This is a guest post by an author who compiled a wide number of resources related to fasting, reciting Qur’an, and sincerity of intention. This is a great resource of ahadith and ayaat related to fasting. May Allah grant them a great reward (ameen!) and forgive any mistakes I have made in re-formatting it and linking all the sources to their citations.
So without further a-do, let’s jump into it.
Reported al-Bukhari that Umar bin al-Khaatab narrated: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alyhi wa salaam) saying: “The reward of deeds depend on the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Al-Bukhar: 1/1/1]
The Intentions of Fasting: Compilations of Intentions and benefits of fasting in the month of Ramadan
- To carry out the orders of Allah and to attain piety as Allah said: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqun (pious)” (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
- To get protection from Hell-Fire. Allah’s Messengers (salallahu alyhi wa sallam) said: “When a person fasts for a day, for the sake of Allah, Allah drives away the Hell-Fire from him to a distance of seventy years of traveling.” [Al-Bukhari: 4/52/93 and Muslim 6⁄2570 to 6⁄2572]
- To expiate one’s past sins. Allah’s Messenger said: “whoever observes Saum (fasting) during the month of Ramadan, out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s Rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari 1/2/37 and 3/32/231]
- To enter Paradise .Abu Umamah said: I asked the Prophet,’O Allah’s Messenger, guide me to a deed with which I may enter Paradise. “He (salallahu alyhi wa salaam) replied,’ Observe fasting; there is nothing like it.’” [An-Nissai, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim]
- To get the intercession on the Day of Judgment. “On the Day of Judgment, fasting and Qur’an will intercede for the person who observes fast and recites the Qur’an.” [Ahmed]
- To get a granted invocation (supplication).Allah’s Messenger said:’ Three kinds of invocations are to be granted; the invocation of the person who observes fast, the invocation of an oppressed person, and the invocation of a traveler.” [Al-Silsilah as-Sahiha no. 1797]
To enter through the gate of Ar-Rayyan on the Day of Judgement. Allah’s Messenger said: “There is a gate of Ar-Rayyan on The Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it.”
To receive the reward in full without reckoning. Allah’s Messenger said:’ A man’s good acts are recompensed many times, from ten times to 700 times. Allah, the Exalted, says ‘But a fast is an exception because it is undertaken simply for My Sake) i.e.,there is no limit for it’s recompense) and I, Alone shall bestow the reward for it.’” [Muslim 6⁄2566 to 6⁄2568]
The intentions When taking Sahur (the Pre-Dawn Meal):
- To carry out the commandment of Prophet Muhammed (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and follow his sunnah, when he said: “Take the Sahur because there’s blessing in it.” [Al-Bukhari 3/31/146, and Muslim].
- To be different from the people of the scriptures who do not observe partaking of Suhur [Muslim].
- To seek the salaah of Allah and his angels upon oneself. The Prophet Messenger (salallahu alyhi wa sallam) said: “Allah sends his salaah (graces, honors, blessings, mercy, etc.) and also his angels send their salaah (ask Allah to bless and forgive them) upon those who take sahur.’” [Ibn Hibban and at-Tabaraani]
- To facilitate fasting and gain strength for worshipping.
- To make Du’aa and ask forgiveness after taking Sahur at the end of the night.
The intentions at the time of breaking Fast.
- To carry out the orders of Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala) by eating at sunset.
- To gain strength for worshipping Allah (Subhana wa ta’ala).
- To follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (salallahu alyhi wa sallam) in hasting the breaking of the fast.
- To get the pleasure (Joy) when one will meet his Lord on the day of resurrection. Allah’s messenger said: “There are two pleasures of the person observing fast, one at the time of Iftar (breaking fast), and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; Then he will be pleased because of his Saum (fasting).” [Al-Bukhari 3/31/128 and 9/93/584]
- To get a granted invocation (prayer) at the time of breaking the fast. Allah’s messenger said: “Indeed the fasting person has at the time of breaking fast a prayer (supplication) which is not rejected.” [Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim]
- To expiate ones past sins. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alyhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes (Nawafil, voluntary) prayers during the nights of Ramadan, faithfully, out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s Rewards, all his past sins will be forgiven.’” [Al Bukhari]
- To search for Lailatul -Qadar (The Night of Qadar).Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alyhi wa sallam) said: “Search for the night of Qadar in the odd nights of the last nights of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari 1/2/37]
- To enter paradise with peace. Allah’s Messenger said: “O people! Spread Salaam (greetings), feed others, join your kin, and pray at night while people are sleeping, you will enter paradise with peace.” [Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi]
- To be one of the Muhsinun (Goodoers) who, “They used to sleep but little by night and in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness.” (51:17-18)
- To imitate and follow the way of the righteous predecessors. Allah’s messenger said: “exert your utmost to offer night prayers, because it is the way of the righteous predecessors before you it is nearness to your Lord, it expiates sins and prevents one from committing evil deeds or sins.” [At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by al-Albaani]
- To receive the great booty that comes from reciting the Qur’an in the night prayer is. Allah’s messenger (salallahu alyhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes the night prayer and recite ten verses, will not be written down as one of the heedless and whoever prays at night reciting 100 verses will be written down as one of the sincere devotes, and whoever prays at night reciting 1000 verses will be written down as one of the al-Muqantarin [i.e. those for whom is written a Qintaar (a weight measure) of reward].” [Abu Dawoud and authenticated by al-Albaani]
The intentions when reciting the Qur’an
- To get the intercession. Allah’s messenger said: “Read the Qur’an as it shall come on the day of resurrection as an intercessor for its readers” [Muslim 4⁄1757]
- To get the healing for that which is in the breast (disease of ignorance, doubts, etc…)
- To be raised in grade (ranks) Paradise.
- To make it a protection (and a shield) from Hellfire
- To attain high ranks and to be with the angels.
- To be one of Allah’s special people.
- To get the Light with which one can be guided in the darkness (i.e. it is a light in the heart, in the face, in the grave and on the bridge (As-Siraat) on the day of Resurrection)
- To get increased amount of reward and to attain Allah’s love.
- To get the guidance and mercy of Allah.(Subhana wa ta’ala)
We ask Allah to help us be among those who implement all of these things consistently in our lives–allahumma ameen!