FASTING IN RAMADAN
The fourth of the five principles of Islam is to fast every day in the blessed month of Ramadan. The fast became fard on the tenth day of the month of Shaban eighteen months after the Hegira and a month before the Ghaza (Holy War) of Badr. Ramadan means to burn. For the sins of those who fast and beg Allah for forgiveness in this month burn and perish.
It is written in the book Riyad-un-nasihin that Hadrat Abu Huraira ‘radi-Allahu anh’ stated in the book Bukhari: Rasulullah ‘sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam’ declared, “When the month of Ramadan comes the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, and the devils are tied.” Imam-ul-aimma Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Huzaima writes that Hadrat Salman-i-Farisi (radi Allahu ‘anh) conveyed that Rasulullah (sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) had declared in his khutba on the last day of the month of Shaban: “O Muslims! Such a great month is about to overshadow you that one night [Qadr night] in this month is more beneficial than a thousand months. Allahu ta’ala has commanded fasting every day during this month. Also, it is a sunnat to perform the namaz of tarawih at nights during this month. Doing a small favor for Allah’s sake during this month is like doing the fard in other months. Doing the fard in this month is like doing seventy fards in other months. This month is the month of patience. The place where the patient person will go is Paradise. This month is the month of getting along well. There is an increase in the subsistence of believers during this month. If a person gives iftar to a fasting person in this month his sins will be forgiven. Allahu ta’ala will manumit him from Hell-fire. And he will be given as many blessings as has that fasting person.” The Sahaba said, “O Rasulallah! Each of us is not so rich as to give the iftar to a fasting person or to give him a whole meal. The Messenger (‘alaihi-s-salam) declared; “The blessings will be given even to a person who gives a date as the iftar or who provides a little water to break the fast or who offers a little milk. This month is such a month that it has compassion in its early days, pardon and forgiveness in the middle, and liberation from Hell in the latter days. Allahu ta’ala will forgive and rescue from Hell-fire those [patrons, chiefs, commanders and directors] who facilitate the duties of [workers, civil servants, soldiers and students]. Do four things very often in this month! Two of them Allahu ta’ala loves very much. They are to say the Kalima-i-Shahada and to say the istighfar. And the other two you have to do at all times. They are to ask for Paradise from Allahu ta’ala and to trust yourself to Allahu ta’ala to be protected from Hell. A person who gives water to a fasting person during this month will never be in need of water on the Rising Day.”
A hadith which exists in Sahih-i-Bukhari declares, “If a person knows it as fard and as a duty to fast in the month of Ramadan and if he expects its thawab from Allahu ta’ala, his past sins are pardoned.” This means to say that it is necessary to believe that fasting is Allah’s command and to expect blessings for it. It is a condition not to complain that the days are long or that it is difficult to fast. One should deem it good luck and a great fortune to fast with difficulty among people who do not fast.
It is declared in a hadith, which is quoted from Jabir ibn Abdullah ‘radi-Allahu ta’ala anh’ by Abdul’azim Munziri, who was a hafiz [savant of hadith], in his book Attarghib wattarhib, and by hafiz Ahmad Baihaki in his book Sunan: “In Ramadan-i-Sharif Allahu ta’ala bestows five gifts on my Umma, which He has not given to any other prophet:
1 – The first night of Ramadan Allahu ta’ala regards the believers with compassion. He never torments a born slave of His whom He regards with compassion.
2 – At the time of iftar the fasting person’s breath smells to Allahu ta’ala more fragrant than any scent.