Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Power of Shia...Maulana Aqeel ul Gharavi

What is Taqleed

What is Power of Shiat

A True Shia raise Alam (We have just one Flag) without any border restrictions, any race, cast or nationality feelings. 


Sikha kar abaadat ka tarzo tareeqa
Hua ham se rukhsat mubaeak maheena

Wo bande jinhn ne bhi roze rakhe hain,
Abaadat me peshe khuda bhi jhuke hain,
Wo anwaare roza se aise saje hain,
Angoothi me jaise chamakta nageena .

Gharon me baharo ka chaya samaan hai,
Khushi ka dilon me naya ek makaan hai ,
Ye rozon ki barkat se wirde zubaan hai ,
Kiya paar rab ne hamara safena .

Khudaya hamain apni qurbat ataa kar ,
Dilon se adawat ki basti fana kar ,
Qabool apne bando ki ye ilteja kar ,
Phir agle baras ham ye payen maheena .
Hua ham se rukhsat Mubarak maheena .

Contributed by Firoze Haider

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Benefits of Reciting Salawats

1 Billion Salawats before the end of the Month of Ramadhan, Inshallah!

By the Grace of Allah (S.W.T.) and the generous participation of the viewers from across the globe, we have reached 4.3 million salawats so far, Alhamdulillah.Pledges have been coming from cities as far as London, Peterborough, Durban, New York, Toronto, Baghdad, Karbala and many other parts of the world! The benefits of reciting salawats are endless, as we all know. Not only it is one of our duties during the period of Ghaibah to send our salawats upon our Holy Imam, Imam Mahdi (May peace and blessings be upon him).

But also, reciting salawats is a wonderful opportunity to lighten our burden of sins and seek forgiveness.

"Whoever can not make an atonement for his sins, then he should repeatedly send Salawat on the Prophet (May Peace and Blessings be upon him) and his Ahlul-Bait, for it destroys the sins thoroughly."

Ahlulbayt TV invites it's viewers to join it's Global Billion Salawat campaign. We want to accumulate one billion Salawats to hasten the reappearance of our Awaited Saviour. This campaign will run till the end of the month of Ramadhan.To contribute please send your Salawat count to salawat@ahlulbayt.tv. Keep watching the Ahlulbayt Channel Screen for updated Salawat ticker.

Let’s continue to pray for the fast reappearance of the Savior of mankind and the symbol of hope, peace, and prosperity, Imam Al Mahdi (Peace and Bless be upon him).

Khairul Amal ko chhor kar parhte hain jo Namaz...

Hai Hukm-e-Kibriya ki Itaa'at Namaz mein,
Wajib hai Bandagi ki Riwayat Namaz mein

Sajday mein hain Rasool (s.a.w.w),to hain Pusht per Hussain (a.s),
Donon ki ho rahi hai Ibaadat Namaz mein

Shabir ki Namaz Qaza hai ?? naheen naheen,
Dosh-e-Rasool (s.a.w.w) per hai Imamat Namaz mein

Pakeezgi-e-Rooh o Badan hai Ali (a.s) ka Pyar,
Hai is liye to Shart Taharat Namaz mein

Maidaan-e-Jang mein koi kab pa saka inhein,
Hai is liye to in ki Shahadat Namaz mein

Khairul Amal ko chhor kar parhte hain jo Namaz,
karte hain Wo Khuda se Shararat Namaz mein

Wo kitne Bad naseeb hain Jin ke wajood per,
Karti raheen Batool (s.a) bhi Laanat Namaz Mein

   -by Shabeer Ali Merchant

Namaz and Roza during Journey


Definition of journey: If you are beyond 48kms of your city limits.
Namaz to be prayed in journey: Namaz-e-qasr (qasr means to cut down by half)
Duration: You have to pray qasr namaz if period of your stay is 9 days or less. You will have to pray full namaz if you know that your period of stay will be 10 days or more.
Rakaats: Fajr – 2 rakats (unchanged), Zohr, Asr & Isha – 2 rakats each, Maghrib – 3 rakats (unchanged)
Neeyat: (Example Zohr Namaz) Namaz padta/ padti hoon main 2 rakat Zohr ki Qasr waajib qurbatan illallah. (similarly for asr and isha prayers)
Fajr & Maghrib – Regular namaz, so regular neeyat. Do not say ‘qasr’ as you are not shortening the namaz.

