Dear brothers we carry on from last week’s reminder on Fasting. As mentioned last week the 183rd ayat of Sura Baqara mentions fasting. This is translated to say:
“Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa.”
We spoke last week of the benefit of attaining God-consciousness or taqwa through fasting. But what of the other benefits of this blessed act?
The obvious benefit of fasting are the rewards we get from Allah SWT. The first reminder is regarding fasting in the month of Ramadan. The imam mentioned the hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.”
Dear brothers, as we can see from this hadith, the reward of fasting every Ramadan is immense and a real motivator to strive through the next 30 days and be the best that we can be in our worship, actions and the abstinence we perform during the daylight hours.
But alongside this, there is an even greater reward worth remembering. The Prophet SAWS said:
“Indeed your Lord said: ‘Every good deed is rewarded with ten of the same up to seven hundred times over, except for fasting. Fasting is for Me, and I shall reward for it.’
Dear brothers, we are being told here that the reward for fasting is with Allah SWT himself. In other words, this reward is greater than any measure that we are able to comprehend. It is a reward that is a secret, a reward that is a mystery kept by your Creator and a reward that will only be known to you when you return to Him.
These facts alone should compel each of us to commit ourselves to fasting, both in the month of Ramadan and outside of this month as much as we are able to do.
Alongside these immense benefits are also the benefits of the dunya. From health benefits of fasting which have resulted in international best-sellers of authors who have promoted fasting as a healthy lifestyle, to psychological benefits of fasting.
One of the benefits often overlooked is referenced in the following hadith. The Prophet SAWS said:
“those of you who can support a wife should marry, for it keeps you from looking at strange women and preserves you from immorality; but those who cannot should devote themselves to fasting, for it is a means of suppressing sexual desire.”
Dear brothers, we live in a hyper-sexualised society and so this remedy is required now more than ever. Allah SWT is fully aware of our weaknesses and He has made fasting a solution for one of them.
And so with the month of Ramadan approaching fast, there is no better time to get into one of the best habits for our bodies, our minds and most importantly, for our souls.