"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may acquire Taqwa (piety)." [Al-Baqarah, 2:183]
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it, the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates to hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great]."
Rewards for Ramadan
A fasting person should try and increase their good deeds, especially in Ramadan.
Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: "Allah said: 'Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for that is solely for Me. I give the reward for it.'"
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who fasts in Ramadan due to Iman (faith) and hoping for reward from Allah then his previous sins are forgiven."
"Whoever seeks the rewards of the Hereafter, we multiply the rewards for him. And whoever seeks the materials of this world, we give him there from, then he receives no share in the Hereafter." [Ash-Shura, 42:20]
A fasting person should increase in making du'a.
Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The du'a of three persons is not refused: a fasting man when breaking the fast, a just ruler, and an oppressed person."
Abu Hurairah narrates that the Messenger of Allah said, "The slave is closest to his Lord while he is in prostration, so increase your supplications."
When you are fasting, and someone is impolite to you; say: "Inni sa'im, inni sa'im" (I am fasting, I am fasting)
The Prophet (SAW) taught us to say the following as much as possible, during the last nights of Ramadan: Allahumma innaka 'Afuwwoon, tuhibbul 'afwa f'afoo 'annii." ("O Allah, You are the most forgiving, You love to forgive, so forgive me.")
A fasting person should eat a pre-dawn meal; the suhur.
Al-Miqdam reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "You should eat this pre-dawn meal for it is a blessed nourishment." It is a blessing because it strengthens the fasting person, makes him more energetic, and makes the fast easier for them.
Breaking Your Fast
Upon breaking your fast the following du'a should be said:
Thahaba-atham'u wabtallatil 'uruqu wa thabat-al-ajru insha Allah
The thirst is no more, the veins have moistened and the reward is confirmed if Allah so willed.
Upon finishing the iftar in the company of your host the following du'a is made by the guest:
Aftara 'indakum-us-sa' imuna wa akala taamakum-ul-abraru wa sallat 'alaikum-ul-mala'ikatu.
May the fasting people perform iftar within your home and may pious people enjoy the food provided by you and may the angels invoke blessings upon you!
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that one's worst weakness is one's belly. If you must eat, make sure you fill one third of your stomach with food, one third with water and leave one third for air i.e. leave it empty.
The Ramadan nightly prayer has a special merit over other nights. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever observes night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven."
Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Decree)
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to practice I'tikaaf in the last ten nights and say: 'Seek out Laylatul Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten of Ramadan."
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said: "Whoever prays during the 'Night of Qadr' with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven."
I'tikaf means to seclude oneself with the intention of worship in a Masjid.
A person performing I'tikaaf (mu'takif) will be able to perform more voluntary salat and be able to perform salat on time with congregation. Hence, the mu'takif acquires the reward of salat with congregation, which is twenty-seven times more rewarding than performing salat alone.
The mu'takif is also able to busy himself with the recitation of the Qur'an and thikr (rememberance) of Allah amongst the company of good Muslims.
Actions that Void the Fast
- Intentional eating or drinking
- Intentional vomiting
- The menstruation and post-childbirth bleeding
- Sexual Intercourse
- If one has the intention, while he is fasting, to break the fast, he in effect voids the fast even if he does not actually eat anything
Recommendations for Ramadan
- Read or listen to Qur'an.
- Make lots of thikr (rememberance) and du'a.
- Pray the taraweeh in the masjid.
- Invite people for iftar.
- Refrain from bad behaviour such as lying, cheating, music, smoking, backbiting and slandering others to create animosity among them.
- Give charity and be generous.
Zakat -ul -Fitr is a type of Sadaqah which must be paid by every Muslim, young and old, male and female, free and slave, at the end of the Month of Fasting (Ramadan).
The purpose of Zakat -ul- Fitr is to purify one who fasts from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.
Zakat-ul-fitr is equvilant to a sa' (approx. 3 kilos) of barley or its monetary equivalent.
The following actions are recommended to perform on Eid day:
- To rise early in the morning.
- To brush the teeth and have a bath/shower.
- To put on the best available dress and use perfume (men).
- To give away 'Eid Charity (Zaka-ul-Fitr).
- To eat something sweet before going for the 'Eid Prayer.
- To go to the 'Eid prayer by one way and return by another.
- To pronounce the following Takbir on the way in a low voice.
Alla-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar , La-Ilaha ill-Allah
Allah is the greatest Allah is the greatest , There is no God but Allah
Allah-u Akbar , wa-lillah-il-hamd
Allah is the greatest, and all praise is for Allah.