Two Joys for the Fasting Person: Imam al-Sa’di

In his collection of comprehensive statements of the Prophet (ﷺ), Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di brought the following hadeeth:

الحديث الخامس والثلاثون: للصائم فرحتان
Hadeeth #35: There are Two Joys for the Fasting Person

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ: الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ. قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ. فَإِنَّهُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ؛ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي. لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ، وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ. ولَخَلُوف فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ. وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّة. وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلَا يَرْفُثْ وَلَا يَصْخَبْ، فَإِنْ سابَّه أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ، فَلْيَقُلْ: إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صائم” متفق عليه . ـ

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ: الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ. قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ. فَإِنَّهُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ؛ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي. لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ، وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ. ولَخَلُوف فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ. وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّة. وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلَا يَرْفُثْ وَلَا يَصْخَبْ، فَإِنْ سابَّه أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ، فَلْيَقُلْ: إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صائم

Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied: a single good deed tenfold up to seven hundred times. Allah said, “Except for the fasting, for it is for Me, and I shall reward for it: he has left off his desires and his food for My Sake.” The fasting person has two occasions of joy: a joy at the time of his breaking the fast, and a joy at the time of meeting his Lord. And the smell from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of misk. And fasting is a shield. And when it is a day of fasting for one of you, then do not engage in obscene speech nor raise your voice, then if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him he should say, “I am a fasting person.”

This is agreed upon [i.e. both al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded it].

ما أعظم هذا الحديث؛ فإنه ذكر الأعمال عموماً، ثم الصيام خصوصاً وذكر فضله وخواصه، وثوابه العاجل والآجل، وبيان حكمته، والمقصود منه، وما ينبغي فيه من الآداب الفاضلة. كلها احتوى عليها هذا الحديث. ـ

What is more magnificent than this hadeeth! For indeed it mentions deeds generally, then fasting specifically and it makes mention of its virtues and attributes and both its immediate and delayed rewards, and (also) an explanation of the wisdom behind it and the objective of it, as well as what is appropriate regarding it of honorable etiquettes. All of these things are included in this hadeeth!

فبين هذا الأصل الجامع، وأن جميع الأعمال الصالحة – من أقوال وأفعال، ظاهرة أو باطنة، سواء تعلقت بحق الله، أو بحقوق العباد – مضاعفة من عشر إلى سبعمائة ضعف، إلى أضعاف كثيرة. ـ

So he explained this comprehensive principle: that all righteous good deeds – both of speech and actions, outwardly and inwardly, whether they are related to the rights of Allah or to the due rights of the slaves – are multiplied tenfold up to seven hundred fold, and even multiplied many more times over!

وهذا من أعظم ما يدل على سعة فضل الله، وإحسانه على عباده المؤمنين؛ إذ جعل جناياتهم ومخالفتهم الواحدة بجزاء واحد، ومغفرة الله تعالى فوق ذلك. ـ

And this is one of the greatest things that demonstrates the expansiveness of the favors and goodness of Allah towards His believing slaves; then He takes their heinous crimes and acts of disobedience and recompenses each one individually [i.e. without multiplication], and the forgiveness of Allah comes on top of that!

وأما الحسنة: فأقل التضعيف أو الواحدة بعشر. وقد تزيد على ذلك بأسباب. ـ

As for good deeds, then the smallest multiplication for one deed is tenfold, and it may be increased above that for various reasons.

منها: قوة إيمان العامل، وكمال إخلاصه. فكلما قوي الإيمان والإخلاص تضاعف ثواب العمل. ـ

One of those reasons is the strength of the eemaan of the doer of the deed and the completeness of his ikhlaas. And whenever one’s eemaan and ikhlaas are strengthened then the reward of the deed is multiplied.

