The Virtues of Ramadaan & Fasting

What does fasting refer to?
According to the customary terminology of Shariah, ‘Fasting’
refers to a Muslim purposely, i.e. intentionally abstaining from eating,
drinking or sexual intimacy, from (before) Subho Saadiq, i.e. true dawn,
until sunset, with the intention of Ibaadat, i.e. worshipping Allah. In order
to Fast, a female must be free from Haidh, i.e. menstruation, and Nifaas, i.e.
post-natal bleeding.
In which month is it Fard to keep the fast?
During the Holy month of Ramadaan.
How do we commence and end the month of Ramadaan?
The month of Ramadaan commences with the sighting of the
crescent, i.e. the new moon, and the month of Ramadaan ends by the
sighting of the new moon.
It is also reported in Bukhari and Muslim from Hazrat Abu Hurairah ؓ that
Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Commence fasting by sighting the moon (crescent)
and end fasting by sighting the moon (crescent), and if it is concealed from
you, i.e. cloudy, then complete the counting of thirty (days) for Sha’baan.’
It has become common nowadays to rely on telephone calls
from other cities and countries to confirm the sighting of the moon of
Ramadaan or Eid. What is the ruling regarding this?
Ruyat e Hilaal, i.e. confirmation of moon-sighting, cannot be
proven through the telephone, and neither is it accepted by way of
rumours; and it being printed in calendars and newspapers is also not
regarded as any proof and confirmation (of the sighting).
It is mentioned in the distinguished book of Jurisprudence Fatawa Alamgiri
that, one should look for the moon (of Ramadaan) on the evening of the
29th of Sha’baan (i.e. the evening following the 29th day of Sha’baan). If it is
seen, then one should keep fast on the following day, otherwise one should
complete 30 days of Sha’baan and then commence the month of Ramadaan.
[Fatawa Alamgiri vol.1 pg.197]
Today, there are those who want to try everything possible to make Eid
with everyone on the same day, neglecting the importance and the true
essence of fasting and Eid. They just want to see off the month of Ramadaan
even if it means using incorrect methods to prove the arrival of Eid. Have
they forgotten the Hadith of Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم regarding what the true
Muslims would wish for when it came to Ramadaan?
Ibn Khuzaimah reported a very lengthy narration from Ibn Mas’ud Ghiffari
ؓ. In that Hadith, it is also mentioned that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘If only the
servants really knew what Ramadaan is, then My Ummah would have
wished for Ramadaan to last for the entire year.’
The details on moons-sighting can be seen in the answer to case 87 in the
English translation of Fatawa Africa, as answered by Sayyidi Ala Hazrat
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan ؓ and in the book ‘Laws Pertaining to the Sighting
of the Moon’ which has been extracted from Bahaar e Shariat of Huzoor
Sadrush Shariah ؓ on this link
Is fasting a direct injunction of the Qur’an?
: Yes, it is.
What does the Holy Qur’an say about fasting.
Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an.
O’ you who believe! Fasting has been made Fard (obligatory) upon you, just
as it was made Fard (obligatory) upon those before you, so that you may
attain piety. (These) are a stipulated number of days (only); so whosoever
from among you is ill, or is on a journey, then (keep) the same number of
fasts in other days; and for those who do not have the strength to do so, he
must feed a destitute person in lieu of it; so whosoever does more virtuous
deeds on his own accord, then for him, this is more beneficial; and fasting
is more virtuous for you, if only you know. The month of Ramadaan in
which the Holy Qur’an was revealed; (holds) guidance and (true) direction,
and clear words of judgment; so whosoever from amongst you observes
this month, he must surely fast; and whoever is ill or on a journey, he
should (keep) the same number of fasts in other days; Allah Wills comfort
for you, and He does not Will suffer for you; so that you (easily)
complete the counting. And glorify Allah’s Divine Greatness, for having
guided you, and so that you may be grateful. (And O my Beloved صلى الله عليه وسلم !(When
My servants ask you about me, then indeed I am close. I answer (fulfill) the
Dua (invocation) of the one who invokes Me, so they must obey My
Commands, and have Imaan (belief) in Me, so that they may attain (the
path of) Guidance. It is Halaal (lawful) for you to go your wives during the
nights of fasting; they are your garb and you are their garb; Allah knows
that you were deluding yourselves, so He accepted your repentance, and
pardoned you. Therefore now, be intimate with them, and seek that which
Allah has written in your destiny. And eat and drink, until the white streak,
becomes distinctly visible to you from the streak of darkness (of True dawn,
breaking out); then until night appears, complete the fast. And, do not
touch women whilst you are performing I’tekaaf (in seclusion for Allah) in
the Masjid. These are the parameters set by Allah, so do not go to them. In
this way, Almighty Allah explains His Verses to the people, so that they
