Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Ramadan 12 part series 1/12|
|11/13/00 at 22:50:02|
As-Salamu 'ala men 'ittaba'al-huda,
Fasting, or siyaam, has two meanings. Generally, siyaam or sawm, is derived
from the root sama, to restrain from normal things, such as eating, drinking,
and talking. If an individual refrains from these things, he is considered
saaim, the observer of fast. Al-Qur'an uses the word generally when it
revealed the conversation between the angel and Mary, the mother of Jesus, as
the angel instructed her: "...And if you do see any man, say, 'I have vowed
to remain silent for Allah.'" (Al-Qur'an 19:26)
The phrase "to remain silent" is the interpretation of the Arabic word,
"sawm." The reason for this interpretation is that "sawm" cannot mean fast,
i.e. restraint from food, because Mary had just been told to eat from the
palm tree. This general meaning is common in the Arabic language.
In the Shari'ah, Islamic law, the word "sawm" means and implies a specific
act, that, is, "to worship Allah, abstaining, with intention to please Him
from fast breakers, such as physical nourishment, food, drink, and sexual
intercourse or a lustful discharge of semen from the period between the break
of dawn until sundown.
As this definition implies, the Islamic fasting is total abstinence from any
food particles passing through the mouth or nose, as well as drinks of any
kind - water, milk, juices, etc. - along with abstinence from sexual
association during the day that commences from the break of dawn till sunset.
Although the definition indicates restraining the stomach and private parts,
the tongue, eyes, ears and other limbs are equally obligated to be restrained
if the faster wants to gain the total rewards of fasting. This is why the
Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported as saying in a hadith by Abu
"He who does not desist from obscene language and acting obscenely (during
the period of fasting), Allah has no need that he did not eat or drink."
In another hadith by Abu Hurairah (raa), the Prophet (saas) said: "Fasting is
not only to restrain from food and drink, fasting is to refrain from obscene
(acts). If someone verbally abuses you or acts ignorantly towards you, say
(to them) 'I am fasting; I am fasting.'" (Ibn Khuzaimah)
Indeed, these two reports imply fasting will not be complete until one
observes three elements:
1. Restraining the stomach and the private parts from the breakers of the
fast - food and drink,
2. restraining the jawarih, the other body parts, which may render the fast
worthless despite the main factors of hunger and thirst; so the tongue, for
instance, must avoid backbiting, slander, and lies; the eyes should avoid
looking into things considered by the Lawgiver as unlawful; the ears must
stop from listening to conversations, words, songs, and lyrics that spoil the
spirit of fasting; and,
3. restraining of the heart and mind from indulging themselves in other
things besides dhikir Allah (remembrance of Allah.
THE MERITS OF FASTING
Islam is built on five pillars. Each represents a unique utility, an
institution, if you will, through which the believer builds his relationship
with the Creator and the creation. Of all the pillars of Islam, none is more
special than siyaam, fasting. While there may be an appearance of Riya, eye
service, or show, in all other pillars - Salaat, Zakaat, Hajj, and even the
Kalimah - there is no such possibility in fasting. The only One who knows
that you are really abstaining is Allah, the Almighty. It is easy to pretend
to be fasting; while in hiding, you may eat or drink. Thus, fasting is
considered a special worship, as Hadith reports from the Messenger of Allah
(saas) have detailed.
It has been reported by the way of Abu Hurairah (raa) that the Prophet (saas)
reported that Allah (SWT) said in a Hadith Al-Qudsi: "All services of the son
of Adam are for him except fasting. It is for Me, and I will reward him for
it. Fasting is a shield. On the day you fast, do not use obscenity, nor yell
at others, nor act ignorantly towards them. However, if anyone abuses you
verbally or attempts to draw you to fight with him, say 'I am fasting' two
times. The Prophet (saas) then states: I swore by the One (Allah) in Whose
Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath of the faster is sweeter to Allah on
the Day of Judgment than the scent of musk. The faster experiences enjoyment
twice: he is pleased when he breaks his fast, and he is pleased when he meets
his Maker" (Muslim)
Among the points this incisive hadith revealed is that fasting is Allah's.
Certainly, there is only one reason why a believer will put himself or
herself through this trying physical exercise that - to seek the pleasure of
Allah (SWT). The fast is the single most important device to test the Iman,
faith, of the believer and the depth of his sincerity and commitment to the
concept of Tauheed, the Oneness of Allah.
The hadith also states that fasting is a shield, an armor protecting the
believer from sinful acts (ma'asi). Do you not know that nourishment is the
first culprit in the propagation of sins? For when you eat, the blood flow
increases considerably, and the energy level increases, making it easier for
Satan to use your own energy level to tempt you to commit sins. In another
hadith, the Prophet states: "Satan runs in the circulatory system of the son
of Adam in the same way blood circulates in our system; so tighten his
passages with hunger." (Bukhari/Muslim)
Now you see why fasting becomes a shield. Fasting enables the believer to
guard against his archenemy. It also helps him against human evil by putting
the patience and perseverance gained from fasting into use with forbearance
and forgiveness of the attacker - that is, of course, when the safety of ones
life is not involved. Otherwise, in this case, Al-Qur'an allows the believer
to repel evil without transgression.
The above Hadith also gives the faster good news regarding the changing
breath of the faster, which is sweeter to Allah (SWT) than musk. The changing
breath of the mouth is a vivid physical testimony of this discipline. As much
as we hate bad breath, in fasting it is a good thing, for it is caused by the
coating which appears on the upper surface of the tongue soon after the
commencement of the fast. After desiring food, the body begins to digest such
waste material and deposits of fat as are available to it. This coating on
the tongue is an outward proof that inner elimination is in progress. As soon
as the digestive organs have been purified, the mouth returns to normal.
In a hadith related by Abdullah Bin Omar, the Prophet said: "Fasting (Siyaam)
and the Book of Allah (Al-Qur'an) will intercede for the servant on the Day
of Judgment. The fasting will say: 'O, Allah, I denied him nourishment and
sex during the daytime. Let me intercede on his behalf', and Al-Qur'an will
say: 'I denied him sleep during night time; so let me intercede on his
behalf.' So Allah will allow them to intercede on his behalf." (Ahmed)
This hadith indicates on the Day of Judgment, when the events will be
overwhelming and the outcome uncertain, the fast and the Book will intercede
for the servants of Allah. As every second of daytime devotion and every
letter of Al-Qur'an voices their pleasure openly with you during the
witnessing and interviewing, bear in mind that Shafa'ah (intercession), is an
extreme privilege and a rare commodity. Even the average prophet will not
attempt to intercede for anyone on this day.
Shal bin Sa'ad reported the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Paradise
(Jannah) has a door called Rayyan (the quencher), which is preserved for
those who observed fasting on the Day of Judgment. It will be announced,
'Where are those who observed fasting?' The door, Rayyan, will not be closed
until the last one of them enters." (Bukhari and Muslim)
This is what the pleasure of Allah is all about. The person who observes
fasting becomes an elite in the hour that every other person is busy turning
the pages of their books of deeds. This is the time you are pulled away
through the Rayyan Gate to Paradise.
Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree related the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "If a
servant of Allah fasts a day for the pleasure of Allah (SWT), He will
distance his face from the hellfire, in the equivalent of that day, which, in
the sight of Allah, will take seventy years to cover." (Bukhari/Muslim)
The Hereafter is real, and rewarding evil in kind is also real; but as a
reward to those who observe the fast, Allah (SWT) will distance them from the
ultimate punishment. These four reports underscore the spiritual as well as
the physical value of Siyaam, fasting.
KINDS OF FASTING
Fasting is divided into two kinds: Fard, the obligatory fast, and Tatau'u,
any non-obligatory fast. The obligatory fast is categorized as three kinds:
(1) fasting the month of Ramadan
(2) fasting to expiate for religious offenses
(3) fasting to fulfill a vow
Of the three, fasting the month of Ramadan is the most important; so we will
devote most of the discussion to it.
FASTING THE MONTH RAMADAN - SAWM RAMADAN
When we speak of Ramadan, we speak of an annual spiritual event so serious
that it impressively engulfs the entire Muslim Ummah in a religious season
surpassing any annual event in the world.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, Al-Hijrah. This calendar
is based on the lunar system. There are twelve months in the lunar year. They
3. Rabee'ul Awwal
4. Rabee'ul Athathanee
5. Jumadah Awwal
6. Jumadth Thanee
WHAT IS RAMADAN?
Ramadan is derived from the Arabic root word ramida or ar-ramad denoting
intense scorching heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same root
there is ramdaa, sunbaked sand, and the famous proverb: "Kal Mustajeer minar
Ramadaa binnar" - to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. And in a
hadith the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "The prayer of repenters is due
when the young camel can feel the sun's heat early in the morning." (Muslim)
Thus, the word Ramadan is so called to indicate the heating sensation in the
stomach as a result of thirst). Others said it is so called because Ramadan
scorches out the sins with good deeds, as the sun burns the ground. Some said
it is so called because the hearts and souls are more readily receptive to
the admonition and remembrance of Allah during Ramadan, as the sand and
stones are receptive to the sun's heat. The framers of this beautiful
language may have been inspired by Allah (SWT) in naming this month Ramadan.
Otherwise, the relation between the heat and its properties is miraculously
similar to that of Ramadan. While the heat represents the matter that helps
shape, form, and mold virtually every matter - from metal and plastics, to
plants and living cells - Ramadan undoubtedly helps a serious believer
remold, reshape, reform, and renew his physical and spiritual disposition and
LEGAL STATUTES OF RAMADAN
The observation of Ramadan is mandated by two Islamic sources, Al-Qur'an and
Sunnah, along with Ijmaa, the consensus of the scholars. Al-Qur'an states:
"O, you who believe fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed to
those before you that you may acquire self-restraint." (Al-Qur'an 2:183)
The proof in this citing is very obvious, for whenever Allah (SWT) uses the
word kutiba, which means, among other things, prescribed or written, it
indicates the action that follows it becomes mandatory upon the believers,
men and women. After establishing Sawm, the verse emphasized that this was
not the first time the obligation of fasting had been established, for it
stated that previous nations received the same mandate. We are not certain
about the time, date, and amount.
Many scholars state the introductory clause kamaa implies and refers to the
analogy between our fasting today and the fasting of previous people. There
are similarities in the time and amount, but what happened to Ramadan is that
the high priests, before the time of Prophet Muhammad (saas) added more days
than were prescribed for them. It became difficult and they could not do it,
so they moved the date to spring until they neglected it altogether.
In a hadith it is reported by Daghfal Imam Hanzalah (raa) that the Messenger
of Allah (saas) said: "The Christians used to fast one month. So when a man
fell ill amongst them, they vowed if Allah cured him, they would increase ten
more days to their fasting. He was cured, and the fast became forty days.
Then another man ate meat; his mouth pained him. They vowed again if Allah
cured him, they would add seven more days. He was cured and the fast
increased to forty-seven days.
Then a king fell ill. They vowed again if Allah cured him, they would
complete seven to ten days and move their fast to the spring. The king was
cured and the fast increased to fifty days." (Tafseer Al-Qurtabi)
This is how the pillar of religion was neglected. Even some Christian writer
complained, "For nearly a century and a half, fasting has been out of vogue,
at least in the churches of the West. The very idea of someone actually
fasting today seems strange to most twentieth century Christians. They
associate it with medieval Christianity." (Fasting a Neglected Discipline)
Some said the analogy is referring to the manner of fasting - restraint from
food and drink and marital relations. The verse ends with a strong hint to
the spiritual benefit of fasting: "That ye may acquire self-restraint." The
word used is tataqun. It is originally from waqa, to protect, the same base
word used for fear of Allah, taqwa; for when you fear Allah, you protect
yourself against His wrath and against things that will destroy yourself.
Taqwa (fear of Allah), is easily achieved with fasting for the simple reason
that, when you fast, you become weak for the lack of nourishment, which means
your cravings are diminished. With diminished cravings, the sins are greatly
lessened, because there is no energy to fuel them, praise be to Allah. When
sin is lessened, the barometer for taqwah rises.
Elsewhere Allah (SWT) states: "Ramadan is the month in which was sent down
the Qur'an as a guide to humanity and as a clear sign for guidance and
judgment (between right and wrong). So anyone of you who witnesses the month
should spend it in fasting..." (Al-Qur'an, 2:185)
This verse contains important rules and reasons for fasting that will be
explained later. However, what concerns us here is the statement, "So anyone
of you who witnesses the month should spend it in fasting." There are
exceptions, like when traveling, which will be explained later.
The above examples have been the proof from in Al-Qur'an. As for the proof
from hadith, there are many, amongst them a hadith reported by Bukhari and
Muslim in which the Messenger (saas) states: "Islam is built on five
(pillars), testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and
testimony that Muhammad is His messenger, establishing Salat, giving Zakaat,
observing the fast of Ramadan, and pilgrimage to the House of Allah."
The hadith established fasting during the month of Ramadan as one of the
pillars on which this religion is built. This hadith reinforces the
obligation of fasting as stated in Al-Qur'an. We will see later that there
are other Hadiths that explain in detail how to observe the 'Ebadah, the
worship of fasting.
Because of this collection of proofs from both Al-Qur'an and the Sunnah, the
Muslim scholars agreed in Ijima'a that abstinence from physical nourishment
and sex associated with intention to seek Allah's pleasure is mandatory upon
every believer. Before verse (2:185) was revealed, Muslims were commanded to
fast three days in every month (verse 2:183). This verse (2:185) was revealed
on Monday, Sha'aban 2, in the second year of Hijrah, thus, abrogating the
MERITS OF RAMADAN
When we speak of the merits of something (fadl or fadail), we are actually
saying the deeds in it are highly recommended and the reward and benefits
highly emphasized and guaranteed. I would like to cite several Ahadith that
address this issue of fadail, merits of fasting during Ramadan, and filling
the entire month with more 'ebadah than any other month.
Abu Hurairah (raa) relates the Messenger of Allah (saas) said when one
"A blessed month has arrived. Observing it in fasting is mandated on you (the
believers). During this month, the gates of Paradise will be opened and the
gates of Hellfire will be closed. The evil ones (Shayaatin) will be
handcuffed. In it there is one night, during which worship is better than
worship in a thousand months. Whoever is denied its blessings has been denied
the biggest blessing." (Ahmed, Nasaae, and Bayhaqi)
This hadith is similar to the previous one, except that it emphasizes the
importance of being mindful and aware of the rules that govern the 'ebadah of
fasting. For one of the key words in every 'ebadah is "muwafaqah
Ash-Shari'ie," observing in accordance to the commands of the Lawgiver.
The blessed month of Ramadan comes once in a lunar calendar year for serious
spiritual and physical training and rehabilitation of the believers. To
neglect this Islamic obligation, with all its benefits, is a serious,
unpardonable sin. Thus the warning from the Prophet (saas). Abu Hurairah
reports the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever breaks one day's fast of
Ramadan without an authorized permission from Allah, he will never be able to
redeem it (with another) day's fast, even if he fasts to eternity."
The stern warning in this hadith for breaking fast in Ramadan is an
indication of how serious the offense is perceived by the Shari'e, the
Lawgiver. You may think that if you break a day, you can redeem it after
Ramadan. Indeed, the missed day may be redeemed after Ramadan, but the hadith
indicates that fasting for a lifetime (Siyaam Dahr), or to eternity cannot
make up for the spiritual loss due to a reckless and deliberate break of a
fasting day. It is abhorrent to neglect an Islamic rite which is your duty,
but worse to neglect an obligation that belongs to Allah (SWT), such as the
fast of Ramadan.
ASCERTAINING THE CRESCENT OF RAMADAN (HILAL)
Ever since the Lawgiver (Shaari'e) prescribed fasting, the method and the
process of ascertaining the knowledge about the starting and the ending time
of fasting has been to physically sight (ru'eyah), the new crescent moon
(hilal) of Ramadan. Thus, when the birth of the new moon, of the month of
Ramadan is ascertained, the fast begins. The fast ends with the birth of the
hilal of the tenth month, Shawwal. In the event that clouds, smog, or fog
block the sky, preventing eye sighting of the hilal, we compute the days of
the month. If after, or on the evening of, the twenty-ninth day of Sha'aban,
we are unable to sight the hilal of Ramadan, due to cloudiness or obstruction
in the sky, we will complete Sha'aban thirty days, and the fast begins the
next morning. Similarly, if after the 29th of Ramadan, we are unable to sight
the hilal of Shawwal due to cloudiness or obstruction, we complete Ramadan 30
days. The next day becomes 'Eidul Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking.
Thus, the question of ascertaining the birth of the new Hilal crescent before
commencing and ending the fast is born out in this verse, where Allah, the
Almighty, says: "Whoever is present during the month should spend it in
fasting..." (Al-Qur'an 2:185)
Most translators of Al-Qur'an interpreted the key word in this verse,
shahida, to mean 'to be present' so as to exclude the traveler, for he does
not have to fast. That is very interesting because, if shahida is general,
al-'aam, there should be more than one case to exclude; for, we would have to
exclude the sick, minors, the insane, as well as the traveler. All these
categories will be present, but yet fasting will not be mandatory for some of
The word shahida should be translated "whoever witnesses or gives testimony."
This will leave the verse's general meaning intact, then exclude from it
whoever deserves to be excluded.
The verse (aayat) is a conditional clause based on the condition of
ascertaining the hilal, with fasting as the result. That is to say, if there
is no witness, there is no fasting. The word month is shahr. Linguistically
it means crescent; so it indicates whoever witnesses any part of the crescent
should observe the entire month in fasting.
This is the ruling of the most recognized Muslim scholars of Tafseer, Hadith
and Fiqh. The basis for this ruling is derived from several ahadith, which
are overwhelmingly reported (Tawatur).
Ibn Umar (raa) reported, "During the time of the Prophet (saas), the
companions went looking for the new crescent. So I told the Prophet (saas)
that I saw it. So he fasted and told the companions to fast." (Abu Dahud /
This hadith indicates the process of hilal testimony, the believers should go
out and ascertain the new hilal. It indicates also when and how. As for when,
that has been explained, but I would like to add the legal sighting time
begins on the 29th of the month, because unlike the Gregorian calendar, where
the days of the month are fixed, in the lunar calendar (Hijrah) they are not.
For instance, Sha'aban this year may be 29 days; next year it may be 30.
As for the process of testimony (shahidah), it should commence soon before
sunset or soon after, while there is still some light in the sky, for the
Hilal does not remain in the horizon very long.
How does one ascertain the hilal? The testimony of hilal can be achieved by
(a) direct sighting, where you see it yourself, or (b) indirect sighting,
where someone sees it, and you rely on his sighting.
If an individual who is reliable, upright, and trustworthy ('adl) witnesses
the hilal, it becomes incumbent upon him to fast. If he informs others about
his testimony, according to the majority of the scholars, it becomes
incumbent upon them to fast. This is the ruling that enjoys support in
The hadith poses a Fiqh question. That is: the testimony of how many people
would be enough? The minimum, according to the hadith is one person who is
'Adl. The Messenger of Allah (saas) fasted and commanded the believers to do
likewise, depending solely on the testimony of one person, Abdullah bin
'Umar. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, which is near
consensus. However, in the case of sighting the hilal of Shawwal to end
Ramadan, some said the minimum is two or more.
This leads to disagreement among the scholars who debate whether the
testimony of one individual is valid to break Ramadan. Some said because this
is the ending of Ramadan, there should be two witnesses instead of one. But
the problem with this opinion is that there is no proof to substantiate it
and, hence, no base for it. In the absence of proof (dalil), it remains that
one person's witness is enough to end the fasting.
Abu Hurairah (raa) related the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Fast by
sighting the (new) hilal, and break your fast by sighting. If there is a
cloud, complete the counting of Sha'aban 30 days." (Bukhari and Muslim)
The hadith of Ibn 'Umar (raa) is a hadith of action (fi'el), how the Prophet
(saas) acted, that is, physical search of the edges of the horizon to
ascertain the testimony. The hadith of Abu Hurairah is the hadith of saying,
(qawl). Thus, both command by action and command by a verbal expression are
employed to instruct the believers about the process of sighting hilal. This
should have made the case for starting and ending Ramadan. But that is not
the case. There is always a dispute among the believers.
One age-old controversy is whether we should go by the order of the Lawgiver
or should we depend on calculations. The truth of the matter is that there
are two opinions, one the majority and the other the minority opinion. The
latter has no proof whatsoever to substantiate their opinion except one word
in the other version of the hadith. The Prophet (saas) said: faqdiru, meaning
if it be cloudy, measure or estimate it. The minority opinion says this is a
proof that calculations can be used. The majority says the word faqdiru is
ambiguous. It has been explained in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, which
states, "fa ak milu al-`edah", complete the account. They added, "if the
Lawgiver (Shaari'e) wanted us to use calculation, He would have just
forgotten about the original ordinance regarding sighting before fasting and
sighting before ending. In the Tafseer of Al-Qurtabi, Ibn Nafi'e (ra)
reported that Imam Malik bin Anas (ra) said: "If you see an Imam who does not
begin and end fasting by way of sighting, but begins fasting by calculation,
he should not be followed in prayer or emulated." The renowned scholar Ibn
Al'Arabi said, "Some of our people erred when they reported that Imam Shaf'e
relied on calculations." Ibn Al-'Arabi commented, "The report is baseless and
Another point that arises out of the hadith of Abu Hurairah is whether the
sighting of one region is good for the sighting of the whole Ummah; i.e.,
should a New Yorker depend on the sighting of hilal in Paris? There is a
difference of opinions on this subject. The reason for this dispute is due to
a report (athar) from Ibn Abbas. If I may state, there are differences
between the hadith from the Prophet (saas) and (athar) a report from a
companion. So this report is not the same as hadith.
In this athar, Kuraib (raa) reported that: "Umm Al-Fadl sent him to Mu'awiyah
in Shaam (Damascus). As he finished his business and was preparing to return
to Medina, the hilal of Ramadan was sighted in the Shaam area on Friday
night, and people started to fast the next day. As he arrived home in Medina
at the end of Ramadan, Ibn Abbas (raa) asked him about his trip. Then they
talked about the Hilal. "When did they see it?", Ibn 'Abbas asked. Kuraib
informed Ibn Abbas that they saw it Friday night. Abdullah Ibn Abbas wanted
to know whether he himself saw the Hilal. Kuraib replied, "Yes, as well as
many people. They fasted, and Mu'awiyah, too, fasted." Ibn Abbas said, "But
we saw it Saturday night, and we will continue to fast until we complete
thirty days or see it. Kuraib asked him, "Aren't you satisfied with the
testimony of Mu'awiyah and his fasting?" `No,' Ibn Abbas replied. He
continued, "That is what the Messenger of Allah commanded us to do."
This athar is the base text used by the minority, who ruled that the people
in each region should sight their own hilal. Then they disagreed among
(1) Some said every town and city has its own exclusive testimony in that its
sighting is not binding on other towns. For instance, sighting in Los Angeles
is valid only for the residents of that city, and not valid in San Diego. The
testimony in New York City is valid for the New Yorkers and not valid for the
residents of Buffalo.
(2) Every town has its exclusive testimony; however, the difference between
this and the previous point is that the ruler or the governor can demand that
people under his order and in his territorial influence fast according to the
sighting of other towns, for to him all the towns are one under his command.
(3) The countries in close proximity depend on each other's testimony. The
countries which are far apart, do not. For instance, the testimony in New
York City is not valid in Los Angeles, but it may be allowed for the East
(4) Some say it depends on the region. For instance, people in the eastern
region will have one exclusive testimony as opposed to people in the western
region, southern, and northern regions.
(5) The last opinion is that of the Jamhur (the majority of scholars). They
said the differences of regions, distances and terrain are of no consequence
in determining the testimony of the crescent. The only consideration is the
sighting. If the testimony of the hilal is ascertained by even one believer
in any part of the world, he or she is obligated to begin the fast. The proof
is the direct testimony of the Messenger of Allah (saas), who said: "Fast by
sighting the hilal and break by sighting." (Bukhari/Muslim)
This, the Jamhuur said, is an address (khitab), to all Muslims. The testimony
of any one Muslim is testimony for all Muslims.
