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MBH QnA Corner
Your Questions - June, 2017

Is everyone who observes Fast counted as Fasting in the sight of Allah?

Answered by: Shaykh Zafar ul Hasan

How many people of those who fast are only written off as merely remained hungry and thirsty!(Sahih Hadith)

(The purpose of this note is to caution you from those trendy sins which can not only damage your Ibaadah in the month of Ramadan but also damage your creed)

Is everyone who Fast is counted as Fasting in the sight of Allah?

Consider this:

There is someone who prays 5 times but yet Allah says about him:

"And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little." (4:142)

Another verse gives a news about the plight of such worshippers...

"They wasted their prayers and followed their lusts, very soon they will be thrown in the pit of fire." (Surah Maryam: 59)

There is someone who does not pray and there is another one who prays carelessly and follows his lusts and the punishment is announced for both of them.

Emaan and Ih’etasab:The two conditions that makes your fast acceptable...

Abu Hurraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasted with Faith (Eemaan) and with Ih’tasab, then all his past sins are forgiven." (Sahih Bukhari)

What is Ih’tisab?

When you keep fast, or do any good deed you must do it with enthusiasm and strongly hope to be qualified for the reward that are announced for that particular deed. This spirit of doing a deed is known as Ih’tisab.

Abu Dhar Ghifari (Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying:

No deed has a reward except if it is done with Ih’tisab and no deed are accepted by Allah till a person’s intentions are not correct.”

This explains that Ih’tisab is essential for getting reward from Allah. In the above hadith there are two thing highlighted, ‘Reward’ and ‘Acceptance’ of deeds by Allah.

Understanding Ih’tisab...

Consider this:
For many of us, most of our deeds are performed like routine. For example, a person does not pray throughout the week but takes a shower and reaches for Jumuah prayers. This is his routine or say ritual in order to be called a Muslim. If he had the hope to get reward then he would realise that he is missing rewards of prayers for the rest of the week. This feeling does not come to him because he is performing his Jumuah prayers ritually.

It could be possible that a person skips his prayers, reciting of Qur’an and other good deeds but the moment Ramadan approaches he gets ready for it. He is doing is ritually but when the month of Muharram arrives he is enthusiastic. We see many such people who put their in hearts in observing Ramadan. This is because he knows that here is a month in which he can get all his previous sins forgiven. They will observe fast even if it is a hot summer month because there is Ih’tisab in their spirit. In the same way, he keeps a fast on the day of Ashura with enthusiasm and hopes rewards as well because he knows that if he fasts on this day, his sins of past one year will be forgiven. He shows the same spirit during the day of Arafah and fasts. He knows that if does it his sins of past years will be forgiven. This is Ih’tisab.

If a person is observing his deeds on the basis of routine then he will find it hard to Fast in Ramadan and will have complaints about hot summer etc. This is because Ih’tisab is missing from their deed.

Ihtisab is essential in every deed so as to get to the deed accepted and sins forgiven. Along with it is Intention which plays a very important role in qualifying deeds to be accepted.

The same applies to Taraweeh (night prayer) too. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer with Faith (Emaan) and with Ih’tasab, then all his past sins are forgiven."

One must offer Taraweeh with Emaan and Ih’tisab. If your intention for Taraweeh is to please Allah then you will not look for a Masjid where Taraweeh is offered in short or in a quick pace. If you are with Ih’tisab then you will desire to pray Taraweeh in a Masjid where the Qiyam is long and and pace of recitation is melodious and slow with pauses.

With Taraweeh, comes Laylatul Qadr, a night which is better than one thousand months. In order to achieve the purpose of Laylatul Qadr, Emaan and Ih’tisab are two of the conditions. The hadith says, “Whoever observes Laylatul qadr with Emaan and Ih’tisab all his sins will be pardoned.”

Ih’tisab explained by Umar (Allah be pleased with him) when he was on his death bead

When Umar ibn Al khattab (Allah be pleased with him) was on his deathbed, after being stabbed by his killer. His stomach was ripped apart and his throat too was almost slit. Every medicine that went in was thrown out by the wound. Umar (Allah be pleased with him) was crying. So people around him asked if he was sad for leaving the world.

He replied, “I am not crying because it is my time to go, nor for my wife who would be widowed or children who would be orphaned. Allah knows the best why he is crying. Allah knows Umar used to fast during scorching heat of summer and when he found it very difficult he used to think of the reward that he would be getting for such a fast and now that is coming to an end and after death he would not be getting a chance to cherish such deeds.”

The dying Umar (Allah be pleased with him) continued, “O Allah you know very well that I am crying because I will not be able to splash cold water for wudhu at the time of Tahajjud. It was a pleasant experience that those chilled water was difficult to use for wudhu but the desire and hope to be rewarded for it made me regular at it. You have given death to Umar and now he cannot enjoy such deeds.”

An act to please Allah done with enthusiasm with Emaan is an act that qualifies to be accepted and rewarded by Allah. Our deeds must be void of shirk, biddah (newly invented matter) and show off. Such deeds enjoy a huge reward.