may reach piety. [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Verses 183-187]
It is often said that when the month of Ramadaan arrives, the
doors of Jannat, i.e. heaven, are opened. Is this mentioned in the Hadith
Yes, this is correct and there are numerous narrations in this
regard. A few of them are being presented here:
It is reported from Hazrat Abu Hurairah ؓ that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم
said, ‘When Ramadaan arrives; the doors of the sky are opened.’ [Sahih
Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]
It is mentioned in another narration that the Doors of Mercy are opened,
and the doors of Hell are shut, and the shaitaans are bound in chains
It is narrated that, when the first night of Ramadaan arrives, the shaitan
and mischievous Jins are imprisoned, and the doors of Jahanum are shut,
and not a single door of it is opened, and the Doors of Jannat are opened,
so not a single door of it is closed, and the announcer announces, ‘O You
who desire goodness! Take heed. (And) O’ you who desire mischief! Abstain,
and there are some who are released from Jahanum, and this happens on
every night.’ [Ahmed, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah]
It is further reported from Hazrat Abu Hurairah ؓ that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid,
‘Ramadaan has arrived. It is a month of blessings. Allah has made its fasts
Fard (obligatory) upon you. The doors of the sky are opened in it, and the
doors of hell are shut, and the cursed shaitaans are shackled; and in it, there
is a night which is greater than a thousand months. One who is deprived
of its goodness is undoubtedly deprived.’ [Ahmed, Nasa’i]
Is Laylat ul Qadr in the month of Ramadaan?
Yes. As per the most authentic narrations, it is in the Holy month
of Ramadaan.
It is reported from Hazrat Anas ؓ who says, the month of Ramadaan had
arrived, and Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘This month has come, and in it, there is a
the night which is greater than a thousand months. He, who is deprived of it,
is deprived of everything, and only he will be deprived of its goodness, who
is completely deprived.’ [Ibn Majah]
Do those in Jannat and in the skies also rejoice on the coming of
Yes, they do.
It is reported from Ibn Umar عنهما تعالى اهلل رضى that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Jannat is
adorned from the beginning of the year until the following year, for
Ramadaan. When the first day of Ramadaan arrives, a breeze blows from
under the leaves of Jannat, passing over the Maidens of Jannat. They say,
‘O, Rab! Make those men from amongst your servants our husbands,
through whom our eyes may become cool, and may their eyes be cooled
through us.’’ [Sha’bul Imaan of Baihaqi]
Question: Through which Door of Jannat will a person who kept fast enter?
Answer: It is reported from Hazrat Sahl bin Sa’ad ؓ that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم
said, ‘There are eight doors of Jannat. The name of one of its doors is
Rayyan. Only those who keep fast will enter through this door.’ [Bukhari,
Muslim, Sunan Tirmizi, Nasa’i, Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah]
Question: What are some of the virtues of the month of Ramadaan as
mentioned by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم?
Answer: It is reported from Salman Farsi ؓ who says, ‘Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم
delivered a sermon on the last day of Sha’baan. (He صلى الله عليه وسلم said) O, People! The
month of excellence and blessings has come to you, wherein there is a
night which is greater than a thousand months. Allah has made fasting in
it Fard, and to stand (i.e. perform Namaaz) during its nights is Tataw’wu
(i.e. Sunnat). One who does any good action in this month, it is as if he has
performed a Fard action during any other month, and one who performs
any Fard in this month, and then it is like performing seventy Fard on any
other day. This is a month of patience, and the reward for patience is
Jannat. This is a month of goodness and compassion and in this month the
sustenance of a believer is increased. There is forgiveness for the sins of
the one who provides Iftaar in (this month) for a fasting person, and his
the neck will be freed from the fire (i.e. he will be released), and the one
providing the Iftaar will be rewarded equal to the one fasting person,
without there being any shortage in his reward. We said, ‘Ya Rasool’Allah
صلى الله عليه وسلم , not every one of us is able to get that through which we may provide
Iftaar (to someone).’ Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Allah will (even) afford this
reward to a person who provides Iftaar (to the fasting person) with a sip of
milk, or single date, or a single sip of water; and for the one who fed a
stomach full of food to a fasting person, (then) Allah will feed him from my
Haudh (pond), and he will never be thirsty again, and (in this way) he will
enter into Jannat. This is that month, the beginning of which is Rahmat
(Mercy), and the middle of which is Maghfirat (forgiveness), and the end of
which is salvation from the fire of Hell. One who lessens (the work) of his
servant in this month, Allah will forgive him, and free him from Jahanum.’
[Sha’bul Imaan of Baihaqi]
The above Hadith Shareef has beautifully explained the virtues of this Holy
month, and it also reminds us of our duties as true Muslims during the Holy
month of Ramadaan. It further teaches us how to treat our staff and those
less fortunate than us.
Question: What is the reward for fasting?
Answer: The answer to this question has been beautifully explained in the
following Hadith Shareef:
It is reported from Hazrat Abu Hurairah ؓ that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘In
the reward for every good deed a person performs, he is given a reward which
exceeds ten, up to seven hundred. Almighty Allah says, ‘Except for fasting,
as that (i.e. fasting) is for Me, and I will give its reward. My servant abstains
from his desires and from food for My sake.’ [Bukhari, Muslim]
Question: What is the virtue of making Dua at the time of Iftaar?
Answer: There is great virtue in making Dua when fasting. It is reported
from Hazrat Abdullah ibn A’as عنهما تعالى اهلل رضى that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘The Dua
of a fasting person is not rejected at the time of Iftaar.’ [Baihaqi]
Question: Are there any special virtues for spending the month of
Ramadaan or fasting while in Makkah Shareef?
Answer: Yes, there are immense blessings in doing so.
It has been mentioned as follows in the Hadith of Ibn Majah on the
authority of Hazrat Ibn Ab’basعنهما تعالى اهلل رضى that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid,
‘One who got the month of Ramadaan in Makkah and kept fast, and stood
(in Ibaadat) at night for as long as he was able to, then compared to any
other places, Almighty Allah will bless him with the Sawaab of one hundred
thousand Ramadaan, and he will attain the Sawaab of freeing one neck
(freeing a person) daily, and for every night he will attain the reward of
freeing one neck, and daily he will get the reward of saddling someone on
a horse in Jihad. Further, every day virtuous deeds will be written
(for him) and during every night virtuous deeds will be written (for him).’
Question: Has the Ummah of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم received any
special blessing in the month of Ramadaan which is unique to us?
Answer: The Ummat of Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلمis indeed unique as an Ummah, and
we have been blessed with many unique and special blessings.
These include some special blessings in the month of Ramadaan.
Baihaqi reports from Hazrat Jaabir bin Abdullah ؓ that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم
said, ‘My Ummat has been blessed with five things in the month of
Ramadaan, which was not given to any other Nabi before Me:
When the first night of Ramadaan arrives, Almighty Allah places His
Divine Sight on them, and on whomsoever, He places His Divine Sight,
he will never be punished.
The evening odor of their mouths is more beloved to Allah than the
the fragrance of musk.
The Angels make Istighfar for them every day and night (during
Allah Almighty commands Jannat by saying, ‘Prepare yourself, and
adorn yourself for my servants, who will soon leave the exhaustion
of the world and come here to relax.’
When the final night of Ramadaan dawns, He forgives them all.
Question: What are the special blessings of the first and last day or night
of Ramadaan?
Answer: Asbahani reported from Abu Hurairah ؓ that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم
‘When the first night of Ramadaan arrives, Almighty Allah places his Divine
Sight, i.e. His Special Blessings, upon His creation, and when Almighty
Allah places His Divine Sight on any from amongst His servants, He shall
never punish him, and daily frees one million people from Jahanum, and
when the 29th night arrives, then He frees on that night equal to all those
whom he freed (for the entire month). Then, when the night of Eid ul Fitr
arrives, the Angels rejoice and Allah manifests His Special Noor. He says to
the Angels, ‘O congregation of Angels! What is the recompense for the
laborer who has completed his work?’ The Angels say, ‘He should be given
his full recompense.’ Allah Almighty says, ‘I make you My witness, that I
have forgiven all of them.’’
Subhaan-Allah! How blessed and fortunate we are as the Ummat of
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم to receive the Holy month of Ramadaan. Fulfill
your duties in this Holy month of Ramadaan with sincerity and devotion,
and let the month of Ramadaan serve as a spiritual training ground for the
other eleven months of the year…

By sulta