Fasting in the Month of Ramadan

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Sheikh Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al Huqil

"As a reward for what they used to do."

Ramadan is the field for work

Praise be to Allah, the Ever-Patronizing, the Worthy of all Praise, the All Rich, and the Ever-Generous. He bestows bounties on His Servants, opens for them the gates of blessings, and helps them doing good deeds. We praise Him, for He is the only worthy of praise because good is in His Hands and evil is not from Him. We thank Him for what He has given because His Favors and Bounties for His Servants are countless. He created His Servants from nonentity, has given them blessings, guided them to faith, and rewarded them for faith with His Benevolence. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no partner. He made days and nights for people to do actions therein and every worker shall find the fruits of his actions. "So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it. * And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it." [Surat Az-Zalzalah: 7 -8]. I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger who used to give glad tidings for his Companions with Ramadan, inform them that it is a blessed month, exert efforts therein for doing righteous deeds, and stay in the masjid in the last ten days of Ramadan. May Allah send His Peace and Blessings upon him and bless him, bless his family, his Companions, and his followers until the Day of Recompense.

Fear Allah (may He be Exalted), obey Him, and receive this Month by the renewal of repentance and frequent forgiveness. Fill it with the best of your actions and achieve therein the purpose of fasting which is piety. "O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fast) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqűn (the pious)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 183].

O people, in the code of worldly life, every worker finds the effect of his action, gain the fruit of his efforts. On the other hand, the one who does not do shall get nothing, the one who uses crime as a living is punished by his crime, the one who perfects his work shall be happy with his earning and shall find joy in his living. "On each -these as well as those- We bestow from the Bounties of your Lord. And the Bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden." [Surat Al Isra': 20].

As Allah linked success in life with the reasons of work and production, Allah (Glory be to Him) linked success in the Hereafter with the reasons of faith and righteous work. So, there is no winning in the Hereafter without faith and work, but it is rather the evident loss and the painful torment. "It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allâh. * And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer [in the Oneness of Allâh (Muslim)], such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date-stone, will be done to them." [Surat An-Nisa': 123-124].

Verily, Qur'an is full of great Ayahs which explain that retribution shall be according to the actions done and the work of a person is the cause of his profit and loss, and on the Day of Recompense, he shall gain the fruit of his actions. "This Day (Day of Resurrection), none will be wronged in anything, nor will you be requited anything except that which you used to do." [Surat Yasin: 54].

In another Ayah: "Every person is a pledge for what he has earned." [Surat Al Muddathir: 38].

The Qur'an contains a clear statement about the retribution of action whether for the people of Paradise or for the denizens of the Fire:

As for the dwellers of Paradise: "That He may recompense those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds. Those, theirs is forgiveness and Rizq Karîm (generous provision, i.e. Paradise)." [Surat Saba': 4].

In another Ayah: "So because of what they said, Allâh rewarded them Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein forever. Such is the reward of Al Muhsinűn (the good-doers)." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 85].

They are people who purified their hearts with faith and monotheism and purified their body organs with pious actions, so they deserved Paradise as a retribution to their actions. "'Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever: such is the reward of those who purify themselves (by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allâh has forbidden and by doing all that Allâh has ordained)." [Surat Taha: 76].

The reward for their pious actions is great which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard about, and no person has ever imagined that. "No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do." [Surat As-Sajdah: 17].

Those who have money may be deceived by their money and those who seek power by their children; they will not avail them on the Day of Recompense. So, Allah (may He be Exalted) denied these claims and stressed that nothing shall avail but faith and righteous deeds because the reward of the doers of good deeds shall be doubled out of Allah's Bounty and Generosity. "And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. please Allâh), but only he who believes (in the Islâmic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds (will please Us); as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security." [Surat Saba': 37]. Then, He increased their reward and gave them more than what they have done. "A reward from your Lord, an ample calculated gift (according to the best of their good deeds)." [Surat An-Naba': 36].

The reason for reaching this great hope is good intention. This hope is gaining the pleasure of Allah (may He be Exalted) and His Paradise. Whoever does any action for the sake of people and seeks the reward from them will not have any reward because of the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah (Blessed and Exalted be He) says: I am the One Who is most free from want of partners. He who does a thing for the sake of someone else beside Me, I discard him and his polytheism." [Reported by Muslim].

When Allah (may He be Exalted) mentioned the reward of the pious, He mentioned their descriptions, such as feeding the poor, but their feeding is not for the reward of people or to be said about them: How rich and generous they are!

However, they do all things for the sake of Allah (may He be Exalted): "(Saying): "We feed you seeking Allâh's Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you." [Surat Al Insan: 9].

In Ramadan, there are manifestations for feeding the poor represented in setting up breakfast tables, so let those who set up these dining tables make them for the sake of Allah because there is no reward except for sincerity.

In other Ayahs, He makes patience a cause for retribution because doing good actions and stopping evil need patience. "Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect." [Surat Al Furqan: 75]. "And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient." [Surat Al Insan: 12].

Their perfection of actions will not be wasted by Allah (may He be Exalted). "They shall have all that they will desire with their Lord. That is the reward of the Muhsinűn (good-doers)." [Surat Az-Zumar: 34]. The law of reward for perfection of actions will be applied to them. "Is there any reward for good other than good?" [Surat Ar-Rahman: 60].

