Thursday 23 April 2020

Ramadan 1441 AH / 2020 - Fasting In Different Times

Alhamdolillah, Ramadan 1441 AH / 2020 is here and most of the Muslims will start to fast from Friday tomorrow while more will commence fasting on Saturday due to sighting of moon. It is the sacred month in which the Holy Qur'an was revealed and it is the month in which fasting has been prescribed for the Muslims.

For many reverts, this may be their first Ramadan and I wish them to be lucky to be experiencing their exposure to a month full of blessings and bounties.

However, this year, we are observing this sacred month in a very different time when almost the entire world is plagued by the deadly Corona Virus, which has taken a heavy toll of human lives and so far over 100,000 thousand have perished while over two million are still under the grip of this virus. Due to this virus, many rituals specific to this holy month will not be there and those newly reverted Muslims will not have a chance to see their first Ramadan being observed with full religious zeal and fervour,like:
The regular prayers and specially the Taraweh prayers may not be held in the masques for the fear of contraction of virus and holding of prayers as during this month, mosques are generally jam packed as every Muslim wants to collect as many blessings of Allah. Unfortunately, the Masjid al Haram, the Khan e Ka'bah in Makkah will be empty which is otherwise jam packed during the month of Ramadan as Muslims from all over the world come here to observe fasts right in the Home of Allah. May Allah take away this pandemic from us and let us be flock the mosques once again. Aameen.
The joint Iftar on streets of Muslim countries will be missing. Even in Makkah and Medina where the locals take it as an honour to have fast of others opened by bring from home lavish food and drinks for those fasting. 
Likewise the joint arrangements at the time of Sehr / Sahoor, the time to eat to keep the fast in the pre morning will be missed out too. 
But times would change, In Sha Allah, and we hope to see the next Ramadan without coonavirus and hope to revive our age old traditions specific to Ramadan.

Coming back to the month of Ramadan and observing of the fasts. Herein under are the references from the Holy Qur'an and excerpts from Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding the observance of fasts:

The three consecutive verses of Surah al Baqarah, Chapter 2, verses 183-185 command believers to fast as it had been decreed upon people people:
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (Al Qur'an Surah Al Baqarah: 183)
[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. (Al Qur'an Surah Al Baqarah 2:184)
The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (Al Qur'an Surah Al Baqarah 2:185)
The Prophet of Allah has been quoted as saying while addressing his companions on the last day of Sha`ban:
"Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all." [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]
Citing the importance of the month of Ramadan, `Abdullah ibn `Amr quoted the Messenger of Allah (saw), saying: 
"The fast and the Qur'an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The Qur'an will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their intercession will be accepted." [Imam Ahmad]
Sahl ibn Sa'd reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw): 
"There is a gate to Paradise that is called Ar Rayyan. On the Day of Resurrection it will say: 'Where are those who fasted?' When the last [one] has passed through the gate, it will be locked." [Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim].
Having emphasized the importance of fasting, let us see what rewards and bounties have been reserved for those who fast to please Allah:
Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, 'Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.' for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk." [Imam Bukhari]
Please watch the video below by Nouman Ali Khan Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist, on the subject:

From all of us at Islam: My Ultimate Decision, a very happy Ramadan to all Muslims of the world and readers of our blog. May Allah forgive our sins this Ramadan, protect Muslims all over the world,  liberate occupied Muslim lands of Palestine and Kashmir, and bless us the countless bounties of fasting. Aameen

To know more about fasting and importance of month of Ramadan, please consult our reference page: Ramadan - A month of fasting and Blessings. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

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