)[7] {Editors note: This statement is based upon an unauthentic Hadeeth, which has been reported by al-Kharaa‘itee and ad-Daylamee. One of its narrators was graded ‘‘abandoned’’ by an-Nisaa‘ee and adh-Dhahabee. Al-Manawee and al-Albaanee approved of its grading. See ad-Da’eefah (no. 625).

[8] Related by Muslim

 

The Objectives of Fasting (Maqâsid as-Sawm) – by Shaykh al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abdis-Salâm

 

The Objectives of Fasting (Maqâsid as-Sawm)

by Shaykh al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abdis-Salâm
Translated by Abû Rumaysah

                                                                      The obligation of fasting

Allâh, Exalted is He says,

  “O you who have faith! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you – so that hopefully you will have taqwâ.” [al-Baqarah (2): 183]  

Meaning that hopefully you can safeguard yourselves from the Fire through fasting; fasting is a means to the forgiveness of sins, and sins lead one to the Fire.

The Two Sahîhs record the hadîth in which the Prophet (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “Islâm is built upon five: that you worship Allâh and reject the worship of anything else, to establish the prayer, the giving of zakât, performing pilgrimage to the House and fasting the month of Ramadân.” [This is a wording of Muslim, Bukhârî has the first sentence as ‘that you testify that none has the right to be worshipped save Allâh’]

The virtues of fasting

Fasting carries with it a number of benefits, amongst which are: the elevation of ones rank, the expiation of sins, the breaking of ones desires and lusts, the increase of charity, the multiplication of actions of obedience to Allâh, giving thanks to the One who knows the hidden matters, and preventing oneself from even contemplating the committing of sin.

The elevation of rank

With regards the elevation of rank, the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “When Ramadân comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are locked and the devils are chained.” [Bukhârî]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said, relating from His Lord, Mighty and Magnificent,

  “All of the actions of the son of Adam are for him except the fast for that is for Me and I will reward it. Fasting is protecting shield, so when it is the day when one of you are fasting, let him not behave or speak indecently; if someone tries to abuse or fight him, let him say, ‘I am fasting’. By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the smell emanating from the mouth of the one fasting is better with Allâh then the smell of musk. The one fasting has two time of joy, when he breaks his fast he is happy and when He meets his Lord he will rejoice at his fasting.” [Bukhârî and Muslim]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said,

  “Every action that the son of Adam does, [its reward] will be multiplied, a good deed will be increased tenfold up to seven-hundred fold. Allâh, Mighty and Magnificent, says, ‘except for the fast, for that is for Me and I will reward it for he left his desires and food for My sake.’ ” [Muslim]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “In paradise there is a gate which is called ar-Rayyân through which the people who fasted will enter on the Day of Judgment, and no one else shall enter alongside them. It will be asked, ‘where are those who fasted?’ and they will walk through it, and upon the entry of the last of them, it will be locked, and no one else will walk through it.”[Bukhârî and Muslim]

In another version the wording is,

  “There is in Paradise a gate that is called ar-Rayyân, those who fasted will be summoned to it and whoever fasted will enter through it, and whoever enters it will never again experience thirst.”[at-Tirmidhî and an-Nasâ’î]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “When people eat in the presence of a fasting person, the Angels invoke blessings upon him, until they finish.”[Ahmad and at-Tirmidhî]

With regards the’opening of the gates of Paradise’, this is a phrase that points to the increase of actions of obedience that in turn lead to the opening of the gates of Paradise. ‘Locking the gates of the Fire’ is a phrase that points to the decrease, and lack of therewith, of sins which in turn leads to the locking of the gates of the Fire. ‘The chaining of the devils’ is a phrase that points to the termination of their whisperings, and temptations, to those who are fasting because they give up hope of receiving a favorable response.

His saying, ” All of the actions of the son of Adam are for him except the fast for that is for Me and I will reward it,” fasting has been specifically adjoined to Him in order to honour it because the hidden nature of fasting prevents ostentation entering it, and moreover, hunger and thirst are not used as means to draw closer to any king of this world nor any idol.

His saying, ” And I will reward it,” even though He rewards all actions of obedience, this phrase points to the greatness of the reward of fasting.

His saying, ” Fasting is a protecting shield ” means that fasting serves as barrier erected between the person and the punishment of Allâh.

