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The Merit of Fasting (1/2)

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

El-Bahay El-Kholi

Fasting enjoys, in the eyes of God, a grace unparalleled by other acts of piety and worship.

In a (qudsi hadith (utterances attributed to God outside the Qur'an), Allah says: "All man's work belongs to him. A good deed is repaid from tenfold to seven hundred times". God said: "Fasting belongs to Me and I repay."

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) (Peace be upon him) said: "By He in whose hands Muhammad's soul rests, Allah prefers the stench of the mouth of lie who fasts to the scent of musk".

The Merit of Ramadan

Al-Bukhari and Muslim both reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had said: "With the advent of Ramadan, the portals of Paradise are opened, the gates to hell are closed, and the devils are chained."

According to Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said at the beginning of Ramadan: "A glorious and blessed month has come Allah ordained that you fast during it. During this month, the portals of Paradise are opened, the gates of hell are closed, and the devils are chained. In this month there is one night which is worth more than one thousand months".

The Merit of Ramadan Fast

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of faith seeking no reward, will have all his past sins forgiven."

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) also said: "Whoever breaks the fast even for one day in Ramadan without any legitimate reason, cannot compensate for it by a period of fasting at another time during the year".

Regulations Governing the Fast of Ramadan

Fasting means to refrain and abstain, from dawn till sunset, from certain things forbidden by Islamic Law. These are dealt with later. Fasting is divided into two main categories:

a. Fard (obligatory fasting), which comprises the following:
i. Ramadan fast.
ii. kaffara (the fasting of atonement).
iii. Nadhr (relating to the taking of a vow).

b. Tatawwu' (voluntary fasting), which is confined to those additional days throughout the year which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to observe as fasting days.

Fasting is One of the Five Pillars of Islam

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Islam is built on five pillars: the Shahada (profession of faith) that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Salat (prayers), Zakat (alms-tax), the Sawn of Ramadan (fast) and Hajj (pilgrimage).

Ramadan fast was prescribed on the second Monday of the month of Sha'ban, in the second year of the Hijra.

Fasting is obligatory for every Muslim provided that he or she is adult and in full possession of his or her faculties.

Exemptions for Temporary Causes Include:
i. Women in menstruation or child-birth bleeding.
ii. Persons in sick bed or on a journey.

These exemptions will be discussed later.

It is preferable that children, though they are not under obligation to fast, should be trained in fasting in order to prepare them for carrying out their adult obligations in this respect.

Al-Rabi Bint Mu'awwadh said in this connection "On the Day of Ashoura, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had a man tour the villages of the Ansar (the original inhabitants of Medina who supported the Prophet (Peace be upon him)) ordering those who had not yet partaken of food to fast during the day and those who had eaten to abstain and fast the rest of the day. Later, we used to fast that day and have our small children fast upon it. We used to take them to the mosque and give them toys made of wool to distract them from their hunger until iftar time". (i.e. the breaking of the fast).

(Continued)

Source: Al-Siyam "Fasting"
 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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