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I Am A Fasting Person

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Dr. Muhammad ibn Abdur Rahman Al-'Arifi

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All praise and thanks be to Allah alone, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon the last and seal of the Prophets

Al-Mu'ala ibn Al-Fudhayl said, ''The ancestors used to invoke Allah for six months to make them witness Ramadan.''

Yahya ibn Kathir said, ''It was from their invocation: O Allah! Let me reach Ramadan. Give Ramadan to me. Take it back from me and accept it...'' So, Ramadan entered upon them while they were waiting for it.

No wonder; Ramadan deserves all that from us.

It is the month of Quran {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'n,} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]

{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ}البقرة: 185

Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu

It is the month of expiating sins... the gates of heavens are opened... the Hellfire is closed... the devils are chained... and whoever fasts it out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), then all his past sins will be forgiven.

And he who establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven... it includes the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)... it is better than a thousand months... in every night in Ramadan, there are for Allah some freed people from Hellfire.

Fasting is the act of worship of the masters. It is the master of the acts of worship.

It is the only act of worship which Allah Almighty has allocated for Himself.

It is reported in the authentic books of Hadith that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, a good deed would be multiplied receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion, food and drink for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts; a joy when he breaks it, and a joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.'' [Reported by Muslim 1151]

كل عمل ابن آدم يضاعف الحسنة عشرة أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف. قال الله عز وجل: إلا الصوم، فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به. يدع شهوته وطعامه من أجلي. للصائم فرحتان: فرحة عند فطره، وفرحة عند لقاء ربه. ولخلوف فيه أطيب عند الله من ريح المسك رواه مسلم

Fasting is the act of worship of the patient. Allah Almighty has said, {Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.} [Surat Az-Zummar 39:10]

{إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ} الزمر: 10

Transliteration: innama yuwaffa alssabiroona ajrahum bighayri hisabin

Fasting is expiation for sins. It is reported in the two authentic books of Hadith that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''The affliction of man in his wife, money, soul, offspring, and neighbors (and the sins committed in their connection) is expiated by fasting, praying, charity and enjoining Al-Ma'rf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden).'' [Reported by Muslim 144]

فتنة الرَّجل في أهله وماله ونفسه وولده وجاره، يكفرها الصِّيام والصَّلاة والصَّدقة والأمر بالمعروف والنَّهي عن المنكر رواه مسلم

It is enough of an honor to the fasting person that Allah Almighty sends His salat upon him, and so do the close Angels. It was authentically reported that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Allah sends His Salt (Graces, Honors, Blessings, Mercy) on those who take the sahr (the last light meal before dawn) and so do His angels (ask Allah to bless and forgive them).'' [Reported by al-Albani 1066 in Sahih At-Targhib, He said: It is authentic and good]

إن الله وملائكته يصلُّون على المتسحرين الألباني، حسن صحيح

Fasting is a shield from Hellfire. It was authentically reported by An-Nas'i that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah's Pleasure, Glorified and Exalted, but that Allah will keep him away from Hellfire for (a distance covered by a journey of) a hundred years.'' [Reported by An-Nas'i 2253 and authenticated by al-Albani]

من صام يومًا في سبيل الله -عزَّ وجلَّ-؛ باعد الله منه جهنَّم مسيرة مائة عامٍ رواه

It was authentically reported by At-Tirmidhi that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah's sake, Allah will make between him and Hellfire a trench just as (vast as the distance) between heaven and earth.'' [Reported by At-Tirmidhi 1624, Al-Albani said: It is authentic and good.]

من صام يومًا في سبيل الله جعل الله بينه وبين النَّار خندقًا كما بين السَّماء والأرض رواه الترمذي، وقال الألباني: حسن صحيح

On the Day of Resurrection the fasting people enter Paradise from a gate called Ar-Rayyn. It is a door through which no one enters but the fasting. When the last of them enters, it will be closed. Whoever enters from it, he will drink... whoever drinks, he will never be thirsty again.

Fasting is a way to heavens. It was authentically reported in the Musnad (the book of Hadith) of Ahmad that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Whoever passes away while fasting a day will enter Paradise.'' [Authenticated by Al-Albani 6224 in Sahih Aj-Jmi']

من ختم له بصيامٍ يوم دخل الجنَّة صححه الألباني

For such virtues, fasting is still enjoying a dignified status with the righteous.

An-Nas'i reported that there was a kind of something between the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, and Hafsah, the Mother of the believers, may Allah be pleased with her... the Prophet divorced her once (in Islam a man can divorce his wife for three times, in the first two he can remarry her during a prescribed time called 'Iddah).