His saying, ” let him say, ‘I am fasting,’ ” means let him remind himself that he is fasting so that this would serve to prevent him from repaying like with like.

His saying, ” The smell emanating from the mouth of the one fasting is better with Allâh then the smell of musk,” meaning that the reward for the smell emanating from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allâh than the smell of musk. [This explanation is a point of some difference and was the cause of a famous debate between ibn as-Salâh and the author, may Allâh have mercy on both.]

As for the two times of joy, the first is because the one fasting has been granted the divine accord to complete this act of worship and the second is because of the reward he will attain when Allâh rewards him.

His saying, ” He left his desires and food for My sake ” meaning that he chose the obedience of his Lord over the obedience of the call of his soul, whoever chooses Allâh, Allâh chooses him. This is why when someone desires to commit a sin, then leaves committing it for fear of Allâh, He says to the recording Angels, ‘Record it as a good deed, for he only left giving in to his lusts for My sake.’

With regards their being specified to enter Paradise through the gate of ar-Rayyân, this specification is because of the greatness of this act of fasting and its unique character.

With regards the Angels invoking blessings upon the one fasting, in whose presence food is eaten, this is because on such an occasion he has to exert himself more in fighting his desire to eat. Their invoking blessings upon him is a phrase denoting their asking for his forgiveness and mercy to be bestowed him.

The expiation of sins

With regards the expiation of sins, the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “One Ramadân to the next serves as an expiation for what is done between them, so long as the major sins are avoided.”[Muslim]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said,

  “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadân, out of faith and expectant of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven him.”[Bukhârî and Muslim]

The breaking of ones desires and lusts

Hunger and thirst break the desire to commit sin, it is authentically reported from him (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he said,

  “O gathering of youth! Whoever can afford it, let him marry for this is better in aiding one to lower his gaze and preserving the private parts. Whoever is not able, let him fast for this will diminish his desire.” [Bukhârî and Muslim]

It is mentioned in a hadîth,

  “Satan flows through the son of آdam as does his blood”

so constrain the passages of Satan through hunger.[Bukhârî and Muslim. The last sentence is the statement of one of the narrators of the hadîth mistakenly added into the main text.]

Increase of charity

When the one fasting feels the pangs of hunger, he takes this as a reminder to feed others who are hungry, ‘for the only one who feels compassion towards the lovers is one who has loved.’It has reached us that Sulaymân, or Yûsuf (‘alayhis-salâm) would not eat until all his dependants had first eaten and when asked why this was so, he said, ‘I fear that I would become full and so forget the hungry.’

Increase of actions of obedience

The one fasting will be reminded of the hunger and thirst that the denizens of Hell will experience and this will encourage him to obey Allâh so as to be saved from that fate.

Giving thanks to the One who knows the hidden matters

The one fasting comes to truly appreciate the favours of Allâh, it is only through knowing hunger and thirst that one truly appreciates satiation and the quenching of that thirst; it is only when blessings are absent that one appreciates them more.

Preventing oneself from contemplating sin

When one is full, the soul craves sin and looks longingly at all sorts of transgression, but when one is hungry, the soul craves food and drink, and this is the better of the two without doubt. If is for this reason that one of the Salaf thought fasting to be the best of all actions of worship and when asked why he replied,

  ‘That Allâh look to me in a state where my soul is fighting me for food and drink is more beloved to me than Allâh looking at me in a state where my soul is full and fighting me for sin.’

Fasting has many more benefits, such as refining the mind and strengthening the body, it is mentioned in a hadîth, ” Fast for you will become healthy.” [at-Tabarânî and its isnâd is da’îf]

From the greatness of fasting is that the whoever cause a fasting person to open fast, he has the same reward as the one who fasted. He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “Whoever provides food for a person to open the fast, he will have the likes of his reward, without the reward of the fasting person decreasing in the slightest.” [Ahmad and at-Tirmidhî]

So whoever provides food for thirty six fasting people in one year, it will be as if he fasted for the whole year. And whoever provides food for many fasting people with this intention, Allâh will record for him the fasting of many years. [Because a good deed is multiplied ten-fold]


 

 

The mannerisms of fasting

They are six:

1. Restraining the tongue and limbs from all that opposes the Divine Law (Sharî’ah).

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying,

  “whoever does not leave false speech and acting upon it, Allâh has no need of his leaving food and drink.”
[Bukhârî]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said,

  “it is possible that one standing [in prayer] only attain weariness from his standing and the one fasting only attain hunger and thirst from his fasting.”
[Ahmad, al-‘Irâqî said the isnâd was hasan.]

