Ramadan RAMZAN, ROZA (FASTING)
Obligation of Fasting
The rule for Fasting is similar to Namaz and is Farz-e-Ain and those who reject to believe it as obligatory (Farz) is a Kafir and those who miss it without genuine reason is a big sinner and will receive punishment in hell. Those children who have the strength should be made to keep a fast and strong boys and girls should be forced to keep a fast (a few slaps not with a stick) [Durr-e-Mukhtar]. Fasting for the whole month of Ramadan is obligatory.
Description of fasting and age for beginning
According to Shariat, the definition of a fast is make the intention to fast for the sake of Allah from the break of dawn to sunset and to refrain from eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse. For fasting, a woman has to be clean from menstruation or bleeding after childbirth meaning, the fast will not count for a woman on her period or still bleeding after childbirth. It is obligatory for a woman on her period or bleeding after childbirth to fast after her state of bleeding is over and she is clean from it, meaning to make Qaza for the missed Roza. Fasting is not obligatory for children or for an insane person as long as they remain insane for the whole month of Ramadan, and if they gain sanity any period in the middle and it is still within the allocated time for intention, then they must make the intention and fast from that day onwards and the Qaza is necessary for the whole month, for example, if a person was insane from the first of Ramadan and gained sanity on the twenty ninth day from the break of dawn until midday then they will have to perform Qaza for whole month’s fasts [Radd-ul-Mohtar].
Allocated time for the intention of Fasting
Rule: The fasts of Ramadan, fixed time promised fasts, voluntary, Sunnat, Mustahhab, and Makrooh fasts, the time for the Niyyat is from sunset upto midday and if an intention is made from any time between this allocated time then the Fast will count but it is better to make the intention from night-time. Except for these six types of fasts all other Fasts (such as, Qaza for Ramadan, Qaza for Nafl, non fixed time promised fasts, compensation Roza i.e. Kaffara, Fasting for your sins and Roza for Tamattao) the time is from sunset upto the beginning of the break of dawn not after this and the mentioning of the exact fast being performed is necessary, for example, I am keeping a fast for the 28th missed Ramadan Roza, or I am keeping a promised fast for such and such a thing being fulfilled [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: The intention for the Roza must be made before midday and if it is made as soon as the sun reached midday then the fast will not count [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
The meaning of the intention
Rule: Just as it was explained for other forms of worship, intention means to fix a firm thought in your heart, it is not necessary to say the intention, in the same way the intention for the fast is done the same way, however, it is better to say it with the tongue. If the intention is made at night then say “I have made the intention for the fast of Ramadan for Allah which 1 will keep tomorrow” and if the fast is made before midday then say ” I have made the intention for the fast of Ramadan for Allah which I will keep today” [Johra, Bahar].
Rule: If the intention is made in the day (before midday) then it is necessary to make the intention that I have been fasting from the break of dawn and if you make the intention that I will start fasting from now not from the break of dawn, then the Roza will not count [Johra, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Fasting on doubtful days
Rule: The rule for fasting on the thirtieth of Shabaan when you are not sure whether it is the thirtieth of Shabaan or the first of Ramadan, then to fast with the sole intention of Nafl is allowed but to fast with the intention that if it is the first of Ramadan then it is my first Ramadan Roza and if it is not the first of Ramadan then it is a Nafl Roza then this is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi. However, if the thirtieth falls on a day where you always fast on that day then it is better to fast on that day, for example, if you fasted every Thursday and the thirtieth of Shabaan was on a Thursday then it is better to fast that day as a Nafl fast [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar etc.].
Rule: On a day where there is uncertainty then you should wait until midday and if the news of seeing the moon arrives then fast that day and if no news arrive then eat and drink [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: To fast at the end of Shabaan for only one or two days is Makrooh and if you fast for three or more days then it is not Makrooh. Rule: To fast on the day of Eid is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi, also the same rule applies on fasting on Bakr-e-Eid and also on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth of Zil Hajj.
Rule: To fast for Sunnat or Nafl Roza for only one day is Makrooh-e-Tanzihi, for example, to fast on the tenth of Moharram is Sunnat but to fast only on that day is Makrooh and if you fast on the ninth then there is no problem and there is also no problem in fasting on the tenth and eleventh. Rule: It is Makrooh-e-Tanzihi for a woman to fast a Nafl Roza without the permission of her husband.
To make a promise to fast
Rule: If you made a promise to fast if your prayer was fulfilled, then that fast become Wajib as soon as your prayer is fulfilled. Rule: If you was fasting a Nafl Roza and you broke it then to perform it’s Qaza is Wajib.
THE SIGHTING OF THE MOON
The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated that start fasting by seeing the moon and finish fasting ( celebrate Eid) by seeing the moon, and if there is cloud then finish Shabaan by completing thirty days [Bukhari, Muslim]. He has also reported that do not start fasting unless you see the moon and do not stop fasting until you see the moon and if there is cloud and you cannot see the moon then complete the thirty days [Bukhari, Muslim].
Proof of moon when skies are clear
Rule: It the skies are clear then until a lot of people do not give witness the oath will not be accepted (whether it be for Ramadan, Eid or any other month). The question remains as to how many people there should be, then this is upto the Islamic judge and when he is satisfied with the amount of people then he will declare it official. If the witnessing is given because the moon has been seen outside the city or from a high place then only one pious person’s oath can be accepted for Ramadan [Hidaya, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar]. However, we say that because nowadays people are lazy and do not bother going to look for the moon then except for Eid all the other month’s moon witnessing when the skies are clear should be accepted if two Muslims have given oath.
Giving an oath when seeing the moon
When giving oath it is necessary to say “I bear witness” and without these words the oath cannot be accepted. However, due to’ bad skies and clouds for the oath of the moon for Ramadan if only “I have seen with my eyes the moon for this Ramadan today or I saw it last night’ is sufficient.
Rule: If some people come and say ‘the moon has been seen in such a place or give witness that there has been a sighting of the moon (but have not seen the moon themselves) in such a place, or give witness that such and such a person has seen the moon or say that the judge of such a town has ordered Ramadan or Eid tomorrow then they are all incorrect methods and cannot be accepted [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: If only the judge or Imam has seen the moon alone for Eid then he can’t celebrate or give order to celebrate Eid as this is not allowed [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Rule: If the moon was seen in a particular city and a group of people came from that city and stated the news that Ramadan has begun on such a day and people have started fasting from that day and the news is common then this is sufficient for people in this town as proof [Radd-ut-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: A person saw the moon alone for Ramadan or Eid but the judge did not accept his statement or oath then it is Wajib for him to fast the next day and if he doesn’t or has broken the fast the Qaza is necessary [Hidaya, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Alamgiri].
Rule: If the moon is seen during the day whether it be before or after midday that moon is for the next day, meaning if the moon is seen on the thirtieth day of Ramadan then it means the next day is the first of Shawwal and not the current day and therefore the fast must be completed. In the same way if the moon is seen during the day of the thirtieth of Shabaan, then Ramadan will begin the next day and the current day is the thirtieth of Shawwal and therefore fasting is not necessary [Alamgiri, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: If the moon is seen in one place then this moon isn’t just for that place but for all the world, however, the rule applies to the other places only when there has been a witness about the sighting of the moon, i.e. someone has given oath or the judge that has ordered the seeing of the moon gives oath or a group of people have took the news from where the moon was sighted and have stated whether the people in their town have kept a fast or celebrated Eid. Rule: Proof cannot be accepted if the news are via a telegram or telephone or radio because even if it is correct it is only news and not an oath and in the same way news from people or printing the news in papers cannot be accepted either as it is not proof of oath. Rule: If the moon is seen then to point towards it is Makrooh, even if it is to show someone [Alamgiri, Siraajia, Bazazia, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
ACTIONS THAT BREAK THE FAST
Rule: By eating, drinking or having intercourse breaks the fast when you are aware that you are fasting and if you forget that you were fasting and eat or drank or had intercourse, then the fast will not break [Hidaya, Alamgiri, Qazi Khan etc.].
Rule: The fast will break if you smoked a cigarette or other form of smoke inhalation or cigar etc.
Rule: The fast also breaks by eating a paan or tobacco, even if you spit out the contents.
Rule: If you put sugar, sweet, chewing gum or any item in your mouth which dissolves and you swallow the taste then the fast will break.
