ABU HURAIRA (may Allah be pleased
with him) narrated that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "When the month of
Ramadan starts, the gates of Jannah (
The gates of Jannah are opened in
this month because lots of righteous deeds are performed and as an
encouragement for those who seek Allah's reward. The gates of Hell are closed
because fewer sins are committed by believers. The Satans will be chained so
they do not have the chance as in other months to whisper into the hearts of
believers and misguide them.
Allah has prescribed fasting upon
all nations. He said:
"O you who believe! fasting
has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you
may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)." (Qur'an, 2:183)
If fasting were not a great act
of worship, and the reward were not so great, Allah would not have prescribed
it on all nations.
Atonement of sins. Abu Huraira
(may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who observes the
fast of the month of Ramadan out of sincerity and hope for the reward from
Allah will have his past sins forgiven." – (Bukhari)
That is, when fasting is observed
out of belief and without resentment to it as an act of worship or doubt in its
reward, Allah will forgive the past sins of the one who observes it.
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased
with him) reported the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: "Allah said: All the
deeds of Adam's children belong to them, except fasting, which belongs to me
and I will reward it. Fasting is a shield (against Hell and against sins). If
one of you happens to be fasting he should avoid sexual relations with his
wife, and should avoid quarrelling. Should someone fight or quarrel with him
let him say, 'I am fasting.' By Him in Whose hand my soul is, the smell from
the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than that of the
musk." (Bukhari and Muslim). It is a shield because it
safeguards the believer from vain talk and wrongdoing, and hence it protects
him from Hell.
Of all the good deeds, Allah has
favored fasting to be greatly rewarded by Him and distinguished it with
prestige when it is observed with the pure intention to please Him alone.
Fasting is so meritorious for a
believer that he will have two occasions of joy. The first is at the time of
breaking his fast, when he enjoys the bounties of Allah because he has been
favoured with Allah's mercy to observe the fast while many others have been
deprived of this great blessing. He will rejoice in the second occasion when he
meets his Lord and enjoys the abundant reward for having observed fasting. In
addition to this, fasting intercedes with Allah on behalf of the believer on
the Day of Judgment.
Who should fast and who should
Fasting is obligatory on the
mature sane and healthy Muslim. Those who are immature (I.e. young children)
are encouraged to fast. People suffering from terminal illness or are too old
to fast are exempted. Allah does not overburden His slaves.
Travellers are permitted to
abstain from fasting. However, it is praiseworthy to fast while travelling if
no hardship is imposed. In any case, travellers should make up the days they
missed fasting in Ramadan once Ramadan is over and they are back home.
The sick fall into three
• If it is neither hard nor
harmful for them, they must observe fasting.
• If it is hard, but not harmful
for them, they are permitted to break their fast.
• If it is harmful for them, then
they must abstain from fasting.
The days that are missed in
Ramadan must be made up once Ramadan is over.
During the monthly period or
period of post-natal bleeding, women should abstain from fasting, but must make
up the days they missed after the fasting month is over. The Pregnant or
breastfeeding woman whose health or the health of the suckling baby might be
affected by fasting should break her fast and make up the missed fasts after
The wisdom behind fasting
A Muslim fasts by leaving his
desires in order to please his Lord, hoping for His reward. Common sense
dictates that one would not give up desired things except for the sake of more
desirable ones, in this case the pleasure of Allah, which is the most sought
It is a means of achieving piety
and righteousness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "He who does not
give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah does not need his refraining from
eating or drinking." (Saheeh Muslim). In other words, Allah does not
accept his fast.
The heart, through fasting, is
inclined to maintain its tenderness since desires are not sought, but rather
shunned. Thus the heart tends to be more receptive to the words of Allah.
A rich person will be more
appreciative of Allah's graces and bounties. He will go through what the poor
and needy normally experience and will be motivated to help them. Fasting
reduces pride or egoism and increases humbleness. Moreover, fasting has health
advantages by means of decreasing the intake of food and relaxing the digestive
system. Allah's wisdom and His Graces are great.
Obligatory while fasting
Performing the other acts of
worship and duties is most important, and Salah is in particular, as without it
no other act of worship is accepted by Allah.
Praying in congregation is a
great aspect in our religion. Everyone should attend.
Its reward is twenty seven times
greater than that which is performed individually. (Bukhari)
Once the Prophet (peace be upon him)
was about to burn the houses on those who did not attend the congregational
Refraining from bad behavior such
as lying, cheating, music, smoking, backbiting and slandering others to create
animosity among them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "No slanderer shall
Recommended in fasting
• Taking the meal of suhoor. The
Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Take (the meal of) suhoor because there is
blessing in it." (Bukhari). He (peace be upon him) also said: "The difference
between our fasting and that of the people of the book is taking the meal of
suhoor." (Saheeh Muslim). Even taking a cup of water as suhoor has blessing in
• Breaking the fast as soon as the sun
• Making du'a upon breaking fast. (Abu
• Reciting as much Qur'an as
possible during the month of Ramadan.
What breaks the fast
Sexual intercourse in the daytime. The willful violation of the fast by this
practice requires the fast of sixty consecutive days in order to make up for
the day in which the intercourse took place. (Bukhari)
Wilful ejaculation by means of kissing or caressing, etc. Wet dreams and
unintentional ejaculation do not break the fast.
Eating, drinking, smoking or taking any food substitutes, such as receiving
blood, glucose, or I. V. substances while observing the fast.
Willful, not unintentional, vomiting.
bleeding. – (Bukhari). For practices other than the sexual intercourse,
fasts are to be made up a day for a day after Ramadan.
Applying kuhl (surmah), eye drops, ear or nose drops do not break the
fast. They are neither food nor its substitute. Perfumes, Siwaak or toothbrush
without toothpaste do not break fast since it has been reported that the
Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so. (Saheeh Al-Jaami As-Sagheer)
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