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FASTING.

 

1)           RAMADAN VIRTUES AND BLESSINGS

 

2)           PURPOSE OF FASTING

 

3)           OBLIGATORY FASTING (RAMADAN)

 

4)           IMPORTANCE OF RAMADAN FASTING

 

5)           MOON FOR RAMADAN AND EID

 

6)          FASTING ORDER & DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RELIGIONS

 

7)           DELIBERATELY LEAVING FASTS

 

8)          NAWAFAL (VOLOUNTRY) FASTING

 

9)          FASTING: 'ASHOORA DAY', THE VIRTUES

 

10)     FASTING: DURING TRAVEL

 

11)     FASTING: ON FRIDAYS

 

12)       FASTING IN ALASKA

 

13)       DELAY IN SHAWWAL FASTING

 

14)       FASTING : SIX DAYS OF SHAWWAAL

 

15)       FASTING BOTH MISSED AND SHAWAL WITH ONE INTENTION

 

16)       FASTING: WHAT TO DO IF ONE IS A DIABETIC?

 

17)       FASTING: PREGNANT & BREAST FEEDING MOTHERS

 

18)       DO WOMEN HAVE TO MAKE UP MISSED FASTS

 

19)       STOPPING PERIODS FOR GETTING COMPLETE RAMADAN

 

20)       MENSTRUATING WOMEN AND LAYLATUL-QADR

 

21)       FASTING: AND THE WILLFUL VIOLATION

 

22)       INVALIDATING OF FASTS

 

23)       BREAKING THE FAST IN RAMADAAN WITH NO EXCUSE

 

24)       FASTING IS NOT ACCEPTED IF ONE DOESN’T PRAY

 

25)       FASTING: AND THE USE OF EARDROPS OR EYE DROPS

 

26)       FASTING: WITHDRAWING BLOOD - MISSED DAYS 

 

27)       BLOOD DONATING IN FASTS

 

28)       INTRAMUSCULAR OR INTRAVENOUS INJECTION IN FASTING

 

29)       ANESTHETIC VIA INJECTION DURING RAMADAAN

 

30)       SELLING FOOD TO NOT FASTING PEOPLE AND KUFFAR

 

31)       TASTING FOOD IN FAST

 

32)     WHAT TO DO IF ONE IS A DIBATIC

 

33)       TARAWIH PRAYER RAKAT

 

34)      HOLDING THE QURAN IN TARAWEEH PRAYERS

 

35)      ADDING ANOTHER RAK’AH TO THE IMAAM’S WITR

 

36)      WHICH IS BETTER DURING RAMADAN - READING QURAN OR VOLUNTARY PRAYERS ?

 

37)       DIFFERENT DATES OF MAIRAJ & QADR NIGHTS IN COUNTRIES

 

38)       SHATAN BEING CHAINED IN RAMADAN

 

 

 

 

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1. RAMADAN VIRTUES AND BLESSINGS

Question :

Ramadan is a special month for Muslims. Would you please shed some light on its virtues and blessings and what a Muslim should do to reap its fruits and get closer to Allah?

Answer :             

It is noteworthy that the month of Ramadan is a blessed month and an opportunity for every Muslim to draw near to Allah, increase his morality and spirituality and to gain abundant reward. In this regard, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:

Almighty Allah says, Your Lord does create and choose as He pleases … .” (Al-Qasas 28: 68)

Allah is the Creator of everything visible and invisible. Everything in the heaven and earth belongs to Him and serves Him. Allah is also the Creator of time and space. As Allah chose some persons to be His Prophets and Messengers, and as He chose some places to become the sacred spots on this earth, similarly He also chose some time to become the sacred time. The sacred personalities teach us about Allah, His will, His rules and commands.

The sacred places and times remind us about Allah’s special favors and blessings. In Islam we worship only Allah. We neither worship any person other than Allah, not any space or time. But certain spaces and times inspire us and motivate us to do good things. One of those important and sacred moments for us is Ramadan. It is a special month and a special time. Allah says in the Qur’an:

The month of Ramadan is that in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, with clear signs for guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. (185) When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed quite near: I listen and answer the call of every caller when he calls Me. Let them listen to My call, and believe in Me; so that they may be guided aright”   (Al-Baqarah 2: 185-186)

The blessed month of Ramadan is a great time and a beautiful time as well. We thank Allah that He is giving us another occasion to witness this blessed time in our life. May He help us to benefit from this season of virtues and blessings and may He grant us His love, mercy and forgiveness now and forever, Ameen.

Ramadan is a great month. This is the month of the Qur’an, and in this month is the Night of Qadr, which is better than one thousand months. Allah chose this month and a particular night in this month to grace humanity with His Final Testament, His Last Message, the Qur’an. The moment of this revelation became a sacred moment, and that time and month became an eternal time for us. Allah chose this time, and He has filled it with His countless blessings. In this month we have a greater urge and desire to do good deeds. This month becomes the month of virtues and blessings for us. This is the month about which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“When the first night of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious jinns are put in chains and the doors of hell are closed, none of them remains open. The doors of heaven are open and none of them remains closed. And a caller calls, ‘O seeker of goodness, come forward, and O seeker of evil, desist. And Allah has many (in this month) who will be freed from Hell.’ This announcement is made every night." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 618)

Ramadan is meant for our moral and spiritual training and for the purification of our bodies, minds and souls. This is an annual training program for all believers. It is a special time to get closer to Allah and to seek His blessings and bounties. It is a time to learn taqwa (God-fearing), piety, self-discipline and patience. It is a time to give more charity and become more generous. It is a time to seek Allah’s forgiveness and to forgive each other. It is a time to be thankful to Allah for His gifts and bounties and especially His gift of iman.

I urge you, my brothers and sisters, do not miss any day of fasting and do not miss any moment of the blessed month of Ramadan. This is a very precious time and Allah will give us many benefits if we use it in the proper way.

