By Shaykh Muzzammil Ahmad | 22 Mar 2024

During this week’s Khutbah I addressed the congregation about the significance and importance of fasting, one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. Despite the challenges we face in our personal lives and the trials that the Ummah is going through, the month of Ramadan remains a blessing and a responsibility for each and every one of us to take advantage of in the way it is meant to be.

I began by sharing the famous Hadeeth Qudsi – a saying of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) as revealed to him by Allah – which underscores the boundless mercy and generosity of Allah. The Messenger ﷺ said:

Every action of the children of Adam is multiplied, from 10 to 700 times.

That however is not the case with bad deeds. When we commit sins, Allah may record just one sin or perhaps even forgive us entirely. Displaying His mercy further, when we restrain ourselves from doing something haram (forbidden), Allah replaces that with a reward instead, showing that the prevention of a bad deed is a good deed in itself.

The Hadeeth continues to emphasize the special status of fasting, with Allah stating, "except for fasting”. Whereas for every single act we perform the reward of it is 10 to 700 times, the reward for fasting can be infinitely higher. The scholars have explained that this is because the month of Ramadan has virtues that are not found in the rest of the year, such as Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power, which is better than a thousand months of worship.

Another reason why fasting holds such a special status is that it is the only act of worship where believers are asked to go against the fitrah in which Allah created them, even if only for a short time. While other acts of worship, such as Salah, Hajj, and giving Sadaqah, do not necessarily prevent us from fulfilling our basic human needs, fasting requires us to stay away from food, drink, and intimacy, which Allah has created us to desire.

Moreover, fasting cultivates a level of sincerity that may not be present in other acts of worship. When we pray, give Sadaqah, or engage in other good deeds, there is a risk of insincerity creeping into our hearts, such as the desire to be seen as pious or wealthy. However, with fasting, the act itself is uniform across all believers, regardless of age or status, and the sincerity of our intentions is what truly matters.

The Hadeeth also reminds us of the two moments of joy for the believer who is fasting: when they break their fast at Maghrib (sunset), and when they meet their Lord. As we experience the first moment of joy during iftar, it is essential for us to reflect on the situation of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, who may not have food or drink to break their fasts with. It is our collective responsibility as an Ummah to support them in any way we can, and by giving them this moment of joy, Allah will grant us even greater joy in this life and the next.

The second moment of joy, meeting our Lord, is the ultimate reward for those who fast. The scholars have narrated that on the Day of Judgement, while others are being held to account, those who fasted will be enjoying a banquet and will enter Jannah (Heaven) directly through the gate of Ar-Rayyan, which is specifically designated for them.

As we strive to make the most of this blessed month, we must also remember that fasting is a protection and a shield. The Prophet ﷺ advised us that when we are fasting, we should not use vile language, raise our voices, or engage in arguments. Instead, if anyone reviles or tries to fight with us, we should simply remind them that we are fasting and cannot partake in such behaviour.

Fasting grants us discipline and the opportunity to control ourselves, even though we may still make mistakes due to our human nature. It is crucial for us to take advantage of this opportunity to discipline ourselves in our Ibadah, our interactions with others, and in standing up for the sake of Allah by carrying out His commandments and staying away from what He has prohibited.

Lastly, I want to stress that the importance of fasting in the month of Ramadan cannot be overstated. It is a time for us to strengthen our connection with Allah The Most High, increase our good deeds, and develop patience and discipline in our lives. As we navigate through the challenges and trials of this world, let us hold fast to the blessings and responsibilities of Ramadan, seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and ultimate reward in the Hereafter. May Allah allow us to witness the revival of the Ummah and grant us the strength and sincerity to be a part of that change, sooner rather than later.


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