2. If one is invited to eat while he is fasting, let him say, ‘I am fasting’

The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “if one of you is invited to eat while fasting, let him say, ‘I am fasting’ ”
[Muslim]

3. What should be said when one breaks the fast.

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say upon breaking fast,

  “the thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain if Allâh wills.”
[Abû Dâwûd and ad-Dâruqutnî said its isnâd was hasan].
Dhahaba adh-Dhama’u wa-btallati-l-‘uruq wa thabata al-ajru inshaAllâh

It is also reported that he said,

  “O Allâh! It is for you that I have fasted, and it is with your provision that I have broken fast.”
[Abû Dâwûd with a weak isnâd, however A. al-Arna’ut, Jami’ al-Usul, said that it has witnesses that strengthen it.]

In another hadîth, it is reported that he said,

  “all praise and thanks are due to Allâh who gave me the strength to fast and who gave me the provisions with which to break fast.”
[al-Bayhaqî with a weak isnâd but it has witnesses that strengthen it.]

4. What the fast should be broken with.

The fast should be broken with fresh dates, or slightly older, drier, dates, or water. It is reported that he ( sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would break fast with

  “fresh dates before praying; and if not then with older, drier, dates; and if not with dates then with some mouthfuls of water.”
[Abû Dawûd with a hasan isnâd]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “if one of you is fasting then let him break fast with dates, if he does not find any then with water for it is pure and purifying.”
[Abû Dâwûd with a sahîh isnâd]

5, 6. Hastening the iftâr (breaking of fast) and delaying the suhûr (pre-dawn meal)

The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “take the meal of suhûr for indeed in the suhûr lies blessings.”
[Bukhârî and Muslim]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “the people will not cease to be upon good so long as they hasten in breaking the fast.”
[Bukhârî and Muslim]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “Allâh, Mighty and Magnificent, says, ‘the most beloved of My servants are those who are quickest in breaking fast.’ ”
[Ahmad with a weak isnâd but it has witnesses that strengthen in, Jami’ al-Usûl]

He (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

  “this religion will remain good and pure so long as the people hasten in breaking the fast for the Jews and Christians would delay it.”
[Abû Dâwûd with a sahîh isnâd]

‘Amr bin Maymûn said,

  ‘the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would be the quickest of people in breaking the fast and the slowest of them in taking the pre-dawn meal.’
[al-Bayhaqî]
  The suhûr is delayed so as to strengthen one more while he is fasting so that he can perform more actions of obedience, the gap between the Messenger of Allâh ( sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) taking the suhûr and his prayer would be an interval allowing fifty verses of the Qur’ân to be recited.
[Bukhârî and Muslim]

The iftâr was hastened because it is possible that some physical harm arise from hunger and thirst, hence there is no need to put the soul through such difficulty in a time [after the time of breaking fast] in which hunger and thirst is no longer an action that would draw one closer to Allâh. One of the wealthier people amongst the Salaf was seen eating in the market place and when asked why he replied [by quoting the hadîth],

  ‘the delay of the rich is oppression.’
[Bukhârî and Muslim]

What should be avoided while fasting

1. Continuous fasting.

Abû Hurayrah said,

  ‘the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prohibited continuous fasting whereupon one of the Muslims asked him, “but you do it O Messenger of Allâh!” He replied, “who amongst you is like me? I spend the night with my Lord, He giving me food and drink.” But when the people persisted in fasting continuously, he fasted continuously with them for a day, followed by another until they saw the new moon upon which he said, “if the moon had delayed in appearing I would have made you fast more.” This was a punishment for them because they refused to stop continuously fasting.’
[Bukhârî and Muslim]

Continuous fasting was prohibited because it weakens the person and emaciates his body by reason of something other than worship. As for the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then if it is literally true that his food and drink was with his Lord, he cannot be said to have fasted continuously; but if ‘food and drink’ is a phrase used to denote the strength of his closeness and communion ( uns) with his Lord and the joy he felt at this closeness, then this takes the place of food and drink in revitalizing his strength, indeed this uns is better than food and drink in this respect,

Indeed I fasted from worldly pleasures my entire life
And the Day that I meet you will be its breaking

For surely I find the delight of fasting for You within my soul
And not in the satisfaction of eating or drinking

2. Kissing

‘آ’ishah (radiyAllâhu ‘anhâ) said,

  ‘The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would kiss and embrace while fasting but he was more able than you in restraining his desires.’
[Bukhârî and Muslim]

Therefore whoever is old, able to control his desires and hence not ruin his fast, there is no harm in his kissing. If one is young and not sure that he can control his desires, it is disliked for him to kiss due to his subjecting his action of worship to the danger of something that could break it.

