Unimaginable. When no clear descriptions are offered, that means it could be anything.
Limitless. When no limit is given to something, that means that we can’t imagine it ending.
Undefined. A hidden reward…something that we will only discover later…
This is the reward for fasting.
God says, “Fasting is Mine and it is I who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for My sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in God’s estimation than the smell of musk.”
Let’s take a look at each of these beautiful reminders about fasting:
In the open and in secret
The first thing God mentions about fasting in this report is that when people fast, they are doing it for His sake.
People who fast for the sake of God, and those that don’t can look just the same. One is fasting for the sake of God, and another one is fasting so that people will think he’s religious.
They are both giving up their passion, food and drink all day long.
The difference is the sincerity. How aware the fasting person is of God! He or she will not even take a sip of water, because of the sure knowledge God is watching!
What prevents you from eating, when no one’s around? You know you can’t hide from God, or trick Him. You actually have to do it.
So fasting people avoid food and drink when they are by themselves, or when they are in public where people can see them.
Because they know that God can see them. And that makes all the difference.
A challenge and a shield
The great, mysterious reward that God has decided not to describe for us looms just ahead of us as we make our way through each day of fasting.
There’s a bit of a personal victory at the end of each day, too, isn’t there? You hoped you could do it, then as the day went on you doubted yourself, but then, at the end of the day, you did it.
We challenge ourselves every day, and the more days we finish, the more confident we feel about the next day, and the rest of the month.
We can also begin feeling confident about the next life, too.
God calls fasting a shield. What it is shielding us from?
It is a shield from the hellfire.
We may think we are adding to a list of days during the month, but we are also adding layers to that shield as we fast.
Joy in this life and the next
Everybody’s happy when they break their fast. A little food in the stomach can do wonders for a fasting person’s mood!
When the time is coming soon, we get excited, and the food we break our fast with tastes delicious, even if it’s just dates and water.
That’s one type of joy.
The other type of joy is reserved for the next life.
On the Day of Resurrection, God will settle accounts with everyone. A man who used to fast might have nothing left in his account of good deeds.
God will then allow the man into Paradise because of it.
He’ll even have a special door, which the Messenger called ‘Ar-Rayyan’ which is a VIP door for fasting persons only.
Imagine the joy.
What we smell and the scent of musk
We’ve noticed ourselves in the middle of the fasting day. The breath. It changes.
We avoid offending people in many different ways, like brushing our teeth or avoiding facing people.
It’s inescapable and to be expected…but God loves the smell.
He loves it so much, He mentions in this report that it is better to Him than the smell of musk. Perfume. Cologne.
That goes against our senses, doesn’t it? But we are not like God. And there’s nothing like Him.
It is to show that God loves fasting so much, and He honors someone who fasts in a great way.
May God bless us to be able to fast during this Ramadan, and help us to make it a regular habit throughout the year.