Some Answers :
* If on the 9th day of your stay you get to know that your stay has extended for 9 days or less, then again you have to pray namaz-e-qasr, till the end of that stay. (but if you get to know it’s 10 days or more, you have to pray regular namaz).
*Again at the end of that 9th day (total 18 days now) you get to know that your stay has been extended for further 9 days or less, again you have to pray namaz-e-qasr. (but if you get to know it’s 10 days or more, you have to pray regular namaz).
*For the third time if you get to know at the end of the 9th day that your stay has extended by another 9 days or less, you have to pray namaz-e-qasr.
*The total number of days that namaz-e-qasr can be prayed is 29 days, after which regular namaz is supposed to be prayed.

ROZA in journey: Haraam
Definition of journey: If you are beyond 48kms from your city limits.
Qaza Roza: becomes waajib on you. (to be kept after ramzan)
Duration: You must not keep roza in journey if the duration of your stay is 9 days or less.
Extension of stay: same theory applies as mentioned for namaz-e-qasr. You can keep roza only if you know that your period of stay is 10 days or more.
Another way of putting it is that you cannot keep roza, in the state of praying namaz-e-qasr.

Kaseer-us-Safar – Mukammal namaz and roza is wajib for him/ her.
Kaseer-us-safar is a person whose work involves a lot of traveling, who is more in journey than he is at home. Ex: a driver, a pilot, a travel writer, etc.
But just being a driver, pilot, etc doesn’t make you kaseer-us-safar necessarily. The condition is that due to your profession if you spend 70% of your time, of the year, (not less) in travel, and only 30% at home, that’s when you are kaseer-us-safar, no matter what your profession is.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Fasting Laws in Islam

by Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al-Seestani

1576. * If a patient recovers from his illness in the middle of a day in the month of Ramadhan, before Zuhr, and if he has not done anything to invalidate the fast, he should make niyyat and fast. But if he recovers after Zuhr, it will not be obligatory on him to fast on that day.
1577. * If one doubts whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first day of Ramadhan then the fast on that day is not obligatory. If however, somebody wants to observe fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the Ramadhan fast, but if he makes an intention that if it is Ramadhan then it is the Ramadhan fast and if it is not Ramadhan then it is qadha fast or some other fast like that, his fast will be valid. But it is better to observe the fast with the intention of qadha fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was Ramadhan then it will automatically be Ramadhan fast. And even if he makes a niyyat of a natural fast, and later it becomes known that it is Ramadhan, it will be sufficient (i.e. that fast will be counted as the Ramadhan fast).
1578. If it is doubtful whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first of Ramadhan, and a person observes a qadha or a Mustahab fast or some other fast on that day, and later comes to know the same day that it is the first of Ramadhan, then he should convert the intention to the Ramadhan fast.
1579. * If somebody is undecided in his niyyat whether to break or not an obligatory fixed fast, like that of Ramadhan, or decides to do so, immediately his fast becomes invalid even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention.
1580. * If, while observing a Mustahab fast or an obligatory fast the time of which is not fixed (e.g. a fast for Kaffarah) a person intends to break the fast or wavers whether or not he should do so, and if he does not break it, he should make a fresh niyyat before Zuhr in the case of an obligatory fast, and before Maghrib in the case of a Mustahab fast. That way his fast will be in order.