Let us keep the following things in our mind when we observe this month:

1. Intention: Remind yourself again and again that you are fasting in obedience to Allah. Be sincere in your intention. You want Allah to accept your fasting. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whosoever fasts in Ramadan with faith and seeking Allah’s reward, all his past sins are forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 37)

2. Sunnah: Observe the Sunnah in fasting. Take the suhur meal a little before dawn and end your fast at sunset. As much as you can, try to fast as much like the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) fasted. There was no prayer better than his prayer and no fast better than his fast. Try to follow his way of fasting. That is the most acceptable way of fasting to Allah.

3. Wara` (Avoiding everything haram or makruh): Keep your body and mind very clean. Fasting is not just avoiding food and drink. Fasting is to learn how to avoid bad words and bad deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whosoever does not leave bad words and bad actions, Allah does not care if he leaves his food and drink.” (Al-Tirmidhi 641)

4. Qur’an: Fasting and revelation are inter-connected. Prophet Musa fasted when he received the Torah. Prophet `Isa fasted when he received the Gospel. Prophet Muhammad fasted when he received the first message of the Qur’an. Let us do the same thing. You must fast and spend more time with the Qur’an. Read the Qur’an every day. Try to finish at least one time the whole Qur’an during this month by your own personal reading.

5. Prayer or Salah, Du`a' and Dhikr: Pray on time and observe all the prayers. Do not ignore the Tarawih or Ramadan night prayers. Make more extra and voluntary prayers. Do as much worship as you can. Do more dhikr (remembering Allah) and du`a' (supplication) for yourself and for others. Repent and seek forgiveness for yourself and for others as much as you can. This is the best time for devotion and seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Seek the Night of Qadr by special devotion during the last ten nights of this month.

6. Zakah, Sadaqah and Generosity: Ramadan generates the spirit of giving and sacrifice. When we deprive ourselves of food and drink we understand and realize well what it means to be hungry and thirsty. We realize the pain of those who cannot find the basic necessities of life. Be very charitable and generous. Give more to help the poor and needy. Contribute generously to useful social and community projects.

7. Family: Goodness must begin at home. Be very good to your family, immediate family and the extended family. Spend more time and quality time with your family members. Try to have suhur (pre-dawn meal) together. Break your fast together and pray together as much as you can. Do this more at this time. Ramadan should bring you closer to each other. Allah’s special mercy comes on the families that are united, harmonious and peaceful.

8. Good Conduct: Fasting should transform you and should make you a different person. Try to be extra kind and courteous during this month. Forget your quarrels and disputes. Reconcile and forgive. Do not get involved in backbiting, lying, cheating and anything that is wrong. Be very good to Muslims and to all human beings. Be good to your friends and neighbors. Let your non-Muslim neighbors and co-workers know that this is your blessed and sacred time.

9. Tafakkur (reflection): Think, reflect and plan to improve the moral and spiritual condition of your own self and your family. Think about any wrong things and sins you might be doing and decide to correct yourself. Think about any deficiencies you have in your Islamic observances. Plan to change yourself. Think what you can do for the Ummah and for humanity to make this world a better place for everyone. Think about the life after death and the Day of Judgment.

10. Be cheerful and happy: Ramadan is not a time of mourning or sadness. It is a time of thankfulness to Allah. In a Hadith it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When you fast, anoint yourself. Let not the signs of fast be seen on you.” (Al-Bukahri, Al-Adab al-Mufrad) Do not feel tired and miserable. Feel alert and relax. Take things easy. This time is for your own good. Give the greetings of Ramadan to each other and enjoy this beautiful time.

It is reported in a Hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave a sermon about Ramadan to a gathering that met towards the end of Sha`ban. He said:

"O People, a great and a blessed month is approaching you. In this month, there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah has made fasting obligatory and prayers at night commendable during this month. Whosoever will do a voluntary good deed during this month, it is as if he performed an obligatory good deed at another time and whosoever will perform an obligatory good deed, it is as if he performed seventy obligatory good deeds at another time. This is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise. This is the month of kindness. In this month the believer’s provision is increased. Whosoever will give food to a fasting person in this month, it will bring forgiveness for his sins, will save him from the hellfire and he shall have his reward while the fasting person will not lose any of his reward." (As-Suyuti, Ad-Durr al-Manthur)

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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2. PURPOSE OF FASTING

Question :          

Would you shed some light on the meaning, purpose, and basic rules regarding fasting?

Answer :             

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam which is of paramount significance. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In his response to your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, President of the Fiqh Council ofNorth America, states:

1.    What is Fasting?

Fasting is called sawm in the Qur'an. According to Shari'ah, the word (sawm means to abstain from all those things that are forbidden during fasting from the break of dawn to the sunset, and to do this with the intention of fasting.

2. Purpose of Fasting

The Qur'an says: “O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”  (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Taqwa is a very important spiritual and ethical term of the Qur'an. It is the sum total of all Islamic spirituality and ethics. It is a quality in a believer's life that keeps him/her aware of Allah all the time. A person who has taqwa loves to do good and to avoid evil for the sake of Allah. Taqwa is piety, righteousness and consciousness of Allah. Taqwa requires patience and perseverance. Fasting teaches patience, and with patience one can rise to the high position of taqwa.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that fasting is a shield. It protects a person from sin and lustful desires. When the disciples of Jesus asked him how to cast the evil spirits away, he is reported to have said, "But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21).

According Imam al-Ghazali (d. 1111 C.E.), fasting produces a semblance of divine quality of samadiyyah (freedom from want) in a human being. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 1350 C.E.), viewed fasting as a means of releasing the human spirit from the clutches of desire, thus allowing moderation to prevail in the carnal self. Imam Shah Waliullah Dahlawi (d. 1762 C.E.) viewed fasting as a means of weakening the bestial and reinforcing the angelic elements in human beings. Maulana Mawdudi (d. 1979 C.E.) emphasized that fasting for a full month every year trains a person individually and the Muslim community as a whole, in piety and self restraint.

