The Rulings of Ramadaan:Author: Islamic Society of the University of Essex

 

 

 

The Rulings of Ramadaan
Author: Islamic Society of the University of Essex
http://www.salafipublications.com

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

1. INTRODUCTION: THE BLESSINGS ARE HERE

2. AL-HILAAL (Sighting of the New Moon)
New moons determine Islamic Dates, Witnesses needed to establish the month, Astronomical Evidence, Misconception: The true beginning of a month, Unification of Sighting Locations

3. ALLAH (T) WANTS EASE FOR HIS SERVANTS AND NOT HARDSHIP
Those for Whom the Fast During Ramadaan Is Not Obligatory, The Traveller, The Sick person, States of Menses, or Post-childbirth Bleeding, The Old Man and Old Woman, The Pregnant and the breast-feeding women

4. RULINGS RELATED TO THE FAST OF RAMADAAN
Important Issues Dealing with the Month of Ramadhaan, Counting the Days of the month of Sha’baan, Whoever fasts on the day of doubt has disobeyed Abul-Qaasim (Muhammad), Witnesses needed to Establish the Month, Niyyah – the Intention, Performance of an obligatory action is dependant on the ability to do it., The Duration of Fasting, Beginning of fasting, End of Fasting

5. AS-SAHOOR
The Wisdom of Sahoor, The Sahoor is Barakah (blessed), Allah (T) and the Angels send Salaah upon the people who take the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal), What is the best thing the Muslim can eat for Sahoor, Delaying the Sahoor, The Ruling for Sahoor

6. RULINGS FOR AL-IFTAAR
When a person lawfully break his fast, Hastening the breaking of the fast, Hastening to break the fast earns good, To hasten the breaking of the fast is the Sunnah of the Messenger (S), Hastening the breaking of the fast is a way to he different from the Astray (the Christians) and those whom Allah is angry with (the Jews), Breaking the fast before the Maghrib Salaat, What is recommended to eat to break the fast?, What should be said at the time of breaking the fast?, Feeding a fasting person

7. PERMISSIBLE THINGS FOR THE FASTING PERSON
The fast is valid for any person who wakes up in a state of sexual defilement, Cleaning the mouth with the miswaak, Washing the mouth and nose, Kissing and foreplay with one’s wife (for the one who can control is desire), Blood Testing and inoculations other than inoculations for nourishment, Al-Hijaamah (Extracting blood from the head or other parts of the body as a medicinal practice), Tasting food as long as it does not go down the throat, Pouring cold water on the head or taking a complete bath (ghusl), Applying kuhl or eye drops to the eyes even if the taste of any of these reaches the throat

8. THINGS WHICH INVALIDATE THE FAST
Question: In what situation is one permitted to break the fast of Ramadaan?, Question: In which situations is the fast involuntarily disrupted?, Question: What acts invalidate the fast?, Question. What acts do not invalidate the fast, even though many people think they do?

9. WHAT MUST BE AVOIDED DURING FASTING

10. THINGS THAT BREAK THE FAST
Intentional eating and drinking, Intentional vomiting, Menstruation and post-childbirth bleeding, Nutritional feeding from other than the mouth, Intentional sexual intercourse

11. THE TARAWEEH PRAYER
Establishing the night prayer during the nights of Ramadaan, The Number of Raka’at for the Taraweeh Salaat

12. AL-I’ATIKAAF (Seclusion in the mosque)
The meaning of I’atikaaf, Its Ruling, Its conditions, What is allowed for the one who is doing I’tikaaf

13. THE NIGHT OF QADR (Decrees)
The Virtues of the Night of Decrees, Its time, How should the Muslim establish this Night?, The Signs of the Night of Qadr.

14. AL-QADAA: (Making up the issued days of Fasting)
It is not compulsory (waajib) to make up the missed days of Ramadaan immediately, It is also not compulsory to make up the missed days on successive days, The scholars of this Deen agree that if someone is unable to fast then he should feed one poor person for everyday he misses and that no one should fast on his behalf during his lifetime, Whoever dies and he had some fast for an oath that he did not yet do, then it is allowed for the same amount of people to fast for the same amount of days that he has to make up for.

15. KAFFAARAH (Expiation for breaking a fast) AND FIDYAH (Ransom for the inability to fast)
Kaffaarah (Expiation), Al-Fidyah (Ransom)

16. ‘EED-AL-FITR
Sunnahs of ‘Eed, Bid’ahs of ‘Eed

17. ZAKATUL-FITR HOW WILL YOU BE PAYING?
Who should pay Zakaat ul-Fitr, When should it be paid?, What is its amount?, How should it be given?

18. DOES RAMADAAN END WITH EED AL-FITR?

FOREWORD

All praise is rightfully due to Allaah alone. We praise Him, seek His Aid and His Forgiveness. Whomsoever Allaah guides there is none who can misguide and whomsoever Allaah misguides there is none who can guide. I bear witness that there is nothing which has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, without any partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (S) is His servant and messenger.

The following is a compilation of articles which appeared in the December 1993 edition of the American magazine ‘Hudaa’. This was a special edition prepared for Ramadaan and included a comprehensive treatment of all the various aspects, topics and questions pertaining to the month of Fasting and its Injunctions. May Allaah reward greatly our brothers in Jamaica, New York for such a beneficial undertaking.

After having received permission from the producers of Hudaa magazine, we felt it would be of invaluable benefit for our brothers and sisters if this edition could be reproduced in the form of a booklet, thereby allowing them access to the relevant information with ease.

The articles have been sparingly edited and also rearranged. A comprehensive contents list has also been added to facilitate the use of and add to the value of the booklet. Due to shortage of time, a glossary of terms could not be added but we hope in the second edition Allaah allows us, with His Aid, to accomplish that.

Many thanks to all the brothers, especially Tajuddeen Rachidi, Indra, Abdul Ahad Siddiqi, Maher Jesry and Aftaab Chaudhury, for their valuable contributions to the fruition of this project.

We pray to Allaah that he makes this effort righteous, for His sake alone and that none else is made a partner to Him in it.

Amjad Ibn Muhammad Rafiq
University of Essex,
Colchester.

Rajab 1415
(December 1994)

 

1. INTRODUCTION: THE BLESSINGS ARE HERE by Abu `Abdillah Muhammad Al Jibaly

With the advent of another Ramadaan, a mixture of feelings overwhelm the hearts of Muslims all over the world. The hearts are full of hope, based on truthful promises and glad tidings given by Allah (T) and His Messenger (S), of great bounties and endless bliss.

We have been promised that the past sins will be forgiven for those whose fast is based on belief (Eemaan), sincerity and on truly expecting the rewards from Allah (Ihtisaab).

We also have been promised that past sins will be forgiven for those who offer night prayers (Qiyaam) during the entire month, and who do that with the same two conditions of Eemaan (belief) and Ihtisaab (truly expecting the rewards from Allah).

We have further been told that there is one night in this month which is better (in rewards) than a thousand months of worship, and that all sins will be forgiven for those who spend it offering Qiyaam with both Eeman (belief) and Ihtisaab (truly expecting the rewards from Allah).

We have been told that the devils will be chained down, that the gates of Hell will all be shut and that the gates of Paradise will all be open throughout this month.

We have been told that Allah (T) will free (from punishment) some of his `Ibaad (worshippers) on every single night of Ramadaan.

We have been told that Allah (T) answers the du`aa (supplications) of the fasting person at the iftaar (fast-breaking).

We have been told that Allah (T) multiplies the rewards of fasting beyond the limits of imagination.

We have been told that the fasting person will be joyous and happy when he meets his Lord (T).

We all hope:

* To be from among those who will offer the fast in the correct way, in order to reap its glorious fruits.

* To be granted forgiveness for our previous sins, to be able to do much more good and to overcome all our weaknesses.

* To be among those who receive the gifts from the Jannah, whose gates are opened.

* To humiliate our enemy (Satan), who is chained down, by rejecting any of his deceitful suggestions.

* To be from among those who will receive full atonement for their sins by the end of Ramadaan.

* To be among those who will be most happy with their fasts when they meet their Lord (T).

We further hope that all of us will be pleasing to Allah (T) in order to deserve His mercy and victory.

However, although we have hope, we should also have some concerns in our hearts because there are certain conditions for the fast to be acceptable and to give its desired results. These are Eemaan (belief and sincerity) and Ihtisaab (truly expecting the reward from Allah (T)).

So, are we going to perform our fast with true belief and full surrender to Allah (T), or is it going to be an exercise for us to lose some weight? Are we going to fast because Allah (T) imposed it upon us, or just because we have been used to it from childhood? Are our intentions to please Him or to please our friends and family?

And even when we feel that we satisfy the conditions for an acceptable fast we should still be concerned that our deeds may not be accepted from us because of some deficiency that we may have overlooked. This is the way of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and their true followers, some of whom were reported to have said: “I will not feel safe even if I see one of my feet is already in Jannah – not until both of them are in there”.

We ask Allah (T) to make the fasting easy upon us, to help us to perform it in the perfect way that pleases Him, to reward us with all the bounties that He promised to the fasting people, to grant victory and supremacy to the Islamic Ummah (nation), and to make our most pleasant and happy day the Day we shall meet with Him.

Aameen

2. AL-HILAAL (Sighting of the New Moon) by Shaikh Muhammad al-Jibaly

As the blessed month of Ramadaan approaches, we hear the usual concerns and debates regarding the determination of its beginning and end. We find people attempting to propagate various opinions in this regard. Some of these opinions require reliance on astronomical computations.

Others follow the moon-sighting of particular countries, and others believe in differences of zones, while at the same time they consider all the the North American or the African continent as one zone!

