The blessed month of Ramadan is all about fasting and
following the commands of Allah Almighty. Fasting is not just abstaining from
eating or drinking but to refrain from all inappropriate activities for the sake
of Allah (SWT). There are countless opportunities to take advantage of
during this holy month and Muslims seek repentance for past sins as well as
become more pious for getting closer to Allah Almighty. The act of
fasting is not only filled with blessings and rewards but it is also a shield
against sins and hell-fire in the hereafter. The significance of fasting
is stated in hadith in these words: ‘Allah says: “Every good deed of
Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. And I shall reward (the
fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is
better to Allah than the smell of musk.”’ (Bukhari)
There are two important aspects of fasting: Suhur and
Iftar that have great significance to Muslims. Allah, the Most Merciful has blessed us with two meals Suhur
and Iftar during this holy month of fasting so we could recharge ourselves.
Iftar and Suhoor are the most important meals of Ramadan and we should enlighten
ourselves about the meals to reap the best out of it.
Muslims commences fast early morning at dawn just before the
sunrise with a meal known as Suhoor. The Prophet (PBUH) told us about the
blessings and virtue of Suhoor in these words: “Have Suhoor for verily there
is a blessing in it.” (Abu Dawood)
An essential part of Suhoor is making the intention to fast.
Having Suhoor is Sunnah and one must try hard to have Suhoor even if it
includes some dates and a sip of water. “Whoever does not have the
intention of fasting before Fajr, there is no fast for him.” (Ahmad)
Suhoor is the right time to eat up a meal and fill yourself
adequately so that you can fast throughout the day. Suhoor is also a
blessed time, the third part of the night and the best time to pray to Allah
(SWT), make dua and seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah.
بِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَوَيْتُ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ
Translation: “I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow
in the month of Ramadan.”
Iftar is an Arabic word, which literally means ‘to break’. Iftar is the meal with which Muslims break their fast at sunset. After a long day of fasting, Iftar is the moment that the believers look forward to. It is the moment that Muslims have not only fulfilled their hunger and quenched the thirst but also fulfilled an obligation for the sake of Allah Almighty. So, we should invite others for iftar as it promotes unity and companionship, and in the end, everyone will have a sense of contentment, and that is a blessing.
Performing Iftar is an act that brings blessings for
Muslims. It is said that Allah (SWT) will open the gates of forgiveness for
those who help fast observers in acquiring adequate Iftar to break their fast
at this time. It is Sunnah to break the fast with dates. Iftar is the time to
make supplications that you would not want to miss out. Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
said: “When the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is
not turned back.” (Ibn Majah)
اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّی لَکَ صُمْتُ وَبِکَ اٰمَنْتُ وَعَلَيْکَ تَوَکَّلْتُ وَعَلٰی رِزْقِکَ اَفْطَرْتُ
Translation: “O Allah! I fasted for you and I believe
in you and I put my trust in You and I break my fast with your sustenance.”
May Allah Almighty accept our fast and blessed us in this
holy month of fasting. Ameen!