Rule: If there was something stuck in your teeth the same size or larger than a chick pea and you swallowed it or it was smaller than a chick pea and you took it out of your mouth and then swallowed it again then the fast will break. Rule: If your gums bled and the blood was more or equal to your saliva and went down your throat or was less than the saliva and it went down your throat and you could taste it then the fast will break. If the blood was less than the saliva and you couldn’t feel the taste and it went down your throat, then the Roza will not break [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Rule: If a syringe is used or medicine is put up your nostrils or oil or medicine is put inside the ears then the fast will break, however, if water is put into or goes into the ears then the fast will not break [Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If you were cleaning your mouth out or was cleaning your nostrils and water went down your throat by mistake or went up too far in your nostrils that it went in your mouth canal even by mistake then the fast will break, if however, you forgot that you were fasting then the fast will not break [Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If you drank water or eat something whilst you were sleeping or your mouth was open and water went down your throat or snow went down your throat then the fast will break [Johra, Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: To swallow someone else’s saliva or to take your own saliva in your hand and then swallowing it will break the fast [Alamgiri, Bahar]. Rule: If you put a coloured thread in your mouth and your saliva became coloured and then you swallowed the saliva, then the fast will break [Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If tears went into the mouth and it was only a drop or two then the fast will not break and if it is more and the taste is felt in the whole mouth then the fast will break, the same rule applies to sweat [Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If a man kissed a woman or touched her or hugged her or copulated with her or embraced her and then ejaculated the fast would break and if the woman touched a man and the man ejaculated then the fast would not break. If a man touches a woman on her clothing and her clothing is so thick that the body warmth cannot be felt then the fast will not break even if he ejaculates.
Rule: If the private parts are cleaned with excessive force upto the extent that the water reached upto the place where the suppository is kept then the fast will break and one should refrain from using too much force as there is a chance of illness [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar]. If a man put oil or water down the hole of his penis then the fast will not break even if the liquid reaches the bottom. If a woman put water or oil into her vagina then her fast will break [Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If a woman put cotton or a cloth in her vagina and it does not stay completely on the outside then the fast will break. If someone puts a dry finger up the anus or a woman put a dry finger inside her vagina then the fast will not break and if the finger is wet or something is on it then the fast will break when the finger reaches the part where the point of the suppository goes [Alamgiri, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: If a mouthful vomit is done purposely and you are aware that you are fasting then the fast will break and if small amounts are vomited then the fast will not break [Durr-e-Mukhtar, etc.].
Rule: If vomit occurs on it’s own without control then whether, it be a small amount or large the fast will not break [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: The rule of vomit applies when the vomit consists of food or liquid or blood, if the vomit consists of just phlegm then the fast will not break regardless of situation [Alamgiri].
Rule: If in Ramadan a person without cause openly eats or drinks then the rule for an Islamic judge is to execute them [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Actions that break the fast but only Qaza is necessary
Rule: If you were under the impression that the break of dawn had not yet occurred and therefore you eat, drank or had sexual intercourse and then later on found out that the break of dawn had already happened, then the fast will not count and only Qaza is necessary [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: If you were forced into eating or drinking and someone threatened you (either to kill you or cause you serious harm) if you did not break your fast then even if you eat with your own hands, only Qaza is necessary [Durr-e-Mukhtar etc.]. Meaning only one fast has to be performed to replace the one broken [Bahar-e-Shariat].
Rule: If you had eatenor drank or had intercourse by mistake or you ejaculated just by seeing something or had a wet dream and then you thought that the fast had broken and therefore you deliberately eat or drank etc. then it is only compulsory to perform Qaza [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Rule: If you put ear drops in your ear or there was a wound on your stomach or head and you put medication on it and it reached the stomach or brain or you took on a drip (of glucose) or you sucked up medicine up your nose or you eat a stone, soil, cotton, paper, grass or any item where people would not generally eat and would think awful of, or stayed in Ramadan as if in Roza but did not make an intention of fasting, or did not make an intention in the morning but made an intention before midday and then eat after midday, or made an intention of fasting but not for Ramadan or raindrops or snow went down the throat or drank many drops of tears or sweat or had intercourse with a very small child who was not capable of having intercourse, or had intercourse with a dead person or had intercourse with an animal or had intercourse on a thigh or stomach or kissed a woman on her lips or touched a woman and even if there was a piece of cloth in between but the warmth of the body is felt and in these situations you ejaculated or you masturbated or you ejaculated whilst performing foreplay or except for the fast of Ramadan you broke another fast whether it be the Qaza of Ramadan, or a woman was sleeping whilst she was fasting and someone had intercourse with her whilst in her sleep or a woman was in her sense in the morning and she made the intention of fasting and then she went insane and whilst in this situation sexual intercourse was committed with her, or you were under the impression that it is night and you had food or you were in doubt that it was night but you had food but in fact the morning had broken, or you thought that the sun had set and you eat but the sun had not set or two people gave witness that the sun had set and two people gave witness that it was still day and this situation you eat food then in ALL the above situations only Qaza is necessary not Kaffara [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar, etc.].
Rule: A traveller settled at a place, a woman on her period or bleeding after childbirth became clean from it or an insane person came back to their senses, or an ill person became healthy whose fast was broken whether someone made the person break their fast or water or other liquid went down the throat by mistake and the fast was broken because of this or you thought that it was night and had some food but in fact morning had broken or you thought that it was sunset but in fact daytime was still left then in all these situations where there is still daytime left then you must stay as if you were in fasting as this is Wajib and then perform Qaza for the fast and if a child became an adult or an infidel became a Muslim then the Qaza for this day is not necessary but to remain as if they were fasting for the rest of the day is also necessary for them [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: When a child reaches the age of ten and they have the strength to keep a fast then they should be forced to keep a fast and if necessary they should be hit and if the strength is seen and then they break the fast then they are not to be given the order of Qaza, however, if the Namaz is broken then they should be made to repeat it [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar]. If someone was having intercourse before dawn and as soon as dawn occurred they separated then there is no harm but if they continued then Qaza is necessary not Kaffara [Radd-ul-Mohtar].
Rule: If you were having intercourse by mistake and you separated as soon as you remembered then there is no harm and if you continued then Qaza is necessary not Kaffara [Radd-ul-Mohtar].
Rule: A deceased person had some Qaza that he had to perform then the Wali (next of kin) should give Fidya (money to replace the fast) to the poor but this is only necessary when the deceased had made a will and left some property behind and if this is not the case then it is not necessary for the Wali to give Fidya, however, it is better if they do so [Bahar-e-Shariat].
Actions that break the fast and Kaffara is also necessary
If the fast of Ramadan is purposely broken then Kaffara is necessary. The Kaffara (compensation) is either to free one slave and if this is not possible then keep sixty fasts consecutively without a gap and if this is also not possible then feed fully sixty beggars twice in a day. If the sixty fasts are kept and in the middle even if one day’s fast is missed then you must start the sixty again the previous ones will not count. If someone had kept fifty nine fasts and was unable to keep the sixtieth due to illness etc. then they must start again the previous fifty nine are wasted. However, if a woman starts her period in between then she must miss them and continue the fasts once she becomes clean and the previous fasts before the period started will count and when completing sixty the Kaffara will be completed [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar, Alamgiri]. When breaking the fast and for Kaffara to become necessary there are a few conditions that have to be fulfilled and only then the Kaffara become necessary.
Conditions where Kaffara become necessary
1. A fast is kept in the month of Ramadan with the intention of keeping a fast of Ramadan.
2. The person keeping the fast is a resident and not a traveller.
3. The person is an adult and is sane (if a child or madman breaks the fast then Kaffara is not necessary).
4. The intention for the fast of Ramadan was done at night (if the intention for the fast was made in the day before midday and then broken then only Qaza is necessary not Kaffara).
5 After breaking the fast an act occurred which gives reason to miss a fast which you had no control over such as a woman started her period or such an illness occurred where it is allowed to miss a fast then the Kaffara will not be necessary. If however, after breaking the fast a person became a Ma’zoor (had a problem) which was within their control such as a person injured themselves and therefore became Ma’zoor or became a traveller then the Kaffara will not be cancelled as these things are within their control and Kaffara becomes necessary [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Johra, Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: A person fasting purposely eat or drank some medicine or tablets or drank water or had something to eat or drink for pleasure or had intercourse in the front or back passage with a person capable of having intercourse (male or female) and whether they had an orgasm or not or had intercourse with another person fasting then in all these situations both Qaza and Kaffara is necessary.
Rule: If such an act is done whereby the thought is that the fast will not break(except eating, drinking or having intercourse), but you thought that the fast has broken and then you eat or drank, for example, you extracted blood or put on Surma (eye colour) or you had intercourse with an animal or touched a woman or kissed a woman or laid next to a woman or performed foreplay but in all these cases you did not reach orgasm i.e. did not ejaculate, or you put a dry finger up the anus and then after this you purposely eat or drank then in all these cases it is necessary to perform Qaza and Kaffara. If however, an act is performed where the thought is that the fast does not break and you thought that the fast had broken and a Mufti (Islamic jurist) gave a Fatwa and the Mufti is respected within the local community and the Fatwa is that the fast has broken and then you purposely eat or drank, or you had wrongly misinterpreted a Hadith and thought that the fast had broken and then you eat and drank, then the Kaffara is not necessary even though the Fatwa is wrong or the Hadith heard is not proven [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Acts that do not break the fast
Rule: If you eat, drink or have sexual intercourse by mistake then the fast does not break.
Rule: If a fly, smoke or dust goes down the throat then the fast does not break, however, if you purposely inhaled smoke then the fast will break if you know that you are fasting. For example, incense, loban was lighted and was brought near the mouth and the smoke was sucked up the nose, then the fast will break.
Rule: If you apply oil or lotion or surma on the body or eyes then the fast will not break and if the taste of the oil or surma is felt in the throat or if the saliva is coloured due to the surma then the fast will still not break [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Johra, Bahar].
Rule: If a fly goes down the throat then the fast will not break and if it is deliberately swallowed then the fast will break [Alamgiri, Bahar]. If whilst talking the lips got wet or you cleared your throat and then drank the saliva, then the fast will not break but you should refrain from doing this [Alamgiri, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar]
Rule: If your gums bled and the blood reached the throat but did not go down it, then the fast will not break [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Fatahul Qadir].
Rule: If you were eating by mistake and as soon as you remembered you spat out the food then the fast will not break and if you swallowed the food then the fast will break [Alamgiri].
Rule: You started eating (sehri) before the break of dawn and whilst you were eating you saw that the morning had broken and you spat out the food in your mouth then the fast will not break and if you swallowed the food then the fast will break [Alamgiri].
Rule: If you chewed a linseed or something of equivalent size and it went down the throat with your saiiva then the fast will not break, if however, you felt the taste of it then the fast will break [Fatahul Qadir].
Rule: If medicine is grounded or flour is sieved and you felt the taste in your throat then the fast will not break [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Fatahul Qadir etc.].
Rule: If water went inside the ears then the fast will not break [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Fatahul Qadir]
Rule: If you talked badly about someone behind their back then the fast will not break, however to backbite is a very large sin. It is stated in the Holy Quran that to backbite is the same as eating the flesh of one’s dead brother, it is quoted in the Hadith Sharif that backbiting is worse than adultery and by backbiting the light (Moor) of fasting will disappear [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: If you kissed but did not ejaculate then the fast does not break, and in the same way you looked at a woman or her private parts but did not touch her and ejaculated or reached orgasm even though you looked many times or you thought about intercourse for a long time or kept on thinking about sexual activities and then ejaculated, then in all these situations the fast will not break [Johra, Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: ‘If you had a wet dream (nocturnal emission) then the fast will not break.
Rule: If you remained in a state where bathing is obligatory (Junub) until the morning, in fact remained like that all day then the fast will not break, however to remain like that so that you miss a Namaz is Haram and it is quoted in the Hadith Sharif that where there is a Junub person in a house the angels of mercy do not enter the house [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar]. Rule: If you had intercourse in any other hole except for the two passages below then unless you ejaculate the fast will not break. Also, if you masturbated but did not ejaculate then the fast does not break although this act is strictly Haram and it is stated in the Hadith that those who do this are not with me (Holy Prophet) [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Acts that make the fast Makrooh
Rule: To lie, backbite, tell-tale, to swear, talk shamelessly, to cause someone harm are all Haram acts anyway, but to do these acts whilst fasting are even more Haram and because of this the fast become Makrooh.
Rule: For a fasting person to taste or chew something without reason then the fast becomes Makrooh. The acceptable reason is when a husband or master is very short tempered and due to there being less salt will cause him disappointment then to taste (but not swallow) will not make the fast Makrooh. Another reason is when there is a small child or elderly or disabled person who cannot chew a chappati or bread and there is no other person available who is not fasting then the fast will not become Makrooh [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Definition of tasting
Tasting something is not what is known as today where to taste something a few bites are taken or a few sips are taken, never mind tasting this will break the fast and if the conditions of Kaffara apply then Kaffara will become necessary. Tasting is to put something on the tongue and the taste is identified and then the food is spat out and none of it goes down the throat then the fast will not break and if something goes down the throat then the fast will break. Rule: If an item is purchased and it is necessary to taste it otherwise you would suffer a loss then you can taste it and the fast will not become Makrooh [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: To kiss a woman or to embrace her or to touch her is Makrooh when the fear is that you may ejaculate or may be tempted to have sexual intercourse and to kiss her on the lips or to suck her tongue is even more Makrooh and in the same way to perform foreplay is also Makrooh [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar]. To smell a rose or musk (perfume) etc. and. to put oil on the beard or mouchtache or to put on surma is not Makrooh as long as the surma is applied to look handsome or the oil is put on so that the beard will grow, and if the beard is a fist in length then it is Makrooh even when not fasting and if you are fasting then the Makrooh is even more [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: Whilst fasting, for a person to clean the nose or mouth with too much water and exaggeration is Makrooh, exaggeration in washing the mouth means to fill the whole mouth with water.
Rule: Except for bathing or Wuzu to put water in the mouth or up the nose to cool down or wash the body or put on a wet cloth to cool down is not Makrooh, however, if you do this to show that you are suffering i.e. to put on a wet cloth, then it is Makrooh because to have a small heart for worship is not a good thing [Alamgih, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: To gather saliva in the mouth and then to swallow even without fasting is not a good thing but it is Makrooh whilst fasting [Alamgiri, Bahar]. To perform Miswaak whilst fasting is not Makrooh, in fact just as it is Sunnat to perform Miswaak on other days it is also Sunnat whilst fasting.
SEHRI AND IFTAAR(OPENING AND CLOSING THE FAST)
The virtue for performing Sehri
The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated “eat for Sehri as there is a lot of blessings for this. The difference between our fasts and the fasts of the other book followers is the bite of sehri[Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi,Nisaa’i etc.]. Allah and His angels send blessings to those who eat at Sehri [Tibrani]. The whole of Sehri is complete blessing and should not be missed and if possible drink at least one gulp of water because Allah and His angels send blessings upon those who perform sehri” [Imam Ahmad]. The Holy Prophet has stated the Allah has said that out of my servants I love those more who rush their Iftari and delay their Sehri [Ahmad, Tirmizi etc.]. It is also reported that Allah chooses those who hurry their Iftari and delay their Sehri [Tibrani]. Rule: To eat Sehri and to delay it is Sunnat, but to delay it so much that their is doubt that the dawn will break then this is Makrooh [Alamgiri, Bahar]. Rule: To hurry the Iftar is Sunnat but it must only be done when you are satisfied that the sun has set, and until you are not completely satisfied you should not start Iftari even if the Mo’azzin has called the Azaan. On days where it is cloudy the Iftar should not be hurried [Radd-ul-Mohtar].
What should Iftar be started with ?
Rule: The Holy Prophet has stated that when you start the Iftar, then start it with either some dates or dry, dates, and if these are not available then start it with water as this is an item that purifies. The Holy Prophet used to pray this Dua when finishing the fast (Dua of Iftari) “Allahumma Laka Sumto, Wa Alaa Rizqika Aftarto” meaning, Oh Allah I fasted for you and I have opened my fast with vour given wealth.
Situations Where Missing The Fast Is Allowed
Rule: Travelling, pregnancy, breast-feeding, sickness, fear of being killed, any other difficulty recognised by Shariat or illness affecting sense are all reason where missing the fast is allowed and therefore no sin will be committed and when the cause is over then to keep Qaza of the missed fast is compulsory.
Rule: Travelling means as per Shariat the recognised distance, i.e. a journey with the intention of travelling three days (fifty seven and a half miles) even if the journey is for a disallowed cause [Durr-e-MukhtarJ. Rule: If you started travelling in the daytime then that day’s fast is not a cause, however, if it is broken then the Kaffara will not be necessary but you will have committed a sin, and if you broke it before starting the journey and then started the journey, then Kaffara will also be necessary. If you travelled during the day but forgot something at home and returned for it and whilst back at home you broke the fast and then started the journey again, then Kaffara is also Wajib [Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If a traveller had not started travelling before midday and had not eaten anything so far, then it is Wajib to make the intention for the fast [Johra, Bahar].
Rule: If no harm will affect the traveller or his companion if they fasted then it is better to fast and if it will cause a problem then it is better not to fast [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: If a pregnant woman or a mother breast feeding has a true indication that her life or the child’s life is in risk then she can miss the fast even if the breast feeding woman is only a wet nurse and only does this work in Ramadan [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: If an ill person has a true indication that their illness will worsen or the healing will be delayed or if a healthy person has a definite indication that their health will deteriorate or the helper will become very weak then in all the above situations it is allowed to miss the fast [Johra, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Rule: In these situations a definite indication is necessary and just a thought or fear is not sufficient. A definite . indication means three options, either a physical sign is seen or felt, or true experience is known or a Muslim Doctor who is not a wrongdoer (Fasiq) has advised. If therefore a physical sign is not seen or it has never been experienced or an infidel doctor or wrongdoer has advised and you missed a fast then this will mean that you have committed a sin and if you break a fast then Kaffara would also be necessary [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Most of today’s doctors if they are not infidels then they certainly are wrongdoers and if these people advise then it must not be followed and it is not allowed to miss the fast or to break the fast is not allowed. These doctors are seen to forbid fasting for small illnesses and do not have the decency to separate the illness that does need the fast to be missed and the illness where fasting would not cause any harm.
Rule: If you are so hungry or thirsty that you are definitely sure that you will die or you will lose sanity then in this situation do not keep a fast [Fatahul Qadir, Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If you are bitten by a snake and your life is at risk then break the fast [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: If an old age pensioner (an old person who is getting weaker every day) who does not have the strength to keep fast and will no longer be able to keep a fast then it is allowed for them not to fast anymore, but it is Wajib upon them to give Fidya for every fast missed meaning to fully feed a beggar twice or to give Sadqa and Fitra for every fast missed [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Alamgiri, Bahar].
Rule: If an old person cannot keep the fast in summer due to the heat but can keep the fast in winter then he can miss them in the summer but it is obligatory for him to fast perform Qaza) in the winter [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar etc.]. Rule: After giving Fidya the old person gained enough strength to keep the Qaza for the missed fast then it is Wajib upon them to fast and the Fidya will be counted as voluntary.
Rule: A person cannot fast or pray Namaz for another person, however he can send the reward for his fasts to other people [Hidaya, Alamgiri, Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: A Nafl fast if started deliberately becomes necessary and therefore if it is broken it becomes Wajib to keep a Qaza or if it breaks unintentionally such as if monthly periods start it is still necessary to keep it’s Qaza [Hidaya, Durr-e-Mukhtar, etc.].
Rule: If a Nafl fast is kept on Eid days or the days when it is Makrooh to fast then it is not Wajib to finish the fast, in fact it is Wajib to break it and Qaza is not Wajib for breaking this fast. If you have made a promise to fast on these days then it is Wajib that you keep the fast but on some other day not on these days [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
When Nafl fasts can be broken
Rule: You can break a Nafl fast due to the arrival of guests when you are sure that you will perform Qaza for it and it is only allowed to break the fast before midday not after. However, if your parents are unhappy then it is allowed to break the fast before Asr Namaz and not after [Alamgiri, Radd-ul-Mohtar].
Rule: If someone has invited you for a meal then you can break the Nafl fast before midday and it is necessary to keep it’s Qaza.
Rule: A woman should not fast Nafl, promised or oath Rozas without her husband’s permission and if she has then he can make her break them but to perform the Qaza will be Wajib and permission should be asked from the husband before keeping them. If however there is no problem from her husband then she can keep the Qaza without his permission and in fact if he refuses she can still keep the Qaza. As for Ramadan fasts or Ramadan Qaza fasts there is no need to gain permission from her husband and in fact if he stops her she must still keep these fasts [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar]. Rule: If a fast is not kept due to any reason then when it is possible it the Qaza must be kept [Durr-e-Mukhtar etc.].
VIRTUES FOR SOME NAFL FASTS
Meaning fasting on the tenth of Mohharram and it is better to fast on the ninth of Mohharram. The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam kept the Ashura fast himself and instructed others to keep it and also stated that after Ramadan the best fast is of Ashura [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da’ud, Tirmizi] and he has also stated that the Ashura fast erodes the past one year and the coming one year’s sins [Muslim, Abu Da’ud].
Six fasts of Shawwal
The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated that those who have kept the fasts of Ramadan and then kept six fasts of Shawwal, then they are like those who have always kept a fast. He has also stated that if you fast after Eid for six days then you have fasted for the whole year [Muslim, Abu Da’ud Tirmizi, Nisaai, Ibne-Maja etc.].
Rule: It is better that they are kept. separately and if they are kept continuously after Eid then there is no harm [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Fast of Shabaan and the virtue for the 15th of Shabaan
The Holy Prophet Salallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated that when the fifteenth night of Shabaan arrives then on that night stand (meaning perform Nafl Namaz) and fast during the day, because Allah Ta’ala after sunset pays special attention to the world and says is there anyone wanting forgiveness whom I will forgive, is there anyone looking for wealth whom I will- give wealth to, is there anyone who is stuck in difficulty whom I will release ? Is there anyone like this, is there anyone like this ? and He states this until the sunrise of Fajr [Ibne Maja]. He has also stated that on the night of the fifteenth Allah pays attention to all His creation and forgives all except for the infidel and those who break friendship because of a worldly cause [Tibrani, Ibne Huban].
Fasts of Ayyam Baiz
Meaning the fasts of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every month. The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated that fasting for three. days every month is like fasting all the time [Bukhari, Muslim]. He has also stated that if possible keep three fasts every month as every fast erodes ten sins and clears you of sins like water cleans clothes [Tibrani].
Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays
The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated that the actions of each person is presented to Allah on Mondays and Thursdays and I would prefer that my actions are presented when I am fasting. He has also stated that Allah forgives everyone except two people who have had a fight and are not speaking to each other, then Allah tells His angels to leave them until they make up [Tirmizi, Ibne Maja].
Fasting on Wednesdays and Thursdays
The Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam has stated that those who fast on Wednesdays and Thursdays, then there freedom from Hell has been written down and those who fast on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays then Allah Ta’ala makes a house for them in Jannat where the inside can be seen from the outside and the outside can be seen from the inside. Rule: To specifically keep a fast only on Fridays is Makrooh, therefore, you should keep a fast before or after, as to keep a Nafl or Sunnat fast on it’s own is Makrooh.
