Fasting expiates Sins

Fasting expiates Sins
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Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

  • {Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward.} [Quran 64:15]
  • {Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.} [Quran 21:35]
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, commented on this verse saying, “We test you with hardship and ease, with health and illness, with richness and poverty, with the lawful and the unlawful, with obedience and disobedience and with guidance and misguidance.”
 
In a Hadeeth (narration) on the authority of Huthayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said that ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “‘Who has memorized a Hadeeth on the authority of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) about the trial?’ Huthayfah said, ‘I heard him saying: “Man’s trial is in his property, family and neighbor  and it is expiated by his prayers, fasting and charity.”’[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah The Almighty Said, ‘For every misdeed there is an expiation; fasting is for Me and I give reward for it…” [Al-Bukhari] According to another narration: “Good deeds expiate sins and fasting is for Me and I give reward for it. (i.e. it expiates sins and is also a reason for receiving reward from Allah.”) [Ahmad]
In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said that the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “The five (daily) prayers, and the Friday Prayer to the (next) Friday Prayer, and the Ramadan to the (next) Ramadan are expiations of sins committed in between (their intervals); provided that the grave major sins are avoided.”[Muslim]
 
In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, he said that he heard the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), saying: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and knows its limits and avoids whatever he should avoid in it, it (Ramadan) will be an expiation of what is before it.”[Ahmad] [Ibn Hibbaan: Saheeh]
 
Benefits and rulings:
  • First: Man could be tested and tried with good or evil. He could be tested with good by being given abundant wealth and granted successive blessings. He could also be tested with evil like being afflicted with distress, worries and diseases.
  • Second: Children and property are a trial for man because he may overlook the rights of Allah for their sake and out of his love for them. Hence, this would be a cause for inflicting punishment on him in the Hereafter. Moreover, one’s children have rights over him; such as teaching and bringing them up, providing for them, etc. If one neglects or does not perform these rights properly, he will be held guilty.
  • Third: Acts of disobedience and sins are a trial. Anyone who is tried with any sin such as keeping in contact with a woman who is unlawful for him or ill-gotten gains, is undergoing a trial. Some righteous people may be tried in this matter, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
  • {Indeed, those who fear Allah - when an impulse touches them from Satan, they remember [Him] and at once they have insight.} [Quran 7:201]
  • {And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins -- and who can forgive sins except Allah? -- and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.} [Quran 3:135]
  • Fourth: Those who are tried with a sin and insist on committing it should do a lot of good deeds because good deeds expiate sins. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds.} [Quran 11:114] Perhaps, when one frequently performs acts of obedience, they could be a cause for him to be released from the captivity of this sin as Allah The Almighty might guide him because of his obedience to a sincere repentance.
  • Fifth: These Hadeeths prove that fasting expiates sins. The Hadeeth that was narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, might be understood as negating the expiation of sins by fasting. However, this Hadeeth means that good deeds expiate sins, whereas fasting expiates sins and gives extra reward to such expiation. It means the fasting that is offered with full sincerity to Allah without any ostentation.
  • Sixth: An-Nawawi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,
“It may be said that if the ablution expiates sins; then what sins do the prayers expiate? If the prayers expiate sins; then what sins do the congregational prayers, Ramadan, the fasting of ‘Arafah (the ninth of Thul-Hijjah) and ‘Aashooraa’ (tenth of Muharram) and saying 'Aameen' in prayer in the same time with angels expiate? There are Hadeeths indicating that performing such acts expiate sins. The answer proposed by scholars is that each one of the aforementioned acts of worship is fit for expiation. If there is a minor sin, it would be expiated. However, if there is no major or minor sin to be expiated, they would be recorded as good deeds and would raise one’s rank in Paradise. If these acts of worship meet a grave major sin, we hope that they would alleviate the punishment of these grave major sins.”
 
  • Seventh: People’s rights are not expiated by these acts of worship, whether these rights are minor or major. Rather, one must free himself from liability by returning these rights to those who deserve them or by asking them to absolve him.
  • Eighth: The virtue of fasting and that it is a cause for expiating sins.
  •  Ninth: This virtue of having sins expiated is attained by those who preserve their fasting from being nullified. The evidence for this is the Hadeeth narrated by Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and knows its limits and avoids whatever he should avoid in it…” Accordingly, the Muslim must preserve his day and night during Ramadan by refraining from saying anything unlawful; such as back-biting and tale-bearing. The Muslim must also lower his gaze and avoid looking at anything unlawful like TV serials, entertainment shows or the like which are displayed in abundance in Ramadan. We supplicate Allah to guide us and all Muslims to the right path.

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