SEVENTH MEANS: FASTING


SEVENTH MEANS: FASTING

Fasting is one of the greatest acts of worship which leaves tremendous influence on one’s efforts for self‑perfection, self- purification and self-building. Many traditions have described the special distinction assigned to fasting. The Holy Prophet (a.s) said:

الصَّومُ جُنَّةٌ مِن النّارِ.

“Fasting is a shield against Hellfire.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 289)

مَن صَامَ يَوماً تَطَوُّعاً ابْتِغاءَ ثَوابِ اللهِ وَجَبَتْ لهُ المَغْفِرَةُ.

“Forgiveness will be obligatory for him whoever obseraes one recommended fasting for the sake of the reward of Almighty God.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 293)

قالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: كُلُّ أعْمالِ آدَمَ بِعَشَرَةِ أضْعافِها إلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضَعْفٍ إلاّ الصّبرَ، فإنَّهُ لي وَأنا أجْزِي بهِ. فَثَوابُ الصّبْرِ مَخْزونٌ فِي عِلْمِ اللهِ، وَالصَّبْرُ الصَّومُ.

“Almighty God says: For all righteous deeds, the rewards can be tenfolded up to seven hundred. Fasting is excluded; it is for Me exclusively and I alone will decide its reward. The reward of fasting is stored in the Divine Knowledge.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 295)

Imam al‑Sadiq (a.s) said:

قالَ اللهُ تَعالى: الصَّومُ لِي وأنا أُجازِي عَلَيه.

“Almighty Gdo says: Fasting is for Me and I decide its reward.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 290)

إنّ الصّائِمَ مِنكُم لَيَرتَعُ فِي رِياضِ الجَنَّةِ وَتَدعو لهُ المَلائِكَةُ حَتّى يُفْطِرَ.

“A fasting person enjoys inside the Gardens of Paradise and angels pray for him until he breaks his fasting.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol., 7, pp. 296)

نَومُ الصّائِمِ عِبادَةٌ وَصَمْتُهُ تَسبِيحٌ وَعَمَلُهُ مُتَقَبَّلٌ وَدُعاؤهُ مُستَجابٌ.

“The sleep of a fasting one is worship, his silence is praise, his deeds are accepted and his supplications are granted.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 294)

Fasting is a combination of two parts—negative and affirmative. The first part consists of self-restraint and abstinence from drinking, eating, sexual intercourse and fabricating lies against Almighty God and the Holy Prophet and Imams as well as other matters described in books of Islamic jurisprudence. The second part consists of devotion, intention and desire to seek God’s Nearness, which in reality are tantamount to the soul of worship. The reality of fasting consists of self-restraint and voluntary relinquishment of material pleasures with the intention of God’s Nearness.

Fasting, in Islamic law, is the abstinence from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, discharge of semen, telling a lie against Almighty God and the Holy Prophet and Imams, complete diving and keeping a state of impurity as a result of wet dream. To meet these regulations, fasting is acceptable. Nevertheless, the scope of self‑restraint has not been limited to the abovementioned regulations; rather it covers much wider dimensions. In traditions, it has been mentioned that simply abandonment of eating and drinking is not enough; a true observer of fasting is he who prevents all his limbs and body parts from sins. In other words, the eyes should be prevented from forbidden scenes and the same is applied to the ears, tongue, hands and feet. Such fasting belongs to God’s special servants. Further, the special saints have their own fasting in which they prevent themselves from the smallest amount of disobedience to Almighty God in addition to the aforementioned regulations. Moreover, they never engage themselves in anything other than Almighty God keeping continuous state of mentioning Him. Being God’s guest, a saint makes himself ready for His countenance. Imam al‑Sadiq (a.s) said:

لَيسَ الصّيامُ مِن الطّعامِ وَالشَّرابِ أنْ لا يأكُلَ الإنْسانُ وَلا يَشربَ فَقَط، ولكِنْ إذا صُمْتَ فَلْيَصُمْ سَمعُكَ وَبَصَرُكَ ولِسانُكَ وَبَطنُكَ وَفَرْجُكَ واحْفَظْ يَدَكَ وَفَرجَكَ وأكْثِر السُّكوتَ إلاّ مِن خَيْرٍ وارفِقْ بِخادِمِكَ.

