Khutbah Title: Virtues, Benefits, Wisdom behind, Rulings and Etiquettes of Fasting

Khateeb’s Name: Sheykh Sa‘eed ibn ‘Ali ibn Wahf Al-Qahtaani

First Khutbah :

 

All praise is due to Allaah, The Almighty; we praise Him, ask His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allaah The Almighty from the evil of our souls and the consequences of our evil deeds. No one can mislead a person whom Allaah, The Almighty, guides, and no one can rightly guide a person whom Allaah, The Almighty, misguides. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah Alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is His slave and Messenger, the one with whom He entrusted His revelation, the close friend of Allaah, and the one whom He chose from among His creation, and upon his household and his companions and those who follow them in the best way until the day of Resurrection.

 

To proceed:

The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The worst of matters are those which are newly invented, for every new matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in Hellfire.

 

O servants of Allaah! Fear Allaah, The Almighty, Who says (what means): {O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allaah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allaah is ever, over you, an Observer.} [Quran 4: 1]

Be grateful to Allaah for the great blessings He bestowed upon such as letting you witness the blessed month of Ramadan. That is because witnessing it is one of the greatest graces ever. Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {And whatever you have of favor - it is from Allaah.} [Quran 16: 53] 

•   {And if you should count the favors of Allaah, you could not enumerate them.} [Quran 16: 18]

 

O servants of Allaah! Strive yourself hard in doing great deal of righteous deeds in this month for we do not know whether we will witness it again or not. Life spans are only determined by Allaah, The Almighty. In this regard, Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allaah is Knowing and Acquainted. } [Quran 31: 34]

O servants of Allaah! You should know, may Allaah have mercy upon you and bless you wherever you are, that the virtues and benefits of Ramadan are really multiple and countless. Amongst them are:

•   Fasting is a means of attaining Taqwa  (piety, being conscious of Allaah) as Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -} [Quran 2: 183]

•   Fasting is a shield and protection with which one protects himself from the Hellfire 

•   Because of fasting Allaah will keep one’s face away from Hell. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Anyone who fasts one day for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will keep him away from Hell for a distance covered in seventy years.”

If observing fast in one day has such great virtue and status, then how about if one observes fast for a whole month or three days from every month as supererogatory fasting or the like of the prescribed fast.

•   Fasting diminishes and protects one from sexual desires. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “O young people, whoever of you can afford marriage should marry because it is more (conducive to) lowering the gaze and more protective of the private parts; and whoever is not able to marry should fast, because fasting diminishes his sexual desire.”  

•   There is nothing like or equal to fasting for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, has instructed so. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Umaamah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said, "O Messenger of Allaah! Enjoin upon me something wherewith Allaah may benefit me." He, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "I advise you to stick to fasting, for there is nothing like it." In another variant narration: “…, for there is nothing equal to it.”

•   Fasting makes one enter Paradise from the gate of Ar-Rayyaan. That is because it was narrated in a Marfoo‘ (i.e. traceable) Hadeeth on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa’d, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said, “The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyaan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Judgment through which none except them will enter. It will be said: Where are those who used to observe fasts? They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.”

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for the cause of Allaah, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, 'O slaves of Allaah! Here is prosperity.' So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad (i.e. striving in the cause of Allaah), will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Rayyaan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity.” Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allaah's Messenger! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from those gates. Will there be any one who will be called from all these gates?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied, “Yes, and I hope you will be one of them.”

•   Fasting is a means to obtain forgiveness for sins and removal of misdeeds. It is narrated in a Marfoo‘ Hadeeth on the authority of Huthayfah ibn Al-Yamaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him,  said: “The man's trial in his family, property, children and neighbor is removed by prayer, fasting and charity.”

•   Fasting and the Quran will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgment. It is narrated in a Marfoo‘ Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him,  that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him,  said: “Verily, fasting and the Quran will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgment. Fasting will say: ‘O Lord! I prevented him from food, drink and sexual desires during the day. So, please, accept my intercession for him.’ The Noble Quran will say: ‘O Lord! I prevented him from sleep at night. So, please, accept my intercession for him.’” He (the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Then, they will be permitted to intercede.”

•   The fasting person is given his reward without reckoning.

•   Fasting is a means to attain the happiness of both abodes. That is because the fasting person rejoices twice (i.e. he rejoices at the time of breaking his fast, and he will rejoice when he meets his Lord).

