Praise be to Allah.
Fasting in Ramadaan is one of the pillars on which Islam is built. Allaah tells us that He has prescribed it for the believers of this ummah [nation], as He prescribed it for those who came before them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious”
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”
Al-Bukhaari (8) and Muslim (16) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; Hajj; and fasting Ramadaan.”
Whoever does not fast has abandoned one of the pillars of Islam, and is committing a grave major sin. Indeed some of the salaf were of the view that he is a kaafir [disbeliever] and apostate – we seek refuge with Allaah from that.
Abu Ya’la narrated in his Musnad from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The bonds of Islam and the bases of religion are three, on which Islam was founded. Whoever gives up one of them becomes a kaafir thereby and it is permissible to shed his blood: the testimony that there is no god but Allaah, the prescribed prayers and fasting Ramadaan.”
This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Dhahabi, and as hasan by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 1/48, and by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, no. 805, 1486. Classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah, no. 94.
Al-Dhahabi said in al-Kabaa’ir, p. 64.
Whoever does not fast in Ramadaan without being sick or having any other excuse that allows him not to fast is more evil than the adulterer or drunkard, indeed they doubted his Islam and thought that this was heresy.
A saheeh report which warns against not fasting was narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah (1986) and Ibn Hibbaan (7491) from Abu Umaamah al-Baahili who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whilst I was sleeping two men came to me and took my by the arm and brought me to a cragged mountain. They said, ‘Climb up.’ I said, ‘I cannot.’ They said, ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until I was at the top of the mountain. Then I heard loud voices. I said, ‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘This is the howling of the people of Hell.” Then I was taken until I saw people hanging by their hamstrings, with the sides of their mouths torn and blood pouring from their mouths.’ I said, ‘Who are these?’ He said, ‘These are people who broke their fast before it was time.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Mawaarid al-Zam’aan, no. 1509.
Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This is the punishment of those who fasted then broke the fast deliberately before the time for breaking the fast came, so who about those who do not fast at all? We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter.
Our advice to the brother who asked this question is to fear Allaah and to beware of His wrath, vengeance and a painful punishment. He should hasten to repent to Allaah before the destroyer of pleasures that splits people apart [i.e., death] takes him unawares. Today there is action and no reckoning, but tomorrow there will be the reckoning and no action. Note that whoever repents, Allaah will accept his repentance, and whoever draws closer to Allaah one hand span, Allaah will draw closer to him one cubit. For Allaah is Most Generous, Forbearing and Most Merciful, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Know they not that Allaah accepts repentance from His slaves and takes the Sadaqaat (alms, charity), and that Allaah Alone is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful?”
If you try fasting and find out how easy it is and what comfort it brings and how close it brings you to Allaah, you will never give it up.
Think about what Allaah says at the end of the verses on fasting (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”
The phrase, “so that you may be grateful to Him” shows that fasting is a blessing for which we must give thanks. Hence some of the salaf used to wish that the whole year was Ramadaan.
We ask Allaah to help you and guide you, and to open your heart to that which will bring you happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.
And Allaah knows best.