Ramadan Mubarek. Alhamdulillah we are lucky to enter this blessed month once again. May Allah give us tawfeeq to make the most of it. InshAllah.
Below are certain parts of Imam Zaid's article Ramadan Lessons that I would like to share:
Abu Hurayra, may God be pleased with him, relates that the Prophet, peace upon him, said: “The reward of every action undertaken by the human being is for him—and good deeds will be rewarded from ten up to seven hundred times—God says: ‘Except for fasting, that is for Me and I will determine its reward......"
In the tradition mentioned above, fasting is exempted from the deeds whose reward is multiplied up to seven hundred times. We understand from this that its reward transcends this particular numerical value. Rather, God multiplies its reward many times over what is mentioned in the tradition, with no specific limitation. One reason for this is that fasting is a manifestation of patience and God has said of the person displaying patience: Rather, the patience ones will be given their reward without numerical limitations (40:10)
Another version of the tradition we mentioned initially states: “Every action the human being does is a source of expiation for his [misdeeds], except fasting, it is for Me and I will reward him for it.” Among the nicest explanations of this is that given by Sufyan b.’Uyayana, he said: “When the Day of Judgment comes God will take account of His servants and all those he [the servant] has oppressed will be recompensed from the reward of his good deeds until only the reward of fasting remains. At that point God will recompense the remaining oppressed parties [from His bounty] and enter the servant into Paradise on the reward of his fast.” This narration has been recorded by Imam al-Bayhaqi , and others.
Based on this meaning we understand that the fast is for God in that no one can take the reward of the fast from the one who has undertaken it. Rather his reward is stored up with God.
In a related issue, it has been said that the reward of all of the religious actions might be a source of atonement for sins [that do not include acts of oppression] until none of that reward remains. It has been related that on the Day of Judgment [a person’s] good deeds will be weighed against [his] bad deeds with the good deeds atoning for the bad ones. If after this process any good remains on that basis its subject doer will enter Paradise. This opinion has been expressed by Sa’id b. Jubayr and others. It also has been related from the Prophet, peace upon him, by Imam Hakim from the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas, may God be pleased with him and his father.
Based on what has been mentioned [concerning acts of oppression] it is possible to say that the reward of fasting is not removed by this process of atonement for one’s sins, or by anything else. Rather, its reward is held back and then given in full to the servant and based on that he will enter Paradise.