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50 Questions and One About R amad aan Published By: The Muslim Students Organization (MSO) of the City College of New York Room 101, Baskerville 138 Street and Convent Avenue New York, NY 10031 Tel: (212)-650-7000x23171 Email: MSO@ccny.cuny.edu Written By: Marwan Alahiri Islaamic Rulings Checked By: Muhammad Yaseen Edited By: Dean “Abdul Malik” Sawyers Additional Assistance: Sidy Ndao Cover Designed & Formatted By: Dean “Abdul Malik” Sawyers First Edition 2005 This booklet is for the purpose of da’wah only and permission is granted to reproduce it in its entirety only, without changes, and with proper referencing to the MSO-CCNY and the author Fear Allaah and not violate this trust Table of Contents Introduction ………………………………………………………………………… ii-iii The Approach of Ramadan ………………………………………………………… iv-vi General Information On Fasting …………………………………………………… 1-3 During the Day While One is Fasting……………………………………………… 4-7 Time to Break the Fast……………………………………………………………… Taraweeh (Night Prayer)…………………………………………………………… 9-11 Zakatul-Fitr………………………………………………………………………… 12-13 The Day of Eed……………………………………………………………………… 14-15 Questions from MSO Students……………………………………………………… 16-17 Remaining Steadfast After Ramadaan …………………………………………… 18-19 Voluntary Fasting in Islaam………………………………………………………… 20-23 i Introduction In the name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy, and all praise is for Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his companions and all those who follow them in good until the Day of Resurrection As for what follows: In your hand is one of the smallest books written on fasting, it is a booklet containing over 50 questions regarding Ramadaan Fasting is one of the great acts of worship to Allah; indeed it is the fourth pillar of Islam Due to this, many books have been written on fasting to inform and clarify this great pillar to the people This is so that one can perform the fast correctly according to how the prophet of Allah, Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) commanded It has been arranged to follow the daily routine of a fasting person from the time of his first mouthful of suhor (predawn meal), to the time when he breaks the fast, and stands in front of Allaah to pray the most virtuous Qiyaamul Layl (The Night Prayer) To facilitate ease of use, I have written the book in a question/answer format The questions included have been chosen based on the frequency with which they have been asked Accordingly, this booklet does not mention everything about fasting; it only touches base on the most important points I also did not mention the differences of the scholars here as this would hinder the book from being simple to read and understand The goal then, is to inform the people of what benefits them In writing this book, I relied on material which I read, and audios which I listened to from the Ulema’s (scholars) Fataawa, and Students of Knowledge With these sources, I have collected and presented the answer in a concise manner, as you will see, insha’ Allaah I have included in the beginning of this book, the article, “The Approach to Ramadaan” by Shaykh Abdullaah Al Fawzaan, who mentions some of the virtues of the month of Ramadaan In writing this book, I also wanted to focus on the problem facing the Muslims today, in that you will see them working hard and fasting in Ramdaan, but who once Ramadaan has ended, return to acts of disobedience Accordingly, one of the articles included addresses this issue, the title of which is “Remaining Steadfast After Ramadaan” Lastly, there is another article which includes all of the voluntary fasting and their rewards in Islaam, titled, “Voluntary Fasting in Islaam”, which was suggested by our brother, Abdul Malik May Allaah reward him and all the Muslims Finally, I would like to thank all those who helped in the production of this book by editing, and revising it I would also like to thank the MSO students for presenting beneficial questions and advices More specifically, I would like to thank brother Muhammad Yaseen who checked the book for its correctness with regards to the Islaamic rulings Also, I would like to thank brother Abdul Malik for his help in editing, and formatting the book, as well as for designing its cover If there is any good in this booklet then it is from Allah alone, and if there are any mistakes, then they were from me and the shaytaan; Allah and his prophet are free from these mistakes If you read this booklet and benefit from it, I ask you to say good, indeed, Allaah is the All Hearing, the All Knowing I ask Allah by his names and attributes to accept ii this humble effort from me and to make it sincere for his sake O Allah by your names and attributes we ask You to teach us this deen and that you guide us and all the Muslims to that which brings us closer to You; O Allah by your names and attributes we ask You to grant us success in this life and the next, and that you grant us remembrance of the home of the hereafter Verily You are the Appreciative, the Most Strong, the Guide iii The Approach of Ramadan Shaykh’Abdullah Ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan1 Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month Allah has made obligatory upon you its fasting In it, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained To Allah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.”2 The hadeeth