The month of Ramadan is devoted to fasting. It is a month of obligatory fasting. Like Shahada, Salat, Zakat, and Hajj, Fasting is one of five pillars of Islam. Fasting is an incredible act of worship that is very much loved by Allah SWT. It is obligatory for each Muslim, who is an adult and physically able, to fast in the holy month of Ramadan. Allah Almighty stated in the Holy Quran, “O you who believe, Observing the fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may become pious.” (Quran, 2:183)
Fasting also known as “Saum” means to restrain, to keep patience and self-control. Fasting also means conscious refrain from food, drink and sexual relationship from dawn to dusk with the sole intention of worshiping Allah Almighty. Although fasting helps cleanse and purify the heart, mind and soul, the real purpose of fasting is to develop Allah’s conscious (Taqwa).
Sunnah Fasting or Voluntary Fasting:
There are times when it is recommended to make voluntary fasting, after the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Voluntary fasting carries more reward and more blessings from Allah Almighty. Some of these were practiced on certain days or urged by Prophet Muhammad SAW and became Sunnah. Fasting on these days is Mustahab (Desirable).
- 6 Days in the Month of Shawwal: During the month of Shawwal, it was by Abu Ayub that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime” (Muslim). Fast for 6 short days and receive the rewards of a year, or even more.
- Day of Ashura (10th Day of Muharram): Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated: “The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting in Allah’s long stretch of Muharram” (Muslim). Muharram is the marking month of a new Islamic year, which coincides with the Prophet Muhammad (SAW’s) migration to Mecca. But also, on this month, on the 10th day Hazrat Moosa was saved from Pharoah and the Egyptians. Also known as the Day of Ashura. Not only is this a historical and beautiful day to show our appreciation and submission to Allah Almighty, but Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also stated that this day, by Allah Almighty’s permission, would abolish a believer’s sin of the past year.
- Mondays & Thursdays: It was reported that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to try to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. For on these days, you gain more rewards for the good deeds that you have accomplished. By fasting on Mondays and Thursday, there you are regularly showing your love and worship to Allah Almighty.
- Day of Arafah (9th Day of Dhul Hijjah): The month of Dhul-Hijjah is known as the month of the pilgrimage. It is recommended to fast the first 9 days of the month specifically, on the 9th day (the day of Arafah), it is more emphasized to fast on this day. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says that: “Fasting on this day can expiates your sins from the preceding year and the current year” (Muslim).
- Fasting During the Month of Shaban: It is advisable to multiply fast in this month, its virtues are all good deeds and bad appointed to testified later in the Hereafter.
- Fasting in the Mid of Month: Fast on 13th, 14th and 15th of every Muslim Month. In the middle of the month will take place every full moon, the full moon is a moment of the most unstable for every human being. By fasting, the appetite will be unbearable.