•   The unpleasant breath coming from the mouth of the fasting person, as a result of the stomach being empty, is sweeter, in the sight of Allaah, than the scent of musk. Such previous three merits were proved by the Marfoo‘ Hadeeth narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him: “All deeds done by man are multiplied as much as ten to seven hundred times – Allaah The Exalted Says – save fasting, which is for Me, and for which I will give a reward, as in it one leaves his food and sexual desire for My Sake. The fasting person rejoices twice: he rejoices at the time of breaking his fast, and he will rejoice when he meets his Lord. The unpleasant breath coming from the mouth of the fasting person, is sweeter, in the sight of Allaah, than the scent of musk.” 

•   The supplication of the fasting person never rejected for it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected: The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast, and the oppressed.”

•   Offering fasting people food to break their fast is of great reward for it was narrated on the authority of Zayd ibn Khaalid Al-Juhani, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast will have a reward like his without decreasing his (the fasting person’s) reward in the slightest way.”

And the like of the other multiple and countless virtues of fasting.

•   As for the characteristics of the blessed month of Ramadan, it is the month in which Allaah, The Almighty, sent down the Noble Quran, the gates of Paradise, the gates of heaven, and the gates of mercy are opened while the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils and disobedient jinn are chained. In it a caller cries out each night, O seeker of good, proceed, O seeker of evil, desist. In it Allaah has those whom He redeems from the Fire, and that happens every night. It has a night that is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months), and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived. Supplications are answered in it. It is the month of Thikr (i.e. Remembrance of Allaah) and supplications. It is the month of patience. In it all sins are forgiven. With it ranks are raised high in Paradise and sins are removed. Whoever spends it in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins. In it Jibreel (i.e. Gabriel) used to meet the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. In it the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to reach the peak in generosity.

Such of all things calls for us to strive hard to attain such great goodness. It may be the last month in everyone’s life. I seek refuge with Allaah from the accursed Satan. Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.} [Quran 2: 183]

 

May Allaah bless for us the Noble Quran! May He benefit us all with what is in it of the verses and the precise and wise message! I say these words of mine and I seek Allaah’s forgiveness for myself and for all Muslims. Seek His forgiveness, for indeed He is the Oft-Forgiving.

 

The Second Khutbah:

All praise is due to Allaah The Almighty and the best outcome is for the righteous. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah Alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is His slave and Messenger. Peace and blessings be upon him, his household, his companions and those who follow them in the best way until the day of Resurrection.

 

To proceed:

O servants of Allaah, fasting has great virtues and numerous benefits that cannot be wholly stated in situation. Amongst its benefits and fruits is that it really distinguishes between those who are really worshipers of their Lord and those who follow their whims. Fasting is an act of obedience that brings the slave closer to Allaah The Almighty and thus it manifests the truthfulness of one’s faith and righteousness. Therefore, if many of the true believes are beaten or put in jail to break his fast for only one day of Ramadan without a valid excuse, they will never do so. This is one of the greatest wisdoms of fasting. Fasting is a means of attaining Taqwa. The fasting person is enjoined to do the acts of obedience and avoid committing sins and acts of disobedience as it was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and evil actins, Allaah Has no need of him giving up his food and drink.”   

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “If any one of you is fasting, let him not utter obscenities or act in an ignorant manner, and if anyone insults him or wants to fight him, let him say, I am fasting, I am fasting.”

Fasting makes heart free for Thikr and thinking about the graces of Allaah, The Almighty. That is because engaging in desires actually makes one negligent. Rather, the heart may get hardened and become blind to see truth. Fasting is a means of training oneself to self-control and restraining one’s self. Fasting reduces one’s pride and arrogance. It also constricts blood streams because of hunger and thirst and thus the whispers of the devil will get constricted because he runs through the blood stream of the son of Adam. The benefits of fasting also include health benefits that are attained because of lessening the amount of food and giving rest to the digestive system.

Fasting is unanimously considered one of the important pillars of Islam and one's Islam cannot be complete without it. It has pillars, conditions, nullifiers, and etiquette that every Muslim individual has to act upon them:

As for its pillars, they are abstaining from food, drink and all other things that break the fast from dawn until sunset. It is also essential to make the intention to fast the month of Ramadan at night, before Fajr for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever does not have the intention of fasting before Fajr, there is no fast for him.”

The place of intention is the heart and uttering it is an innovation.

As for its conditions, fasting is obligatory for a person if he fulfils six conditions:

1- He is a Muslim,

2- He is sane.

3- He is mature and accountable,

4- He is able to fast,

5- He is settled (not travelling), and

6- There are no impediments to fasting such as menstruation and post-childbirth bleeding.

It is desirable that children are to be ordered and encouraged to fast for the companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, did it so that they may get used and trained to fasting.

As for the nullifiers of fasting, they are seven:

1- Sexual intercourse during the days of Ramadan,

2- Intentional ejaculation,

3- Intentional eating and drinking,

4- All things like eating and drinking such as the injections that contain nourishment,

5- Extracting blood via cupping,

6- Intentional vomiting by getting out what is in one’s stomach through mouth, and

7- Menstruation and post- childbirth bleeding.

