Volume 4, Book 52, Number 93 :
Narrated by Abu Said (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.”
This hadith is new to me. Or at least to my memory. I’ve always considered fasting special because of the special rewards (for example, the well-known narration “fasting is for Me and I will reward for it”). Still my passion and motivation for voluntary fasting rarely, if ever, goes beyond the six of Shawwaal, nine of Dhul Hijjah and two of Muharram. Why do I never make an effort to fast Mondays, Thursdays and the 13th, 14th and 15th of the lunar months, I ask myself. Why not even more than that? Did not Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) fast most of his days? Did not Dawud (`alayhissalaam) fast every other day – the best kind of fasting there is. Why do I feel content with my routine worship overall? Why do I not strive to up my game every day, month and year?
It is because of this stagnancy in worship that the state of my imaan is such, I feel. How do I expect Allah to increase His love, mercy and grace for me when I don’t increase my worship and love for Him? Surely the two must be connected.
It all comes down to Jihad. Of the nafs. I need to give up my love for eating more often so I can please Allah and increase my distance from the Hellfire as much as possible. If one day of fasting gets me seventy years away, I could be farthest from it in no time inshaAllah. May Allah give me the strength, accept my efforts and be pleased with me.