A deed SO special....yet so easy
by Asma bint Shameem
Would you like to know of a deed.....
that will take you away from Hellfire a distance of seventy years? And every single time you do it, it takes you away another seventy years!
.....A deed that will act as a shield for you from Hell Fire and be an intercessor for you on the Day of Resurrection?!
.....A deed that is so beloved to Allaah that He said: "It is for Me and Iwill reward him for it (beyond measure).” (Bukhari – Hadith Qudsi)
Subhaan Allaah! What a wonderful deed that would surely be!
That deed, dear brother/sister is....fasting.
Our beloved Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “No servant fasts a day for the sake of Allah except that Allah removes the hellfire seventy years away from his face.” (Muslim)
And he (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) also said: “The fast and the Qur'aan are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur'aan will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” (Ahmad-saheeh)
But, mind you, I am not talking about fasting in the month of Ramadhaan. Obviously that fasting is fard on us and we really don't have much choice in that matter.
What I am talking about is the 'nafl' fast....the fast that is purely voluntary....... not because you have to fast. But because you want to fast......because you love to fast....for the sake of Allaah...just to please Him.
And if you do that, sincerely, for His sake, this nafl fasting will bring you closer to Allaah and earn his Great Pleasure and Love. It will also be a means to purify your soul and strive against your desires, while earning immense reward from Allaah, Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala.
Allaah says: “My slave does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My slave continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I will love him, When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, he seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.” (al-Bukhaari-Hadeeth Qudsi).
Subhaan Allaah! Imagine....Allaah loving you.....yes, you! What more could a person ask for?!!!
That's for the Dunya. And what about the Aakhirah? This fasting will take you to Jannah, the Ultimate Goal, the Supreme Success.
Abu Umamah said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) and said: ‘Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.’ He said: ‘Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.‘ Then I came to him again and he said: ‘Stick to fasting.”‘ (an-Nasa’ee--saheeh)
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to love to fast, especially on Mondays and Thursdays. When asked why he does that, he (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Those are two days on which people’s deeds are shown to the Lord of the Worlds, and I want my deeds to be shown to Him when I am fasting.” (al-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah, Ahmad-- saheeh by al-Albaani)
Wouldn't you like your deeds to be shown to Allaah while you are fasting?
And if you find it difficult to fast every Monday and Thursday, then try and fast at least three days out of every month. It is recommended to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth (Ayyam al-Beed) of every Lunar month. However, if it is difficult, then fast any three days in the entire month. And that means any three days out of thirty. Now that's not too hard....is it?!!
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and ayaam al-beed are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” (al-Nasaa’i-- saheeh by al-Albaani)
Someone asked Aaisha (RA) :"Did the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) fast three days of every month?” She said, “Yes.” They asked: “Which days of the month did he fast?” She said, “He did not mind which days of the month he would fast.” (Muslim)
And if you think about it, it's really not that hard at all. With a little patience and the hope of earning reward, one can easily get used to fasting. Alhamdulillaah we fasted a whole month in Ramadhaan. And we proved to ourselves during this month, that we can do everything, from going to work, to working in the kitchen, studying, driving, thinking, cooking, cleaning, in fact, doing all our duties and chores extremely effectively even while fasting. And if we can do all that while fasting for an entire month, what's a couple of days in a week or three days in a month?Amir ibn Abdullah was once asked, "How can you tolerate being awake all night, and thirsty in the intense heat of the day?" He replied, "Is it anything more than postponing the food of the day to nighttime, and the sleep of the night to daytime? This is not a big matter."
Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said: “If you cannot pray qiyaam al-layl, or fast during the day, know that you are indeed deprived and restricted, chained by your sins.”
It is also Sunnah to fast the day of ‘Aashoora’ (tenth of Muharram), the day of ‘Arafaah, (ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah), the six days of Shawwaal.
So do as the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) advised us and make the most of your time, young age and good health before it is gone:
“Make the most of five things before five (other things happen): your life before you die, your good health before you become sick; your free time before you become busy; your youth before you grow old; and your wealth before you become poor.” (saheeh by al-Albaani)
“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:133]