In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The Virtues Of Fasting

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Apostle, said, what translated means,

Narrated Abu Huraira (ra) , The Prophet (saw) said, "(Allah said), 'Every good deed of Adam's son is for him except fasting; it is for Me, and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.' Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7 (Dress), Hadith no. 811

Narrated Abu Huraira (ra), the Prophet (saw) said, "Allah said: The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake. Fasting is a screen (from Hell) and there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. And the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah's Sight than the smell of musk." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9 (Monotheism), Hadith no. 584]

This noble Hadith entails numerous virtues and benefits that can only be attained from fasting. It also indicates the importance of fasting in Islam and its obligation upon all Muslims.

Among these virtues and benefits are:

1. Multiplying the rewards for fasting is different than the rest of the acts of worship and good deeds. As for fasting, there is no limit for such multiplication, while in the case of other deeds, each good credit is multiplied from ten to seven hundred times.

2. Sincerity while fasting counts more than sincerity while performing other deeds, for Allah said in the Hadith, “...He (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake...”

3. Allah has chosen fasting to be the acts of worship that He Himself will reward for it, for He said, “The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it.”

As for “fasting is for Me,” the scholars have differed on its meaning. Some said it means that fasting is an act that is performed purely for Allah that no one else can witness, since it is not an action by the limbs, but rather an abstinence from some acts (eating, drinking and sexual intercourse). This is evident from Allah’s statement, “He (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake.” As for the other acts of worship, they are all actions that can be witnessed by others, and are thus performed either out of sincerity or out of showing off.

Other scholars said that this means that on the Day of Judgment, opponents will not take from the rewards the person acquires through fasting. It is stated in the Sunnah that if a person commits an act of injustice against another, then the victim can be granted some of the credits of the aggressor. Therefore, the scholars state that in such cases, the victim will only be given from the credits of the aggressor that were not acquired through fasting. As for the credits earned through fasting, Allah will preserve them for the person and no one will take them away from him.

Also, other scholars have stated that this means that fasting is an act of worship that is only performed to draw closer to Allah, and no one but Him. This is because the disbelievers of old used to draw closer to their idols through prayer, supplication, etc., but not fasting; fasting was not a form of worship that they knew or performed.

4. Fasting brings about two great occasions of joy and happiness for the fasting person: one in this life, and that is when he breaks his fast with what Allah has allowed for him of foods and drinks. As for the other, it is in the Hereafter, and that is when he receives the rewards for his fast. This is permissible happiness and joy, just as Allah said, what translated means,

Say: "In the Bounty of Allah and in His Mercy in that let them rejoice..." [Surah Yunus, 10:58]

5. The odor emanating from the mouth of the fasting person, which is sometimes foul, is more beloved to Allah than the scent of musk. This is because such bad odor is the result of a deed that Allah loves, and He therefore loves the resulting odor as well. This is clear from the portion of the Hadith that reads, “The smell (unpleasant odor emanating) of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah's Sight than the smell of musk.”

6. Among the virtues of fasting is that Allah has designated one of the gates of Paradise solely for those who frequently fast. The Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam said, what translated means,

Narrated Sahl, the Prophet (saw) said, "There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observe fasts?' They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3 (Fasting), Hadith no. 120]

7. Fasting is a shield and protection from harmful desires and from the heat of Hell, as an authentic Hadiths affirms.

8. The supplication of the fasting person is accepted when the fast is opened. Allah Almighty said:

"When my servants ask thee concerning Me I am indeed close (to them); I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; let them also with a will listen to My call and believe in Me; that they may walk in the right way." [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186]


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength. May Allah (swt) keep us on the Straight Path. Aameen.

Fasting has numerous other virtues and benefits, but we only mention a few to drive home the point to the reader.

  • The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, 11th edition 1429 AH / 2008 C.E with Revised English Translation, Commentary and Index by ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali.
  • Sahih Al-Bukhari translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Islamic University Al-Medina Al-Munawwara, Published: 1980, Publisher: Dar Al Arabia, Beirut, Lebanon.

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