Alhamdulillah Allah has blessed us all to reach another Ramadan, so let us reflect on exactly how amazing this month really is. This article will be the first of a series of Ramadan posts where we will discuss its many different facets.
Ramadan combines personal sacrifice, remembrance of others less fortunate than ourselves, prayer, supplication, forgiveness, forbearance, sincerity of worship to the One who deserves to be worshipped alone without partners, and countless other beautiful traits. No wonder Allah chose this particular form of worship to be for Him alone. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that Allah said:
“Every act of the Son of Adam is for him, they are multiplied in their reward from ten to seven hundred times, except the fast, which is (exclusively) for Me, and I will reward him for it. The person observing the fast abstains from food and drink only for My sake.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The fast is unlike any other act of worship, because it is truly for Allah alone. This cannot be said for the prayer, charity, Hajj, or any other act of worship, because a man might pray to Allah so that people can say he is pious, or give charity so people can say he is generous, and so on. The fast, on the other hand, is for Allah alone, because no one but Allah and yourself know whether you are truly fasting or not. If you wanted you could easily eat and drink when nobody is watching. Therefore, if you start the day fasting and you end the day fasting then you did that for no other reason than for fear of Allah’s punishment and hope for His reward.
Because of this Allah said “and I will reward him for it”, this doesn’t mean that the reward for other good deeds come from other than Allah, instead it means that Allah will reward the fasting person without limit. Allah in His complete wisdom and generosity rewards the believer from 10 to 700 times for any regular good deed that is performed, but the fast, due to its excellence, may be infinitely rewarded.
The Prophet ﷺ also told us about this truly special month that:
“When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah are opened, the gates of Hell are locked, and the devils are chained.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah opens the gates to Heaven during Ramadan due to all the good deeds that are done during this time and as an incentive to the doers of good deeds; He locks the gates of Hell due to the lack of bad deeds done by the believers, and He chains the devils so that they are unable to lure and tempt the people who are fasting to disobey Allah.
Ramadan is a joyous month for the believer, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that:
“The fasting person experiences two joys: when he breaks his fast he feels joy, and when he meets his Lord.” (At-Tirmidhi)
The fasting person feels joy that Allah blessed him to reach another Ramadan, guided him and gave him the desire to fast for His sake and he feels joy on the Day of Judgment when his fast stands as a witness for him and he is called to enter Heaven. The Prophet ﷺ said:
“The fast and the Quran will stand as witnesses for the slave on the Day of Judgment. The fast will say, ‘Indeed my Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires, so allow me to intercede for him’, and the Quran will say, ‘I prevented him from sleep at night, so allow me to intercede for him’ and they will both be allowed to intercede.” (Ahmad)
And Prophet ﷺ said:
“In Jannah there is a gate which is called Ar-Rayaan through which only those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection. It will be called out, ‘Where are those who used to fast?’ So they will stand up and proceed towards it. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Brothers, we have reached a great month full of blessings, mercy and forgiveness, but you can’t receive these blessings unless you perform your fast in the right way, keeping to the etiquettes of Ramadan, so strive to perform your fast in the best way, stick to its boundaries and limitations, and seek forgiveness from Allah for any shortcomings during this month.
And don’t miss the next installment of the TMM Ramadan Series where we will be talking about the obligations and sunan of the fast to help you perfect your blessings and reward.
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