Ramadan and Fasting

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As the holy month of Ramadan is approaching, today’s khutbah will be about fasting and the values of Ramadan.

The Holy Qur’an says in Surah Al-Baqarah verses 183-184:

“You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of Allah.”

First of all we can see that fasting is not something new that came only to the Muslims during the time of the Prophet (SAW). It was prescribed to different communities at different times in mankind’s history.

Verse 48 of Surah Al-Ma’ida says:

“To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way…”

Allah the Almighty is addressing the believers and He is commanding them to observe fast. Fasting is a means to understand the majesty of the Creator, the one who provides substances for mankind.

Fasting, in Islam, consists of physical: restraining from food, drink and sexual activities from dawn to dusk and the spiritual: calm manner, being even more patient, making sure to be more careful not to backbite or create disorder amongst people.

Benefits of abstention include, purifying the self from immoral acts and building a stronger character, which distinguishes right from wrong and virtue from vice.

Like most of its commands, Islam made fasting obligatory in gradual stages. In the beginning our Prophet (SAW) instructed the faithful to observe three fasts per month, but these fasts were not obligatory. Later in the second year of Hijrah, the command to make fasting compulsory was revealed. It carried a provision to feed the hungry and the indigent for those who were able to observe fast but chose not to. This exemption was cancelled by a later command except for the sick, the pregnant women, feeding mothers and the weak with a condition that they fulfil the command by observing fasts for the missed Ramadan days later after their situation changed.

It has been told numerous times that one of the blessings of Ramadan is that the Holy Qur’an was revealed during this month.

Surah Al-Ma’ida:

“A light has now come to you from Allah, and a Scripture making things clear, with which Allah guides to the ways of peace those who follow what pleases Him, bringing them from darkness out into light, by His will, and guiding them to a straight path.”

Highlighting one of its own attributes, the Qur’an says that the holy book has been sent down for the Guidance for mankind, and a code of conduct to charter human life. It is a standard that distinguishes truth from falsehood. It presents clear, and straight forward, easy to understand truths – truths without complexity – truths which are evident, plain and simple for a seeking mind and a searching heart.

This month among all other months should be exclusively dedicated to discipline the mind, to train the thought, to purify the heart, to uplift the spirit, to win both the worlds – the Here and the Hereafter, and to win Allah’s (SWT) pleasure and that of His beloved Prophet (SAW) through achieving piety. Allah (SWT) has blessed us with Ramadan, which offers a refresher course to achieve piety. Piety being the basis and foundation of our Deen (Faith) should be maintained at all cost.

The Qur’an is the spring for the world, Ramadan is the spring season, and the crop which such a season yields is piety. What is better then Spring, so let us celebrate this season as much as we can and thank and glorify Allah (SWT) as much as we can. Darud-o-Salaam on our beloved Prophet (SAW), who taught us to celebrate the Spring of Ramadan.

May Allah enable us to please Him and His Messenger! Ameen!

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