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"Islam is built upon [the fol-
lowing] five pillars: testify-
ing that there is no God
except Allah and that Mu-
hammad is His Messen-
ger, the establishment of
the prayer, the giving of
zakah, the fast of Rama-
dan and the pilgrimage to
Makkah." - Muslim
Talhah ibn 'Ubaidullah re-
ported that a man came to
the Prophet and said:
"O Messenger of Allah, tell
me what Allah requires of
me as regards fasting." He
answered, "The month of
R a m a d a n . " T h e m a n
asked: "Is there any other
[fast]?" The Prophet an-
swered: "No, unless you
do so voluntarily." - Mus-
The whole Muslim nation
agrees that the fast of
Ramadan is obligatory. It is
and if one disputes this,
he cannot be called a

Since Ramadan is upon
us we as muslims are
prompted to remind our-
selves as to the virtues of
fasting during this most
sacred month. When the
sacredness of this month
was first revealed the
Prophet (sa) said,
The blessed month has
come to you. Allah has
made fasting during it
obligatory upon you. Dur-
ing it, the gates to Para-
dise are opened and the
g a t e s t o h e l l f i r e a r e
locked, and the devils are
chained. There is a night
[during this month] which
is better than a thousand
months. Whoever is de-
prived of its good is really
deprived [of something
great]." This is related by