From the Benefits of Winter

It is reported from Abû Hurayrah – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said:

Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds? People responded, “And what is that o Abû Hurayrah?” He replied, “Fasting in winter.”

The Arabs used to refer to matters which were relatively easy to gain as being cool. In this narration, the relative ease of fasting in winter and its consequent reward is likened to acquiring war proceeds without the heat of violence.

It is reported from ‘Umar – Allâh be pleased with him – that he said:

Winter is booty for the devout worshippers.

This is further explained in the following narration:

It is reported from ‘Ubayd b. ‘Umayr – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said:

It used to be said when winter came: O people of the Qur`ân, the night has become long so you can pray (more) and the day has become short for you to fast.

Abû Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ`.

As with other experiences in this world, the Salaf used to be reminded of the hereafter when experiencing cold weather:

It is reported from the famous worshipper Râbi’ah – Allâh have mercy on her – that she said:

I have never heard the adhân except that I remember the caller who will announce the Day of Resurrection, and I never see the falling snow except that I imagine the flying pages of the records of peoples deeds (on that day), and I never see swarms of locusts except that I think about the Great Gathering on the Last Day.

Ibn Al-Jawzî, Sifah Al-Safwah Vol. 2 p433.

Fasting and Backbiting

It is reported from Abū Al-‘Āliyah – Allah have mercy on him – that he said:

A fasting person is in a state of worship as long as he does not backbite, even if he is sleeping in bed.

Al-Imām Ahmad, Al-Zuhd Vol.4 p313.

Training Children for Worship

Al-Rubay’ bint Mu’awwidh – Allah be pleased with her – said while describing how the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – told them to fast ‘Āshūrā:

We used to make toys out of dyed wool for the children and keep them with us so if the children asked us for food we would give them the toys to distract them until they completed their fast.

Sahīh Muslim. A similar narration is also in Sahīh Al-Bukhārī.

Al-Nawawī states in his commentary on Sahīh Muslim:

In this narration we are shown that children should be trained to do acts of obedience and made used to doing worship; although they are not legally bound.

Make Fasting Different

Sulaymān b. Mūsā [d119H] – Allah have mercy on him – said:

When you fast, your hearing and sight should also fast, and your tongue should fast by keeping away from lies; and do not harm your servant. Don’t let the day you fast be the same as the day you don’t fast.

Tārīkh Dimishq Vol. 22 p389.

Al-Sawm (fasting) literally means to keep away from something. Fasting of the faculties of hearing and seeing means to keep away from listening to and looking at things that are displeasing to Allah, in the same way that we stay away from food and drink when we are fasting.