Why Must We Be Generous On Ramadan?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Realms; and Prayers and Peace of Allah
be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.
Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Lata'if Al-Ma'arif,
addressing the increasing generosity of The Prophet, Prayers and Peace of
Allah be upon him, in the month of Ramadan: It has many implications,
1- The honor of time and the reward for an act multiplied.
2- To assist the fasting, standing (at night in prayer), and those who
remember Allah to do their acts of worship, thereupon a reward like theirs is
assured to the assistant. It is narrated by Zayd Ibn Khalid, may Allah be
pleased with him, from The Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him,
that he said: «He, who serves food to a fasting person to break his fast,
receives a reward like his reward, without reducing anything from the reward
of the fasting person.» [reported by At-Tirmizi and others]
حديث زيد بن خالد عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «من فطر صائماً كان له مثل
أجره، غير أنه لا ينقص من أجر الصائم شيئاً» أخرجه الترمذي وغيره.
3- During the month of Ramadan, Allah Almighty bestows generously His mercy
and forgiveness upon His servants, and emancipates slaves in large quantities
from the Hell-fire, especially on the night of Al-Qadr (the night of decree).
Allah bestows mercy upon those of His servants who are merciful to others, as
confirmed by The Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him: «Verily,
Allah bestows mercy only upon those of His servants who are merciful to
others.» [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إنما يرحم الله من عباده الرحماء» رواه البخاري.
So, he, who gives generously to the servants of Allah, Allah Almighty,
subsequently, bestows generously upon him out of His bounties, and it is known
that the reward always is given from the same kind of deed.
4- The combination of fasting and giving in charity is among the things that
guarantees Paradise. Along these lines, it is narrated by 'Ali, May Allah be
pleased with him, from The Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him,
that he said: «In paradise there are rooms which their back are apparent from
its front and its front is apparent from the back», the companions asked: for
whom are these rooms 'Oh' Messenger of Allah? He said: «for those who talk to
the people kindly, feed the people, observed fast plenty, and perform prayers
when others are sleeping.»[reported by At-Tirmizi]
كما في حديث علي رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «إن في الجنة
لغرفا يرى ظهورها من بطونها وبطونها من ظهورها»، فقام إليه أعرابي، فقال: "لمن هي
يا نبي الله؟" قال: «هي لمن أطاب الكلام وأطعم الطعام وأدام الصيام وصلى لله
بالليل والناس نيام» أخرجه الترمذي.
All those characteristics gather in Ramadan, where the believer observes
fasts, stands (at night in prayer), gives in charity, and speaks good and
pleasant words, since the fasting person is forbidden to engage in vain
discourse and obscenity.
Furthermore, fasting, giving in charity and prayer convey him who perform them
to the presence of Allah Almighty.
One of the righteous forefathers said: "Prayer conveys its doer to half the
way, fasting leads him to the gate of The Sovereign, and charity takes him by
his hand and admits him to the presence of The Sovereign."
It is narrated by Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, The Prophet,
Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, that he said: «Who among you has
observed fast today?» Abu Bakr said:" I." he further asked: «Who among you has
followed a funeral today?» Abu Bakr said:" I." he asked again: «Who among you
has served food to a needy today?» Abu Bakr said:" I." he asked: «Who among
you has given in charity?» Abu Bakr said: "I." he asked (for the fifth time):
«Who among you has visited a patient to inquire about his health?» Abu Bakr
said: "I." on that The Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said:
«Those (characteristics) never gather in a man but that he will enter
Paradise.» [Reported by Muslim]
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: «أصبح منكم
اليوم صائماً؟ قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه: أنا. قال: فمن تبع منكم اليوم جنازة؟
قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه: "أنا". قال: فمن أطعم منكم اليوم مسكيناً؟ قال أبو بكر
رضي الله عنه: "أنا". قال: فمن عاد منكم اليوم مريضاً؟. قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه:
"أنا". فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ما اجتمعن في أمريء، إلا دخل الجنة».
5- The combination of fasting and charity is more convenient to expiate sins,
safeguard, and keep one away from Hell-fire, especially when voluntary night
prayer is joined to them. It is proven from The Messenger of Allah, Prayers
and Peace of Allah be upon him, that he said: «Fasting is a protective shield
(from the Hellfire).» [reported by Al-Bukhari]
عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: «الصيام جنة» أخرجه البخاري.
According to another narration: «Fasting is as an armor of a fasting person
against Hellfire like one's armor in a battle» [Reported by An-Nasa'i]
وفي رواية: «الصوم جنة من النار، كجنة أحدكم من القتال» أخرجه النسائي.
It is also narrated by Mu'ath, may Allah be pleased with him, from The
Prophet, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, that he said: «No doubt,
charity extinguishes (i.e. expiates) sins in the same way as the water
extinguishes fire; likewise, standing up at night for voluntary night prayer.»
[Reported by Al-Albani]
وفي حديث معاذ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم «الصوم جنة، والصدقة تطفيء الخطيئة
كما يطفيء الماء النار، وصلاة الرجل من جوف الليل» أخرجه الألباني.
Abu Ad-Darda', may Allah be pleased with him, used to say: "Pray two Rak'as in
the darkness of night (perchance their reward would illuminate) for your sake
in the darkness of the grave; and observe fast on a very hot day, (perchance
its reward would cool) for the heat of the Day of Resurrection; and give
charity (perchance its reward would remove) for the evil of a severe day."
6- One could not flee from deficiency and shortcoming in fasting, and in order
for fasting to expiate sins, it is requisite for one to refrain from the
things he is required to ward off, as mentioned in a Hadith reported by Ibn
Hibban in his Sahih.
The laymen could hardly refrain from all such things in their fasting, as it
should be. For this reason, a man is forbidden to say: "I have fasted the
whole month of Ramadan," or "I have spent all nights of Ramadan standing (in
prayer)." Thus, charity comes to mend that shortage and defect. This is why
Zakat Al-Fitr has been enjoined at the end of Ramadan, as a means to purify
the fasting person from vain discourse and obscenity.
Fasting and charity are functioned in expiations for oaths, proscriptions of
Ihram, and having sexual intercourse with one's wife during the day of
Ramadan. So, in the early days of Islam, Allah Almighty gave Muslims the
freedom to choose between fasting and feeding the needy. However, this was
abrogated, and feeding remained an alternative only for him who has no power
to fast, due to his old age. Whoever delays to compensate the fasts of Ramadan
until the coming of the next Ramadan, it becomes incumbent upon him to
compensate it along with feeding a needy per day, as a means of strengthening
according to the majority of scholars. That is the fatwa given by the
companions, may Allah be pleased with them. The same applies to him who breaks
fast for the sake of another, like the pregnant and the breastfeeding woman,
according to the opinion of a set of scholars.
7- The fasting person leaves his food and drink for the Sake of Allah. So, if
he aids fasting persons like him on their piety, through serving them with
food and drink, he then will be in the position of him who leaves a desire for
the Sake of Allah, and gives others preference over him with it, or supports
them from it. For this reason, he is encouraged, at the time of breaking his
fast, to have fasting persons share with him the meal, for at that time, food
and drink are the dearest to him, and if he supports them from it, he will be
like those who give food to others, in spite of their love for it.
furthermore, by doing so, he will give thanks to Allah for making food and
drink permissible for him after forbidding them to him (during fasting). This
is a grace that is not valued, except when deprived from it.
Some of the righteous forefathers was asked: "Why has fasting been ordained?"
he said: "In order that the rich would taste hunger, thereby forget not the
hungry." That is indeed one of the wisdoms and merits of fasting.
We have previously mentioned the traceable Hadith narrated by Salman, may
Allah be pleased with him, in which he said: "It (Ramadan) is the month of
equality. He, who could not give others preference over himself, should not
fail, at least, to be of these who support others." Many righteous forefathers
used to fast and support others from, or give others preference over
themselves with their meals of breaking fast, and spend their days and nights
with their bellies empty. Whenever Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with them,
fasted, he would break his fast only with the needy. If his family happened to
prevent them from him one night, he would not have his supper on that night.
Whenever a beggar came to him while he was getting his meal of breaking fast,
he would take his share of food and give it to him, and return to find his
family having finished the remaining food in the bowl, thereupon he would fast
on the coming day, without eating anything.
A righteous predecessor had a desire for a certain kind of food and he was
fasting. At the time of breaking fast, this food was presented in front of
him, but he heard a beggar saying: "Who is it to give a goodly loan to (Allah)
the respite giver, the faithful Who is free of need?" he said: "His destitute
servant who is bankrupt of good deeds." He stood and carried out the bowl and
came out to him with it, and spent that night with his belly empty.
On another occasion, a beggar came to Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon
him, and he gave him two loafs he had prepared for the meal of breaking fast.
Al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to serve his brothers (in
religion) with food while he was fasting voluntarily, and sit to comfort them
Ibn Al-Mubarak, may Allah have mercy upon him, used to serve his brothers (in
religion) when travelling with different kinds of sweet and other edibles
while he was fasting.
Allah's peace be upon those souls! Allah's mercy be upon those spirits!
Nothing remained of them but news and traditions. How different are those who
withhold the right that is due on them, from those who give others preference
over themselves (with all they have)!
Do not compare our tales to them***for the healthy when walks isn't like the
8- There are further implications: Ash-Shafe'i, may Allah have mercy upon him,
said: "It is better for one to increase his generosity in the month of
Ramadan, in imitation of The Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be
upon him. People in it are in need for what sustains them, as a lot of them
engage in fasting and prayers from their labors." That is the opinion of Al-Qadi
Abu Ya'la and a lot of our companions.
Prepared by: Dar Al-Qasem
Revised to agree with authentic hadeeth
Translated by Wathakker.netwebsite