Gabriel came to him and said, ''Remarry Hafsah, she is observant of fasting and optional night prayers and remembrances. Furthermore she is your wife in heaven.'' [Considered good by Al-Albani 4351 in Sahih Aj-Jmi']

راجع حفصة، فإنَّها صوامةٌ قوامةٌ، و إنَّها زوجتك في الجنَّة صححه الألباني

So the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, married her back.

It is reported in the Musnad of Ahmad that Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that one day the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has prepared a holy battle. Abu Umamah came and said, ''O Messenger of Allah! Ask Allah to grant me martyrdom so that I enter Paradise. Upon which the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, ''O Allah! Make them safe and profitable.'' Abu Umamah said, ''So we were safe and profitable.'' He said, ''Then he prepared another holy battle. I came to him and said, ''Ask Allah to grant me martyrdom...'' Upon which the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, ''O Allah! Make them safe and profitable.'' Abu Umamah said, ''So we were safe and profitable.''

He said, ''Then we prepared a third holy battle. I came to the Prophet and said, ''I have come to you two times before this time and I have asked you to ask Allah to grant me martyrdom. You said, ''O Allah! Make them safe and profitable,'' so we were safe and profitable. O Messenger of Allah! Order me to do something.'' Upon which the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, ''Observe fasting. There is nothing like fasting.'' [Authenticated by Al-Albani 769 in Sahih Al-Mawarid]

اللهم! سلمهم وغنمهم. فغزونا، فسلمنا وغنمنا، حتى ذكر ذلك ثلاث مرات، قال: ثم أتيته فقلت: يا رسول الله! [إني] أتيتك تترى ثلاث مرات أسألك أن تدعو الله لي بالشهادة، فقلت: اللهم! سلمهم وغنمهم، فسلمنا وغنمنا يا رسول الله! فمرني بعمل أدخل به الجنة؟ فقال: عليك بالصوم؛ فإنه لا مثل له صححه الألباني

Abu Umamah followed the advice... after that, he was never seen, neither his wife nor his servant but fasting. People never saw smoke (from the oven while cooking) in their house during the day... if smoke was seen during the day; people knew that they were entertaining a guest.

Ibrahim ibn Hani' used to fast a lot until he became elderly. Death came upon him after the afternoon. His mouth went dry; his tongue became stiff. He said, ''I am thirsty.'' His son brought him water. When his son tried to bring it close to his mouth, he closed his lips and asked, ''Did the sun set?'' His son answered, ''No,'' upon which he pushed the bowl off his mouth and refused to break his fast. His son sat waiting for the sun to set with the bowl in his hands. The elderly man sat silent for a while and then he recited {For the like of this let the workers work.} [Surat As-Sft 37:61],

{لِمِثْلِ هَذَا فَلْيَعْمَلِ الْعَامِلُونَ} الصافات: 61

Transliteration: Limithli hatha falyaAAmali alAAamiloona

After that he said the shahadah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger) and died.

The righteous woman from the immaculate house, Nafisah bint Al-Hassan used to fast a lot. She became old and her bones thinned. She approached her death. When her death sickness struck her, she was fasting. Her agony of death became severe so that her sons urged her to break her fast. She looked at them with her lips shrinking and her tongue becoming heavy and said, ''O how astonishing!! For thirty years I have been asking Allah to meet him while I am fasting, do I break my fast when it is time to meet Him? This is not going to happen.'' She then started reciting the Quran and when she reached the words of Allah Almighty, {Say (O Muhammad): ''To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth?'' Say: ''To Allh. He has prescribed Mercy for Himself.} [Surat Al-An'm 6:12], her soul went to its Creator.

{قُلْ لِمَنْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ قُلْ لِلَّهِ كَتَبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ} الأنعام: 12

Transliteration: Qul liman ma fee alssamawati waalardi qul lillahi kataba AAala nafsihi alrrahmata

They knew the wisdom of fasting... So why has Allah ordered you to fast?

Is the utmost purpose that we become hungry and thirsty?

Listen to the answer. Allah has said, {O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqn [the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183]

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} البقرة: 183

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo kutiba AAalaykumu alssiyamu kama kutiba AAala allatheena min qablikum laAAallakum tattaqoona

That you may become what? The hungry? The thirsty? The tired?

{that you may become Al-Muttaqn}, yes, {that you may become Al-Muttaqn}. Piety is a continuous fear of Allah.

So fasting does not deal with the mouth... nor the stomach... nor the hands or legs. It deals with the heart. So, when you fast and your stomach gets affected and become hungry... your mouth becomes dry... and your body becomes weak...

If your heart does not get affected and does not fear Allah... does not soften... does not break in humbleness... then you have not achieved the purpose of fasting.

Some fasting people thought that the purpose of fasting is to give up food and drink.

So they gave up all that is permissible... but they breached their fasting by the forbidden.

What effect does fasting have upon this who supplicates Allah when breaking his fast by saying, ''The thirst has been quenched, the veins have run with blood and the reward has been confirmed...'' and then, he lights his cigarette?

What meaning is there for this who rejoices over breaking his fast while he has gained nothing from fasting but hunger and thirst?

What piety does he hope for this who makes his stomach fast from food but does not prevent his eyes from seeing the forbidden; his ears from hearing the prohibited; his tongue from uttering the obscene?

If you want to achieve piety in fasting... let your heart and limbs fast.

The heart fasts from envy and grudge...

The eye fasts from looking at the forbidden... in veneration to the King, the All-Knowing...

The ear fasts from hearing obscene language and from listening to songs...

The tongue fasts from uttering immoral and heinous words...

The hand fasts from harming people and from dealing in corruption...

The leg fasts from walking to the forbidden... so it will not go forward to commit sins...

Fasting educates you to all the previously mentioned... it educates you to heroism and strong will... it reins in the caprice of lustrous desires...
Let the entering of Ramadan be the beginning of a new start in your life...

Ramadan strengthens your will... by your free will you have given up food... you have stopped drinking (permissible drinks)... no one tied you by ropes... no guardian watched you...

So determine to finish reading the Quran several times in Ramadan... and accomplish it...

Determine to perform the optional night acts of worship in all of Ramadan... and accomplish it...

Determine to quit smoking... and accomplish it...

Determine to purify your eyes and ears from the forbidden... and accomplish it...

Certainly, Ramadan is a chance for the sincere people who want to change. You will not find a better time to reform.

Ramadan teaches us that there is an invincible power inside our souls...
O people! Most people possess the determination but they do not use it.

Look at the conditions of people between the months of Shabaan and Ramadan... how the whole society changes...The mosques are full of the performers of prayers... the benevolent give abundantly.

Readers of the Quran, the fasting persons, the worshippers and the performers of the optional night prayers compete amongst themselves... they are heroes who vanquished the Devil.

Are these souls unable to reform and change if they are sincere in this?

How many young men and women are there who know that their life program needs to be adjusted... for how long will the forbidden affairs continue... for how long will they sleep over and leave praying?

For how long will they be controlled by others... friends... lovers... and lustful people? For how long will they procrastinate? Why could not they be heroes and realize why they have been created?

What does their Lord want from them? Why has He created them into this world?

How many people are there nowadays who are wasting opportunities...

Opportunities for righteousness pass by them... as well as convoys of mercies but they do not leave with them...

Ramadan enters upon them and comes out and they do not change...
Their prayers before Ramadan are their prayers after Ramadan...
Their tongue before Ramadan is their tongue after Ramadan...
Their words are their words... their looks are their looks.

O fasting men and women ...

How beautiful it is to have the courage to tread over the Devil and remove the envies in the hearts of other people towards us!

We remove that by the smile, by being nice... and the best of them is the one who starts saluting the other... or we can remove it by the suitable gift... and ''exchange presents so that you will love each other.'' [Considered good by Al-Albani 462 in Sahih Al-Adab Al-Mufrid]

تهادوا تحابوا رواه البخاري في الأدب المفرد وحسنه الألباني

Or we can remove it by the sincere intention and openness... through candid meeting... or the written communication...

Al-Musawwar ibn Makhramah, may Allah be pleased with him, traveled to The Levant (the Greater Syria) and he came upon Mu'wiyah, may Allah be pleased with him. He asked him for some needs which Mu'wiyah fulfilled for him.

Mu'wiyah was being informed that Al-Musawwar used to criticize him and some of the governors for some matters... and that he might have mentioned these matters to his inner circle.

When people present became a few, Mu'wiyah sat in private with Al-Musawwar...

Then he said, ''O Al-Musawwar! What has your criticism to the Imams done?''

Al-Musawwar said, ''Let's not speak about this... and be benevolent.''

Mu'wiyah insisted that he continues and said, ''By Allah! I will not... you will talk personally and tell me for what you are criticizing me.''

Al-Musawwar spoke... he left nothing that he criticized him for but told him about it...

Mu'wiyah said, ''I am not free from guilt...

O Al-Musawwar! Do you count for us what we have reformed for people? The good merit takes the reward of ten... or do you count the sins and leave the merits?''

Al-Musawwar said, ''Only sins are mentioned.''

Mu'wiyah said, ''I confess to Allah to every sin I have committed...

O Al-Musawwar! Do you secretly have a sin that you fear that you may perish if it is not forgiven?''