Things which make a Fast void
1581. * There are nine acts which invalidate fast:
(i) Eating and drinking
(ii) Sexual intercourse
(iii) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self abuse, resulting in ejaculation
(iv) Ascribing false things to Almighty Allah, or his Prophet or to the
successors of the Holy Prophet
(v) Swallowing thick dust
(vi) Immersing one's complete head in water
(vii) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers
(viii) Enema with liquids
(ix) Vomiting
Details of these acts will be explained in the following articles:-
I. Eating and Drinking
1582. If a person eats or drinks something intentionally, while being conscious of fasting, his fast becomes void, irrespective of whether the thing which he ate or drank was usually eaten or drunk (for example bread with water) or not (for example earth or the juice of a tree) and whether it is more or less; even if a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.
1583. If while eating and drinking, a person realises that it is Fajr, he should throw the food out of his mouth, and if he swallows it intentionally, his fast is void, and according to the rules which will be mentioned later, it also becomes obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.
1584. If a person who is fasting eats or drinks something forgetfully, his fast does not become invalid.
1585. There is no objection to an injection which anaesthetises one's limb or is used for some other purpose being given to a person, who is observing fast, but it is better that the injections which are given as medicine or food are avoided.
1586. If a person observing fast intentionally swallows something which remained in between his teeth, his fast is invalidated.
1587. * If a person wishes to observe a fast, it is not necessary for him to use a toothpick before the Adhan of Fajr prayers. However, if he knows that some particles of food which have remained in between his teeth, will go down into his stomach during the day, then he must clean his teeth with toothpick.
1588. Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast, although it may have collected in one's mouth owing to thoughts about sour things etc.
1589. There is no harm in swallowing one's phlegm or mucous from head and chest as long as it does not come upto one's mouth. However, if it reaches one's mouth, the obligatory precaution is that one should not swallow it.
1590. * If a person observing fast becomes so thirsty that he fears that he may die of thirst or sustain some harm or extreme hardship, he can drink as much water as would ensure that the fear is averted. However, his fast becomes invalid, and if it is the month of Ramadhan, as an obligatory precaution, he should not drink more than that, and then for the rest of the day, refrain from all acts which would invalidate the fast.
1591. Chewing food to feed a child or a bird and tasting food etc. which does not usually go down the throat, will not invalidate the fast, even if it happens to reach there inadvertently. However, if a person knows beforehand that it will reach the throat, his fast becomes void, and he should observe its qadha and it is also obligatory upon him to give Kaffarah.
1592. A person cannot abandon fast on account of weakness. However, if his weakness is to such an extent that fasting becomes totally unbearable, there is no harm in breaking the fast.
II. Sexual Intercourse
1593. Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration is as little as the tip of the male organ, and even if there has been no ejaculation.
1594. * If the penetration is less than the tip of the male organ, so that it cannot be said that intercourse has taken place, also if no ejaculation takes place, the fast does not become invalid. This applies to both, circumcised and uncircumcised men.
1595. If a person commits sexual intercourse intentionally and then doubts whether penetration was upto the point of circumcision or not his fast, as an obligatory precaution, becomes invalid, and it is necessary for him to observe its qadha. It is not, however, obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.
1596. If a person forgets that he is observing fast and commits sexual intercourse or he is compelled to have sexual intercourse in a manner that makes him helpless, his fast does not become void. However, if he remembers (that he is observing fast) or ceases to be helpless during sexual intercourse, he should withdraw from the sexual intercourse at once, and if he does not, his fast becomes void.
III. Istimna (Masturbation)
1597. If a person, who is observing fast, performs masturbation (Istimna), his fast becomes void (The explanation of istimna has been given in rule 1581/iii).
1598. If semen is discharged from the body of a person involuntarily, his fast does not become void.
1599. Even if a person observing fast knows that if he sleeps during the day time he will become Mohtalim (i.e. semen will be discharged from his body during sleep) it is permissible for him to sleep, even if he may not be inconvenienced by not sleeping. And if he becomes Mohtalim, his fast does not become void.
1600. If a person who is observing fast, wakes up from sleep while ejaculation is taking place, it is not obligatory on him to stop it.

Important Events of Mahe Mubarak Ramadhan-al-Kareem

03rd - Descent of Sahifa on Prophet Ibrahim(as)
06th - Descent of Torah on Prophet Moosa (as)
07th - Death of Hazrat Abu Talib (as) (possible date)
10th - Death of Hazrat Khadija (as)
11th - Moakhat - Brotherhood between Muhajireen and Ansaar
13th, 14th and 15th - Ayyam-e-Bayz - the bright days
15th - Birth of Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (as) - the 2nd Holy Imam - (03 A.H.)
17th - Victory at Battle of Badr - (02 A.H.)
19th Evening - First probable night of Qadr - Shab-e-Qadr
19th - Youm-e-Zarbat - Imam Ali (as) got injured from attack during Fajr prayers (40 A.H.)
21st Evening - Second probable night of Qadr - Shab-e-Qadr
21st - Shahadat of Imam Ali (as) - (40 A.H.)
23rd Evening - Third probable night of Qadr - Shab-e-Qadr
27th Evening - Another probable night of Qadr - Shab-e-Qadr
Jumatul Wida - last Friday of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak - International day of Quds
29th – Birth of Hazrat Isaa (as)

"O ALLAH, fill this month with our worship of Thee, adorn its times with our obedience toward Thee, help us during its daytime with its fast, and in its night with prayer and pleading toward Thee, humility toward Thee, and lowliness before Thee, so that its daytime may not bear witness against our heedlessness, nor its night against our neglect!" - 04th Imam's (as) - Supplication for the Coming of the Month of Ramadhan.

Namaz for the First Day of the Month: Recite Two Rakaat in the first of which, after the recitation of Sura Hamd, recite Sura Ikhlas thirty times, and in the second after the recitation of Sura Hamd recite Sura Qadr thirty times and after the prayers give alms (Sadqa). Whoever does so, will have purchased from ALLAH (s.w.t) his safety for the month.

Few Important things in Mahe Ramzan

1. An Attitude of Anticipation and Enthusiasm
A believer looks forward to the month of Ramadhan. He enjoys the beauty of spirit that Ramadhan begins, the warmth of carrying out the orders of Allah, the hope of achieving His pleasure, and the happiness at being able to obey the commands of Allah. He is happy when the month arrives and sad when it departs.

2. Flexible Time and Schedule
Ramadhan requires that we set aside more time than normal for worship and prayers. A believer plans his time in such a way that in Ramadhan he is not overwhelmed by the demands of the world. He lessens work if possible and cuts down on activities which can be put to a halt for a little while. The chance to earn rewards and blessings from Allah in this special time will only last a limited time. Believers must make sure their daily schedules allow maximum benefit of this special time.

3. A Qur'an with a good translation
An important part of worship in Ramadhan includes reciting the Qur'an regularly. A Hadith tells us, Ramadhan is the Spring of the Qur'an. Understanding the word of Allah, and pondering over it should be daily activities in this holy month. A believer makes sure he has a copy of the Qur'an which is easy to read, and which has a simple translation which he can understand. If time permits, he should also read the commentary of the Qur'an. It is also important to have the right books for the Duas and A`amaals for this month.

4. A Donation to a Worthwhile Charity
Ramadhan is the best time to donate in the way of Allah. To feed the hungry or give to the needy is an act of great reward, especially during the holy month. Before the month of Ramadhan, a believer decides how much he can afford to give, chooses a worthwhile charity and sends his donation. This is a recommended charity, different from the zakatul Fitra which is obligatory for Eid. Hadith tells us that charity cools the anger of Allah and brings down many blessings on the giver. In the month of Ramadhan this rewards is multiplied many times.

5. A Determination to Avoid Sins
Fastings is not mere abstinence from food and drink, as we have heard many times. It is also staying away from all sins. While fasting, all the organs of the body fast, and refrain from doing anything which would displease Allah. A believer makes a firm decision to avoid all sins that he commits most often, and plans how he will stay away from them during the month. This conscious preparation of a war against sins is a very necessary item in the baggage of a believer in his journey towards Allah.

6. A Desire to Help Others
In his sermon at the approach of the holy month of Ramadhan, the Prophet (s) said: Whoever lightens the work of his workers in this month, Allah will make easy his accounting on the Day of Judgement. This does not only apply to those who have workers working for them. To help and lessen the work of others: parents, siblings, relatives, friends, etc. during the holy month is an act of great virtue. It eases the load of the other person, and brings about kindness and affection. Cooperating and assisting one another is greatly loved by Allah.

These and other similar important items are necessary for a successful journey during the month of Ramadhan. Each believer must try to be prepared as possible, lest the opportunity to redeem himself pass away. It is a great loss for the believer if the whole month of mercy and blessings passes, and he has not been able to achieve forgiveness of his sins, and has not won the pleasure of Allah, and the rewards that He gives so abundantly during Ramadhan. To avoid such a failure, it is necessary to keep a Ramadhan checklist that is regularly updated.

