Without a doubt, fasting Ramadan is from the five pillars of Islam. It is among its most important obligations of which the Islam of a person is not fulfilled without it. It is a pillar built upon obedience to Allah and sincerity to Him. A pillar which rotates around patience and gratitude; patience for the sake of Allah as a result of abstaining from food, desires of the private parts, and the possible ache of fasting, and gratitude to Allah for what He gave you from countless virtues and many blessings.

You know that the Sunnah came stating that the affairs of the patient and grateful believer are always good, which means that they are great for him; they end in joy and happiness. This, as you see, is the secret behind happiness always resulting from this act of worship, in the Dunya and in the Akhira. Due to the level of patience and gratitude the believer can achieve in it.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“He who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari & others)

You might wonder if this is the affair of all those who fast?

Know -may Allah guide you to what is good- that Allaah stated that Taqwah is the great target behind fasting, and fasting is a means to it.

Allah said:

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)”

It is as clear as the sun that people differ in Taqwah, therefore people are not the same in regards to fasting, some fail and some succeed. As in the Hadith in Sunan Ibn Maaja, narrated by Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.”

This is yet another evidence that the purpose of fasting is not the mere abstinence of food and drink.

After realizing that, be certain that in order to achieve this goal, one must keep somethings on his mind.

From these things is the great wisdom behind fasting being to achieve Taqwah.

You might ask “how?”

The answer is: by supplications to Allah, and by continued remembrance of the purpose of your fast. Recall that purpose, which is Taqwah in all your affairs, keep it on mind and it should lead you to being more patient, more forgiving and good towards others. As came in the Sahih Hadith: “Fasting is a shield. When any one of you is fasting on a day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise the voice; or if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him he should say: I am a person fasting”. You notice that this behavior is different from that of those who only gain hunger and thirst from their fast. Those that are angry all day, whether sitting or standing, shopping or driving, like a bomb ready to explode, they do not mind using bad language any time and for any reason.

So do as the poet said:

“Leave off the sins, the small ones and the big ones. This is Taqwah.

Act as a person who walks on a land full of thorns acts (i.e. he walks carefully with attention so that he is not harmed. Do not belittle a small sin, verily mountains are made from small stones.”

From the things to keep in mind also, is differentiating between what is a habit and what is a worship, by recognizing the importance of sincerity (Ikhlaas), and that you are getting closer to Allah with fasting this month. Remember seeking the reward, and keep in mind your belief in this pillar. The Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Agreed Upon)

We ask Allah to make us reach Ramadan in good health and Imaan. And Allah knows best.