Fasting In The Heat
A beneficial reminder for us as we fast this Summer insha’Allaah. The temperature is between 42-47 degree these days… Alhamdulillaah for this opportunity to intend more lofty rewards during Ramadaan.
Ibn Rajab said about the virtues of fasting during hot days.
“…And from the acts of worship whose reward is multiplied during the heat is fasting, & this is because of the thirst that one experiences in the mid-day heat.”
This is why Muadh bin Jabal expressed regret on his deathbed that he would no longer experience this mid-day thirst, as did other early Muslims.
And it was related that Aboo Bakr would fast in the summer & not fast in the winter, & 3Umar advised his son Abdullaah on his deathbed: “Try to obtain the characteristics of faith,” & the first one he mentioned was fasting in the intense summer heat”.
And al-Qasim bin Muhammad said that Aayeshah 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”.
And some of the righteous women would choose the hottest days & fast them, saying: “If the price is low, everyone will buy,” meaning that she wanted to do those actions 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.
And Aboo Moosaa al-Ash’aree was on a boat, & he heard someone calling out: “O passengers, stand up!” And he said this three times. So, Aboo Moosaa told him: “How can we stand up? Don’t you see where we are? How can we stand up?” So, the caller said:“Let me tell you of a rule that Allaah made upon Himself: whoever makes himself thirsty for Allaah’s sake on a hot day has the right upon Allaah to have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection.” So, Aboo Moosaa would search out the days that were so hot that one would feel he was being cooked, & he would fast those days.
Ka3b said that Allaah Said to Moosaa: “I made it incumbent upon Myself that whoever is thirsty for My sake will have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection,”
& others said that it’s written in the Torah: “Glad tidings for whoever makes himself hungry in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his hunger satisfied, & glad tidings for whoever makes himself thirsty in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his thirst quenched.”
Al-Hasan said: “A maiden of Paradise will speak to the walee of Allaah while he is laying with her on the shore of a river of honey in Paradise while she hands him a glass of the sweetest drink, & she will ask him: “Do you know what day Allaah married me to you? He saw you on a long summer day while you were thirsty in the mid-day heat, & He called the Angels & said: “Look at My slave. He has left his wife & pleasure & food & drink for Me out of his desire for what I have for him. Bear witness that I have Forgiven him,” & He Forgave you on that day & married you to me.””
And when Amir bin 3Abd Qays went from Basrah to Shaam, Muawiyah would ask him to tell him what he needed. He refused to ask of him, & eventually 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.”
And al-Hajjaj was on a journey between Makkah & Madeenah. He pulled out his dinner & invited a bedouin to eat with him, & the bedouin said: “I have been invited by One who is better than you & I have accepted the invitation.”
He asked: “And who is this?”
The man replied: “Allaah invited me to fast, & 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 & 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?”
And Ibn 3Umar went on a trip once with some companions, & they saw a sheep-herder who they invited to eat with them. He said: “I am fasting,” & Ibn 3Umar said: “You are fasting in heat like this, & while you are between all these plants & sheep?”
The herder replied: “I’m taking advantage of my remaining days.”
Ibn 3Umar was impressed by this reply & said: “Can you sell one of your sheep to us? We’ll feed you from its meat when you break your fast, & we’ll also pay you for it.”
The herder said: “It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to my master.”
Ibn 3Umar said: “What would your master say if you told him that it was eaten by a wolf?”
The herder raised his finger to the sky & said: “What about Allaah?”
Ibn 3Umar kept repeating this phrase that the herder was saying, & when he got to the city, he went to the herder’s owner & bought him & his sheep from him. He then freed the herder & gave him his sheep as a gift.
And Ruh bin Zinba’ was travelling between Makkah & Madinah on a very hot day. A herder living on a mountain approached him, & he said to him: “O herder, come eat with me.” The herder said: “I’m fasting.” Ruh said: “You’re fasting in this heat?” The herder replied: “Should I let my days pass by in vain?” So, Ruh said: “You have used your days wisely, O herder, while Ruh bin Zinba’ has wasted his.”
And Ibn Umar used to fast extra days until he would almost faint, & this wouldn’t cause him to break his fast.
And al-Imaam Ahmad would fast until he was about to pass out, & would wipe water over his face. He was asked about fasting very hot days, & he replied: “There is nothing wrong with wetting a towel to squeeze the water on himself to cool down with.” And the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam would pour water over his head while fasting.
And Aboo ad-Darda’ would say: “Fast the very hot days in anticipation of the Day of Resurrection, & pray two rak3at in the darkness of night in anticipation of the darkness of the grave.”
And it’s reported in the two ‘Saheeh’s that he said: “You have seen us with the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam) on some of his journeys on very hot days, & a man would hold his hand against his head due to the intensity of the heat, & none of them would be fasting except the Messenger of Allaah & 3Abdullah bin Rawahah.”(1)
And the narration of Muslim states that Aboo ad-Darda’ said: “This was during the month of Ramadaan.”
”When those who fast for Allaah in the heat are patient despite their intense thirst, He will set aside a specific gate of the gates of Paradise for them. This is the gate called Rayyan, & whoever enters through it will drink, & whoever drinks after entering it will never be thirsty again. When they enter through it, it will be locked for those after them, & none will enter through it except them”.
From ‘Lataa’if al-Maaarif’ (p. 272-273) by Ibn Rajab
Re: Fasting In The Heat