Fasting In Ramadan (Part I)

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.

It is written in the book Riyad-un-nasihin that Hadrat Abu Hureyra [3] 'radiy Allahu anh' stated in the book Bukhari: Rasulullah 'sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam' declared, "When the month of Ramadan comes the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, and the devils are tied."

Imam-ul-aimma Muhammad bin Is'haq bin Huzeyma [4] writes that Hadrat Selman-i-Farisi (radiy Allahu 'anh) conveyed that Rasulullah (sall Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had declared in his khutba [5] on the last day of the month of Sha'ban: "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 [6] to perform the salat of tarawih [7] 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 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 [8] 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."

[2] Hegira: emigration of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) from Mekka to Medina; al-Hijra.
[3] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[4] imam: i) profound 'alim; founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) caliph.
[5] khutba: the preaching delievered at mosque; the homily delivered at the pulpit by the imam at Jum'a and 'Iyd prayers ( at the prayers of Friday and of Islamic festivals), which must be read in Arabic all over the world (sinful if read in another language).
[6] 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.
[7] tarawih the optional prayer performed in the month of Ramadan after the isha ( a time about two hours after sunset) salat
[8] iftar: the act of breaking a fast. Fasting is done for thirty days in Ramadan. Iftar is done when the sun sets.