Some of these opinions are influenced by attitudes and policies towards certain regions and countries. This is surely subject to the warnings of the Messenger (S): “He is not of us who calls to party spirit/tribalism”. Others are based on hasty and shallow conclusions from the available evidences.

New moons determine Islamic Dates
Allaah has set crescent sighting as the only means for establishing dates of various Islamic occasions such as the Eed and Hajj. He says:

{They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for pilgrimage (hajj)} [Baqarah 2:189]

In particular the Messenger (S) emphasized that crescent sighting is required in determining the beginning and the end of the month of Ramadaan. A large number of Companions reportet that the Messenger (S) said: “Fast when you see the crescent. If it is obscured to you, then complete thirty days of Sha’baan. And break your fast when you see the crescent. If it is obscured to you then fast thirty days.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

The Prophet (S) took great care to determine precisely the beginning of Sha’ban, because one can count twenty nine days and watch for the crescent of Ramadaan or complete thirty days before starting to fast. Aa’eshah said: The Messenger of Allaah (S) used to be more concerned about determining the beginning of Sha’baan than about other months. Then he used to fast at the sighting [of the crescent of Ramadaan]. If it were obscured, he would count thirty days [of Sha’baan] then fast” [Ahmad and Abbu Daawood]

Witnesses needed to establish the month
The scholars agree that two trustworthy Muslim witnesses are sufficient to establish moon sighting. This is based on the reports of a large number of Companions, that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “If two just muslims testify (that they saw it) then fast or break your fast” [Darqutnee and Ahmad]
Many other scholars, however further believe that only one trustworthy person’s testimony may be accepted as a basis for determining the beginning of the month. The basis for this is that Ibn Umar said: “People were looking for the crescent [of Ramadaan]. I informed the Prophet (S) that I saw it. So he fasted [on the following day] and ordered the people to fast.” [Abu Daawood]

Astronomical Evidence
Some people suggest using astronomical computations either exclusively or partially for determining the visibility and preciseness of crescent sightings. This is not a new suggestion, as it was raised at the earliest times of Islaam and the Prophet (S) rejected it. Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “We are an illiterate nation. We do not use astronomical writing or computation [for our fasting]. A month is so and so (and he pointed with his hands three times, folding the thumb on the third time, meaning twenty-nine days) or so and so (and he pointed with his hands three times, meaning thirty days)” [Bukhaaree and Muslim and Abu Daawood].

Abu Daawood’s narration further adds: “Thus Ibn Umar used to end his fasting with the rest of the people without relying on these computations”.

This shows that the Messenger (S) wanted to keep this worship simple and at the level of the common people, away from the influence of control of specialized scientific knowledge (whether sound or doubtful). This shows as well, as Ibn Taymiyah stated, that the description of this nation here as being illiterate is one of praise in that the nation is independent of any complicated means in the performance of its basic acts of worship. Anyone who rejects this would indeed overstep the concensus of the scholars and would spoil the beauty and simplicity of this religion, and worst of all, would be bluntly disobeying the Messenger of Allaah (S).

Misconception: The true beginning of a month
A very common misconception and a great concern for many people is that if we do not do our utmost to confirm (by astronomical evidence or otherwise) the testimonies of those who claim to have seen the moon then we might run the risk of nullifying some of our worship by fsting on wrong days. This approach is rejected on several grounds:

1. It involves casting doubt about the truthfulness of just muslims. This is forbidden in the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah

2. It conflicts with the practice of the Messenger of Allaah (S) who acted on the sighting of the people without delay and without comparing it with astronomical evidence.

3. It resembles the behaviour of the Jews who tightened the laws on themselves. Therefore Allaah punished them by making their laws even more stringent. The Messnger of Allaah (S) said: “Beware of exaggeration in religion. Indeed, those before you were destroyed because of their exaggeration in religion” [Nasaa’ee]

4. It displays an ignorance of when an Islamic month really begins. This point is explained by Ibn Taymiyah:

“Many people think that once the new moon rises in the skies, regardless of whether the people see it or not that night would be the first of the month. This is not correct! It should appear to the people and they should see it to start the month. That is why the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “[True] fasting starts on the day that your start” which means: this is the day you know as being the time to fast. If you did not know it, then it would carry no value for you”. [Al Fataawaa 5/203]

This view is further clarified by the following narration: Abu al-Bukhturee said: “We went to the Minor Pilgrimage and saw the crescent of Ramadaan at Dhaatu-Irq. It seemed to have been two or three nights old. Later, we met Ibn Abbaas and mentioned this to him. Ibn Abbaas informed us that Allaah’s Messenger (S) said: “Allaah has set crescent sighting as an indication of Ramadaan. Thus Ramadaan starts on the night that you see it. If it is obscured, then complete the count”. [Muslim]

But what if those claimed sighting of the new moon were lying or mistaken? As long as they are apparently acceptable and trustworthy muslims, we must follow their testimony and fast (or end the fast). We have absolutely no right to reject their testimony without a definite proof (applying the means which conform with the Sunnah, as outlined above). If they happen to be indeed lying then the sin will be only theirs, and we will be rewarded, if Allaah wills, for sticking of the Sunnah.

Unification of Sighting Locations
The above hadeeths carry a general command to all muslims to abide by the crescent sighting. In the same spirit, Abu Hurairah, Aa’eshah and others reported that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “[True] fasting starts on the day that you start fasting; [true] Fitr (that is Eed) is on the day that you end your fasting; [true] Adhaa (that is Eed) is on the day that you offer your sacrifice”. [Abu Daawood and Tirmidhee]

Thus, when the moon is sighted anywhere on the earth, by at least one trustworthy muslim, this means that the whole Ummah has sighted it. Based on this, as the above hadeeth indicates all members of the Ummah are required to observe the new month as long as the informatation reaches them in a reasonable amount of time to be able to act upon it.

Summary
The above discussion may be summarized in the following points:

1. The beginning of an Islamic month may be determined (for purposes of fasting, pilgrimage and other Islamic occasions) only through naked eye sighting of the new crescents or after the completion of thirty days for Sha’baan.

2. Astronomical evidence may not be used to establish moon sighting or to verify or refute the sighting of trustworthy muslims. Such calculations have been shown to be inaccurate, are not to be relied upon and are the cause of disputes and divisions amongst the muslims

3. Once the new moon is sighted anywhere in the earth, people in all places who learn about the sighting in a reasonable amount of time to be able to use it must do so.

4. A month starts when the new moon is seen regardless of whether this occured before, after or at the actual possible sighting.

It has to be emphasised that unifying Muslims and bringing their word together is one of our main concerns; it is a heavy responsibility that no Muslim should neglect. However, true unity cannot be achieved in any other way than what conforms with the Quraan and the Authentic Sunnah and the guidance of the Righteous Salaf (pious predecessors). Any other claim to unity is unrealistic and short lived.

We call upon all Muslims to get involved in worship to attain the blessings of Ramadaan instead of wasting their time and energies in futile arguments and disagreements. May Allah (T) enable us to follow the Sunnah in all our beliefs and deeds.

3. ALLAH (T) WANTS EASE FOR HIS SERVANTS AND NOT HARDSHIP

Those for Whom the Fast During Ramadaan Is Not Obligatory

The Traveller
The traveller can choose between fasting or not. Allah (T) said, which means:

{… And whoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast) the same number of days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you …} [Baqarah 2 :185]

Hamza bin Amr aI-Aslamee, who used to fast frequently, asked the Messenger (S): “Do I have to fast if I am travelling?” The Messenger (S) said: “Fast if you wish or break, the fast if you wish.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Anas bin Maalik said: “I was travelling with the Messenger of Allah (S) during Ramadaan. and those who fasted did not blame those who did not fast, and neither did those who did not fast blame those who fasted” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

The above hadeeths indicate that there is a choice for the traveller between fasting and leaving off the fast but does not indicate which of the two ways is better. However, from the following hadeeth we can deduce that it is better not to fast while on a journey. The Messenger (S) said: “Verily Allah loves that His concessions be accepted just as He hates to be disobeyed.” [Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan].

Not to fast on a journey is the better choice for the one who finds no hardship in fasting later to make up the missed days. It must be noted also that it is not righteousness for a weak traveller to fast as the Messenger (S) said: “It is not righteousness that you fast while on journey.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim].

Note: Some people think that because the ways of travelling have become easier, this ruling of breaking the fast on a journey does not apply any longer. This is a serious misconception, because Allah (T) devised His Laws for all times and places:

{My Lord never errs nor does He forget} [Taa Haa 20:52]

The Sick person
Because of His Mercy, Allah (T) has allowed for the sick person not to fast, to make it easy on him. The type of sickness that allows a sick person not to fast is that which, if he fasts, would cause him harm or prolong the illness. And Allah (T) knows best.

States of Menses or Post-childbirth Bleeding
The scholars have unanimously agreed that it is not allowed for the woman who is having her menstrual period and the woman who is affected with post-childbirth bleeding to fast. They should break their fast and make up the days later. They also agree that if they fast then no rewards would accrue to them.

The Old Man and Old Woman
Mujahid narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas recited: {… And as for those who cannot fast (with difficulty e.g. an old man), they have to feed a person (for every day) … } [Baqarah 2: 1 84] and then he said: “That refers to the old person who is not able to fast. He must feed a poor person a half saa’ (two handfuls) of grains for everyday missed” .

Abu Huraira said: “Whoever reaches old age and is not able to fast in Ramadaan, then for every day he must give away one mudd of wheat”. [Ad-Daarimi]

The pregnant and the breast-feeding women
Allaah’s (T) great mercy towards the weak is His concession for them not to fast. Included in this category are the pregnant and breast-feeding women.

