Prof. Imad Benjelloun

Imad Benjelloun

April 23, 2022

KEY QUESTIONS

  1. What are the rewards of fasting in Ramadan?
  2. What are the benefits of fasting in Ramadan for the Youth?

ANSWERS

  1. What are the rewards of fasting in Ramadan?

The reward of fasting is an exceptionally great reward that is granted by God Almighty and fully known only to Him. All we know includes the following:

  • The reward of fasting is exceptionally great

Narrated Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every deed by a child of Adam is multiplied in reward; the reward of a good deed is multiplied tenfold to seven hundredfold. God has said, ‘Except fasting, for it is done for my sake and I give a reward for it. One gives up their desire and food for my sake.’ There are two occasions of joy, one when they break their fast and one when they meet their Lord. The breath of the fasting person is sweeter to God than the fragrance of musk. Fasting is a shield. And when it is the day of fasting of any of you, they should not use vile language or raise their voice, and if anyone curses them or attempts to fights with them, they should say, ‘I am fasting.’” (Bukhari and Muslim). There are two key questions and an important note about this hadith:

  • Since all deeds are supposed to be done for the sake of God Almighty, why did He say that fasting is done for His sake? POSSIBLE ANSWER: In acts other than fasting, it is possible to do them for the sake of other than God Almighty, such as showing off while praying, or performing hajj, or donating money. However, one cannot show off while fasting because there is nothing to show off in fasting.
  • Since all deeds are rewarded by God Almighty, why did He say that He rewards for fasting as if it implies that He does not reward for deeds other than fasting? POSSIBLE ANSWER: God Almighty does give a reward for all deeds, but for fasting, He gives a reward that is exceptionally great. because God Almighty says: “Certainly, those who are patient will receive their reward in full without measure.” (Quran 39:10). Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace said: “It (Ramadan) is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is paradise.”
  • Telling someone ‘I am fasting’ when they want to curse you or fight with you, is a reminder to yourself that you should abstain from such bad behavior at all times but especially in times of fasting. It is also a reminder to such person that they should fear God Almighty for the sake of Whom they are fasting.
  • The reward of fasting includes entering a unique gate in Paradise, called ar-Rayyan

Sahl Ibn Sa’d narrated that God’s messenger, God bless him and grant him peace, said, “In paradise, there are eight gates one of which is called ar-Rayyan that no one enter except those who fast.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • The reward of fasting is so abundant that it is granted without measure

Given that fasting requires patience and grows it, the reward of fasting is that of those who are patient, which is so abundant that it is granted without reckoning, measure, or limit. God Almighty says: “Certainly, those who are patient will receive their reward in full without measure.” (Quran 39:10). Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace said: “It (Ramadan) is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is paradise.”[1]

  • The rewards of Ramadan include forgiveness and being saved from Hell

The rewards of Ramadan include forgiveness and being saved from Hell as stated by Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace:

  • “In between the five daily prayers, the Friday prayer and the next Friday prayer, and Ramadan and the next Ramadan, sins are forgiven provided the major ones are avoided.”[2]
  • “There are those whom God saves from Hell. And that is every night (of Ramadan).”[3]
  1. What are the benefits of fasting in Ramadan for the Youth?

Ramadan has countless and limitless benefits the biggest of which is to further advance in your journey to your Lord Almighty by achieving nearness to Him and gaining His satisfaction, forgiveness, mercy, and love. Here are twenty other benefits:

