FASTING & RAMADAN

FASTING & RAMADAN

​​♣ What is the Ramadan (Shahr Ramadan – Month of Ramadan)?

Ramadan is the ninth month in Islamic calendar. It is considered as one of most blessed month. This month has been described in Al Quran and Al Hadith many times.

♣ Allah says about month of Ramadan in Al Quran

شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ هُدً۬ى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡفُرۡقَانِ‌ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُ‌ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ وَلِتُكۡمِلُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَٮٰكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ

The month of Ramadan (is the month) in which the Qur’an has been sent down as guidance for mankind containing clear signs which lead (to the straight road) and distinguishing (the truth from falsehood). Therefore, he who witnesses this month must fast it, and he who is ill or on a journey should complete the count by (fasting on equal number of) other days. Allah desires ease for you and does not desire hardship for you so that you complete the prescribed number of fasting days, and that you glorify Him for the guidance which He has blessed you with, and that you may become grateful. (Al Quran – 2 :185)

♣ Beloved Prophet’s ﷺ sayings on month of Ramadan

Holy Prophet ﷺ said:

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained”

Sahih al Bukhari – Book 31, Hadith 123​​

♣ What is Fasting?

Fasting is the fourth of the five pillars in Islam. It is called in Arabic as “Sawm” meaning abstain. Fasting means one should abstain himself from eating, drinking and all the actions which will nullify the fasting from true dawn (time of fajr prayer) to sunset (time of maghrib prayer) in the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

If anyone rejects any of the five pillars of Islam, he will be considered as an unbeliever (Kafir). Therefore, fasting should not be rejected or should not be called as it is not an obligatory. Otherwise, the one who says it will become an unbeliever according to the Islamic Law. If someone is unable to fast in the month of Ramadan for any reason, he is obliged to fast those missed fastings as Kada (Due fasting) later

♣ ​Allah says about Fasting in Al Quran

يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for the people before you so that you may become pious. ( Al Quran 2 : 183)

♣ Beloved Prophet’s ﷺ sayings on Fasting

​♦ Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

​”Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”

​Narrated by : Hazrat Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him)

Sahih al-Bukhari 1894

♦ Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

​Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.

​Narrated by : Hazrat Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him)

Sahih Muslim 1151

♣ Types of Fasting

1. Compulsory Fasting (Fard)

It is three types:

​a. Ramadan Fasting

It is the duty of every sane and adult Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan. Whoever fulfils this duty will be awarded merits and obtained the love and mercy of Allah Almighty

​b. Nadhr Fasting (Oath Fasting)

If a person took an Oath that he will be fasting for specified number of days if his particular wish is fulfilled then he must complete his oath in case his wish is fulfilled. He is not obliged to fast if his wish is not fulfilled.

​c. Kaffara Fasting (Compensation Fasting)

Islam has imposed fasting as the compensation for certain criminal acts.

​Example – If one took an Oath and if he breaks it, he is obliged to feed for 10 poor persons or should provide clothes to 10 poor persons or should free a slave or should fast for three days. Likewise, if one had sexual intercourse with his wife during the time of fasting, then he is obliged to free a slave or should fast continuously for two months or should feed for 60 poor people.

2. Additional Fasting

a. Sunnat Fasting

These are the additional fasting observed by beloved prophet ﷺ in some particular days and commanded to his nation to fast as an additional fasting. This is not compulsory to fast. But whoever fast it, will get the abundant rewards and love of Allah Almighty and his beloved prophet ﷺ

Example – Ashura fasting which is observed in 9th & 10th day of month of Muharram

​b. Nafl Fasting

These are the additional fasting which is observed by a servant of Allah voluntarily for the sake of love and blessings of Allah Almighty. These fasting can be observed as to show the gratitude to Allah Almighty or to seek rewards from Him.​​​

♣ On whom is Fasting compulsory?

One should have attained the following qualification to Fasting becomes compulsory upon him

1. He must be a Muslim

2. He must have reached puberty

3. He must be a Sane

4. He should possess the ability (power) to fast

5. Women must be clean from menstruation or post childbirth bleeding

6. Not in the state of travel

♣ On whom is Fasting not compulsory?

1. For Non-Muslims

2. For children

3. For an insane

4. People who are in serious illness

5. Women who are in the state of menstruation or post childbirth bleeding

6. Travelers

However (3), (4), (5) are required to fast those missing fasts later (Kada)

♣ Fard (Compulsory) of Fasting

​​1. Intention (Niyyah of Fasting)

The person who supposed to fast should intend his intention of fasting. It is compulsory. Without an Intention, Fasting will not be valid.

