THE month of Ramadan is a month of grace and blessing. Upon arrival of this blessed month, Allah Most High causes His blessings and forgiveness to descend upon the one who gives this month its rights. Ramadan is the month in which Allah Most High showers His blessings upon our homes, and upon those who enter the mosques, especially the House of Allah — the Kaaba. During Ramadan, the mercy of Allah Most High falls upon us, like rain falling from the clouds.
One can liken the virtue of Ramadan with charity, which is of two kinds. The first kind is where one gives charity to someone whom one meets along the street or on the path. The second kind is likened to one who visits another with the intention of giving charity. Ramadan is likened to the latter; where Allah Most High causes His blessings to descend upon the ummah of the blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is during this time, that even little effort has the ability to earn high rewards, no matter where one is, be it in the sacred precinct in Makkah, or in one’s home.
Allah Almighty is the creator of all things. He created the year, the month, the day and the hour. In the same way, Allah Most High has elevated the status of the Prophet (peace be upon him) over the whole of creation; and the status of the Kaaba over all the other places of worship, He has elevated and raised the month of Ramadan over all other months. This is entirely the will of Allah Most High, and a manifestation of His Omnipotent Power and Divine Will.
Allah Most High chose to reveal His uncreated speech, the Qur’an, in this blessed month, to His final and most beloved Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah Most High says in the Qur’an: “The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and a criterion.” (Qur’an, 2:185)
Imam Al-Tabari writes that Wathilah (may Allah bless him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Scrolls of Abraham were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadan, the Torah was revealed on the sixth of Ramadan, the Bible on the 13th, and the Qur’an was revealed on the 24th of Ramadan.
He also writes that Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said: Allah caused the Qur’an to descend to the heaven of this world, on Laylat Al-Qadr, and then when Allah wished to reveal anything from it, He revealed it. And that is what is meant by His Words: “Verily We have revealed the Qur’an in Laylat Al-Qadr” (Tafsir Al-Tabari, by Imam Al-Tabari, surat Al-Qadr)
Allah Most High says in the Qur’an: “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain unto piety.” (Qur’an, 2:183)
Imam Al-Tabari writes that Qatadah (Allah be pleased with him) said, in reference to this ayah: “The month of Ramadan has been prescribed for the people as it was prescribed for those before them. Allah has prescribed the fast of three days of each month, before revealing the fast of Ramadan.” (Tafsir Al-Tabari, by Imam Al-Tabari, Surat Al-Qadr)
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is obligatory and is done solely for Allah Most High. In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Most High says: “Every action of the son of Adam belongs to him except the fast. It is Mine, and I repay him for it.” (Muslim) There can be neither false pretension nor showing off on the part of the one who is fasting. If one is offering prayers, giving zakah, making pilgrimage or any other form of worship, others can see one’s worship but fasting is distinguished by the fact that only Allah Most High can see who is fasting and who is not.
The polytheists may perform various acts of worship for their false gods to please them. They may make vows to them, make tawaf around them, travel for them and fight in their names. However, they do not fast for them nor has it ever been recorded that they fasted for them. Indeed it is clear that the fast of Islam is the fast of the Truth.
Hafiz Al-Asqalani, quoting from Imam Al-Qurtubi, mentions the following Hadith: “The bankrupt person is he who shall come on the Day of Judgment with prayer, charity and fast, but he had also swore at another person, beat another, and consumed the wealth of another. His good deeds will be taken from him, and the other person will take his good deeds. And when his good deeds are no more, before what is due upon him has been paid, he takes from their bad deeds. They will be thrown at him. Then he will be flung into the Fire.
He continues to say that there is a narration from by Abu Hurayrah, in which Allah Most High says: All actions are atonement, except for fasting. Fasting is for Me and I reward it. (Fath Al-Bari, by Hafiz Al-Asqalani, Book of Fasting)
It can be concluded that Allah Most High loves the fast of a Muslim, as it is a means for him to become more aware and fearful of Allah Most High.