“مَنْ صَامَ يَوْمًا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بَعَّدَ اللَّهُ وَجْهَهُ عَنِ النَّارِ سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفا“
“Whoever fasts a day in the cause of Allah, Allah will distance his face from the fire seventy Kharīf (years).”
Is this general or specific for Jihad in the cause of Allah?
The intent with “in the cause of Allāh” is voluntary. Whoever fasts a day voluntarily which is not obligatory. For all of the righteous sincere actions are in the cause of Allāh and all are obedience to Allāh.
And the obedience of Allāh is from the paths of Allāh;
(يَهْدِى بِهِ ٱللَّهُ مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ رِضْوَٰنَهُۥ سُبُلَ ٱلسَّلَٰمِ)
“Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace.” [Al-Mā’idah, 16]
(قُلْ هَٰذِهِۦ سَبِيلِىٓ أَدْعُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا۠ وَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَنِىۖ وَسُبْحَٰنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِين)َ
Say: “This is my way; I invite unto Allāh.” [Yusuf, 108]
(ٱدْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ)
“Invite to the Way of your Lord.” [An-Nahl, 125]
It has been understood from it that it is concerning the one who is a watch guard against the enemy and if he is fasting on top of that it will be extra reward for him. There is nothing preventing it from being this meaning no doubt, but it includes also whoever fasts voluntary for Allāh.
For verily this fasting is a righteous action, the distancing of the face from the fire seventy Kharīf is connected to it. What aids it is the Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ whereby he said;
الصِّيامُ جُنَّةٌ ، كجُنَّةِ أحدِكم منَ القتالِ
“Fasting is a protection, like the protection of one of you in combating.”
“Fasting is a protection.”
And this word (جنة) ‘Junnah’ has also come in a Hadith in ‘Sahih Al-Musnad’. The meaning of ‘Junnah’ i.e a protection from the fire, Allāh distance you from the fire due to fasting.
We ask Allāh for success.
And all righteous actions distance from the fire and bring one close to the Jannah. And every evil action brings one close to the fire and distances one from the Jannah. According to its proportion.
For all sins are from the actions of the people of the fire. And all acts of obedience are from the actions of the people of Jennah. Despite looking at the affair of what is expiated or what is not expiated, but all sins Allāh is not pleased with them.
(إِن تَكْفُرُوا۟ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنكُمْۖ وَلَا يَرْضَىٰ لِعِبَادِهِ ٱلْكُفْرَۖ وَإِن تَشْكُرُوا۟ يَرْضَهُ لَكُمْۗ)
“If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you.” [Az-Zumar, 7]
And the two sides have been mentioned. Some of the explainers have mentioned in the explanation of this Hadith the two sides, from them are those that said that it is general, and from them those that said it is specific. The correct opinion is that it is general and it includes the one standing in the face of the enemy and the one who is not like that but he’s (still) is in the obedience of Allah.
Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him
Translated by: Abū ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi