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The Glad-Tidings for those Fasting to Please Allah, the Lord of the Worlds
Author : Dr. Mufti Lo`ai Somay`at
Date Added : 20-03-2024

The Glad-Tidings for those Fasting to Please Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

 

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad, his family and noble companions.

 

Allah the Almighty created humans and clarified the purpose of their creation, which is to worship Him, Glorified be He. He said: 'And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.[1]' (Quran 51:56). This worship that Allah the Almighty legislated and commanded His servants with is varied in its rituals and means, aiming to achieve for the responsive and believing human both worldly and hereafter happiness.

 

Among these acts of worship and rituals legislated by Allah the Almighty is fasting, which the wise legislator (Allah) encouraged greatly and emphasized its importance. He made for those who observe and maintain it many great rewards, including:

 

The first glad tiding: Fasting is an act of worship like no other.

 

Allah the Almighty has legislated many acts of worship for His servants, such as remembrance, prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, described fasting as a unique form of worship. It is narrated that Abu Umamah asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, which deed is the best. He replied, "You should observe fasting, as there is nothing equal to it.[2]" The meaning of "there is nothing equal to it" is that fasting is distinguished from other acts of worship in many ways that are not found in any other form of worship, making it incomparable.

 

One of these characteristics is that Allah the Almighty honored and distinguished fasting, as mentioned in His saying in the sacred Hadith: "Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for it is for Me and I will reward for it.[3]" Additionally, the Prophet, peace be upon him, described some of the virtues of fasting during the blessed month of Ramadan, saying, "My nation has been given five things in Ramadan which were not given to any other prophet before me. The first one is that when the first night of Ramadan comes, Allah looks at His servants, and whoever Allah looks at, He will never punish him. The second one is that the scent of their mouths when they go to bed is more pleasant to Allah than the fragrance of musk. The third one is that the angels seek forgiveness for them every day and every night. The fourth one is that Allah commands Paradise, saying, 'Prepare yourself and decorate yourself for My servants; they are about to rest from the toils of the worldly life and come to My home and honor.' The fifth one is that when the last night of Ramadan comes, Allah forgives all of them." A man from the people then asked, "Is it the Night of Decree?" The Prophet replied, "No, but don't you see that workers are paid their wages in full after they have completed their work?[4]." Additionally, it is forbidden to engage in anything that is permissible, such as eating, drinking, and intimate relations, from dawn until sunset, which highlights that fasting is unlike any other form of worship.

 

The second glad tiding: Fasting is one of the strongest and quickest ways to purify the soul.

 

Human beings are inherently weak creatures, prone to deficiencies in all aspects of life due to their inclinations towards desires. They cannot reach the level of perfection and success except through purifying their souls. Allah the Almighty says: "He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself, And he has certainly failed who corrupts himself.[5]" (Quran 91:9-10). Ibn Kathir explains the meaning as follows: "He has certainly succeeded who purifies his soul, meaning, by obeying Allah and purifying it from lowly traits and vices. And he has certainly failed who corrupts it, meaning, he made it impure, that is, he weakened it and led it astray from guidance, until he indulged in disobedience to Allah the Almighty.[6]"

 

When one looks at the purpose behind the legislation of acts of worship for the purification of the human soul to make it eligible for perfection, they find that fasting is one of the strongest and quickest methods. This is because fasting closes off many paths that nourish and strengthen the soul, causing it to weaken, humble itself, and submit to its Creator. Therefore, Allah the Almighty says: "O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.[7]" (Quran 2:183). In the statement "that you may become righteous," it indicates that fasting is one of the strongest methods of purifying the soul because righteousness, in essence, involves compelling oneself to obey Allah the Almighty and keeping away from His disobedience. This is exactly what Allah the Almighty wants, loves, and is pleased with.

 

The third glad tiding: Fasting contributes to health and well-being for the body.

 

Preserving human life is one of the essential principles brought by Islam, as evident from many texts that emphasize the prohibition of harming oneself. Among these are Allah's saying: "And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful." (Quran 4:29) and the Prophet's statement: "There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.[9]" To achieve this meaning, Islam has legislated acts of worship that are within the capacity and capability of a Muslim. If something exceeds one's capacity, Islam permits concessions to alleviate hardship and difficulty for the Muslim. One of the benefits of fasting is achieving human health and physical well-being, which occurs through two main avenues:

 

1-Direct Benefits: Medical experts have elaborated on the health benefits of fasting for the human body, highlighting its effectiveness in treating various diseases. These benefits include addressing digestive issues, promoting heart and artery health, managing weight, controlling sugar levels, boosting skin health and immunity, detoxifying the body, enhancing liver health and immunity, combating inflammation, and aiding in overcoming addictions[10].