ومنها: أن يكون للعمل موقع كبير، كالنفقة في الجهاد والعلم، والمشاريع الدينية العامة، وكالعمل الذي قوي بحسنه وقوته ودفعه المعارضات، كما ذكره صلّى الله عليه وسلم في قصة أصحاب الغار، وقصة البَغِيِّ التي سقت الكلب، فشكر الله لها وغفر لها. ومثل العمل الذي يثمر أعمالاً أُخر، ويقتدي به غيره، أو يشاركه فيه مشارك، وكدفع الضرورات العظيمة، وحصول المبرات الكبيرة، وكالمضاعفة لفضل الزمان أو المكان، أو العامل عند الله. ـ

And another reason is that the the deed itself may occupy a great position, such as spending for jihaad or knowledge or deen-related projects in general. Or such as a deed which is strengthened by its intrinsic virtue, virility and its fending off of opposition, as he (ﷺ) mentioned regarding the story of the People of the Cave and the story of the prostitute who gave water to the dog, so Allah appreciated that and forgave her. Or the likes of a deed which yields a fruit of other deeds and others imitate it or mutually share in performing it. Or such as repelling severe harms, or resolving a serious issue. Or such as the multiplication of rewards due to the virtue of the time or place, or the virtue of the doer in the sight of Allah.

فهذه المضاعفات كلها شاملة لكل عمل. ـ

And all these multiplications comprehensively apply to every good deed.

واستثنى في هذا الحديث الصيام، وأضافه إليه، وأنه الذي يجزى به بمحض فضله وكرمه، من غير مقابلة للعمل بالتضعيف المذكور الذي تشترك فيه الأعمال. وهذا شيء لا يمكن التعبير عنه، بل يجازيهم بما لا عين رأت، ولا أُذن سمعت، ولا خطر على قلب بشر. ـ

And in this hadeeth He made an exception for fasting and linked that to Himself. It is He who rewards for that out of His pure bounty and generosity. This is without any parallel in terms other deeds which share in this specific multiplication. This is something which it is impossible to give words to; indeed, He compensates them with what no eye had seen and no ear has heard and no human heart has even imagined!

وفي الحديث كالتنبيه على حكمة هذا التخصيص، وأن الصائم لما ترك محبوبات النفس التي طبعت على محبتها، وتقديمها على غيرها، وأنها من الأمور الضرورية، فقدم الصائم عليها محبة ربه، فتركها لله في حالة لا يطلع عليها إلا الله، وصارت محبته لله مقدمة وقاهرة لكل محبة نفسية، وطلب رضاه وثوابه مقدماً على تحصيل الأغراض النفسية. فلهذا اختصه الله لنفسه، وجعل ثواب الصائم عنده. ـ

And in this hadeeth it is as if there is an announcement of the reasoning for this unique designation, and that is that the fasting person abandons what is beloved to his soul – those things which he in naturally inclined to love -, and gives priority to something other than that while these are essential necessary things! So the fasting person prioritizes the love of his Lord over those things, thus he abandons them for the sake of Allah in a circumstance which none truly knows except Allah, and his love for Allah becomes preeminent and victorious over all personal loves, and seeking His pleasure and reward takes precedence over obtaining any personal goals. So for this reason, Allah specified it for as being for Himself and made the rewards of the fasting person with Him.

فما ظنك بأجر وجزاء تكفل به الرحمن الرحيم الكريم المنان، الذي عمت مواهبه جميع الموجودات، وخصّ أولياءه منها بالحظ الأوفر، والنصيب الأكمل، وقدر لهم من الأسباب والألطاف التي ينالون بها ما عنده على أمور لا تخطر له بالبال. ولا تدور في الخيال؟ فما ظنك أن يفعل الله بهؤلاء الصائمين المخلصين؟ ـ

So what do you think about a reward and recompense undertaken by the Most Merciful, the Most Benevolent, the Generous, the Bestower, the One Whose gifts encompasses all of existence, and Who specifically selected His close ones for an abounding bounty and a fully complete lot, and He decreed the means and subtle ways for them which one could not even conceive of or begin to imagine by which they will achieve what is with Him (of reward)? So what do you think Allah will do for these sincere fasting ones?

وهنا يقف القلم، ويسيح قلب الصائم فرحاً وطرباً بعمل اختصه الله لنفسه، وجعل جزاءه من فضله المحض، وإحسانه الصرف. وذلك فضل الله يؤتيه من يشاء، والله ذو الفضل العظيم. ـ

And here the pen runs dry and the heart of the fasting person overflows with joy and delight at this action which Allah has specified as being for Himself and has made its reward to be from His pure bounty and unadulterated goodness. And that is the bounty of Allah which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

ودلّ الحديث على أن الصيام الكامل هو الذي يدع العبد فيه شيئين: المفطرات الحسية، من طعام وشراب ونكاح وتوابعها. والمنقصات العملية، فلا يرفث ولا يصخب، ولا يعمل عملاً محرماً، ولا يتكلم بكلام محرم. بل يجتنب جميع المعاصي، وجميع المخاصمات والمنازعات المحدثة للشحناء. ولهذا قال: “فلا يرفث” أي: لا يتكلم بكلام قبيح “ولا يصخب” بالكلام المحدث للفتن والمخاصمات. كما قال في الحديث الآخر: “من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به فليس لله حاجة في أن يدع طعامه وشرابه”. ـ

And this hadeeth shows that a complete fast is one in which the slave leaves off two things: 1) the self-indulgences of food, drink, sexual intercourse or what leads up to that which break the fast, and 2) the actions which detract from the the fast, so do not use obscene language or raise your voice, nor commit forbidden acts, nor speak with prohibited speech. Rather, avoid all acts of disobedience and all forms of disputations and arguing which engenders grudges. For this reason he said, “do not engage in obscene speech” – meaning, do not speak with vile speech – “nor raise your voice” with speech that creates troubles and disputes. This is as he said in another hadeeth, “Whoever does not leave off false speech and acting by it, then Allah has no need of him leaving off his food and his drink.”

فمن حقق الأمرين: ترك المفطرات، وترك المنهيات، تم له أجر الصائمين. ومن لم يفعل ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه. ـ

So whoever actualizes two affairs: 1) leaving off what breaks the fast, and 2) leaving off the prohibited actions, then the reward of the fasting people is complete for him. And whoever does not do that, then he has no one to blame but himself.

ثم أرشد الصائم إذا عرض له أحد يريد مخاصمته ومشاتمته أن يقول له بلسانه: “إني صائم”. ـ

Then he directed the fasting person that if someone comes to him wanting to argue and verbally assault him, then he should say out-loud, “I am fasting.”

وفائدة ذلك: أن يريد كأنه يقول: اعلم أنه ليس بي عجز عن مقابلتك على ما تقول، ولكني صائم، أحترم صيامي وأراعي كماله، وأمر الله ورسوله. واعلم أن الصيام يدعوني إلى ترك المقابلة، ويحثُّني على الصبر. فما عملته أنا خير وأعلى مما عملته معي أيها المخاصم. ـ

And the benefit of that is that it is as if he says, “Know that it is not an inability of responding to you what you say (that keeps me from responding); rather I am fasting – I am preserving the sanctity of my fast and guarding its completeness as well as the command of Allah and His prophet. And know that the fast calls me to leave off responding and encourages me to have patience, so in my view that which I am doing is better and more elevated than what you are doing, O argumentative one.”

وفيه: العناية بالأعمال كلها من صيام وغيره، ومراعاة تكميلها، والبعد عن جميع المنقصات لها، وتذكر مقتضيات العمل، وما يوجبه على العامل وقت حصول الأسباب الجارحة للعمل. ـ

And therein is paying heed to all of one’s deeds – both fasting and otherwise – and carefully guarding their completeness, as well as distancing oneself from all forms of blemishes to them, and being mindful of what the deeds entail and what the (proper) time for taking the physical means for deeds obligates upon the doer.

وقوله: “الصيام جُنَّة” أي: وقاية يتقي بها العبد الذنوب في الدنيا ويتمرن به على الخير، ووقاية من العذاب. ـ

And his statement, “fasting is a shield” – meaning, it is a protection by which the slave avoids sins in this dunya and by which he becomes accustomed to doing good, as well as a protection against punishment.