3. Cupping

It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was cupped while fasting. [Bukhârî] Anas was asked,

  ‘did you consider cupping to be disliked for the one fasting?’ He replied, ‘no, [we only considered it disliked] if it caused weakness.’
[Bukhârî]

Hence whoever is physically weakened by cupping, it is disliked for him to do so, because in his weakened state he is more likely to break fast or find the action of fasting extremely difficult for him and hence become averse to it.

4. Applying Kohl.

  Anas would apply Kohl while fasting.
[Abû Dâwûd and ibn Hajr said the isnâd had no fault.]

al-A’mash said,

  ‘I never saw any of our companions disliking the application of Kohl for the one fasting.’ Ibrâhîm [an-Nakha’î] would allow the one fasting to apply aloes to his eyes.
[Abû Dâwûd]

Having said this, it is safer not to apply it so as to steer clear of the difference that the scholars have concerning this issue.

5. Snuffing the nose during ablution

The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to Laqît bin Sabrah,

  “perform the ablution well, wipe between the fingers and exert yourself in snuffing the nose, unless you are fasting.”
[Abû Dâwûd]

So he prohibited from exertion when snuffing the nose while fasting, the reason for this is that through exertion one puts his fast to risk [because the water could reach the back of the throat].

Allâh knows best.

[Actions which nullify the fast are eating and drinking deliberately; making oneself vomit; menstruation and post-natal bleeding and sexual intercourse.] 



Laylatu-l-Qadr

Laylatu-l-Qadr is a blessed night, Allāh blessed it over one thousand months that do not contain it. It is called Laylatu-l-Qadr either because of its excellence and great status or because provisions and life-spans for the following year are decreed therein. The Angels and the Spirit descend in that night and greet those who pray by night with the salām; the scholars differ as to whether they extend the salām to them of their own accord or they convey the salām of their Lord.

A night in which the Lord of the worlds sends salām to His servants is a night that is indeed worthy of being better than a thousand months, it is a night worthy of being sought after and searched for. This is why the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would search for it along with his Companions and the righteous who came after them.

This night occurs in the last ten days of Ramadān, and is most likely to occur in the odd nights rather than the even nights. It seems clear that it occurs on the twenty-first night; this is because the Messenger of Allāh saw this night in a dream but was made to forget it, however he remembered that in the morning following it, he would prostrate in mud and water. It is authentically reported that it rained on the night of the twenty-first and the Masjid leaked water, [when the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed therein, traces of mud and water were seen on his forehead and nose.
[Bukhārī]

Moreover he ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) informed us that on the night of Laylatu-l-Qadr the moon would look like half a plate and the moon never looks like this unless it be in its seventh night or twenty-first night.

[Trans: this is the opinion of the author, may Allāh have mercy upon him, other opinions have been mentioned such as the opinion that Laylatu-l-Qadr falls on different nights every year, an opinion that was preferred by a group of scholars amongst whom was ibn Hajr]

From the excellent qualities of this night is that whoever prays during it out of faith and seeking reward, will have his previous sins forgiven him. The evidence for what we have mentioned lies in his ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sayings,

  “I was shown Laylatu-l-Qadr, then one of my wives awoke me and I was made to forget it, so search for it in the last ten nights.”
[Muslim]
“Seek Laylatu-l-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadān”
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

Abū Hurayrah said, ‘we were discussing Laylatu-l-Qadr in the presence of the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he said, “which of you remembers the night when the moon arose and it was like half a plate?”
[Muslim]

“Whoever prays the night of Laylatu-l-Qadr out of faith and seeking reward will have his previous sins forgiven.”
[Bukhārī]

It is recommended for whoever finds it to increasing in praising Allāh and invoking Him, and he should frequently supplicate with this supplication, “O Allāh! You are the One who pardons greatly, You Love to pardon so pardon me.”
[at-Tirmidhī]

If a person was to suffice with praising Allāh, this would be better due to the hadīth in which it is reported that the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever is diverted by making dhikr of Me from asking of Me, I would grant him the best of what I grant those asking.”

[Trans: at-Tirmidhī [#2926] on the authority of Abū Saہīd al-Khudrī with a da’īf isnād; refer to al-Albānī, ad-Da’īfah [#1335]. Ahādīth with similar meaning have been reported on the authority of ‘Umar in al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab al-Īmān [#573] and as-Suyūtī, al-Lālī’ [2/288] said that al-Hāfidh ibn Hajr declared it hasan; Jābir in al-Bayhaqī [#574]; Hudhayfah in Abū Nu’āym [7/313] and indicated as hasan by al-Albānī; and Mālik bin al-çārithah in al-Bayhaqī [#575].]

Umayyah said,

Should I mention my need or should your
Gifts suffice me, for sure giving gifts is part of your disposition
If a person was to praise you one day
The one who he is praising would suffice him

[Trans: Dīwān Umayyah [p. 333] in praise ibn Jud’ān. Sufyān bin ‘Uyaynah was asked about his (SAW) saying, “The most superior supplication on the Day of ‘Arafah is, ‘none has the right to be worshipped save Allāh, the One Who has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion, to Him belongs all praise and He is Omnipotent over all things” and [in explanation to the fact that a direct request is not mentioned therein] he mentioned the previous hadīth and these verses and proceeded to say, ‘this is an object of creation saying of another that it is sufficient to praise him [to get what he desires] rather than directly ask him, what then of the Creator, Blessed and Exalted is He?’ Recorded by al-Hāfidh ibn ‘Abdu-l-Barr, at-Tamhīd [2/680] and al-Bayhaqī [#575]]

I’tikāf, generosity and reciting the Qur’ān in Ramadān

Allāh, Exalted is He, says,

  “Purify My House for those who perform tawāf, for those who stay there for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]” [al-Baqarah (2): 125]“…and do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the Mosques.” [al-Baqarah (2): 187]  

I’tikāf is to visit Allāh in one of His houses and to seclude oneself with Him, it is duty upon the host to honour his guest. It is mentioned in an authentic hadīth that the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “each time someone goes to, and comes from, a Mosque, Allāh prepares for him a feast in Paradise.”
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

It is recommended to perform I’tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān so that a person can seek after Laylatu-l-Qadr, this was when the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would perform I’tikāf towards the end of his life. ‘A’ishah said,‘the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would perform I’tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān until Allāh caused him to pass away, then his wives after him would similarly perform I’tikāf.’
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

She also said, ‘when the last ten days came, he ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would spend the night in worship, awake his family, exert himself in worship and tighten his waist-wrapper’
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

in another report, ‘the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would exert himself in worship in the last ten nights in a way that he never did in any other night’
[Muslim]

The meaning of ‘tighten his waist-wrapper’ is that he would not take pleasure with his wives or that he would exert and devote himself to worship.

In this month, it is recommended to increase in the recitation of the Qur’ān and to be generous, for both the one performing I’tikāf and the one who is not.

Ibn ‘Abbās said, ‘the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the most generous of people, and he was most generous in Ramadān when Jibrīl met him. Jibrīl would meet him in every night of Ramadān until he passed away, and he ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the Qur’ān to him. When Jibril met him, he would be more generous than the strong wind.’
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

The meaning of ‘strong wind’ here is a reference to its wide reach and its swiftness.

It is authentically reported that the Prophet ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the Qur’ān to Jibrīl every Ramadān once, but in the year in which he passed away, he recited the Qur’ān to him twice.
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

Fasting Six Days of Shawwāl

It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “whoever fasts the month of Ramadān and then follows this with six days of Shawwāl, it will be as if he fasted the whole year”
[Muslim]

The reason for this is that a good deed is multiplied tenfold, hence every fast is like ten fasts.

[Trans: hence a total of 36 fasts will be equivalent to 360 fasts]

 

The Wisdom and Benefits behind Fasting – by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

 

 

The Wisdom and Benefits behind Fasting

Author:Imaam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
Source:Abridged from his book Zaad al-Ma’aad [Al-Muntaqaa Newsletter: 1/9]
Translator:abu maryam
Produced by:
al-manhaj.com

 

 

The objective behind fasting is to restrain the soul from (its) desires and to prevent it from those things, which are beloved to it. And its purpose is to control the soul’s strength, so that it can be prepared to attain what is found in it (the fast) from success and joy for the soul. Through the fast, one curbs his hunger and thirst and is reminded of the condition of the hungry stomachs of needy people.
 

Through fasting, one narrows the passages the Devil has inside the servant (of Allaah) by narrowing the passages of food and drink. Also, it prevents the forces of the limbs from getting too accustomed to things that are harmful to it in this world and the hereafter. And each of the soul’s body limbs and energies can cease their rebelliousness (to Allaah) and be harnessed by its bridle.

 

So therefore, the fast is the bridle of those who fear and obey Allaah and the shield of those wage war (against desires). And it is a garden for the righteous and devoted servants of Allaah. And it is for the Lord of the worlds, over all other actions (done to please Allaah). This is since the person who fasts, in fact does nothing. He only abandons his desire and his food for the sake of the One whom he worships.

 

So fasting is an abandonment of those things that the soul loves and desires, preferring instead Allaah’s love and contentment. And it is a secret kept between the servant and his Lord – no one else is aware of it.

 

Fasting has an amazing effect in preserving one’s outer limbs and inner capacities as well as protecting the soul from being overtaken by destructive components, which can ruin and destroy it. And it has a remarkable effect in causing all the harmful things that prevent the soul from being healthy to be emptied out. So fasting guards and protects the health of the person’s heart and body limbs. And it returns the soul all that the hands of the desires has taken from it. So it is from the greatest ways of improving one’s Taqwaa, as Allaah says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you attain Taqwaa.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 185]

 

The Prophet (saws) said: “Fasting is a shield.” And he commanded those who had intense desires for marriage but were not able to marry, to observe fasting, making it a shield against those desires (of marriage).

 

When the benefits of fasting are born witness to by sensible minds and upright intuitions, one will come to realize that Allaah prescribed it as a mercy for mankind, goodness to them and a protection and shield for them. The Prophet’s (saws) guidance concerning it was the most perfect of guidance, and the best for reaching the desired objective and the easiest on the soul.

 

Since restraining the soul from what it loves and desires is from the most difficult and hardest of things, its obligation was delayed until the middle of Islaam, after the Hijrah. This was at the point when the Tawheed and the Prayer had become firmly established in the souls of the Muslims and when they loved the commands of Allaah. So their souls were lead to its obligation in gradual steps. It became obligatory in the second year of Hijrah.

 

When the Messenger of Allaah (saws) died, he had fasted nine Ramadaans in total. Originally, it was obligated as an option left to the people to choose whether they wanted to fast or to feed needy people for every day. Then that option was transferred into the final obligatory fasting. And the matter of feeding people was left only for the old men and women who did not have the ability to fast.

 

Fasting had three stages. The first stage was its being obligated with the option of fasting or feeding a needy person. In the second stage, only the fasting was allowed, but if the person fasting slept before breaking his fast, he was forbidden from eating and drinking until the following night. This was abrogated in the third stage. And this is the stage at which the Religion has settled with until the Day of Judgement.

 

 

The Wisdom Behind Fasting – by Shaykh Muhammad Saleh Al Uthaymeen

                                                                          The Wisdom Behind Fasting

 

Author:Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
Source:Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan [pgs. 41-43] Abridged
Translator:isma’eel alarcon (al-manhaj.com)

 

From the wisdom of fasting is that: It is an act of worship done for Allaah, in which the ‘abd (servant) draws closer to His Lord by abandoning the things that he loves and desires, such as food, drink and sexual intercourse. So because of this, the truthfulness of his Faith and the completeness of his servitude to Allaah become apparent, as well as his love for Allaah and his longing for what Allaah has prepared for him (of good). This is since the one who fasts does not abandon something that is beloved to him except for that which is greater to him than it (which is Allaah). When the believer knows that Allaah’s contentment lies in the fasting – which is abandoning those desires that he naturally loves – he will give his Lord’s contentment precedence over his desires. So he abandons his desires no matter how much he longs and yearns for them, because his delight and the tranquility of his soul lies in his abandoning all that for the sake of Allaah.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it is a means of attaining Taqwaa, as Allaah says:

 

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, in order that you gain Taqwaa.”

