Virtues of Fasting

We begin by highlighting the position of Ramadaan and the virtues of fasting in our deen in order to awaken the greatness of Ramadaan in our hearts and its position in the eyes of Allah (swt). It is a essential that we adopt the appropriate attitude, together with the correct beliefs with regards to Ramadaan fasting, as this forms the basis of our approach to this month.

Ramadaan and the fasting that is due in this month is a huge symbol of Allah. It demands a heightened reverence, a deep love and motivating drive in fulfilling the month’s duties to the best of our abilities.

This beloved month and its status are indisputable. Fasting is obligatory and leaving it without a valid excuse is considered sinful and a great loss for a Muslim. Abu Hurairah (r.a) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “Whoever breaks his fast during Ramadaan without having one of the excuses that Allah would excuse him for, then even a perpetual fast, if he were to fast it, would not make up for that day.” by Bukhari, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi, with some difference in wording.

From the very inception of Ramadaan, Allah (s.w.t) assigns a special caller with an extraordinary invitation to each one of us, as Rasoolullah (s.a.w) said, “When the first night of Ramadaan comes, the doors of Paradise will be opened and the doors of Hell will be closed, and the devils will be chained, and it will be said, ‘O you who desires virtue! Come forth and O you who desires evil! Stay behind’, and Allah has people whom He frees from Hell every night (in that month).” Bukhari and Muslim

SubhanAllah, from the beginning of this month, Allah (swt) marks the commencement of a spectacular race; one for virtuous good deeds. And what deed can overtake that of fasting for Allah in this month. Fasting is the only deed that Allah Himself singles out over and above any other deed, and that He takes upon Himself to reward without measure due to His love for it. What an honoured status indeed.

Abu Hurairah (r.a) reported a hadeeth qudsi: “Allah says: 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 the Hell and sins). If one of you happens to be fasting then he should avoid relations with his wife, and should avoid quarrelling. If someone quarrels with him, let him say: ‘I am fasting.’ By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than musk. There are two times of joy for the fasting person; when he breaks his fast he is happy; and when he meets his Lord he is happy due to his fasting.” Bukhari and Muslim

This hadith qudsi also captures numerous beautiful merits of fasting, namely the protection from sins and immoral behaviour as well as Hellfire, and a ticket to a special station in the sight of our Lord that will result in a joyous meeting with Him, inshaAllah!

Some final special rewards, attainable only through the sincere intention to fast in Ramadaan, include:

  • An entire history of sins being forgiven;

Narrated Abu Hurayrah that Rasoolullah (s.a.w) said: “He who observed the fasts of the month of Ramadaan out of eeman and ihtisaab (hoping for the reward from Allah), then all his past sins will be forgiven.”  Bukhari

  • Du’as that are guaranteed to parallel nobody else’s except two other supreme categories of people;

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said: “There are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks the fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed.” Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah

  • and last but certainly not least, fasting will petition Allah on our behalf so much so that it will be our aid to Jannah:

Rasoolullah (s.a.w) said: “Fasting and the Quran intercede for a servant on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: “oh my Lord I prevented him from food and desires so accept my intercession for him” and the Quran will say: “I prevented him from sleep at night, so accept my intercession for him.” So their intercessions will be accepted”. Ahmad

Note that the only two things on the Day of Judgement that will be of any avail to us will be fasting and the Quran – how they go together so completely! Our fasting will be there for us on the Day that the mother will abandon her child and no person will have concern for any other but themselves, subhanAllah.

We’d like to add here that Ramadaan is both the month of fasting and the month of the Quran. Ramadaan is not quite Ramadaan when either of the two are lacking.

Quran during pregnancy and when our babies are still breastfed has a unique impression on our children, shaping them, comforting them and forming the foundation of a life-long companionship with them, inshaAllah.

Pregnancy and the duration of breastfeeding, both during and outside of Ramadaan, is a wonderful time to exert ourselves in the recitation of the Quran, listening to it wherever we can, whenever we can so that Quran is a determining component in the formative months of our child’s life.

We end with a powerful hadith that portrays the magnitude of Ramadaan, the effects it is supposed to have upon us, and the basis of our striving to please Allah s.w.t in it:

‘Ubaadah Ibn as-Saamit narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Ramadaan has arrived to you, a month of barakah (blessings), Allah envelops you (with His mercy & blessings), so He descends His mercy, erases the sins, answers your du’aas, and He watches your competition in virtuous deeds and He boasts in front of the angels about you. So let Allah see the best from you for truly, the miserable one is he who is deprived from the mercy of Allah (in this month).” Tabarani