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Lesson 45 Fasting Rulings
Fasting is abstaining from eating, drinking and sexual relations from the break of dawn until sunset, with a specific intention.
Fasting is a great blessing from Allah as well as its spiritual, social and health benefits.
Fasting in Ramadan is a pillar of Islam and it is obligatory. It is mandatory on every sane, adult Muslim.
The reward for any righteous deed in Ramadan is more than in any other month such as: a) night voluntary prayers b) invoking Allah, c) recitation of the Qur’an, d) charity, e) i`tikaf (retiring to a mosque for devotion during the last ten days of Ramadan), f) waiting for and celebrating Laylatul-Qadr , and g) performing `Umrah.
Ramadan is ascertained with the seeing of the Hilal (crescent) or the completion of thirty days of the month of Sha`ban. The fast ends with the birth of the crescent of the month of Shawwal.
Breaking the fast is permissible for travelers, patients, women having their monthly period, pregnant and nursing women, and these days can be made up for at a later time.
An elderly person who is unable to fast as well as patients suffering from incurable diseases are also allowed to not to fast, and can feed an indigent person for every day that they did not fast.
It is obligatory for women having their monthly period, or post-natal bleeding to break their fast, and make up these days by fasting later on.
Whoever of the Muslims dies and he had missed to fast some days, his heir has to make redemption on his behalf.
It is recommended for those fasting to: break their fast promptly and defer the daybreak meal as much as possible, say the known supplication when breaking the fast, and begin the meal with dates or water.
It is permissible during fasting to: a) use medicine which does not reach the stomach through the throat. b) eat, drink, and have lawful sexual intercourse during the period from sunset to dawn.
Fasting is still valid if: a) one eats or drinks by mistake, b) has wet dreams, or has major ritual impurity (Janabah) at night.
It is offensive during the fast to: a) lie, b) make troubles, c) rinse one’s mouth excessively, or d) expose oneself to whatever stimulates lust.
What nullifies the fast: a) Intentionally allowing food to travel through the mouth or nose to the stomach. b) Ejaculation of semen because of a lustful act without intercourse. - Both a) and b) entail a redemption without an expiation.
c) Sexual intercourse and intentional eating or drinking; each of them obliges, besides making up for the day, freeing a person in bondage, or fasting two consecutive months, or feeding sixty poor people an average meal
Evidence from Qur’an and Sunnah
The obligation of fasting : Allah says: ﴾ ﴿ ﺍ ﺍ ﺍﻳ آﻭﺍ ﺍﻟ ـﺍ ﺍ ﻯ ﺍﻳ ﻥ ﻭ [183 : ]ﺍﻟﺒﻘﺮﺓ
This means: “You who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). ” (Al-Baqarah: 183)
The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “Islam is raised on five (pillars): The testification that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is His bondsman and Messenger, the establishment of prayers, the payment of Zakah, performance of pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Ka`bah), and fasting during Ramadan. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The grace of fasting: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the Way of Allah, Allah will remove, because of this day, his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years' distance. ” (Reported by An-Nasa`i)
The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “In Paradise, there is a gate which is called Ar. Rayyan through which only the observers of fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else will enter along with them. It will be proclaimed: ‘Where are the observers of fast who should be admitted into it? ’ And when the last of them will enter, it will be closed and no one will enter it. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Fasting is a protection against sins. ” (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
The Prophet (SAWS) said: "A fasting person has a nonrejected supplication when he breaks his fast. ” (Reported by Ibn Majah)
The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “The five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the next, and from Ramadan to (next) Ramadan, there is expiation for the sins committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins. ” (Reported by Muslim)
The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said : “Whosoever fasts during the month of Ramadan because of faith and seeking reward from Allah, his past sins will be forgiven ”. (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said : “When there comes the month of Ramadan, the gates of mercy are opened, and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The grace of giving charity in Ramadan: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “If one provides something to the faster for breaking the fast, he earns the same reward as the one who was fasting without decreasing in any way the reward of the latter. ” (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
Ibn-`Abbas (RA) narrated: “Allah's Messenger (SAWS) was the most generous of people and he was most generous as can be during Ramadan. Gabriel used to meet him every night and he recited the Holy Qur’an to him. During this period, the generosity of the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) was faster than the ever blowing wind. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Night voluntary prayers and invocation of Allah: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “He who performs the optional prayer during Ramadan out of faith and hoping to earn a reward, his past sins will be pardoned. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
`A’ishah (RA) narrated: “When the (last) ten (nights of Ramadan) would come, the Prophet (SAWS) would spend the night in worshipping, awaken his family (to perform acts of worship), and tighten al-Mi’zar (loin cloth) (this is a metaphor of doing one’s best or refraining from sexual intercourse. ). ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The recitation of Qur’an: `Abdullah Ibn-`Amr (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAWS) said: “The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say, ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him. ’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him. ’ And their intercession will be accepted. ” (Reported by Ahmad)
Retiring in a mosque: `Abdullah Ibn-`Umar (RA) narrated that: “Allah's Apostle used to practice I`tikaf the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy)
Performing `Umrah in Ramadan: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “Performing `Umrah during Ramadan is equal to performing Hajj (or is equal to performing Hajj with me). ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Ascertaining the beginning of Ramadan: Allah says: ﴾ ﴿ ﻥ ﻧ ﺍﻟ [185 : ]ﺍﻟﺒﻘﺮﺓ
This means: “So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i. e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month. ” (Al-Baqarah: 185)
Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Fast when you see the new moon and break it on sighting it (the new moon of shawwal), but if the sky is cloudy for you, then complete the number (thirty). ” (Reported by Muslim)
Licenses of non-fasting: Allah says: ﴾ ﴿ﻥ ﺍ ﻧﻡ ﻳﺍ ﻯ ﺍﻳ ﻳﻭ ﺍ ﻳ [184 : ]ﺍﻟﺒﻘﺮﺓ
This means: “But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e. g. an old man, etc. ), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (indigent) (for every day). ” (Al-Baqarah: 184)
Abu-Sa`id al-Khudriyy (RA) narrated: “We went out on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) during Ramadan. Some of us observed the fast and some of us broke it. Neither the observer of the fast had any grudge against one who broke it, nor the breaker of the fast had any grudge against one who had fasted.
