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The Fast Of Ramadan

The fourth of the five principles of Islam is to fast every day in the blessed month of Ramadan. The fast became fard [1] on the tenth day of the month of Sha'ban eighteen months after the Hegira [2] and a month before the Ghaza (Holy War) of Bedr. Ramadan means to burn. Sins of those who fast and beg Allah for forgiveness in this month burn and perish. Hadith-i sharifs [3] declare as follows:

"When the month of Ramadan comes, the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, and the devils are tied."

"O Muslims! Such a great month is about to overshadow you that one night [Qadr night] in this month is more beneficial than a thousand months. Allahu ta'ala has commanded fasting every day during this month. Also, it is a sunna [4] to perform the salat of tarawih at nights during this month. Doing a small favour for Allah's sake during this month is like doing the fard in other months. Doing the fard [5] in this month is like doing seventy fards in other months. This month is the month of patience. The place where the patient person will go is Paradise. This month is the month of getting along well. There is an increase in the subsistence of Believers during this month. If a person gives iftar [6] to a fasting person in this month his sins will be forgiven. Allahu ta'ala will manumit him from Hell-fire. And he will be given as many blessings as has that fasting person. "

"If a person knows it as fard and as a duty to fast in the month of Ramadan and if he expects its thawab [7] from Allahu ta'ala, his past sins are pardoned. "

GLOSSARY
[1] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[2] Hegira: emigration of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) from Mekka to Medina; al-Hijra.
[3] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).
[4] sunnat: i) act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta'ala, done and liked by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) as an 'ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur'an al-karim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.
[5] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[6] iftar: the act of breaking a fast. Fasting is done for thirty days in Ramadan. Iftar is done when the sun sets.
[7] thawab: Muslims will be rewarded in the Hereafter for all their pious actions which they have done in the world. The rewards which Muslims will be given in the Hereafter are called thawab. The word is used as an adjective as well as a noun. For example, when we say that an action is very thawab we mean that Allahu ta'ala will give many rewards for the action. Rewards which Muslims will be given in the Hereafter.