Besides the obligatory fasting in the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad SAW used to fast on other special days throughout the year. Muslims try to follow our Prophet’s sunnah by observing the fast on those special days, which have huge rewards and benefits in this life and the hereafter. Following are the days on which Prophet Muhammad SAW advised us to fast:
- On six days of the month of Shawwal.
- On first ten days of Zhul-Hijjah, especially the day of Arafah, for those who are not performing the pilgrimage.
- On the day of ‘Ashurah and the days immediately preceding and following it in month of Muharram.
- On most days of the month of Sha’ban (the month preceding Ramadan).
- On Mondays and Thursdays.
- On three days of every Arabic Month (13, 14, 15) also known as the “white days’.
In this competitive world where we have to bear professional, domestic and social responsibilities simultaneously, I find it very difficult to implement Sunnah fasting in my life together with giving due share of time and intellect to every responsibility in my life. I finally found a way out and thought of sharing it with other Muslims who are facing a similar plight.
Every Muslim has an inherent desire to implement the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW in his life. In order to fulfill this desire, I have analyzed the constraints involved and came up with the following tips that can help in Sunnah fasting without affecting our daily life routine.
- First of all, every Muslim should seek Allah SWT’s help to and ask for strength from Almighty to observe sunnah fasting.
- Secondly, every Muslim should have pure and true intention for implementation of sunnah fasts. Every act in Islam is based on intention, if your intention is pure and you really desire for sunnah fasts, Allah SWT will help you through mysterious ways.
Humans, being the flexible and whimsical creation that we are, can be trained for any conditions and circumstances with gradual practice.I remember the days of my exams in university, when I became used to sleeping five hours a day and ate twice a day. The good thing about this routine was that I could offer prayers on time and my capabilities were at optimum level with proper utilization of my days. So those professionals and students who cannot manage their time should observe sunnah fast to make their day productive for religious as well as worldly purposes.
Fasting on Mondays and Thursday can help in building the weekly routine. Thus, gradual practice will make one perfect according to the routine of sunnah fast.
Keeping in Shape Through Fasting
Fasting not only has spiritual benefits but also physical. For those Muslim youngsters who want to keep themselves in shape and stay away from obesity, supererogatory fasts are the best choice. Instead of making tough schedules of dieting, you should try to fast with the precaution of staying away from high fat diet in Sahur and Iftar, you will be amazed with its effectiveness. Fasting is the solution of many physical ailments as prescribed by doctors.
Apart from great religious and physical benefits, fasting affects an individual’s character. I observed the strength of the fast on a Muslim friend of mine, whom I have always seen as a violent person. When a young man driving recklessly in a street messed his clothes with mud and dirty water, my friend responded with humbleness and ignored him and when I asked him the reason, he replied that he was observing the fast. So I concluded that fasting is a great tool of learning patience, self control and self restraint.
It gives us the opportunity to understand the problems of poor people and we devote our self to help the poor. Fasting is also a great source of achieving piety. Thus, fasting is an excellent method to discipline Muslims according to the will of Almighty Allah. May Allah give us strength to adopt the Sunnah of Holy Prophet SAW, so that we may become successful in both lives.