Kitaab-us-Siyaam [Book of Fasting] starts today.
Alhamdulillah, perfect timing with Ramadan right around the corner. :)
Volume 3, Book 31, Number 115:
Narrated Talha bin ‘Ubaid-Ullah (radiallaahu `anhu):
A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers.” He replied: “You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting.” He replied, “You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me.” Thus, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, “By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise).”
This indicates that the fasting that is obligatory is fasting in the month if Ramadaan. With regard to fasting on other occasions, it is not a sin if one does not do it.
But we should not ignore fasting on other occasions such as ‘Ashoora’, ‘Arafah, six days of Shawwaal and so on, because of the great reward that this brings and the great status it has. Moreover observing naafil fasts makes up for any shortfall that there may be in the obligatory fasts.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say:
The first of his deeds for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is sound he will have succeeded, and if it is lacking he will be a loser. If anything is lacking from his obligatory prayers, the Lord will say, ‘Look and see if My slave has any voluntary prayers, and use them to make up what is lacking from his obligatory prayers.’ Then all his deeds will be dealt with in like manner.
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 413; al-Nasaa’i no. 465. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
This indicates that observing naafil fasts will make up for any lack in the obligatory fasts.
P.S. you’l note that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gave the Bedouin (questioner in the Hadith) option to pray and fast voluntarily as well, instead of only telling him about the obligatory stuff , although the answer would have sufficed. This shows that he was trying to motivate him to do more than just the compulsory acts – the bare minimum.
Narrated Abu Huraira
Allah’s Apostle said, “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.”
Narrated Samura bin Jundab:
The Prophet said in his narration of a dream that he saw, “He whose head was being crushed with a stone was one who learnt the Quran but never acted on it, and slept ignoring the compulsory prayers.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah :
A person was mentioned before the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and he was told that he had kept on sleeping till morning and had not gotten up for the prayer. The Prophet said, “Satan urinated in his ears.”
If you want Shaytan to urinate in your ears (literally), and you want to be lazy and get up with a mischievous heart, and you want your head being constantly crushed with a stone (for eternity), go ahead and keep ignoring your prayers. Go ahead and be deceived by Shaytaan when he tells you that the night is long and there’s still time for prayer. Leave your prayers, by all means!
But remember this. The night will soon come to an end. But the punishment that awaits you won’t EVER end. You’ll want to die but you won’t be able to die. You’ll want to live again, but it’ll be too late then. And nobody will care about you. Those in Paradise will be enjoying themselves. And they’ll thank Allah for not making them suffer like you. Don’t think that your loved ones in Paradise will feel bad about you. No. They’ll be busy feeling good about themselves. Shaytan, whom you listened to so obediently, will ditch+disown you right there. He’ll have his own punishment to face. Why would he care about you?
You, my friend, have a choice to make. To pray or not to pray? THAT is the question.
Narrated Warrad (the clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba):
Once Al-Mughira dictated to me in a letter addressed to Mu’awiya that the Prophet used to say after every compulsory prayer, “La ilaha ilallah wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa-lahul-hamdu, wahuwa ala kulli shai in qadir. Allahumma la mani ‘a lima a’taita, wa la mu’tiya lima mana’ta, wa la yanfa’u dhal-jaddi minka-l-jadd. (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and He has no partner in Lordship or in worship or in the Names and the Qualities, and for Him is the Kingdom and all the praises are for Him and He is omnipotent. O Allah! Nobody can hold back what you give and nobody can give what You hold back. Hard (efforts by anyone for anything cannot benefit one against Your Will).” And Al-Hasan said, “Al-jadd means prosperity.”
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٍ
اللَّهُمَّ لَا مَانِعَ لَمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَا مَنَعْتَ وَلَا يَنْفَعُ ذَا الْجَدِّ مِنْكَ الْجَدُّ
It’s a beautful du`a indeed. Believe it or not, I needed this reminder today! SubhanAllah. <3
Don’t forget to recite it after every compulsory Salah. If you don’t know it by heart, learn it! For starters, write it down on a piece of paper and put it near your praying place. Or just get a du`a book and read it out from there. If you make it a habit and do it constantly, you’ll automatically learn it inshaAllah, because our brains are cool like that. :)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Some poor people came to the Prophet and said, “The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj, and ‘Umra; fight and struggle in Allah’s Cause and give in charity.” The Prophet said, “Shall I not tell you a thing upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say “Sub-han-al-lah”, “Alhamdu-lillah” and “Allahu Akbar” thirty three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.” We differed and some of us said that we should say, “Subhan-al-lah” thirty three times and “Alhamdu lillah” thirty three times and “Allahu Akbar” thirty four times. I went to the Prophet who said, “Say, “Subhan-al-lah” and “Alhamdu lillah” and “Allahu Akbar” all together for thirty three times.”
Sunnah: say takbir 33 or 34 times, tahmeed 33 times, and tasbeeh 33 times after every compulsory Salah.
It’s something you can do in about a minute, and gain reward equal to those who perform Hajj and Umrah, fight in Allah’s Cause, and give in charity. Won’t you do it then? :)