Significance of Fasting in Islam

Mohammad Ali Shomali

The significance of fasting in Islam can be deduced from many verses of The Holy Qur'an. For example, the verses 2:45 reads:

استعینوا بالصبر و الصلوه و انها لکبیره الا علی الخاشعین

And take recourse in patience and prayer, and it is indeed hard except for the humble.

Based on several narrations, "patience" has been interpreted as fasting due to the fact that fasting, consisting of abandoning certain acts such as eating and drinking for part of the day is one of the best forms of patience. Muslims have been advised by the narrations to resort to fasting when confronted with challenging problems and difficulties.

Although fasting is deeply connected to the month of Ramadan, it is an important act of worship by itself that cab be performed outside Ramadan as well. Except for two forbidden days, fasting is a recommended deed throughout the year, especially in certain months such as Rajab and Sha'ban and on certain days such as Mondays and Thursdays.

Moreover the month of Ramadan, regardless of fasting, provides a great opportunity to give  even to those upon whom fasting is not incumbent an opportunity to benefit from countless merits of this month. Interestingly, this opportunity is not confined to mature people, for Islamic narrations state that a fetus in his/her mother's womb or an immature child can participate in this banquet of Allah (SWT). Furthermore, sleeping is not regarded as an impediment for one's share of the excellence of the month of Ramadan.

Month of Ramadan as described by the Holy Prophet of Islam

In a well-known sermon delivered by the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) in the last Friday of the month of Sha'ban, he emphasized:

ایها الناس انه قد اقبل الیکم شهر الله بالبرکه و الرحمه و المغفره

Oh people! Month of Allah has come toward you bringing divine blessing, mercy and forgiveness.[1]
The subtle point in this phrase is the fact that these three divine offerings are not granted to the people at the end of this month; rather, these are the special gifts of the month of Ramadan from the very day it begins.

The Holy prophet continued:

 شهر دعیتم فیه الی ضیافه الله

This is the month in which you have been invited to the banquet of Allah. [2]

According to the wording of the above phrase, people are "invited" to this banquet. Therefore, in order for one to enter such an auspicious banquet, he should accept this invitation and act upon it.

Generally speaking, while "banquet" is understood as requiring something to eat, drink and may also include some kind of entertainment, the "banquet of Allah" is essentially different. Fasting is a condition for one in order to receive the special gifts granted by Allah (SWT) in this banquet.

Essential elements of a banquet

For grasping the character of divine banquest, we should first note that every banquet consists of four essential elements:

1.      When you are invited you will not be rejected. Thus, the host is expected to welcome his guest; otherwise, an "invitation" is meaningless when the invitee is denied of reception. Accordingly, when Allah (SWT) invites His servants to the banquet of Ramadan, the gates of His mercy will be opened to those who accept the invitation.

2.      When you enter the venue of the banquet, you will be treated with honor and respect. Although every person who has been let in is not competent of being respected, the same is not true for the one who has been invited as a guest. In light of this fact, one may understand the following statement in the above-mentioned sermon:

 و جعلتم فیه من اهل کرامه الله

In this month, you are made of those people whom Allah respects and honours.[3]

3.      When you go to a banquet you will be given or shown something without payment. In other words, you expect to gain something without return. Correspondingly, in the banquet of Ramadan, Allah (SWT) not only rewards our actions gernerously, but also entertains His guests with various bounties without them doing something so much so that He counts the sleep of His guests as an act of worship and their breaths as His glorification, as explicitly stated in the same sermon:

انفاسکم فیه تسبیح و نومکم فیه عباده

Your breaths in it (the month of Ramaḍan) are glorification (of God) and your sleep in it is worship.[4]

4.      When you are invited to a party, you naturally expect to meet the host and consider his absence as a humiliation. Accordingly, when Allah (SWT) invites His servant to His banquet, by nature, He is ready to show Himself to His guests and meet them.

