“Allah alone rewards those who Fast”
– Imam al-`Izz Ibn `Abd Al-Salam
“And it is reported from [the Prophet] – Allah bless him and grant him peace – that he said: ‘Every action from the son of Adam is multiplied [s: in its reward]. Every good action has the likes of ten rewards or multiplied up to seven hundred times. Allah [Mighty and Exalted is He] then said: Except for fasting. It is for me and I alone reward it. A person abandons both his desires and his food because of me…’ […] In Allah’s saying – Mighty and Exalted is He ‘except for fasting. It is for me and I alone reward it. A person abandons both their desires and their food because of me’, there is an ascription made to Himself that is an ascription of ennoblement (idafat tashrif) and no ostentation (riya’) enters into it because it is in secret and because hunger and thirst is not a means of drawing near to any king on this earth nor any idol. And Allah saying, ‘I alone reward it’ is the case only if the person remains constant in all acts of worship. Its meaning is: it has immense reward because Allah alone is the one who grants that favour […] and [Allah] saying, ‘a person abandons both his desires and his food because of me’ means: when a person prefers obeying [s: and worshipping] Allah over and above obeying his own desires, even when the desires are so strong and one’s whims are overpowering, Allah will reward that person by granting it Himself. So, whoever prefers Allah, Allah prefers him and Allah is with His servants as He is with Himself. Therefore, whoever desires to commit acts of disobedience but then abandons it out of fear of Allah, Allah then commands the angel: ‘write down a reward for him because he abandoned the agitations of his desire for my sake’, i.e. because of me…”
- Fasting has immense merit and excellence because Allah takes it upon Himself to reward it thus ascribing the act directly to Himself.
- There is no quantum for the reward like in other acts (e.g. 10, 50, 100, 700, etc.) rather Allah abundantly rewards and multiplies the reward beyond limit. This again raises the status of fasting as a unique act of devotion to Allah.
- Battling one’s desires and lusts is one of the most difficult, constant and strenuous actions for a person to do and so the reward from Allah is commensurate with the action. Allah recognises how difficult it is and rewards that recognition.
 Muslim, Sahih (#1151).
 Ahmad, Musnad, 2/242; Bukhari, Sahih (#7051) and Muslim, Sahih (#129).
 Imam al-`Izz Ibn `Abd al-Salam, Maqasid al-Sawm, pp.11-13.