Allah says in the Quran: “O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” The Prophet (SAW) has said: “Beware, in the body there is a part; if it is healthy, the whole body is healthy and if it is corrupted the whole body is corrupted, and that is the heart.” Ramadan is our last chance to cure our heart of all our bad habits, deeds and sins, and to ask for Allah’s forgiveness. We can easily cure our heart in Ramadan for the following:
- Spiritual Freedom from the body. We consist of 2 parts: the body from earth, and the soul from Allah. The body’s nourishment is the desires: food, sex, success in life, money. The soul’s food is getting closer to Allah through the Qur’an, qiyam, etc. We have been feeding the body the whole year. In Ramadan, we stop feeding the body, to feed the soul. The heart controls the soul for the body, and thus, we can cure it of its spiritual illnesses.
- Fasting = Taqwah = the heart’s medication. The goal of fasting is to attain the highest levels of Taqwah in the heart. Taqwah is “Heart Worship.” It is the measure for our heart’s health. We must measure our level of Taqwah every day, to know if our fasting was accepted. We can measure Taqwah by comparing our good deeds to our bad deeds. If we commit 5 good deeds and 5 sins = 50% Taqwah = Grade F. We must try to reach A+ (>93% Taqwah).
The Enemy is Chained and Deeds are multiplied
- Devils are chained during Ramadan, and cannot lead us astray. The Prophet (SAW) has said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of Jannah are opened, the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” So, doing good deeds is easier. We can also keep control our desires and abstain from any sins. We can free our soul from the body’s desires with little effort!
Ramadan is the Month of Forgiveness
- Ramadan is the best opportunity to ask for forgiveness for all our sins from Allah. The Prophet (SAW) has said: “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Likewise, about praying at night.
Protection From hellfire
- The Prophet (SAW) has said: “Whoever feeds a fasting person to break his fast, even with a part of a date, water, or Milk, he will have all his sins forgiven, will be freed from hellfire, and will get the same reward as the fasting person.”
- Ramadan gives us the opportunity to be freed from hell. The Prophet (SAW) has said, “And there are those who Allah frees from hellfire in Ramadan, and this occurs every night.” If Allah saves us from hell, our protection is guaranteed, for He is the Most Generous. Even if we sin after Ramadan, it will not be as bad as it was before. Our good deeds then will surpass our bad deeds.
Multiplication of Rewards
- The chance to increase our rewards; Ramadan is the time to attain unlimited rewards. Our motivation should be to increase our good deeds that cure our hearts. We can even put our good deeds into saving for the rest of the year. We can earn 100,000 Virtues in one day and 3 million during the month of Ramadan by praying. Let’s just take Zuhr prayer. By praying it, we would be credited 10 virtues. If we pray it in jama’ah in the Masjid, our reward would be 27 times higher. If we multiply it by 70 for Ramadan, and sum the virtues of the five obligatory prayers, we would have almost 100,000 virtues; that’s the reward of praying in the Holy Mosque. This is what we would gain out of the prayers of just one day of Ramadan. If we pray all five prayers in congregation in the Masjid, we can earn about 3 million virtues during the month of Ramadan. As for reciting Qur’an, whoever recites a letter from the Qur’an, he will earn a ten-fold reward. If we multiply it by 70 for Ramadan and for reciting the whole Qur’an, we could earn 225 Million virtues with a few minutes per day! The reward for giving Zakat in Ramadan is also multiplied 700 times! If we give $1000, we get the reward of giving $700,000! Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that, “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was the most generous of people. He was even more generous in Ramadan when Jibril would meet him and review the Qur’an with him … During these times, the Messenger of Allah was more generous than the freely blowing wind.” As for the reward of fasting itself, nobody knows what it is but Allah. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam’s people are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.” It is enough to know that the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. We can imagine the reward that is waiting for us.
• Supplications are accepted in Ramadan. Allah says in the Qur’an: “…I answer the invocation of the invoker when he invokes Me…” This comes in the middle of the fasting verses. The Companions have said, “We used to supplicate to Allah in Ramadan, and we never reached the next Ramadan without our supplications being answered.” We must make as much Dua’ as we can in the month of Ramadan.
• The Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) occurs during the holy month of Ramadan. Praying or performing any good deed during this night is equal to that in a 1000 months, that is for 84 years, which is almost our entire lifetime!
• Al-Rayyan: A Hadith tells us that, “Inside Paradise there is a gate, which is called al-Rayyan, through which no one shall enter except those who have observed true fasting.” Inside of this, there are more enjoyments and rewards than we can even imagine, but it is only for those who truly fasted.
All these rewards are not available for those who fast only with their stomach, for there are 3 kinds of fasts. The first is simply leaving food and drink. The 2nd is when our limbs and senses are fasting too, that is they do not commit any sins or bad deeds whatsoever. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah will not accept his fasting.” There is yet a better kind: when the hearts are also fasting; nothing else occupies the heart but Allah, all month long. It means to speak about Allah, to talk for Allah, to be silent with Allah. It means that our life should be about, with, and for Allah. This does not mean that you will not perform your daily duties, but it means that your whole being would be dedicated for pleasing Allah. Let’s fast with all our body and heart, InshaAllah, this year.
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