“Fasting is not achieved simply by renunciation of eating and drinking. When you observe fasting, your eyes, ears, tongue, stomach and sexual parts should also fast. Being in the state of fasting, prevent your hands and sexual parts from sinning and remain silent continuously except when speaking good and be kind to your servant.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 118)

ولْيَكُن عَليكَ وَقارُ الصّائِمِ والْزَمْ ما اسْتَطَعْتَ مِن الصَّمْتِ وَالسُّكُوتِ إلاّ عَن ذِكْرِ اللهِ ولا تَجْعَلْ يَومَ صَومِكَ كَيَومِ إفْطارِكَ.

“The dignity and prestige of fasting should be understood by you very clearly. As much as possible, maintain silence except for God’s Remembrance. The day on which you observe fasting must not be like the day on which you do not.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 117)

The Holy Prophet (a.s) said in a sermon:

وَمَن صامَ شَهرَ رَمَضانَ فِي إنْصاتٍ وَسُكوتٍ وَكَفَّ سَمعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ ولِسانَهُ وَفَرْجَهُ وجَوارِحَهُ مِن الكَذِبِ وَالحَرامِ وَالغِيبَةِ تَقَرُّباً، قَرَّبَهُ اللهُ مِنهُ حَتّى تَمَسَّ رُكبَتاهُ رُكْبَتَي إبْراهِيمَ خَليلِ اللهِ.

“If one observes fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan maintaining silence and preventing his ears, eyes, tongue, sexual organs and other body parts from lying, backbiting and other forbidden acts with the intention of achieving God’s Nearness, Almighty God will make him so close that he will be a companion of Prophet Abraham.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 11 7)

Imam al‑Sadiq (a.s) said:

إنّ الصّيامَ لَيسَ مِن الطّعامِ وَالشّرابِ وحْدَهُ، إنّما لِلصّومِ شَرطٌ يَحتاجُ أن يُحفَظَ حَتّى يَتمّ الصَّوم، وهُو الصّمتُ الدّاخِلُ. أما تَسمَعُ ما قَالَت مَريَمُ بِنتُ عِمران: ﴿إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَانِ صَوْمًا﴾ يَعني صَمتاً.

Fasting does not mean only abstinence from eating and drinking; rather it has conditions which must be followed strictly in order to have a perfect fasting—internal silence. Listen to the reply of Mary, daughter of `Imran, saying to her people: “I have vowed a fast for Almighty God; therefore, I will speak to none.”

فإذا صُمتُم فاحفَظُوا ألسِنَتَكم عَن الكَذِبِ، وغُضّوا أبصارَكُم، ولا تَنازَعوا وَلا تَحاسدوا، ولا تَغْتابوا، ولا تُماروا، ولا تَكذِبوا، ولا تُباشروا، وَلا تُخالفوا، ولا تَغاضَبوا، ولا تَسابّوا، ولا تَشاتَموا، ولا تَفاتَروا، ولا تجادلوا، ولا تَنادَوا، وَلا تَظلِموا، وَلا تَسافَهوا، ولا تَضاجروا، ولا تَغفَلوا عَن ذِكرِ الله وعَن الصّلاة.

So, when you observe fasting, protect your tongue from lying; do not be angry, do not curse, do not be rude, do not argue and dispute due to ignorance, do not reject or be indecent to each other, do not neglect God’s remembranuce and the prayer.

والزموا الصّمتَ وَالسّكوتَ والحِلمَ والصّبرَ والصّدقَ، ومُجانبَةَ أهلِ الشّرِّ، وَاجتَنبوا قَولَ الزّورِ والكَذِبَ وَالفِريَ والخُصومَةَ، وظَنَّ السّوءِ، والغِيبَةِ وَالنّميمَةِ.

Continuously practice silence, intellection, patience and honesty. Keep yourselves away from the wicked people. Try to avoid perjury, lying, forgery, dispute, ill-thinking, backbiting and talebearing.

