Our Salaf’s Love for Fasting in the Heat

Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimahullaah) has a section in his book “Lata’if al-Ma’arif fima li Mawasim al-Aam min al-Wadha’if”, pages 322-323 about the virtues of fasting during hot days. Since in some place or the other, the blessed month of Ramadaan will start in intense heat this year, this will be a good encouragement, insha’Allaah:

The Shaykh wrote:

ومما يضاعف ثوابه في شدة الحر من الطاعات: الصيام لما فيه من ظمأ الهواجر ولهذا كان معاذ بن جبل يتأسف عند موته على ما يفوته من ظمأ الهواجر وكذلك غيره من السلف وروي عن أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه أنه كان يصوم في الصيف ويفطر في الشتاء ووصى عمر رضي الله عنه عند موته ابنه عبد الله فقال له: عليك بخصال الإيمان وسمى أولها: الصوم في شدة الحر في الصيف

“…And 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 mid-day heat.  This is why Mu’adh bin Jabal (radiyallaahu anhu) 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 Abu Bakr (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) would fast in the summer and not fast in the winter, and ‘Umar (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) advised his son ‘Abdullah on his deathbed: “Try to obtain the characteristics of faith,” and the first one he mentioned was fasting in the intense summer heat.

قال القاسم بن محمد: كانت عائشة رضي الله عنها تصوم في الحر الشديد قيل له: ما حملها على ذلك؟ قال: كانت تبادر الموت.

وكان مجمع التيمي يصوم في الصيف حتى يسقط كانت بعض الصالحات تتوخى أشد الأيام حرا فتصومه فيقال لها في ذلك فتقول: إن السعر إذا رخص اشتراه كل أحد تشير إلى أنها لا تؤثر إلا العمل الذي لا يقدر عليه إلا قليل من الناس لشدته عليهم وهذا من علو الهمة 

And al-Qasim bin Muhammad said that ‘Aa’ishah (radhiAllaahu ‘anha) would fast in the intense heat, and 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 and 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, and this is indicative of the high aspirations these women had.

كان أبو موسى الأشعري في سفينة فسمع هاتفا يهتف: يا أهل المركب قفوا يقولها ثلاثا فقال أبو موسى: يا هذا كيف نقف ألا ترى ما نحن فيه كيف نستطيع وقوفا فقال الهاتف: ألا أخبركم بقضاء قضاه الله على نفسه؟ قال: بلى أخبرنا قال: فإن الله قضى على نفسه أنه من عطش نفسه لله في يوم حار كان حقا على الله أن يرويه يوم القيامة فكان أبو موسى يتوخى ذلك اليوم الحار الشديد الحر الذي يكاد الإنسان ينسلخ منه فيصومه

And Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (radiyallaahu anhu) was on a boat, and he heard someone calling out: “O passengers, stand up!” And he said this three times.

So, Abu Musa 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, Abu Musa would search out the days that were so hot that one would feel he was being cooked, and he would fast those days.

قال كعب: إن الله تعالى قال لموسى: إني آليت على نفسي أنه من عطش نفسه لي أن أرويه يوم القيامة وقال غيره: مكتوب في التوراة طوبى لمن جوع نفسه ليوم الشبع الأكبر طوبى لمن عطش نفسه ليوم الري الأكبر.

Ka’b (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) said that Allaah said to Musa (alayhis-salaam): “I made it incumbent upon Myself that whoever is thirsty for My sake will have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection,” and 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, and glad tidings for whoever makes himself thirsty in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his thirst quenched.”

قال الحسن: تقول الحوراء لولي الله وهو متكىء معها على نهر الخمر في الجنة تعاطيه الكأس في أنعم عيشه أتدري أي يوم زوجنيك الله إنه نظر إليك في يوم صائف بعيد ما بين الطرفين وأنت في ظمأ هاجرة من جهد العطش فباهى بك الملائكة وقال انظروا إلى عبدي ترك زوجته ولذته وطعامه وشرابه من أجلي رغبة فيما عندي اشهدوا أني قد غفرت له فغفر لك يومئذ وزوجنيك

al-Hasan said: “A maiden of Paradise will speak to the wali 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, and 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, and He called the Angels and said: “Look at My slave.  He has left his wife and pleasure and food and drink for Me out of his desire for what I have for him.  Bear witness that I have Forgiven him,” and He Forgave you on that day and married you to me.””

لما سار عامر بن عبد قيس من البصرة إلى الشام كان معاوية يسأله أن يرفع إليه حوائجه فيأبى فلما أكثر عليه قال: حاجتي أن ترد على من حر البصرة لعل الصوم أن يشتد علي شيئا فإنه يخف علي في بلادكم.

And when ‘Amir bin ‘Abd Qays went from Basrah to Sham, Mu’awiyah would ask him to tell him what he needed. He refused to ask of him, and 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.”

