Thursday, 4 June 2009

Sunnah fasting

I have been known to be a notorious sneak during Ramadhan in my childhood. I guess I was too greedy for my own good. I’ve been caught in the act, red handed, hand in the cookie jar, literally. To-date I must admit my track record in fasting is horrendous. I do feel guilty. So because I’ve lost track of how many disobedient fasting days I had, I now try once in a while to do a Sunnah fast.

The Prophet salalahu alayhi wasalam said that on the day of judgement, if the fardh acts are found to be sound, the person will be successful, but if any deficiency is found, the Lord Who is Blessed and Exalted will issue instructions to consider whether His servant performed any voluntary (nafl) of the same act (prayer, fasting etc)
-Hazrat Abu Hurairah-Tirmishi, Ibn-E-Majah.
Today is one of those days.
Rasulallah salallahu alayhi wasalam used to fast some Mondays and Thursdays among other days.
As for fasting Mondays and Thursdays, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast on Monday and Thursday. On being asked about that the Prophet said: "Deeds are presented on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are forsaking each other. He says [about them]: 'Leave them.' " (Reported by Ahmad with authentic chain of narrators)
It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when asked about fasting on Monday, said: "That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received revelation."

We already know the importance of sunnah, as we try to emulate the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam in what he did. "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.” (Al-Ahzab: 21) Even though its a pretty high bar to set, we can only try what we can.
It’s quite cleansing, like a detox, that is until the hunger really strikes.
So to console myself I went on a search on the benefits in the Hereafter.
The reward of saum is with Allah, al saum li wa ana ajzi ‘anhu- (Bukhari K30 B2) I suppose this means its like a surprise, no one really knows what it is except Allah of course.
The reward is more if saum is undertaken while on the path of Allah, sabiil al laah. (Bukhari K56 B36)
Like the Battle of Badr, the first major battle, the Muslim army were fasting. It was in Ramadhan 2AH. I can’t imagine myself in that heat let alone fasting and facing an army outnumbering them 3 to 1. But Alhamdullilah Allah rewarded their bravery by sending angels to assist this David peace be on him and Goliath situation.
Allah says: Al-i-Imran 3:123–125 (Yusuf Ali). “Allah had helped you at Badr, when ye were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah; thus May ye show your gratitude.§ Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: "Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down?§ "Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught.§”
Those who undertake saum will enter jannat through the gate of rayyaan, al saimuun yadikhuluun al jannat min baab al rayaan (Bukhari K30 B4)
Saum will be an intercession in the hereafter, al saum shafa’at yawm al qiyamat (Ahmad 2:17)
If one feels too tempted, it’s okay to break the fast.
Volume 3, Page 129: It is permissible for one who is performing a voluntary fast to break his fast Umm Hani reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, entered her room during the day of the conquest of Makkah. He was offered something to drink and he drank from it. Then he offered it to Umm Hani and she said: "I am fasting." The Prophet said: "The one who is fasting voluntarily is in charge of himself. If you wish you may fast and if you wish you may break your fast." This is recounted by Ahmad, ad-Daraqutni, and alBaihaqi. Al-Hakim also related it and said that its chain is sahih. The version he recorded states: "And if one wishes he may fast and if he wishes he may break his fast."

Inshallah I’ll keep at it until this long summer day is over.
Barakallahu feeki!

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