وكُونوا مُشرِفين على الآخِرَةِ مُنتَظِرينَ لأيّامِكُم، مُنتظرينَ لِما وَعَدكُم اللهُ مُتَزَوّدين لِلقاءِ اللهِ وعَلَيكُم السّكينَةُ وَالوَقارُ، والخُشوعُ، والخُضوعُ، وذلُّ العَبدِ الخائفِ مِن مَولاه، حائِرينَ، خائِفينَ، راجِينَ، مَرغوبِينَ، مَرهوبِينَ، راغِبينَ، راهِبين، قَد طَهّرتُمُ القُلوبَ مِن العُيوبِ وتَقَدّسَتْ سَرائِرُكُم مِن الخُبثِ، ونَظَّفْتَ الجِسمَ مِن القاذوراتِ، وتَبَرّأتَ إلى اللهِ مِن عِداهُ، وَوالَيتَ اللهَ في صَومِكَ بِالصّمتِ مِن جَميعِ الجِهاتِ مِمّا قد نَهاكَ اللهُ عَنهُ في السّرِّ وَالعَلانيَةِ، وخَشيتَ اللهَ حَقّ خَشيَتِهِ في سِرِّكَ وَعَلانِيَتِكَ، ووَهَبْتَ نَفسَكَ للهِ في أيّام صَومِكَ، وفَرَّغتَ قلبَكَ لهُ، ووَهَبتَ نَفْسَكَ لهُ فِيما أمَرَكَ ودَعاكَ إلَيه.

Act as if you are about to counter the Hereafter waiting for the end of your days and expecting the day when God’s Promise will be fulfilled. Supply yourselves with provisions useful for meeting Almighty God. Practivce poise, dignity, humbleness, humility and fear like a servant fearing his master and remain in the state of hope and fear. Clean and purify your heart from faults; your inner self from conceit and treachery; and your body from pollution. Renounce everything other than God; accept His Guardianship through fasting, prevent your inner and outer self from doing forbidden things; respect God’s rights by remaining afraid outwardly and inwardly because of His presence; during fasting, donate your self to Almighty God; purify and clean your heart for Almighty God and act according to His commands.

فإذا فَعَلتَ ذلِكَ كُلَّهُ فأنتَ صائِمٌ للهِ بِحَقيقَةِ صَومهِ، صانِعٌ لِما أمَرَكَ. وكُلَّما أنقَصْتَ مِنها شَيئاً فِيما بَيَّنتُ لكَ فقَدْ نُقِص مِن صَومِكَ بِمِقدارِ ذلِكَ. وإنّ أبي عَلَيهِ السّلامُ قال: سَمِعَ رَسولُ الله صلّى الله علَيه وآلِه امْرَأةٌ تُسابُّ جارِيَةً لَها وهِيَ صائِمَةٌ فَدَعا رَسولُ اللهِ صَلّى اللهُ علَيهِ وآلهِ بِطَعام فقَالَ لهَا: كُلِي. فَقاَلت: أنا صائِمَةٌ يا رَسولَ اللهِ! فقَالَ: كَيفَ تَكونينَ صائِمَةً وَقَد سَبَبْتِ جارِيَتَكِ؟ إنّ الصّومَ لَيسَ مِن الطّعامِ وَالشّرابِ، وإنّما جَعلَ اللهُ ذلِكَ حِجاباً عَن سِواهُما مِن الفَواحشِ مِن الفَعلِ وَالقَولِ يُفطّرُ الصّائمَ، ما أقَلَّ الصّوامَ وأكْثرَ الجُوّاعَ.

If you observe fasting in the manner described above, you are truly fasting and doing your duty perfectly. But inasmuch as you deviate, your fasting will be considered as deficient and incomplete. My father narrated that the Holy Prophet, once, heard a fasting lady insulting her maiden. He summoned her and offered some food to eat. She excused that she was fasting and thus he asked her, ‘How come are you fasting while you have insulted your maiden?’ Fasting is not limited only to abstinence from eating and drinking; rather Almighty God has made it a veil against the other abrogating deeds and words. Thus, the number of the tru fasting ones is very little and the much of hunger they feel is very much.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 119)


Role of Fasting in Self‑Building

If fasting is observed as properly as recommended by the Shari`ah, it will exert tremendous impact upon self‑building, self-perfection and self‑purification. Fasting is extremely influential during the stages of purification of self from sins and other indecencies and making it ready for perfection, decoration and utilization of the Divine Illumination. An observer of fasting, through abstinence from sins, can control, subdue and ultimately force the imperious self into submission. The duration of fasting is a period of quitting sins and practicing self‑asceticism—a period of straggling with the self and practicing self‑restraint. During this period, an observer of fasting purifies his self from sins and other indecencies and abandons his legitimate pleasures such as eating and drinking. Through these means, he can purify and illuminate his self because hunger results in attaining internal purification and more attention to Almighty God. The hungry very often have feelings of contentment or joy that cannot be felt when the stomach is full. Those who observe fasting in the month of Ramadan can feel it very well.