نزل الحجاج في بعض أسفاره بماء بين مكة والمدينة فدعا بغدائه ورأى أعرابيا فدعاه إلى الغداء معه فقال: دعاني من هو خير منك فأجبته قال: ومن هو؟ قال: الله تعالى دعاني إلى الصيام فصمت قال: في هذا الحر الشديد؟ قال: نعم صمت ليوم أشد منه حرا قال: فافطر وصم غدا قال: إن ضمنت لي البقاء إلى غد قال: ليس ذلك إلي قال: فكيف تسألني عاجلا بآجل لا تقدر عليه.

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 and 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?”

خرج ابن عمر في سفر معه أصحابه فوضعوا سفرة لهم فمر بهم راع فدعوه إلى أن يأكل معهم قال: إني صائم فقال ابن عمر: في مثل هذا اليوم الشديد حره وأنت بين هذه الشعاب في آثار هذه الغنم وأنت صائم؟ فقال: أبادر أيامي هذه الخالية فعجب منه ابن عمر فقال له ابن عمر: هل لك أن تبيعنا شاة من غنمك ونطعمك من لحمها ما تفطر عليه ونعطيك ثمنها قال: إنها ليست لي إنها لمولاي قال: فما عسيت أن يقول لك مولاك إن قلت أكلها الذئب فمضى الراعي وهو رافع اصبعه إلى السماء وهو يقول: فأين الله فلم يزل ابن عمر يردد كلمته هذه فلما قدم المدينة بعث إلى سيد الراعي فاشترى منه الراعي والغنم فأعتق الراعي ووهب له الغنم.

And Ibn ‘Umar (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) went on a trip once with some companions, and they saw a sheep-herder who they invited to eat with them. He said: “I am fasting,” and Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallaahu anhu) said: “You are fasting in heat like this, and while you are between all these plants and sheep?” The herder replied: “I’m taking advantage of my remaining days.”

Ibn ‘Umar (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) 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 herder said: “It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to my master.”

Ibn ‘Umar (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) 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 and said: “What about Allaah?”

Ibn ‘Umar (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) kept repeating this phrase that the herder was saying, and when he got to the city, he went to the herder’s owner and bought him and his sheep from him.  He then freed the herder and gave him his sheep as a gift.

نزل روح بن زنباع منزلا بين مكة والمدينة في حر شديد فانقض عليه راع من جبل فقال له: يا راع هلم إلى الغداء قال: إني صائم قال: أفتصوم في هذا الحر؟ قال: أفأدع أيامي تذهب باطلا فقال روح: لقد ضننت بأيامك يا راعي إذ جاد بها روح بن زنباع 

And Ruh bin Zinba’ was traveling between Makkah and Madinah on a very hot day.  A herder living on a mountain approached him, and 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.”

كان ابن عمر يصوم تطوعا فيغشى عليه فلا يفطر وكان الإمام أحمد يصوم حتى يكاد يغمى عليه فيمسح على وجهه الماء وسئل عن من يصوم فيشتد عليه الحر قال: لا بأس أن يبل ثوبا يتبرد به ويصب عليه الماء كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بالعرج يصب على رأسه الماء وهو صائم وكان أبو الدرداء يقول: صوموا يوما شديدا حره لحر يوم النشور وصلوا ركعتين في ظلمة الليل لظلمة القبور.

And Ibn ‘Umar (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) used to fast extra days until he would almost faint, and this wouldn’t cause him to break his fast.

And al-Imaam Ahmad would fast until he was about to pass out, and would wipe water over his face. He was asked about fasting very hot days, and he replied: “There is nothing wrong with wetting a towel to squeeze the water on himself to cool down with.”

And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would pour water over his head while fasting. And 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.”

وفي الصحيحين عن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه قال: لقد رأيتنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بعض أسفاره في اليوم الحار الشديد الحر وإن الرجل ليضع يده على رأسه من شدة الحر وما في القوم أحد صائم إلا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعبد الله بن رواحة وفي رواية أن ذلك كان في شهر رمضان.

And it’s reported in the two ‘Sahih’s that he said: “You have seen us with the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) on some of his journeys on very hot days, and a man would hold his hand against his head due to the intensity of the heat, and none of them would be fasting except the Messenger of Allaah and ‘Abdullah bin Rawahah.”

And the narration of Muslim states that Abu ad-Darda’ said: “This was during the month of Ramadaan.”

لما صبر الصائمون لله في الحر على شدة العطش والظمأ أفرد لهم بابا من أبواب الجنة وهو باب الريان من دخل شرب ومن شرب لم يظمأ بعدها أبدا فإذا دخلوا أغلق على من بعدهم فلا يدخل منه غيرهم.

__________

لطائف المعارف فيما لمواسم العام من الوظائف لإبن رجب ,322-323

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, 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…”

Source: “Lata’if al-Ma’arif fima li Mawasim al-Aam min al-Wadha’if” of Ibn Rajab, pages 322-323.

Author: Islamic Treasure

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