Marifah School

Ramadan – The Night of Power

Obligation and Wisdom of Fasting


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ. الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اَلَّلهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَـلَّمْ وَبَأّرَکْ عَلَى نَبِيِّنَأّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِيْن.

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي. وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي. وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي. يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي.


Alhamdulillah, we find ourselves blessed to witness another Ramadan, the month of mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. As Muslims, it is incumbent upon us to seize every moment of this sacred time to draw closer to Allah (SWT) and strive for His pleasure.

Today, InShaAllah, we will discuss the motivation for fasting, that is, why must we fast and what can we gain from fasting.

Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam and Allah has prescribed it on the believers.

In a famous hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Umar رضي الله عنهما Allah’s Messenger said ﷺ:

عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما أن النبي قال: بُنِيَ الإسْلَامُ علَى خَمْسٍ: شَهَادَةِ أنْ لا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وأنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسولُ اللَّهِ، وإقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ، وإيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، والحَجِّ البيتِ، وصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ. (متفقٌ عليه.)

Islam has been built on five Pillars, to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to offer the Prayers dutifully and perfectly and pay Zakat and to perform Hajj and fast during the month of Ramadan. (Agreed Upon)

The hadith mentions fasting in Ramadan as one of Pillars of Islam. The obligation of fasting during the month of Ramadan is also established in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:183), where Allah (SWT) says:

قال تعالى :يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُم لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ. البقرة: 183

O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fast) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaquin (the pious) (S2:183)

This ayah mentions three important things:

  1. Fasting is an Obligation
  2. It is an obligation as it was for the people before us – it nothing new for the Muslims.
  3. It is a means of becoming righteous, gaining Taqwa.

Allah, the Almighty, imposed fasting on His slaves for great wisdom and remarkable secrets.

And from among the wisdoms and secrets of fasting:

Fasting is a means of showing devotion and seeking nearness to Allah – Through fasting the believers seek nearness of Allah by giving up their desires for His sake. They prefer the pleasure of Allah to their own desires. This shows they truly believe in Allah, are devoted to Him, and hope for His rewards.

Fasting is a means of Taqwa – God Consciousness – The above ayah signifies that fasting generates righteousness, Taqwa, which is a source of collective goodness of this World and the Hereafter. Fasting brings Taqwa and Taqwa is a shield or protective barrier, it guards us against actions that displease Allah. It involves creating a barrier between oneself and divine punishment, while also obeying Allah’s commands and avoiding forbidden actions.

An incredible example that demonstrates what Taqwa, is when Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) asked Ubay Ibn Ka’ab (may Allah be pleased with him) about Taqwa.

Ubay said “Have you ever taken a thorny path?” Umar replied, “Yes I have.” Ubay then asked, “So how did you travel along this thorny path?” Umar replied, “I rolled up my garment and was cautious as to where I would tread to avoid being pricked by the thorns.” So Ubay responded and said, “This is Taqwa.”

Taqwa is the believer’s key provision in his journey to Allah. Taqwā is the path to attaining the love, mercy and help of Allah.  It allows us to distinguish between truth and falsehood, to overpower shayṭān and gain victory over our enemies. Through taqwā, our sins are forgiven, great rewards are amassed, and our deeds are accepted

Fasting makes us realize the bounties of Allah and be grateful for these – Another benefit of fasting is that By abstaining from food and drink during fasting, one is reminded of the bounties of Allah (SWT). This helps us relate to the plight of the poor and the indigent, makes us more caring and sympathetic to them, and more appreciative of the bounties that Allah (SWT) bestowed to us.

Let us embark on this journey of purification with sincerity, seeking Allah’s pleasure in every action we undertake during this blessed month. May Allah (SWT) enable us to stive to reap maximum benefit from this Ramadan and help us gain Taqwa and nearness to Him.

وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ نَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ نَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ.

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ.

وَصَلَّـى اللهُ تَعَالَى عَلَى خَيْرِ خَلْقِهِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّاَلِهِ وَاَصْحَابِهِ اَجْمَعِيْنَ بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ.

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