Ramadan: The Fortunate Ones

By Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

Ramadan is a month of khayr (blessings), and Allah (Most High) chose it as the month of the Quran. He chose a special form of ibada, fasting, for it, which is one of the pillars of Islam. As Allah (Most High) says,

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may attain piety.” [Quran, 2:183]

In prescribing fasting, Allah (Most High) is not only telling us the history of fasting; He is giving us direction; He is telling us how we may attain a connection with Him through fasting. 


Fasting is patience. It is the avoidance of that which we want and enjoy. Fasting is controlling your desires rather than being controlled by them.

Fasting is freedom; absolute freedom from being under the power of your desires, your nafs, and this is the freedom that Allah (Most High)) created you with. 

Fasting is a means of escape from everything other than Him to Him! Escape towards Allah (Most High)!

Prophetic Guidance

Allah (Most High) described the exalted nature of fasting in a Hadith Qudsi, narrated by Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him); the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: 

“Allah (Most High) said every deed from the sons and daughters of Adam is for them, except fasting, which verily is for Me, and only I reward for this ibadah. Fasting is a protection. If anyone is fasting, they should show restraint and control what they say, and if anyone disturbs or perturbs them, they should say, ‘Verily, I am fasting.’  I swear by the soul of Muhammad, the bad smell that comes from the mouth of the one who is fasting is better than the smell of musk, and there are two moments of joy and happiness for those who fast; the first is when they break their fast, and the second is when they meet their Lord, pleased in their fasting.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

We can learn a lot from this hadith. Firstly, the hadith is “Qudsi”, which means that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) narrated these words from Allah (Most High). Also, Allah (Most High) mentioned that we should share what we do, about praying and other forms of ibada, except fasting. Only He knows!


The Quraysh used to worship their idols using forms of ibada that resemble those of Islam, except for fasting! They never worshipped their idols through fasting.

Allah (Most High) also made it clear that it is not only the stomach that fasts, but rather, it is all of our organs. In the Hadith Qudsi, we see that excessive eating and drinking can provoke our desires. Therefore, Allah (Most High) tells us to exercise restraint and control in dealing with others while fasting. In case the environment around us, or any other trigger, pulls us towards our desires and our nafs, we should declare that we are fasting. Therefore we see that fasting is more than just not eating and drinking; fasting encompasses everything in this dunya.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) swore by  Allah (Most High) that what we see is not necessarily the absolute reality and that which we smell may not be connected with the reality of the purpose of what we are doing and its connection, or result, in the sight of Allah (Most High). There are many people that we see, in the dahir (physical), that are undergoing trials and tests, and we may even feel sorry for them, but it might be that by means of those trials and tests they will achieve proximity (qurb) to Allah (Most High). Similar to the smell of the mouth of the one fasting, the test increases their maqam (station) to that which is even closer to Allah (Most High)! 

So what matters is not what we see but what Allah (Most High) sees!

We have to leave our obsession of thinking about how others see and, instead, focus on the absolute meaning and pleasure of Allah (Most High) and how He see things!

In the Hadith Qudsi, Allah (Most High) also says fasting is for Me. What about the rest of the forms of ibadah? They are all for Him as well, but Allah (Most High) has honored fasting, in particular, by relating it to Him directly!

Allah (Most High) has told and described the reward for the various acts of ibada, except for fasting, for which only He knows the reward! He loves our fasting so much that He did not relate or tell anyone about our fasting other than Himself!

Also, we know that Allah (Most High) is Self-Sufficient, so in effect those who are fasting are getting closer to Him by way of His own attributes! Imam Qurtubi says that all forms of ibada complement the nature of human creation, except for fasting, as fasting is self-sufficiency and is from the attributes of Allah (Most High)!  

Thus, those who fast are getting closer to Him by way of His own attributes

Even the Mala’ika (angels) are unable to record our fasting as they do with other actions! As only He knows!

We are very fortunate to be in the month of Ramadan, and even more fortunate to be from the ‘Umma of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)!

But who are the Fortunate Ones who find success in the month of Ramadan?

Characteristics of the Fortunate Ones

One: Those Who Know the Reality of This Dunya

The Fortunate Ones are those who know the reality of this life and dunya, that it is not a permanent abode, and therefore they make the most of it by using every moment as an opportunity to get closer to Allah (Most High). As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him),

“Live in this dunya as a stranger or wayfarer.”  

In another Hadith, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in the evening,g do not wait for the morning, and in the morning do not wait for the evening, do in health before sickness, and in life before death (speaking of making the most of every moment).

Allah (Most High) described the life of this dunya as He says: 

“(…) And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” [Quran, 3:185]

Two: Those Who Choose Wisely

The Fortunate Ones are those who do not say or hear except for that which is wisdom and khair; they choose their words, and their company as others choose what they eat and drink. 

‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) used to say if it were not for two things he would not wish to live in this dunya: the first was salah; the second was to be in the company of people who choose their words as others choose the best of food! ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) used to say this speaking to the Sahaba! So what about us?! What do you think he might say if he saw us?! 