AI’TEKAAF – STAYING IN MOSQUE
Ai’tekaaf is to stay with the intention of Ai’tekaaf for the sake of Allah in Mosque. There are three types of Ai’takaaf, Wajib, Sunnat-e-Maukida and Mustahhab.
This is when a promise is made and fulfilled. For example, you make the intention that if my such and such thing is done then I will stay in Mosque for one day or two days. Once the action is completed it is necessary to perform Ai’tekaaf and with this Ai’tekaaf fasting is a condition and without fasting the Ai’tekaaf is not correct.
This is performed in the last third of Ramadan, meaning the last ten days. i.e. from sunset of the twentieth of Ramadan you entered in the Mosque with the intention of Ai’tekaaf and did not come out until the thirtieth sunset or if the moon is seen on the twenty-ninth sunset. If the intention of Ai’tekaaf is made after sunset on the twentieth then the Sunnat Maukida will not be counted. This Ai’tekaaf is Sunnat-e-Kifaya meaning if one person within the community performs it then all will not be held responsible and if no-one performs it then all will. be held responsible. Fasting is also a condition for this Ai’tekaaf, but the Ramadan fasts are sufficient [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Hindiya].
Except for the Ai’tekaaf Wajib and the Ai’tekaaf Sunnat, any other Ai’tekaaf is Mustahhab. Fasting is not a condition for Ai’tekaaf Mustahhab and it can be done for a little while. Whenever you go to Mosque, make the intention for this Ai’tekaaf even if you are going for a short while and when you come out the Ai’tekaaf will finish. For the intention, just the thought that I am performing Ai’tekaaf Mustahhab for Allah is sufficient [Alarngiri, Bahar etc.].
Rule: Mosque is necessary for men but for women the place where she normally prays Namaz is sufficient [Hidaya, Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar].
Rule: It is Haram for the Mu’takif (the person performing Ai’tekaaf) to come out of Mosque without a reason, even if it is by mistake, as the Ai’tekaaf will break. In the same way if the woman comes out of the area of Ai’tekaaf without reason then her Ai’tekaaf will break even if she remains in the house [Alamgiri, Radd-ul-Mohtar]. There are two reasons where you can leave the Mosque, one is for natural necessity and the other is for religious necessity. The natural necessity reason is things such as, excretion, urination, to clean the private parts, bathing, Wuzu (where there is no facilities in Mosque to perform Wuzu or have a bath, i.e. a big pool, showers, etc.). The religious necessity is things like going to pray Eid or Juma Namaz and if in the Mosque that you are staying does not have regular Jamaat prayers then you can leave and go to pray Jamaat. Except for these reasons if you went outside the Mosque even for a little while then the Ai’tekaaf will break, even if it was done by mistake.
Rule: The Mu’takif will remain in Mosque and he will eat, drink and sleep there, and if he leaves the Mosque for these things then the Ai’tekaaf will break [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Hidaya etc.].
Rule: Except for Mu’takif, no other person has the permission to eat, drink or sleep and if you wanted to do these things in Mosque then first make the intention of Ai’tekaaf and then either pray Namaz or other worship and then perform these functions, but you must remember and take great care that the Mosque does not get dirty [Radd-ul-Mohtar, Bahar etc.]. Rule: To fulfil the Mu’takifs needs or his family’s needs, the Mu’takif is allowed to buy or sell in the Mosque as long as the items that he is buying are already not available in the Mosque or if they are available then there is only a small amount and it does not take a lot of space and if the intention is to make business then this is not allowed even if the items are not available in the Mosque [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Radd-ul-Mohtar. Bahar].
Rule: The Mu’takif should not stay quiet nor should he speak but he should pray the Quran or Hadith or pray the Durood Sharif, and learn or lecture about the knowledge of Islam, and pray the life stories of the Prophets and the Walls of Allah and write about religion [Durr-e-Mukhtar].
Rule: If Nafl Ai’tekaaf is broken then there is no Qaza for it. If the Sunnat Ai’tekaaf is broken then only the day that is broken is necessary for Qaza and not for all the ten days. If the Wajib Ai’tekaaf is broken and the promise was to keep Ai’tekaaf for some days of the month then only the day where the Ai’tekaaf is broken needs to be repeated. If the intention was to keep so many continuous days Ai’tekaaf and it breaks then the Ai’tekaaf will have to be started again. If the continuity is not the promise then just repeat it from where it was broken.
Rule: Whatever the reason may be for breaking the Ai’tekaaf, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally, the Qaza has to be performed.