Ramadan Reflections: The Reality of Fasting

SHAYKH IBRAHIM NIASSE (RA) KHUTBAH OF FASTING:

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful

All praise and thanks belongs to Allah, Who has made fasting to be a garden of the God-conscious (Muttaqin), the month of Ramadan a blessing to the believers (Mu’minin), a profitable exchange for the worshippers (‘Abidin), and beloved to the hearts of the Gnostic Saints (‘Arifin).

I bear witness there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His servant whom He chose and sent to the entirety of creation. Peace and blessings be upon the Master of those sent forth and the Leader of the God-conscious folk, and also upon his Family and Companions and all of those who follow them with excellence until the Day of Judgment. After this:

O people! Have conscious awareness of Allah (Taqwa) as He deserves, and observe Him with the observance (Muraqaba) of one who knows that He hears and He sees! Know that the best hadith is the Book of Allah, the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW), the worst of affairs are those newly invented matters and all of the newly invented matters are in the hellfire.

Allah Ta’ala says: “O you who have Iman! Fasting has been prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may gain God-consciousness. (2:183).

It has been reported by Imam al-Bukhari (RA) in his Sahih collection, on the authority of Abu Hurayra (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whosoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and expectation of reward, Allah will forgive his previous sins; whosoever worships Allah on the ‘Night of Power’ (Laylat al-Qadr), with faith and expectation of reward, Allah will forgive his previous sins.”

It has also been reported by al-Bukhari, on the authority of Abu Hurayra (RA), that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Fasting is a shield. Whenever one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice, and if anyone reviles him, quarrels or fights with him, he should say ‘I am fasting, I am fasting’. By Him in whose hand is my soul! The foul breath of the fasting person is more beloved to Allah than sweet smelling musk. The fasting person avoids his food, drink, and sexual passions for My Sake. Fasting is for Me, and I shall reward it and good deeds shall be multiplied at least ten times over.”

It has been reported by Imam al-Bukhari (RA) in his Sahih collection, on the authority of Abu Hurayra (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever breaks his fast in Ramadan without a valid concession or excuse or illness, cannot repay it, even if he were to fast for the rest of his life.”

It has been reported by Imam al-Bukhari (RA) in his Sahih collection, on the authority of Ibn Abbas (RA), that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Look for the Night of Power in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” It has been reported by Imam Muslim (RA) in his Sahih collection, on the authority of Abu Hurayra (RA), that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “The five daily prayers, from Jumuah to Jumuah, from Ramadan to Ramadan, is an expiation for the sins committed in between, provided the major sins are avoided.”

It has been reported by Ibn Kuzayma and Ibn Hiban, on the authority of Salman (RA), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) spoke to us on the last day of Sha’ban and said: ‘O people! An auspicious month has cast its protective shade to screen you, a month in which is a night better than a thousand months, a month in which Allah has obligated you to fast its days and to stand at night in worship (Tarawih) as a voluntary practice. Whosoever seeks to draw near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed (or voluntary act) shall be the reward of the one who had performed an obligatory act (Fara’id) in any other month. And whoever performs a Farida (obligatory act) will be blessed with the reward equivalent to seventy Fara’id in any other month. And it is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise (Jannah). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellow beings. It is the month wherein a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whosoever feeds another fasting person, then it shall become a source of forgiveness for his sins and freedom from the hellfire, and for such a person shall be the same reward as the one who fasted without that person’s reward being decreased.’

We said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, not everyone of us can afford to give food to a fasting person.’ The Messenger of Allah replied, ‘Whosoever gives a fasting person water to drink, a dried date, or a drink of milk, Allah shall grant him a drink from my fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah. It is a month in which its first part is mercy, its middle is forgiveness, and its end is delverance from the hellfire. Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants in this month Allah will forgive him and free him from the hellfire.

Increase your practice of four things during this month: two of which will earn you the good pleasure of your Lord, and the other two you simply cannot do without! As for the two which gain you the good pleasure of your Lord: they are bearing witness that there is no god but Allah and seeking His forgiveness. As for those two matters which you cannot do without, they are that you ask Allah for Jannah and seek His refuge from the hellfire.”

May Allah grant abundant blessings on the servant who follows the example of the best of worshippers (SAW)! That is from God-consciousness (Taqwa), which is the best of provisions! Allah has said in the final verse revealed: “And fear the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” (2:281)

Interpreted from the Arabic by Muhammad Abdullahi al-Tijani al-Ibrahimi

***

Join us for this upcoming class on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulumuddin, taught by Ustaz Amin Yusoff. Register at: http://revivalofthedeen.eventbrite.sg