is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allah, of the coming of the blessed month of Ramadaan The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) informed his companions of its coming and it was not just a simple relaying of news Rather, his intent was to give them the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the righteous people who are quick to deeds can give it its due estimate This is because the Prophet (sallallagu alaihi wasallam) explained in it (the hadeeth) what Allah has prepared for His servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness and His contentment and they are many ways So whosoever has forgiveness escape from him during the month of Ramadaan, then he has been deprived with the utmost deprivation From the great favors and bounties that Allah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has prepared for them meritous occasions so that they may be of profit for those who obey Him and a race for those who rush to compete (for good deeds) These meritous occasions are times for fulfilling hopes by exerting in obedience and uplifting flaws and deficiencies by self-rectification and repentance There is not a single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allah has assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him And Allah possesses the most beautiful things as gifts, which He bestows upon whomsoever He wills by His Grace and Mercy So the one who achieves true happiness is he who takes advantage of these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from the acts of obedience _ The following is taken from Ahaadeethus-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Aadaab (pg 13 - 15) This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nassa’ee See Ahmad Shaakir’s checking of the Musnad (no 7148) and Saheeh At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of Al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395) iv Thus, perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that saves him from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat.3 Being able to reach Ramadaan is a magnificent bounty in itself, bestowed upon the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day In it, he returns to his Protector ~ from disobeying Him to obeying Him, from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distance from Him to turning towards Him in submissive repentance A Muslim must be conscious of his bounty and acknowledge its magnitude For indeed, many people are prevented from fasting, either because they die before they reach it or because they are not capable of observing it or because they oppose and turn away from it Thus, the one who fasts must give praise to his Lord for this bounty and should welcome this month with the joy and delight that a magnificent time of the year out of all the occasions for performing obedience is welcomed He should exert himself deeply in doing good deeds And he should invoke Allah to grant him fasting and standing in night prayer and that He provide him with seriousness, enthusiasm, strength and energy in that month And that He awaken him from heedless oversleeping so that he may take advantage of these virtuous times of good It is unfortunate to find that many people not know the value of this virtuous occasion, nor they consider it to be sacred So the month of Ramadaan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience, worship, reciting the Qur’aan, giving in charity and making remembrance of Allah Rather, to some people it becomes a significant time for them to diversify their foods and drinks and to prepare different types of meals before the month begins Some other people not know Ramadaan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day This is to the point that some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus not praying them in congregation or in their proper times Other people not know Ramadaan except as a significant time for conducting wordly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting affairs for the Hereafter Thus, they work busily in it, buying and selling, and they stay in the Market areas, consequently abandoning the masjids And when they pray with the people, they so in such a hurried manner This is because they find their pleasure in the market places This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadaan) have been changed Some of the Salaf have used to say: “Indeed Allah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadaan as a competition fro His creatures, in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.”4 _ These are the words of Ibn Rajab in Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif of Ibn Rajab: page 246 v Also, the individual does not know if this is perhaps the last Ramadaan he will ever see in his life, if he completes it How many men, women and children have fasted with us the past year, and yet now they lie buried in the depths of the earth, depending on their good deeds And they expected to fast many more Ramadaans Likewise, we too shall all follow their path Therefore, it is upon the Muslim to rejoice at this magnificent occasion for obedience And he should not renounce it, but instead busy himself with what will benefit him and what will cause its effect to remain For what else is it, except numbered days, which are fasted in succession and which finish rapidly May Allah make us, as well as you, from among those who are foremost in attaining good deeds vi General Information On Fasting Q1: What is Fasting? A1: Fasting in Arabic is called Siam So Siam linguistically means to abstain from something In legislation (Sharee‘ah), Siam is a form of worship by abstaining from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn (Fajr) until sunset (Maghrib) with the sincere intention for Allah’s sake Q2: Why we fast? What is the wisdom behind fasting? A2: We fast in accordance to Allah’s order, who said: “O you who believe, Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, in order that you gain Taqwaa.”1 The wisdom behind fasting is to: Achieve Taqwaa, Purify the soul, Restrain the soul from the evil acts, Encourage the soul to good deeds, And to experience how the poor live their lives This would motivate one to look out for them and help them Q3: Who is obliged to fast the Month of Ramaddan.? A3: Fasting is obligatory on every Muslim man and woman who has reached the age of puberty and is mentally sound Fasting is not obligatory on the: One who is mentally ill Traveler Kafir (disbeliever) An old person for whom fasting becomes difficult Q4: Who is allowed to break the fast during the daylight of Ramadan? A4 : The sick person The traveler Taqwa is to all that Allah commanded, and to abstain from what He forbid Allah subhaanahu wa ta‘aalaa said, regarding these two: “If any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later (Suratul Baqarah, 2:184)” Elderly men and women for whom fasting is difficult; about them Allah said “And as for those who cannot fast (because of difficulty) they may feed a needy person (for each day missed)” (Suratul Baqarah, 2:184) The above verse includes the pregnant and the breast feeding women They are allowed to break the fast if they fear for themselves or for their babies If they break their fast because of this, then they are only obligated to make up for the missed days Menstruating and post-child bleeding women, - they make up for the missed days Q5: What are the things that break the fast? A5 : 1 Eating Drinking Sexual intercourse with ones spouse The proof for this is Allah’s statement: “So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allâh has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall”(Suratul Baqarah, 2:187) And from that which also breaks the fast: Taking injections which take the place of food and drink For more details on this, go to Fatwaa Arkanul-Islam by Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen under the section of fasting , or www.Sahab.com authentically reported from the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) If one leaves qunoot sometimes, then there is no harm on that since it is not obligatory Q35: What is Laylatul Qadr? A35: It is the Night of Decree in which: The Qur’aan was portionally revealed to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) It is better than 1000 months The angels including the Rooh (Jibreel) descend by Allah’s permission As occurs in the statement of Allah: We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The night of Al Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months The angels and Gibreel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair Peace! it is till the break of the morning (Suratul Qadr, 97:1-5) Q36: Which night does Laylatul Qadr fall on? A36: There is no specific night for Laylatul Qadr One should seek it on the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said in the hadeeth narrated by Ibn Abbas “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan ,' on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of THE LAST TEN NIGHTS OF Ramadan (i.e 21, 23, 25, respectively).”1 Q37: Are there any signs for determining Laylatul Qadr? A37: Yes there are Some of the signs are: The night becomes easy and moderate The night is neither hot nor cold The sun in the morning following Laylatul Qadr becomes white (weak) and without rays A hadeeth reported by Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “ Laylatul Qadr is an easy and moderate night It is neither hot nor cold On the morning following it, the sun rises weak (in light) and reddish.2 Bukharee Recorded by bin Khuzaymah 11 Zakatul-Fitr Q38: What is Zakatul-Fitr? Who is obliged to pay it? A38: Zakatul-Fitr is an obligatory charity on every Muslim men and women, old and young by the end of the month of Ramadan This also applies to a child who is one day old Zakah is charity and Fitr is ending of the fast This shows that it should be paid at the end of Ramadan, as will be made clear in one of the following questions Q39: What is the wisdom behind Zakatul-Fitr? A39: The wisdom behind Zakatul-Fitr is that it purifies the one who has fasted from any type of indecent acts or false speech which one might have committed during fasting It also serve as sustenance for the poor and needy during the day of Eed Q40: What is the amount of Zakatul-Firt? A40: The amount of Zakatul-Fitr is one sa'a A sa'a is mudd, where mudd is equal to the amount held by cupping the hands together of an average sized man Q41: What are the types of food that should be given for Zakatul-Fitr? A41: One can give the most common food in their area The types of food that were given during the prophet's time were: dates, raisins, wheat, barley and so on Abu Saeed said, “we used to give for Zakatul-Fitr on behalf of every child, aged person, freeman or slave during the lifetime of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) one sa'a of food, or one sa'a of dried yogurt, or one sa'a of barely or one sa'a of dates or one sa'a of raisins" Q42: How soon can one pay Zakatul-Fitr? A42: It can either be paid one or two days before the day of Eed or before the performance of Eed's prayer If someone gave it after performing the Eed's prayer then it is not accepted as Zakatul-Fitr but it will be considered as regular charity The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said "If one pays Zakatul-Fitr before the salah (prayer), it is considered and accepted as Zakah, if he gives it after the salah, it is considered an ordinary charity"2 Bukharee and Muslim Abu dawood 12 Q43: Is it permissible to give Zakatul-Fitr as money? A43: The Sunnah is that it should be paid in FOOD and not money During the Prophet's (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) time, they had money [as we do], so if paying ZakatulFitr in money was good then they would have done it The best guidance is the guidance of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) This is due to the above mentioned Hadeeth of Abu Saeed in question #41, where Saeed mentioned how they used to give out ZakaatulFitr Please see the answer to that question for more details, barakallaahu feekum It should also be known, that it is permissible to give money to a masjid, provided that this masjid will buy food with this money for distribution Q44: Here in the United States or in other places where people are not in need of food, is it allowed to discharge Zakatul-Fitr in my country [instead]? A44: It is better to discharge it in the place that you live in, but if no one accepts it, then you may give money to someone in your country to buy food and discharge it on your behalf to the needy people And Allaah knows best May Allaah make our intentions and actions for His sake 13 The Day of Eed Q45: What should a Muslim during the Day of Eed? A45: A Muslim should: Thank Allah for guiding him to complete the month of fasting and for the bounty of this day (the day of Eed), and ask Him to accept from him Break his fast before he goes to pray the Ee'd prayer Take Ghusl (shower) and wear the best clothes and perfume; wearing perfume for women, however, is not permissible when going out where the scent of her perfume can be smelled by men Take his wife, daughters and his family to the Eed prayer Make takbeer : “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Laillah illa Allah, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Walillahi Alhamd” The Muslims should also return from the place of Eed in a different direction from which they had taken to it Congratulate each other with the statement of the companions: “ ‫و‬ ” “May Allaah accept from us (this month of fast, and Eid) and from you.” Q46: What are the impermissible actions on the Day of Eed? A46: It is not allowed to: Fast on the Day of Eed Waste time on things in which Allah has forbidden such as listening to music, shave the beard and so on It is not allowed for a man to shave his beard whether in Eed or outside Eed due to the many ahadeeth on this It is not allowed for the Muslim woman to take her hijab off during Eed or at anytime Allah said: 14 “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e.screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way) That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed And Allâh is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful” Q47: What is the ruling and reward of fasting the six days of Shawaal (the month proceeding the month of Ramadan)? A47: Fasting six days after Ramadan is not obligatory It is a highly recommended Sunnah The one who fasts these days would be counted as if he fasted the entire year This is a great reward from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala, in which one should not leave out The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Ayyub “ ‫ما ه‬ ‫ال آ ن آ‬ ‫ﻡ‬ ‫ﺏ‬ ‫م رﻡ ن واﺕ‬ ‫”ﻡ‬ “whoever fasts Ramadan, and then follows it up with six( days of fasting) from Shawaal, then that is as if he fasted the entire time( i.e, year)” Q48: When does the fasting of the six days of Shawaal start Can one distribute these days through the entire month or should they be days straight? A48: The fasting of the six days of Shawaal starts from the following day of Eed which is the second day of Shawaal One can fast the six days consecutively or separately because the hadeeth says “six days from Shawwal” and did not say the 1st or last six days of Shawwal As long as one fasts the six days through the entire month then he will get the reward mentioned in the hadeeth, insha’ Allah Muslim no 1164 15 Questions from MSO Students Q49: We live in a non-Muslim country; the people here differ concerning the first and last day of fasting Some follow the sighting of the moon in another Muslim country and some follow the local sighting What is the correct view? A49: First of all, when we differ in this matter, or other matters of fiqh, our hearts should not differ The scholars of Islam, may Allah have his mercy upon them, have differed in this and other matters, but this did not cause them to hate one another as it is the case nowadays, especially among the youth The correct view on this is that people should fast and break the fast according to the sighting of the moon in where they live This is because the (zone) moon sighting varies from one country to another So for those living in a nonMuslim country, if they have an