Anas Ibn Maalik said: “The horses of the Messenger of Allah (S) came towards us, so I came up to the Messenger of Allah (S) and I found him eating. He (S) said: “Come closer and eat.” I said: “I am fasting.” He (S) said: “Come closer and let me tell you about fasting. Indeed Allaah has reduced the salaat (prayer) for the traveller to the half and has removed the burden of the fasting from the pregnant and the breast-feeding woman… ” [At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai].

4. RULINGS RELATED TO THE FAST OF RAMADAAN

Important Issues Dealing with the Month of Ramadhaan
The muslims must know that all the blessings for this noble month would never be achieved unless we understand its ruling from Allaah Azzawajall and the Messenger (S) and implement its ruling as it was practised by the Messenger (S) and the Righteous Salaf (Pious Predecessors). So in our explanation of the rulings we will try to restrict ourselves as much as possible to the two sources of Islaam, that is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah based upon the understanding of the first three generations of muslims and those who follow them. And may Allaah help us in doing justice to His Deen.

Counting the Days of the month of Sha’baan
It is imperative on the general body of muslims to take special care in counting the days of the month of Sha’baan in preparation for the month of Ramadhaan. This was the practise of the Messenger (S). This is of great importance because the Islamic Month consists of twenty-nine or thirty days. The month starts with the sighting of the crescent which indicates its beginning. If however it is so cloudy that the crescent cannot be seen, then the thirtieth day of Sha’baan is completed and the new month (Ramadhaan) begins from the following day.

Allaah has set up the moon for mankind as a means of keeping record of months and years. Based on this, therefore, the Islamic month does not exceed thirty days. This is also established in the Sunnah of the Messenger (S).

Abu Hurairah narrates that the Messenger (S) said: “Fast whenever it (the new crescent) is sighted and break the fast when it is seen. If it is hidden from you (due to cloudiness) then complete thirty days for Sha’baan” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Abdullaah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “Do not fast until you see the crescent, and do not end (the month of) fasting until you see it. If it is covered from you (by clouds) then determine it (by counting thirty days)” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Adee ibn Haatim said that the Messenger (S) said: “When Ramadhaan comes along then fast for thirty days except if you see the hilaal (crescent) before it” [At-Tahaawee, Ahmad and Tabaraanee]

Whoever fasts on the day of doubt has disobeyed Abul-Qaasim (Muhammad)
For this reason it is not recommended for the Muslim to fast optional fasting on the last two days of Sha’baan as a measure of precaution except if these coincide with days which he regularly fasts.

Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “Do not precede Ramadhaan by fasting a day or two days before it, except for a man whose regular fasting coincides with these days, then he can fast” [Agreed upon]

And know well, our brother and sister in Islaam, that fasting on the day of doubt is disobedience to the Messenger (S). Ammaar ibn Yassaar said that the Messenger (S) said: ” Whoever fasts on the day of doubt (the 30th day of Sha’baan) has indeed disobeyed Abul-Qaasim (S)” Abul-Qaasim is Muhammad (S). [Nasaa’ee, Tirmidhee and Abu Daawood]

Witnesses needed to Establish the Month
The beginning and the end of the month is established if one just muslim testifies that he saw it. The sighting of the moon is established if two just muslims witness it. The Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “Fast when it is seen, and break the fast when it is seen. However if it is cloudy then complete thirty days. If two witnesses (see it) then fast and break the fast” [Nasaa’ee and Daarimee]

However, although the hadeeth above establishes that there is a need for two just witnesses, this does not mean that the witness of one person would not be accepted. The following hadeeth makes this clear. Ibn Umar said: “The people saw the moon,so I informed the Prophet (S) that I saw it. He (S) started to fast and commanded the people to fast also”. [Abu Daawood and Daarimee]

Niyyah – the Intention
It is Waajib (compulsory) to establish the niyyah before the Fajr prayer for the compulsory fast (i.e. the fast of Ramadhaan).

The Messenger (S) said: “Whoever does not determine that he will fast before Fajr will have no fast (that is, it would not be accepted)” [Nasaa’ee, Tirmidhee and Abu Daawood]

He (S) also said: “Whoever does not carry the intention at night for fasting, will have no fast” [Nasaa’ee, Bayhaqee and Ibn Hazm]

Notes:-

1. The place of the intention is the heart and pronouncing it with the tongue is a Bid’ah (innovation), even though many consider it to be good.
2. Establishing of the intention in the heart before the time of Fajr is compulsory for the obligatory fasting only. However, for voluntary fasts the intention can be established at any time. Sometimes the Messenger (S) would come to Aa’isha other than in the month of Ramadhaan and would ask her: “Do you have any food? If not then I am fasting” [Muslim]

It is also established that Abu Darda, Abu Talha, Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbaas and other companions practised this in relation to the voluntary fasting.

Performance of an obligatory action is dependant on the ability to do it.
Whether or not one ate or drank in the beginning of the day, if one becomes aware that Ramadaan has started, then one must immediately stop eating, drinking and all the other acts that break the fast. In this case one does not have to make up that day.

Establishing the intention (before the Fajr prayer) is not required in this case because one did not have the ability to do so. This is based on a principle of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) that: “in order for something to be conditional on the legally capable Muslim then he must have the abililty to do it”

Aa’ishah (R) said “The Messenger of Allaah (S) commanded (the people) to fast the Day of Aashooraa (10th Day of Muharram). However, when Ramadhaan was made obligatory, then whoever wanted to fast, fasted and whoever did not want to did not” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It is narrated from Salamah bin al-Akwaa that he said: “The Messenger (S) commanded a man from Aslam to inform the people that whoever ate must fast the remainder of the day, and whoever did not eat let him fast because this is the day of Aashooraa (the 10th Day of Muharram)” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It must be noted that the Messenger (S) commanded this for a fast that was obligatory and he did not make it obligatory on them to fast another day because they did not have the intention to begin the fast. Ramadaan is also obligatory and so the same ruling will apply if the month begins and one does not know. As soon as he becomes aware, he must leave off everything and fast, and it will be accepted. And Allaah knows best.

The Duration of Fasting

Beginning of fasting
Allaah (T) said:

{..And eat and drink until the white thread is distinct from the dark thread of Fajr} [Baqarah 2:187]

Adiyy ibn Haatim narrates: “When the above aayah was revealed, I placed a black rope and a white rope underneath my pillow. I continued to look at them during the night but could not distinguish between them. I, therefore, hastened to the Messenger (S) and mentioned this to him, so he (S) said: “Verily that (aayah) refers to the blackness of the night and the whiteness of the day” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Narrated Sahl ibn Sa’ad (R) that he said: “After this aayah was revealed {… And eat and drink until the black thread becomes distinct from white thread}, when someone wanted to fast he would tie to his feet a white thread and a black thread and he would continue to eat and drink until he could see them distinctly, so Allaah (T) revealed after that {… of the Fajr (prayer)}. Then they became aware that it meant the night and the day.”

Notes:-

1. It must be known that there are two Fajrs (dawns);

a) a false Fajr: It is not allowed to pray the Fajr prayer at this time and eating is allowed for the person who intends to fast that day.

b) a true Fajr: At this time for the person who wants to fast, eating becomes prohibited so he has to stop eating and it becomes allowed to pray the Fajr prayer.

This is explained in the hadeeth of the Messenger (S). Ibn Abbaas said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “There are two Fajr (dawns). As for the first, it does not prevent eating (for the fasting person) nor does it permit prayer (the Fajr prayer). As for the other it prohibits eating and allows the prayer” [Ibn Khuzaimah and Haakim]

End of Fasting
When the night comes from the direction of the east and recedes from the direction of the west and the sun sets, it is time to break the fast.

Umar said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “If the night approaches from hither and the day recedes from there and the sun sets then the fasting person must break his fast” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

The command that is established relative to this issue is that the fast can be broken directly after the last part of the sun disappears, even if light can still be seen.

Some people do not believe that the night is established directly after the sun sets. Their belief is that it is night when the darkness spreads over the east and the west. This same understanding was present among some of the companions of the Prophet (S) until he clarified it for them.

Abdullaah ibn Abi Awf said: ” We were with the Messenger (S) on a journey and he (S) was fasting (because it was in Ramadaan). When the sun set he said to some people (and in another narration he said: “O Bilaal”): “Get down and prepare the meal of parched barley for us”. He said “O Messenger of Allaah, If you can wait until it becomes evening (a little darker).” He (S) said “Get down and prepare the meal of parched barley for us” Bilaal (R) said: “You are still in daytime”. He (S) said after that “Get down and prepare the meal of parched barley for us” So he got down and prepared the meal for them and the Messenger (S) drank. Then he indicated with his hand (and in another narration in Bukhaaree: he pointed with his finger towards the east) and then he (S) said: “If you see the night is approaching from this direction it is time for the fasting person to break his fast” [Bukhaaree , Muslim and Ahmad]

It is also established that the Companions of the Messenger (S) implemented this command of the Messenger (S). It is narrated that Abu Sa’eed al Khudree broke his fast as soon as the disk of the sun disappears. [Bukhaaree and Ibn Abi Shaybah]

So the fasting person should know that the beginning and the end of the fast is established at stated times and so they must not wait for the Aadhaan (call to prayer) to start or break the fast unless it is establilshed as soon as the time comes in. If it is established that the Aadhaan is delayed for the prayer then it is imperative that the person does not wait for it but starts and breaks his fast at the stated times. And Allaah knows best.

It is also a common practise among some communities that they wait until the Aadhaan is completed before they break the fast. There is no basis for this in the Sharee’ah and it must not be done.

