O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain taqwa (piety). [Surah Baqarah, 02:183]
Fasting in the month of Ramadaan, the ninth month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar is obligatory on Muslims and is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. Fasting was also among the habits of Prophets before Muhammad (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), like Nabi Dawood and Moosa (‘Alayhim-as-Salaam).
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وءاله وصحبه وسلم “من صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه”. رواه البخاري. وتقبل الله صيامكم وطاعاتكم.
Rasoolullah (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]
Dua for Ramadaan
كُلُّ حَسَنة بعشْرِ أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف إلا الصيّام فإنَّهُ لى و أنا أجزي بِه
al Bukhari related a Hadeeth Qudsiyy that Rasoolullah (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “The reward of every good deed is multiplied from ten up to seven-hundred times, except that of the Fasting, for it is for Me and I am it’s reward”.
Al-Ghazali quotes the hadeeth in which Rasoolullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) says that Allah said:
“All of the actions of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting. [Fasting] is for me and and I reward for it [what I please]”.
Why does Allah say that fasting, to the exclusion of other acts of worship, is for Him? Is not our prayer and charity for His sake as well? Al-Ghazali writes that Allah has given the action of fasting an extra degree of honour, by attributing it to Himself, in two ways.
Firstly, fasting is a hidden act of worship; no one is actually able to see you fast. This fact guards one’s intention from being corrupted, unlike prayer, charity and, Hajj (pilgrimage).
Secondly, fasting is an act by which one subdues the devil. Recall, the devil’s capacity is only exercised via one’s desires. By abstaining from food, drink, and intimacy, a Muslim is able to control his desires and hinder the effects of the devil. By defeating the devil, one aids in bringing victory to Allah, i.e., the Deen of Allah:
“O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet” [Surah Muhammad, 47:7].
The blessed month of Ramadaan should be regarded as a wonderful opportunity for every Muslim to save himself from destruction and to purify their soul in preparation for the Quranic guidance that is inherent in night prayer. Allah says that which translates as:
“Indeed, the hours of the night (i.e. the rising for Tahajjud prayer) are more effective for concurrence (of heart and tongue) and more suitable for words (i.e. for recitation of the Quran and for hearing and understanding it).” [Surah al-Muzzammil 73:6]
Rasoolullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s Mercy, the middle of which brings Allah’s forgiveness, and the last part of which brings emancipation from the hellfire.” [Bukhari]
Our goal is gaining in Ramadaan is to attain Taqwa thereby becoming close to Allah.
The people of Taqwa are the successful people in this life and in the hereafter where they will be the dwellers of Paradise. Allah mentions in Surah Aal ‘Imraan: “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the Muttaqeen [people of Taqwa]”.
This cannot be done by merely remaining hungry. Fasting is thus a means of cutting desires, since it reduces the vigor of the limbs of the body, it curtails them. Everything must be in obedience of Allah, which includes the mind and the heart. Du‘ā (supplication) is a necessity. If we cannot beg from Allah at a time like Ramadaan, when will we start?
Rasoolullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected:
‘The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast and the oppressed when he supplicates and whose supplication is raised above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it and Allah will say, “By My Glory! I shall assist you even if it is after a while.”’ [Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan]
There are however, some people who raise their hands in prayer and are impatient for a rapid answer; they may even feel despair if their supplications are not speedily answered.
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Allah will answer the supplication of any one of you as long as he is not hasty and says: ‘I called my Lord and He did not answer.’”
Never lose hope and never despair in the Mercy of Allah. He is al-‘Adl and will never do what is harmful for us nor give us something we cannot bear. So let us continue asking from Allah for He is the Only One who can grant our hearts’ desires.
‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (RadiyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “The fast and the Qur-aan are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur-aan will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” [Ahmad]
We thank You Almighty Allah for granting us another opportunity to be part of this blessed month.
Our Lord! Forgive us and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!
O Most Merciful of those who show Mercy, grant us a share of your mercy which is greater than our sins.
Turn our bad ways into good habits. O Allah let us adhere to justice.
Break the work of those who ascribe partners to you and those who oppress others.
Grant acceptance to the call of the oppressed from every corner of the world and take those being tested through their tests with patience and fortitude.
O Allah strengthen us in carrying out your commands.
Make our feet firm and help us against your enemies.
Unite our hearts and remove the love of dunya (this world and it’s charms) from our hearts.
Grant us the guidance to use this blessed month as gaining nearness to You.
Let us not be of those who are deprived attaining Taqwa. Lead us to your all-encompassing pleasure.
O Allah, make us for You and dedicate us to your religion.