Voluntary fasting and its merits .

” 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. ” [Reported by Muslim]

All perfect praise be to Allah: we praise Him, seek His aid, ask for His guidance, and turn to Him in repentance. We testify that there is no god except for Allah, Alone, with Whom there is no partner; and we testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. We invoke blessing and peace upon the tutor of righteousness to mankind, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdullah, and upon his family and Companions.

Brother and sister in Islam:
I greet you with the greeting of the dwellers of Paradise.
Peace and mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you:
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah said: “I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the dearest things, with which My servant seeks proximity to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My servant keeps on coming closer to Me through supererogatory deeds till I love him. So I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, his sense of sight with which he sees, his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him (i.e. give him My Refuge).” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
«إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَالَ ‏ ‏مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ ‏‏ آذَنْتُهُ ‏بِالْحَرْبِ وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ» رواه البخاري
This is a glorious Hadith, according to which, if one endeavors to do the voluntary acts of worship to come close to Allah the Most Merciful. He will love him, grant him proximity, guide his senses, becomes with him, answers his supplication, and gives him refuge from what he fears, and Allah is sufficient for support. Fasting is the dearest deed to Allah Almighty. He says in a Prophetic Hadith: ” 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.” [Reported by Muslim]
«كل عمل ابن آدم يضاعف الحسنة عشرة أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف. قال الله عز وجل: إلا الصوم. فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به. يدع شهوته وطعامه من أجلي» رواه مسلم
Whoever fasts a day voluntarily, will attain the highest ranks, and is loved by Allah, the Most Merciful; and to persist on that, brings about reward in abundance, and great help of Allah.
Voluntary fasting is of different kinds:
1.     To fast a day and leave the next (i.e. to fast on alternate days); and that is the best voluntary fasting.
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘As, may Allah be pleased with them, that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “The dearest kind of fast to Allah the fast of David (Prophet Dawud peace be upon him), and the dearest prayer to Allah is the prayer of David. (Concerning the prayer) he used to sleep for half the night, then stand (in prayer) for one-third of the night, and sleep for its remaining sixth. (Concerning fasting) he used to fast a day and give up fasting for a day (i.e. fast on alternate days).” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
«إِنَّ أَحَبَّ الصِّيَامِ إِلَى اللَّهِ صِيَامُ ‏‏ دَاوُدَ ‏ ‏وَأَحَبَّ الصَّلَاةِ إِلَى اللَّهِ صَلَاةُ ‏‏ دَاوُدَ ‏ ‏عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام ‏ ‏كَانَ يَنَامُ نِصْفَ اللَّيْلِ وَيَقُومُ ثُلُثَهُ وَيَنَامُ سُدُسَهُ وَكَانَ يَصُومُ يَوْمًا وَيُفْطِرُ يَوْمًا» متفق عليه واللفظ لمسلم
2.    To Fast three days every month. Preferably, the white days (13-15 where the moon is full)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him that he said: “My friend (The Prophet ) entrusted me with three things: To fast three days of every month, to offer the Duha two-rak‘ah prayer(Forenoon prayer), and to offer Witr (prayer) before I go to bed.” [Agreed upon]
«أَوْصَانِي خَلِيلِي ‏‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ ‏بِثَلَاثٍ بِصِيَامِ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ وَرَكْعَتَيْ الضُّحَى وَأَنْ أُوتِرَ قَبْلَ أَنْ أَرْقُدَ» متفق عليه واللفظ لمسلم
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Milhan that he said: The Messenger of Allah ordered us to fast the white days of every month, the thirteenth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth, and said in that respect: “(Fasting) those days weigh (in reward fasting) the days of this life time.” [Reported by Abu Dawud]
‏«كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏‏ يَأْمُرُنَا أَنْ نَصُومَ الْبِيضَ ثَلَاثَ عَشْرَةَ وَأَرْبَعَ عَشْرَةَ وَخَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ قَالَ وَقَالَ هُنَّ كَهَيْئَةِ الدَّهْرِ» رواه أبو داود
3.     To fast the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah, concluded with the Day of ‘Arafah.
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them that he said: The Prophet said: “There are no good deeds, dearest to Allah than those done on these days (He meant The first ten days of Thul-Hijjah).” Then some companions said: “And not even Jihad (fighting) in the Cause of Allah?” He replied: “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except that a man who sets out, endangering himself and his property (in Allah’s cause) and does not return with any of those things.” [Reported by Abu Dawud]
«مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فِيهَا أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَيَّامِ ‏ ‏يَعْنِي أَيَّامَ الْعَشْرِ ‏ ‏قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلَا الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ قَالَ وَلَا الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا رَجُلٌ خَرَجَ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ مِنْ ذَلِكَ بِشَيْءٍ» رواه أبو داود
4.     Fast the day of ‘Arafah
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Qatadah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah was asked about fasting the day of ‘Arafah (for the non-pilgrim). He said: “It expiates (the sins of) both the preceding year and the year following it.” [Reported by Muslim]
«سُئِلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ صَوْمِ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ فَقَالَ: يُكَفِّرُ السَّنَةَ الْمَاضِيَةَ وَالْبَاقِيَةَ»رواه مسلم
5.        Observe the fast the tenth of Muharram (‘Ashura’)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Qatadah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah was asked about fasting the tenth day of Muharram (‘Ashura’). He said: “It expiates (the sins of) the preceding year.” [Reported by Muslim].
«وَسُئِلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ صَوْمِ يَوْمِ عَاشُورَاءَ فَقَالَ يُكَفِّرُ السَّنَةَ» الْمَاضِيَةَ رواه مسلم
As for fasting the ninth and tenth of Muharram, It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “Should I live to the coming year, I would fast the ninth (day of Muharram besides the tenth day).” [Reported by Muslim]
«لَئِنْ بَقِيتُ إِلَى ‏‏ قَابِلٍ ‏ ‏لَأَصُومَنَّ التَّاسِعَ» رواه مسلم
6.     Fast every Monday and Thursday.
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “The deeds (of mankind) are presented (to Allah) every Monday and Thursday, and I like that my deed be presented (to Allah) while I am fasting.” [At-Tirmidhi and Classifies it as Hasan (Good)]
«تُعْرَضُ الْأَعْمَالُ يَوْمَ ‏ ‏الِاثْنَيْنِ وَالْخَمِيسِ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُعْرَضَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ» رواه الترمذي وقال حديث حسن غريب
7.     Observe the fast of six days in Shawal
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “He who fasts Ramadan, followed by six days in Shawal, weigh (in reward fasting) the days of this life time.” [Muslim]
«مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ الدَّهْرِ» رواه مسلم
Good characteristics are means to Paradise
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “Whom amongst you has become fasting this morning?” Abu Bakr answered: I did.” He further asked: “Whom amongst you has followed a funeral procession today?” Abu Bakr answered: “I did.” He said: “Whom amongst you has served food to a needy?” Abu Bakr answered: “I did.” He said: “Whom amongst you visited a patient to inquire about his health today?” Abu Bakr answered: “I did.” On that the Messenger of Allah said: “Those (good merits) never gather in a Muslim but he would enter Paradise for it.” [Reported by Muslim]
«مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمْ الْيَوْمَ صَائِمًا، قَالَ ‏‏أَبُوبَكْرٍ ‏‏رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: ‏‏أَنَا، قَالَ: فَمَنْ تَبِعَ مِنْكُمْ الْيَوْمَ جَنَازَةً”، قَالَ ‏‏أَبُوبَكْرٍ ‏رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: ‏ ‏أَنَا، قَالَ: “فَمَنْ أَطْعَمَ مِنْكُمْ الْيَوْمَ مِسْكِينًا”، قَالَ ‏‏أَبُوبَكْرٍ ‏‏رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: ‏‏أَنَا، قَالَ: “فَمَنْ عَادَ مِنْكُمْ الْيَوْمَ ‏ ‏مَرِيضًا”، ‏ ‏قَالَ ‏‏أَبُوبَكْرٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: ‏أَنَا، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ‏ “‏مَا اجْتَمَعْنَ فِي امْرِئٍ إِلَّا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ» رواه مسلم
The merit of serving breakfast to a fasting person
It is narrated on the authority of Zayd Ibn Khalid Al-Juhani, may Allah be pleased with him that the Messenger of Allah said: “He who serves food or drink to a fasting person (to break his fast) receives the like of his reward, even though without reducing anything from the reward of the fasting person.” [At-Tirmidhi and Classifies it as Hasan (Good) and authentic]
«مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لَا يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا» رواه الترمذي وقال حديث حسن صحيح