3.    Fasting is obligatory

In the second year of Hijrah, Muslims were commanded to fast in the month of Ramadan every year. The Qur'an says, “O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”  (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

 Further Allah says, “It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was (first) bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it….”  (Al-Baqarah 2:185) 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) explained this further in a number of his statements reported in the books of Hadith. It is reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim on the authority of Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.”

The Muslim Ummah is unanimous that fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory upon every person who is capable (mukallaf).

4. Rules about Fasting:

A) Who must fast?

Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory upon every Muslim, male or female, who is adult (i.e. has reached puberty) and sane and who is not sick or on a journey.

Sickness could be a temporary sickness from which a person expects to be cured soon. Such a person is allowed not to fast during the days of his/her sickness, but he/she must fast later after Ramadan to complete the missed days. Those who are sick with incurable illness and expect no better health, such people are also allowed not to fast but they must pay the fidyah, which is giving a day's meals for each fast missed to a needy person. One can also give instead the money for meals to a needy person. Women in their menses and post-natal bleeding are not allowed to fast, but they must make up later after Ramadan. Pregnant women and mothers who are nursing babies, if they find it difficult to fast they can also postpone their fasting to a later time when they are in a better condition.

Journey according to the Shari'ah is any journey that takes you away from your city of residence, a minimum of 48 miles or 80 kilometers. It is the same journey that allows you to shorten (qasr) your prayers. The journey must be for a good cause. It is a sin to travel in Ramadan in order to avoid fasting. A Muslim should try to change his/ her plans during Ramadan to be able to fast and should not travel unless it is necessary. The traveler who misses the fasts of Ramadan must make up those missed days later after Ramadan as soon as possible.

B) Fasting according to the Sunnah:

1) Take sahur (pre-dawn meal). It is Sunnah and there is a great reward and blessing in taking sahur. The best time for sahur is the last half hour before dawn or the time for Fajr prayer.

2) Take iftar (break-fast) immediately after sunset. Shari'ah considers sunset when the disk of the sun goes below the horizon and disappears completely.

3) During fast abstain from all false talks and deeds. Do not quarrel, have disputes, indulge in arguments, use bad words, or do anything that is forbidden. One should try to discipline oneself morally and ethically, beside gaining a physical training and discipline. One should also not make a show of one's fasting by talking too much about it, or by showing dry lips and hungry stomach, or showing bad temper. The fasting person must be a pleasant person with good spirit and good cheer.

4) During fast one should do acts of charity and goodness to others and should increase his/her worship and reading of the Qur'an. Every Muslim should try to read the whole Qur'an at least once during the month of Ramadan.

C) Things that invalidate the fast:

One must avoid doing anything that may render one's fast invalid. Things that invalidate the fast and require qada' (making up for these days) are the following:

1) Eating, drinking or smoking deliberately, including taking any non-nourishing items by mouth, nose or anus.

2) Deliberately causing oneself to vomit.

3) The beginning of menstrual or post-childbirth bleeding even in the last moment before sunset.

4) Ejaculation out of sexual excitement from kissing, hugging, etc.

5) Eating, drinking, smoking or having sexual intercourse after Fajr (dawn) on mistaken assumption that it is not Fajr time yet.
Similarly, engaging in these acts before sunset on the mistaken assumption that it is already sunset time.

Sexual intercourse during fasting is forbidden and is a great sin. Those who engage in it must make both qada' (make up the fasts) and kaffarah (expiation by fasting for 60 days after Ramadan or to feed 60 poor people for each day of fast broken in this way). According to Imam Abu Hanifah, eating and/or drinking deliberately during fast also entail the same qada' and kaffarah.

D) Things that do not invalidate fasting:

During fast, the following things are permissible:

1) Taking a bath or shower. If water is swallowed involuntarily it will not invalidate the fast. According to most of the jurists swimming is also allowed in fasting, but one should avoid diving, because that will cause the water to go from mouth or nose in the stomach.

2) Using perfumes, wearing contact lenses or using eye drops.

3) Taking injections or having blood test.

4) Using miswak (tooth-stick) or toothbrush (even with tooth paste) and rinsing the mouth or nostrils with water provided it is not overdone (so as to avoid swallowing water).

5) Eating, drinking or smoking unintentionally, i.e. one forgot that one was fasting. But one must stop as soon as one remembers and should continue one's fast.

6) If one sleeps during the daytime and has a wet-dream, it does not break one's fast. Also, if one has intercourse during the night and was not able to make ghusl (bathe) before dawn, he/she can begin fast and make ghusl later. Women whose menstruation stops during the night may begin fast even if they have not made ghusl yet. In all these cases, bathing (ghusl) is necessary but fast is valid even without bathing.

7) Kissing between husband and wife is allowed in fast, but one should try to avoid it so that one may not do anything further that is forbidden during fast.

E) Requirements for the validity of fasting:

There are basically two main components of fasting:

1) The intention (niyyah) for fasting. One should make a sincere intention to fast for the sake of Allah every day before dawn. The intention need not be in words, but must be with the sincerity of the heart and mind. Some jurists are of the opinion that the intention can be made once only for the whole month and does not have to be repeated every day. It is, however, better to make intention every day to take full benefit of fasting.

2) Abstaining from dawn to dusk from everything that invalidates fasting. This point has been explained in detail in the preceding sections.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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3. OBLIGATORY FASTING

Question :

What are basis and benefits of Ramadan Fasting? When is it mandatory for children to fast? Muslim living in western countries generally don’t fast, is that a sin?

Answer :

It is obligatory to fast in the month of Ramadan for every adult and sane Muslim. Allah says in Quran :

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”  [Al-Baqarah 2:183] 

“It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him]. [Al-Baqarah 2:185] 

There are lot of benefit in fasting during Ramadan, some of them are:  

1) To help your system to take a little rest, to help you to control your habits and to accept any change in your life when that comes.  