5. AS-SAHOOR (The Pre-dawn meal of Ramadhaan)

The Wisdom of Sahoor
Allah (T) made fasting obligatory upon us as He (T) had made it obligatory on the people ot the Book before us. He (T) said , (which means):

{O you who believe Fasting is prescribed upon you as it was prescribed upon those before you so that perhaps you may attain Taqwaa.} [Al-Baqarah 2 : 183]

In the first period of Islam, the duration and regulations of fasting were in accordance with what was legislated by Allah upon the People of the Book. They were not allowed to eat, drink or engage in sexual intercourse after they slept. That is once one sleeps, he could not eat nor do any of the above until the night of the following day, this implied that they took no Sahoor (Pre-dawn meal).

However, when the above ruling was abrogated, the Messenger (S) commanded the Muslims to take the Sahoor (Pre-dawn meal) as a means of being different in our fasting from the fasting of the People of the Book. ‘Amr Ibn al-Aas reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “The distinguishing feature between our fast and the fast of the People of the Book is in the eating at the time just before dawn.” [Muslim]

The Sahoor is Barakah (blessed)
Salmaan (R) said that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Blessings are found in three things, the Group (Al-Jama’ah), Ath-thareed (a type of food) and As-Sahoor (the Pre-dawn meal).” [At-Tabaraanee, Abu Na’eem]

Abu Hurairah (R) said that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: “Verily Allah placed Barakah (blessing) in the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) and in perfect measurement (weighing).”[Ash-Shairazee]

‘Abdullah Ibn Haarith said that one of the Sahabah (companion) said: ‘I entered the house of the Messenger (S) whilst he was taking the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal), and he (S) said: “Indeed it (the Sahoor) is blessing that Allah has given to you so do not leave it out.” [An-Nasaaee and Ahmad]

The reality that there are great blessings in the Sahoor (Pre-dawn meal) is very apparent because there is in it:

(a) the following of the Sunnah,
(b) it makes the fast easier upon the person who is fasting,
(c) it increases the desire in the person to want to continue to fast because of the ease upon the fasting person and
(d) there is also in it the principle of being different from the People of the Book because they are prohibited from taking the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal).

For this reason the Messenger of Allah (S) called it the blessed meal.

Allah (T) and the Angels send Salaah upon the people who take the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal)
The greatest blessing of the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) may be that Allah (T) engulfs those who partake in it with His Forgiveness, showers His Mercy on them, while His angels ask of Him to forgive and pardon them.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree said that the Messenger (S) said: “Eating the Sahoor is blessed. Do not neglect it even if you take a gulp of water, because Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those who partake in the pre-dawn meal.” [Ahmad]

It is very important that the Muslim does not allow this great blessing from his Merciful Lord to escape him.

What is the best thing the Muslim can eat for Sahoor
The Messenger (S) said: “The best Sahoor for the believer is dates.” [Abu Dawood, Al-Baihaqee and Ibn Hibbaan]

Note: If one does not find food to eat then a gulp of water would suffice as is substantiated in the hadeeth.

Delaying the Sahoor
It is recommended to delay the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) till just before dawn. Zaid ibn Thaabit said: “We ate the Sahoor with the Messenger (S), then we got up to offer the Salaah (prayer – in this case the Fajr prayer). I asked “What was the time between the Adhaan (call to prayer) and the Sahoor?” He said: “(The time it would take) to recite fifty verses.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It must be known that it is allowed to eat, drink and have sexual relationship with one’s spouse as long as one doubts and is uncertain that the dawn has started. Allah (T) and His Messenger (S) have made clear the criterion for establishing the Fajr, and this is what one is required to go by.

The Ruling for Sahoor
The Messenger of Allah (S) commanded that whoever wants to fast must take the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal). He (S) said: “Whoever wishes to fast, then let him eat something for Sahoor.” [Ibn Abi Shaibah, Ahmad and others]

And he (S) also said: “Take the Sahoor because in the Sahoor is Barakah (blessings).”[Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Then he (S) also prohibited the Muslims from neglecting it. He (S) said: “What differentiates our fast from the fast of the People of the Book is the Sahoor meal.” [Ibn Abi Shaibah, Ahmad]

The author concludes:

It is clear that the Messenger (S) emphatically commands us to eat the Sahoor from three different angles:

(a) He (S) ordered it.
(b) It is one of the highlight of the Muslim’s fast and it distinguishes the fast of the Muslim from the fast of others.
(c) He prohibited us from neglecting it.

All three of the above inferences are very strong and they all seem to be pointing to one specific thing.

6. RULINGS FOR AL-IFTAAR (Breaking the fast after sunset)

When a person lawfully break his fast
Allah(T) said:

“Then complete the fasting until the night “[Baqarah 2:187]

The Messenger of Allah (S) explained this to mean the coming of the night and the going away of the day and when the disk of the sun disappears.

Hastening the breaking of the fast
People of Eemaan! It is important to hasten breaking the fast as soon as the sun sets because this was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (T) and his companions.

‘Amrun Ibn Maimoon Al-Awdee said: “The companions of the Messenger were the fastest people to break the fast (at Maghrib) and the last to eat the Sahoor (i.e. they used to try to take it at the last possible moment).” [Abdur Razaak in the Mussanaf]

Hastening to break the fast also has other benefits that can be included under this heading.

Hastening to break the fast earns good
Sahl Ibn Sa’d (R) said that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: “The people will continue to be in good condition as long as they hasten to break the fast.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

To hasten the breaking of the fast is the Sunnah of the Messenger (S)
If the Muslims hasten the breaking of the fast this would help them to keep on the Sunnah and they would be following the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) who followed it. It is known that the person who holds unto the Sunnah will never go astray.

Sahl Ibn Sa’ad said that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: “My nation would continue to be on my Sunnah as long as they do not wait for the stars to come out before breaking the fast.” [Ibn Hibbaan]

Hastening the breaking of the fast is a way to he different from the Astray (the Christians) and those whom Allah is angry with (the Jews)
If people will remain on what is good because they hold on to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (T), then if they leave this way and follow the Christians and the Jews they would definitely lose the good benefits. This is established in the following Hadeeth. Abu Huraira (R) said that the Messenger of Allah (T) said: “The Deen will be uppermost/manifest as long as the people hasten to break their fast because the Jews and the Christians delay (it).” [Abu Dawood and Ibn Hibbaan]

From the above Hadeeth we must not think that our practising this hadeeth alone would be responsible for the Deen to be manifest. This hadeeth must be understood along with all those verses from the Quraan and the Hadeeth of the Messenger (S) that deal with the issue of being different from the disbelieving people.

Breaking the fast before the Maghrib Salaat
It is reported that “The Messenger of Allah (T) used to break his fast before the Maghrib Salaat.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawood]

Abu Dardaa said: “There are three signs of prophethood, hastening the breaking of the fast, delaying the Sahoor and placing the right hand on the Ieft hand in the Salaat.” [Tabaraanee]

What is recommended to eat to break the fast?
The Messenger (S) of Allah (T) used to incite the breaking of the fast with dates and if he did not find any, he would then break it with water.

Anas Ibn Maalik said: “The prophet (S) used to break his fast with fresh dates before he prayed. If he did not find fresh dates then he would use dried dates. If he did not find that also he drank a few sips of water. [Ahmad and Abu Dawood]

What should be said at the time of breaking the fast?
The fasting person should know that Allah (T) listens to his supplication and answers it.

Abu Huraira said the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: “The supplications of three groups of people’s are not rejected; the du’aa (Supplication) of the fasting person when he is breaking his fast, the du’aa of the just Imam and the du’aa of the oppressed.” [Tirmidhee, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibbaan]

So the fasting person should make use of the time when he is breaking his fast to ask Allah (T) for all those things that would make his life easy in this world and the next. However, although any Du’aa can be made at that time the Messenger (S) also used to make a specific one which we should make sure we supplicate with, along with whatever other supplication we desire.

The Messenger of Allah (S) when he broke his fast. used to say: “The thirst has gone and the veins have recovered and the blessing is established if Allah wills” (dhahaba dhamaa’a wabtallat al-urooq wa thabatal ajr inshaa’allaah) [Ahmad, Al-Baihaaqee]

Feeding a fasting person
It is imperative for the believer to always try to do righteous deeds. From among these rightous deeds is the feeding of the fasting person because of the numerous rewards for this act.

The Prophet (S) said: “Whoever gives someone something to break the fast with, he would hove The same blessings as the fasting person and this would not reduce the blessings of the fasting person in any way ” [Ahmad and Tirmidhee]

If someone is invited to break his fast then he should respond to the invitation. If he refuses then he has disobeyed the Messenger (S).

It is also recommended for the person invited to supplicate for his host after finishing eating his food as was the practice of the Messenger (S).

The Messenger (S) used to make the following supplications:

“May the righteous eat your food may the angels send salaat unto you and may the fasting person break their fast with you.” [Ahmad, An-Nasaaee]

“O Allah! Feed the one who fed me and give drink to him who gave me to drink” [Muslim]

“O Allah! Forgive them and have Mercy on them and bless whatever you provide for then” [Muslim]

7. PERMISSIBLE THINGS FOR THE FASTING PERSON

There is no doubt for any servant who understands the Quraan and Sunnah that Allah (T) only wants ease for His servants. So He (T) made certain things allowed for those who fast.

The fast is valid for any person who wakes up in a state of sexual defilement
Aa’isha and Umm Salamah relate: “That the Fajr used to come upon the Messenger (S) while he was in a state of sexual defilement from intercourse (from the previous night). He would then take a bath and (continue) fasting. [Bukharee]

Cleaning the mouth with the miswaak
The Messenger (S) said: “If I did not fear that I would make it hard on my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the miswaak (to brush their teeth) for every wudoo.” [Muslim]

In this hadeeth the Messenger (S) did not differentiate between the fasting person and those who are not fasting, therefore the ruling is general and applies to the fasting person as well. It is also putting no limits upon the time when this can be done, either before or after Zawal (zenith).

Note: It is preferable not to use toothpaste because of its strong taste.

Washing the mouth and nose
The Messenger (S) used to wash his mouth and nose while he was fasting, however he forbade exaggeration in either of these two actions for the fasting person. He (S) said: “…and exaggerate in washing the nose except if you are fasting…” [Abu Daawood and Tirmidhee]

Kissing and foreplay with one’s wife (for the one who can control is desire)
Aa’ishah (R) said: “The Messenger (S) used to kiss (his wife) while he was fasting, and he used to involve in foreplay while fasting, but he was the most able of you to hold back his desires. [Bukharee and Muslim]

Amr Ibn al-Aas said: “We were with the Messenger (S) when a young man approached him and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, can I kiss while fasting. He (S) said: “No.” Then an old man came and said: “Can I kiss while fasting?” He (S) said: “Yes.” We began to look at each other, and so the Messenger of Allah (T) said: “The old man can control himself.” [Ahmad]

Blood Testing and inoculations other than inoculations for nourishment
These things do not break the fast. (See the section that relates to the things that invalidate the fast).

Al-Hijaamah (Extracting blood from the head or other parts of the body as a medicinal practice)
This act used to cause the fast to be void, however, the ruling was later abrogated. Ibn ‘Abbaas (R) said: “The Prophet (S) had hijaamah done to him while he was fasting.” [Al-Bukhaaree]

Tasting food as long as it does not go down the throat
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Nothing is wrong in tasting vinegar or any other thing while one is fasting, as long as that thing does not enter the throat.” [Ibn Abi Shaibah and Baihaqee]

Pouring cold water on the head or taking a complete bath (ghusl)
The Messenger of Allah (T) used to pour water on his head while he was fasting because of thirst or severe heat. [Abu Dawood and Ahmad]

Applying kuhl or eye drops to the eyes even if the taste of any of these reaches the throat
Imaam Al Bukhaaree in his Saheeh said that: “Anas, Al-Hassan, and Ibraheem did not see anything wrong for the fasting person who uses kuhl in the eyes.”

8. THINGS WHICH INVALIDATE THE FAST

Question: In what situation is one permitted to break the fast of Ramadaan?
Answer: The following are the major situations which permit a person to break the fast of Ramadaan:
1. Illness.
2. Travel.
3. Pregnancy in which a woman feels that fasting is hard on her or is threatening to her or her child’s welfare.
4. Baby-nursing (breast feeding), when the woman has similar concerns to those in (3) above.
5. Old age.
6. Being forced during the day to exert a hard physical labour which is judged threatening to the person’s well being should he continue to fast.

A person belonging to any of the above groups will have to fast a day later (make qadaa) for every day missed. However, those for whom the above situation persists continuously all around the year (pregnant and nursing women, according to many ulamaa) should instead pay a ransom for every day missed.

Question: In which situations is the fast involuntarily disrupted?
Answer: The fast is disrupted (and there is no point or reward in continuing to fast) when a woman sees the blood caused by either of:
1. Menstruation.
2. Labour or childbirth.
The woman in this case will have to fast a day later (make Qadaa) for every day (or part of day) that she missed.

Question: What acts invalidate the fast?
Answer: The following acts, when done knowingly and deliberately in the days of Ramadaan, will invalidate the fast. In addition to being considered major sins in Islaam, a person committing one of these acts will have to continue fasting the rest of the day that he committed it, and he is also required to take certain measures of reconciliations as indicated below.

1. Voluntary vomiting.
2. Intending to stop fasting at any moment during the day of fast.
3. Stimulating oneself, without copulation, to the point of ejaculation.

A person committing one of the above acts, (I) through (3), will have to make up (Qadaa) for every day thus invalidated.

4. Sexual Intercourse. Any fast thus invalidated will require both the Qadaa (make up for that day) as well as a material atonement (Kaffaarah, which corresponds to freeing a slave, fasting two consecutive months or feeding sixty people, where these three alternatives should be expiated in the same order mentioned in the Hadeeth).
5. Deliberately eating, drinking, smoking or letting any material into the stomach.

Contrary to widespread misconception, a day thus invalidated cannot be atoned in the same way as intercourse; it cannot even be atoned by even fasting the entire life. Thus, in addition to the qadaa (making up by fasting a day for the missed day), the only way to atone such an act would be true sincere repentance and strong determination never to do it again.

Question. What acts do not invalidate the fast, even though many people think they do?
Answer: Contrary to many misconceptions, there is no valid evidence that any of the following acts invalidate the fast (even though some of them might reduce the rewards of fasting).

1. Sexual foreplay, even if it led to some pre-seminal fluid secretions.
2. Involuntary ejaculations, like wet dreams.
3. Medically required injections, eye and ear drops and medications placed on wounds.
4. Nose or throat bleeding, or bleeding caused by pulling a tooth.
5. Involuntary vomiting.
6. Excessive washing of the nose and mouth during wudoo.
7. Swallowing one’s own saliva.
8. Tasting food (when cooking), without swallowing.
9. Taking a bath or swimming.
10. Delaying the purifying ghusl (bath) of janaabah (impurity due to sexual intercourse), wet dream or menstruation till after fajr (dawn) time.
11. Involuntary, forced or forgetful eating or drinking.
12. Using siwaak (toothbrush without tooth paste).
13. Using eye-shadows (kuhl), and applying or smelling perfumes.
14. Eating before Maghrib (sunset) or after fajr (dawn) because of mistake in time recognition.
15. Drawing out blood from the body.

9. WHAT MUST BE AVOIDED DURING FASTING

The fasting person is one who protects his body parts from indulging in sins, his tongue from lying, obscenities and all types of falsehood and his stomach from eating and drinking. Therefore, if he speaks he must try not to speak anything that reduces the value of his fast and if he does any action, he does not do anything to nullify his fast. Thus, his speech will be good and his actions righteous. So the legislated fast is not only the mere abstinence from food, drink and desires, but it is incumbent upon the fasting person to also shy away from any action that would reduce the value of his fast or destroy it, so that he will benefit from his fasting and achieve Taqwaa (Allah consciousness), as Allah (T) said, which means:

“Fasting is prescribed on you as it was prescribed upon those before you so that you may achieve Taqwa. ” [Al-Baqarah 2:187]

This Taqwaa can only be achieved by the person who abstains from all evils no matter how small.

Abu Huraira (R) said that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: “Whoever does not avoid false speech and acting on it, Allah (T) does not have any need for him to leave his food and drink”. [Bukhaaree]

Abu Huraira said that the Messenger (S) said: “Fasting is not (merely) to leave off eating and drinking, but it is to abstain from vain talk and obscene behaviour”. Therefore, if anyone insults you or behaves foolishly towards you, then say: “I am fasting, I am fasting.” [Bukhaaree]

For this reason there has reached us strong reprimand from the Messenger (S) for anyone who involves in these types of evil behaviours, he (S) said: “All that some people gets from their fasting is hunger and thirst. ” [Ibn Majah, Daramee]

10. THINGS THAT BREAK THE FAST

There are many things that the fasting person must avoid because if he does them during the daytime of the month of Ramadaan his fast would be void, and he would have increased his sins. The following are things that break the fast:

Intentional eating and drinking
Allah (T) said:

{And eat and drink until the white thread of Fajr becomes distinct from its black thread, then complete the fast until the night.} [Baqarah 2:187]

This verse shows that the fasting is abstaining from eating and drinking and therefore whoever intentionally indulges in either of them has destroyed his fast. However, if eating or drinking is done through forgetfulness or being mistaken, or it is done under duress then his fast is still valid and he does not have to make it up.

The following hadeeth establishes this.

The Messenger (S) said: “If anyone forgets and eats and drinks, then let him complete his fast because it is Allah who fed him and gave him to drink.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

He (S) also said: “Indeed Allah (T) has freed my Ummah from the burden of mistakes, forgetfulness and what they do under duress.” [Al-Haakim, Ad Daarqutnee]

Note:
Qadaa (one dayof fasting) has to be made for intentional eating and drinking.

Intentional vomiting
If someone is overtaken by vomit then he continues his fast and completes it to the end of the day it would be valid. If, however he intentionally vomits then his fast for that day is voided. This is based on the following Hadeeth. The Messenger (S) said: “Whoever is overtaken by vomiting then he does not have to make up that day. Whoever vomits intentionally must make up a day.” [Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, Ahmad]

Note:
Qadaa of one day has to be made up for every day missed.

Menstruation and post-childbirth bleeding
If the woman starts menstruating or post childbirth bleeding anytime during the daytime of Ramadaan, regardless if it is at the beginning or at the end of the day, then her fast is broken and she has to make it up at another time after the month is finished. If she decides to continue her fast it will not be valid.
The prophet (S) said: “Is it not so that if she starts menstruating she does not pray nor fast? We said: “Yes” He (S) said: “Then that is defect in her Deen (religion).”

Aa’isha (R) was asked: Why does the menstruating woman have to do Qadaa for the fasting that she misses and she does not have to do Qadaa for the Salaat (prayer)?” She answered: “This used to affect us and we used to be commanded to do Qadaa for the fasting and not for the Salaat.”

Note:
One day has to be made up for each day missed.

Nutritional feeding from other than the mouth
This breaks the fast because it takes the place of eating and drinking. This ruling is derived by Qiyaas (analogy).

Note:
One day has to be made up for each day missed.

Intentional sexual intercourse
This is based on the saying of Allah (T):

{…And now you can have intercourse with them…} [Baqarah2:186]

Meaning that during the duration of the fast sexual intercourse is forbidden. Whoever’s fast is broken because of sexual intercourse during the daytime of Ramadaan must do Qadaa and Kafaara based on the following Hadeeth

Abu Huraira said, a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “O Messenger of Allah I am destroyed.”
The Messenger of Allah (T) said: “What destroyed you?”
He said: “I had sexual intercourse during Ramadaan.”
He (S) said: “Are you able to free a slave?”
He said: “No.”
He (S) said: “Are you able to fast two consecutive months?”
He said: “No.”
He (S) said: “Are you able to feed sixty poor people?”
He said: “No.”
He (S) said: “Sit!” So he sat, and someone brought a basket with dates. The prophet (S) said: “Give it in charity.”
He said: “There is none that is poorer than me.”
He (the narrator) said: “Then the Messenger (S) laughed until his molar teeth could be seen and then he said: “Go and feed your family with it.” [The Group]

11. THE TARAWEEH PRAYER

Establishing the night prayer during the nights of Ramadaan
It is established in the Shar’iah that this Salaah (Prayer) was offered in congregation by the Messenger of Allah (S).

Aa’isha said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) went out during the late part of the night and prayed in the masjid and some men prayed with him. The following day the people began to talk about it and then more people prayed (on the following night). Again the following morning the people began to talk about it, and on the third night many more people came out. The Messenger (S) Of Allah (T) came out, and they all prayed with him. On the fourth night the masjid was unable to hold the amount of people that came out, however, the Messenger (S) (did not come out). He (S) came out for the Fajr Salaat instead. After finishing the prayer he turned to the people and declared the Shahadah and said: “Your position was not hidden from me, but I was fearful that it would be made obligatory upon you and then youwould become unable to continue establishing it.” [Bukhaaree]

The Messenger (S) of Allah (T) died and the affair relative to the Taraweeh salaah remained thus (i.e. it is recomended and it can be prayed in congregation). This is because the fear for it to become compulsory was removed after his (S) death. The rightly guided Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattaab revived this Sunnah of having the prayer of Taraweeh in congregation.

Abd Ar-Rahman said: “I went out with ‘Umar (R) to the masjid during one night of Ramadaan and the people were divided. You could see one person praying by himself while another would bepraying and others would pray with him. ‘Umar then said: “I see that if I bring together these people and make them all one congregation led by one person that would be better. He then decided to do this: so he gathered them and made Ubay Ibn Ka’b as their Imaam. Then I went out with him on another night and the people were praying behind their Imaam. Umar said: ” What a good thing this is..”. [Bukhaaree]

The Number of Raka’at for the Taraweeh Salaat
There is difference among the scholars about the number of raka’at to be established for the Night Prayer of Ramadaan. However, the correct amount is established by what the Messenger (S) did i.e. eight raka’at and three raka’at for the Witr prayer.

Aa’isha said “Allah’s Messenger (S) never exceeded eleven raka’at in Ramadaan or during other months (for the night prayer). [Bukhaaree].

There is no evidence to suggest that the Messenger (S) prayed both Tahajjud and the Taraaweeh prayer on those four nights (relying on the fact that the Tahajjud and Taraaweeh prayers are two different prayers). All the various names such as Tahajjud, Taraaweeh, Qiyaamul-Lail refer to the eight raka’ahs and three witr which the Messenger (S) used to prayer whether in Ramadaan or not as Aa’ishah has explained.

Jaabir Ibn ‘Abdullah agreed with ‘Aaeisha, he said: ” When the Prophet prayed with the people one night during Ramadaan he prayed eight raka’at and then made Witr.” [Ibn Hibbaan].

When Umar enlivened this practice of having the Taraweeh prayer done in congregation under Ubay Ibn Ka’b, he had him pray eleven raka’at as was the practice of the Messenger (S). Sa’eed Ibn Yazeed said. “Umar lbn Al-Khataab ordered Ubay Ibn Ka’ab and Tameeman Ad Daarie to establish eleven raka’at with the people. The reciter used to recite hundreds of verses and we used to lean on our sticks because of their long standing, and we did not leave until the beginning of Fajr.” [AI-Muwatta of Immam Maalik]

The above is the most authentic narration relative to the number of raka’at that Umar (R) had established. Any other narration relative to the number of rakaah (most of them are related to Umar) for the night prayer is weak. Furthermore they contradict what is firmly established from the Messenger of Allaah (S).

12. AL-I’ATIKAAF (Seclusion in the mosque)

The meaning of I’atikaaf
It means to be established on something. So for the person who commits himself to be in the masjid is called a Mu’takiff (i.e. one who is involved in I’atikaaf).

Its Ruling
It is recommended during Ramadaan as well as any other time during the year. It is also established that the Messenger (S) did I’atikaaf in the Masjid during the last ten days of Shawaal. [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

So ‘Umar (R) said to the Prophet (S): “I made an oath during Jaahiliyyah to do I’atikaaf for one night in the Masjid al-Haram (the masjid in Makka – the Ka’bah).” He said: “Fulfill your oath [so he did it for one night].” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It is definitely much better to do I’atikaaf in Ramadaan as this was the regular practice of the Prophet (S). It is narrated from Abu Huraira (R) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) used to do I’atikaaf during every Ramadaan for ten days, but in the year when he died he did I’atikaaf for twenty days.” [Bukhaaree]

Also it is best to do it for the last ten days of Ramadaan because: “The prophet used to do I’atikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan until he died.” [Bukhaaree]

Its conditions
It is not allowed to do I’atikaaf except in the Masjid. Allah (T) said, which means:

{… and do not have sexual intercourse with them while you are doing I’atikaaf in the Maasajid…} [Baqarah 2:187]

It is also recommended that the one who does I’atikaaf should also fast as is related from ‘Aeisha ( R ).

I’atikaaf is not to be done in any Masjid. The statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) restricts it to only three. He said: “There is no I’atikaaf except in the three Masjids.” (The Kaabah, The Prophet’s Masjid and Baital – Muqaddis in Jerusalem)

What is allowed for the one who is doing I’tikaaf
It is allowed for him to leave the Masjid to fulfill any need that he has. ‘Aeishah (R) said: “He would not enter the house except if he had some need to fulfill while he made I’atikaaf.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]
It is allowed for the person who is in I’atikaaf to put his head out of the Masjid for it is to be washed or combed. Ae’ishah (R) said: The Messenger (S) use to enter his head into my house while he was in I’atikaaf and then I would comb his hair. [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It is allowed for the one who does I’atikaaf and other than him to perform wudoo in the masjid. “The Messenger (S) performed a light wudhoo in the Masjid.” [Ahmad]

It is allowed for him to erect a small tent at the rear of the masjid for his I’atikaaf.

It is allowed for him to have a mattress for his bed in the masjid as is established from the Messenger (S).

13. THE NIGHT OF QADR (Decrees)

The Virtues of this Glorious Night are very great indeed for any believer who prays, supplicates and remembers Allah (T) much with sincerity and have hope in His reward. The Muslims who are all commissioned to tenaciously follow the Sunnah of the Messenger (S) must not raise any banner for this night. They must, however, race with one another to worship Allah (T) with Eemaan and hoping for His reward.

The Virtues of the Night of Decrees
1. It is enough to mention as a virtue that the night of Qadr (decrees) is better than a thousand months.

Allah (T) said, which means:

{Indeed We revealed it on the Night of Qadr (Decrees). And what will convey unto you what the Night of Qadr (decrees) is? The Night of Qadr (decrees) is better than a thousand months. The angels and spirit descend therein by the permission of their Lord with all decrees. (The Night) is Peace until the Dawn.} [Al-Qadr 99]

2. It is also the Night when all ordainments for the year are decreed. Allah (T) said, which means:

{By the manifest Book (the Quraan) that makes thing clear. We sent it (this Quraan) down on a Blessed Night (i.e. the Night of Qadr) in the month of Ramadaan. Verily We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torments will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of Wordship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter (amran) of ordainment} [The Smoke 44:2-5]

“Amran” (i.e. a command, or this Quraan, or the Decree of every matter is) from Us.

Its time
It is established in the Sunnah that knowledge of this glorious night was taken away from this Ummah due to quarreling between two Sahabas.

Ubaadah ibn Saamit said: “”The Prophet (S) came out with (information about) the night of Qadr (Decrees); two men from among the Muslim were quarreling and he said: “Verily I came out to inform you about the night of Qadr but such and such person were quarrelling so it was raised. and maybe this is good for you. However, search for it in the ninth, the seventh, and the fifth.” [Bukhaaree]
The most authentic report on this issue is that Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Decrees) should be sought during the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan. Aa’ishah relates that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) used to perform I’atikaaf during the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan and he (S) said: “Seek for the night of Qadr (decrees) during the odd (nights) from the last ten (nights) of Ramadaan.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
If there is weakness or inability to search in the odd nights of the last ten nights, then the Muslim should try not to miss out the odd nights of the last seven nights as is established in the following Hadeeth.

Ibn’Umar narrates that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: “Seek it in the last ten Nights. However, if one of you becomes weak or is not able to, then let him not be subdued by the last seven nights.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Summary: There are different opinions relative to what night is the Night of Qadr (decrees) but the best thing for the Muslim who is sincere in seeking it, is to search for it during the odd nights of the last ten nights. If he is not able to or weak, then he should at least seek it on the 25th, 27th and 29th night. And Allah knows best.

How should the Muslim establish this Night?
Indeed this Night, because of its sacredness, should be something that the sincere Muslim strives to seek after; by establishing its odd nights with Eemaan (i.e. performing prayer) and a desire to accrue for himself its blessing. If he achieves this, then all his previous sins will be forgiven as is established in the following Hadeeth. The Messenger (S) said: “Whoever prays the Night of Qadr (Decrees) with Eemaan (faith) and hoping for its reward, Allah will forgive him all his previous sins.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

During this night also it is recommended to make dua’a as much one possibly can. It is narrated from Aa’isha (R) that she said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, if I know what night is the Night of Qadr what should I say?.” He said: “Say: O Allaah you are pardoning and you love to pardon so pardon me. ” [Ahmad,Ibn Majah,Tirmidhee]

Now that you are aware of the night of the Qadr, establish the last ten nights and enliven it with Ibaadah and abstain from your women and encourage your family to do the same and do obedience during it as much as you are able to.

Aa’isha (R) said: “When the last ten days of Ramadaan arrived the Messenger (S) used to abstain (from contact a with his wives) and he would establish the nights. He would awaken (his family) to do the same also.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

And she(R) also said: “The Messenger of Allaah (S) used to strive in Ramadaan more than he did in any other month.” [Muslim]

The Signs of the Night of Qadr.
The Messenger of Allaah (S) described the morning of the night of Qadr so that the muslims can know which night it is.

Ubayy (R) said : “On the morning of the night of Qadr the sun would rise without any beams; (it is like) a wash basin until it raises.” [Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (R) said : “We mentioned the night of Qadr to the Messenger of Allaah (S) and he said: “Which of you remembers when the moon rises and it is like half a bowl.” [Muslim]

Ibn Abbaas (R) said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said : “The night of Qadr is a night of generosity and happiness, it is not hot and neither is it cold. The sun comes up in its morning weak, reddish.” [Tabaranee, Ibn Khuzaimah and Bazzaar]

14. AL-QADAA: (Making up the issued days of Fasting)

It is not compulsory (waajib) to make up the missed days of Ramadaan immediately.
The compulsion to make it up is as one is able to as ”Aaeisha (R) said: “I used to have to make up for some of the Fast of Ramadaan and I would not be able to do it until the following Sha’baan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Al Hafidh ibn Hajar said: “In this hadeeth there is proof to indicate that it is allowed to delay the making up of the missed days of fasting for an indefinite time be it that there is a reason for not making it up or not.”

However, it is known that it is preferred to make it up as early as possible because of many proofs to indicate that the muslim must hasten to do good and not postpone it for later. Allah (T) said, which means:

{And be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise which is as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqeen (Allaah-fearing.} [Aali ‘Imraan 3:133]

And Allah (T) also said, which means:

{It is these who race for the good deeds and they are foremost in them} [Muminoon 23:61]

It is also not compulsory to make up the missed days on successive days.
Allaah (T) said, which means:

{… but if you are ill, or on a journey, the same number (of days should be made up) from other days …} [Al – Baqarah 2:183]

Ibn Abbaas said: “There is nothing wrong if someone separates (between the days he has to make up).” [Daarqutnee]

The scholars of this Deen agree that if someone is unable to fast, then he should feed one poor person for everyday he misses and that no one should fast on his behalf during his lifetime.
However, whoever dies and had an oath to fast that which he did not fulfill, then his wali (guardian, offspring) must fast on his behalf. This is established from the messenger of Allah (S) who said: “Whoever dies and there are some fast that he did not fast, then his wali must fast for him.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Whoever dies and he had some fast for an oath that he did not yet do, then it is allowed for the same amount of people to fast for the same amount of days that he has to make up for.

15. KAFFAARAH (Expiation for breaking a fast) AND FIDYAH (Ransom for the inability to fast)

Kaffaarah (Expiation)
1. Before we had mentioned the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah in relation to the man who intentionally had sexual intercourse during the day time of Ramadaan.

In that hadeeth it is established that he had to do make up for the day and also that he had to do Kaffarah (expiation). The expiation in this hadeeth is as follows:

i) freeing of a slave;
ii) if he did not find, then he must fast two consecutive months and
iii) if he is not able, then he must feed sixty miskeen (poor people)

It is also said the kaffarah (expiation) for intentional sexual intercourse during the daytime of Ramadaan is a matter of choice from among the three things mentioned above.

However, most of the scholars agree that the expiation in this case has a specific sequence and if the first is not met then the person moves to the second choice and so on. This latter opinion seems to be the more authentic of the two.

2. Whoever has to do Kaffaarah (expiation) and is not able to do any of the things prescribed by the hadeeth i.e. if he is not able to free a slave, nor fast two consecutive months, nor can he feed sixty miskeen (poor people), then he is not accountable because he does not have the ability to do any. The principle that applies here is that there is no responsibility except with ability, as Allah (T) said:

{Allah does not burden a person more than he can bear] [Al – Baqarah 2:283]

The principle is also established in the same hadeeth of the Messenger (S) when the man told him that he does not have the ability for ny of the things the Messenger (S) told him to do.

3. The Kaffaarah (expiation) is not obligatory on the woman because the situation arose between a man and his wife and the Messenger (S) only made one Kaffaarah (expiation) necessary. And Allah know best.

Al-Fidyah (Ransom)
1. The ruling for the pregnant and the breast-feeding women is the same if either of them are fearful for themselves or for their baby, then they can break the fast and feed for each day that they do not fast one (miskeen) poor person.

Ibn ‘Abbass ( R ) narrated: When this verse {…and whoever among you witness this month then let them fast it …} was revealed, then the old men and old women, who did not the ability to fast, the pregnant or breastfeeding women if they were fearful for themselves or the child, could eat in Ramadaan and feed one poor person for every day missed.

2. The old men and women who are not able to fast can also eat during Ramadaan and feed one poor person for every day missed.

16. ‘EED-AL-FITR

“For every people there is a feast and this is our feast”said the Prophet (S) to Aboo Bakr (R). [Bukhaaree and Muslim]. “Our feast” has a great meaning for Muslims because it tells us that these are our own and derived from our Sharee’ah alone. Since holidays are usually based on religious traditions, it is very important that we demonstrate our celebrations with great joy and gathering to make us feel that they are our own, and to feel that they are different from the Mushriks’ holidays. We do not celebrate Christmas, Hanuka or any other pagan festivals and our thanks are given to Allaah (T) alone.

The Prophet (S) has ordered us in numerous speeches to be different from the Mushrik’s (pagans), and these two “Eeds” are among that the Prophet (S) wanted us to take special care of being different with them. That is why he said, after seeing that the people of Madeenah had two holidays which they celebrated before Islaam, ” Allaah (S) has given you better than those (feasts): The ‘Eed-al-Adhaa (Sacrificing) and the ‘Eed- al-Fitr”. [Ahmad, Aboo Dawood and Nasaa’ee].

The ‘Eed-al-Adhaa comes after completing the “Hajj” (Pilgrimage) and the ‘Eed-al-Fitr comes after the fasting in the month of Ramadaan. So it is not surprising that we must show and demonstrate our holidays (‘Eed). Due to these clear facts, Muslim scholars put great emphasis on the concept of being different from the Mushrik in our ceremonies.

This is because ceremonies have great effect over the human mind and behaviour. Being different in our ceremonies means also that we must not participate in the Mushriks’ ceremonies on their holidays. ‘Umar (R) said: “Do not learn the language of the Mushriks – without a necessity- nor enter the churches of Mushriks on their festivals because the anger of Allaah descends on them.”[Bayhaqee].

We, Muslims, may even fast on the Mushriks’ holidays. Umm Salamah (R) said the Prophet (S) used to fast on Saturdays and Sundays, and when asked he said: They are two days of the Mushriks’ holidays so I like to oppose them in their ceremonies ” [Ahmad and Nasaaee]

To assess this concept of being different from the Mushriks, it is very important to say that: In order to be different in our ceremonies in the way the Prophet (S) wanted us to be, we must follow the Sunnah literally. That would give us the deeds of being true followers of the Prophet (S).

So if we want to be his followers we must be aware of Bid’ah in these ceremonies. Bid’ah comes at the expense of Sunnah which is replaced by it. Ibn Taymiyah says: “There is no place in the heart for both Sunnah and Bid’ah.” [Al-Iqtidaa] .Allaah says (which means):

{Say – O Muhammad – If you really do love Allaah follow me, Allaah will love you.} [Aali-Imraan, 3:31]

We present to you, dear brothers and sisters, some of the Sunnahs of Eed so that you can try to implement them. Also presented are some of the Bid’ahs of Eed so that we can avoid them. It is of great importance to follow the Sunnah of Eed so we can truly say that our feasts are different from the Mushriks’ feasts.