The merit of Suhur (the night meal taken by one intending to fast a short time before dawn)
It is narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him that the Messenger of Allah said: “Have (the meal of) Suhur, for there is blessing in Suhur.” [Agreed upon]
«تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السُّحُورِ بَرَكَةً» متفق عليه
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “Verily, Allah send blessing and His angels invoke His blessing upon those who have Suhur.” [Declared good by Al-Albani]
«إن الله وملائكته يصلون على المتسحرين» حسنه الألباني
Some merits and advantages of fasting
Fasting has many good merits and advantages including:
There is a gate for people who observe fast, through which none else shall enter (Paradise). It is narrated on the authority of Sahl Ibn Sa‘d As-Sa‘idi, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan, through which only the fast observant will enter on the Day of Judgment and none except them will enter through it. It will be said: “Where are the fast observant?” 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.” [Agreed upon]
«إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ بَابًا يُقَالُ لَهُ الرَّيَّانُ يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ الصَّائِمُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يَدْخُلُ مَعَهُمْ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُهُمْ يُقَالُ أَيْنَ الصَّائِمُونَ فَيَدْخُلُونَ مِنْهُ فَإِذَا دَخَلَ آخِرُهُمْ أُغْلِقَ فَلَمْ يَدْخُلْ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ» متفق عليه
The smell coming from the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant, in the Sight of Allah, than the odor of musk. The Messenger of Allah said: “By Him in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the smell coming from the mouth of a fasting person will be more pleasant, in the Sight of Allah, on the Day of Judgment, than the odor of musk.” [Agreed upon]
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ ‏ ‏مُحَمَّدٍ ‏‏ بِيَدِهِ ‏‏ لَخُلُوفُ ‏‏ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ» متفق عليه
He rejoices at the time he breaks his fast. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “Every deed of mankind would be multiplied: one good deed by ten likes to seven hundredfold. Allah Exalted and Glorified said: “Except fasting, which is done for My sake, for which I give reward. He who abandons his (sexual) desire and diet for My sake.” No doubt, the fasting person has two pleasures: One at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time of meeting his Lord (on the Day of Judgment). Verily, the smell of his (the fasting person’s) mouth is sweeter, in the sight of Allah, than the odor of musk.” [Reported by Muslim]
«كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ ‏‏ آدَمَ ‏ ‏يُضَاعَفُ الْحَسَنَةُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعمِائَة ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ ‏ ‏وَلَخُلُوفُ ‏ ‏فِيهِ ‏ ‏أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ» رواه مسلم
Fasting disciplines the soul, trains it to endure hunger and thirst, and habituates it to be patient, and entertain the same sense of our Muslim brothers who are in need.
The fasting person intends, by his fast, to seek the reward of Allah Almighty for his patience on fasting. Allah Almighty says: “Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” [Az-Zumur 39:10]
{إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ} الزمر:10
Transliteration: innama yuwaffa alssabiroona ajrahum bighayri hisabin
At the time of breaking his fast, the fasting person has a supplication that is never rejected.
Fasting and Qur’an will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgment
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with them, that he said: the Messenger of Allah said: “Both fasting and Qur’an will intercede for a servant on the Day of Judgment. Fasting will say: ‘O Lord! I have caused him to give up food and (sexual) desire during the day. So, please, accept my intercession for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘O Lord! I have caused him to spend the night sleepless. So, please, accept my intercession for him.’ Thus, their intercession will be accepted for him.” [Reported by Ahmad in his Musnad]
«الصِّيَامُ وَالْقُرْآنُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ أَيْ رَبِّ مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآنُ مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ قَالَ فَيُشَفَّعَانِ» رواه الإمام أحمد
Blessed be who comes close to Allah with the voluntary deeds, whose heart and organs are submissive to Allah Almighty, his reward will be Paradise: how excellent a reward! So, come to the gardens of Paradise with sincerity to Allah, His worship, and closeness to Him. We should care for fasting, i.e. the voluntary fasting, which is the greatest and the most rewarded act of worship.
May Allah guide us to the righteous deeds; and may Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.
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