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Fasting In Ramadan (Part II)

The Sahaba said, "O Rasulallah! Each of us is not so rich as to give the iftar [1] to a fasting person or to give him a whole meal." The Messenger ('alaihi-s-salam) declared; "The blessings will be given even to a person who gives a date as the iftar or who provides a little water to break the fast or who offers a little milk. This month is such a month that it has compassion in its early days, pardon and forgiveness in the middle, and liberation from Hell in the latter days. Allahu ta'ala will forgive and rescue from Hellfire those [patrons, chiefs, commanders and directors] who facilitate the duties of [workers, civil servants, soldiers and students]. Do four things very often in this month! Two of them Allahu ta'ala loves very much. They are to say the Kalima-i-Shahada [2] and to say the istighfar [3]. And the other two you have to do at all times. They are to ask for Paradise from Allahu ta'ala and to trust yourself to Allahu ta'ala to be protected from Hell. A person who gives water to a fasting person during this month will never be in need of water on the Rising Day."

A hadith [4] which exists in Sahih-i-Bukhari declares, "If a person knows it as fard [5] and as a duty to fast in the month of Ramadan and if he expects its thawab [6] from Allahu ta'ala, his past sins are pardonned." This means to say that it is necessary to believe that fasting is Allah's command and to expect blessings for it. It is a condition not to complain that the days are long or that it is difficult to fast. One should deem it good luck and a great fortune to fast with difficulty among people who do not fast.

GLOSSARY
[1] iftar: the act of breaking a fast. Fasting is done for thirty days in Ramadan. Iftar is done when the sun sets.
[2] kalimat ash-shahada: the phrase beginning with "Ashhadu..." The first of the five fundamentals of Islam; declaring one's belief in Islam.
[3] istighfar: prayer for repentance; prescribed prayer recited in order to entreat Allahu ta'ala for forgiveness.
[4] 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).
[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] 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.