 

Severe punishment was made for the one who deliberately breaks his fast on one day of Ramadan without a valid excuse. It was narrated in a Marfoo‘ Hadeeth that Abu Umaamah Al-Baahili, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allaah  saying I asked, ‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘These are the screams of the people of Hell.’ Then, I was taken [to where] I saw people suspended by their ankles, with the corners of their mouths torn and pouring blood. I inquired, ‘Who are these?’ They answered, ‘These are those who broke their fast before it was time.” 

As for those who are excused from fasting, they are five:

1- The sick,

2- The traveler,

3- The one who is not able to fast,

4- Old man and woman and whoever needs to rescue a Muslim individual if there is no other way of rescuing him except by breaking fast, and

5- Pregnant and breastfeeding woman if they think that they or their children may be harmed.

All of such categories are obliged to make up fasting except the one who is suffering from a terminal or incurable illness and has no hope of recovery or old age for they will have to feed one poor person for each day and they are not required to make up fasting for their inability.

Fasting has recommended etiquette such as eating Suhoor (i.e. pre-dawn meal). Furthermore, it is recommended to delay eating it until before the dawn breaks out. It is also recommended to hasten to break the fast after the sunset and break the fast with fresh dates; if none are available then with dry dates; if none are available then with water. Amongst the other etiquette of fasting are reciting great deal of the Noble Quran, supplications, Thikr, and all other different types of righteous deeds. The best forms of Thikr is reciting Quran with contemplation and reciting great deal of it for whoever loves Allaah, The Almighty, most should recite great deal of Quran. Whoever purifies his heart will never stop reciting the words of Allaah. Whoever loves the Noble Quran, Allaah, The Almighty, will love him. The fasting person should think about the graces of Allaah, The Almighty, upon him and that Allaah, The Almighty, guided him to fasting while deprived many other people.

There are mistakes that many people do during Ramadan such as not having good understanding of the rulings of fasting. Moreover, many people stay up late at night spending time in other than worshiping Allaah, The Almighty, neglecting Taraweeh (i.e. optional congregational prayer on the nights of Ramadan), being lazy to perform it or leaving it before completing it with the Imam while it was narrated that whoever prays with the Imam (i.e. one who lead people in prayer) until he finishes, Allaah will record for him as if he spent the whole night in prayer. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, prescribed the prayer of Taraweeh with his words and actions. It is to be offered eleven or thirteen Rak‘ahs while the latter is the best. If one does more than this, then there is no blame on him for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The Salah (prayers) of the night are two Rak‘ahs followed by two Rak‘ahs and so on, and when you apprehend the approaching dawn offer one Rak‘ah as Witr."  

Accordingly, if one offers twenty Rak‘ahs and then followed them by three Rak‘ahs as Witr, there is nothing wrong at all. Also, if one offers thirty-six Rak‘ahs and then followed them by three Rak‘ahs as Witr, he does not commit anything bad. Or if one offers forty-one Rak‘ahs, there is no blame on him. However, it is better to be offered thirteen or eleven Rak‘ahs. 

Amongst the other mistakes that occur during Ramadan is extravagance in food, drink and clothes. Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {…and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.} [Quran 7: 31]

•   {…and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.} [Quran 17: 26-27]

 

O servants of Allaah!

Fear Allaah and strive hard in doing righteous deeds in this blessed month and have good intention. How many people did fast the past Ramadan with you but now in graves! How many people do not complete Ramadan for death overcomes them before completing it!

After this, send peace and blessings upon the best of humans; our Prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah. May Allaah be pleased with his companions; Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, ‘Ali and all other companions!

O Allaah, Give honor to Islam and to the Muslims!

O Allaah, Humiliate polytheism and the polytheists!

O Allaah, Support your sincere servants!

O Allaah, Grant us security in our homelands and reform our leaders. O Allaah, grant them the righteous supporters out of Your Mercy for You are the Most Merciful of the merciful!

O Allaah, Accept our fasting and prayer in night and forgive us our sins for You are the Most Forgiving and Most Merciful.

O Our Lord, Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire!

O Allaah, Forgive all Muslim men and women, the dead and the alive of them with Your Mercy, O the Most Merciful of the merciful!

O Allaah, we ask You to keep us safe and sound in this life and the life to come.

O servants of Allaah!

 {Indeed, Allaah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.} [Quran 16: 90]

Finally, remember Allaah The Almighty and He will surely remember you, thank Him for His graces and He will increase you, and know that the Remembrance of Allaah is greater. And Allaah knows that which you do.

 

 

 

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