Niyyah – “I intend to fast the compulsory Ramadan fast tomorrow”

The time for intention starts from Maghrib. It is sunnah to intend between Maghrib and Fajr for that day fasting. The time for intention lasts up to midday.

​According to Shafie Fiqh, The time for intention is between Maghrib and Fajr. If one forgets to intend at that time, he may, based on the Hanafi Fiqh, intend before the midday.

2. Abstain

The one who fast should abstain himself from eating, drinking and all the actions which will nullify the fasting from true dawn (time of fajr prayer) to sunset (time of maghrib prayer)

♣ What are Sunnat of Fasting?

1. Partaking (Eating) Suhoor.

2. Completing the Suhoor before to the Fajr Prayer Call with the time lapse where 50 ayat (Phrases of Al Quran) can be recited.

     (Normally it is called Imsak or Suhoor End Time)

3. Starting Suhoor with dates.

4. Partaking Suhoor at least with a cup of water, if nothing is available.

5. Stopping the Suhoor if the time is doubtful.

6. Breaking the fast immediately after sunset

7. Breaking the fast with dates. If not available, then with water

8. Breaking the fast with three dates.

9. Inviting people to join in the break-fast (Iftar)

10. Reciting Iftar Dua (Prayer at the time of breaking fast)

11. Giving charity, donations and helping poor and relations.

12. Reciting Al Quran and performing I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan

13. Taking obligatory bath before Fajr, if is needed

14. Avoiding from telling lies, bad words and erotic desires.​​​

♣ Things should be considered at the time of Iftar

Once the time of Maghrib (Sun-set) comes, one should break the fast immediately without unnecessary delays.

​Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:

​”The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.”  (Sahih al Bukhari – 1957)

It is Sunnah to recite the following dua (supplication) once breaking the fast.

♣ Iftar Dua

“Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika amantu wa `alayka tawakkaltu wa `ala rizqika aftartu fata kabbal minnee”

‘O Allah, I have fasted for You, believed in You, placed my trust in You, and broken my fast on your provision, accept it ’

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♣ Things that break (nullify) the fast

1. Intentionally eating, drinking or smoking without a valid reason.

2. Having Sexual intercourse (even though semen does not come)

3. Making out the semen consciously

4. Anything put by force into the mouth of a fasting person

5. To vomit mouthful intentionally or to return vomit down the throat

6. Water going down the throat whilst gargling

7. Intentionally swallowing a pebble, piece of paper or any item that is not used as food or medicine

8. Inhaling snuff into the nostrils

9. Dripping oil into the ear canal

10. Swallowing the blood from the gums if the color of the blood is more than the saliva with which it is mixed

11. Swallowing the spittle before washing the dirty mouth.

These all above will break the fast and make up is compulsory.

♣ Things that will not break the fast

1. Eating or drinking unintentionally or forgetfully

​The Prophet ﷺ said:

“If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by Allah.”

Sahih al Bukhari – 1933

​2. Vomiting unintentionally

3. Semen discharge in the sleep

4. Water entering the ears.

5. Swallowing one’s own saliva

6. Rubbing oil onto the body or hair

7. Applying surma; however, it is better to avoid it​​​

♣ Things should be noted

1. If the fast is broken for any reason, It is wajib to be as fasting in the remaining hours of the day to honour the Ramadan

2. If a patient is recovered or if a traveler reached his place or if a woman cleaned herself from menstrual and post childbirth bleeding or if one embraced Islam, at the day time, it is wajib upon them to be fasting in the remaining time of that day. However, according to Shafie Fiqh it is Sunnah to be fasting.

3. Travelers and women who are in the state of menstrual and post childbirth bleeding can have meals at the day time. However, they must not disclose it out. ​​​

♣ Things that make compulsory to leave the fasting

It is wajib to break the fasting if one strongly thinks that the fasting will cause the death or increase his suffer from illness.

Also it is wajib to break the fast, if a pregnant woman fears for her pregnancy and the breastfeeding mother fears for her milk production ​​

♣ The Expiatory Payment (Fidya) for Fasting

A very old person who does not have the strength to fast or a very sickly or diseased person who has no hope of recovering after Ramadan must make an expiatory payment for each fast missed in Ramadan. One “mudd” of grain should be given as Fidya. One mudd means the amount one can hold in both hands when cupped together. The grain should be the main staple in the place where it is given.

If, however, an old or sick person gains strength or recovers after Ramadan, he must keep the missed number of fasts and whatever was given as fidya will be a reward for him from Allah Almighty.

Each missed fasting in Ramadan should be made up before the next Ramadan, otherwise, One Mudd of grain should be given as Fidya in addition to makeup those missed fasts.

