What is Ramadan and why do Muslims fast
The Month of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is a great month. It is the month in which Allah revealed the Quran as a guidance for the whole of mankind. It is the month in which Allah gave the Muslims victory in their first and greatest battle at Badr. It is the month which has Laylat al-Qadr, a night which is better than a thousand months.
In Ramadan the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the shayaateen (devils) are tied up and the reward for good deeds, acts of charity and acts of worship are multiplied in this month.
Ibn Khuzaymah (1986) and Ibn Hibbaan (7491) narrated that Abu Umaamah al-Baahili (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whilst I was sleeping, two men came to me and took hold of my upper arm, and brought me to a rugged mountain. They said: ‘Climb up.’ I said: ‘I cannot do it.’ They said: ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until I was at the top of the mountain. There I heard loud voices. I said: ‘What are these voices?’ They said: ‘This is the screaming of the people of Hell.’ Then I was taken and I saw people suspended by their ankles, with the corners of their mouths torn and pouring with blood. I said: ‘Who are these?’ They said: ‘These are the people who broke their fast before it was time to do so.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Mawaarid al-Zam’aan, 1509.
"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for
mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right
and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of)
the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm
(fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of
days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other
days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things
difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of
days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar:
Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “Ameen, ameen, ameen.” It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Ameen, ameen, ameen.” He said: “Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to me and said: ‘If Ramadaan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allaah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen. He said: ‘O Muhammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allaah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen. He said: ‘If you are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allaah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen.”
Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan, 3/188; classed as saheeh by al-Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1679
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