Virtues Of Fasting In Summer’s Heat
Since Ramadan is during summer this year, Ibn Rajab’s section in “Lata’if Al-Ma’arif” (p. 272-273) about the virtues of fasting during hot days will serve as good encouragement:
“From the acts of worship whose reward is multiplied during the heat is fasting, and this is because of the thirst that one experiences in the midday heat.”
This is why Mu’adh Bin Jabal expressed regret on his deathbed that he would no longer experience this midday thirst, as other early Muslims did.
It was related that Abu Bakr would fast in the summer and not in the winter; and Umar advised his son Abdullah on his deathbed, “Try to obtain the characteristics of faith.” The first one he mentioned was fasting in intense summer heat.
And Al-Qasim Bin Muhammad said that Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) would fast in the intense heat. He was asked: “What drove her to do this?” He replied: “She would take advantage of the days before death.”
Some righteous women would choose the hottest days for fasting, saying: “If the price is low, everyone will buy,” meaning that they wanted to do deeds that only a few were capable of due to how hard it was to do them. This is indicative of the high aspirations these women had.
Ka’b said that Allah said to Musa: “I made it incumbent upon Myself that whoever is thirsty for My sake will have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection.”
When Amir Bin Abd Qays went from Basrah to Sham, Mu’awiyah would ask him to tell him what he needed. Amir said: “All I need is for you to return the heat of Basrah to me to make the fasting a bit harder, as it is too easy in your lands.”
Al-Hajjaj was on a journey between Makkah and Madina. He pulled out his dinner and invited a bedouin to eat with him, and the bedouin said: “I have been invited by One who is better than you and I have accepted the invitation.” He asked: “And who is this?” The man replied: “Allah invited me to fast, and I fasted.”
Al-Hajjaj asked: “On this very hot day?” The man replied: “Yes. I am fasting it in anticipation of a much hotter day.” Al-Hajjaj said: “So, eat today and fast tomorrow.”
The man replied: “Only if you can guarantee that I will live until tomorrow.” Al-Hajjaj said: “This isn’t in my hands.” The man said: “How can you ask me to do something now when there is something of the future that isn’t in your hands?”
Ibn Umar went on a trip once with some companions, and they saw a shepherd who they invited to eat with them. He said: “I am fasting,” and Ibn Umar said: “You are fasting in heat like this, and while you are in the midst of all these plants and sheep?” The shepherd replied: “I’m taking advantage of my remaining days.”
Ibn Umar was impressed by this reply and said: “Can you sell one of your sheep to us? We’ll feed you from its meat when you break your fast, and we’ll also pay you for it.” The shpherd said: “It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to my master.”
Ibn Umar said: “What would your master say if you told him that it was eaten by a wolf?” The shepherd raised his finger to the sky and said: “What about Allah?”
Ibn Umar kept repeating this phrase that the shepherd was saying, and when he got to the city, he went to the shepherd’s owner and bought him (the shepherd) and his sheep from him. He then freed the shepherd and gave him his sheep as a gift.
Abu Ad-Darda’ would say: “Fast the very hot days in anticipation of the Day of Resurrection, and pray two rak’at in the darkness of night in anticipation of the darkness of the grave.”
When those who fast for Allah in the heat are patient despite their intense thirst, Allah will set aside a specific gate of the gates of Paradise for them.
This is the gate called Rayyan, and whoever enters through it will drink, and whoever drinks after entering it will never be thirsty again. When they enter through it, it will be locked for those after them, and none will enter through it except them.”