They knew that he who had strength enough (to bear its rigor) fasted and that was good, and they also found that he who felt weak (and could not bear the burden) broke it, and that also was also good. ” (Reported by Muslim)
Explaining the verse; (meaning) “And as for those who can fast with difficulty, " Ibn-`Abbas said, “This was a concession granted to the aged man or woman who were able (with difficulty) to keep fast; they were allowed to leave the fast and instead feed an indigent person for each fast; (and a concession) to pregnant and suckling women when they apprehended harm (to themselves). ” (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Redemption on the behalf of others: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “If a person dies and fasting is due on him, his heir should fast on his behalf. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: “A man came to the Prophet of Allah (SAWS) and said: Messenger of Allah, my mother has died (in a state) that she had to observe fast of a month (of Ramadan). Should I complete (them) on her behalf?
Thereupon, he (the Prophet) said: Would you not pay the debt if your mother had died (without paying it)? He said: Yes. He (the Prophet) said: ‘The debt of Allah is more proper to be paid. ’” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The Sunnahs of fasting: Hastening to break the fast: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “My people will continue doing good deeds as long as they hasten in breaking the fast. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Breaking the fast with fresh or dry dates or water: Anas (RA) narrated: “The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) used to break his fast before offering prayers with some fresh dates, but if there were no fresh dates, he would have a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates he would sip water. ” (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
Supplicating on breaking the fast: Mu`adh Ibn Zuhrah (RA) narrated: “The Prophet of Allah (SAWS) used to say when he broke his fast: O Allah, for You I have fasted, and with Your provision I have broken my fast. ” (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Pre-dawn meal (suhur): Allah's Messenger (SAWS) said: “The limit between our fast and that of the People of the Book is taking predawn meal. ” (Reported by Muslim)
Allah's Messenger (SAWS) said: “Take a predawn meal because there is a blessing in it. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Zayd Ibn-Thabit (RA) narrated: “We took the suhur with the Prophet (SAWS). Then he stood for the prayer. Anas asked, ‘What was the interval between the suhur and the adhan? ’ I replied, ‘The interval was sufficient to recite fifty verses of the Qur'an. ’” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Acts permissible during observing fasting: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “If anyone eats or drinks forgetfully while observing fast, he should complete his fast, for it is only Allah Who has fed him and given him drink. ” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Acts offensive during observing fasting: The Prophet (SAWS) said: “And sniff your nose, but be careful when you are fasting. ” (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil deeds, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i. e. Allah will not accept his fasting. )" (Reported by al-Bukhariyy)
Nullifiers of fasting: The Prophet (SAWS) said: “But if he vomits intentionally, he must make atonement. ” (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrated: “A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘I have been ruined for I have had sexual relation with my wife in Ramadan (while I was fasting). The Prophet said to him, ‘Manumit a slave. ’ The man said, ‘ I can not afford that. ’ The Prophet said, ‘(Then) fast for two successive months. ’ The man said, ‘I can not do that. ’ The Prophet said, ‘(Then) feed sixty poor persons. ’ The man said, ‘I have nothing (to feed them with). ’
Then a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet. The Prophet said, ‘Where is the questioner? Go and give this in charity. ’ The man said, ‘(Shall I give this in charity) to a poorer person than me? By Allah, there is no family in between these two mountains (of Madinah) who are poorer than us. ’ The Prophet then smiled till his canine teeth became visible, and said, ‘Then feed your family with it. ’” (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)