In summary, fasting is very effective in acquiring piety; thus, the Holy Qur’an defines acquiring piety as the main objective behind fasting.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ.

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil). 2:183”

Because of fasting, one prevents himself from engaging into sins and other indecencies for a whole month and, thus, he succeeds in dominating his self to keep this habit even after the month. Besides, fasting is very influential in achieving self‑purification, decoration of the inner self and God’s Nearness. It is an act of worship that results in self-nourishment and self-perfection provided that it is observed with sincerity and well-intention. By abstinence from lawful pleasures and quitting sins, the heart of the fasting one is cleansed and polished to be free from all scattered thoughts and memories of other than Almighty God earning the decency of absorbing the Divine blessings and illuminations. In this stage, God’s blessings and favors are bestowed upon him. It has been narrated that breathing and sleeping of the fasting  ones will be rewarded. The days of fasting are the best times for worship, prayer, supplication, recital of the Holy Qur'an, invocation and charitable deeds, because during this period self is relatively better prepared for heart presence, devotion and attention to Almighty God as compared to any other period. The holy month of Ramadan have been called the best times, the spring of worship and the most appropriate opportunity for paying attention to Almighty God. From that cause, the special virtues of Ramadan and worshipping during it have been emphasized a lot in traditions. Wen Ramadan arrived, Imam al­-Sadiq (a.s) used to advise his children by saying:

اجْتَهِدوا أنفُسَكُم فإنّ فيهِ تَقسيمَ الأرزاقِ، وتُكتَبُ الآجالُ، وفِيهِ يُكتَبُ وفْدُ اللهِ الذي يَفِدونَ بهِ، وفيهِ لَيلَةٌ العَمَلُ فِيها خَيرٌ مِن ألْفِ شَهْرٍ.

“Endeavor in worship because in this month, people’s sustenance is distributed and their demises are registered. Those who will be returned to Almighty God are decided in this month. In this month too, there is a special night the worshipping in which excels the worshipping of one thousand months.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 221)

Amir al-Mu’minin Imam `Ali (a.s) said:

عَلَيكُم في شَهرِ رَمَضانَ بِكَثرَةِ الدُّعاءِ والاسْتِغفارِ، فأمّا الدُّعاءُ فَيُدفَعُ بهِ البَلاءُ وأمّا الاستِغْفارُ فَتُمحى به ذُنوبُكُم.

“During the month of Ramadan,  read a lot of supplications and seek God’s pardon for by means of supplications, the calamities are removed from you and by means of asking God’s pardon, your sins are forgiven.” (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 223)

Finally, let us refer to the Holy Prophet’s famous sermon of Ramadan:

أيها الناسُ، إنّه قد أقبلَ إليكم شهرُ اللهِ بالبركةِ وَالرحمةِ والمغفرةِ. شهرٌ هو عندَ اللهِ أفضلُ الشهورِ وأيامُه أفضلُ الأيامِ ولياليهِ أفضلُ الليالي وساعاتُه أفضلُ الساعاتِ. هو شهرٌ دُعيتم فيه إلى ضيافةِ الله وجُعِلتم فيه من أهلِ كَرامةِ الله. أنفاسُكُم فيه تَسبيحٌ ونَومُكم فيه عبادةٌ وعملُكم فيه مقبولٌ ودُعاؤكُم فيه مستَجابٌ فاسئلوا الله ربَّكم بِنِيّات صادقةٍ وقُلوبٍ طاهرةٍ أنْ يُوفّقَكم لصِيامه وتِلاوةِ كِتابهِ فإنّ الشقيَّ مَن حُرم غُفرانَ اللهِ في هذا الشّهرِ العظيمِ.