As for the Kuraib report, they explained that it is not proof in the order or
strength of the above hadith. It is a known fact among the scholars of
Islamic jurisprudence that a report from Sahabi (a companion), Tabi'een (the
followers of the companions), and Tabi'e al-tabi'een (the followers of the
followers of the companions), and the `Ulama (scholars) cannot be used
independently as proof and evidence (hujjah). It will be evidence only if the
report is direct from the Messenger of Allah and not their independent
judgment (Ijtihad) what they infer or deduce from what The Prophet said. The
Kuraib report is in that latter category, i.e., Ibn 'Abbas making Ijtihad,
"This the Messenger of Allah commanded us." For that which the Messenger of
Allah commanded is the direct Hadith reported in the books of hadith, such as
Bukhari, Muslim, and many others:
"Do not fast until you see the crescent, and do not break fast until you see
the crescent; but if there are clouds, complete the calculation of thirty
This hadith does not specify one region from the other. Instead, it addresses
Muslims in general all over the globe. Because this hadith is general,
"`Aam", it will not be made specific "khaas" without another direct hadith
from the Prophet (saas), and there is none. If there is no evidence from the
Kuraib report, what then is the reason for Abdullah bin Abbas's, (raa)
refusal to fast according to the sighting in Shaam? The reason is his
Ijtihad, independent judgment, that the distance between the two regions,
Medina and Shaam, are far apart and large to the extent that each should have
its own independent sighting.
This Ijtihad at best is very weak because it is well known that countries and
towns do depend on each other's witnesses and information from all Islamic
Sharee'ah areas, and undoubtedly moon-sighting is one of them. Ibn Abbas did
not state the text from the Prophet (saas) nor did he state the deduction
from any text.
Further examination of this report unfortunately reveals that the only
evidence he states is the general opinion that Medinians do not depend on the
testimony of Shaamians. Indeed, if we accept Kuraib's report, it will mean
that Muslims in one region will have difficulty beginning the fast of Ramadan
in unity. Thus, international sighting is the correct interpretation and
ruling as advanced by the majority of Muslims scholars.
Logistically, it would have being impossible for Ibn `Abbas (raa) to fast
according to the sighting of Shaam even if he wanted to for the simple reason
that, during that period, it takes express mail seven days from Shaam to
Medina. Were Ibn `Abbas decided to follow shaam he and the people of Medina
would have to wait seven days to start or end Ramadan. There were no
communication devices such as telephones, faxes and telegrams. May scholars
believe that if Ibn Abbas were in position to know that on the eve of Ramadan
or `Eid, crescent has been sighted in Shaam, he would have started fasting or
end the fasting. Therefore, the athar (the report of Kuraib) would be used if
only group of believers fund themselves in a town or country in which they
are cut off from outside world. No city today can claim that. Allah is the
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WHAT SHOULD BE SAID AT THE SIGHTING OF THE CRESECENT
It is recommended that whoever sights the crescent (Hilal) of Ramadan, or any
other month for that matter, or being informed about new crescent, should say:
Allahu Akbar, Allahumma ahillahu 'alaina bil yumni wa Iman, Was Salaamata wal
Islam, Ribbi wa rabbika illah. (Tirmidhi)
Meaning: Allah is Greatest. O Allah, make it the beginning, the beginning of
prosperity, faith, peace, and total submission to Allah. Your Lord and mine
Also, it has been reported from Ali bin Abi Talib (raa) that the Messenger
said: "If you witness the crescent of the new month, say:
Allahu Akbar (three times) Al-hamdu Lillah. Alladhi Khalaqani wa Khalaqaka,
wa qaddara laka manajil wa ja'alaka ayatna lil 'ala meen. (Naylul Awataar)
Meaning: Allah is Greatest. (three times) praise be to Allah who created me
and you and decreed for you the phases and made you a sign for the universe.
BASIC ELEMENTS OF FASTING
There are two basic elements that constitute the essence of Islamic fasting.
The observation of these elements makes one's fasting acceptable.
The first element of fasting is abstinence of fast breakers from the break of
dawn (fajr) until sunset. For the fast breakers, the Lawgiver, in no
uncertain terms and free from any ambiguity and confusion, meant abstinence
from food and drink and sexual relations. Any nourishment taken by mouth or
nose, or drink of any sort, water, juices, milk, etc., should be avoided.
Also, sexual intercourse during daytime is prohibited.
In this element, the period of observance is daily. It is not Islamic fasting
when fasting takes place at night. Indeed, we are encouraged to break the
fast without any delay as soon as the sun goes down. The proof for this first
element is the saying of the Most High: "...And now associate with them and
seek what Allah has ordained for you and eat and drink until the white thread
of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread." (Al-Qur`an 2:187)
This verse defines the time limits in which the worshiper is obligated to
exercise abstinence. The first part of the verse is an indication of Allah's
mercy upon the worshipers by making it easy for them during night hours in
their relations with their spouses. For when verse (2:185) was revealed, it
restricted daily as well as nightly relations with spouses. It was obviously
difficult for the believers.
Imam Al-Qurtabi and others reported: 'Umar bin Al-Khataab (raa) returned home
late at night after visiting the Prophet (saas). When he came home, he felt
the urge for his wife, so he slept with his wife, breaking the rule. Early in
the morning he went to the Prophet (saas) and informed him about the
incident. He said, "I seek pardon from Allah and you. My soul tempted me to
have relations with my wife. Can you find a permission for me in this
offense?" The Prophet, (saas), asked whether he really was serious about
this. 'Umar (raa) replied, 'Yes.' The Prophet (saas) did not have an answer
for him, but told him Allah has to decide on this.
By the grace of Allah, before 'Umar arrived home, Allah (SWT) revealed verse
(2:187), permitting believers to enjoy their wives during the night. So this
is what the verse is referring to. It sets the limit of abstinence. It does
so in metaphorical language draped with flair and beauty, as it describes the
starting and the ending time of fast. Eat and drink until the white thread,
i.e., the first rays of light finds its way through the horizon, the black
thread. At that time, one must stop eating and start the observance of
The second element of fasting is niyyah (intention). In Islamic practices,
niyyah is highly rated. This remarkable element is not unique to fasting; it
permeates every ounce of the believer's undertakings from Salaat, to Zakaat,
to Hajj. It is the difference between whether the actions are religious or
irreligious. For instance, fasting for political reasons, or as a weapon of
passive resistance, or hunger strikes, or starving for dietary reasons, or
weight control, or even on medical advice - all of these are not proper
Islamic fasting, because they lack one main component: that is, the niyyah.
This is why niyyah for fasting is to worship Allah by abstaining from
fast-breakers from the break of dawn to sunset.
The act of abstinence is not meant to starve you; it is an act of worship,
like Salaat. It is the lack of intention that makes ones acts non-Islamic.
Interestingly, you can pursue your regular activities, which have nothing to
do with religion, such as maintaining your livelihood and earn a religious
reward by the intention. The Prophet (saas) told the believers that by
declaring niyyah, their relations with their spouses would become charity.
The companions asked how would that be a charity (sadaqah)? The Prophet
responded, "Don't you know that if he does it in an unlawful way it will be a
sin on him? They said, "Yes." "The same", he said, "When he does it in a
legal way, it is charity." (Muslim)
The evidence for intention, niyyah, is mentioned in Al-Qur'an and Sunnah.
Allah (SWT) states: "And they have been commanded no more than to worship
Allah, offering Him sincere devotion." (Al-Qur'an, 98:5)
"They" in this verse refers to the People of the Book, indicating that
intention was part of their religious belief, or that they were commanded as
the believers were through Prophet Muhammad (saas) to worship Allah
sincerely. The structure of this verse is instructive. It did not mention who
commanded. Of course, it is Allah. But, you see, this form is used,
mentioning Allah indirectly, to indicate that the acts of worship are
difficult, and He did not want us to think of them as a burden for the sake
of it. He commanded us to fast because he knows we cannot do without this
acts of worship.
We see the same use when Allah speaks of fasting: "...Fasting is prescribed
to you..." (Al-Qur`an, 2: 183) Also, "the law of equality is prescribed to
you." (Al-Qur`an, 2: 178) In both verses, it did not say "who" the subject
is. It is not directly mentioned, whereas or when Allah speaks of His rahman,
mercy, He mentions Himself as if He is informing us that Your Lord has
inscribed for Himself mercy. This is like a father or guardian instructing
his minor, "You ought to do this and that" instead of telling him "To do
this." Or perhaps Allah (SWT) did not mention His name directly to indicate
that He (SWT) is not the only One who commands you to worship Him. Your
intellect and reasoning also command you to worship your Creator, for He has
endowed you with His mercy.
Liya'abudu (to worship) - generally means to humble - but has become a name
for every type of worship rendered with humbleness and utmost respect to
Allah (SWT). However, the key word is mukhliseen, purely intending in their
hearts for the pleasure of Allah (SWT) the worship Allah alone. One should
declare in his heart that the act he or she is about to undertake is intended
for Allah (SWT). It is not for eye service (riya), ear service (sum'ah),
saying to be heard, or for any other reasons. The most important thing in
Islam is not the quantity of worship (`ebadah) but the quality. By quality is
meant that it is intended for none but Allah. On the other hand, Allah is
telling the believer and humanity, you know that I have created everything in
creation just for you, that is all of creation. Not half one-third, one
quarter, or a fifth of it, but all of it.
"It is He who has created for you all things that are on earth." (Al-Qur'an
2:29) If that is the case, you should not intend with your acts but for Allah
alone. Do not intend in your deeds half for Allah and the rest for someone
else. You cannot fast three-fourths of a day for Allah and one-fourth for
someone else. Nor can you sacrifice two sheep, one for Allah and the other
for the ruler. Allah would never accept that. That is the proof of niyyah in
In a hadith related by `Umar bin Al-Khattab (raa), he said: "I heard the
Messenger of Allah (saas), saying: "Deeds are but by intention, and every man
shall have all but that which he intended. Thus, he whose migration was for
Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and
he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman
in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated."
This hadith pronounced by the Prophet (saas) explains, in effect, the above
verse and attempts to educate the believers before they embark on a course of
action. At the outset, as the persecution of the believers reached its peak,
the Prophet and the believers were ordered to emigrate to Abyssinia, then
finally to Medina, where the Prophet and the believers settled. Migration
was, and still is, a sign of faith and a great honor in the sight of Allah.
He (SWT) described those men and women who endured that experience as
"Al-Muhajirun," declared in Surah 2: 218.
" Those who believe and adopted exile and fought (and strove and struggled)
in the path of Allah...."
So every person who has an ulterior motive claims he is emigrating to
Medinah, to please Allah. But the Prophet (saas) made it clear to the
believers that Hijrah is not the pain and hardship of traveling and missing
the loved ones, but the intent behind it. The hadith defines what constitutes
Allah's perception of the deeds of the believer.
Hence, the elements of fasting are two: to worship Allah (SWT) by abstaining
from fast - breakers, combined with intention.
THE SEAT OF NIYYAH
There is near consensus among the scholars that the seat of Niyyah, or
intention, is the heart. What you want to do for what reason and for the sake
of whom will be known by none but you and the All Knower, Allah (SWT). Thus,
you do not need to utter it with your tongue, "I want to pray, fast, give
alms, etc." The exception is on Hajj, where verbal utterance of Talbiyah is
In the case of Sawm (fasting), You intend in your heart that the abstinence
from fast - breakers is meant to be a worship for Allah alone in order to
seek His pleasure. If you observe sahuur (the last meal before beginning
fasting) with this above intent, you will have achieved the requirement of
niyyah. If you restrain from fast - breakers during daylight hours, with the
above intent, you have achieved the requirements of niyyah, even if you did
not eat sahuur.
Hafsah, the Prophet's wife (raa,) related the Prophet (saas) said: "Whoever
does not make niyyah (intention for fasting) before dawn, would not have
fasted." (Ahmed/Ibn Khuzaimah)
However, many scholars said this is for obligatory fasting, like Ramadan, but
when the fasting is non-essential, one can make niyyah during daytime, if he
has not eaten anything. The Prophet's wife reported that the Prophet (saas)
visited his wives and asked, "Do you have something to eat?" She said, "They
replied 'no.' He then said, "I am fasting." (Muslim)
This hadith indicates the believer can have a valid fast, even if he decides
after 10:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. to hold fast, provided he did not eat or drink
anything before the time he makes his decision.
FOR WHOM FASTING IS MANDATORY?
