By Syed Ashja Haiderashja1. Saturday, September 12, 2009 6:48:58 PM
Its excellence is great, since in this night the Noble Qur'aan was sent down, which leads one who clings to it, to the path of honour and nobility, and raises him to the summit of distinction and everlasting life. The Muslims who adhere strictly to the Sunnah of Allaah's Messenger SAW do not raise flags on this night, nor suspend colourful decorations. Rather they vie in standing during it (Lailatul-Qadr) in Prayer out of sincere faith and hoping for reward. Here, O Muslim, are the Qur'aanic Aayaat and authentic prophetic ahaadeeth referring to this night: * Its excellence
As regards its excellence it is more than sufficient to mention that Lailatul-Qadr is better than a thousand months, He, the Mighty and Majestic, says:
" Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr). And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Gabriel) by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees, Peace! until the appearance of dawn." (Al-Qadr 97: 1-5)
And in it every decreed matter for the year is conveyed, He, the Most High says:
" We sent it (this Qur'aan) down on a blessed Night. Verily, We are ever warning (mankind of Our Torment). Therein (that Night) is decreed every matter of ordainment. Amran (i.e. a command or this Qur'aan or His Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messenger). (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower." (Ad-Dukhaan 44: 3-6) * When is it?
It is reported from the Prophet SAW that it is within the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, twenty-ninth or the last night of Ramadhan.
Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee, rahimahullaah, said: To me it is as the Prophet SAW used to answer according to the question posed, it would be said to him: "Shall I seek it in such and such night?" So he would reply: "Seek it in such and such night." And Allaah knows best. (Reported from him by al-Baghawee in Sharhus-Sunnah)
The most correct saying is that it occurs in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan and this is shown by the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah, RA, who said: "Allaah Messenger SAW used to practice I'tikaaf in the last ten nights and say: 'Seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten days of Ramadhan." (Bukhari, Muslim )
However if the servant is too weak or unable, then he should at least not let the last seven days pass him by, due to what is reported from 'Ibn 'Umar, who said: Allaah's Messenger SAW said: "Seek it in the last ten, and if one of you is too weak or unable then let him not allow that to make him miss the final seven." (Bukhari, Muslim)
This explains his, SAW saying: "I see that your dreams are in agreement (that it is in the last seven) so he who wishes to seek it out then let him seek it in the last seven." (Bukhari)
It is also known from the Sunnah, that knowledge of the exact night upon which Lailatul-Qadr falls was taken up because the people argued, 'Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit, RA said: The Prophet SAW came out intending to tell us about Lailatul-Qadr, however two men were arguing and he said: "I came out to inform you about Lailatul-Qadr but so and so, and, so and so were arguing, so it was raised up, and perhaps that is better for you, so seek it on the (twenty) ninth and (twenty) seventh and the (twenty) fifth." (Bukhari)
Some ahaadeeth indicate that Lailatul-Qadr is in the last ten nights, while others indicate that it is in the odd nights of the last ten, so the first are general and the second more particular, and the particular has to be given priority over the general. Other ahaadeeth state that it is in the last seven - and these are restricted by mention of one who is too weak or unable. So there is no confusion, all the ahaadeeth agree and are not contradictory.
In conclusion: The Muslim should seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten: the night of the twenty-first (the night before the twenty-first day), the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. If he is too weak or unable to seek it out in all the odd nights, then let him seek it out in the odd nights of the last seven: the night of the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. And Allaah knows best. * How should a Muslim seek Lailatul-Qadr?
One who misses this blessed night then he has missed much good for no one misses it except one from whom it is withheld. Therefore it is recommended that the Muslim who is eager to be obedient to Allaah should stand in Prayer during this night out of Eemaan and hoping for the great reward, since if he does this, Allaah will forgive his previous sins.
He SAW said: "Whoever stands in (Prayer) in Lailatul-Qadr out of Eemaan and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven." (Bukhari)
It is recommended to supplicate a great deal in it, it is reported from 'Aa'ishah, RA that she said: "O Messenger of Allaah! What if I knew which night Lailatul-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?" He said: "Say: Allaahumma innaka 'affuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee." (O Allaah you are the one who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.) (at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
O brother! You know the importance of this night, so stand in Prayer in the last ten nights, in worship, detaching oneself from the women, ordering your family with this, and increasing in actions of obedience and worship in it.
From 'Aa'ishah, RA who said: "The Prophet SAW used to tighten his waist-wrapper (izaar) - (meaning detached himself from his wives in order to worship, and exerted himself in seeking Lailatul-Qadr), spend the night in worship, and wake the family in the last ten nights." (Bukhari, Muslim)
From 'Aa'ishah, RA: "Allaah's Messenger SAW used to exert himself in the last ten nights more than he would at other times." (Muslim) * Its sign
[Many people believe in all sorts of superstitions about Lailatul-Qadr, and false beliefs from them are that the trees prostrate, and buildings sleep! And these things are clearly futile and baseless.] Allaah's Messenger SAW described the morning after Lailatul-Qadr, so that the Muslim may know which day it is. From Ubayy, RA who said: that he SAW said: "On the morning following Lailatul-Qadr the sun rises not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up." (Muslim, Abu Dawood, at-Tarmidhi, Ibn Majah)
From Abu Hurairah, RA who said: "We were discussing Lailatul-Qadr in the presence of Allaah's Messenger SAW, so he said: 'Which of you remembers (the night) when the moon arose and was like half a plate?'" (Muslim) [Qaadi 'Iyaad said: "It contains an indication that it was towards the end of the month - since the moon does not appear like that when it arises except towards the end of the month."]
From Ibn 'Abbaas, RA who said: Allaah's Messenger SAW said: "Lailatul-Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, the sun arises on its morning being feeble and red." (at-Tayaalisee, Ibn Khuzaimah, al-Bazzaar with hasan isnaad)
Let us seek abundance rewards from our Creator by performing extra actions in these last few days of the noble month of Ramadhan as it could be our last...Source: http://www.jannah.org/articles/lailatulqadr.html
By Syed Ashja Haiderashja1. Wednesday, August 26, 2009 3:50:45 PM
Niyyat for Fasting
1559. * It is not necessary for a person to pass the niyyat for fasting through his mind or to say that he would be fasting on the following day. In fact, it is sufficient for him to decide that in obedience to the command of Allah he will not perform from the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers up to Maghrib, any act which may invalidate the fast. And in order to ensure that he has been fasting throughout this time he should begin abstaining earlier than the Adhan for Fajr prayers, and continue to refrain for some time after sunset from acts which invalidate a fast.