He said, ''Yes.''

Mu'wiyah said, ''So what makes you more worthy to hope for the forgiveness of Allah than me?

By Allah, I have no control over reforming more than you do...

But by Allah, if I am to choose between two things: Allah and anything else but that I choose Allah to anything but Him...

I believe in a religion in which deeds are accepted and rewarded by merits... and rewarded by sins except those Allah forgives.''

Al-Musawwar kept silent for a while then he said, ''You have antagonized me.'' And he invoked Allah for him.

Then Al-Musawwar went out from Mu'wiyah's. After that incident, whenever Mu'wiyah was mentioned, he blessed him.

How beautiful it would be if we had the boldness of Mu'wiyah in healing the souls!

In this holy month... where we fully head towards Allah... so why do not we catch it with the hooks of faith?

Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''By Allah, if Allah guides aright even one person through you that is better for you than to possess the most valuable of the camels.'' [Agreed upon]

فوالله لأن يهدي الله بك رجلًا واحدًا، خيرٌ لك من أن يكون لك حمر النّعم متفق عليه

Some sheikhs in the city of Jazan (a city in Saudi Arabia) told me about the Imam Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qara'wi, may Allah have mercy on him, that he had never missed a chance to educate people and calling them to Allah Almighty. One day he passed by a well where shepherds line up to fill their water containers. He noticed that the shepherd would stand for a long time waiting for his turn...

So he built a small sun-shade beside the well. He sat waiting for the shepherds to come with a plate full of dates in his hands. When he sees a shepherd standing he calls for him saying, ''Come and have some dates to eat, and memorize Surat Al-Ftihah.''

The shepherd leaves his donkey standing in the line and comes and sits by the hands of the sheikh. He gives him the dates and repeats the Surat... the shepherd will not reach his turn but that he has memorized it.

By this way hundreds of people memorized Surat Al-Ftihah.

Sometimes, the guidance of someone and giving up of sins might be through an accidental word.

One night in Ramadan I was invited to a live program in some TV channel.

The filming of the meeting took place in Mecca; in a hotel overlooking the Holy Mosque; that the viewers can see the performers of Umrah and the circumambulators; live behind us...

The scene was solemn... to the degree that the heart of the presenter of the program softened until he cried during the program...

The meeting ended... the cameraman with a cigarette in his hand came to thank me... I shook his hand strongly and said, ''I thank you but I have a word.'' He said, ''Go ahead.'' I said, ''Smoking and cigarettes...'' He interrupted me saying, ''Do not advise me... it is useless O sheikh.''

I said, ''Ok, hear from me.'' He interrupted me again saying, ''Oh Sheikh do not waste your time. I have been a smoker for forty years now. Smoking runs in my veins. It is useless! It is useless! Others than you have tried but failed.''
I held his hand and said, ''Come with me to look at the Ka'ba.''

We stood by the window overlooking the Holy Mosque. Every inch of it is filled with people who are bowing or prostrating themselves there, in prayer... the Pilgrims and the crying... The scene was impressive...

I said, ''Do you see these?'' He said, ''Yes.''

I said, ''They came from everywhere... Black and white... Arabs and non-Arab alike... Rich and poor... they all supplicate Allah to accept from them and to forgive them.''

He said, ''It is true.''

I said, ''Do you not wish that Allah give you what He gives them?'' He said, ''Yes.''

I said, ''Raise your hand... And I will supplicate Allah for you.''

I raised my hand and said, ''O Allah, forgive him.''

He said, ''Amen.'' I said, ''O Allah, raise his status... O Allah...''

I kept supplicating for him till his heart softened and he cried. He began repeating, ''Amen... Amen.''

When I wanted to conclude the supplication... I said, 'Oh Allah, if he gives up smoking respond to this supplication but if he does not give it up, deprive him from it.'' The man burst into tears... he covered his face with his hands and went out of the room... A period of time elapsed... and I was invited for the channel for a meeting...

When I entered the building, there was a man coming vehemently towards me... he greeted me warmly... and he was very affected...

I said, ''Thank Allah for your kindness... But who are you?''

He said, ''Do you remember the cameraman whom you advised two years ago to give up smoking?!''

I said, ''Yes.'' He said, ''It is me... by Allah, O Sheikh, I have not put a cigarette in my mouth since that moment.''

Finally, O brothers and sisters

I ask Allah almighty to guide us to fasting Ramadan and to perform the optional night prayers and remembrances; out of sincere faith and hoping to attain His reward.

Written by the poor to the forgiveness of his Lord, the All-Powerful

Dr. Muhammad ibn Abdur Rahman Al-'Arifi
 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

  EsinIslam.Com

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