The obligation of fasting is mandatory on a person who has fulfilled these
requirements: He or she must be a Muslim, sane, must have reached puberty,
must be healthy, and not in a state of travel; and for women, they must be in
a state of purity (clean from menstruation and post childbirth bleeding). If
a person fulfills the above prerequisites, fasting becomes valid and
mandatory. Inferring from this definition, if one of these conditions is
missing, the fast will be invalid. Indeed, it may be better to analyze each
category of the definition.
Fasting is not obligatory on a non-Muslim because he is not commanded to fast
and even if he decides to fast and follows all the regulations, it will not
be accepted by Allah (SWT). If he or she wants to fast the Islamic fast, he
has to declare the Kalimah first, and only then will the fast be accepted.
Similarly, the non-Muslim (Kafir) is not obligated to perform any Islamic
duties. If he converts to Islam during the month of Ramadan, for instance, in
the middle of the month, it becomes incumbent upon him to fast the remaining
days. There will be no making up the days he missed before becoming Muslim.
Allah (SWT) states: "Say to the unbelievers, if they desist from unbelief,
their past would be forgiven of them..." (Al-Qur'an 8:38)
If one converts to Islam during the daytime in Ramadan, say 10:00 a.m. in the
morning, he or she should observe the rest of the day in fasting. That is,
from 10:00 a.m. until sunset, he should not break his fast.
The insane or retarded person is not obligated to keep his fast because he is
deprived of sanity, a key component on which religious duties depend. In a
hadith related by Ali Bin Abi Talib (raa), the Messenger of Allah (saas)
said: "The Pen that records the deeds has been lifted from three people; the
insane person, until he recovers; the sleeping person, until he wakes up; and
the minor, until he dreams (i.e., has wet dreams.)" (Ahmed)
This hadith indicates the fast of the insane person, for instance, is not
valid because he cannot comprehend the worship, and he cannot meaningfully
declare intention (niyyah), without which the acts are invalid. If he has
mental relapses whereby he is healthy, and then on occasion is sick, the fast
is mandatory upon him during the days and times he is healthy but not when he
If he intends to fast in the morning, and he falls ill during this time, his
fast is good as if he fainted as a result of illness, because he knows that
he may experience an attack at certain times. If he gets well during the
daytime in Ramadan, he should observe the fast the rest of the day because he
is obligated to fast. However, he does not have to make up the day because
his case is like that of unbeliever who becomes Muslim time or a minor he
reached puberty during the day.
Similarly, the minor person is not obligated to observe fast (Sawm), because
of the previous hadith related by Ali bin Abi Talib, "... And the minor until
he dreams." However, it is imperative that the parents or the guardians of
the juveniles or adolescents encourage and urge them to fast so they will get
used to it. It will be vital training for them in their worship, because they
will not have any chance for training as soon as they reach puberty.
In a hadith reported by Rubayyiah Bint Mau'awwidh (raa), the Prophet (saas)
sent a messenger to the village of Ansar on the morning of Ashura to inform
them: "Whoever wakes in fasting should continue his fasting, whoever wakes up
without fasting should complete his day in fasting. So we used to fast, let
our young children fast, and go to the Masjid with them. When one of the
children cried for food, we would make toys from wool and give them to the
children until it was time to break the fast." (Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith indicates that training minor boys and girls is highly
recommended early in life, from about seven years of age for the spiritual,
educational, and cultural upbringing of Muslim youth. It is the most powerful
symbol of our religion.
Puberty - Boys
Puberty is known in Islamic law as al-bulugh, or Tamyeez, (coming of age as a
man and woman). There are three signs of puberty (bulugh):
1. Discharging semen as a result of wet dreams, known as inzaalul-manyyi.
Allah (SWT) states: "But when the children among you come of age, let them
also ask for permission, as do those senior to them in age..." (Al-Qur'an,
In a hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Friday bath
(ghuslul-Jum'ah) is mandatory upon anyone who has experienced a wet dream."
(Bukhari/Muslim) The point in this hadith is that Islamic obligations are not
incumbent on anyone until they reach the age of bulugh.
2. Appearance of hair around the pubic area is another sign of puberty. If a
person sees that even without wet dreams, he or she has attained puberty.
This may happen at the age of thirteen or fourteen, and parents should inform
girls and boys about these signs.
3. Reaching 15 years of age: When the person reaches 15, he or she is a man
or a woman, and anything that is obligatory on a man or woman is obligatory
on him or her from that time on.
In a hadith reported by Abdullah Bin Umar (raa), he said: "My parents brought
me to the Messenger of Allah on the eve of the Uhud Campaign and I was
fourteen years old, so the Prophet (saas) did not enlist me in fighting." But
a year later in the Campaign of Al-Khandaqq, I was fifteen, so this time the
Prophet (saas) enlisted me in combat." (Muslim)
This hadith indicates the age of 15 is the legal age for a Muslim boy or girl
to be responsible for his or her religion as well as worldly
responsibilities. Some of us who reside in the western world, seem to think
adulthood depends on State laws. In some states it is 18, while in others it
is 19, or 21, and so on. This is a very serious mistake, as the juvenile will
reach puberty (bulugh) and adulthood, but go on without observing his or her
Islamic duties, such as Salat, fasting, or being restrained from that which
Puberty - Girls
Girls reach puberty and adulthood when they experience the above three signs.
However, they have a fourth sign, that is, menstruation (hayd). Whenever a
girl experiences it, she is a woman even if she is 12 years old. At that
time, the Qalam, the pen of responsibilities, begins to flow and to record
the deeds of the servant, good or bad. It is interesting that in the western
world the case is the reverse. You see, when a juvenile reaches the age of
puberty in Al-Islam he or she should be careful about anything he or she does
or says. On the contrary, in the West when the person comes of age, he or she
is allowed to do things which are detrimental to his or her well being. They
are licensed to read, watch, and listen to so- called adult material, as if
when one is an adult it is time to be irresponsible.
Indeed, if puberty is attained during the days of Ramadan, say at midday, and
the young person is fasting, he or she should continue his or her fasting and
there will be no obligation on him or her to make up the fast. If he was not
fasting, it is incumbent upon him to observe the rest of the day in fasting,
because he has become an adult upon whom Islamic rites are obligatory. Girls
in menstruation can't observe half day, nor should they make that half day up.
ELDERLY PEOPLE (Al-Harim)
When we speak of the elderly people, we are speaking of two categories: the
old person who has reached the point of absent-mindedness and aimless talk,
(al-hazyaan) the person who cannot comprehend what he or she is doing or
saying. There will be no fast for these people, nor will they be required to
feed the needy for the days missed, because their case is like that of a
child before reaching the age of discretion, tamyeez. But if he or she
suffers relapses, the fast is mandatory on him, while he comprehends and when
he does not comprehend there will be no fast. These rules about the elderly
people apply to the rest of their Islamic obligations, including Salaat,
PHYSICAL DISABILITY (Al-'Ajiz)
The aim of this religion is not to burden people to a point that they will be
incapable physically of carrying out the duties mandated by Allah (SWT). This
is why when there is clear evidence that fasting will result in the opposite
of the intended result, namely endangering the sanctity of life itself, the
Lawgiver (Shaari'e), makes room for the believer. By physical disability
('al-'ajis), we mean the old person who is mentally sound but physically
weak, and observation of the fast would further weaken his body. Also, at
this point the fast is not mandatory upon the old person because he is unable
to do so. In the case of the terminally ill, like the cancer or AIDS patient
whose fasting may worsen their condition, Allah (SWT) states:
"...So fear Allah as much as you can" (Al-Qur'an 64:16) Also, "On no soul
does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear..." (Al-Qur'an 2:286).
These two verses indicate that when the body is no longer capable of
executing the prescribed duties, the pen that records the deeds ceases to
record. These people who have been allowed to break their fast of Ramadan,
would have to compensate for each and every day that they break by feeding
one indigent person.
Before the fasting of Ramadan was prescribed to the believers, everyone was
given a choice between fasting or feeding. This is what Al-Qur'an refers to
in chapter "Al-Baqarah":
"...for those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom, the feeding of
indigent..." (Al-Qur'an 2:184). This verse was abrogated by the verse of
When a believer is incapable of fasting due to the reasons mentioned above,
feeding becomes a substitute.
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 3/12|
|11/13/00 at 22:52:21|
For feeding, you have a choice between providing a poor person about one kilo
and ten grams of wheat, rice, or any kind of staple of the best kind, or to
provide a meal after the month of Ramadan, by preparing food and inviting
poor people, their number equal to the number of days you missed. Or the
whole amount may be given to one or two families. Imam Bukhari (raa) reported
that Anas bin Malik, at an advanced age fed poor people bread and meat one or
two days every year.
PREGNANT AND NURSING MOTHERS
When a pregnant woman or nursing mother eats, they do so for the health of
themselves and their babies. Their decision to fast depends on how they feel.
If they feel that fasting may jeopardize their life and injure the unborn or
newly born, the Lawgiver gives them permission to break fast. They will have
to make it up at any time after Ramadan before the next Ramadan.
The traveler has a choice between fasting and breaking the fast, regardless
of the length of the journey: whether the journey is an emergency, for Hajj,
to visit relatives, for business, or if he, the believer, is a frequent
traveler like airplane pilots, bus and truck drivers, train engineers, or
ship captains. As for cab drivers, if the weather is hot, they may change
their working hours to nighttime until the weather is cooler. There is one
condition: that they are not intending their journey as a masquerade and
trick to avoid fasting. If that is the intent, breaking the fast is
prohibited and fasting becomes mandatory upon him during the course of the
Allah (SWT) states: "But if any one is ill or on a journey (the prescribed
period should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for
you; He does not want to put you in difficulties..." (Al-Qur'an, 2:185) Allah
repeated this verse twice to underscore the fact that it is not abrogated
with the general command to fast.
The above verse has considered the hardship encountered on a journey as equal
to hardship in sickness, and thus allows those faced with either condition
not to fast. Perhaps the reason can be found in the very meaning of the
Arabic word safar, which implies exposing oneself during the course of a
journey to elements of hardship in transportation, food, time and climate
changes, and of cultural shocks of all sorts, or just general wear and tear.
Even in this age of jets and supersonic air travel, traveling poses a danger
to the sojourner. Because of this possibility, the Lawgiver has permitted the
traveler to eat, so fasting does not add to his already difficult situation.
This is why the Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported as saying, "The
journey is a type of punishment." He or she, however, would have to make up
the day. The permission to not fast during a journey is the same as if a
person decides to fast while on a journey, he can do so and the fast is valid.
Type of Journey
The journey that may entail fast breaking is the one that falls in the
category of shortened prayers (Qasr), and the period of breakage is the
period in which one can shorten the prayer.
What is Better, Fasting or Breaking?
In analyzing the case of the traveler, many scholars said the best in this
case is what is easiest for the traveler (al-ashal), regarding fasting or not
fasting, if they are equal for him, the best thing is to fast, for the
This was the preference of the Prophet (saas) as related by Abi Darda (raa),
who said: "We journeyed with the Prophet (saas) during Ramadan when it was an
extremely hot (season). Some of us shaded ourselves with our hands, because
of the extreme heat. No one was fasting among us except the Prophet and
Abdullah bin Abi Rawahah. The Prophet broke his fast in consideration for his
companions when he knew that the fast was getting the best of the companions
and bringing on them an unnecessary hardship." (Muslim)
In another hadith reported by Jabir Bin Abdullah (raa): "When the Prophet
(saas) journeyed to Makkah, in the year of victory, he fasted until he
reached a place known as Kara'ah Al-Ghamin. He was informed that the
companions who were fasting were having difficulty with the fast. So, they
were waiting to see what he would do. The Prophet (saas) then requested a
goblet full with water after Asr prayer and drank it while everyone was
looking." (Reported by Muslim)
This hadith indicates how fasting is better during a journey, unless there is
Another reason why fasting is better is because it helps to meet the
obligation of fast without any delay. For you do not know when death or
sickness may come; besides, it is easier to fast when all the believers are
fasting at the same time. This is why they say that the difficult
obligations, when done with other Muslims, become easier. It is easier to
fast the whole month of Ramadan; whereas, when a person misses one day of
Ramadan, he may put off redeeming his fast until Sha'aban, one month before
the next Ramadan.