1560. A person can make niyyat every night of the holy month of Ramadhan that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make niyyat on the first night of Ramadhan that he would fast throughout that month.
1561. * The last time for making niyyat to observe a fast of Ramadhan for a conscious person, is moments before Adhan of Fajr prayers. This means he must be intent upon fasting at that time, even if he later became heedless of his intention due to sleep etc.
1562. * As for Mustahab fast one can make its niyyat at any time in the day, even moments before Maghrib - provided he has not committed any such act which invalidates the fast.
1563. * If a person sleeps before Adhan for Fajr prayers in Ramadhan or any other day fixed for an obligatory fast without making a niyyat, and wakes up before Zuhr to make a niyyat of fast, his fast will be in order. But if he wakes up after Zuhr, as a precaution, he should continue with the abstinence with the niyyat of Qurbat and then give its qadha also.
1564. * If a person intends to keep a fast other than the fast of Ramadhan, he should specify that fast; for example, he should specify it as the qadha fast or a fast to fulfill a vow. On the other hand, it is not necessary that a person should specify in his niyyat that he is going to observe a fast of Ramadhan. If a person is not aware or forgets that it is the month of Ramadhan and makes a niyyat to observe some other fast it will be considered to be the fast of Ramadhan.
1565. * If a person knows that it is the month of Ramadhan, yet intentionally makes an intention of observing a fast other than the fast of the month of Ramadhan his fast will not be reckoned a fast of the month of Ramadhan nor the fast of which he made the niyyat.
1566. If a person observes fast with the niyyat of the first day of the month and understands later that it was the second or third of the month, his fast is in order.
1567. If a person makes an intention before Adhan for dawn prayers to observe a fast and then becomes unconscious and regains his senses during the day time, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast on that day, and if he does not complete it, he should observe its qadha.
1568. If a person makes niyyat before the Adhan for Fajr prayers to observe a fast and then gets intoxicated and comes to senses during the day he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast of that day and should also give its qadha.
1569. If a person makes a niyyat before the Adhan for Fajr prayers to observe a fast, and then goes to sleep, and wakes up after Maghrib his fast is in order.
1570. * If a person did not know or forgot that it was the month of Ramadhan, and takes notice of this before Zuhr and if he has performed some act which will invalidates a fast, his fast is void. But, he should not perform any act till Maghrib which invalidates a fast and should also observe qadha of that fast after Ramadhan. The same rule applies if he learns after Zuhr that it is the month of Ramadhan. But if he learns before Zuhr, and if he has not done anything which would invalidate his fast, his fast will be valid.
1571. * If a child reaches the age of puberty before the Adhan for Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan he/she should keep fast and if he/she reaches the age of puberty after the Fajr Adhan, the fast of that day is not obligatory for him/her except if he/she intended to observe a Mustahab fast on that day, then he/she should complete it as a precaution.
1572. * If a person who has been hired to observe the fasts of a dead person or has fasts of Kaffarah upon him as an obligation, observes Mustahab fasts, there is no harm in it. However, if a person has his own qadha of fasts, he cannot observe Mustahab fasts. If he forgets this and observes a Mustahab fast and remembers it before Zuhr his Mustahab fast will be void and he can convert his intention to the fast of qadha, and if he takes notice of the situation after Zuhr his fast is void as a precaution, and similarly if he remembers this after Maghrib, the validity of his fast is a matter if Ishkal.
1573. * If it is obligatory for a person to observe a specific fast other than the fast of the month of Ramadhan, for example , if he has vowed that he would observe fast on a particular day, and he does not make an intention purposely till the Adhan for Fajr prayers, his fast is void. And if he does not know that it is obligatory for him to fast on that day or forgets about it and remembers it before midday, and if he has not performed any act which invalidates the fast and makes an intention to fast, his fast is in order, and if he remembers after Zuhr, he should follow the precaution applied to the fast of Ramadhan.
1574. If a person does not make an intention till near Zuhr for an obligatory fast which has no fixed time, like a fast of Kaffarah, there is no harm in it. In fact, if he had decided before making a niyyat that he would not fast, or was undecided as to whether he should or should not fast, if he has not performed any act which invalidates a fast, and decides before Zuhr to fast, his fast will be in order.
1575. * If a non-Muslim embraces Islam in the month of Ramadhan before Zuhr, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, make an intention to fast, and complete it provided that he had not committed any act which would make a fast void. And if he does not observe fast on that day he should give its qadha.
1576. * If a patient recovers from his illness in the middle of a day in the month of Ramadhan, before Zuhr, and if he has not done anything to invalidate the fast, he should make niyyat and fast. But if he recovers after Zuhr, it will not be obligatory on him to fast on that day.
1577. * If one doubts whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first day of Ramadhan then the fast on that day is not obligatory. If however, somebody wants to observe fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the Ramadhan fast, but if he makes an intention that if it is Ramadhan then it is the Ramadhan fast and if it is not Ramadhan then it is qadha fast or some other fast like that, his fast will be valid. But it is better to observe the fast with the intention of qadha fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was Ramadhan then it will automatically be Ramadhan fast. And even if he makes a niyyat of a natural fast, and later it becomes known that it is Ramadhan, it will be sufficient (i.e. that fast will be counted as the Ramadhan fast).
1578. If it is doubtful whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first of Ramadhan, and a person observes a qadha or a Mustahab fast or some other fast on that day, and later comes to know the same day that it is the first of Ramadhan, then he should convert the intention to the Ramadhan fast.
1579. * If somebody is undecided in his niyyat whether to break or not an obligatory fixed fast, like that of Ramadhan, or decides to do so, immediately his fast becomes invalid even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention.
1580. * If, while observing a Mustahab fast or an obligatory fast the time of which is not fixed (e.g. a fast for Kaffarah) a person intends to break the fast or wavers whether or not he should do so, and if he does not break it, he should make a fresh niyyat before Zuhr in the case of an obligatory fast, and before Maghrib in the case of a Mustahab fast. That way his fast will be in order.
Things which make a Fast void
1581. * There are nine acts which invalidate fast: (i) Eating and drinking (ii) Sexual intercourse (iii) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self abuse, resulting in ejaculation (iv) Ascribing false things to Almighty Allah, or his Prophet or to the successors of the Holy Prophet (v) Swallowing thick dust (vi) Immersing one's complete head in water (vii) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers (viii) Enema with liquids (ix) Vomiting. Details of these acts will be explained in the following articles:-
I. Eating and Drinking
1582. If a person eats or drinks something intentionally, while being conscious of fasting, his fast becomes void, irrespective of whether the thing which he ate or drank was usually eaten or drunk (for example bread with water) or not (for example earth or the juice of a tree) and whether it is more or less; even if a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.
1583. If while eating and drinking, a person realizes that it is Fajr, he should throw the food out of his mouth, and if he swallows it intentionally, his fast is void, and according to the rules which will be mentioned later, it also becomes obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.
1584. If a person who is fasting eats or drinks something forgetfully, his fast does not become invalid.
1585. There is no objection to an injection which anaesthetizes one's limb or is used for some other purpose being given to a person, who is observing fast, but it is better that the injections which are given as medicine or food are avoided.
1586. If a person observing fast intentionally swallows something which remained in between his teeth, his fast is invalidated.
1587. * If a person wishes to observe a fast, it is not necessary for him to use a toothpick before the Adhan of Fajr prayers. However, if he knows that some particles of food which have remained in between his teeth, will go down into his stomach during the day, then he must clean his teeth with toothpick.
1588. Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast, although it may have collected in one's mouth owing to thoughts about sour things etc.
1589. There is no harm in swallowing one's phlegm or mucous from head and chest as long as it does not come up to one's mouth. However, if it reaches one's mouth, the obligatory precaution is that one should not swallow it.
1590. * If a person observing fast becomes so thirsty that he fears that he may die of thirst or sustain some harm or extreme hardship, he can drink as much water as would ensure that the fear is averted. However, his fast becomes invalid, and if it is the month of Ramadhan, as an obligatory precaution, he should not drink more than that, and then for the rest of the day, refrain from all acts which would invalidate the fast.
1591. Chewing food to feed a child or a bird and tasting food etc. which does not usually go down the throat, will not invalidate the fast, even if it happens to reach there inadvertently. However, if a person knows beforehand that it will reach the throat, his fast becomes void, and he should observe its qadha and it is also obligatory upon him to give Kaffarah.
1592. A person cannot abandon fast on account of weakness. However, if his weakness is to such an extent that fasting becomes totally unbearable, there is no harm in breaking the fast.
II. Sexual Intercourse
1593. Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration is as little as the tip of the male organ, and even if there has been no ejaculation.
1594. * If the penetration is less than the tip of the male organ, so that it cannot be said that intercourse has taken place, also if no ejaculation takes place, the fast does not become invalid. This applies to both, circumcised and uncircumcised men.
1595. If a person commits sexual intercourse intentionally and then doubts whether penetration was up to the point of circumcision or not his fast, as an obligatory precaution, becomes invalid, and it is necessary for him to observe its qadha. It is not, however, obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.
1596. If a person forgets that he is observing fast and commits sexual intercourse or he is compelled to have sexual intercourse in a manner that makes him helpless, his fast does not become void. However, if he remembers (that he is observing fast) or ceases to be helpless during sexual intercourse, he should withdraw from the sexual intercourse at once, and if he does not, his fast becomes void.
III. Istimna (Masturbation)
1597. If a person, who is observing fast, performs masturbation (Istimna), his fast becomes void (The explanation of istimna has been given in rule 1581/iii).
1598. If semen is discharged from the body of a person involuntarily, his fast does not become void.
1599. Even if a person observing fast knows that if he sleeps during the day time he will become Mohtalim (i.e. semen will be discharged from his body during sleep) it is permissible for him to sleep, even if he may not be inconvenienced by not sleeping. And if he becomes Mohtalim, his fast does not become void.
1600. If a person who is observing fast, wakes up from sleep while ejaculation is taking place, it is not obligatory on him to stop it.
1601. A fasting person who has become Mohtalim can urinate even if he knows that by urinating the remaining semen will flow from his body.
1602. * If a fasting person who has become Mohtalim, knows that some semen has remained in his body and if he does not urinate before taking Ghusl, it will come out after Ghusl, he should on the basis of recommended precaution, urinate before taking Ghusl.
1603. * A person who indulges in courtship with an intention to allow semen to be discharged, will complete his fast and also observe its qadha, even if semen is not discharged.
1604. If a fasting person indulges in courtship without the intention of allowing the semen to be discharged, and also, if he is sure that semen will not be discharged, his fast is in order, even if semen may be discharged unexpectedly. However, if he is not sure about the discharge and it takes place, then his fast is void.
IV. Ascribing Lies to Allah and His Prophet
1605. * If a person who is observing fast, intentionally ascribes something false to Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his vicegerents (a.s), verbally or in writing or by making a sign, his fast becomes void, even if he may at once retract and say that he has uttered a lie or may repent for it. And, as a recommended precaution, he should refrain from imputing lies to Bibi Fatema Zahra (a.s) and all the Prophets and their successors.
1606. * If a person observing fast wishes to quote something about which he has no authority or he does not know whether it is true or false, he should, as an obligatory precaution, give a reference of the person who reported it, or of the book in which it is written.
1607. * If a person quotes something as the word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet with the belief that it is true, but realizes later that it is false, his fast does not become void.
1608. If a person ascribes something to Almighty Allah or the Holy Prophet knowing it to be false and understands later that it was true, as an obligatory precaution, he should complete his fast and should also observe its qadha.
1609. * If a person intentionally ascribes to Allah or the Holy Prophet or the successors of the Holy Prophet a falsehood fabricated by some other person, his fast becomes void. However, if he quotes the person who has fabricated that falsehood, his fast will not be affected.
1610. * If a person who is observing fast, is asked whether the Holy Prophet said such and such thing and he intentionally says 'No' where he should say 'Yes' or intentionally says 'Yes' where he should say 'No', his fast becomes void, as an obligatory precaution.
1611. * If a person quotes a true word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet, and later says that he had uttered a lie, or if he ascribed something false to them at night, and says on the following day when he is observing fast, that what he said on the previous night was true, his fast becomes void, except when his intention is to convey his newly acquired information.
V. Letting Dust Reach One's Throat
1612. * On the basis of obligatory precaution, allowing thick dust to reach one's throat makes one's fast void, whether the dust is of something which is halal to eat, like flour, or of something which is haraam to consume like dust or earth.
1613. * Allowing thin dust to reach one's throat will not invalidate the fast.
1614. * If thick dust is whipped up by the wind and if a person does not take care in spite of taking notice of it, allowing the dust to reach his throat, his fast becomes void on the basis of obligatory precaution.
1615. * As an obligatory precaution, a person who is observing fasts, should not allow the smoke of cigarettes, tobacco, and other similar things to reach his throat.
1616. * If a person does not take care to prevent dust, smoke, etc. from entering his throat, and if he was quiet sure that these things would not reach his throat, his fast is in order; but if he only felt that they might not reach his throat, it is better that he should observe that fast again as qadha.
1617. If a person forgets that he is fasting and does not exercise care, or if dust or any other similar thing enters his throat involuntarily, his fast does not become void.
VI. Immersing One's Head in Water
1618. * If a fasting person intentionally immerses his entire head in the water, his fast is known to be void, even if the rest of his body remains out of water. But this act does not invalidate the fast; it is a Makrooh act, and as a measure of precaution, should be avoided.
1619. * If a person immerses half of his head in the water once, and the other half the second time, his fast is not affected.
1620. * If the entire head is immersed under the water, leaving some hair out, the rule applied will be that mentioned above in 1618.
1621. * There is no harm in immersing one's head in liquids other than water like, in milk. Similarly, fast is not affected by immersing one's head in mixed water that is, Mudhaaf.
1622. * If a fasting person falls into the water involuntarily, and his entire head goes into the water, or if he forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, his fast is not affected.
1623. * If a person throws himself into the water thinking that his entire head will not go down into the water, and water covers his entire head, his fast remains in order.
1624. * If a person forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, and he remembers under the water that he is fasting, it is better that he takes his head out of water at once, but if he does not do so, his fast will not be void.
1625. * If a person is pushed into water and his head is immersed in water, the fast is not affected at all. But if the fellow who pushed him and forced his head under water releases him, it is better that he raises his head out of water immediately.
1626. * If a fasting person immerses his head under water with the Niyyat of Ghusl, both his fast and Ghusl will be in order.
1627. * If a person dives headlong in the water to save some one from drowning, although it may be obligatory to save that person, as a recommended precaution, he should give qadha for that fast.
VII. Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas Till Fajr Time
1628. * If a person in Janabat does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers, his/her fast becomes void. And if a person whose obligation is to do tayammum, wilfully does not do it, his/her fast will be also void. This rules apply to the qadha of the fasts of Ramadhan, also.
1629. If a person in Janabat does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers, for obligatory fasts other than those of the month of Ramadhan and their qadha, those fasts which have fixed days, like those of Ramadhan, his/her fast will be in order.
1630. * If a person enters the state of Janabat during a night in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time left before Adhan is short, he/she should perform tayammum and observe the fast. However, it is a recommended precaution that its qadha is also given.
1631. If a person in Janabat in the month of Ramadhan forgets to take Ghusl and remembers it after one day, he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he remembers it after a number of days he should observe the qadha of the fasts of all those days, during which he is certain to have been in Janabat. For example, if he is not sure whether he was in Janabat for three days or four, he should observe the qadha of three days.
1632. If a person who does not have time for Ghusl or performing tayammum in a night of Ramadhan gets into state of Janabat, his fast will be void and it will be obligatory upon him to give qadha of that fast, as well as Kaffarah.
1633. * If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for Ghusl, goes into state of Janabat and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs tayammum, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into Janabat and when he learns later that the time was short, keeps the fast with tayammum, he should, as a recommended precaution, observe the qadha of that fast.
1634. * If a person is in Janabat during a night in Ramadhan and knows that if he goes to sleep he will not wake up till Fajr, he should not sleep before Ghusl and if he sleeps before Ghusl and does not wake up till Fajr, his fast is void, and qadha and Kaffarah become obligatory on him.
1635. When a person in Janabat goes to sleep in a night of Ramadhan and then wakes up, the obligatory precaution is that if he is not sure about waking up again, he should not go to sleep before Ghusl, even if he has a faint hope that he might wake up before Fajr if he sleeps again.
1636. * If a person in Janabat in the night of Ramadhan feels certain that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, and is determined to do Ghusl upon waking up, and oversleeps with that determination till the time of Fajr prayers, his fast will be in order. And the same rule applies to a person who, though not absolutely certain, is hopeful about waking up before the time of Fajr prayers.
1637. If a person in Janabat in a night of Ramadhan is certain or reasonably hopeful that if he sleeps he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers but he is not heedful of the fact that after waking up he would do Ghusl , if he oversleeps till the time of Fajr prayers, the qadha of that fast will be obligatory on him as a precaution.
1638. * If a person in Janabat in a night of Ramadhan is sure or fairly hopeful that if he sleeps he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, but he does not intend to do Ghusl then, or is undecided about it , his fast is void.. And if he sleeps and does not wake up the qadha and Kaffarah will be obligatory on him.
1639. * If a person in Janabat sleeps and wakes up during a night of Ramadhan and is certain or fairly hopeful that if he sleeps again, he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, with full determination to do Ghusl after waking up, and oversleeps till the time of Fajr, he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he goes to sleep for the third time and does not wake up till the time of Fajr prayers, it is obligatory on him to observe the qadha as well as give the kaffarah, as a recommended precaution.
1640. When a person becomes Mohtalim during sleep, the first, second and third sleep means the sleep after waking up; and the sleep in which he became Mohtalim will not be reckoned to be the first sleep.
1641. If a person observing fast becomes Mohtalim during day time, it is not obligatory on him to do Ghusl at once.
1642. When a person wakes up in the month of Ramadhan after the Fajr prayers and finds that he has become Mohtalim his fast is in order, even if he knows that he became Mohtalim before the Fajr prayers.
1643. * When a person who wants to observe the qadha of Ramadhan, remains in Janabat intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers, he cannot fast on that day. And if it was not intentional, he can fast, but as a precaution, it should be avoided.
1644. * If a person wants to observe the qadha of Ramadhan and wakes up after the time of Fajr prayers finding himself Mohtalim, and knows that he became Mohtalim before the time Fajr prayers, he can fast on that day with the niyyat of qadha.
1645. If a person remains in Janabat intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers in an obligatory fast which does not have fixed days, like, the fast of Kaffarah, apparently his fast is in order, but it is better that he should observe fast on some other day.
1646. * If a woman becomes Pak from Haidth or Nifas before the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan or, as a precaution, on a day she wants to give qadha of Ramadhan, and does not do Ghusl - or in the case of time being short, tayammum - intentionally, her fast will be void. And if it is not the fast of Ramadhan or its qadha, her fast will be in order, but as a precaution, she should do Ghusl. And if the obligation of a woman is tayammum instead of Ghusl for Haidth or Nifas and she does not do it intentionally, in the month of Ramadhan or for its qadha, before the time of Fajr prayers, her fast is void.