“O people! The month of God with blessing mercy and pardon has came to you, a month which is the best among all the others for Almighty God; its days are the best days; its nights are the best nights and its hours are the best hours. It is the month in which you have been invited by Almighty God for a feast, and have been selected as the recipients of this special favor. Your breathings merit the reward of praise, while your sleeping in this month earns the reward of worship. In this month, your deeds are accepted and prayers are granted. Therefore, with true intention and pure hearts beseech Almighty God to bestow upon you His specia l favor to be able to observe fasting and recite the Holy Qur’an, because the most unfortunate and wretched one is he who is deprived of God’s pardon during this great month.

واذكُروا بِجوعِكُم وعطَشِكم فيه جوعَ يَومِ القيامةِ وعَطَشَه وتَصَدّقوا على فُقراءِكم ومساكِينكِم ووقِّروا كِبارَكُم وارحموا صِغارَكم وصِلوا أرحامَكُم واحفَظوا ألسِنَتَكم وغُضّوا عمّا لا يحلُّ النظرُ إليه أبصارَكُم وعمّا لا يحلُّ الاستماعُ إليه أسماعَكم وتحَنّنوا على أيْتامِ الناسِ يتحنَّنْ على أيتامِكم وتوبوا إلى اللهِ مِن ذُنوبِكم وارفَعوا إليه أيدِيَكم بالدّعاءِ في أوقاتِ صَلاتِكم فإنها أفضلُ السّاعاتِ ينظُرُ اللهُ عزّ وجلّ فيها بالرحمةِ إلى عِبادِه ويُجيبُهم إذا ناجَوهُ ويُلبّيهم إذا نادَوه ويُعطيهم إذا سألوهُ ويَستجيبُ لَهم إذا دَعَوهُ.

With your thrust and hunger, remind yoursey of the thrust and hunger of the Day of Judgment; pay charity to the poor and destitute, pay respect to the old; be kind towards the young and observe the bonds of relationship with your kith and kins. Watch your tongues, cover your eyes from seeing forbidden things and prevent your ears from hearing forbidden affairs. Be kind to the orphans so that others be kind towards your orphans. Repent for your sins and at the time of prayer raise your hands upward because these hours are the best in which Almighty God looks to you with mercy and compassion. Their hymns are granted, their cries are heard, whatever they ask is bestowed upon them and their prayers are granted.

أيها الناس إن أنفُسَكُم مرهونةٌ بأعمالِكم ففكّوها باستغفارِكم، وظهورُكم ثقيلةٌ من أوزارِكُم فخفّفوا عنها بطولِ سُجودكم، واعلموا إنّ الله تعالى ذكرُهُ أقسمَ بعِزّتهِ أن لا يعذّبَ المُصلّين والساجدين وأن لا يُروّعَهم بالنّار يَومَ يقومُ الناسُ لربِّ العالَمين.

O people! Your selves are mortgaged against your deeds; therefore, free your selves by means of repentance. Your backs have become too much heavy due to sins; therefore, make yourselves light-burdened by prolongation of your prostrations. Know that Almighty God has taken the oath by His Majesty and Splendor that He will not punish those who offer prayers and bow down in prostration and, on the Day of Judgment, He will not scare them through Hellfire.

أيها الناسُ مَن فطّر منكم صائماً مُؤمناً في هذا الشهر كان له بذلكَ عِندَ الله عِتقُ نَسَمة ومغفِرةٌ لما مضى من ذُنوبهِ. فقيل يا رَسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وآله، ليسَ كلُّنا يقدِرُ على ذلكَ. فقال صلّى الله عليه وآلهِ: اتّقوا النارَ ولَو بشِقِّ تمرةٍ. اتّقوا النارَ ولو بِشربةٍ من ماءٍ.

O people! Whoever in this month will make arrangemems for the fast‑breaking of a believer will be bestowed a reward equal to freeing a slave, and all of his past sins shall be pardoned. The Holy Prophet was asked that not everyone is able to offer so. He answered: Protect yourselves from Hellfire and offer even a piece of date with a glass of water.

