In the name of Allah, most beneficent, most merciful. Assalamu Alaikum!
This week, we will discuss the virtues of Ramadan. A fasting person should not eat too much at iftar or sahur so that one could perform good deeds. The Prophet (pbuh), as reported by Tirmidhi in a hadith, said: “The son of Adam fills no worse vessel than his stomach.”
Islam enjoins all believers to feed those that fast. Tirmidhi reported in a hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever gives food to someone for breaking his fast will receive a reward equal to his without detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person.”
Generosity is a Ramadan virtue. It could be demonstrated by sharing knowledge, giving money, or using one’s position of authority or physical strength to help others. Bukhari and Muslim reported that, Ibn Abbas said: “The messenger of Allah (pbuh) was the most generous of people (in doing good). He was most generous during Ramadan.”
As reported by Bukhari in a Hadith, Allah says that all other deeds of mankind are for themselves, but that fasting is for Him and He will reward it without measure.
Fasting as an act of worship has no equal among the worships of Allah. As reported by Nasa’i in a Hadith, Allah says that “fasting is mine and has no equal in my sight. I am the only one to reward it.”
Supplications offered at sunset after breaking the fast are not rejected by Allah. Baihaqi reported in a Hadith that the du’a (supplication) of a person fasting will not be refused.
Fasting person has two moments for joy: one is when he/she breaks the fast and the other is when he/she rejoices over the fasting in the Day of Judgement, reported by Muslim.
Fasting will intercede for a person on the Day of Judgement. Ahmad reported in a Hadith that fasting will say to Allah, “O Lord, I prevented him from his food and physical desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.”
The unpleasant body odour of a fasting person is considered a blessing. Ahmad reported in a Hadith that the odour from the mouth of a fasting person is a strong fortress that keeps the person safe from fire.
Muslim reported that whoever fast one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will remove his face a distance of seventy light years from hell fire.
Muslim also reported in a Hadith that whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah by fasting for one day will enter Paradise if that day should prove to be the last of his life.
Bukhari reported in a Hadith that there is a gate called al-Rayyaan through which only those who fast will enter Paradise. The gate will be locked after them, as no one else is permitted to enter through it.
The night that is better than a thousand nights (Lailatul Qadr) is in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. The Holy Qur’an was revealed during this month.
Bukhari reported that when Ramadan begins the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of hell closed, and the devils are put in chains.
Ramadan fasting, as reported by Ahmad, is equivalent to ten month’s fasting. This means that the rewards of fasting during Ramadan are equivalent to those of fasting during ten other months.
Ramadan fast, as reported by Bukhari, attracts Allah’s forgiveness of previous sins. All previous sins of whoever fasts during Ramadan out of faith and with the hope of rewards will be forgiven.
Ahmad reported that Allah frees those that fast from hell fire and at the breaking of every fast, Allah chooses people to free from hell fire.
Though the above-listed virtues are by no means exhaustive, they indicate what benefits could be derived by fasting if performed for the sake of Allah alone and according to the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Ramadan: Some dos and don’ts
Eating, drinking, or engaging in any other acts that break the fast – intentionally – between dawn and sunset during the month of Ramadan is a grave sin (kabeera). The punishment for this act is greater than kaffara (fasting for sixty consecutive days, feeding sixty needy people, or freeing a slave). The person that engaged in such acts must continue to seek Allah’s forgiveness and has to sincerely repent and execute more voluntary worship to avoid shortfalls in his/her obligatory deeds, that Allah might accept his/her repentance.
Bukhari reported in a hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever forgets while fasting and eats or drinks should complete his fast, for Allah has fed him and given him drink.” It is said in the Al-Hakim version however that “whoever breaks his fast forgetfully has no re-fasting or atonement for it.”
Having sexual intercourse during the day is a major offence during the month of Ramadan. Its punishment is either to fast sixty consecutive days, feed sixty needy people, or free a slave. Bukhari and Muslim reported in a hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) said to a man that had sexual intercourse with his wife during the day to fast for two consecutive months, or provide for sixty people – what will feed them at once, – or free a slave. If a person has intercourse during the day on more than one occasion during Ramadan, he must offer this expiation for each day as well as repeat the fast for each day.
Uttering falsehood or taking any action in accordance with it or adjudged to be foolish could lead to the loss of the rewards of fasting. The Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith reported by Bukhari that Allah has no need for a one that does not abandon falsehood or acts in accordance with it or foolishly to refrain from eating or drinking.
The person that needs to break his/her fast to save someone whose life is in danger may do so, but should make up for it later. This could apply when someone is drowning, when fires need to be put out, etc.
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