1647. * If a woman becomes Pak from Haidh or Nifas before the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan and she has no time to do Ghusl, she should perform tayammum. But it is not necessary for her to remain awake till the time of Fajr prayers. The same rule applies to a person whose obligation is tayammum after getting into the state of Janabat.
1648. If a woman gets Pak from Haidh or Nifas just near the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan, and has no time left for Ghusl or tayammum, her fast is valid.
1649. If a woman gets Pak from Haidh or Nifas after the Fajr or if Haidh or Nifas begins during the day though just near the Maghrib time, her fast is void.
1650. If a woman forgets to do Ghusl for Haidh or Nifas and remembers it after a day or more, the fasts that she has observed will be valid.
1651. * If a woman gets Pak from Haidh or Nifas before the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan but neglects her obligation and does not do Ghusl before Fajr, nor does she resort to tayammum as time becomes short, her fast will be void. But if she is not negligent, like when she waits for her turn in a public bath, then even if she sleeps three times without doing Ghusl till Fajr, her fast will be valid if she does not ignore tayammum.
1652. * If a woman is in a state of excessive Istihadha, her fast will be valid even if she does not carry out the rules of Ghusls as explained in rule no. 402. Similarly, her fast will be in order if she does not do the Ghusls prescribed for medium Istihadha.
1653. A person who has touched a dead body (i.e. has brought any part of his own body in contact with it) can observe fast without having done Ghusl for touching a dead body, and his fast does not become void even if he touches the dead body during the fast.
1654. If liquid enema is taken by a fasting person, his fast becomes void even if he is obliged to take it for the sake of treatment.
1655. If a fasting person vomits intentionally his fast becomes void, though he may have been obliged to do so on account of sickness. However, the fast does not become void, if one vomits forgetfully or involuntarily.
1656. * If a person eats something at night knowing that it will cause vomiting during the day time, the recommended precaution is that he should give the qadha of that fast.
1657. * If a fasting person can stop vomiting without causing any harm or inconvenience to himself, he should exercise restraint.
1658. * If a fly enters the throat of a fasting person, it will not be necessary to throw it out if it has gone deep down the gullet, and his fast will be valid. But if it has not descended deep down, it must be coughed out, even by vomiting, if it is not harmful to do so. If one does not do so, fast will be void.
1659. If a person swallows something by mistake and remembers before it reaches the stomach that he is fasting, it is not necessary for him to throw it out, and his fast is in order.
1660. If a fasting person is certain that if he belches, something will come out from the throat, he should not, as a precaution, belch intentionally, but there is no harm in his belching if he is not certain about it.
1661. If a fasting person belches and something comes from his throat or into the mouth, he should throw it out, and if it is swallowed unintentionally, his fast is in order.
Rules Regarding Things which Invalidate a Fast
1662. * If a person intentionally and voluntarily commits an act which invalidates fast, his fast becomes void, but if he does not commit such an act intentionally, there is no harm in it (i.e. his fast is valid). However, if a person in Janabat sleeps and does not do Ghusl till the time of Fajr prayers, as detailed in rule no. 1639, his fast is void. Similarly, if a person due to utter ignorance of the rule that a certain act will invalidate the fast, or due to reliance upon some authority which he thought was genuine, unhesitatingly commits an act which invalidates the fast, his fast will not be void, except in the cases of eating, drinking and sexual intercourse.
1663. * If a fasting person forgetfully commits an act which invalidates fast and thinking that since his fast has become void, commits intentionally another act which invalidates fast, his fast will be void.
1664. * If something is dropped forcibly down the throat of a fasting person, his fast does not become void. But, if he is compelled to break his fast by intimidation, like, if he is warned that his life or wealth would be at stake, and he willingly breaks the fast to ward off the danger, his fast will be void.
1665. * A fasting person should not go to a place where he knows that something will be put down his throat or that he will be compelled to break his fast by his own hands. And if he goes there and he is compelled to commit an act by his own hands which invalidates a fast, his fast will be void. The same will apply, as an obligatory precaution, if something is forcibly put down his throat.
Things which are Makrooh for a Person Observing Fast
1666. * Certain things are Makrooh for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below :
(i) Using eye drops and applying Surma if its taste or smell reaches the throat. (ii) Performing an act, which causes weakness, like blood-letting (extracting the blood from the body) or going for hot bath. (iii) Inhaling a snuff if one is not aware that it might reach the throat; and if one is aware that it will reach the throat its use is not permissible. (iv) Smelling fragrant herbs. (v) For women, to sit in the water. (vi) Using suppository, that is, letting into rectum a stimulant for bowels. (vii) Wetting the dress which one is wearing. (viii) Getting a tooth extracted or doing something as a result of which there is bleeding in the mouth. (ix) Cleaning the teeth with a wet toothbrush. (x) Putting water or any other liquid in the mouth without a good cause.
It is also Makrooh for a fasting person to court or woo his wife without the intention of ejaculation; or to do something which excites him sexually. And if he does it with the intention of ejaculation, and no ejaculation takes place, his fast, as an obligatory precaution, will be deemed void.
Obligatory Qadha Fast and Kaffarah
1667. * In the following situations, both qadha and Kaffarah become obligatory, provided these acts are committed intentionally, voluntarily and without any force or pressure, during the fasts of Ramadhan: (i) Eating (ii) Drinking (iii) Sexual Intercourse (iv) Masturbation (v) Staying in the state of Janabat till the time of Fajr prayers
And as a recommended precaution, invalidating the fast due to reasons other than those mentioned above, should also be recompensed with Kaffarah, besides the obligatory qadha.
1668. * If a person commits any of the foregoing acts with an absolute certitude that it does not invalidate fast, Kaffarah will not be obligatory on him.
Kaffarah for Fast
1669. * The Kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Ramadhan is to:
(a) free a slave, or (b) fast for two months or (c) feed sixty poor to their fill or give one mudd (= 3/4 kg.) of food-stuff, like, wheat or barley or bread etc. to each of them. And if it is not possible for him to fulfil any of these, he should give Sadaqa according to his means and seek Divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he should give Kaffarah as and when he is capable to do so.
1670. A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.
1671. * A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should not commence fasting at such time when he knows that within a month and one day, days like Eid-ul-Azha will fall when it would be haraam to fast.
1672. If a person who must fast continuously, fails to fast on any day in the period without any just excuse, he should commence fasting all over again.
1673. * If a person who must fast continuously, is unable to maintain the continuity due to an excuse beyond control, like, Haidh or Nifas or a journey, which one is obliged to undertake, it will not be obligatory on him/her after the excuse is removed, to commence fasting again from the beginning. He/she should proceed to observe the remaining fasts.
1674. * If a person breaks his fast with something haraam, whether it is haraam in itself, like, wine or adultery or has become haraam due to some reason like, any food which is normally permissible but it is injurious to his health, or if he has sexual intercourse with his wife during Haidth, he will have to observe all the three Kaffarah, as a recommended precaution. It means that he should set free a slave, fast for two months and also feed sixty poor to their fill, or give one mudd of wheat, barley, bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to give all the three Kaffarah, he should perform any one Kaffarah which he can possibly give.
1675. * If a fasting person intentionally imputes lies to Allah or the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the recommended precaution is that he should give all the three Kaffarah as detailed above.
1676. * If a fasting person engages in sexual intercourse several times a day during Ramadhan or commits masturbation, one Kaffarah becomes obligatory on him. But, as a recommended precaution, he should give a Kaffarah each time he engages in sexual intercourse.
1677. * If a fasting person repeats an act which invalidates fast of Ramadhan other than sexual intercourse and masturbation, one Kaffarah will be sufficient for all.
1678. * If a fasting person commits an act which invalidates a fast other than sexual intercourse, and then has sexual intercourse with his wife, one Kaffarah will suffice for both the acts.
1679. * If a fasting person commits a halal act to invalidate a fast, like, if he drinks water and thereafter commits another act which is haraam and invalidates a fast, like, if he eats haraam food, one Kaffarah will suffice.
1680. * If a fasting person belches and swallows intentionally that which comes in his mouth, his fast becomes void, and he should give its qadha and Kaffarah also. And if the thing which comes to his mouth is haraam to consume, like, blood or some food which no more looks like food, and he swallows it intentionally, he will give the qadha of that fast, and as a recommended precaution, give all the three Kaffarah.
1681. If a person takes a vow that he would fast on a particular day, and if he invalidates his fast intentionally on that day, he should give Kaffarah, the one for which one becomes liable upon breaking a vow. The details will come in the relevant Chapter.
1682. If a fasting person breaks his fast when someone unreliable informs him that Maghrib has set in, and he later learns that Maghrib had not set in, or doubts whether it had set in or not, it is obligatory on him to give qadha and Kaffarah.
1683. If a person who has intentionally invalidated his fast travels after Zuhr or before Zuhr to escape the Kaffarah, he will not be exempted from the Kaffarah. In fact, if he has to proceed unexpectedly on a journey before Zuhr, even then it is obligatory for him to give Kaffarah.
1684. If a person invalidates the fast intentionally and then an excuse like Haidth, Nifas or sickness arises, the recommended precaution is that he/she should give a Kaffarah.
1685. If a person was certain that it was the first day of Ramadhan and invalidated his fast intentionally, and it transpired later that it was the last day of Sha'ban it would not be obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.
1686. If a person doubts whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first day of Shawwal and invalidates his fast intentionally, and it transpires later that it is the first day of Shawwal, it will not be obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.
1687. * If a man who is fasting in the month of Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his wife who is also fasting and if he has compelled her for that, he should give Kaffarah for his own fast and as a precaution, also for his wife's. And if she had willfully consented to the sexual intercourse, a Kaffarah becomes obligatory on each of them.
1688. If a woman compels her fasting husband to have sexual intercourse with her, it is not obligatory on her to give Kaffarah for her husband's fast.
1689. If a man who is fasting in Ramadhan compels his wife for sexual intercourse, and if the woman expresses her agreement during the intercourse, the man should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give two Kaffarah and the woman should give one Kaffarah.
1690. If a man who is observing fast in Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his fasting wife who is asleep, one Kaffarah becomes obligatory on him. But the wife's fast is in order and she will not give any Kaffarah.
1691. If a man compels his wife or a woman compels her husband to commit an act which makes the fast void, other than the sexual intercourse, it will not be obligatory upon any of them to give any Kaffarah.
1692. A man who does not observe fast due to travelling or illness, cannot compel his fasting wife to have sexual intercourse. But, if he compels her, Kaffarah will not be obligatory on him either.
1693. One should not be negligent about giving Kaffarah. But, it is not necessary to give it immediately.
1694. If Kaffarah has become obligatory on a person and if he fails to fulfil it for some years, no increase in the Kaffarah takes place.
1695. * When a person is required to feed sixty poor by way of Kaffarah for one fast, and if he has access to all of them, he cannot give to any one of them more than one mudd of food, or feed a poor man more than once, calculating it as feeding more than one person. However, he can give to a poor person one mudd of food for each member of his family, even if they may be minors.
1696. * If a person offering qadha of a fast of Ramadhan intentionally breaks his fast after Zuhr, he should give food to ten poor persons, one mudd to each, and if he cannot do this, he should observe fast for three days.
Occasions on which it is Obligatory to Observe the Qadha Only
1697. * In the following cases it is obligatory on a person to observe a qadha fast only and it is not obligatory on him to give a Kaffarah:
(i) If a person is in Janabat during a night of Ramadhan and as detailed in rule no. 1639 does not wake up from his second sleep till the time of Fajr prayers.
(ii) If he does not commit an act which invalidates a fast but did not make Niyyat to observe fast, or fasts to show off intends not to fast at all, or decides to commit an act which invalidates a fast, then as an obligatory precaution, he must give its qadha.
(iii) If he forgets to do Ghusl of Janabat during the month of Ramadhan and fasts for one or more days in the state of Janabat.
(iv) If in the month of Ramadhan, a man without investigating as to whether Fajr has set in or not commits an act, which invalidates a fast, and it becomes known later that it was Fajr, he should as a precaution and with the Niyyat of Qurbat, refrain from committing any further acts which invalidate the fast, and give its qadha also.
(v) If someone else informs that it is not Fajr yet, and on the basis of his statement one commits an act which invalidates a fast and it is later found out that it was Fajr.
(vi) If someone informs that it is Fajr and not believing his word or thinking that the fellow is joking, he commits, without investigating, an act which invalidates a fast and it becomes known later that it was Fajr.
(vii) If a blind person, or any one like him, breaks his fast relying on the statement of another person, and it is known later that Maghrib had not set in.
(viii) When a person is certain that Maghrib has set in, and breaks his feet accordingly, and later he learns that it was not Maghrib, he must give qadha. But if he believed that Maghrib had set in because of cloudy weather, and broke his fast, and later it became evident that Maghrib had not set in, he will observe qadha of that fast as a precautionary measure.
(ix) When one rinses his mouth with water because it has dried due to thirst and the water uncontrollably goes down one's throat, qadha has to be given. Similarly, as a recommended precaution, one should give a qadha if the mouthwash was for a wudhu for Mustahab prayers, and the water went down the throat. But if he forgets that he has kept a fast, or if he does the mouthwash, not because of thirst, but for a wudhu for an obligatory prayers and water is uncontrollably swallowed, there will be no qadha.
(x) If a person breaks his fast due to duress, helplessness or taqayyah, he will observe qadha of the fast, but it is not obligatory on him to give a Kaffarah.
1698. If a fasting person puts something other than water in his mouth and it goes down the throat involuntarily, or puts water in his nose and it goes down involuntarily, it will not be obligatory on him to observe qadha of the fast.
1699. It is Makrooh to do excessive mouth washing for a fasting person, and after the mouthwash if he wishes to swallow saliva, it is better that he spits it out three times before doing so.
1700. * If a person knows or feels that if he does a mouthwash water will seep down his throat involuntarily, he should avoid it. And as an obligatory precaution, he should avoid the mouthwash if he knows or feels that water may trickle down his throat due to his own forgetfulness.
1701. * If in the month of Ramadhan, a person becomes sure after investigation that it is not Fajr and commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it is later known that it was Fajr already, it will not be necessary for him to offer qadha of that fast.
1702. If a person doubts whether or not Maghrib has set in, he cannot break his fast. But if he doubts whether or not it is Fajr he can commit, even before investigation, an act which invalidates a fast.
Rules Regarding the Qadha Fasts
1703. If an insane recovers and becomes sane, it will not be obligatory on him to offer qadha for the fasts which he did not observe when he was insane.
1704. If an unbeliever becomes a Muslim, it is not obligatory on him to offer qadha for the fasts of the period during which he was an unbeliever. However, if a Muslim apostatises and becomes Muslim again, he must observe qadha for the fasts of the period during which he remained an apostate.
1705. A person must offer qadha for the fasts left out due to being intoxicated, even if the intoxicant was taken by him for the purpose of medical treatment.
1706. If a person did not fast on certain days because of some excuse and later doubts about the exact date on which the excuse was over, it will not be obligatory on him to offer qadha basing his calculation on the higher number. For example, if a person traveled before the commencement of the month of Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he returned on the 5th of Ramadhan or on the 6th, or if he traveled in the last days of the month of Ramadhan and returned after Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he traveled on the 25th of Ramadhan or on the 26th, in both the cases, he can observe qadha based on the lesser number of days, that is, five days. However, the recommended precaution is that he should offer qadha for the higher number of days, that is, six days.
1707. If a person has to give qadha for Ramadhan fasts of several years, he can begin with the qadha of Ramadhan of any year as he likes. But, if the time for qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan is short, like, if he has to observe five qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan and only five days are left before the commencement of approaching Ramadhan, it is better to observe qadha fasts of last Ramadhan.
1708. If a person has qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for several years, and while making Niyyat he does not specify to which year the fasts belong, they will not be reckoned to be the qadha of the last year.
1709. A person who observes a qadha for the fast of Ramadhan can break his fast before Zuhr. However, if the time for qadha fast is short, it is better not to break it.
1710. If a person observes qadha fast of a dead person, it is better not to break the fast after Zuhr.
1711. * If a person does not observe the fasts of the month of Ramadhan due to illness, Haidh or Nifas and dies before he/she can give qadha in time, he/she will not have any qadha liability.
1712. * If a person does not fast in the month of Ramadhan due to illness and his illness continues till next Ramadhan, it is not obligatory on him to observe qadha of the fasts which he had not observed, but for each fast he should give one mudd of food like, wheat, barley, bread etc. to poor. And if he did not observe fast owing to some other excuse, like, if he did not fast because of travelling and his excuse continued till next Ramadhan, he should observe its qadha fasts, and the obligatory precaution is that for each day he should give one mudd of food to poor.
1713. If a person did not fast in Ramadhan due to illness, and his illness ended after Ramadhan, but there emerged another excuse due to which he could not observe the qadha fasts till next Ramadhan, he should offer qadha for the fasts which he did not observe. Also, if he had an excuse other than illness during Ramadhan, and that excuse ended after Ramadhan, but he then fell ill and could not give qadha till next Ramadhan because of that illness, he will offer the qadha for the fasts he did not observe and, on the basis of obligatory precaution, he will give one mudd of food to poor for each day.
1714. If a person does not observe fasts in the month of Ramadhan owing to some excuse and his excuse is removed after Ramadhan, yet he does not observe the qadha fasts intentionally till next Ramadhan, he has to give qadha of the fasts and should also give one mudd of food to poor for each fast.
1715. * If a person deliberately ignores observing qadha till the time left is short, and during that short time he develops an excuse, he has to give qadha and as a precaution, give one mudd of food to poor for each day. Similarly, if after the excuse is over, he firmly decides to give qadha, but is unable to do so because of some fresh excuse during that short time, he will follow the above rule.
1716. If the illness of a person continues for very long, protracted over many years, he should, after being cured, observe the qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan, and for each day of the earlier years he should give one mudd of food to poor.
1717. A person who has to give one mudd of food to poor for each day, can give food of Kaffarah of a few days to one poor person.
1718. If a person delays observing qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for a few years, he should give the qadha and should on account of delay in the first year, give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day. As for the delay in the subsequent years, nothing is obligatory on him.
1719. * If a person does not observe fasts of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, he should give their qadha and for each day left out, he should observe fast for two months or feed sixty poor persons or set a slave free, and if he does not observe the qadha till next Ramadhan, he should also give one mudd of food for each day as a Kaffarah.
1720. * If a person does not observe fast of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, and commits sexual intercourse or masturbation several times during the day, the Kaffarah does not multiply together with it. Similarly, if he performs other acts which invalidate the fast, like eating several times, one Kaffarah will suffice.
1721. * After the death of a person his eldest son, as an obligatory precaution, should observe his qadha fasts as explained in connection with the prayers earlier.
1722. * If a father had not observed obligatory fasts other than the fasts of the month of Ramadhan, like, a fast of Nadhr, the recommended precaution is that his eldest son should observe its qadha. However, if the father was hired for observing fasts on behalf of a dead person, but he did not observe them, it is not obligatory for the eldest son to offer them.
By Syed Ashja Haiderashja1. Saturday, August 22, 2009 3:59:14 PM
Fasting is an ancient and universal practice. The Romans, the Babylonians, the Cynic, Stoic, Pythagorean and Neo-Platonist philosophers commended fasting. The followers of Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Zoroastrianism practice it. The Jews observe an annual fasting on the day of atonement in commemoration of the descent of Moses from Sinai after spending forty days of fasting in order to be able to receive revelation. Jesus observed fasting for forty days in the desert and commanded his followers to fast. In brief, the practice of fasting has been common in one form or the other in all human societies.
Before the advent of Islam, fasting was resorted to by way of repentance or penance, or as a mark of mourning, or to celebrate some particular occasion, or to ward off an apprehended danger, or to control a prevailing epidemic, or to gratify and please a deity or to put pressure to achieve a certain desire end. The form of fasting also differed. For example, Jews ate only once in twenty-four hours. Among Hindus, the restriction applies only to cereals whereas eating of fruits or taking of liquids during fasting is not prohibited. In fact, in ancient faiths and creeds, the objects of fasting were very limited, the intention generally being self-mortification, asceticism, or the satisfaction of some of some superstitious urge.
Originally, in Arabic the word 'as-Sawm' (Sawm) meant 'al-Imsak', that is, to abstain totally from any act including eating, drinking, walking, speaking, etc. Thus, the Arabs used to refer to a horse refusing to run or to be fed, as 'Saum', that is, fasting. As is clear, the word 'Sawm' is ancient and was used in a different context by the Arabs before Islam. Then, however it did not have the specific meaning given to it by Islam as a term denoting a certain religious obligation. As an Islamic term, it means to refrain intentionally from what breaks fasting.
To a Muslim, Ramadan fasting is not just refraining from eating and drinking but carries the added significance of worship, psychological comfort, morality and legislation. It is neither the irrational motionless 'Imsak' of pre-Islamic Arabs nor the mere abstaining from eating and drinking, but is, in fact, the building of one's character, control over desires, and an inspiration towards social and scientific creativity.
God has commanded this sanctified duty and enjoined it on the Muslims, as He had enjoined it on the believing nations before. He assigned the blessed month, the month of Ramadan, for every adult and healthy Muslim as a period of fasting. This sacred ordinance was prescribed by God, for all believers and revealed in the preceding month of Shaaban, nearly a year and a half after the Hijra (the Prophet's auspicious migration from Mecca to Medina [in 622 BC] which marks the start of the Islamic calendar).
Gradually, God revealed numerous other verses about the month of Ramadan and the rules of fasting. In light of these divine injunctions, the Prophet (S.A.W.) expounded the merits of fasting, its significance, regulations, effects, benefits and great reward. Hence, fasting is one of the pillars of Islam and a religious duty for all those who believe in monotheism, and consequently, whoever denies it is an unbeliever.
It is an apparent sign of obedience, submission and servitude to God, the Exalted. By fasting, a Muslim expresses his submission to Allah's command, his response to His will, and control over his own desires and wishes at the God's behest.
In the holy month of Ramadan, a Muslim's abstaining from food, drink, sexual intercourse, etc., during the prescribed hours is the very manifestation of obedience to the Creator's will. This self-deprivation represents a state of self-control and of overcoming carnal pleasure, desire, and enjoyment, for the blissful love of God, His proximity, and the eagerness to desires. It is a triumph of pristine love over one's pleasures for the eternal ones promised by God, the Almighty. This response to the Divine commandments represents and incarnates true servitude and is a brilliant display of spirit, intellect and decisive willpower.
By fasting, a person keeps himself from the pleasures of life, with no preventive or hindering factor, except that of obeying God and showing genuine devotion to His commands. Traditions (ahadith) succinctly explain this fact: "A fasting person is in a state of worship, even when (asleep) in bed, except when he backbites another Muslim." (Al-Kafi, al- Kulayni, "The Book of Fasting" 3rd Edition, vol.4, p.190) "... Every breath you take is (has the reward of) Tasbih (praise to Allah) and your sleep is worship..." (Uyun al-Akhbar al-Rida - the Prophet's sermon).
In a moving speech, the Prophet of Allah described the believing soul that fasts for love of Allah out of truthfulness and sincerity, and thus the whole day becomes an alter of worship, and each and every activity of the fasting body, provided it abstains from loathsome acts, is nothing but worship embodied.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) described the sleep of a fasting Muslim, even the very breathing, as acts of worship, because they emanate from a body regarded as being in a state of continual worship through abstaining from tasting delicious and lawful things, solely out of obedience to the Creator. He Himself extols fasting and attributes as a special blessing for mankind as is clear from a 'Hadith-e-Qudsi': The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: "God, the Exalted says: 'Fasting is (exclusively) for Me and I will reward it." Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (A.S.), the Eighth Imam quoted his ancestor the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) on the chain of authority of his noble forefathers: "O people, any body who in this month (Ramadan) cultivates good manners, will walk over the 'Sira' (Paradise's bridge) on the Day when feet will tend to slip...." ('Uyun al Akhbar, al-Rida - Prophet's sermon).
The practices of Islamic fasting are designed to divert human mind towards righteousness through a process of self-denials. Fasting constitutes a process of self-purification, self-righteousness, and spiritual development of one self.
Fasting in Islam is not prescribed to cause undue hardship. The Divine principle, as specified in the Holy Quran: (On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear...) (2:286).
Accordingly, although there can be no laxity in so far as the obligation of fasting is concerned, there are facilities provided for one who may be sick or on a journey. The Holy Quran says: (...But if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (of fasting should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties ...) (2:185).
When we observe Fasting, here is something that happens:
I feel hungry -> My mind says "I am Fasting" suddenly I REMEMBER MY LORD because I am Fasting for Him!
I feel thirsty -> My mind says "I am Fasting" suddenly I REMEMBER MY LORD.
I think something NEGATIVE my mind says "I am Fasting" suddenly I REMEMBER MY LORD because I am
Fasting for Him!
Fasting helps us to become 'Conscious of God', He is watching us! Beware!
A fasting person is in a state of worship, even when (asleep) in bed, except when he backbites another Muslim. (The Prophet of Islam)