If fasting is difficult for him during the course of a journey, the traveler
should break his fast. In previous hadith reported by Jabir (raa), when the
Prophet broke this fast because of the difficulty of the believers, he was
told that some people insisted on fasting. The Prophet (saas) said, "they are
rebels, they are rebels." (Muslim)
In another hadith by Jabir bin Abdullah (raa) said: "During one of the
Prophet's journeys, he saw a heavy crowd around a man who was being shaded.
The Prophet (saas) inquired, `What is this'? They said `He is a faster.' The
Prophet (saas), said: `It is not righteousness to fast during a journey.'"
THE NON-TERMINALLY ILL
When a person becomes ill and his prognosis indicates a serious condition,
but not a terminal illness, and the patient is not in a life-threatening
situation, yet he is granted permission (rukhsah) to break his fast.
This permission does not include simple illnesses, such as a headache or
stomach ache. All these do not warrant breaking the fast. If fasting becomes
harmful for the patient, then it is becomes mandatory for him to break his
fast. Allah (SWT) said: " Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves, for Allah has
been to you Most Merciful." (Al-Qur'an, 4:29) Elsewhere, He stated: ``And
make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction..." (Al-Qur'an,
These two verses are general in everything that one may do which might
undermine the integrity of life. In a Hadith reported by Bukhari, the
Messenger of Allah (SWT) said: "Your soul, indeed, has rights on you!"
(Bukhari) Among its rights is your protecting it from harm.
If one falls sick during the daytime and completing fast becomes hard on him,
he is permitted to break his fast for this reason. If he is cured during the
daytime, say 10:00 a.m., and he has not been fasting, his fast for that day
is not valid because he was not fasting at the beginning of the day, and the
fast is for all day not half of the day.
However, he would have to make up the day or days he missed after Ramadan.
Allah (SWT) states: "Fasting is for a fixed number of days, but if any of you
is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (missed) should be made up..."
This verse indicates that when the believer intends to fast and discovers
during a journey that he or she can not continue, he should break and make it
up later. If a traveler who is not fasting returns home during the daytime,
his fasting of that day is invalid because he did not observe it from the
beginning of the day. The mandatory fast starts with the break of dawn.
Should he observe the rest of the day in fasting or not? Some scholars say he
should restrain from eating the rest of the day as respect for the fast,
although he would have to make it up later. But others said there is no valid
reason to force a person who has been permitted by the Lawgiver not to fast
at the beginning of the day, to abstain for the rest of the day.
That is why Abdullah bin Mas'eud (raa) said, "Whoever eats in the beginning
of the day should eat at the end of the day." (Majalis Shar Ramadan) This
means if a person is allowed to east early part of the morning due certain
valid reasons, it is lawful for him to eat at the later part of the day. This
is also the ruling of Malik and Shafi'e. But they say he should not eat or
drink in public because no one knows the reason of his breaking and, so that
they do not think badly of him, or so some weak-minded person will not try to
emulate his action
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 4/12|
|11/13/00 at 22:53:26|
BREAKING FAST TO SAVE LIFE
Whoever is compelled to break his fast for a valid reason, such as donating
blood to save a life, and he or she does not have strength to do so without
food, the person is allowed to break his fast. Indeed, it is mandatory on him
to break, because saving a life is mandatory. As they say: Mala, yatimul
wajib illa bihi fahuwa wajid. (An action necessary to accomplish a mandatory
act is mandatory.) Similarly, the person who needs to break his fast to gain
strength so as to participate in defending Muslim life and property should
break his fast.
In a hadith reported by Abi Sa'ed Al-Khudri (raa) he said: "We journeyed with
the Messenger of Allah to Makkah while observing the fast of Ramadan. When we
stopped at a place, he said, `You are getting near your enemy and breaking
fast will help you gain your strength.' This was a concession. Some of us
continued to fast, while others broke their fast. Then, we stopped again, and
the Messenger of Allah (saas) said, `You are meeting your enemy in the
morning and breaking fast is better for your stamina.' `Break!' That was an
order. So, we broke." (Muslim/Ahmed) This hadith indicates how the desire to
regain strength is an independent reason, besides a journey, to permit
someone to break his fast.
REDEMPTION OF RAMADAN (Al-Qada)
The groups who are permitted to break fast due to the reasons mentioned
should redeem the day(s) they missed after Ramadan. Allah (SWT) states: "The
prescribed number (should be made up) from days later." (Al-Qur'an 2:185) If
he breaks the whole month, the whole month should be redeemed. If the month
is 30 days, 30 days are due on him. If the month is 29 days, 29 days are due.
Technically, the time period of redemption is the whole year before next
Ramadan. If he missed ten days, the redemption is due ten days before next
Ramadan. However, it is preferred to redeem as soon as the obstacle is
removed, because it is better to meet the obligation and free yourself from
the responsibility without delay known as Ibraudh-Dhimmah.
It should not be delayed until next Ramadan without any good reason. The
Prophet's wife `Aishah has been reported as saying, "Sometime when I miss
some days of Ramadan, I would not be able to redeem them except in the month
of Sha`aban." The narrator of the Hadith, Yahya, added: "She was busy serving
the Messenger of Allah (saas)." (Bukhari and Muslim). Delaying to the next
Ramadan may lead to piling up fasts which may be difficult for him to make
up, or he may die in the mean time. If he died before making it up, there
will be no blame on him because Allah gave him allowance to make up missed
fasts. But if he is able but neglected it, his next of kin should redeem on
The Prophet (saas) said: "Whoever dies before redeeming his missed fast, his
next of kin should redeem it for him." (Bukhari/Muslim) Indeed, a group of
relatives can redeem it for him, each fasting a certain amount of days until
the qada is complete. If there is no next of kin, or there is one who does
not wish to fast on his behalf, his guardian (Wali) can redeem it by feeding
people instead of fasting.
The proof for this case is two things: analogy (al-Qiyaas) and Sunnah. The
fear of the elderly person of fasting, in that it may endanger his life, is
similar to the case of pregnant and nursing women. Some said the same text
cited as a proof for permitting the elderly to break fast and feed poor
people can be cited here too, because the verse is general.
In a Hadith reported by Anas Bin Malik Alka`aby (raa), the Messenger of Allah
(saas) said: "Allah permitted the sojourner to break fast (and make it up),
and his Salat is cut in half. Also, pregnant women and nursing mothers are
permitted to break their fast." (Tirmidhi)
If menstruation appears while the woman is fasting, even if it is seconds
before sunset, the fast of that day is invalidated and she should make the
day up, that is, if the fast is a mandatory fast, like Ramadan; but if it is
a voluntary fast, she has the option of making it up or not. Should
menstruation appear during daytime, the rest of the day's fast is
If menstruation ceases during the night, even seconds before Fajr, the fast
of that day becomes mandatory, because she is among the eligible, and the
obstacle (mawaani'e) to eligibility has been removed. She should fast even
before she takes ghusl (shower, or purifying bath).
Similarly, with a woman bleeding as a result of childbirth (nifaas), her case
is identical to that of a menstruating woman.
DAYS IN WHICH FASTING IS PROHIBITED
As much as fasting is one of the most important pillars of Al-Islam, there
are certain days during which the Lawgiver prohibited the believer to fast.
1. The two 'Eids
There are two annual celebrations in Islam: `Eidul Fitr and `Eidul Adha.
These `Eids symbolize the period of happiness when Muslims all over the world
commemorate the festivities with the praise of Allah and public prayers after
which they go home to feast with family and friends. Obviously, fasting and
the `Eid do not mix. If it is `Eidul-Fitr, the fast-breaking feast, how could
one celebrate the ending of the annual fast period with a fast? And if it is
`Eidul Adha, Festivity of Sacrifice, how could one sacrifice an animal and
not eat it?
This is why the majority of Muslims agreed that fasting on the days of `Eid
is prohibited. If you have to make up a fast, it should not be on these days.
In a hadith related by Umar bin Al-Khattab (raa), he said: "The Messenger of
Allah (saas) prohibited fasting on these two days: on the day of
fast-breaking, because you have just broken your fast of Ramadan; and on the
day of sacrifice you are supposed to eat from your sacrifice." (Ahmed and
2. Three Days Following `Eidul Adha, The Days of Tashreeq.
The days of Tashreeq are the three days following `Eidul Adha. These three
days are the most important days as far as the festivity of `Eid and public
display of happiness are concerned. Muslims usually take off work and visit
other Muslims to share this happiness with them. These are the days of giving
gifts to the family, relatives, and the needy.
Abu Hurairah (raa) reported the Prophet (saas) sent Abdullah bin Huzaifah
(raa) to go around Mina to announce to the pilgrims, "Do not fast these days
(three days after 'Arafah). These are days of eating and drinking and
remembrance of Allah (SWT)." (Ahmed).
Although the hadith addressed the congregation of pilgrims, it's meaning and
implication are general to every Muslim who is being advised not to observe
fast on these days. This is the understanding of the majority of scholars.
The minority said if one vowed to expiate, or make up his fast, he may fast
during these days. The majority responded that the minority opinion is good
but it has no proof that it would be okay to fast during these days.
3. Singling Out Friday for Fasting
Friday, Jum'ah, is a weekly festival for Muslims. They celebrate with
congregational prayer and meeting each other. The Lawgiver, (Shaare'e)
prohibited singling it out with the observance of fast. This is why the
scholars said: This is an exception or undesired prohibition, Makruuh, not of
the same strength as the absolute prohibition of Haram; that is, one can
observe it, provided that the Friday fast is cushioned by fasting the day
before and the day after, or that Friday occurs on the day of 'Arafah, or on
the tenth of Muharram, as these are days whose fast is highly encouraged.
The prohibition here rests on the hadith related by Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (raa),
who said: "The Prophet (saas) visited his wife Juwayrah bint Harith and found
her fasting on Friday. He asked her, "Did you fast yesterday?" "No," she
replied. He asked again: "Do you plan to fast tomorrow?" she replied, "No."
He said: "Then, break your fast." (Ahmed)
In another hadith reported by 'Amir Al-Ashairee (raa): ``I heard the Prophet
say `Friday is your day of feast, so do not observe it in fasting unless you
fast a day before and a day after.'" Jabir bin Abdullah (raa) related: The
Prophet (saas) said: "Do not single out Jum'ah night among the nights for
nightly prayer (Tahajjud), nor single out Friday for fasting unless it
happens to coincide with fasting that you are accustomed to." (Muslim)
These hadiths are proof that the prohibition is with the condition that a
believer has set his mind to fast only Friday. The desire to single out this
otherwise important day with undue emphasis is what the Lawgiver wants to
prevent. A Muslim does not live only for Jum'ah. One can see that in other
religions, only certain days are accorded any religious significance while
the rest of the days are relegated for secular pursuits.
4. Singling Out Saturday for Fast
For the very reason why we are forbidden to single our Friday for fasting, we
are also prohibited to fast only on Saturdays or, in that case, only on
Sundays. But there is also another reason. Saturday is the weekly festival
for the Jews as Sunday is for the Christians. Islam has encouraged and
instructed the believers to stay away and not lend any religious significance
to these two days. We do not fast on our day of feast. We can fast on the day
of their feast but without singling it out. This is why the statement
prohibiting the customs of Saturday fasting is very strong. The Prophet
(saas) said: "Do not fast on Saturday, unless it is part of what Allah has
prescribed for you. If you could not find anything to eat but a grape skin or
a piece of wood, you should chew it." (Ahmed) The Prophet's wife Umm Salmah
(raa) stated: "The Prophet used to observe Saturday and Sunday with fasting
(along with other days), and would say, `These are the `Eids of polytheists
and I like to differ with them.'" This hadith implies that a believer should
not lend spiritual significance to the religious festivities of non-Muslims.
5. No Fasting on the Day of Doubt (Yawmush-Shakk)
I mentioned earlier that intention (niyyah), is one of the two important
elements of fasting. It implies certainty or an effort to ascertain the day
of fast. There is no such thing as saying that `I will fast if it happens to
be Ramadan.' That shaky assumption is not accepted in starting the Fast, and
it is known as sawm yawmush-shakk. In a athar reported from `Amaar bin Yaasir
(raa) he said: "Whoever fasts the day he is doubtful (whether it is the first
day or not or the last day of Ramadan or not), he has disobeyed the Messenger
of Allah (Aba Qasim)." (Tirmidhi)
Fasting in this manner, even if the day is correct, is not valid.
Abu-Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Do not fast a
day or two before Ramadan, unless that fast coincides with a fast the person
usually observes. In that case, he may fast that day." (Muslim/ Bukhari)
On the authority of this hadith, many scholars forbid a man or woman to
decide in doubt. No matter what is the outcome, that day would have to be
6. No Fasting for Life (Sawmud-Dahr)
The essence of Islam and its noble teachings always take into account the
general interests and welfare, al-maslahah, of Muslims. Thus, the prohibition
of fasting for a whole year or for life, for the simple reason that it may
lead to one's physical ruin or religious asceticism. Both are vehemently
rejected by Islam; and to relegate Islam to such ascetic, rigid abstinence
would undoubtedly infringe on the believer's other religious and social
obligations. The Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported as saying: "No
fast for whoever fasts forever." (Muslim and Bukhari)
Inferring from this hadith, the scholars say that if the fast is interrupted
during the days of the `Eids and three days following them there is no
prohibition. They cited another Hadith in which the Prophet (saas) advised
Hamzah Al Aslami (raa) to continue his fast, when he said to him: "Fast, if
you so desire, and break." The preference for anyone who would like to fast
that much is to fast the fast of Prophet David, who has been reported as
fasting one day and breaking the next.
7. No Married Woman Should Fast without the Consent of her Husband
If a wife decides to fast a voluntary fast, it is incumbent upon her to
inform her husband and seek his permission, because he may be desiring her
during his fast and cannot fulfil his desire, because she is fasting. In
addition, he may be tempted to commit a sin. This prohibition rests on the
hadith reported by Abu Hurairah (raa) that the Prophet (saas) said: "Women
should not fast one day while her husband is present, without his permission,
except in Ramadan." (Muslim, Bukhari and others)
Deducing from this hadith, if the husband travels or he is absent, she may
fast, or if he is sick or he is unable to consummate there is no need to seek
8. Continuous Fast of Days and Nights without Break is Prohibited (Wisaal)
Wisaal is to fast days and nights non-stop, without break, and continuing yet
with another day and night and so on. This kind of fasting is prohibited. In
a hadith reported by the Messenger of Allah (saas), he said: "Beware of
wisaal, fasting nights and days uninterrupted." He repeated the warning three
times. When the companions inquired, "O Messenger of Allah, don't you
practice Wisaal sometimes?" The Prophet (saas) explained, "That is true but
you are not like me. My Lord nourishes me with food and drink. So, observe of
the deeds what you are capable of." (Bukhari/Muslim)
However, the Islamic jurists, while analyzing the whole case of wisaal,
concluded that the restriction may be lifted if the fast is broken by the
time of the last meal, sahuur. In a Hadith related by Abi Sa'eed Al-Khudari,
the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Do not practice wisaal, however, whoever
wants to continue, may do so up to the time of the last meal, sahuur, and
then eat" (Bukhari)
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VOLUNTARY FAST - Tatawwu'u
It has been mentioned earlier that there are two kinds of fasting, obligatory
(Fard) and voluntary (Tatawwu'u). The first has been discussed in some
detail. Now we will discuss voluntary fast.
In Islam, deeds do not end with nor rest only on the obligatory deeds. Fard
are the minimum duties required on an average believer. Thus, the Lawgiver
instituted voluntary deeds, to assist a devoted believer who has the will to
do more, and also assist the believers in general in repairing and
complementing their obligatory deeds with voluntary deeds. The voluntary deed
comes with every pillar in Islam, including fasting.
The voluntary fast is for men as well as for women. The method and
restriction of this fast is no different from regular Ramadan fast. The
difference is in the niyyah (intention).
FASTING SIX DAYS OF SHAWWAL (Sittu Min Shawwal)
Shawwal is the tenth month in the lunar calendar, as mentioned earlier. The
first of Shawwal is Eidul Fitr. After the festivity of Eid it is recommended
to observe six days of fast. This fast may be observed continuously
non-break, or it may be observed one day at a time. If you observe it
continuously, you may start on the fourth day and end on the ninth of day
Shawwal, or you may select days at random, provided you complete six days
before the end of Shawwal. For instance, you may observe the third, fifth,
seventh, ninth, 14th and 15th days. Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (raa) related the
Messenger of Allah, (saas), said:
"Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in
Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year)." (Bukhari) It has
been mentioned earlier that Dahr means the whole year. Possibly it may also
mean forever, or for life.
Analyzing this hadith, our jurists (`Ulama) explained how according to this
hadith, a Muslim who fasts during Ramadan every year and follows it with six
days fast of Shawwal, will be credited for fasting a whole lifetime. The
Jurists correctly said: a good deed (hasanah) is rewarded a minimum of ten
times its equivalent. It follows, then, that one Ramadan is equivalent to ten
months of fasting, and the clincher, six days, is equal to two months,
(6x10=60). That undoubtedly completes the year's twelve months. Thus, we see
the wisdom and the reason why the Prophet (saas) mentioned six days after
Ramadan in Shawwal, not five or seven.
FASTING ON THE DAY OF 'ARAFAH
The ninth day of Zulhijjah is the day of 'Arafah. It is the day when pilgrims
stand on the plain of 'Arafah to pray. On this day, Muslims all over the
world who do not witness the annual Hajj, should spend the day in fasting in
preparation for the three days festivity following `Eidul Adha.
Abu Hafasah (raa) said the Prophet (saas) said: "Fasting on the day of
'Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming
years, and fasting on 'Ashura, (the tenth day) of Muharram atones for the
sins of previous years." (Reported by Jama'ah except Bukhari and Tirmidhi)
In another hadith, the Prophet's wife Hafsah (raa) said: "Four things the
Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of 'Ashura, (on
the tenth of Muharram), three days every month, and offering Fajr sunnah
prayers early in the morning." (Muslim)
These ahadiths are proof that fasting on the tenth of Zulhijjah, the day
before `Eidul Adha was a lifelong practice of the Prophet (saas) as his wife
There are some reports that fasting is prohibited on the day of 'Arafah.
However, it must be understood that this refers to a person performing Hajj.
If a person is on Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of
'Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of
the pilgrimage. In a hadith reported by Umm al-Fadl (raa) she said: "The
companions doubted whether the Prophet was fasting on 'Arafah or not. She
decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, 'I sent to him milk,
which he drank while he was delivering the Khutbah on 'Arafah.'" (Bukhari)
Prohibiting the pilgrim from fasting on these days is a great mercy for him,
for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the Hajj,
while he is concerned with his pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrim would not
be fasting anyway because he is traveling.
FASTING IN MUHARRAM (The FIRST MONTH OF ISLAMIC YEAR)
Fasting in the month of Muharram is highly desired, especially on the tenth
day, 'Ashura. The Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported as saying when
asked which prayer is better after obligatory prayer: "Prayer in the middle
of the night." He was asked again which fast is better after Ramadan. He
said: "In the month that is called Al-Muharram." (Ahmed, Muslim, and Abu
This hadith clearly indicates the importance of voluntary fasting in
Muharram, among all the months. The Prophet (saas) however, emphasizes the
fast of the tenth day, 'Ashura. The word "`Ashura" is derived from `Ashara,
which means ten. The observation of this day goes back to Prophet Musa bin
'Emran (saas). In a hadith related by Ibn Abbas (raa) when the Messenger of
Allah (saas) came to Medina, he found the Jews fasting the day of 'Ashura. He
inquired why do they did so. They replied that it was a good day, the day
which Allah delivered Prophet Musa (saas) and the children of Israel from
their enemy. As gratitude Musa (saas) fasted that day.
The Prophet (saas) responded: "I have more right to Musa than you." He fasted
the day and commanded the believers to fast." (Agreed upon.)
This hadith indicates that the Prophet (saas) was in complete agreement with
Prophet Musa (saas) as well as the other prophets. The point here is that the
Messenger of Allah would always do an act of worship if it was prophecy
reported from any of the prophets. Earlier, we see how he told us that the
best voluntary fast is the fast of Dawud.
This is why the following hadith is of great interest to us. Ibn Abbas
related when Prophet Muhammad (saas) observed the day of 'Ashura and
commanded his followers to observe it, they asked him: "O Messenger of Allah
(saas) this is the day the Jews, and Christians respect and honor..." The
Prophet (saas) promised them that "Next year Allah willing, we shall fast the
ninth, tasuu'aa, along with the tenth." By the next Muharram, the Prophet
(saas) had already passed away. Because the believers, desire to emulate
Prophet Musa in fasting on 'Ashura do so with the desire not to participate
in the festivity of the People of the Book, who have reduced the day to a
mere formality. The Prophet (saas) decided to remove this ambiguity with the
fast of the ninth day.
Our 'Ulama, analyzing all reports from the Prophet (saas) regarding Muharram,
stated the fast of Muharram can be viewed in three ways:
1. Fasting three days of Muharram, the ninth, tenth and eleventh.
2. Fasting on the ninth and tenth days because of two previous Hadiths.
3. Fasting on the tenth day alone.
It is to celebrate on the day of `Ashura. In a hadith by Jabir Bin Abdullah,
the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Whoever spends generously on himself and
his family on the day of `Ashura, Allah will provide for him generously the
rest of his year." (Al-Bayhaqi)
FASTING OF SHA'ABAN
It is recommended to fast most of the eighth month Sha'aban. However, there
is no proof or merit to the fasting half of Sha'aban (nisf Sha'aban), as is
commonly known, because there is no verifiable evidence (daleel) to support
that fasting. 'Aisha (raa) related: "I have never seen the Prophet (saas)
complete the fasting of a month at all, except the month of Ramadan. I have
never seen him fast most of a month, except Sha'aban." (Bukhari/Muslim)
The hadith indicates clearly the Prophet's Sunnah in preparation for the
month of Ramadan is fasting most of the eighth month, Sha'aban, in
anticipation for Ramadan. Thus, the believer may fast during Sha'aban as much
as he or she pleases, the more the better.
Again, there is no evidence, or at least the hadith is incorrect, that
Sha'aban is the month in which the annual recording of deeds is done. The
hadith in question is reported by Osamah Bin Zaid (raa) who asked the Prophet
(saas): "O Messenger of Allah, why don't you observe fast in other months as
you do in Sha'aban?'' The Messenger responded: `This is a month most people
neglect, between Rajab and Ramadan, the month in which (the annual deeds of
humanity) are raised to the Lord of the worlds. So, I want my deeds to be
raised while I am observing fast'" (Abu Dawud, Nasa'e, and Ibn Khuzaimah)
This Hadith is not authentic, for it contradicts a verse in Al-Qur'an,
according to many scholars. They stated Allah (SWT) said: "We sent it down
during a blessed night, for We (ever) wish to warn against evil. In that
night is made distinct every affair of wisdom." (Al-Qur'an, 44-3)
This is the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr), the night in which the deeds of
humanity are returned and the decrees for the following year are announced to
the angels, not as the above hadith alleged. The Qur'anic commentators said:
On this night, Allah will decree and explain what will take place in the
affairs of humanity and the world, their earnings, longevity, who will live
or die, what type of deeds, good or bad, virtues or non-virtues and what type
of work. Allah (SWT) will reveal from the protective slate, Lawhul-Mahfuz the
record of every living being to the Angels as the annual records are being
raised and stored away.
FASTING ON MONDAY AND THURSDAY
It has been reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) fasted the second and
fifth days of the week, namely, Monday and Thursday. These two days, as the
Hadith explained, are the days in which, twice weekly, the deeds are raised
into the heavens and are the days of forgiveness. Abu Hurairah related the
Messenger of Allah (saas) was asked why he rarely missed these two days of
fasting. He replied: "Indeed, the deeds of humanity are exhibited every
Monday and Thursday. Then Allah will further pardon every Muslim for every
behavior, except the two believers who part from each other's company; Allah
will say to the angels delay the two of them. (Ahmed)
He (saas) was asked again. He said, I observe this day in fasting because it
was a day in which I was born, and on it the revelation of (Al-Qur'an) was
This hadith added another reason for fasting on Monday. It was the
Messenger's birthday. This is an indication of the fallacy of the annual
celebration of the Prophet`s birthday, which some Muslims observe every year
on the 12th of Rabee`ual Awwal. This is nothing but innovation, because there
is no record of a hadith regarding it. The only thing reported in respect to
the birth of Muhammad (saas) is this hadith, and that is celebrated with
fasting on Mondays.