فهذا من أعظم حكم الشارع من فوائد الصيام، وذلك لقوله تعالى: {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة:183] , فكون الصوم جنة، وسبب لحصول التقوى: هو مجموع الحكم التي فصلت في حكمة الصيام وفوائده فإنه يمنع من المحرمات أو يخففها، ويحث على كثير من الطاعات. ـ

So this is one of the greatest wisdoms of the Legislator in terms of the benefits of fasting, and that is  according to His statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you might have taqwa [2:183]

So fasting is a shield and a cause of obtaining al-taqwa – that is the sum-total of the rulings which are  further explained in the wisdom and benefits of fasting, for it prevents one from forbidden things or lessens one in them, and it incites one to perform an abundance of acts of obedience.

وقوله صلّى الله عليه وسلم: “لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ، وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لقاء ربه”. هذا ثوابان: عاجل، وآجل. فالعاجل: مشاهد إذا أفطر الصائم فرح بنعمة الله عليه بتكميل الصيام. وفرح بنيل شهواته التي منع منها في النهار. والآجل: فرحه عند لقاء ربه برضوانه وكرامته. وهذا الفرح المعجل نموذج ذلك الفرح المؤجل، وأن الله سيجمعهما للصائم. ـ

And his (ﷺ) statement, “The fasting person has two occasions of joy: a joy at the time of his breaking the fast, and a joy at the time of meeting his Lord” – these are two rewards, both immediately and delayed. So the immediate one is witnessed when the fasting person breaks his fast, he rejoices at the blessing of Allah upon him in completing his fast, and he rejoicing at fulfilling his desires which he was prevented from during the day. And the delayed one is his rejoicing at the time of meeting his Lord with His pleasure and His generosity, and this immediate joy is the template of that delayed joy, and Allah is going to combine these two for the fasting person.

وفيه: الإشارة إلى أن الصائم إذا قارب فطره، وحصلت له هذه الفرحة، فإنها تقابل ما مر عليها في نهاره من مشقة ترك الشهوات. فهي من باب التنشيط، وإنهاض الهمم على الخير. ـ

And in this is an indication that when the fasting person draws near to his breaking the fast and thereby attains this joy, that this corresponds to what he went through during the day of the difficulty of abandoning his desires, for this is a sort of invigoration and important reviving towards good.

وقوله: “وَلَخُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ ريح المسك”. الخلوف: هو الأثر الذي يكون في الفم من رائحة الجوف عند خلوه من الطعام وتصاعد الأبخرة. فهو وإن كان كريهاً للنفوس، فلا تحزن أيها الصائم؛ فإنه أطيب عند الله من ريح المسك، فإنه متأثر عن عبادته والتقرب إليه. وكل ما تأثر عن العبادات من المشقات والكريهات فهو محبوب لله. ومحبوب الله عند المؤمن مقدم على كل شيء. ـ

And his statement, “And the khuloof of mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of misk“. And al-khuloof is the traces that are in one’s mouth of the stomach’s air when it is devoid of food and it ascends up his esophagus. So if it is distasteful to individuals, then do not be distressed O fasting person, for it is better in the sight of Allah and the fragrance of misk, for it is the effect of His worship and drawing near to Him. And all the traces of acts of worship which are difficult or disliked are beloved to Allah, and in the sight of the believer what is beloved to Allah takes precedence over everything else.

[Bahjah al-Quloob al-Abraar pg. 93-96]

See also: Khutbah on the merits of Ramadan: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Fasting is prescribed for you in order that you may become al-muttaqoon: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “The entire dunya is a month of fasting for the muttaqeen”

See also: The fast is not perfected until one abandons the forbidden actions: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: From the benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

For more Ramadan material, see: Ramadan Articles

6 thoughts on “Two Joys for the Fasting Person: Imam al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: “The month of ‪‎Rajab‬ is the key to the months of goodness and blessings”: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Fasting is prescribed for you in order that you may become al-muttaqoon: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 1: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: Benefits of Fasting: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 3: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.