In our history, great personalities were described as deaf, while in actuality they were not, but it was as if they had a filter through which nothing could go unless it were pleasing to Allah (Most High). That is taqwa (constant awareness and consciousness of Allah)!

Three: Those Who Remember

The Fortunate Ones are those who remember Allah (Most High) while they are standing, sitting, and lying down, and they ask forgiveness for all their sins and shortcomings; they are the ones that Allah (Most High) describes in the Quran:

“Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” [Quran, 3:191]

The Fortunate Ones are those that Allah (Most High) remembers, as He said:

“So remember Me; I will remember you.” [Quran, 3:152]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also told us who the Fortunate Ones were when he mentioned to the Sahaba, “Should I tell you the best of deeds,”  To which the Sahaba eagerly answered in the affirmative. “Remembering Allah (Most High)!”

May Allah (Most High) make us from among them!

Four: Those Who Account Themselves

The Fortunate Ones are those who remain busy with their own introspection and work hard in order to correct themselves and purify their hearts, and they look at their shortcomings and shameful acts with disdain, continually accounting for themselves. 

The Fortunate Ones constantly look at themselves, as if they were a mirror that requires perpetual cleaning. They look at every particle of dust in the mirror, and, therefore, do not have time to look at others. 

The constant worry of the Fortunate Ones is to make themselves presentable to Allah (Most High). the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) confirmed the approach of the Fortunate Ones when he said in a Hadith that from the greatest forms of Islam is when someone leaves that which does not concern them! [Tirmidhi, ibn Majah]  

In the end, Allah (Most High) will never ask anyone about anything except for themselves. Not the kufr (disbelief) of the kafir (disbeliever) or the iman (belief) of the mu’min (believer)! They will only be asked about themselves.

As Allah (Most High) said in the Quran:

“And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.” [Quran, 19:95  

“Every soul will be accounted for what it has done.” [Quran, 74:38]

So the Fortunate Ones look at themselves and abandon everything besides looking at themselves; they stop looking at the faults of others, and thereby distance themselves from the attributes of the munafiqun (hypocrites) who, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) mentioned, look at their own faults as minor and those of others as mountains!

Five: Those Who Follow

The Fortunate Ones are those who follow the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), as Allah (Most High) says,

“Say, if you really love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you!” [Quran, 3:31 

Allah (Most High) is making it clear to us that the source of His love is the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and if you want Him to be pleased with you, then follow him!

If you want to achieve more than your love for Him, which is His love for you, then follow the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)!

Most of our salihin (righteous ones) used to say that what matters is not your love for Him, but rather, His love for you!

Imam Hasan al-Basri (Allah be pleased with him) used to say some people claim they love Allah (Most High), so He tested their love by the above verse and made following the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the measurement and standard of His love!

This verse does not say to obey or learn from him, but He said to follow him! You can obey someone wherever you are, but following is more than that; it is physical, mental, and spiritual; it is to connect and bind yourself to him. 

Allah (Most High) is making it clear that following him is the manifestation of His love! This is how the Sahaba and Saliheen were. Usman (Allah be pleased with him), when he was sent to Makka, the Quraysh saw that he was using miswak, so they asked him why he was doing so, and he responded that he was doing so because he saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) doing so. He did not give any explanation; he was just following! 

You follow the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)) as he is and as he did! Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said: 

“If I were to use my logic, I would wipe the bottom of my sock (when purifying and preparing oneself), but I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) wiping the top, so I follow!”

Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah be pleased with him) had many followers, but yet he wanted to visit and learn from the grandson of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and hence he went to visit Sayyudina Muhammad al-Baqir (Allah be pleased with him). After they had exchanged salams (greetings), Syedina Muhammad al-Baqir (Allah be pleased with him) asked who he was, to which he replied Abu Hanifa. He had heard things regarding Imam Abu Hanifa, so he asked him:  “Are you the one who has corrupted the religion of my Grandfather using ra’i (opinion) and qiyas (analogy)?”  

Imam Abu Hanifa replied: “I love your Grandfather (Allah bless him and give him peace), but please hear what I have to say. Your Grandfather’s religion says I have to give women half the inheritance of men, but women are weaker (in society), so my logic would say to give them half, but I follow and say women take half of that of men. The religion of your Grandfather says if you urinate, you have to make wudu, but if you release seminal fluid, you have to make ghusl (washing of the entire body). If I were to use my logic, urine is najis (impure), and semen is not, so I was to do the opposite, but I follow your Grandfather. The religion of your Grandfather says when women are in menstruation, they repeat their fast but are not required to repeat their salah, whereas my logic would say that salah would be easier to make up, rather than the fast, but I follow your Grandfather!”

After hearing this, he came down and kissed the forehead of Imam Abu Hanifa.

Following is knowing the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) knows more than you, even if it seems that your logic or opinion makes sense, seek refuge by Allah (Most High) and follow him, for all the khair is in doing so! 

That is why Allah (Most High) said in Surat al-Nisa, verse 65: 

But know, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, (O Muhammad), judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in (full, willing) submission.”

The submission that Allah (Most High) is speaking of comes in stages: first, you turn to him for not only your major issues but even your minor ones; then you do not keep anything in your heart; and thereafter, you submit fully!