"This is the month in which you have been invited to the banquet of Allah.." This part of the sermon inspires the fact that this blessing has been dedicated to the month of Ramadan. The Holy Prophet of Islam added:

 شهر هو عندالله افضل الشهور و ایامه افضل الایام و لیالیه افضل اللیالی و ساعاته افضل الساعات

In the sight of Allah, this month is the best month, its days are the best days, its nights are the best nights and its hours are the best hours.[5]

Although this month's prominence over others involves that its days, nights and hours are the best as well, by mentioning these three phrases independently, the Prophet emphasized that every portion of this month is better than its counterpart in every other month.

Recommendations for the month of Ramadan

The sermon continues by several instructions:

ایها الناس، ان ابواب الجنان فی هذا الشهر مفتحه فاسالوا ربکم ان لا یغلقها عنکم

Oh people! The gates of heaven are open in this month. So ask your Lord not to close them.[6]

The phrase, ‘the gates of heaven being open’ has at least two meanings:

I The chance of the one to deserve entering heaven is more in this blessed month than the other months.

II Due to the openness of heaven’s gates, all kinds of divine mercy in heaven are ready to encompass the servants in tis world, angels are permitted to come to their presence and the breeze of heaven blow into this world. These make the sleep and breaths of the faithful in the month of Ramadan like the inhabitants of heaven glorification of God and worship. 

Although the gates of heaven are open, the Holy Prophet warns people that if they do not appreciate such a great opportunity, subsequently Allah (SWT) will close them. The situation of the gates of fire is quite the contrary:

 و ابواب النیران مغلقه فاسالوا ربکم ان لایفتحها علیکم

And the gates of the fire are closed. So ask your Lord not to open them.[7]

Along these lines, the condition of satans is described as follows:

 و الشیاطین مغلوله فاسالوا ربکم ان لا یسلطها علیکم

And satans are in chains. So ask your Lord not to dominate them over you.[8]

Although Satan and his assistants are chained up in this month, committing sins results in releasing them. Therefore, while the month of Ramadan is the best month in itself, for a group of people, this month is worse than the other months just as the Holy Qur'an is

"a cure and mercy for the faithful; and it increases the wrongdoers only in loss" (17:82).

The fourth Holy Imam, Imam Sajjad, (A) in his farewell supplication for the holy month of Ramadan declares:

السلام علیک ما اطولک علی المجرمین و ما اهیبک فی صدور المومنین

Oh month of Ramadan! Peace be upon you! How long you were for wrongdoers and how awesome you were in the hearts of the faithful![9]

As implied by this supplication and as proved by the experience, the month of Ramadan, for those who do not fast deliberately and without any religious excuse, seems like a whole year and every moment of it is a kind of torture for them. On the contrary, those who do their best to appreciate this month find it passing quickly and are concerned about losing a second without taking the full benefit of it.

Another instruction offered by the Holy Prophet in his Sh‘baniyyah sermon is:

اذکروا بجوعکم و عطشکم فیه جوع یوم القیامه و عطشه

When you feel hungry and thirsty in this month remember the hunger and thirst of the Day of Judgment. [10]

Tolerating thirst and hunger in this world is so difficult. We must then ponder upon the fact that the thirst and hunger in the hereafter last for years and years or for some groups of people forever. Additionally, in this world, death may be regarded as a solution for intolerable thirst and hunger, but in the next world, eternal life turns this solution into a useless one. In this regard, Chapter 43 Verse 77 reads:

وَ نادَوْا يا مالِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنا رَبُّكَ قالَ إِنَّكُمْ ماكِثُونَ

They will call out," O Mālik! [the name of the guardian of the hell]  Let your Lord finish us off!" He will say," Indeed you will stay on.

According to the Holy Qur'an, there is no death for wrongdoers in the hereafter and even when their skin is burnt a new one will be replaced so the punishment of the hereafter is always experienced as a fresh one! Chapter 4 Verse 56 reads:

إِنَّ الَّذينَ كَفَرُوا بِآياتِنا سَوْفَ نُصْليهِمْ ناراً كُلَّما نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ بَدَّلْناهُمْ جُلُوداً غَيْرَها لِيَذُوقُوا الْعَذابَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كانَ عَزيزاً حَكيما

Surely those who disbelieved in Our Signs and Miracles, We shall cast them into the Fire. As often as their skins are roasted wholly, we shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Verily, Allah is the Invincible-Mighty, Wise.