One may ask also why is his birth celebrated? Undoubtedly, the birth of the
Seal of the Prophets represents a mercy to humanity, as it marked the dawning
of a new era in human history.
The inauguration of the Book of Allah, Al-Qur'an, which confirmed and updated
previous scriptures occurred on a Monday, when Allah (SWT) revealed the first
ayah of Al-Qur'an in the cave of Hira. That was an important event because
that was the time humanity began receiving the correct updated manual of life.
For a believer who seeks nearness to Allah (SWT) fasting, as mentioned
earlier, is an important and proper way to offer worship (Ebadah). Abu
Az-Zarr Al-Ghifari (raa) reported that: "The Messenger of Allah (saas)
commanded us to fast in every calendar month three days: the thirteenth,
fourteenth and fifteenth. The Prophet added fasting these days is like
fasting a whole year." (Nasa'e)
There is room in the way these days are observed, because there are other
Ahadiths relating to the Sunnah of three days fasting that can be observed in
a different way. The report indicated that the Prophet (saas) fasted every
month on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. In different months, he would fast
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Elsewhere, he was observed fasting on the
first Thursday of the month, and the following Monday, and the following
Monday. Of these methods, any one you choose is proper and correct.
FASTING AND BREAKING FAST
Some devoted believers may wish to fast forever, oblivious to hardship in
their life, not to mention the fact that this type of fasting is not in
harmony with the spirit of Al-Islam. When reports of Abdullah Bin `Amru's
continuous fasting reached the Messenger of Allah (saas), Abdullah related
"The Messenger told me, `I have been informed that you observe night prayer
and a daily fast.' Ibn Amru answered, Yes!' O Messenger of Allah. The
Messenger advised, him: `Fast a day and break a day. Pray at night and sleep.
For your body has rights over you, your wife has rights over you, and your
guest has rights over you. Indeed, it will perfectly suffice you to fast
three days in every month.' Amru strongly pointed out that he was capable of
observing the fast in the fashion he was doing. But the Messenger advised
against it. Ibn 'Amru said, `Then I explained to him that I have the strength
to do it.' The Messenger of Allah (saas) then said: `Observe three days
fasting starting from Friday (and then break).' Ibn 'Amru said: `I strongly
stressed to him that I could, and he vigorously said I should not.' The
Messenger of Allah then instructed, `Observe your fast as the Prophet of
Allah, Dawud, (David, ass), used to observe and do not exceed it. `How did he
fast?' 'Amru asked. The Prophet (saas) said: `Prophet Dawud (ass) used to
fast a day and break the next.'" (Ahmad)
This hadith is instructing and revealing that the objectives in the command
to fast are not to unduly injure, or deny the body the natural way of living.
It also indicates the caring side of this Messenger of mercy as he tried to
convince Amru that his decision to spend the rest of his life in fasting was
not in harmony with Islam. With continuous fasts one loses the physical and
spiritual benefits. Physically, because it becomes a routine and the body
loses the benefits of the way the fast is structured. Spiritually, one feels
the numbness, and boredom of the heart. The spouses' right to marital
association is denied as the continuous fasting decreases the sexual desire.
The soul is affected only by what intrudes upon it, not by what it is
accustomed to. Do you not see that the doctors will advise a person not to
take a drug, as a matter of routine, unless the body needs it, lest the same
drug will be ineffective when the person gets sick.
The hadith indicates that no one has the right to use his or her body
exclusively in the way they desire. In every undertaking, one should bear in
mind the other legal rights. The responsibilities of a person are multiple.
For while you may think you are worshipping Allah, you may well be violating
Allah's rules, because you lose the balance in worship by infringing on the
rights of your body when you overly deny it the element of survival.
If you fail to fulfill the marital covenant towards your wife or husband, you
may be making her or him vulnerable and susceptible to unlawful, immoral
acts. The Hadith also reveals and indicates the beautiful relationship
between the teacher and the student, and how the Messenger was very patient
with a companion who had unlimited energy, and did not mind spending it in
fasting. It reveals how the Prophet (saas) encouraged the believers to
express their opinions and ask questions while observing the etiquette of
respect to the Messenger of Allah (saas) who said: "The best (voluntary fast
in the sight of Allah) is the fast of Prophet Dawud, and the best nightly
voluntary prayer is the prayer of Prophet Dawud." The Messenger explained,
"He used to sleep half of the night then pray one-third of the night, then
sleep one sixth of the night. In fasting, he used to fast a day and break the
It is a mercy from Allah (SWT) that our Prophet Muhammad (saas) is in tune
with all the previous revelations' as we see in Al-Qur'an and the Sunnah. It
is rich spiritual information made available through him (saas) to this Ummah.
PERMISSION REGARDING VOLUNTARY FAST
The observer of voluntary fasting is his own leader. That is why he is
permitted, if he so desires, to abort the fast. This is the verdict of many
scholars relying on the evidence of the following citations.
Umm Hanee (raa) related that, "The Messenger of Allah entered into my
quarters the day that Makkah was conquered. He was offered water to drink. He
drank and passed it to me. I told him I was fasting! The Messenger (saas)
instructed. "The observer of a voluntary fast is the leader of his own self.
If he wishes, he can continue the fast, and if he wants he can break''.
Elsewhere, Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri (raa) said, "I invited the Messenger of Allah
(saas). He came with his companions. When the food was brought, a man refused
to eat. He said, `I am fasting.' The Messenger of Allah (saas) commented:
`Your brother invited you and he has taken the trouble and incurred the cost
for your sake. Break your fast and make it up with another day if you want.'"
These two ahadiths are evidence that the voluntary fast is different from the
mandatory fast in that the observer is allowed with or without a valid reason
to abort the obligation of fasting. However, the second report shows also
that it is desired to make up the aborted day.
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 1/12|
|11/14/00 at 01:06:33|
Man, there is some good stuff here. Arshad, who is the author of this series?
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 1/12|
|11/14/00 at 06:55:23|
|Jazk Allah Khairan, Arshad. Excellent series.|
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 1/12|
|11/15/00 at 01:07:30|
Alhumdullilah glad to hear you guys liked it.
Its actually called the Essentials of Ramadan the Fasting month, by Tajuddin B. Shu`aib (more about the author in the last post)
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 6/12|
|11/15/00 at 01:08:39|
RULES OF FASTING (Adab As-Siyam)
In Islam, for any act of worship to be valid and acceptable, it must be
observed in accordance with the instruction of Allah (SWT) and the practice
of the Messenger of Allah (saas). Obviously, we did not know about the
fasting until we were told about it. It would be unwise to just decide to
fast in the way one wishes. That is why there are in Islamic Law (Shari'ah)
rules of fasting (Adab As-Siyam). Observation of these rules helps the
devotee maximize the physical as well as spiritual benefits of fasting. They
This is a light meal taken shortly before the break of dawn. There is
consensus that this meal is a highly recommended Sunnah.
In reports by Bukhari and Muslim, Anas (raa) related that the Messenger of
Allah said: "Take your early morning meal for in that is a blessing." In
another report by Miqdam bin Ma'a Diyikarib (raa) the Messenger of Allah
(saas) said: "Take this early morning meal for it is a blessed meal."
In both ahadiths the statement underscores the importance of sahuur, and to
caution anyone from thinking they can just stay without a meal all night and
continue with fasting. This may explain why the statement came as a command.
Although it is not mandatory to eat sahuur, it is highly encouraged so that
anyone intending to fast will make an effort to take sahuur.
The crux of the matter is not to show how strong you are, but how obedient
you are. Sahuur, above all, ensures that the devotee has the energy he or she
will need during the course of the day, and it makes the fast easier.
WHAT CONSTITUTES SAHUUR?
Sahuur can be achieved by a large meal, a small meal, or even by a sip of
water or soup. In a report by Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri (raa) the Messenger of
Allah (saas) said, "Sahuur is a blessed meal, do not neglect it even if it is
a mouthful of drink. For Allah and the Angels bless those who observe it."
You see, what reaches Allah is the intent that you have made a genuine effort
to obey Allah in fasting. This is why it is recommended to make intention
with the sahuur, to emulate the Prophet, and to eat the food to gain strength
and energy during fasting, so as to get the reward from Allah. The hadith
also contains the information that during the course of this meal the faster
receives a special blessing that cannot be found elsewhere: that Allah (SWT)
blesses your meal and that the angels seek on your behalf forgiveness for you
during sahuur. Thus, with sahuur you receive both physical and spiritual
TIME OF SAHUUR
The time for sahuur begins from midnight until the break of dawn. It is
recommended, however, to delay it till shortly before the time of Subh
In a hadith by Zaid bin Thabit (raa) he related that: "We ate sahuur with the
Messenger of Allah (saas) then we went to pray Subh". I asked the Messenger
`What was the time period between sahur and prayer?' He responded `The time
period between them is the equivalent of the time it takes to recite fifty
verses in Al-Qur'an.'" (Bukhari and Muslim)
This citation is instructive in that it settles the question of whether one
should stop eating before morning prayer (Subh/Fajr), or before sunrise, as
we see in certain prayer times tables showing the so-called shuruq (the
sunrise, which some think is the time to stop eating). The hadith is
explicit. The recommendation to delay Sahuur is only to the hour or so before
(Subh). The mentioning of the period of recitation of fifty verses (ayats) is
a cushion or a grace period in which food or drink should not be taken. All
the reports that recommend delay of Sahuur must be understood in this way.
During the time of the Messenger of Allah (saas), the tradition of two adhans
(or call to prayer) was established, and it has continued up until now in
some Muslim countries. The first adhan is to indicate the beginning of
sahuur: the adhan of Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum (raa). The second is the adhan
of Bilal Ibn Rabah (raa): the adhan of Salaah, a morning prayer.
However, if you hear the second adhan while you are eating or drinking, you
should immediately stop eating in preparation for fasting.
DOUBT IN THE BREAK OF DAWN
Even in the age of watches and alarm clocks, sometimes we doubt whether it is
time to stop eating. In this event, one should eat and drink until he is
certain and no longer in doubt about the break of dawn. No decision on
Islamic deeds should be based on doubt. Allah (SWT) made the determining
factor in every affair certainty. He (SWT) says:
"And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct
from it's black thread." (Al-Qur'an 2:184) As I mentioned earlier, by "White
thread" is meant the light of the day. And "black thread" is meant darkness
of the night. Hence, the verse is explicit in that eating and drinking are
permitted until the doubt and uncertainty are removed from your mind.
A man told Ibn Abbas, (raa), that he observed Sahuur and he only stopped when
he doubted about the break of dawn. Ibn Abbas (raa) instructed him to eat as
long as he doubted until he doubts no more. Similar reports are attributed to
many companions and scholars inferring from the above verse.
With the advance in time keeping technology, proliferation of wrist watches,
and alarm clocks, the possibility of uncertainty is minimized, at least in
the case of a believer who has a time keeping device. These time pieces can
be set, not only to sound an alarm, but to call Al Adhan, recite some verse,
or simply just tell you to get up for sahuur.
In the heartland of the Muslim world, the states take the responsibility for
public announcements with the firing of cannons, or radio, or television
announcements. There has evolved a special culture of Ramadan in many
Working hours in some Muslim countries during Ramadan are changed to night,
virtually changing or shifting daytime activities to night. In some
countries, the governments are not involved in public announcements, but some
families and volunteers over the years have taken the duty of wake-up calls
by going door to door, in groups and individually in an attempt to wake up
the city for Sahur.
It would be excellent if Muslims in non-Muslim countries try to adjust their
annual vacations during Ramadan, so as to allow themselves the maximum use of
the blessed month.
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 7/12|
|11/15/00 at 01:10:57|
HASTEN TO BREAK FAST
The Lawgiver highly recommended rule that the fast be broken as soon as the
sun sets is certain. Although newspapers, in their daily almanac, mention the
time of sunset and sunrise, one should be strongly advised to look through
the window to make sure the sun has set. For example, you might hear that
"Today's sunrise is at 6:50 a.m. and sunset at 4:58 p.m.," and when you look
outside, you find that there is still light out side. By sunset it is meant
the disappearance of the sun from the western horizon.
In the books of Bukhari and Muslim, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "The
people will always remain in a good state of mind and body (during fast) so
far as they hurry in the breaking of the fast and delay the sahur."