أيها الناس، مَن حسَّنَ مِنكم في هذا الشّهرِ خُلُقَه كان له جوازٌ على الصّراطِ يَومَ تزِلُّ فيه الأقدامُ، ومَن خفّف في هذا الشهرِ عمّا ملكتْ يمينُهُ خفَّف الله عليه حسابَهُ، ومَن كفَّ فيه شَرَّهُ كفَّ الله عنه غضبَهُ يومَ يلقاهُ، ومَن أكرمَ فيه يَتيماً أكرمه اللهُ يومَ يلقاهُ، ومن وصَلَ فيه رحمَهُ وصلهُ الله رحمتَهُ يومَ يلقاهُ، ومَن قطعَ فيه رحمَه قطعَ الله عنهُ رَحمتَهُ يومَ يلقاهُ، ومَن تطوّع فيهِ بصَلاةٍ كَتبَ الله له برائَةً من النارِ، ومَن أدّى فيه فرضاً كانَ له ثوابُ مَن أدّى سبعينَ فريضَةً في ما سِواهُ من الشهورِ، ومَن أكثر فيهِ مِن الصلاةِ عَلَيَّ ثقَّلَ اللهُ ميزانَه يومَ تخِفّ الموازينُ، ومَن تلا فيه آيةً من القرآنِ كان له مثلُ أجرِ مَن ختَمَ القُرآنَ في غيرهِ من الشهورِ.

O people! Whoever improves his conduct in this month will be, on the Judgment Day, permitted to cross the Path. Whoever opens the knots of difficulties of people’s affairs in this world, Almighty God, on the Judgment Day, will make the accounting of his deeds easier. Whoever saves people from his evildoings, Almighty God, on the Judgment Day, will save him from His wrath. Whoever treats an orphan with respect, on the Judgment Day, Almighty God will treat him with honor. Whoever strengthens family bonds with his relatives, Almighty God will extend His blessing upon him on the Judgment Day. Whoever cuts off his family ties, Almighty God will deprive him of His blessings on the Judgment Day. Whoever offers a supererogatory prayer in this month, Almighty God will save him from Hellfire. Whoever performs an obligatory deed in this month will be bestowed the reward of seventy deeds performed in other months. Whoever bless me in this month, Almighty God, on the Judgment Day, will make the balance of his righteous deeds heavier. Whoever recites one verse of the Holy Qur’an during this month will be bestowed with the reward of reciting the entire Qur'an in other months.

أيها الناسُ، إنّ أبوابَ الجِنانِ في هذا الشهر مفَتَّحةً فاسْئلوا ربّكم إن لا يُغلِقَها عليكُم وأبوابَ النّيرانِ مُغلَقَةٌ فاسئَلوا ربّكم أن لا يفتَحَها عليكُم، والشّياطينُ مَغلولة فاسئَلوا ربّكم أن لا يُسلِّطَها عليكم.

O people! The gates of Paradise are opened in this month; thus, beseech Almighty God not to close them before you. The gates of Hell are closed; ask Almighty God not to open them for you. Devils are chained in this month; ask Almighty God not to allow them to take over you.”

قال أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: فقُمتُ وقُلتُ: يا رَسولَ اللهِ صلّى الله عليه وآله: ما أفضَلُ الأعمال في هذا الشهر؟ فقالَ: يا أبا الحسنِ، أفضَلُ الأعمالِ في هذا الشهرِ الورَعُ عَن مَحارمِ اللهِ.

Imam `Ali (a.s) said, ‘O Prophet of God! Which is the best deed during this month?’ The Holy Prophet (a.s) replied, ‘O Abul Hasan! The best deed in this month is piety and abstinence from the forbidden deeds.’ (Wasa’il al-Shi`ah, vol. 7, pp. 227)

The holy month of Ramadan is thus full of blessings and virtues. It is a month of worship, self‑building, supplications, night prayers and self‑perfection. The rewards for acts of worship in this month are manifolded. Even the sleeping and breathings of a believer are rewarded in this month when the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed. God’s angels continuously invite people to God’s worship, especially at the dawn and the Night of Qadr when worshipping is preferred to the worship of thousand months. Almighty God in this month invites all the believers to a Divine feast. The host is the Most Merciful and Most compassionate Lord, His archangels are the servants and the believers are the guests. The table spread of Divine blessings containing all sorts of rewards and favors has been provided. From all dimensions, the Divine blessings and favors cannot be imagined. They are awarded to the guests accordign to their merits, worthiness and absorbing capabilities. If we are negligent, we will feel sorry and regret on the Day of Judgment whereby feeling sorry and being regretful will not be of any advantage.