Sunnah of Fasting
Fasting (sawm) is a worship generally associated only with Ramadhan. However, there are days throughout the year when our beloved Nabi ﷺ would fast. It is therefore sunnah to fast on these days.
Let us look at a few of these days when our beloved Nabi ﷺ fasted or advised us to fast.
Dawood Alayhis Salam would fast every other day. Meaning he would fast one day and miss one day. Our beloved Nabi ﷺ described this method of fasting as the best way to fast. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ would try to fast at least two days each week. The days he would fast were Monday and Thursday. (Tirmidhi, Nasai, and Ibn Majah)
Every month there are days when the sky at night is the brightest. These nights are the full moon nights. In the hadeeth the days that follow these nights have been referred to as ayyame beedh. These fast should be kept on the 13, 14 and 15 of every month.
By fasting on these days, we find in a hadeeth that each fast is rewarded by 10. So, keeping 3 fasts is like keeping 30 fasts (one month!). If we fast like this every month it will be as if we have fasted our whole life. [Bukhari and Muslim].
There are many times throughout the year when fasting becomes even more liked by Allah Ta’ala. We will only list them here and near the time we will share their virtue:
A) Fasting 6 Days in Shawwal
The reward for fasting the full YEAR.
B) 10th Muharram (with either the 9th or 11th Muharram too)
A fast which our beloved Nabi ﷺ was very particular about.
C) 9th Zul Hijjah (fast of Arafah day)
The past year and coming years sins forgiven
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ liked to fast in Shabaan and would fast most frequently in this month as compared to any other month.
Based on our ability, routine and health etc. we should all adopt this beautiful sunnah practice of our beloved Nabi ﷺ as much as possible.
Deeni benefits of fasting:
Safety from the fire of Jahannam
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ has said “Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ has said “Allah says every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except for fasting. It is for Me and I will reward it.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Dua’s are accepted
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ has said “There are three whose du’a’ is not rejected: a just ruler, the fasting person when he breaks his fast and the prayer of the oppressed person. (Tirmidhi)
A Door in Jannah reserved for the fasting people
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ has said “There is a gate in Jannah called Ar-Rayyan which those who fast will enter on the Day of Qiyamah. None but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those that would fast?’ They will stand up and none but they will enter it. Once they have entered, that gate will be shut and no one else will enter” (Sahih Bukhari)
Two Occasions of happiness
Our beloved Nabi ﷺ has said “The one who fasts has two (occasions) of joy, one when he breaks the fast he is glad with the breaking of (the fast) and one when he meets his Lord.” (Sahih Muslim)
Health Benefits of fasting:
2. It gives the time of rest for the digestive organs.
3. Can lower blood pressure.
4. Can lower cholesterol levels.
5. Helps to control desires.
6. Provides a sense of feeling for others.
7. Allows one the chance to think of those who are less fortunate.
Winter time being cooler and the days being shorter is a wonderful time for us to achieve these benefits by keeping regular fasts.
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