The Merits of Fasting

The Merits of Fasting
 

The Merits of Fasting

Islam is built on five pillars. Each represents a unique utility,
an institution, if you will, through which the believer builds his
relationship with the Creator and the creation. Of all the pillars
of Islam, none is more special than siyaam, fasting. While there
may be an appearance of Riya, eye service, or show, in all other
pillars- Salaat, Zakaat, Hajj, and even the Kalimah – there is no
such possibility in fasting. The only One who knows that you
are really abstaining is Allah, the Almighty. It is easy to pre-
tend to be fasting; while in hiding, you may eat or drink. Thus,
fasting is considered a special worship, as Hadith reports from
the Messenger of Allah (saas) have detailed.

It has been reported by the way of Abu Hurairah (raa) that the
Prophet (saas) reported that Allah (SWT) said in a Hadith Al-
Qudsi:

“All services of the son of Adam are for him except fast-
ing. It is for Me, and I will reward him for it. Fasting is
a shield. On the day you fast, do not use obscenity, nor
yell at others, nor act ignorantly towards them. How-
ever, if anyone abuses you verbally or attempts to draw
you to fight with him, say ‘I am fasting’ two times. The
Prophet (saas) then states: I swore by the One (Allah) in
Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath of
the faster is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment
than the scent of musk. The faster experiences enjoy-
ment twice: he is pleased when he breaks his fast, and
he is pleased when he meets his Maker” (Muslim)

Among the points this incisive hadith revealed is that fasting is
Allah’s. Certainly, there is only one reason why a believer will
put himself or herself through this trying physical exercise that
– to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT). The fast is the single

most important device to test the Iman, faith, of the believer
and the depth of his sincerity and commitment to the concept
of Tauheed, the Oneness of Allah.

The hadith also states that fasting is a shield, an armor protect-
ing the believer from sinful acts (ma’asi). Do you not know that
nourishment is the first culprit in the propagation of sins? For
when you eat, the blood flow increases considerably, and the
energy level increases, making it easier for Satan to use your
own energy level to tempt you to commit sins. In another
hadith, the Prophet states:

“Satan runs in the circulatory system of the son of
Adam in the same way blood circulates in our system;
so tighten his passages with hunger.” (Bukhari/Muslim)

Now you see why fasting becomes a shield. Fasting enables the
believer to guard against his archenemy. It also helps him
against human evil by putting the patience and perseverance
gained from fasting into use with forbearance and forgiveness
of the attacker – that is, of course, when the safety of ones life
is not involved. Otherwise, in this case, Al-Qur’an allows the
believer to repel evil without transgression.

Essentials of Ramadan The Month of Fasting