​One cannot observe fasting on behalf of another one who is still alive even though he is a very old person. However, family members can fast on behalf of a deceased person.

♣ ​The forbidden days to fast

It is prohibited (haram) to fast in the following days:

1. Eid ul Fitr (Ramadan Festival Day)

2. Eid Ul Adha (Hajj Festival Day)

3. 11th, 12th & 13th day of Dhul Hijjah (i.e following three days from Hajj Festival)

4. Doubtful Day (Yaumul Shak) – 30th day of Sha’ban

5. Only in Friday (Fasting in Thursday plus Friday or Friday plus Saturday is permissible)​​

♣ Which are the Sunnat Fastings?

Beloved Prophet ﷺ has shown us lot of Sunnat Fastings in addition to the compulsory Ramadan Fasting. One can get abundant rewards and blessing through observing those fasts.

1. First six days fasting in the month of Shawwal (Following six days from Ramadan Festival)

2. Arafat Fasting (9th day of Dhul Hijjah)

3. Ashura Fasting (9th & 10th day of Muharram)

4. 13th, 14th & 15th day of every month except Dhul Hijjah

5. 27th, 28th & 29th day of every month

6. Fasting on Monday and Thursday is Sunnat Mu’akkadah

Dua to be recited in the first 10 days of Ramadan

“Allahummarhamni bi’rahmatika ya arhamar raahimeen”

O Allah! O the most merciful of all those who show mercy!

Shower Your mercy upon me out of Your mercy

Dua to be recited in the second 10 days of Ramadan

“Allahummagh firlee dhunoobee ya rabbal aalameen”

O Allah! O lord of the world! Forgive my sins

Dua to be recited in the last 10 days of Ramadan

“Allahumma a’tiqni minan naari wa adhkilnil jannata ya rabbal aalameen”

O Allah! O lord of the universe! Free me from the hellfire and place me in your paradise

Dua to be recited excessively in the night of Lailatul Qadr

“Allahumma innakka afuwwun thuhibbul afwa fa’fu annee”

O Allah! You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me

Niyyah (Intention) of Fasting

“Nawaitu sawmaghadhin an adha’ee fardhi ramadhani aadhi’i sanati lillaahi ta’aala”

I Intend to fast the fard of ramadan tomorrow for the sake of Allah

Dua for Iftar  (Prayer at the time of breaking fast)

“Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika a’mantu wa alaika tawakkaltu wa ala rizqika aftartu”

O Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I put my trust in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance

Fasting

♣ Allah’s Apostle Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

​1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is Allah’s ​ Apostle.

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.

​3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .

​4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)

​5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sa​hih al Bukhari – Volume 1, Book 2, Number 7

♣ ​​​​Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”

Narrated by Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhu)

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 118​​

♣ The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.”

​Narrated by Sahl (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 120

♣ Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened.”

Narrated by Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 122

♣ Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

​Narrated by Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 123 &

​Sahih Muslim – Book 006, Hadith Number 2361.

​​​​♣ I heard Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, “When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can’t see It) then regard the crescent (month) of Ramadan (as of 30 days)”.

Narrated by Ibn Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 124

Sahih Muslim – Book 006, Hadith Number 2363.​

♣ ​​​​​The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Narrated by Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 125

♣ The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”

​​​​​​

​Narrated by Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 127

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♣ ​​Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.’ Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ By Him in Whose Hands my soul is’ The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.”

Narrated by Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 128

♣ Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned Ramadan and said, “Do not fast unless you see the crescent (of Ramadan), and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent (of Shawwal), but if the sky is overcast (if you cannot see it), then act on estimation (i.e. count Sha’ban as 30 days).”

​​​​​

​​Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 130

♣ Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The month (can be) 29 nights (i.e. days), and do not fast till you see the moon, and if the sky is overcast, then complete Sha’ban as thirty days.”​​​​

​​Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 131

♣ The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Take Suhur as there is a blessing in it.”

Narrated by Anas bin Malik (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Sahih al Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 31, Number 146

♣ Abdullah bin Shaqeeq RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu reports: “I inquired from ‘Aayeshah RadhiAllahu ‘Anha regarding the (nafil) saum of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. She replied: ‘At times Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam fasted continuously. We used to say, he will keep on fasting (this month). At times he did not fast, till we began thinking he will not fast (that month). Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam did not fast for a month after he came to Madinah, besides the fasts of Ramadhan'”.​​​​​​​​​​

Narrated by Abdullah bin Shaqeeq (RadiyAllahu Anhu)​​

Book – Shama-il Tirmidhi – Chapter 042, Hadith Number 001 (281)

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