The second pillar of IslamFasting is a Gate to Paradise [Archives:2003/685/Community]
By Dr. Manea Al-hazmi
The Cultural Center for Foreigners
For the Yemen Times
Fasting of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam. Allah prescribed fasting of Ramadan during the second year of Hijra (the prophet’s immigration to Madina). A
llah says: “O you who believe observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proof for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights the month of Ramadan he must observe fast that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number of days must be made up from other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you.”
Fasting means refraining from eating drinking and sexual intercourse from dawn until sun set. Observing the fast of Ramadan can be by sighting the new moon of Ramadan or completing sha’ban that comes before Ramadan 30 days.
Ramadan is obligatory on every Muslim, adult, sane and healthy able to fast. The sick, traveler, pregnant, and nursing woman may not observe fasting during the month of Ramadan but they have to make up the days they missed after Ramadan. Women in postnatal period and menstruating woman are prohibited to fast but they have to make up the days they missed after Ramadan. Those who are suffering terminal illness or too old to fast are exempted but they should give a meal to a needy person for every day of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a station for strengthening your faith and increasing your good deeds. The first days of Ramadan are mercy, the middle days of Ramadan are forgiveness, and the last days of Ramadan are salvation from the hell fire. In Ramadan all gates of Paradise are opened and all gates of Hell Fire are closed and devils are chained.
Fasting is the only kind of worship for Almighty Allah while the other kinds of worship are for the person himself, the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said: Allah Said “All worship by the son of Adam is for himself except fasting, it is for me (Almighty Allah) and I reward for it”.
Fasting is an excellent mean for increasing fear of Allah in order to get His Satisfaction. Fasting of Ramadan brings you closer to Allah because you leave your food, drink and other desires for the sake of Allah. It strengthens your well to avoid bad deeds and protects you from the hell fire.
Fasting trains Muslims to have truthfulness, responsibility, tolerance, and endurance. It makes Muslims share the suffering of their Muslims brothers and encourage the rich to pay charity to the poor and needy thus build a strong relationship in the Muslim society.
In addition to gaining Allah’s’ satisfaction, fasting improves your health. Nowadays doctors advise people to observe fasting to cure many illnesses and to improve the function of their bodies.
Rewards of fasting can be multiplied many times because it is specified for Almighty Allah. Allah created paradise with eight gates one of them is the gate of Raian through which those observe fasting enter paradise. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “whoever observes the fast of Ramadan out of belief and expects to be rewarded for doing so in the hereafter his past sins will be forgiven.
Nights of Ramadan are blessed nights so Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him says “whoever observes worship during the nights of Ramadan out of belief and expects to be rewarded for doing so in the hereafter his past sins will be forgiven.” Performing Taraweeh prayer in the nights of Ramadan is highly recommended. This prayer is eleven rakaat performed after Isha’ prayer. He who performed the Taraweeh prayer with the imam until the end, he would be considered as he had spent the whole night praying.
The best nights of Ramadan are the last ten. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to perform more worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
The best night of Ramadan is the night of decree that falls in the last ten nights of Ramadan. It is better than one thousand month in worship. Qur’an was revealed first in this night, Allah says: “Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr(Decree) is? The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months of worship.
Also Allah says : “ We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night” and Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him says “whoever observes worship during the night of decree out of belief and expects to be rewarded for doing so in the hereafter his past sins will be forgiven.”
Finally, I ask Almighty Allah to accept our fasting, prayers, and good deeds. Also I ask Allah to open the hearts of non-Muslims to the guidance of Allha (God), and I really invite them to go through the message of Islam with an open heart and I am sure that they will find Islam the religion of love, peace, and success in this life and in the hereafter.
Peace be upon the Prophet Muhammad.