 

2-Indirect Benefits: This includes the night prayers during Ramadan, known as Tarawih prayers. Undoubtedly, night prayers offer numerous health benefits, as confirmed by the Prophet's statement: "Embrace the practice of night prayer, for it was the practice of the righteous before you. It is a means of drawing closer to Allah, expiation for sins, and prevention from wrongdoing.[11]" The meaning is that night prayer repels diseases from the body or creates conditions that prevent diseases or specific places where diseases are kept at bay[12].

 

The fourth glad tiding: Fasting is a great cause for the acceptance of prayers.

 

Allah Almighty has commanded us to worship Him through supplication, as He says: "And your Lord says, 'Call upon Me; I will respond to you.' Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.[13]'" (Quran 40:60). The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, has also emphasized the special status of supplication, saying, "Supplication is the essence of worship,[14]" and in another narration, "Supplication is worship.[15]" This highlights the importance of supplication in the overall practice of worship.

 

However, regarding fasting, we find a difference as the command to supplicate is mentioned in the middle of the verses about fasting: "And when My servants ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.[16]" (Quran 2:186). This shows us that the month of Ramadan is a time when prayers are answered more swiftly than at other times.

 

Today, we are in great need of supplication, especially with the emergence of pandemics and calamities affecting people with death and destruction. This compels people to turn to Allah Almighty in earnest supplication, seeking relief from harm and calamity. Allah says, "Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil?[17]" (Quran 27:62). Therefore, we should supplicate to Allah, saying: "O Allah, indeed among Your servants, lands, and creations, there is affliction and calamity that we can only complain about to You. So relieve us from affliction and calamity in a way that no one else can, Ameen."

 

The fifth glad tiding: Fasting intercedes for the fasting person on the Day of Judgment.

 

Intercession linguistically [18] means seeking something, and terminologically, it refers to seeking forgiveness for sins committed against someone [19]. There are different types of intercession: some are specific to the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, and his companions and the righteous in this nation, while others are specific to the Quran and acts of worship like fasting. Regarding fasting, it is mentioned in a hadith: "Fasting and the Quran will intercede for the servant. Fasting will say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from food and desires during the day, so accept my intercession for him.' And the Quran will say: 'I prevented him from sleep at night, so accept my intercession for him.[20]'" The meaning of intercession in this hadith is indicated by the words "will intercede" with the letter "ya" pronounced with a fatha (open vowel) and the letter "fa" pronounced with a fatha. It is said that this could imply their embodiment and the creation of speech in them on the Day of Judgment. On that day, meanings and actions will manifest, and it's possible that an angel will speak through them, or it could be metaphorical, meaning they intercede through the state they represent.

 

The sixth glad tiding: Fasting distances the fasting person from entering the Hellfire.

 

This glad tiding is a result of the preceding ones and a fruit of their outcomes. When Allah the Almighty accepts the intercession of fasting, it signifies His mercy and the absence of displeasure towards the servant. As a result, Allah distances the fasting person from entering the Hellfire by His grace and mercy. The intercession of fasting, like other acts of worship, is granted to those who fulfill its pillars, conditions, etiquettes, and preserve them until they meet Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty distances such individuals from the Hellfire for many years.

 

In a hadith, it is mentioned: "There is no servant who fasts for the sake of Allah a day except that Allah will distance his face from the Hellfire by a distance of seventy autumns [21]." Another hadith states: "Whoever fasts a day for the sake of Allah, Allah will create a trench between him and the Hellfire as wide as the distance between the sky and the earth. [22]"

 

The Seventh Glad Tiding: Fasting is a great reason for the fasting person to enter Paradise.

 

Fasting involves abstaining from all desires, which is a significant and heavy task for the human soul. Therefore, a Muslim needs another element to support them in performing this worship in the best possible manner, and that element is patience, which Allah has commanded us to seek help through in all other acts of worship. Allah the Almighty says, "O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient [23]" (Quran 2:153).

 

Therefore, the fasting person is among the patient ones, as Allah mentioned them in the Quran saying, "And give good tidings to the patient [24]" (Quran 2:155), and the good news for them is immense, as Allah mentions in His book saying, "Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account [24]" (Quran 39:10). To explain the meaning of this verse, it has been narrated from Ali bin Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "When Allah gathers the former and the latter generations, a caller will call out: Where are the patient ones? Let them enter Paradise without any reckoning. So, a group from among the people will stand up, and the angels will meet them, asking: Where are you going, O sons of Adam? They will reply: We are going to Paradise. The angels will ask: Before the reckoning? They will answer: Yes. The angels will inquire: Who are you? They will say: We are the patient ones. The angels will then ask: What was your patience for? They will respond: We were patient in obeying Allah until Allah took us [26]" (reported by Ibn Majah).

 

They will enter Paradise through the gate called Ar-Rayyan, and no one will enter through it except them, as the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, "In Paradise, there is a gate called Ar-Rayyan, through which only the fasting people will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will enter through it. It will be said: Where are the fasting people? They will stand up, and no one else will enter through it. Once they have entered, it will be closed, and no one else will enter through it [27]."

 

This is indeed great news for the fasting individuals due to their patience in obeying Allah, so congratulations to them.

 

In conclusion, fasting along with patience, prayer, and standing in prayer - especially during the great Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr) - and all other acts of worship done seeking reward and blessings from Allah, all of this elevates the status of the servant greatly in the sight of Allah in Paradise. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Muslim to persevere and strive diligently to get closer to Allah, thus raising their rank in Paradise and achieving a great success. May Allah make me and all Muslims among them, and our final praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

 

1-[Adh-Dhariyat 51:56] (Surah Adh-Dhariyat, verse 56).

2-An-Nasai: Sunan An-Nasai (4/165).

3-Al-Bukhari: Sahih Al-Bukhari (7/164).

4-Al-Bayhaqi: Shu'ab al-Iman (5/220).

5-An-Nasai: Sunan An-Nasai (4/165).

6-Ibn Kathir: Tafsir Ibn Kathir (8/412).

7-[Al-Baqarah 2:183] (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 183).

8-[An-Nisa 4:29] (Surah An-Nisa, verse 29).

9-Al-Hakim: Al-Mustadrak 'ala As-Sahihain (2/66) and he said: "This hadith has a sound chain of narration according to the criteria of Muslim, and they did not narrate it."

10-Health and Nutritional Benefits of Fasting - Webteb. www.webteb.com.

11-Al-Bayhaqi: Shu'ab al-Iman (4/468).

12-Al-Mubarakfuri: Mar'at al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih (4/226).

13-[Ghafir 40:60] (Surah Ghafir, verse 60).

14-At-Tirmidhi: Sunan At-Tirmidhi (5/456).

 15-At-Tirmidhi: Sunan At-Tirmidhi (5/375).

16-[Al-Baqarah 2:186] (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 186). 

17-[An-Naml 27:62] (Surah An-Naml, verse 62). 

18-Ibn Manzur: Lisan al-Arab (8/184). 

19-Al-Jurjani: Al-Tarifat (p. 127). 

 20-Al-Hakim: Al-Mustadrak 'ala As-Sahihain (1/740) and he said: "This hadith is authentic according to the criteria of Muslim, and they did not narrate it."

21-Muslim: Sahih Muslim (2/808).

22-At-Tirmidhi: Sunan At-Tirmidhi (4/167), mentioned by Al-Haythami in Majma' al-Zawa'id wa Manba' al-Fawa'id (3/194) and he said: "Its chain is good."

23-[Al-Baqarah 2:153] (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 153).

24-[Al-Baqarah 2:155] (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 155).

25-[Az-Zumar 39:10] (Surah Az-Zumar, verse 10).

26-Ad-Dinawari: Al-Majalis wa Jawahir al-Ilm (3/202).

27-Al-Bukhari: Sahih Al-Bukhari (3/25) and Muslim: Sahih Muslim (2/808).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summarized Fatawaa

Should one fulfill his vow of donating an animal to the poor and needy with one sheep although he had repeated the vow several times?

Each vow has to be fulfilled, and repeating the words of the same vow for confirmation renders its fulfillment obligatory as one vow. As for multiple vows, they have to be fulfilled as well.

What is the ruling on shaving the head of the newborn?

It is desirable to shave the head of the newborn on the seventh day from delivery, and the weight of his/her hair is given in gold , or silver as charity.

Is it permissible for a woman who is in her `Iddah (waiting period) due to the death of her husband to go out and mix with non-Mahrams(Marriageable men)?

A woman in such a situation is only allowed to leave her house for a sound reason such as visiting the doctor, and she is only allowed to mix with her Mahrams(Non-Marriageable kin) since it is permissible for a woman, whether in her `Iddah, or not, to mix with her husband and Mahrams. However, she is allowed to accept condolences, and answer inquiries about her situation after such a calamity.

I said to my wife: "You are forbidden to me in bed as is my sister." What is the ruling of Sharia on this?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
You have to fast for two consecutive months before having an intercourse with her. If you can`t, then you have to feed sixty poor persons; a meal for each that is equal half a JD. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.