It is recommended also to break the fast with fresh dates, rutub, and in odd
numbers, or tamr, regular table or supermarket dates, or water. If dates are
not available, any fruit will do. If there is no food or drink to break the
fast with, intend in your heart to break fast, and whenever food is available
you should eat.
In a report by Anas (raa), he said: "The Prophet (saas) used to break fast
with fresh, ripe dates rutub, before he offered his Maghrib prayer. If they
were not available, he would break with regular dates, or drink water if
there were no dates." (Abu Dawud Tirmidhi).
In this report, there is an indication that with the Messenger of Allah
(saas) breaking fast precedes evening prayer, Maghrib, as if to say the last
meal before fast precedes the morning prayer. Likewise, the first meal at the
time of iftaar, the fast breaking meal, precedes evening prayer, Maghrib.
Hence, the procedure at Iftaar goes like this: break with a light meal,
preferably dates, make Iqamah for Maghrib prayer, then take your regular meal.
The meal, may be taken with the family at home, or friends and relatives may
be invited to the Iftaar as we shall see that charitable works are highly
recommended in the month of Ramadan. Over the years phenomenon have evolved
in different masajid, and Islamic Centers in the United States of America and
elsewhere, where arrangements are made by the believers to break fast in
jama'ah in the masajid. These gatherings are excellent and are encouraged as
they lead to Taraweeh prayer in Jamaa`ah in the masjid.
SUPPLICATIONS DURING AND AT BREAK TIME
The Lawgiver has recommended that the fasting person take the opportunity on
this occasion and beseech Allah during the period of fasting, especially
around the hour of breaking fast, iftaar. He should request diligently,
whatever he or she desires, from the Owner of creation, Rabbil Alameen.
In the book of Ibn Maja, Abdullah bin 'Amru bin 'Al-As (raa) reported that
the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Indeed, as to the faster, about the time
he breaks his fast, his du'a, (supplication) will not be turned away by
Allah." This hadith reveals a special privilege afforded only to the servant
who observes fasting and at the hour he brings his fasting to a close. Each
fasting person has the right to supplication and the right that it will be
answered, a promise from the One who never reneges on His promises.
However, granting the faster's du'a request falls within the conditions of
du'a. That is, whatever you ask Allah (SWT), He will grant it in His own
time, and when he knows that granting your request will not lead to your
ruin. Do not ask of Him something unlawful.
In a report by Tirmidhi (raa), the Messenger of Allah (saas) has been
reported as saying: "There are three categories of people whose du'a
(supplications) will not be rejected: the person who observes the fast until
he breaks, a just ruler, and the person who has been wronged." This citation
supports the previous one, while adding that when prayers are offered during
fasting, supplications are highly encouraged.
In addition to the faster, a ruler's acts of justice weigh heavily on the
scale of good deeds (mizaan). This is the person whose pronouncements, orders
and decrees affects the lives of others. The ruler may be a political leader,
a judge, or a community leader who does not abuse the power and authority
invested in him. If any one of them makes a request, Allah (SWT) will swiftly
Conversely, on the reverse side, if the faster did not observe fasting
properly, or the ruler abuses the power invested in him, their supplications
will not only be turned away unanswered, but will incur the wrath of Allah.
The third person in the Hadith is al-mazluum. This is an individual who has
been wronged, such as a victim of a crime against himself or his property, or
if his civil rights have been violated, or he is a victim of fraud or white
collar crime. If such a person raises his hands and asks Allah (SWT) for
help, his or her prayer will be granted.
EXAMPLES OF SUPPLICATIONS DURING RAMADAN
It has been reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) used to say the
"Allahumma Inne as aluka birahma - tikal Latee wasi'at kulla shain an
(O Allah, I request You by Your mercy that encompasses everything in the
creation to forgive me.)
Also: "Dhahaba Zamau, wabta lati'uruq, wa Thabatal Ajru In Sha Allah."
(The thirst is gone and the throats are wet again and the reward is
established, Allah willing.)
Also: "Allahumma laka sumtu wabika a mantu wa 'alaika Tawakaltu, wa'ala
(O Allah, I fasted for Your sake. I believed in You and relied on You and I
break my fast on your provisions.)
The above supplications have been reported from the Messenger of Allah
(saas). Anyone of them may be said before you put the date or water in your
mouth. Speaking of iftar, it is recommended to be in a state of purity,
(wudu) before iftar, so that when the adhan is called for Maghrib prayer,
anyone who hears the adhan should breakfast immediately at the sound of
Allahu Akbar and should not wait until the adhan is completed. The caller
will break after adhan.
AVOIDANCE OF THE THINGS THAT CONTRADICT THE SPIRIT OF FASTING
Fasting is one of the best acts of worship. It is mandated by Allah (SWT) to
purify the soul along with the practice of good deeds. Thus the faster ought
to be aware of acts or behaviors that may spoil his fast so that he or she
will attain the highest benefit physically and spiritually.
Fasting is not only restraining oneself from fast-breakers - food, drink and
sex - that restrain only the mouth and the private parts. Every limb
(jawarih) must be restrained. The tongue must desist from slander and
back-biting. The eyes must restrain themselves from any unlawful look. The
hand must not touch or take what does not belong to it. The ears must not
listen to idle talk, gossip, lyrics and notes that contain obscene and
indecent things; the nose must fast also by not sniffing, smelling unlawful
things. The feet must fast by not going to places where sinful acts are
propagated. When you eat sahuur and iftar, make sure the food on the table
has been obtained lawfully. If the servant has observed the fast in these
terms and acted accordingly, he or she will have gained positively by Ramadan
and will receive the maximum reward.
Hence, fasting is a state of mind that transcends the physical restraint. In
a hadith by Abu Hurairah, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "It is not
fasting, just to restrain from food and drink, instead the fast is to cease
from idle talk (laghw), obscenity, and should anyone insult or provoke you,
or act ignorantly towards you, respond to it by saying, 'I am fasting, I am
indeed fasting.'" (Ibn Khuzaimah)
In another citation reported by Abu Hurairah (raa) the Messenger of Allah,
(saas), said: "He who does not stop from false talk or stop from acting upon
false talk, Allah will have no need that he abstain from his food and drink."
Again, in the same spirit, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Many an
observer of fasting will not receive from his fasting any reward but the pain
of hunger, and many a night worshipper will not receive any reward from his
prayer but the loss of sleep." (Nasaie and Hakim)
These three ahadith are evidence that the most important thing in the eyes of
the Lawgiver is not merely physically restraining from the obvious food and
drink, but the total commitment of the servant's body and soul to the letter
and spirit of fasting. The curfew of the body and mind during the state of
fasting enables the person who has fasted in the true spirit of Ramadan to
have the necessary requirements to withstand the turbulence of life for the
next eleven months.
When the Messenger of Allah (saas) said in the hadith, "Allah will have no
need..." (Bukhari), he was indicating the depth or seriousness of this case.
If you fail the test, Allah will have no need that he abstained... in that
test. If Allah rejects the test, who else will accept it? Nobody! Hence, the
pain of hunger and the burning of thirst will go unrewarded
|Re: Ramadan 12 part series 8/12|
|11/15/00 at 01:17:21|
It is recommended to take care of the mouth, teeth and gums all the time, and
more so during fasting. This can be achieved by the use of siwaak, a special
stick or root (from Arak tree) that is used to cleanse the teeth and
strengthen the gums. Although the best siwaak is the one called al-Arak
produced in Hijaz, in Arabia, it will suffice to use anything that will
cleanse the teeth and remove the stain and refresh the mouth, like halaal
toothpaste. In hadith by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (saas) said: "Were not it
because of fear of burdening my community (Ummah) I would have commanded them
to use siwaak (brush their teeth with a chewing stick) before every
In another hadith by 'Aishah (raa) the Messenger of Allah (saas) said:
"Siwaak cleanses the mouth and pleases Allah." (Ahmad). Yet, in another
report by Amir bin Rabeelah (raa), he said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah
(saas) on numerous occasions chewing siwaak while fasting." (Tirmidhi)
In the first and second hadith, the importance of oral hygiene is underscored
and encouraged on every occasion: before wudu for regular prayer, before
reciting Al-Qur'an, before or after sleeping, when the mouth odor changes
and, of course, during fasting. The third hadith indicates the Prophet (saas)
took care of his teeth during the time of fasting.
THE USE OF TOOTHPASTE
Many scholars consider phe use of toothpaste during the period of fasting as
undesirable (makruuh), because it is a thorough or rather extensive way of
cleaning the teeth. This would have been all right if not because of the
fasting. The reason why thorough cleaning is considered makruuh is because of
the fear of swallowing water as one attempts to rinse and flush out the taste
and soapy residue of toothpaste. This fear is justified by hadith reported by
Laqit bin Sabrah (raa) that the Messenger of Allah said: "Perfect your Wudu,
clean between your fingers and sniff water thoroughly unless you are
fasting." (Abu Dawud and Nasa'e)
CATEGORIES OF FASTERS
The faster excels in the degree and the depth of his fasting in proportion to
the intent and in the way he communicates with Allah as well adheres to the
rules of fasting. Ibn Rajab (raa) stated the people who observe the fasting
are two categories.
One who abstains from food and drink and sexual desires for the sake of
Allah. in so doing, he desires a return from Allah in a form of paradise,
Jannah. He resembles a businessman who trades, bargains and deals with Allah
(swt). Allah in turn will not neglect nor deny him his due reward. For no one
whoever deals or trades with Allah ever lost a thing. Instead, the person
will be rewarded a great deal more. The Messenger (saas) told a man: "When
you abstain from anything for the fear of Allah, He will substitute you
something better." (Ahmed)
The faster will receive in paradise what he wishes of food, drinks and
desires. Allah (swt) sates: "Eat ye and drink ye with full satisfaction
because of a (good) that ye sent before you in the days that are gone."
(Al-Qur`an, 69: 24) According to Imam Mujahid this verse refers to the
righteous faster. In a hadith the Messenger saw Abdur Rahman bin Samrah in a
vision, he said: "I saw a man from my community lolling his tongue for
thirst, whenever he comes near to water fountain he is denied a drink and
sacked, then fasting of Ramadan came and gave him water and quenched him."
The other category is the believer who fasts by abstaining from worldly
things for Allah. His heart fasts from grieve and greed for material
possessions, his mind fasts from wishful thinking while his heart and soul
are ever fresh with the remembrance of Allah and the Final Day. This faster's
iftar, fast break, is when he or she meets Allah, and his happiness is when
he sees his Maker. This is fasting of khawasul khawas, specials of the
specials, the `aarifeen, truly wise and knowing.
The `aarifeen, truly wise, are the people who are not entertained nor
gratified by material earthy things, no sound, seen, or shape can gratify
them beside Allah. No ocean can quench their thirst but the continence of
Allah, their ambitions are bigger then this world. In a net shell whoever
fasts by the command of Allah from lusts for food, drink, and desires, Allah
will greet him in the Hereafter in the Jannah, and whoever fasts from
anything but Allah his final `Eid will be when he is granted the ultimate
honor of seen his Lord. Allah states:
"For those whose hopes are in the meeting with Allah (in the Hereafter, let
them strive) for the term (appointed) by Allah is surly coming and He hears
and knows all thing." (Al-Qur`an, 29: 5)
The acts of charity and benevolence toward the less fortunate, for the sake
of Allah, are highly desired on all occasions, but more so during the blessed
month of Ramadan. In the book of Al-Bukhari, Ibn 'Abbas (raa) related: "The
Messenger of Allah (saas) is the most benevolent among the people. His
benevolence increases markedly during the month of Ramadan when the angel
Jibreel meets him every night of Ramadan, to rehearse with him the Holy
Qur'an. The Messenger of Allah (saas) was more charitable with his good
possessions than the moving winds that bring torrential rain."
As you may be aware, there are two kinds of charitable acts. There is
regular, voluntary charity, (sadaqah), that can be given any time, from
inviting others to meals, at iftar time during Ramadan, to outright gifts to
an individual or a charitable organization. On the other hand, there is an
obligation of Zakaat (obligatory charity), which is the annual return of 2.5
percent that is levied against one's savings or assets that have matured in
the last twelve months. Although annual calendars for Zakat can be set in any
month, many people prefer to give their Zakaat to its rightful owners during
Ramadan so as to offer these two obligations of Islam at the same time. We
included a brief Fiqh of Zakaat and its recipients in the book
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