2)  It will help you to think about the poor people when you feel hungry by choice and because you like to worship while the people who are hungry in all corners of the world don't have anything to eat, that will help you to develop the sense of charity and donation of things to the needy. 

3) That will help you to understand the value of time and its observation. Duration of fast has to be in the framework of some limited timings, which if broken, the fast is broken and your effort not only become fruitless but may become a sin. 

4)  It will make you come more closer to your Lord and to feel that you are doing something according to His teachings, which will make you feel very happy and very close to God.  

5)  Also, it will make you closer to Qur'an because this month is the month that the Qur'an was revealed in and the Muslims need to read Qur'an and practice Qiyam ul-Layl (Taraweeh). 

6)  The top of all that is that in this month the rate of rewards get so much increased that it is all upto Allah, how much He may reward you for all your good deeds and your worships. 

7)  And with offer of Lailatul Qadr by Allah, you can earn reward of 1000 months worshipping, which has no compensation for whole of the year. 

8)  It will also bless you to be closer to your community, especially in the West because the communities offer public iftar, which exposes you to the community and the people will know you and you will get to know them.

CHILDREN FASTING

Fasting, like all the other obligations in Islam, becomes mandatory at bulugh. That is when a person reaches the age of puberty. There is a hadith of the Prophet (SAAWS) in which he said, "Tell your children to pray when they are 7 years old and discipline them if they don't when they are ten years old."

The same can be said about fasting. That is, we should encourage our children to fast when they are seven years old and we should emphasize fasting to them when they are ten, but it becomes obligatory when they reach the age of puberty.

NOT FASTING

Regarding not fasting Ramadan fasts, that is a great sin. If one does not fast intentionally even one, it can not be compensated even if one fasts for whole of life.

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4. IMPORTANCE OF RAMADAN FASTING

Question :

What is the meaning, importance, and practice of fasting (Ramadan) in Islam?

Answer:

Muslim Fasting is a total abstention from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days of the month of Ramadan. Also, avoiding immoral behavior and anger and showing compassion is part of the requirements of the fasting. The purpose of fasting is manifold. The purpose of the fasting is to develop God-consciousness, self control, improvement of health by reducing or eliminating impurities from the body, and to become aware of the plight of the poor, hungry, and the sick.

Ramadan is a month of spiritual consciousness and high sense of social responsibility. The fulfillment of one's obligations during the month is rewarded by 70 times. The month of Ramadan is also the month in which the Holy Quran was sent down from 7th level of heaven to the 1st level, from where it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in piecemeal basis over a period of 23 years.

It is a very joyous occasion for the Muslims of the world. They fast during the day and pray and read Quran during the part of the night. There is a special night called the Night of Power, which is mentioned in the Quran, as a night of mercy and light and worshiping during this night is better than 1,000 months. During this night Quran was sent to the 1st level of heaven.

Allah (the God Almighty) send down special angels during this night to pray for the mercy of Allah (the God Almighty) and salvation for the believers.  At the completion of month of Fasting, Muslims all over the world celebrate their holiday of Eid al-Fitr. It is a true thanksgiving for a Muslim believer for having the opportunity to obey Allah (the God Almighty) by observing Fasting. It is celebrated on the 1st day of 10th lunar month, Shawwaal. Thank you for asking and God knows best.

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5. MOON FOR RAMADAN AND EID

Question :          

Whenever the month of Ramadan comes near, Muslims get divided into two groups. The majority starts fasting and celebrates `Eid with their local community. This group follows a major local organization such as the Islamic Society of North America, which is a well-established organization in North America. But the other group, which is a minority, always creates a division and disunity within the community and follows Saudi Arabia (or its own mother country) in starting and ending their observation of the holy month. For the sake of the unity, don't you think the Muslim community should unite and start and end fasting on the same day? Which opinion do you strongly prefer: to stick with your local community or to follow another country that is far from you?

Answer :

First of all, we'd like to state that Muslims should strive and do their best to achieve their unity in all aspects, not only in the beginning and end of Ramadan and celebrating the `Eids. It is against the spirit of Islam to see Muslims in the same country divided in their rituals and their Islamic dates and events. The Islamic spirit is against division and disunity. That is why Muslims are not allowed to hold two congregational Prayers in one mosque at the same time.

Muslim scholars have differed regarding the following issue: if the new moon is sighted in one region or country, ought the people of other regions to follow this sighting or follow their own sighting? The preferable view is that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow this sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night.

They should fast with the people and break their fast with the people, and they should offer the Eid prayer with the Muslims in their city because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Fast when you see it (the new moon) and break your fast when you see it, and if it is cloudy then complete the number (of days – i.e., assume the month is thirty days).” (Agreed upon).

What is meant by this command to fast and to break the fast is if the sighting is proven by the naked eye or by means that help the eye to see, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Fasting is the day when you (i.e., the Muslim community) fast, iftaar is the day when you (all) break your fast and adha is the day when you (all) offer your sacrifice.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2324; al-Tirmidhi, 697

However, if this unity cannot be achieved nowadays, then Muslims in each country must be united and start fasting on the same day. The dilemma of Muslims in the West is that they are divided between their locality and their countries of origin. Some are inclined to follow their countries of origin or major Muslim centers like Saudi Arabia. This, in fact, causes division among Muslims living in the West and they fail to achieve the least level of unity regarding their Islamic dates and events. Moreover, this causes Muslims problems with the authorities in these countries and deprives them from some of their rights. For instance, Muslims cannot demand the day of `Eid as a day off if they do not agree on a certain day.

In this regard, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

We should be keen and strive to achieve the unity of Muslims regarding the beginning and end of fasting and all other rituals. We should not lose hope in achieving this goal or removing the obstacles in its way.

However, it is to be stressed that anyhow if we fail to achieve the unity of the whole Muslim nation, we should at least be keen to achieve the unity of Muslims in each country. It is not acceptable at all that Muslims of the one country or city be divided among themselves and differ regarding the beginning of the fast so that some of them start fasting on one day while the others do not observe the fast on that day.

It is agreed upon that the decision of the ruler or the people in authority and charge of Muslims affairs lifts the differences in disputable matters. Therefore, if the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country [such as Dar al-Iftaa (House of Fatwa), Supreme Court, or Presidency of Religious Affairs] announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in such region should follow its decisions, as it is obedience in goodness even if the decision differs with other countries.

In light of the above mentioned facts, Muslims are to achieve unity among themselves. They are to follow their own recognized authorities in order to achieve this goal. It is also the duty of Muslim organizations to reach an agreement on this issue in order not to cause disunity and division among Muslims.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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6. Fasting order & DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RELIGIoNs

Question:

How fasting in Islam is different from other religions?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah Alone and blessings and peace be upon the one after whom there is no Prophet.

Almost every religion in the world has some kind of fasting. In Islam, fasting is a well structured ritual and extends beyond the abstinence from food or sexual intercourse between dawn and sunset. It is actually a pillar of Islam and an inseparable part of a Muslim’s life.

Fasting means abstaining from things which break the fast, such as food, drink and intercourse, from sunrise until sunset, with the intention of fasting. 

The relationship of patience to faith is like that of the head to the body. Allah has enjoined upon this ummah fasting for one month of the year, in order to draw closer to Allah, to avoid that which Allah has forbidden, to get used to being patient, to bring the nafs (self) under control, to compete in generosity and to demonstrate co-operation and mutual compassion. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [Al-Baqarah 2:183] 

In Islam there are additional nawafal (volunyry) fasting  days (such as during the month of Ramadan, on the 9 th day of the month of Zul-Hijja, on Mondays and Thursdays, etc.) for one who wants more rewards and taqwa.

Also, fasting in Islam involves complementary rituals such as giving a specific charity (zakatul Fitr), feeding poor people, praying specific prayers (Taraweeh), and observing certain nights such as Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power).

One aspect of fasting which is totally specific to Islam is the Suhur (or the pre-dawn meal that Muslims take). These are just some of the characteristics of the Islamic fasting which differ it from other religions.

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7. DELIBERATELY LEAVING FASTS

Question :          

What is the legal ruling concerning someone who does not observe fast for some days of Ramadan deliberately without any legal excuse? Is he to be rewarded for the days he fasted or not?

Answer :             

In his response to your question, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the prominent Muslim scholar, states:

Actually, man is held accountable for each of his deeds separately. So, what you should actually ask about is not whether he is to be rewarded for the days he fasted, but rather whether he can later make up for the fast-days he deliberately broke.

It is generally known that no days are equivalent to the days of Ramadan except the days of another Ramadan. At the same time, all days of Ramadan are originally fast-days, so that one can never make up for the missed fast-days of Ramadan during another Ramadan. That is why Abu Hurairah, may  pleased with him, said: "Whoever did not observe fast for one day of Ramadan for no legal excuse or on account of a disease can never make it up later." (Narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, by Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, An- Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah, and Al-Bayhaqi, and the quoted version is At-Tirmidhi's.) However, one of its narrators is weak.

It was also narrated, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that a man did not observe fast in Ramadan deliberately with no legal excuses. Hence, Abu Hurairah said
: "Even if he fasts for a whole year, he will still not have made up for that day." It was also narrated, on the authority of Ibn Masu`d, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "If anyone breaks his fast one day in Ramadan without a concession granted to him by Allah, a perpetual fast will not atone for it." "Whoever breaks his or her fast for one day of Ramadan deliberately without any legal concession, then even if he observed fast for life, it would not compensate for that day." Abu Bakr and `Ali Ibn Abi Talib were also reported to have said words with the same meaning.

Therefore, a Muslim must fear Allah and keep from deviating from the right path by observing the fast of Ramadan. He must have the ability to resist his desires, for whoever is defeated by hunger can never be victorious.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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8. NAWAFAL (VOLUNTARY) FASTING

Question :

What are the Nawfal Fasting?

Answer :

Nawafal Fasts are those which our prophet (PBUH) used to fast and are recommended to do it for rewards and taqwa. For ladies, it is required that they should not fast without consent of husband.

Following are Nawafal (voluntary) fasting :

1.  Shawwal month fasting for six days (any six days of Shawwal)

2.   Fasting on 9th & 10th or 10th and 11th of Muharram.

3.   Fasting every alternate day.

4.   Fasting first nine days of Zul-Hajj.

5.   Fasting on Monday and Thursday of week.

6.   Fasting on 13, 14, 15 of every Lunar month.

Shawaal Fasting (6 Days)

On fasting 6 days of Shawwal after fasting whole Ramadan, is reward is such as fasting complete on year.

It is recommended to fast six days after the end of Ramadan, provided we do not begin with the first day of Shawwal which is the day of Eid. The recommendation is particularly significant. As you know, Allah rewards a good deed with at least ten times its value. Therefore, when you fast the month of Ramadan, you have the reward of fasting ten months. If you follow that with fasting for six days, then you have the reward of fast for sixty days, which is equivalent to two months. This means that your reward is equivalent to that of fasting of the whole year. If you do this year after year, then Allah stores for you the reward of fasting throughout your life.

Fasting in Muharram :

When the Prophet settled in Madinah, there was a large Jewish community there. He noticed that the Jews fasted on the 10th of Muharram. He asked them the purpose of their fasting. They said that that was the date when Allah saved the Prophet Moses from a great danger. The Prophet said that he (and the Muslims) were closer to Moses than the Jews. He fasted that day. He continued to fast on the 10th of Muharram as a voluntary worship until the year when he passed away. That year he said : "If I live till next year, I will fast on the 9th of Muharram".

This meant that he would be fasting on the 9th and 10th of that month. Most probably the reason for this was that he wanted to distinguish his fasting in Muharram from that of the Jews, although the reason for fasting is the same. Perhaps I should add that fasting in Muharram has nothing to do with the events that led to the martyrdom of Al-Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet. That was an event that took place at a time when nothing could be added to our religion or our practices.

Fasting every alternate day.

This way of fasting was practiced by prophet Daud (PBUH).

Fasting in Dhul-Hajj :
The Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. For pilgrims it is recommended for first eight days. Remember these are Nawafil fasts and no sin if not fasted.

The Prophet said: "Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah's pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years." (Bukhari, Muslim)

Fasting on Youm e- Arfat of Dhul-Hajj Month:

The Prophet used to fast on the ninth day of Dhu'l-Hijjah and he said: "Fasting the Day of 'Arafah (ninth Dhul-hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and an expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year." (Muslim)

These type of fasting is recommended by prophet Mohammad (PBUH) by those who wants extra rewards and taqwa. Fasting is prohibited on Eid days.

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9. FASTING ‘ASHOORA DAY’, THE VIRTUES

Question :

I heard that fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ expiates for the past year, is this true?  Does it expiate for everything, even major sins? What is the reason for venerating this day?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

Fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ does expiate for the past year, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” Narrated by Muslim, 1162. This is by the bounty that stows upon us, whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a whole year. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) used to be very keen to make sure he fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ because of its great status. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may  pleased with him) said: I never saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) so keen to make sure he fasted any day and preferring it over another except this day, the day of ‘Ashoora’, and this month – meaning Ramadan.  Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1867. 

What is meant by being keen to make sure he fasted it is so as to earn its reward. 

Secondly:

With regard to the reason why the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ and urged the people to do likewise is mentioned in the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may  pleased with him), who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He said, “We have closer to Moosa than you.” So he fasted on this day and told the people to fast. 

The words “this is a good day” – according to a version narrated by Muslim, “This is a great day when Allah saved Moosa and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people.” 

The words “so Moosa fasted on this day” – Muslim added in his report: “In gratitude to Allah, so that is we fast on this day.” 

According to another version narrated by al-Bukhaari, “So we fast it out of respect for it.” 

The words “and told the people to fast” – according to another version narrated by al-Bukhaari, “He said to his companions, ‘You are closer to Moosa than them, so fast this day.” 

Thirdly:

The expiation of sins that is achieved by fasting ‘Ashoora’ refers to minor sins; with regard to major sins, they need separate repentance. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah expiates for all minor sins, in other words this brings forgiveness for all sins except for major sins. 

Then he said: 

Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah is an expiation for two years, and the day of ‘Ashoora is an expiation for one year, and if a person’s Ameen coincides with the Ameen of the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven… Each of the things mentioned may bring expiation. If he does something that expiates for minor sins he will be expiated, and if there are no minor or major sins, it will be recorded for him as good deeds and he will rise in status thereby… If there is one or more major sins and no minor sins, we hope that it will reduce his major sins.  Al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The expiation of purification, prayer, and fasting Ramadaan, ‘Arafah and ‘Ashoora’ applies to minor sins only.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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10. Fasting: During travel

Question :

If I am traveling to Makkah for Umrah in the month of Ramadan, should I continue fasting or not?

Answer :

The Umrah has nothing to do with fasting in Ramadan. These are two separate considerations. Any travel in Ramadan allows a person to avail himself of the concession given by Allah not to observe the fast. He or she compensates for not fasting by fasting a similar number or days to those on which he did not fast in Ramadan, once he is back from his travel. That the travel is undertaken to perform Umrah does not restrict that concession in any way.

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the concessions not to fast when one is traveling allows a person to choose whether to fast or not to fast. It is authentically reported that the Prophet traveled with a number of his companions in Ramadan. Some of them continued to fast while others availed themselves of the concession and did not fast. Neither group reproached the other for its choice. If you feel like fasting on such a journey and you are confident that fasting will not impose a too heavy burden on you, you may go on and fast. If you choose to avail yourself of the concession, you are perfectly entitled to do so.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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11. FASTING: ON FRIDAYS

Question:

Some scholars in our country suggest that fasting on Fridays, other than in Ramadan, is inappropriate. Is this correct?

Answer:

What is discouraged in relation to voluntary worship, including prayer and voluntary fasting on Friday is to single out Friday for the purpose. Thus, it is discouraged to fast voluntarily on Fridays, unless you also fast either on Thursday preceding it or the Saturday following it.

It is Makrooh to single out Friday for fasting because the Hadith prohibits it. Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Do not specify the day of Jumu’ah for fasting from amongst the other days” (Muslim)

Similarly, it is discouraged to single out Friday night for night worship, unless you join it to either the night preceding or the one following it. This applies in normal situations. If there is a good reason for singling out Friday for fasting, then it becomes appropriate. Suppose that a man could not fast during Ramadan, he may have fallen ill. He has a hard job to do which makes fasting exceedingly difficult. His rest day is Friday. In this case, it is perfectly in order for him to fast on Fridays in order to compensate for the days he did not fast in Ramadan.

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12. FASTING IN ALASKA

Question:

How long do the people in a Alaska have to fast, because they have sunlight for 6 months of the year?

Answer:  

First and foremost, we’d like to make it clear that the religion of Islam seeks not to cause any hardship to its adherents or burden them beyond their capabilities. Easiness and facilitation are of the main characteristics of Islam.

Almighty Allah says: ....Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks. (Al-Ma’idah  5:6)  
 
This concept of facilitation and easiness in Islam are clearly manifest in its simple and flexible legislations. In taking into consideration different conditions facing people, Islam facilitates its rulings in a way that such diversity comes to term with the application of Shari`ah rulings, without being divorced from the reality whatsoever. The question in point, serves as an example of how Islam seeks facilitation in its legislations.  
 
When a person lives in such an area (i.e. near the two poles), he/she should follow the prayer timing and fasting of the nearest country that has a regular schedule or he can pray and fast according to the timings of the cities that are nearest to them in the normal time zone, i.e. below 64 degrees north or above 64 degrees south.  
 
In his well-known book, Fiqh As-Sunnah, Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states:  

Scholars differ about what the Muslims who are in areas where the day is extremely long and the night is short should do. What timings should they follow? Some say they should follow the norms of the areas where the Islamic legislation took place (i.e. Makkah or Madinah). Others say that they should follow the timings of the area that is closest to them which has normal days and nights. 
 
Elaborating more on the issue, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, adds:  
 
 At the poles, that is at 90 N and 90 S the sun does not set for six months continuously, with the exception of one day of the first equinox and then remains risen above the horizon for the other six months continuously with the exception of one day of the second equinox.  
 
Even below 90 N down to 60 N and above 90 S up to 60 S the days and nights are abnormally long or short during the summer and winter seasons respectively. At one time, this was a theoretical issue, but now, Alhamdulillah, Islam has reached to these regions and many Muslims are living there.  
 
Muslim jurists considered this situation long time ago. They based their Ijtihad on the verse of the Qur'an that says, “Allah does not burden a person beyond his/her capacity....”. (Al-Baqarah :286)  
 
There is also a Hadith, reported in the books of Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, described the situation at the time of the appearance of Dajjal. He said, “When the Dajjal will come to deceive the people, he will remain on the earth for forty days, one of which will be as long as a year, the second as long as a month, the third as long as a week and the remaining days as your normal days.” One of the Companions stood and asked the Messenger of Allah, 'On the day which will be as long as a year, would it be sufficient to offer only five prayers of the day?' The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied, “No, but calculate.”  
 
The aforementioned Hadith gives a principle of determining the times of prayers and fasts in abnormal situations. Thus, according to the Ijtihad based on the above verse of the Qur'an and the Hadith, Muslim jurists have given the name 'abnormal zones' to the areas where the days and nights are unusually long or short.  
A conference of Muslims jurists and astronomers was held in Istanbul about 35 years ago. All the jurists gathered there agreed that the areas above 64 degrees latitude in the north and below 64 degrees latitude in the south should be considered 'abnormal zones' whereby people should not follow the movement of the sun, but they should follow the movement of the clock for their five daily prayers and fasting. They can pray and fast according to the timings of the cities that are nearest to them in the normal time zone, i.e. below 64 degrees north or above 64 degrees south.

 

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13. DELAY IN SHAWWAL FASTING

Question :

Is it obligatory to fast for six days in the month of Shawwal? Is it permissible to fast these days before making up Ramadan leftover days, if suppose there is not enough time left in the month to do both?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

As you know, Allah rewards a good deed with at least ten times its value. Therefore, when you fast the month of Ramadan, you have the reward of fasting ten months. If you follow that with fasting for six days, then you have the reward of fast for sixty days, which is equivalent to two months. This means that your reward is equivalent to that of fasting of the whole year. If you do this year after year, then Allah stores for you the reward of fasting throughout your life.

Fasting six days of Shawwaal is dependent upon having completed the Ramadaan fast, according to the correct view. This is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him): Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal…”

The conjunction thumma (then) indicates that this must be done in this order. This indicates that the fast of Ramadaan must be completed first (by observing the Ramadaan fast and making up any missed fasts), then after that one may fast the six days of Shawwaal, so as to attain the reward mentioned in the hadeeth. 

The one who still owes missed Ramadaan fasts is said to have fasted part of Ramadaan; we cannot say that he has fasted Ramadaan. 

But if a person has an excuse that kept him from fasting the six days of Shawwaal in Shawwaal because he had to make up missed fasts – such as a woman who was bleeding followed childbirth and spent all of Shawwaal making up for Ramadaan – then she may fast six days of Shawwaal in Dhu’l-Qa’dah, because she was excused. Similarly for anyone who has an excuse it is prescribed to make up the six days of Shawwaal in Dhu’l-Qa’dah, after making up the missed Ramadaan fasts. But the one who lets the month of Shawwaal go by without fasting these days and with no excuse, will not attain this reward. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: What if a woman owes days from Ramadaan – is it permissible for her to give precedence to fasting the six days of Shawwaal over making up the days she owes, or should she give priority to the days she owes over fasting the six days of Shawwaal? 

He replied: If a woman still owes days from Ramadaan, then she should not fast the six days of Shawwaal until after she has made up what she owes, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal…” Whoever still has days to make up from Ramadaan has not fasted Ramadaan, so she will not attain the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwaal until after she has finished making up the days she owes. If we assume that this making up missed fasts lasts throughout Shawwaal, such as if a woman was bleeding following childbirth and did not fast at all in Ramadaan, then she started to make up her missed fasts in Shawaal and did not finish that until Dhu’l-Qa’dah began, then she may fast the six days, and she will have the reward of one who fasted them in Shawwaal, because she delayed it for a necessary reason, so she will have the reward. 

In addition to that, it is obligatory to make up missed fasts for the one who had an excuse, indeed that is part of this pillar of Islam. Based on this, hastening to do it and to discharge this duty takes priority over doing actions that are mustahabb.

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14. FASTING: SIX DAYS OF SHAWWAAL

Question :  

What is the ruling on fasting six days of Shawwaal? Is it waajib (obligatory)?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Abu Ayyoob (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of A(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) explained this when he said: “Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).”

It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.”

The Hanbali and Shaafa’i fuqaha’ explained that fasting six days of Shawwaal after fasting Ramadaan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to naafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.

Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person's obligatory Ramadaan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his naafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allah ] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).

Some things that do not invalidate the fast:

If a person has an erotic dream, that does not invalidate his fast, because that does not happen by his choice. But he does have to do ghusl if he sees semen. . 

And Aknows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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15. FASTING BOTH MISSED AND SHAWWAL WITH ONE INTENTION

 Question:                                                                                                  

I missed six days of fasting in Ramadan. Is it lawful to fast six days of Shawwal intending both to make up for these missed days and to get the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal recommended by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)?

Answer :

There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, in making a double intention by fasting the missed days of obligatory fasting in Ramadan as well as fasting the optional six days of Shawwal. However, some Muslim jurists state that it is recommended to make up for the missed fasts separately from fasting the six days of Shawwal so as to get extra reward.


