The fourth of the five principles of Islam is to fast every day in the blessed month of Ramadân. The fast became fard on the tenth day of the month of Sha’bân eighteen months after the Hegira and a month before the Ghazâ (Holy War) of Bedr. Ramadân means to burn. Sins of those who fast and beg Allâhu ta’âlâ for forgiveness in this month, will burn and perish.

It is written in the book Riyad-un-nasihin that Hadrat Abû Hureyra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated in the book Bukhari[1]:

Rasûlullah ’sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’ declared, When the month of Ramadan comes the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are tied.

Imâm-ulaimma Muhammad bin Is’haq bin Huzeyma writes that Hadrat Selmân-i-Fârisî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ narrated that Rasûlullah ‘sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ had declared in his khutba on the last day of the month of Sha’bân:

O Muslims! Such a great month is about to overshadow you that one night [Qadr night] in this month is more beneficial than a thousand months. Allahu taala has commanded fasting daily during this month. Also, it is a sunna to perform the namaz of tarawih at nights during this month. Doing a small favour for Allahs sake during this month is like doing the fard in other months. Doing the fard in this month is like doing seventy fards in other months. This month is the month of patience. The place where the patient person will go is Paradise. This month is the month of getting along well. There is an increase in the subsistence of Believers during this month. If a person gives iftar to a fasting person in this month his sins will be forgiven. Allahu taala will manumit him from Hell-fire. And he will be given as many blessings as has that fasting person. The Sahâba said, “O Rasûlallah! Each of us is not so rich as to give the iftâr to a fasting person or to give him a whole meal. The Messenger ‘’alaihi-s-salâm’ declared: The blessings will be given even to a person who gives a date as the iftar or who provides a little water to break the fast or who offers a little milk. This month is such a month that it has compassion in its early days, pardon and forgiveness in the middle, and liberation from Hell in the final days. Allahu taala will forgive and rescue from Hell-fire those [patrons, chiefs, commanders and directors] who facilitate the duties of [workers, civil servants, soldiers, and students]. Do four things very often in this month! Two of them Allahu taala loves very much. They are to say the Kalima-i-Shahada and to say the istighfar.[2] And the other two you have to do at all times. They are to ask for Paradise from Allahu taala and to trust yourself to Allahu taala to be protected from Hell. A person who gives water to a fasting person during this month will never be in need of water on the Rising Day.

A hadîth-i-sherîf which exists in Sahih-i-Bukhari declares: If a person knows it as fard and as a duty to fast in the month of Ramadan and if he expects its thawab from Allahu taala, his past sins will be pardonned. That means to say that it is necessary to believe that fasting is Allah’s command and to expect blessings for it. It is a condition not to complain that the days are long or that it is difficult to fast. One should deem it good luck and a great fortune to fast with difficulty among people who do not fast.

It is declared in a hadîth-i-sherîf, which is quoted from Jâbir ibn Abdullah ’radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ by Abdul’azîm Munzirî, who was a hâfiz [savant of hadîth], in his book Etterghib wetterhib, and by hâfiz Ahmad Bayhakî in his book Sunan: In Ramadan-i-sherif Allahu taala bestows five gifts on my Umma, which He has not given to any other Prophet:

1 – The first night of Ramadan Allahu taala regards the Believers with Compassion. He never torments a born slave of His whom He regards with Compassion.

2 – At the time of iftar the fasting persons breath smells to Allahu taala more fragrant than any scent.

3 – During Ramadan angels pray day and night so that those who fast will be forgiven for their sins.

4 – In Ramadan Allahu taala allots a place in Paradise to give to those who fast.

5 – On the last day of Ramadan-i-sherif He forgives the sins of all the Believers who have fasted.

Hadrat Imâm-i-Rabbânî ’quddisa sirruh’ states in the forty-fifth letter of the first volume of Maktûbât: “The thawâb given for all nâfila worships, such as supererogatory namâz, dhikr, and alms that are performed during the month of Ramadân-i-sherîf, is like that which is given for the fard worships performed during other months. One fard performed in this month is like seventy fard performed in other months. A person who serves (the meal called) iftâr to a fasting person will be forgiven his sins. He will be freed from Hell. Also, he will be given as many blessings as the fasting person is given, while the blessings of the fasting person will not decrease at all. Also, superiors who make things easier in this month so that people under their command can fast conveniently, will be forgiven their sins. They will be freed from Hell. During the month of Ramadân-i-sherîf Rasûlullah would manumit slaves and give whatever he was asked for. Those who perform worships and good deeds during this month are given the blessings for performing them all the year round. He who disrespects this month and commits sins in it spends the whole year committing sins. One must deem this month a good opportunity. One must perform as many worships as one can. One must perform the deeds that Allâhu ta’âlâ likes. One must take this month as an opportunity to earn the Hereafter. The Qur’ân al-kerîm was revealed during Ramadân. The night of Qadr[3] is in this month. It is sunna to make the iftâr [to break fast] with dates in Ramadân-isherîf.

Some important sunnats during Ramadân are to say the prayer (Dhehebezzama wabtelletil uruk wa thaba-t-al-ejr insha-Allahu taala)[4] when making the iftâr [as noted in the Shalbî annotation to Tabyin], to perform the namâz of tarâwîh, and to read the entire Qur’ân.”

[1] Written by Bukhârî Muhammad bin Ismâ’îl ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, (194 [810 A.D.], Bukhârâ – 256 [870], Semerqand.) Originally entitled Jamii sahih, it is one of the two greatest books of hadîth-isherîfs.

[2] The istighfâr is a short invocation said for forgiveness of sins, for protection against disasters, harms and dangers, and for the acceptance of acts of worship. It is as follows: “Estaghfirullah al azim al kerim al-ledhi la illaha illa Anta Huw-al Hayy al Qayyuma wa atubu ileyh.”

[3] See ‘Sac red Nights’ in the se cond fas cic le of Endless Bliss.

[4] The meaning of this prayer is: “Time of hunger is over. It is time our veins attained water. Inshâ-Allâh, thawâb has ensued.