 

This is since a person who is fasting is commanded to do the obligatory duties and to avoid sinful acts. The Prophet (saws) said:

 

“Whoever does not abandon false speech, acting upon that (false speech) and (acts of) ignorance (i.e. sins), then Allaah has no need of him abandoning his food and drink.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree]

 

So when a person is fasting, every time he desires to do a sinful act, he will remember that he is fasting and thus withhold himself from that. This is why the Prophet (saws) ordered the person who is fasting, when cursed at and abused, to say: “I am fasting”, cautioning him (the reviler) that a person fasting is commanded to refrain from cursing and reviling, and reminding himself that he is fasting and cannot react with cursing.

 

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that the heart opens to contemplation and remembrance (of Allaah). This is since fulfilling one’s desires leads to heedlessness and perhaps the heart becomes hardened and blinded from the truth. This is why the Prophet (saws) advised us to eat and drink little, where he said:

 

“The Son of Aadam does not fill a vessel worse than his stomach.” [Reported by Ahmad, An-Nasaa’ee and Ibn Maajah]

 

And in Saheeh Muslim, Handhala Al-Usaidee (raa), who was one of the scribes of Allaah’s Messenger, said to the Prophet (saws): “Handhala has become a hypocrite.” So Allaah’s Messenger (saws) said: “Why is that?” He said: “O Messenger of Allaah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Hellfire and Paradise, as if we see them with our own eyes. But when we depart from you, we meet our wives and our children and our homes and we forget much (of what we heard from you).” In the last part of the hadeeth, the Prophet (saws) said to him: “But O Handhala, there is a time for this and a time for that (three times).”

Abu Sulaymaan Ad-Daraanee said: “Indeed, when the soul hungers and thirsts, the heart softens and becomes pure. And when it is fed, the heart becomes blinded.”

 

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that the person who has wealth is caused to realize the blessing of wealth that Allaah has bestowed on him, such that Allaah blessed him with food, drink and sexual intercourse. Many people are deprived of these things, so he should praise Allaah for these blessings and thank Him for granting him them. And he should remember his brother who is poor and who probably goes through the day starved and hungry. So he should be generous to him and give him charity so that he can clothe his barrenness and satisfy his hunger.

 

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it trains one to curb the soul, and it gives one strength to withhold his soul by its bridle, such that one can govern it and lead it towards that which is good for it and what will make it prosper. This is because the soul commands one to do evil, except for those souls that my Lord has mercy on. So when a person undoes and lets go of his (soul’s) bridle, the soul lands him into many dangers. But when he controls it and curbs it, he is able to lead it to the highest of levels and the greatest of goals.

 

And from the wisdom of fasting is that the soul is broken down and restricted from having pride, to the point that it humbles itself to the truth and softens itself before the creation. This is because eating, drinking and having sexual intercourse with women – all of these things bring about insolence, arrogance, vanity and pride over people and over the truth. The soul preoccupies itself with trying to obtain these things because of its need for them. So when it obtains these things, the soul feels like it has conquered what it desired and so it falls into the happiness and proudness that is condemned. And this is a cause for its destruction. Only those whom Allaah protects are saved from this.

 

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that the passageways of blood (in the body) become narrow due to hunger and thirst, so therefore the passageways of the Devil in the human body also become narrower. This is since the Devil flows through the son of Adam like the flowing of blood, as is authentically recorded in the two Saheeh collections. So by fasting, the whisperings of the Devil are subdued and the strength of one’s desires and anger are subjugated. This is why the Prophet (saws) said:

 

“O young men! Whoever amongst you can afford it, should get married, for it is the best means for lowering one’s gaze and the best way of keeping (one’s) private parts chaste. But whoever is not able to marry, then let him fast, for it has protection.”

 

And from the wisdom behind fasting are the health benefits that come as a result of it, which are attained by in-taking little food, allowing the digestive system to rest for a specified time, which lets excess wastes and excrements that are harmful to the body be discharged.

 

So how great and profound is the wisdom of Allaah, and how beneficial are His commandments to His creatures!

 

O Allaah, give us comprehension of Your Religion and allow us to understand the inner secrets of Your commandments. Rectify for us the affairs of our Religion and our worldly life. And forgive us and our parents and all the Muslims, by Your mercy, O Most Merciful. And may the peace and blessings of Allaah be on Muhammad (saws) and on his family and all his Companions.

 

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