O Muslims! Fear Allaah and obey Him. I give you glad tidings as the month of Ramadhaan is approaching. This is the month in which the Qur’aan was revealed as a guidance for mankind, as well as a clarification and differentiation between truth and falsehood. During this month, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of hell are sealed. Satan and all other jinn are chained during this blessed month. Rewards for good deeds performed in this month are multiplied, sins forgiven and supplications responded to and answered. It is the month of perseverance, mercy, compassion and charity.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was asked which was the best type of charity, he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied, “The charity of Ramadhaan (or given duringRamadhaan).“ (Tirmithi)
Salmaan Al-Faarisi, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam gave a speech on the last day of Sha’baan, and said, “O people! You are being approached by a great and blessed month. A month which contains a night that is better than one thousand months. Allaah made fasting within it an obligation and made praying in that night an optional act of worship. He who performs any righteous voluntary act within it, will be rewarded like one who does an obligatory act at any time other than during Ramadhaan.
“He who performs an obligatory act of worship within it will be rewarded like he who performs seventy acts of worship at any time outside this month. It is the month of perseverance – and perseverance is rewarded with Jannah (Paradise). It is the month of compassion, in which the sustenance of a believer increases. He who feeds a fasting person within this month has his sins forgiven and he will be protected and released from the hellfire. He also gets the reward of that person’s fasting without decreasing the reward of the fasting person.”
Then the companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, said, ‘O messenger of Allaah! Not all of us can find the extra food needed to feed another fasting person’.
So the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam responded, “Allaah will give you the reward of feeding a fasting person even if you were to give him just a sip of milk, a date, or a sip of water. He who feeds a fasting person until he is full, Allaah will make him drink out of my river, a sip of which will never allow him to be thirsty until he enters Jannah.”
Then he continued, “…This is the month the beginning of which is mercy, the middle part is forgiveness and the last part of it is release from hellfire.” (Al-Bayhaqi).
So, pay attention, may Allaah be merciful to you all.
Pay attention, O believers, to the speech of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in which he gave glad tidings of the month of Ramadhaan to his companions and informed them of its virtues and how the reward of righteous deeds performed therein is multiplied.
Indeed, it is a great and blessed month. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, referring to the month of Ramadhaan, “Never has a better month arrived for the believers and never has a worse month come to pass for the hypocrites.” (Ahmad)
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “All the (rewards of the) deeds of the son of Aadam are for him, (he is aware that) the reward of performing them will be multiplied by ten to seven-hundred times. Allaah has said, ‘Except for fasting, as it is for Me. I shall reward it. (i.e. I will decide what the reward will be) This is because the fasting person leaves his desires, food and drink purely for My sake.’ The fasting person has two times of great pleasure: once when he breaks his fast and the other when he meets his Lord. The smell emanating from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the scale of Allaah than the smell of musk”. (Ahmad)
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam referred to Ramadhaan as the ‘month of perseverance’ due to the necessity of perseverance and patience during this month.
Due to this, as well as the suffering from the pain of hunger, thirst and weakness of the body due to fasting, ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophetsallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘No one knows the reward of fasting except Allaah’. (Al-Bayhaqi)
The reward for righteous deeds varies due to different reasons, for example, due to the sanctity of specific places such as Makkah and Madeenah. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallamsaid, ‘Praying in my Masjid is one thousand times greater (in reward) than prayer elsewhere – except for Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (in Makkah).“ (Bukhaari)
Among the virtues of this blessed month is that the reward for good deeds is multiplied by up to seven hundred times, for those who purify their intentions and perform their actions purely for the sake of Allaah – such as those who spend in charity from their wealth, provided that their wealth comes from lawful means.
Allaah only accepts charity which is from Halaal (lawful) means. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Allaah accepts charity with His Right Hand and then increases it in reward for the person giving it, just like one of you raises his colt, until the reward for it becomes the size of a mountain’. (Bukhaari & Muslim)
Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Charity extinguishes the anger of the Lord and protects the giver of it from an evil end’. (Tirmithi)
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘The shade of the believer on the Day of Judgment, will be his charity’. (Ahmad)
Charity given in secret is better than that given openly because Allaah said, which means, “If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds (thereby). And Allaah, with what you do, is (Fully) Acquainted.” (Al-Baqarah: 271).
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Nobody should fast the two days immediately preceding Ramadhaan, except for a man who is a habitual faster; if these two days happen to fall among the days in which he fasts – then let him fast these days’.(Bukhaari & Muslim)
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘If half of the month of Sha’baan remains – then do not fast.’(Tirmithi & Abu Daawood)
Abu Al-Yaqdhaan ‘Ammaar Ibn Yaasir, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘He who fasts on the day which people are in doubt as to whether it is within Ramadhaan or not – then he has disobeyed Abul-Qaasim (i.e. Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam )’ (Abu Daawood & Tirmithi)
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘The five daily prayers between two Fridays and between two Ramadhaans will wipe out all the sins committed between them if the major sins are avoided’. (Muslim)
Terminating or avoiding fasting in Ramadhaan is allowed for four categories of people:
The first category is the sick, who will be harmed if they fast, and the traveler – who is also allowed to shorten his Salaah. It is better for the two in this category not to fast and to make up for it at a later date. Nevertheless, if they choose to fast then it will be accepted of them.
The second category is a woman in her menstrual period or one just out of pregnancy who is having post-natal bleeding. Women attempting to fast in this category would actually nullify their fast – even if they were to continue abstaining from food and drink. They must make up for such days in the future.
In the case of the pregnant or breast-feeding mother, if there is fear for the safety and well-being of the baby, they may terminate their fast. However, they must make up for each fast missed like this and in addition, feed one needy person for each day that they miss.
For the rest of the categories of people who terminate their fast, nothing is required except making up for that day.
This applies to all except for those who break their fast by having sexual intercourse. Those who do this must make it up and free a slave. If they cannot find a slave then they must fast for two consecutive months. If they are unable to do this then they must feed sixty poor people. If they cannot even do this, because they are too poor, then the penalty is waived.
If a man were to have sexual intercourse with his wife, during the daytime in Ramadhaan, and not pay the Kaffaarah (penalty) for it, and then has sexual intercourse again with his wife, while he should have been fasting, then the Kaffaarah must be given twice. But if he has already given the Kaffaarah once for the first offense, then he only needs to give it once more for the second offense (i.e. each offense requires a separate Kaffaarah to be paid). This is what is mentioned in the book Al-‘Iddah Fi Sharh Al-‘Umdah.
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Anyone who fasts a day for the sake of Allaah (whilst in Jihaad), then Allaah distances his face from hellfire by seventy years’. (Bukhaari & Muslim)