Winter, with its cold embrace and shorter days, offers a unique opportunity for Muslims to delve deeper into their spirituality. Some actions come more of an advantage during the winter season, like the fourth pillar in Islam, Sawm (Fasting). Fasting has been made as obligation upon us in the month of Ramadhan as Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says in the Quran,
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous" (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183).
This verse not only shows that it’s an obligation in the month of Ramadhan, but rather it emphasizes the significance of fasting as a means to righteousness, a practice that gains particular relevance in the winter months.
In the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, there is guidance regarding fasting during shorter days. Amir ibn Mas’ud (May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Fasting in the winter is the easy reward. (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 797)”
This Hadith highlights the ease and flexibility in the practice of fasting during winter, where the shorter days render fasting more manageable and accessible, as well as the reward is more.
Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ exemplified the importance of waking up for night prayers, especially during the winter season. It is narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala be pleased with him) on the authority of Imam Muslim in his Saheeh, that the Prophet ﷺ said, "The most excellent fast after Ramadan is in the month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night" (Sahih Muslim 1163)
This Hadith underscores the merit of engaging in voluntary night prayers, particularly during the winter months when the nights are longer, providing ample time for reflection, supplication, and drawing closer to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.
Winter serves as a call for Muslims to introspect, realign their priorities, and strengthen their connection with their lord Allah Ta’ala. It offers a conducive environment for increased acts of worship, self-discipline, and seeking closeness to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala through various forms of devotion. The colder days and longer nights present an opportunity to recalibrate one's spiritual compass and revitalize the soul.
As Muslims prepare for winter, it is imperative to seize this season as a time for increased acts of worship, seeking forgiveness, and expressing gratitude. Fasting, night prayers, recitation of the Quran, and acts of charity should become integral parts of one's routine during these months. Embracing the teachings of the Quran and following the noble example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) serve as guiding lights on this spiritual journey through winter.
Let us not let this winter merely be a time of colder temperatures and shorter days but a season of spiritual rejuvenation and increased devotion. By embracing the teachings of the Quran, following the practices of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and engaging in acts of worship, one can truly harness the essence of winter as a time for spiritual growth and closeness to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.