Sunnahs of ‘Eed
1) It is Sunnah to dress in the best clothes we have on Eed. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar used to do that along with other Companions of the Prophet (S). [Fath al-Baaree]
2) It is a must (Waajib) to pray Eed al-Fitr Prayer. The Prophet (S) and his Companions never ceased doing it, and they even gathered the people for it including women who were having their menses, children and the elderly. [Bukhaaree and Muslim]
3) It is Sunnah to eat dates before we leave for Eed prayer to show that we are not fasting. ” The Prophet (S) used not to leave for Eed Prayer (except) after eating some dates.” [Bukhaaree and Ahmad]
4) It is Sunnah to say Takbeer loudly when leaving our homes to go to Eed Prayer. The Prophet (S) used to say this until he finished the Prayer. [Silsilat Al-ahadeeth As-Sunnah]
5) There is no Hadeeth related to Rasoolullaah (S) as to what should be said when reciting Takbeer on the way to Prayer, but Ibn Mas’ood used to say the following:

Allaahu Akbar (Twice) Allaah is great
Laa Illaha Illallaaha There is none worthy of worship except Allaah
Allaahu Akbar (Twice) Allaah is great
Wa Lillaahil Hamd And to Him belongs all Praise
[Reported by Ibn Abee Shaybah]

6) The Sunnah for Eed Prayers is to pray in the Musallah (that is in an uncovered place) and not in the Masjid. The Prophet (S) never prayed Eed Prayer in the Masjid. Aboo Sa’eed (R) reported: ” The Prophet (S) used to go on the day of ‘Eed-al-Fitr and Eed-al-Adhaa to the Musallah, and the first thing he did was to pray.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]
7) Neither Adhaan nor Iqaamah are pronounced for Eed Prayer. [Muslim]
8) Ibn Abbaas reported: “The Prophet (S) prayed two Raka’ahs for the Eed prayer and did not pray before it or after it.” [Bukhaaree]
9) Jabir (R) reported: “The Prophet (S) used to come back from ‘Eed-al-Fitr on a path other than the one used in going to it.” [Bukhaaree]
10) It is permitted to listen to songs (without music) on ‘Eed day especially for children. [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Bid’ahs of ‘Eed
It is Bid’ah (innovation in Deen):

1) To shave the beards especially for ‘Eed. The Prophet (S) has ordered us not to shave our beards; so it is a shame that, on this great day of demonstrating our differences in ceremonies to those of the Mushriks, that some Muslim shaves his beard so that he looks “clean” like the Mushriks.
2) To imitate the Mushriks in their practices and dress, and to shake hands with women. The Prophet (S) said: “It is better that a man is hit with needle on his head than to touch a woman who is not lawful for him.” [Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Sunnah]
3) To listen to music on ‘Eed. The Prophet (S) said:”There will be some in my nation who will regard adultery, men dressing in silk, drinking intoxicants (al-Khamr), and musical instruments to be lawful.” [Bukhaaree, Abu Dawood and Bayhaqee]
4) For women not to wear Hijaab. To do so is to celebrate ‘Eed while committing a major sin.
5) To visit the graveyard especially on Eed. It is permitted to visit the graveyard all year long so we should not make a special case out of it on ‘Eed;
6) To waste money and being extravagant with food instead of giving them to poor.

We ask Allaah (T) to help us avoid all Bid’ah and to guide us in following the Sunnah of His Prophet (S).

17. ZAKATUL-FITR HOW WILL YOU BE PAYING?

Ramadaan, the 9th month of the hijree calendar, is well known for (1) Siyaam (abstaining from food, drink, and sex ; paying extra-attention to refraining from lying, backbiting, slander, vain talk, fighting that is not for the cause of Allah, etc; and for abstinence from such things as smoking, music, movies, unnecessary television, cursing etc. from dawn to dusk and (2) Taraweeh: a replacement for tahajjud of multiple two-rakaat prayers that do not excceed a total of eight rakaats.

However, besides practicing more Taqwaa (Allaah-consciousness) not enjoying certain amenities of life for several hours, and being vigilant there are other acts of worship particular to Ramadaan. Most notably is Zakaat ul-Fitr, also called Sadaqah al-Fitr. Fitr means breaking a fast; zakaah is an alms-tax which literally means to purify, to grow; and sadaqah means contribution or donation. Zakaat ul-Fitr is compulsory to be paid on every Muslim.

Who should pay Zakaat ul-Fitr
Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah prescribed the Zakaat ul-Fitr on every slave, free person, male, female, young and elderly among the Muslims [Bukhaaree Vol I no.579. Muslim no. 2149, Abu Daawood no. 1608]. The head of the house hold may give the required amount for ones house. Sadaqah al-Fitr is compulsory on one even if he or she embraced Islam in the last seconds of Ramadaan.

The same applies if a woman gives birth. Conversely, If someone dies before the close of Ramadaan his or her heirs are excused from paying for the deceased.

When should it be paid?
Zakaat ul-Fitr must be paid before Salaat ul-Eed. If one misses paying it before the prayer without a good reason it is not considered Zakaah but Sadaqa (charity).

Naafi’ transmitted that Ibn Umar used to pay fitr a day or two before the Eed prayer [Bukhaaree & Muslim, Abu Daawood]. Whoever pays fitr after the Eed prayer wlll not get the blessings of it because it will be rendered as regular Sadaqah [see Abu Daawood no. 1605]

It would be strongly advisable for one to pay Zakaah ul-Fitr before the prayer because it purifies the faster of idle deeds and vain talk committed during Ramadaan [Abu Daawood no. 1605] as well as providing its recipients in time for the Islamic holiday.

What is its amount?
The amount of Zakaat ul-Fitr is one saa (two handfuls/kilo/40 grams/4.5 lbs/112 oz/beaker of dates, barley, raisins, cheese, grain of wheat [see Muslim no.2151 & 2154]. Some scholars say any topic of food that is common in a particular region can be given for fitr, e.g. flour, ground beef, or milk in the United States.

How should it be given?
Items other than food such as money, clothes, furniture, etc. cannot be given as Zakat al-fitr. because it is contrary to what the Prophet commanded and what Allah wants. The Prophet (S) said, “Whoever introduces anything in this matter (deen) of ours will have it rejected.” [Bukhaaree Vol 3 no. 861. Muslim no.4266, Abu Daawood no.4589]

Paying Zakaat ul-Fitr is an act of worship, and through the Quran and authentic Sunnah all acts of worship are described. Therefore, to add, subtract, or alter any act of worship is a bida’h. Thus, paying zakaah al-fitr by other than food is a bida’h and every bid’ah eventually leads to the fire [see Abu Daawood no. 4590].

Not giving money for fitr is as Sunnah at-Turkeeyah (An action, the abandonment of which is a Prophetic Sunnah). Money existed and was prevalent in the Prophet’s time but he did not nor did the Companions or Taabi’oon (followers of the Companions) use any money for Fitr. For sure the Prophet (S) was, is, and always will be the best of worshippers and the Companions and Taabi’oon are the best of generations in understanding and practicing Islaam [See Soorah’s 4:115 and 3:110, Bukhaaree Vol 3 and 5, Abu Daawood no.4586]. So if he and they did not use money for Sadaqah al-Fitr why should any one else???

18. DOES RAMADAAN END WITH EED AL-FITR?

Most assuredly you would get a “yes” answer from every Muslim you ask as towhether Ramadaan ends with ‘Eed Al-Fitr. Concerning the injunctions for abstaining from food, drink and sexual contact with our spouses during the daytime, these could be easily ascertained from the Quraan and the Hadeeth. However,when we investigate some of the reasons that make the Ramadhaan such a great blessing, we will see that its lessons should be with us every day of the year.

First of all, the fact that we spend from dawn to sunset denying ourselves the normal needs and pleasures of this world builds within us fortitude and self-discipline. This will enable us to develop the most prized virtue of patience (if Allaah wills). Allaah (T) tells us:

{O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: ForAllaah is with those who patiently persevere} [Baqarah 2:153]

By keeping in mind that we are complying with the commandments of Allaah (T) we will remind ourselves of our purpose in seeking Allaah’s Pleasure. Ramadaan helps to reinforce our need to be constantly conscious of obeying Allaah (T) and be mindful of the fact that His guidance is the greatest mercy. Allaah (T) tells us:

{O mankind! There has come toyou a direction from your Lord and a healing for the disease in your hearts, and a guidance and a mercy for those who believe. Say: In the Bounty of Allaah and in His Mercy: In that let themtejoice. that is better than (the wealth) they hoard} [Yoonus 10:57-58]

Through Ramadaan we not only realize that obeying Allaah (T) is the greatest joy, but we live and experience this obedience in a more acute sense as we restrain our desires during the course of the days of this blessed month. Obeying Allaah (T) with love and humility, which is the essence of worship, become the focal point of our lives. For that reason when asked about the end of Ramadaan, we can see that its spirit never really ends as this should be our attitude relative to worship of Allaah throughout the year. We realize that it is just one more stepping stone, a large one indeed, on the path of Islaam, which is instituted to assist us to achieve our purpose here in this life. Thus does Ramadaan by nurturing the virtues of patience, focusing our vision on the Guidance and the Mercy of Allaah(T) and fine-tuning our will to obey Him, instill in us the quality of character needed to truly strive in the Cause of Allaah. This striving in the Cause ofAllaah (T), or Jihaad, encompasses every aspect of our lives and is the highest achievement in a Muslim’s life. Allaah (T) informs us:

{Those who believe, suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allaah ‘s cause with their goods and their souls,have the highest ranks in the sight of Allaah. They are the people who will achieve (salvation).} [Tawbah 9:20]

But this Jihaad is not aimed at throwing ourselves blindly into battle or acting with inflamed passion in a reckless manner. The elevated purpose of striving in the Cause of Allaah (T) must reflect the lessons taught in Ramadhaan. We need patience and temperance; we need to know the Guidance and the Commands of Allaah (T) as preached and practiced by the Messenger of Allaah (S); and we need to obey Allaah (T) and His Messenger (S) truly and faithfully regardless of the excesses to which our own desires may be prompting us. Therefore, when Ramadhaan has come to an end, let us not lose this great blessing by thinking that it is over, and falling back in our more lackadaisical ways. Let us, inshaa’allaah, take hold of this Divine Mercy and Guidance, shape our lives around it, and become the type of human beings worthy of being called Muslims!

 

Peace and blessings upon the Messenger,his family, his companions and whoever follows in their footsteps
until the Day of Judgement.

 

 

About slaveofallah14

Slave of Allah dedicated to learning and providing authentic Islamic education for the Muslim and non-Muslim women,only for the sake of Allah.

Posted on April 12, 2013, in Fiqh of Fasting & Ramadan, General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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