Fiqh of Hadith – Fasting Is A Shield
By Sh. Kifah Mustapha
Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that the prophet (PBUH) said: “Fasting is a shield; there shall be (for the fasting person) no sexual relation nor ignorance.” (Bukhari)
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى اله عليه وسلم قال: "الصيام جنة فلا يرفث ولا يجهل" رواه البخاري.
Fasting is a shield from Hell. The prophet (PBUH) said, “(Road to) Hell is paved (on sides) with desires (unlawful pleasures)” and when the person fasts, it is as if he/she is in control of these desires not to lead him to Haram.
Imam Qurtubi said, “Fasting is a shield for it is a ruling (ordered) from Allah.” Some scholars said that fasting by itself will grant you such a shield. However, the majority of scholars say that the shield will vary from one person to another and is based on the true meaning of fasting that is practiced and how much of a role fasting plays in your life to keep you away from sins.
Imam Awzaiee and Ibn Hazm had more extreme opinions in claiming that sins like gossiping or lying will void your fasting. The majority of scholars limited what voids your fasting to eating, drinking and sexual relations, but at the same time said that sins will decrease the rewards gained from fasting. The prophet (PBUH) said, “One who does not refrain from false (witnessing) statements and practicing it, Allah is in no need for him to give up his food and drink.” (Bukhari.) The prophet (PBUH) also said, “There might be a fasting person who (gains) nothing from his fasting but hunger and thirst.”
Imam Al Baydawee said, “The reason behind fasting is not the actual feeling of hunger or thirst but it is what follows of the (ability) to control desires and the (ability) to bring the soul from bidding to evil into the peaceful soul.”