Those who submit are the Fortunate Ones and thereby revel in joy and happiness.

Six: Those Who Are Optimistic

The Fortunate Ones are those who are always optimistic because they believe that whatever has happened to them comes from Him; everything that is achieved is from Him; and everything they have not achieved, they know there is khair in not achieving it. 

It was narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) to be certain that if the entire ‘umma (not individuals, not groups, tribes nor families) were to gather and try and benefit you, they would not be able to benefit you unless Allah (Most High) wrote that benefit for you, and they would never be able to harm you except in something that Allah (Most High) wrote for you – all the pens have been raised and the book is dry! 

In this authenticated hadith, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) teaches us that everything that happens to us happens from Him! As Allah (Most High) says,

Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Quran, 9:51]

This is the core of our religion and ouriman. 

It was narrated by Walid, the son of ‘Ubada ibn al-Samit (Allah be pleased with him), the great Sahabi, that he went to his father when he was on his deathbed and said to him: 

“Oh my father, please give me wasiya (will), and please give everything by way of effort in telling me the best of wasiyas.” 

His father then asked to help him sit up, to which Walid obliged. ‘Ubada then said:

“Oh son, you will never taste the sweetness of iman, and you will never achieve, understand, or get haqiqat al-‘ilm (absolute real knowledge) by Allah (Most High) until you believe in qadr (decree of Allah), whether it be good or bad.” 

Walid replied:  “Oh my father, how can I know what is good and bad from qadr?”

 His father then gave him the example of an arrow being thrown; if that arrow was meant for you, it would never miss you, and if it was not meant to hit you, by the qadr of Allah (Most High), it would never hit you, no matter how great the archer, or the perfection of the aim! 

And ‘Ubadah continued and said:  “I heard the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) say that the first thing created was the pen, and He said ‘write,’ and it wrote everything that will happen till Yaum al-Qiyama; and if I die without believing this, I will never enter Janna.” 

We know that whatever happens is from Him, and this causes us to be optimistic because we believe He is the source of khayr and absolute Rahma. 

The Salihin used to say that Allah (Most High) does not write except that which is khayr for us, and even the things that make us upset and sad, there is a lot of khair behind them. 

Optimism because you trust your Lord, optimism because you know that it will be khayr, optimism because you know that even when the trials are extremely difficult, Allah (Most High) is rewarding you for that. 

May Allah (Most High) make us from the patient ones, grant us rida’ (contentment) and make us from the grateful.

Seven: Those Who Find Peace and Tranquillity in His Remembrance

The Fortunate Ones are those who find tranquillity and peace of the heart in remembering Allah (Most High). Their joy is His company and closeness! When any difficulty arises, just by calling His name, their situation changes to joy and happiness, and these are the very people that Allah (Most High) clearly pointed out in the Quran when He says,

 “Unquestionably, only by the remembrance of Allah  do hearts attain peace and tranquillity.” [Quran, 13:28]

In a Hadith, narrated by Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him), he said that they were walking with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in the way of Makka near the mountain of Jamadan, and as they were approaching the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Keep walking, this is Jamadan, and the mufarridun have reached there before you!”  The Sahaba asked the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) who the mufarridun were, to which he responded,d “Those who remember Allah (Most High) abundantly, whether they be male or female. 

Imam Manawi said in Fayd al-Qadir that the mufarridun are those who abandon everyone and give everything they have for ibadah, thereby attaining the closest and highest of degrees with Allah (Most High)!

When the Fortunate Ones are in the company of Allah (Most High), not only do they get the baraka of peace and tranquillity of the heart, but they also receive the baraka of Him remembering them, as He (Most High) says: 

“So remember Me; I will remember you.” [Quran, 2:152]

When Allah (Most High) is remembered, our existence is one and continuous, our mind, soul, and heart, but when we forget Him, we actually forget ourselves!

We should not be like the ones Allah (Most High) mentioned in Surat al-Hashr:  

“And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.” [Quran, 59:19]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to the Sahaba: “Should I tell you by the best of your deeds and that which is most beloved to your Lord and the one that will raise your maqam (status0 and that is better than spending gold and silver, better than facing your enemies, whether you kill them or they kill you? They responded: “Please tell us.” He replied: “Remembering Allah (Most High).” [Tirmidhi; Ahmad; Hakim]

So, the Fortunate Ones are those upon whom Allah (Most High) has bestowed the sweetness of His remembrance and the joy in His company!


In conclusion, the month of Ramadan is a time for us to reflect on our actions and strive to become among the Fortunate Ones, those who are humble, patient, generous, thankful, and fearful of Allah (Most High).

Ya Allah! Make us from them!

In this very blessed month, we beg Him to make us from the Fortunate Ones, to change our state to a better one, and to open the doors of Marifa!

Resources for Seekers: The Ramadan Reader: A Guide to Fasting, Prayer, Qur’an, and Spirituality in the Month of Ramadan

[Shaykh] Faid Mohammad Said

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Quran and its sciences, Arabic grammar, and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, where he graduated with a first-class honors degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr. Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy, and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in several disciplines, including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom.