Ramadan is all set to begin tomorrow or day after tomorrow. The Arabic month of Ramadan is spent in prayers and contemplation by Muslims around the world.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Arabic Lunar calendar that comes after the month Sha’ban. Muslims fast from daybreak till the sunset and are not allowed to eat or drink anything including water. It must be added here that pregnant women and people suffering from severe illness are exempt from fasting, though they too are advised to not eat publicly.
Ramadan is the month when it is time for the believers to connect with Him and strive to achieve His pleasure. It is time when they try to connect with Him and endeavor to seek forgiveness from Him. The devout believers spend much of the time in prayers, contemplation and try to do as much good deeds as possible.
There is no denying that fasting during summer when the temperature soars to 45 and even 50 degrees, making it extremely difficult to fast
Quranic verses on Ramadan and fasting
“(It was) the month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…” [al-Baqarah 2:185]
“(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew” [al-Baqarah, 2:184]
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” [al-Baqarah, 2:183]
“O believers, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you. So that you may become righteous.” Surah Al- Baqara Ayah 483
“When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.” [al-Baqarah, 2:186]
“Allaah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allaah says…The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, there is peace until the appearance of dawn.” [al-Qadar 97:1-5]
“Allah is with those who restrain themselves.” [Quran 16: 128]
Hadith on Ramadan and fasting
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Imam Bukhari) …
Narrated Abu Huraira(r.a): The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:”… whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Imam Bukhari).
The Messenger of Allah (saw) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, “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]
Abu Said al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw), said: “No servant fasts on a day in the path of Allah except that Allah removes the hellfire seventy years further away from his face.” This is related by “the group,” except for Imam Abu Dawud.
`Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw), said: “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]
Abu Umamah reported: “I came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said: ‘Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.’ He said: ‘Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.’ Then I came to him again and he said: ‘Stick to fasting.”‘ [Imam Ahmad, Imam Nasa’i, and Imam Hakim].
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].
He who is amongst those who pray will be called from the gate of the prayer (in Paradise) and he who is from the people of Jihad will be called from the gate of Jihad, and he who is from those’ who give in charity (i.e. Zakat) will be called from the gate of charity, and he who is amongst those who observe fast will be called from the gate of fasting, the gate of Raiyan.” Abu Bakr said, “He who is called from all those gates will need nothing,” He added, “Will anyone be called from all those gates, O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “Yes, and I hope you will be among those, O Abu Bakr.” [Imam Bukhari]
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said : “The time between the five prayers, two consecutive Friday Prayers, and two consecutive Ramadans are expiations for all that has happened during that period, provided that one has avoided the grave (major) sins.” [Imam Muslim]
In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saw) says, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [ImamTabarani]
Abu Umaamah r.a.a. said: I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (saw), tell me of an action by which I may enter Paradise’. He said: ‘Take to Fasting, there is nothing like it.’ [Imam Nasai’, Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Haakim, Saheeh]
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]
“Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire.” [Imam Ahmad, Saheeh]
On the Day of Judgement, “Fasting will say: O My Lord I prevented him from food and desires so accept my intercession for him.” [Imam Ahmad, Imam Haakim and Abu Nu’aim, Hasan]
There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim an supplication which he can make and will be granted.” [al-Bazzaar, Ahmad, Saheeh]
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh].