Friday sermon: Ramadan is about so much more than fasting

Worshippers will be told to support charities, read the Quran and provide food to others to reap rewards

Allah prescribed fasting to Muslims during Ramadan so they could learn to be God-conscious and self-restraining, the sermon will tell worshippers on Friday.

Ramadan is considered a holy month in Islam because it was when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. Fasting is as a crucial tenet of Islam, with the Prophet emphasising it as one of the five pillars.

"Islam is built upon five: the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing Salat (the Ritual Prayer), paying Zakat (the Annual Tax), fasting (the month of) Ramadan, and performing Hajj (Holy Pilgrimage) to the Sacred House," he said.

In the Quran, fasting is described as a distinct and exceptional good deed among worshippers who are able to fast. Allah attributes fasting to himself and raises its religious status saying: “Every good deed performed by the son of Adam is for him except fasting; for that is for Me, and I Myself will give the reward for it.”

Allah has also designated a special gate in Paradise for people who fast to enter.

“In Paradise there is a gate which is called Al Rayyan through which only the people who fast would enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: Where are the people who fast that they should be admitted through it? And when the last of them has entered, it would be closed and no one would enter it (after that),” the Quran reads.

The sermon will tell worshippers that Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food and drink, but is also a time when Muslims should increase their piety and good deeds.

“When any one of you is fasting one day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor be loud and uproarious; or if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him, he should say: I am a person fasting,” the Prophet said.

Muslims should keep their fast pure and avoid speaking negatively about others and swearing.

Jabir ibn Abdullah, one of Prophet Mohammed’s prominent companions, is believed to have said: “When you fast, then let hearing, sight and tongue also fast … and let there be serenity and tranquillity over you, and do not make the day that you eat and the day that fast the same.”

Ramadan should be seen as a month of action and employees should remain diligent in their work, the sermon will say.

People are encouraged to support charities, read the Quran and provide food to others to reap rewards in the Afterlife.