 Thus, when compared to the chastisement of the doomsday, worldly pains can be regarded as nothing. It has been recorded in history that during the caliphate of Imam Ali (A), when his blind brother 'Aqil asked him to grant him an additional portion of public treasury due to his severe poverty, the Holy Imam (A) brought a hot piece of metal near ‘Aqil. Feeling the hotness of it, 'Aqil protested: "Are you going to burn me?" "No!" Imam replied. "You cried because of a metal made hot by a human being for fun. Then, how do you expect me not to cry for the fire prepared by Allah (SWT) due to His anger?"

Beside reminding us of the hereafter, the thirst and hunger during the  month of Ramadan  reminds those who fast of poor people experiencing the same feelings during whole days of their life and encourages those who fast to spend some portion of their properties in the way of Allah (SWT) and for the sake of needy people.

Some narrations regarding fasting

The Holy Prophet of Islam (S) is quoted as saying:

 ان الله عزوجل وکّل ملائکه بالدعاء للصائمین و قال اخبرنی جبرئیل عن ربه انه قال ما امرت ملائکتی بالدعاء لاحد من خلقی الا استوجبت لهم فیه.

Verily Allah (SWT) has appointed some angels only in order to pray for the people who fast. Gabriel has informed me that Allah (SWT) has said: "I have not commanded my angels to pray for one of my creatures, unless I have accepted their prayers for him."[11]

The sixth Holy Imam, Imam Sadiq (A) has stated:

من صام لله عزوجل یوما فی شده الحر فاصابه ظما وکل الله به الف ملکا یمسحون وجهه و یبشرونه حتی افطر قال الله عزوجل له ما اطیب ریحک و روحک ملائکتی اشهدوا انی قد غفرت له.

When a person fasts on a hot day for the sake of Allah and becomes thirsty, Allah SWT sends 1000 angels to touch his/her face and give him/her glad tidings up to the time of breaking the fast when Allah (SWT) tells him/her: "How nice you smell! What a pleasant soul you possess!  Oh my angels! Bear witness that I have forgiven him/her."[12] 

Based on narrations like this, everything that seems bad in this world is not necessarily the same in the hereafter and vice versa. Therefore, although the person who fasts his mouth may smell bad in this world, he has a pleasant odour  for Allah (SWT) and the residents of heaven. On the other hand, a woman smelling nicely for non-mahram men will not be the same in the world to come. Thus, realities are not necessarily what appear to us in this world.

- According to a very famous tradition narrated by both Sunni and Shi'ite scholars, the Holy Prophet said:
قال الله عزوجل الصوم لی و انا اجزی به

Allah (SWT)  said: "fasting is for me and I am the one who rewards for it”. [13]

The content of this narration has been widely discussed among the scholars. While all worships are for Allah (SWT) and rewarded by Him, the Almighty, why has fasting been appropriated a special position in this narration?

Three answers might be suggested here:

1.      The first reason is that fasting is the abandoning of some acts; thus, it is the only worship that is not seen or known by anyone.

2.      Another reason, as suggested by some scholars, is the fact that during the history, all kinds of worship (praying, pilgrimage, giving alms, sacrifice, and so on) have been offered to idols and false gods and the only exception among the acts of worship is fasting since no one has ever fasted for anyone or anything other than Allah (SWT).

3.      The third reason is the special relationship between fasting and Allah swt just as we call some days as the days of Allah (SWT) and some places as the house of Allah (SWT) , even though every time and place belong to Him. This meaning implies the special mercy of Allah (SWT) for those who fast.

The same implication is true with the next phrase which says: "and I am the one who rewards for it." When some workers are employed by a person he may give their wage to his agent to distribute among them. However, if the job is a special one he may personally hand the wages out to them. Similarly, Allah (SWT) without any mediation rewards those who fast.

It is noteworthy to mention that the Arabic term "اجزی" in the above-mentioned narration can be read in both active and passive forms. According to the latter, the narration gives another meaning:

"Fasting is for me and I am its reward!"

Thus, the one who fasts has Allah (SWT) with him/her as the reward of his/her act of worship just as the guest of a banquet who expects the host to welcome and meet him/her.