Islamic organization that they can refer to for the confirmation of the sighting of the moon, then all Muslim in that country should follow them On the other hand, if the don’t have an Islamic organization then there is NO HARM on them if they follow the closest Muslim country that is known to follow the moon sighting according to the Sharee’ah The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The fast is the day that you all fast, and breaking the fast is the day when you all break the fast.”1 Allah knows best Q50: Should a Muslim spend time memorizing the Qur’aan or reciting it during the month of Ramadan? A50: Reciting the Qur’aan during the month of Ramadan is better but if one can combine between reciting and memorizing, then it is great The month of Ramadan is the Month which the Quraan was revealed Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says: “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’aan was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction” (Suratul Baqarah, 2:185) Abu Umaamah reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Recite the Qur’aan for indeed it will come on the Day of Judgment as an intercessor for its friends (those who recite, memorize an implement it).” Shaykh Abdullah bin Fawzan Al Fawzan said: “This Hadeeth indicates the virtues of reciting the Qur’aan, the greatness of its reward and that it will intercede for its holders on the Day of Judgment towards their entrance into paradise” Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Messenger said” The fast and the Qur’aan will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgment The fast will say: My lord, I restricted him from At-Tirmithi no.697 Saheeh Muslim Taken from www.troid.org 16 food and drink, so allow me to intercede for him And the Qur’aan will say: I prevented him from sleeping at night, so allow me to intercede for him; so he will be allowed to intercede”.1 Shaykh Abdullah bin Fawzan Al Fawzan said: “ And it is on the one who recites to act upon the Qur’aan, making permissible its Halaal and forbidding its Haraam, so that the Qur’aan can be a proof for him on the day of Judgment and intercede for him in entering the gardens for bliss Q51: What is the ruling on the fasting person who lies, backbites and uses false speech? A51: Lying, backbiting and false speech are forbidden whether a Muslim is fasting or not However, it would be even worse if one is fasting because fasting is not from food only, but from all evil acts The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whoever does not abandon false speech, acting according to it and ignorance, then Allah has no ne ed of him abandoning his food and drink”.3 Abdullah Al Fawzan in an article called “Reciting the Qur’aan in Ramadan” said, “the Salaf (predecessors) of this ummah would recite the Qur’aan constantly during Ramadan, and when they would fast, they would sit in a masjid and say “we will guard our fast and not backbite anyone.” So it is upon all the Muslims to safeguard their tongues from all evil whether they are fasting or not Indeed, the tongue can either take you to Paradise or the Hellfire Saheeh muslim (804) www.troid.org Al-Bukharee no 1903 17 The following two articles were taken from www.salafipublications.com Remaining steadfast after Ramadaan Author: 'Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan Source: Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg 155-157) (trans Masjid Ahl-ul-Qur'aan wa Sunnah) Article ID : IBD090012 [1401] Sufyaan Ibn 'Abdillaah t said: "O Messenger of Allaah r, tell me something about Islaam of which I will not ask anyone else besides you (after that)." He said: "Say: 'I believe in Allaah' and then be steadfast (upon that)." [1] This hadeeth is proof that the servant is obligated, after having Eemaan in Allaah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion, without drifting away from it to the right or to the left If a Muslim lived through Ramadaan and spent its days in fasting and its nights in prayer, and in that month he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allaah at all times (after that) This is the true state of the servant (‘abd), for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing His servants at all times Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadaan and the rectification of one's statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadaan and that he struggled in obedience They are tokens of acceptance and signs of success Furthermore, the deeds of a servant not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another Rather they continue and extend until one reaches death, for Allaah says: “And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e death) comes to you.” [2] If the fasting of Ramadaan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year, and all praise is due to Allaah If standing in prayer at night during Ramadaan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer And if the Zakaat-ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakaah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year This goes the same for reciting the Qur'aan and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is desirable, for they can be done at all times From the many bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has placed for them many different types of acts of worship and He provided many means for doing good deeds Therefore, the enthusiasm and the zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in 18 the service of his Master It is unfortunate to find some people performing worship by doing different types of righteous acts during Ramadaan – they guard strictly their five daily prayers in the masjid, they recite the Qur’aan abundantly and they give in charity from their money But when Ramadaan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the Fajr prayer! And they (even) commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks, especially on the day of 'Eed! Obtaining help from these evils is only through the Grace of Allaah Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and they destroy what they have established This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition We ask Allaah for His safeguarding and protection! Indeed, these types of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to (only) the month of Ramadaan So they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadaan, and not out of fear for Allaah! How evil are these people who not know Allaah except in Ramadaan! Truly, the success that Allaah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadaan And Allaah’s assisting him to that is a great blessing Thus this calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord And this understanding can be found in Allaah’s saying, after having completed the favor of the month of fasting: "(He wants that you) must compete the same number of days, and that you must magnify Allaah (by saying Allaahu Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him." [3] So the one who is grateful for having fasted, he will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds Indeed, the true manner of a Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for having been bestowed the ability to fast and make qiyaam (night prayer) His condition after Ramadaan is better than it was before Ramadaan He is more ready to obey, desiring to good deeds and quick to implement the obligatory acts This is since he has acquired benefit from this prominent institute of learning It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa 19 Voluntary Fasting in Islaam Author: Abdul Kader at-Tayebi Article ID : IBD090001 [1460] Voluntary Fasting As we are beginning our new year with the great month of Muharram in which there is the great day of `Ashourah that the Muslims fast in revival of the practice of the Prophet Mousa alaihi as-Salam, I thought sharing with my dear brothers and sisters some important facts regarding voluntary fasting Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship of all time Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection In prayer most of us pray Sunna [supererogatory/optional/voluntary] prayer before or after mandatory prayer, called Rawatib, such as four Rak`at before and two after, two after Maghrib and `Isha and the two rak`at of Fajr These are prayers we pray before or after a mandatory prayer Similarly, there is a mandatory fasting and that is in Ramadhan Just as the one performs the Rawatib before and after the Fardh prayer one should fast before and after Ramadhan, and just as the Rawatib were set by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam the in some specific manner and amount, the Nafl [optional] Fasting was also set by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam In this short article we shall review the fasting of some days that were recommended by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam 1- Six days of the month of Shawwal: Abu Ayyoub reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it by fasting six days during the month of Shawwal will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year [Muslim, at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad by way of Jabir] These days can be anytime during the month of Shawwal except the first day because it is unlawful to fast the day of Eid These days not have to be at beginning of the month nor they have to be consecutive Hence, Muslims should seize this opportunity and fast these six days to get Allah's reward 20 Why the fasting of six days of Shawal after Ramadhan equates that of the whole year? Some `Ulamaa' say that the good deed is rewarded ten times Thus fasting six days is like fasting 60 days, added to 30 days of Ramadhan times 10 (i.e 300) it makes it a year 2- The day of `Arafah: This is for those who are not performing the Hajj (pilgrimage) Abu Qatadah said : the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said: "Fasting on the day of `Arafah is an expiation [of sins] for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it and the fasting the day of `Aashuraa' is an expiation for the year preceding it [Muslim, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood] 3- Fasting three days of every month: `Amr Ibn Sharhabeel said : A man came to the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and said : O Messenger of Allah! what you say in a man who fasts the whole year [time], on this the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : I wish he would not eat anything during the year, he said what about two thirds of the year, he replied "more", he said what about half of it, he said more and then said : Shall I not inform you of what takes away the whispers of the chest, they said yes tell us, he said " fasting three days from every month [an-Nasaa'i; Sahih] Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "Whoever fasts from every month three days, it is like fasting the whole year, then Allah revealed what backs this in His book "Whoever comes with a good deed, he is rewarded ten folds", one day for ten [Ibn Majah and at-Tirmithi] Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]" [Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih] 4- Fasting Mondays and Thursdays: `Aa'ishah said : The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays" [an-Nasaa'i; Sahih] Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday He was asked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other He says: "leave them for later." [Ahmad; Hasan] 5- Fasting Tasu'a and `Aashuraa': Tasu`aa' and `Aashuraa' are respectively the ninth and the tenth day of the month of Muharram 21 Ibn Abbas reported: "The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the day of Ashura He asked them: "Why are you fasting this day?" They said: "This is a great day Allah saved Mousa (Moses) and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore Mousa fasted on it "The Prophet said: "We have more of a right to Mousa than you." So he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day." [al-Bukhari and Muslim] When the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, fasted the day of Ashura, the people told him that this day is a day that Jews and Christians honor The Prophet said: "When the following year comes, Allah willing, we shall fast both the ninth and the tenth day of Muharram (that is to be different from the Jews and the Christians.)" The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, died before the following year."[Muslim] 6- Fasting during the month of Muharram: Muharram is the first month of the Islamic year The month of Muharram is the first month of the lunar year Abu Hurairah reported: "I asked the Prophet: "Which prayer is best after the obligatory prayers?" He said: "Prayer during the middle of the night." I asked: "Which fast is best after the fast of Ramadhan?" He said: "Fasting during the month of Muharram." [Muslim] 7-Fasting during the month of Sha`baan Sha`baan is the month before Ramadan Sha`baan `Aa'isha said: "I have never seen the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, completing the fast of a month as he did for Ramadhan, and I have never seen him fasting so much as he would in Sha`baan." [al-Bukhari and Muslim] Fasting of a woman in her husband's presence Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : "A woman is not to fast [even] for one day while her husband is present except with his permission, unless it is during Ramadhaan." [al-Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad] Intention for voluntary fasting As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything `Aa'ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No" He said: Therefore, I am Fasting" [Muslim and Abu Dawood] Breaking the fast when fasting voluntarily and making up voluntary fasting Ummu Hani reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, entered her room during the day of the conquest of Makkah He was offered something to drink and he drank 22 from it Then he offered it to me [Ummu Hani] and I said :" I am fasting" The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : The one who is fasting voluntarily is in charge of himself If you wish you may fast and if you wish you may break your fast" [Ahmad, ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi, al-Hakim and at-Tirmithi] In another narration, Ummu Hani said I am fasting but I dislike to return your leftover He said: If it [the day you are fasting] is a making up for a day of Ramadhan then make up another day for it, and if it is a voluntary fasting day, then if you wish make it up and if you wish not don't" [Ahmad and Abu Dawood] `Aishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No" He said: Therefore, I am Fasting and then he came to me after that day and I was gifted some Hais [a kind of food], so I left it for him, and he used to like al-Hais She said :" O Messenger of Allah! we were gifted some Hais and I left some for you He said" Bring it closer to me, though I woke up with the intention of fasting, I will eat from it Then he said: The example of the voluntary fasting is like the man who takes out money [to give] for charity, if he likes he give it and if he likes he keep it [Ibn Majah; Hasan] Conclusion It is clear that voluntary fasting was something very common among the Sahaba and in the previous nations of believers and the Prophets Dawood and Mousa alaihim as-salaam are good examples Indeed it is the way of the Believers that we should strive to follow 23 50 Questions and One About R a ma d a a n ‫ا‬ ‫ه‬ ‫ ) إن‬:‫ل‬ ‫ﻡ أ ًا‬ ، ‫اأ‬ ‫وﺱ‬ ‫ ی‬، ‫ﻡ‬ ‫ ذا د‬، ‫ه‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ، ‫نی ما‬ ‫ﻡ ا‬ ‫ﻡ أ ًا‬ ‫ﻡ ن ی‬ ( ‫ﻡ أ‬ ‫ري‬ ‫رﺽ ا‬ ‫ا ینی‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ﺱ‬ ‫ﺏ ﺏً ی ل‬ ‫ی ل أی ا‬ ‫ی‬ ‫ا‬ Narrated By Sahl: The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, "There is a gate in Paradise called ArAr-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter will ill enter through through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them w it It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observe fasts?' They will get up, and none except them will enter through it After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it." (Al Bukhaaree)
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