السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Virtues of Fasting (Saum)
Fasting is a great act of ‘Ibaadah in Islaam which is not done for any physical or medical reason but solely for the pleasure of Allah. The only purpose for which it should be done is the spiritual development and rewards promised by Allah. If it is done for any other reason then this intention will lack ‘Ikhlaas or sincerity.
In a tradition reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) the Messenger of Allah (S.A.) said, “Every action of a man increases in its rewards ten times until seven hundred, but Allah says, except fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give its reward as I desire.” (Muslim).
The Law of Fasting in Ramadhaan
Fasting literally means ‘ to abstain’ and in Islaam it means to abstain from food, drink, sexual relations with one’s wife/husband and all other things which can break the fast, from the break of dawn until sunset with the intention of an act of worship. It is therefore essential that the intention of observing the fast be made by the individual.
Observing the fast of Ramadhan is compulsory on an individual basis and is evident from the Holy Quraan which states, ‘The month of Ramadhan is the month in which the Holy Quraan was sent down, a guidance for mankind and clear signs of guidance and a criterion. So whosoever among you is present in this month, let him observe the fast’. (2:183). The Prophet of Allah (S.A.) said, “Islaam is founded on five pillars- To bear testimony that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger, to establish Salaah, to pay Zakaah, to fast in Ramadhan and Pilgrimage to the house of Allah”. (Bukhaarii, Muslim).
Intention of Fasting
Intention of observing the fast is essential upon an individual since it is through this, the fast becomes an act of worship. Once this intention has been made in the heart it is enough, however it is a good act to say it with the tongue also. The intention for observing the fast should be made from the night (i.e. any time preceding the break of dawn of that specific day).
The Intention for observing the fast can be made in the following words:
Nawaitu an a suuma ghadan lil-laahi Ta’aala.
I intend to fast tomorrow for the sake of Allah.
The Dua that can be recited at the time of breaking the fast is:
Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alaika tawakkaltu wa alaa rezqika aftartu.
O Allah for your sake have I fasted and have believed in you and upon you do I put my trust and with Your Sustenance do I break my fast.
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