BENEFITS OF FASTING; EMPHASIS ON RAMADĀN By Balogun AbdulBasit Umar
Indeed, all praises are due to Allah the one who created all mankind and made the Muslims the best of them, He sent down prophets to serve as our guides towards the attainment of his mercy and Made Muhammad the best of them, He revealed books to his messengers and Made al-Qur`an the best of them all. He gave us 12 months and made the blessed month of Ramadan the best of them, gave us 7 days in a week and made the day of Jumu’ah the best of them. And out of many nights and made Laylatul qadr the best of them. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon his noble prophet whom he sent to take us from darkness into the light, Muhammad ibn Abdillah, his wives, his household, his companions and those who thread his path until the day of Judgment. After that:
The month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual cogitation, development in all manner of activities that we routinely carry out and to also increase in our dedication and service of Almighty Allah. Muslims are thereby encouraged to increase in their abidance to the tenets of Islam. We are also encouraged to seek the mercy, forgiveness and salvation from jahannnam from Allah in abundance.
BENEFITS OF FASTING IN THE MONTH OF RAMADAN
Therefore, fasting in the Month of Ramadan is embedded with numerous benefits, some we know and the rest are known to Allah alone, some of these benefits are:
- OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENT OF ALLAH
The first and foremost of the benefits of fasting is that it is an act of obedience to Allah the almighty. Where he commanded us in the Quran that fasting has been enjoined upon us as it was enjoined upon those before us. Allah says
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V. 2:2).
-Sura Al-Baqarah, Ayah 183
كِينٍ ۖ فَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ ۚ وَأَنْ تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.
-Sura Al-Baqarah, Ayah 184
- BESTOWED SOLELY UPON THE UMMAH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD
This month is given to the Ummah of Muhammad alone and no other Prophet before him had this ample opportunity. The month on which the Qur’an was revealed and all other books too. (See tafsir of Ibn Kathir on Q2V185))
- ONE OF THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is a pillar among the pillars of Islam which are the basic acts that every Muslim who is sane, mature and able are to carry out. This is clearly stated in the Hadith of Jibril and the hadith that reports that Islam has been built upon 5 pillars.
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah son of ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ ) said:
(The superstructure of) al-Islam is raised on five (pillars), testifying (the fact) that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is His bondsman and messenger, and the establishment of prayer, payment of Zakat, Pilgrimage to the House (Ka’ba) and the fast of Ramadan.
(Sahih Muslim 16) we remember the Hadith in
Narrated Talha bin ‘Ubaidullah:
A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Messenger ( ﷺ ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger ( ﷺ )! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers.” He replied: “You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting.” He replied, “You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me.” Thus, Allah’s Messenger ( ﷺ ) informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, “By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah’s Messenger ( ﷺ ) said, “If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise).
Sahih al-Bukhari (1891) of a Man that met the prophet about the actions (fasting and Salat) that are made compulsory upon him. The Prophet replied that the five daily prayers and fasting in Ramadan except he wants to add the nawaafil to it. He swore never to do more than these and the Prophet said if he was true to his words he would enter paradise
- JANNAH BONANZA
The other many benefits of fasting in this month is that Allah has made attainment of Jannah so easy for us that he would order the gates of Jannah to be opened and the gates of hell be closed so that none of us would miss out of this great benefit. He would order the shayaateen to be tied up too to reduce our pervasiveness towards committing sins in this month. As reported by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah ( ﷺ ) said, “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”
(Sahih Muslim 1079)
- UNCERTAINTY IN THE MAGNANIMITY OF THE REWARD WE GET
Another amazing benefit of Ramadan is that we do not know the magnitude of the rewards that we’re going to get for fasting in this blessed month. Allah said in a Hadith Qudsi that every act of worship from his servant is for him except for fasting. Allah said it’s his and he will be the one to rewards him for it. Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ ) as saying:
Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk. (Bukhari 1904)
- FORGIVENESS OF OUR PREVIOUS SINS
Also part of the benefits of Ramadan is that Allah has promised forgiveness to anyone who fasts Ramadan with Iman and Ihtisaab Allah would forgive the sins he has committed prior to that time. Scholars have explained that these forgiveness covers only the minor sins while the major sins can only be pardoned when a sincere tawbah is made.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet ( ﷺ ) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari 1901)
- BAAB AR-RAYYAAN
Final of the benefit of Ramadan is that on the day of Judgment, there is a special gate in Paradise that is purposely created for those who have fasted the month of Ramadan
The Prophet ( ﷺ ) said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” (1896 Bukhari).
How beautiful would this be when we have a special gate that we would be admitted into paradise through.
As we fast, we tend to control our temper and show a high level of carefulness to what we do so as not to be deprived of the rewards of fasting. According to the Hadith Narrated from;
The Prophet ( ﷺ ) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” (Bukhari 1903)
- PURITY OF THE SOCIETY
When the month of Ramadan comes, we would notice that sanity would relatively return back to our society as a result of the respect the muslims give to this month. The society becomes purer due to the abstinence of Muslims from the vices during the month. This all returns to the hadith of Abu Hurayrah referenced above.
On a final note, I would implore everyone reading this not to allow this great month pass us by without benefitting anything from it. This is the of Bonus and the month when people get Jannah the most. We do not know if this would be our last and we are advised to do our Ibadah like it was our last one. Don’t sleep on it Ramadan is not the month of movies nor football or other frivolities. It is the month where we all turn back to Allah in repentance and in need of his mercy. May Allah grant us many more of this opportunities in this month. Ameen.
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