Retribution for actions is authentically reported about the residents of Hell whom Allah (may He be Exalted) did not wrong, but treated them justly, for He is the Just Ruler (He may be Exalted), moreover He rewarded them for the actions which they used to do in worldly life. "Those who deny Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and the Meeting in the Hereafter (Day of Resurrection), vain are their deeds. Are they requited with anything except what they used to do?" [Surat Al A'raf: 147]. Allah (Glory be to Him) explained that their punishment is for their disbelief. "An exact recompense (according to their evil crimes)." [Surat An-Naba': 26]. Allah (He may be Glorified) says about the hypocrites: "Surely, they are Rijs [i.e. Najas (impure) because of their evil deeds], and Hell is their dwelling place — a recompense for that which they used to earn." [Surat At-Tawbah: 95].

When Satan said about Adam and his offspring: "[Iblîs (Satan)] said: See this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!" [Surat Al Isra': 62]. Allah (may He be Exalted) said to it: "(Allâh) said: Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely Hell will be the recompense of you (all) - an ample recompense." [Surat Al Isra': 63].

As Allah rewarded those who perfect their actions for their good deeds, He punished the people of evil for their evils. "And those who have earned evil deeds, the recompense of an evil deed is the like thereof, and humiliating disgrace will cover them (their faces). No defender will they have from Allâh. Their faces will be covered as it were with pieces from the darkness of night. They are dwellers of the Fire, they will abide therein forever." [Surat Yunus: 27].

Allah combined both groups in one Ayah: "And to Allâh belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, that He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done (i.e. punish them in Hell), and reward those who do good, with what is best (i.e. Paradise)." [Surat An-Najm: 31].

The law of Allah (may He be Exalted) is that He would be Generous with His Believing Servants, therefore He shall reward them with the best of their actions, which is believing in the Oneness of Allah (Glory be to Him). "Those who believe [in the Oneness of Allâh (Monotheism) and in Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him, and do not give up their faith because of the harm they receive from the polytheists], and do righteous good deeds, surely, We shall expiate from them their evil deeds and shall reward them according to the best of that which they used to do." [Surat Al 'Ankabut: 7].

Of His Justice with the disbelievers is that He would not punish them except for their worst actions, which is disbelief. "But surely, We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment, and certainly, We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do." [Surat Fussilat: 27].

Allah (may He be Exalted) treats His Pious Servants with great benevolence that deserves gratitude because He is the One who gives the reward, guides to good actions, helps people to do them, then counts them for reward; all these are parts of His Generosity and Benevolence because every favor is a bounty from Him and every indignation is out of His Justice.

His Reward for His Servants with Paradise is not a reward for their actions in worldly life because Paradise does not have a price and because Allah (may He be Exalted) gave His Servants favors that are much more than their actions. However, the wisdom of Allah (Glory be to Him) entails that pious actions to be the cause of His Pleasure and Paradise which its residents shall have as a reward for them and they will not have it by their actions only.

We Allah ask (may He be Exalted) to bestow His Bounty on us, forgive us, encompass us with His Mercy, and help us to please Him; He is All Hearer, All Responding.

Second Sermon

Praise be to Allah, praise much, good and blessed therein, blessed thereupon, as our Lord likes and is pleased. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah send His Peace and Blessings upon him, his family, his Companions and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Recompense.

Fear Allah (may He be Exalted), obey Him, and do righteous deeds because you shall be rewarded for your actions. "To Him is the return of all of you. The Promise of Allâh is true. It is He Who begins the creation and then will repeat it, that He may reward with justice those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh — Islâmic Monotheism) and did deeds of righteousness. But those who disbelieved will have a drink of boiling fluids and painful torment because they used to disbelieve." [Surat Yunus: 4].

O Muslims, Ramadan is the field for pious actions and a big market for the Hereafter which its profits are guaranteed and its actions are preserved. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the (Hell) Fire are closed, and the devils are chained." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

The gates of Paradise are opened in Ramadan and the gates of Hell are closed because of the pious actions of people, so Allah (Glory be to Him) is pleased with the actions of the pious.

Verily, Ramadan is the field for pious actions because its fast is an obligation. Fasting is one of the greatest actions because a fasting person leaves his lusts for the sake of Allah (may He be Exalted). Allah (He may be Glorified) says in the Divine Hadith: "All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

People give in charity frequently in that month. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous in Ramadan.

Of the types of charity: Feeding the poor, watering people, and giving food for people to break their fast because the one who does so, shall have the reward of the person whom he fed as was reported in the Hadith.

Moreover, it is the month of the Qur'an. "The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'ân." [Surat Al Baqarah: 185]. Gabriel (Peace be upon him) used to study the Qur'an with the Prophet (peace be upon him) every night, which indicates the exclusiveness of reciting the Glorious Qur'an therein.

At night, Masjids are filled with people who perform Tarawih (special voluntary night Salah during the month of Ramadan). Performing Qiyam (Tarawih) has priority over all year nights, where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever performs Salah at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

In Ramadan is Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree), which is better than a thousand months (of worship). Whoever performs Qiyam in that night out of sincere faith and seeking the reward of Allah, all his past sins shall be forgiven as was reported in the Hadith.

'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in Ramadan is not like any other 'Umrah because it equals Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him).

All these great actions with these great rewards indicate that Ramadan is the field for pious actions and season for seeking the reward of Allah and asking for His Favor, Mercy, and Forgiveness, so a person should waste it. So, receive it well and prove to Allah (may He be Exalted) that you insist on doing good deeds. Fill it with pious actions and avoid the assemblies of amusement, mindlessness, and television, for they steal people's times and actions, in addition to eating up their good deeds as fire eats up wood.

Send peace and blessing upon your Prophet.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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