Welcome O Winter! We have entered into a very blessed season. This season was always welcomed by the Salaf-us-Salih (Pious Predecessors). It is none other than winter. On the other hand, people refer to winter as ‘winter blues’. Winter is the season in which they are depressed and sad because night falls earlier. The Salaf were the opposite; they used to welcome it and according to them it was a sign of happiness.
We should look at what our religion has established. The Salaf used to say that the winter is a blessing from Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ).
It is narrated that Al Hassan Basri said:
نعم زمان المؤمن الشتاء ليله طويل يقومه، ونهاره قصير يصومة
“Winter is the believer’s most beloved season. Its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast.”
(Lata’if AlMaruf: 565)
The barakah (blessing) comes in winter where the nights are long for praying and the days are short for fasting. Winter is the best time for a believer as he/she can fast during the it’s short days and pray during its long nights. Most importantly in winter you can get great rewards by doing very little efforts.
There are many benefits of praying Qiyam ul Layl (the night prayer). Some of them include:
- The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best prayer after the fard (obligatory) prayer is the night time prayer.” (Muslim: 1163)
- The Prophet ﷺ also said:
يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ ”.
Our Lord – Blessed and Lofty is He – descends every night to the lowest heaven [in a way that befits His Majesty] when the last third of the night remains, asking: Is there anyone invoking Me so that I may respond to their invocation? Is there anyone asking Me so that I may grant them [their request]? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness so that I may forgive them?
[Sahih al-Bukhari 1145]
- Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) says:
تَتَجَافٰى جُنُوْبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَّطَمَعًاۖ وَّمِمَّا رَزَقْنٰهُمْ يُنْفِقُوْنَ
فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّاۤ اُخْفِىَ لَهُمْ مِّنْ قُرَّةِ اَعْيُنٍۚ جَزَاۤءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوْا يَعْمَلُوْنَ
They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend. And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.
It is a time of incredible barakah, it is a time when Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) descends to the lowest heaven. It is a time when a servant should ask Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) of whatever he/she wants to achieve in this world and the next.
As for the benefit of fasting the voluntary fasts, then those are also many. Firstly, by His Wisdom, Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) has prescribed that His slaves should seek to draw closer to Him through the obligatory acts of worship. Then they should continue to draw closer through voluntary acts of worship.
The Prophet ﷺ has told us that Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) said:
“My slave does not draw near to Me than anything more beloved to Me than the religious acts duties I have enjoined upon him. And My slave continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I will love him. When I love him, I am a hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.”
Secondly, a Muslim who is keen to do good must realize the great virtue of fasting voluntary fasts for the sake of Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ), as the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah (SWT , Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) will keep his face seventy years distance from Hell.”
(Nissai 2247; Classed as Sahih by Albani in Nissai, 2121)
Lastly, the Prophet ﷺ said, Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) said:
كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ لَهُ، إِلاَّ الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ، وَلَخَلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ ”.
“Every (good) deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it. Verily, the smell of the mouth of the fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the smell of musk.”
Hence, winter is a great prize for the worshipper and over all for the believers as this is a time they can strive to easily get closer to Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) by performing the voluntary acts of worship.
May Allah (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) make us from amongst His righteous servants and may He (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) make us of those who make the best use of their time and this blessed season. (Aameen)