In the name of Allah the most Gracious most Merciful.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Deeds are shown (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.”
It was brought to my attention to write the importance of fasting, Since we have made this something of importance here at the Muslim Center, as far as the Monday and Thursday Iftar’s we hold every week to reward those that choose to practice a very Important Sunnah that has been overlooked though, very, very much needed. I have come up with the idea for the Monday and Thursday Potluck and Taleem, to keep up the spirit of Ramadan. It seems so festive during that month then as soon as Eid is over everything goes back to normal and we forget about the real reason we fast and also forgot how important the frequency of the Masjid is.
It is reported by Abu Hurayrah(ra) from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who said: Allah(swt) says:
“Fasting is Mine and it is I who give reward for it. A man gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fast has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fast is better in Allah’s estimation then the smell of musk.”
It is reported by Abu Hurayrah(ra), that the prophet Muhammed(pbuh) has stated:
“Everything has a cleansing agent and fasting is the cleansing agent for the body. Fasting is more a matter of patience than of anything else.”
That should give you two great reasons why we should fast. However the Question was brought to me why do I fast? Outside of the obvious reasons stated in the hadiths above, it was something that I feel personally was needed for my own spiritual growth, for I can honestly say that a lot of things in my life was not where it needed to be spiritually. I felt like I was extremely unbalanced and just praying was not enough. I always have known about the Fasting of the Prophet on Mondays and Thursdays but never really practiced it as I should have. So I told myself this Ramadan that I was going to dedicate more of my time to being a better slave for Allah and Fasting is a major priority after the obligatory fast.
Fasting is not just something to help lose weight (which I have recently saw a study that says fasting for a least two days a week in very beneficial to the body, don’t believe me ask Sheik Google. lol). It is a sacrifice you make to Allah to help benefit your soul, it keeps you in remembrance of Allah, It also teaches you self-discipline, by reframing from bad grammar, ill thoughts and other ill behavior. And the Reward for these efforts you make to be closer to your lord thru remembrance and pray, is to just not breakfast, (which is a plus that we choose do it at the mosque with other believers, by feeding your fellow brother and sisters with the potluck), but also the blessing that is offered when you fast for Allah. For examples below;
“Fasting is a protection and a strong fortress against the Fire.” (Reported by Ahmad, 2/402; see also Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/411 and Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3880)
“Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will keep his face seventy years’ distance away from the Fire because of it.” (Reported by Muslim, 2/808)
“Whoever fasts a day seeking the pleasure of Allaah and then dies [i.e. that is the last thing he does] will enter Paradise.” (Reported by Ahmad, 5/391; see also Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/412)
“In Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyaan, through which those who fast will enter, and no-one else will enter through it. After they have entered, it will be locked and no-one else will enter it.” (Al-Bukhaari, Fath, no. 1797).
We also have included the Taleem or talk at the end of our iftar after Isha Pray, just to give us a consistent reminder throughout the week of goals and duties as a Muslim and pick up on things that might have not been normally in our juma Khutba.
So as I close, I will like to again remind all the believers the importance of fasting, Isa(pbuh), made it a requirement and countless others Messengers of Allah Practiced it also. So Inshallah we make this all a part of our lives on more consistent basIs. This is a great sunnah that we must take advantage of. I bid you all Peace and Blessing from the Most High Allah(swt). And come out on Monday and Thursday night to be amongst your fellow brothers and sisters, let’s get to enjoy and get reacquainted with one another and help remind each other of the wonders of Allah, and the ways of his Messenger. For all good is from Allah. Salaams