It was narrated to us by al-Shaykh, al-Faqih al-Ṣadūq (Abū Jaʿfar Moḥammed bin ʿAlī bin al-Ḥussain bin Mūsa bin Bābawayh al-Qummi رحمه الله), who said – It was narrated to us by my father رضي الله عنه, who said – It was narrated to us by Moḥammed bin Yaḥya al-ʿAṭṭār, from Aḥmed bin Moḥammed bin ʿĪsa, from al-Ḥassan bin Maḥbūb, from Abī Ayūb, from Abī al-Ward:1

From Abī Jaʿfar عليه السلام, who said: The Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وآله gave a sermon to the people on the last Friday in [the month] of Shaʿbān, whereupon he praised Allāh and thanked him, then said: Oh people! Indeed approaching upon you is a month with a night that is greater than one thousand months, and that is the Month of Ramadhān. Allāh has ordained fasting in it, and the establishing of voluntary prayers in one night in it – the like of seventy nights of voluntary prayers in the other months. He made the reward for the one who performs one act from the acts of kindness or righteousness like the reward for fulfilling one of the obligatory acts that Allāh made obligatory. Whoever fulfils one obligatory acts from what Allāh has made obligatory, it is as if he has fulfilled seventy obligatory acts in the other months. It is the month of patience; and the reward of patience is Paradise. It is a month of comfort, and it is a month that in it Allāh increases the sustenance for a believer. Whoever breaks the fast of a believer who was fasting, for him with Allāh, Mighty and Majestic, is the unchaining of the neck and forgiveness of his sins from what has passed.
Then it was said to him: Oh Messenger of Allāh, not all of us have the capability to break the fast of one who is fasting.
He replied: Indeed Allāh, Blessed and High, is Generous. He gives this reward to whoever of you that has no capability even if it be a serving of milk mixed with water to a fasting person, or a drink of fresh water, or dates if he cannot serve anything more than this. Whoever reduces [the burden] upon His servants, Allāh will reduce [the burden] his accountability from him. It is a month where its beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness, and its end is response [for your supplications] and liberation from the fire. None of you are above having these four characteristics in this month. With two of them you please Allāh, and the other two – none of you are above. As for the two that please Allāh, they are the testimonies that there is no god but Allāh, and that I am His Messenger. As for the two that none of you are above, it is the asking from Allāh your needs and Paradise, and in it asking Allāh for good health and the seeking of refuge in it from the fire.

1. The same ḥadīth is found in al-Kāfi with a similar chain, in which al-Majlisi has graded it as good (ḥassan) [Mir’āt al-ʿUqūl, Volume 16, Page 206].

حدثنا الشيخ الفقيه أبو جعفر محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن موسى بن بابويه القمي ( رحمه الله ) ، قال : حدثنا أبي ( رحمه الله ) ، قال : حدثنا محمد بن يحيى العطار ، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ، عن الحسن بن محبوب ، عن أبي أيوب ، عن أبي الورد ، عن أبي جعفر ( عليه السلام ) ، قال : خطب رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) الناس في آخر جمعة من شعبان ، فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ، ثم قال : أيها الناس ، إنه قد أظلكم شهر فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر ، وهو شهر رمضان ، فرض الله صيامه وجعل قيام ليلة فيه بتطوع صلاة كمن تطوع بصلاة سبعين ليلة فيما سواه من الشهور ، وجعل لمن تطوع فيه بخصلة من خصال الخير والبر كأجر من أدى فريضة من فرائض الله ، ومن أدى فيه فريضة من فرائض الله ، كان كمن أدى سبعين فريضة فيما سواه من الشهور ، وهو شهر الصبر ، وإن الصبر ثوابه الجنة ، وهو شهر المواساة ، وهو شهر يزيد الله فيه في رزق المؤمن ، ومن فطر فيه مؤمنا صائما كان له بذلك عند الله عز وجل عتق رقبة ومغفرة لذنوبه فيما مضى .
فقيل له : يا رسول الله ، ليس كلنا يقدر على أن يفطر صائما . فقال : إن الله تبارك وتعالى كريم ، يعطي هذا الثواب منكم من لم يقدر إلا على مذقة من لبن يفطر بها صائما ، أو شربه من ماء عذب ، أو تميرات لا يقدر على أكثر من ذلك ، ومن خفف فيه عن مملوكه خفف الله عنه حسابه ، وهو شهر أوله رحمة ووسطه مغفرة وآخره إجابة والعتق من النار ، ولا غنى بكم فيه عن أربع خصال : خصلتين ترضون الله بهما ، وخصلتين لا غنى بكم عنهما ، أما اللتان ترضون الله بهما : فشهادة أن لا إله إلا الله ، وأني رسول الله ، وأما اللتان لا غنى بكم عنهما : فتسألون الله حوائجكم والجنة ، وتسألون الله فيه العافية وتتعوذون به من النار