Virtues of Fasting as Mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah

The Reward for Fasting is Immense

“Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ For the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk.” (Al-Bukhari)

Also, Sahl ibn Sa’ad reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:

“Indeed there is a gate of Paradise called ar-Rayyan. On the day of Resurrection those who fast will enter through it; no one enters it except for them, and when they have entered, it is closed so that no one enters it, so when the last of them enters it, it is closed, and whoever enters it drinks, and whoever drinks never becomes thirsty.” (Ibn Khuzaymah. Sahih)

Fasting is a Shield Against the Fire

“Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire.” (Ahmad. Sahih)

Fasting is a Means for One’s Sins to be Forgiven

“He who fasts Ramadhan, due to iman and hoping for reward (from Allah) then his past sins are forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Supplication of the Fasting Person is Answered

“There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim an supplication which he can make and will be granted.” (Al-Bazzar and Ahmad. Sahih)

Fasting is an Expiation for Various Sins

“Perform the Pilgrimage and the Lesser Pilgrimage for Allah … but whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head must pay a ransom, either by fasting or by charity … “ [Al-Qur’an 2:196]

“Never may a believer kill a believer unless by mistake … and those who find this beyond their means must fast two consecutive months. Such is the penance imposed by Allah; and Allah is Knowing, Wise.” (Al-Qur’an 4:92)

And more (5:89, 5:95 and 58:3-4).

Fasting is a Shield Against One’s Base Desires

“O youths, whoever amongst you is able to marry then let him do so, since it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts, and he who is unable, then let him fast because it is a shield for him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Once we realise the greatness of fasting and what achievement it leads to, we must put all our efforts in performing fasting in the best manner possible. And since fasting is worship, it must be done solely for Allah’s sake, and no intention is accepted, other than pleasing Allah and seeking His Face with all one’s sincerity. Without a correct intention, no deed is of any value in the Hereafter. We Muslims must constantly verify our intentions and consider why we perform fasting. Do we do so merely because it is the practice of our parents and friends, or do we do so because it is part of our tradition, or perhaps because we simply want to conform to our environment in order to avoid any problems? A Muslim who realises that only that which is with Allah remains, and that He is the only One who grants and withholds, would not be of those to which the Prophet, upon whom be peace, alluded to in the hadith:

“On the Day of Judgement, a caller will cry out, ‘Whoever performed a deed for someone other than Allah may seek his reward from that for which he performed the deed.’ “ (Sahih al-Jami’)

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