  • Ramadan is the 4th pillar of Islam, without which the building of your entire deen (religion) may collapse, resulting in utter failure in this life and the next. As a youth, starting your young adult life by establishing the five pillars of Islam is especially important to make sure you are starting your journey to God Almighty with a solid foundation.
  • Ramadan is the best month to build self-restraint that is necessary to be able to control yourself in staying away from doing what is wrong; instead, you do what is right. As a youth who is tempted with haram stuff almost every day at school, and outside especially through the internet, you need such self-restraint. As a result, you strengthen your faith and purify your soul and so achieve nearness to God Almighty. “Oh, you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may become self-restraint.” (Quran 2:183)
  • Ramadan is the month that includes the best night of the year, called laylatul qadr (night of decree), which is better than a thousand months. God Almighty says: “laylatul qadr is better than a thousand months. In it, the angels and the Spirit descend by the permission of their Lord, with every command. It is peaceful until the rise of dawn.” (Quran 97:3-5)
  • Ramadan is the month in which God Almighty revealed the entire Quran from the Preserved Tablet (al-lawh al-mahfoudh) to the lowest sky of this world during laylatul qadr. God Almighty says: “We have indeed revealed it (Quran) in laylatu l-qadr.” (Quran 97:1). Also, He Almighty says: “Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to mankind, and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” (Quran 2:185)
  • The best fasting is the one during Ramadan. Abu Hurairah, God be pleased with him, narrated that Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace, said: “The best fasting after the month of Ramadan is the month of God, Al-Muharram, and the best prayer is the night prayer” (Nasaa’i)
  • The supplication (du’a) of the fasting person is not rejected. As a youth, you are in your early stages of life needing a lot of motivation, strength, and guidance all of which can only be obtained from your Creator Almighty, and so making constant and abundant supplication to Him is essential especially in Ramadan. Abu Hurairah, God be pleased with him, narrated that Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace, said: “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when they break their fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; God raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” (Jami`at-Tirmidhi)
  • The reward of fasting is an exceptionally great reward that is granted by God Almighty and fully known only to Him. It includes the reward of being patient during fasting, which is granted without limit or measure. It also includes entering a unique gate in Paradise, called ar-Rayyan.
  • “The fasting person enjoys two special joys,” as stated in the above hadith: one when they break their fast, and the other when they meet their Lord.
  • “The breath of the fasting person is sweeter to God than the fragrance of musk,” as stated in the above hadith. This is truly a unique benefit of fasting, but it should not be misinterpreted that you should not brush your teeth and keep your mouth clean in Ramadan. As a youth, maintaining the health of your teeth and gum is especially important because of its long-term effect on not only your teeth but also your overall health when you get older. So, brush your teeth before you go to bed after taraweeh, and right after suhur before you start your fast.
  • “Fasting is a shield,” as stated in the above hadith. It shields you from your own desires that will cause you to disobey God Almighty and be thrown in Hell, therefore, it is a shield from Hell.
  • “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up” as stated by Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace.[4] Here a question arises: how come the devils are chained up but you still see all of kinds of sins and evil in Ramadan at school and outside? A possible interpretation is that in Ramadan, the strength and influence of the devils are weakened, their whisper is reduced, and their harm is diminished on devout Muslims who perform fasting properly; but none of such evil is completely eliminated. The clear proof is that devout Muslims are less sinful and instead they are more active, energetic, and motivated in their worship and self-discipline in Ramadan than in other months.
  • Ramadan is a great opportunity to get forgiveness for your sins, such as and especially any misbehavior and disrespect towards your parents. Narrated Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever fasts in Ramadan with faith (in God) and hope (in God’s reward), their previous sins will be forgiven” (Sunan An-Nasa’i).
  • Umra during Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj (in reward) or to Hajj with me” as stated by Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace.[5] Umra is an optional minor pilgrimage to Mecca, whereas Hajj is an obligatory once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca. This is another truly unique benefit of Ramadan, but it does not mean that Umra in Ramadan will exempt you from Hajj.
  • Ramadan is the best month to build more patience and perseverance, both of which are essential virtues to be able to achieve high levels of success in every field of your life as a youth, especially in your religious learning and practice, spiritual growth, and academic education and professional career. A man from Banu Sulaym said: the Messenger of God, God bless him and grant him peace, counted them out in my hand or in his hand: “(1) tasbih (e.g., saying subhanallahi wa bihamdih) is half of the Scale (of your records), (2) hamd (saying alhamdulillah) fills it up, (3) takbir (e.g., saying Allahu Akbar) fills up that which is between the sky and the earth, (4) fasting is half of patience, and (5) purification is half of faith.” (Tirmidhi)
  • Ramadan is the most blessed month to accomplish a lot with less time and effort, increase your motivation, boost your energy, sharpen your mind, have more focus, and so be more productive, highly effective, and very efficient in everything you do at school and outside. As a youth, being able to do more with less is especially important because you have a long day at school and at the same time you want to play, game, exercise, rest, and have fun but you also need to fulfill your religious obligations.
  • Ramadan is the best month to be strong and active, overcome hardship, face challenges, get problems solved, and meet your goals including personal, familial, and spiritual ones. As a youth, if you are sincere in your fasting and you do it right, you will not use it as an excuse to be lazy, sleepy, and inactive. Recall that the most critical battle in Muslim history, the Great Battle of Badr (because of which we are all Muslims today!) happened in Ramadan when Muslim soldiers were fasting.
  • Ramadan is the best month to feel for and feed the poor, and so get a great reward for it.
  • Ramadan is the unique annual opportunity to be blessed for having suhur for an entire month. God Almighty showers His mercy upon the person having suhur and praises them in the presence of His Angels. And the Angels make du’a for the person having suhur to receive God’s mercy, blessing, and forgiveness.
  • Ramadan is the unique annual opportunity to pray taraweeh and get your sins pardoned accordingly. Narrated Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad, God bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever stands up in prayer at night (including taraweeh) in Ramadan with faith (in God) and hope (in God’s reward), their previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sunan An-Nasa’i)

Ramadan is the best month to improve your health: lose excessive weight, lower the risk of obesity-related diseases (e.g., diabetes), lower the rate of heart failure, lower blood pressure, improve metabolism (which converts food into the energy your body needs to function), reduce the production of inflammatory substances, reduce anxiety, prevent depression, dissolve diseased cells, have a peace of mind and keep your heart at peace, build a better body image, and slow down your aging. Yes, as a youth, you can exercise while fasting if you do it right including having healthy suhur on time right before fajr, not doing an extremely hard or very exhausting exercise, and exercising at the best time when it is not too hot. People who do it right not only find it very healthy but also highly enjoyable.


[1] Narrated by Salman al-Farisi, God be pleased with him, reported by al-Bayhaqi

[2] Narrated Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, reported by Muslim

[3] Narrated Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, reported by Tirmidhi

[4] Narrated by Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, and reported by Bukhari

[5] Narrated by Ibn Abbas, God be pleased with her, and reported by Bukhari and Muslim