In his response to the question, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states the following:

A person who has missed days of fasting in Ramadan may fast the optional six days of Shawwal with the intention of both making up for these missed days and observing the optional fasting of six days of Shawwal. He or she will then get double benefit simultaneously: making up for the missed days and getting the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal, for it is established in Islam that one's acts are judged by one's intentions.

However, it is recommended that one makes up for the missed fasts separately from fasting the six days of Shawwal [so as to get extra reward].

The Shafi`i scholars maintain that when one makes up for the missed fasts of Ramadan in Shawwal, one also gets the reward of fasting the optional six days of Shawwal even if one has not intended to fast those six days principally; yet the reward of fasting the six days here will be less than if one has intended to fast them from the beginning.
According to Ash-Sharqawi `Ala At-Tahrir by Sheikh Zakariyah Al-Ansari, (vol. 1, p. 427) when a Muslim makes up for missed fasts of Ramadan in Shawwal or fasts some days he or she has vowed to observe in Shawwal, or even offers optional fasting in Shawwal other than fasting the six days recommended to be observed in Shawwal, he or she will get also the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal. This is because the point is to fast any six days of Shawwal following the fast of Ramadan. But one then will not get the whole reward of principally intending to fast the six days of Shawwal specifically. It is to be noted that this does not apply to the person who has missed fasting the whole month of Ramadan and made up for it in Shawwal for he or she then does not fall under the category the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) referred to in the hadith:
“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan, and then follows it by (fasting) six days of Shawwal, it is as though he has fasted the whole year.”

This is parallel to the juristic point of view regarding the recommendation of greeting the mosque when entering it by offering two rak`ahs before sitting. This recommendation is accomplished any time one enters a mosque and prays two rak`ahs, whether one intends merely to perform the prescribed prayer or any two supererogatory rak`ahs, for the point here is to offer a prayer before sitting in the mosque, and this is fulfilled by observing the prescribed prayer or the supererogatory one.

According to the author of Al-Bahgah, one gets the reward of greeting the mosque by offering any prayer before sitting, even if one has not intended that this prayer be for greeting the mosque.
But it is to be borne in mind that one in this case does not deny having the intention of greeting the mosque.

Based on the above, it is permissible for one to fast six days of Shawwal intending simultaneously both to make up for the fasts one has missed in Ramadan and to offer the recommended fasting of six days in Shawwal, especially if one is interested in getting the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal with making up for the missed fasts of Ramadan but finds it exhausting to do both separately.
Besides, if one in this case intends only to make up for the missed Ramadan fasts in Shawwal (and it happens that these days are six or more), one will get also the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal.

The supererogatory act of fasting the six days of Shawwal here is sub-categorized under the obligation of making up for the missed fasts of Ramadan. This is an alleviation reasoned by jurists, and hence, there is no need for adopting a view of a certain school in this regard and judging the other views as wrong.

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16. Fasting: what to do if one is a diabetic?

Question:

I am a diabetic. I take three insulin shots a day and I must eat three meals a day with my insulin to keep my blood sugar from getting too low and passing out.

Answer:

I am pleased to hear about your commitment to Islam and your plans of fasting Ramadan. My brother, I know you are not trying to make excuses! But to break your fast, you have to have a solid reason. Being a diabetic may or may not be a sufficient reason to break your fast. You should consult a pious Muslim doctor to know if fasting will hurt you or if you can do it. If the doctor says you can, then you have no other choice but to fast. If the doctor says you can not fast now but you can sometime during the year, then you have to make the days you miss later in the year before next Ramadan.

However, If the pious Muslim doctor says you can not fast any time in the future, then the alternative is to feed a ''Miskeen'', i.e. a poor person, one day's food for every day of Ramadan that you do not fast. Allah (s.w.t.) knows your situation fully.

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17. Fasting: Pregnant & Breastfeeding Mothers

Question:

Is it true that breast feeding/pregnant mothers are permitted to fast? What is ruling on pregnant and suckling women?

Answer:

Regarding your question, yes it is allowed for a pregnant and/or breast feeding woman to fast under the clear, strict, and essential Islamic condition that the fasting shouldn't give them or their fetuses and lactating babies any hardship or harm, in which case fasting becomes prohibited. It is up to the doctor to decide on the harmful side. There is not a specific Hadith to our knowledge encouraging or discouraging a breast feeding/or pregnant woman to fast.

As regards a pregnant woman or a suckling mother, if she is worried lest fasting should harm her, the majority of jurists are of the view that she is allowed not to fast, provided that she makes up for the fast-days she missed. A woman in either of those cases is similar to a patient. 

 Allah subhanahu wa ta-aala says"Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope …..." (Al-Baqrah 2:286)


Narrated By 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, I heard 's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. "  (Bukhari)

Scholars have different views on what a pregnant or breast feeding woman need to do in compensation for not fasting during Ramadan on account of her respective situation. The differences are the result of how scholars view the situation of these women. If you take their condition as similar to that of an ill person, then you come up with a requirement that differs from that defined by a scholar who considers the condition as similar to that of a person who is too weak to fast. 

If we take the case of a pregnant woman similar to that caused by illness, then she is required to fast a day for a day when she has given birth and regained her strength. While on the other hand, if we consider her case similar to that of a person weakened by old age and unable to fast then the requirement is that she should compensate by feeding one poor person for each day when she does not fast.

Some scholars find her situation having similarity to both conditions and require the compensation required of both. Considering all views, it is perhaps more valid to say that the initial requirement of compensation that applies to a woman who does not fast because of pregnancy or breast-feeding is that she should fast a similar number of days after Ramadan is over if she is in a position to do so.

However, a woman may find herself pregnant this year and breast feeding next year, then pregnant again the following year, then breast feeding the year after that. She may not find herself able to fast for several consecutive years. In such a situation, she may take advantage of compensating by feeding one poor person two meals for each day she has not fasted. It is not necessary to feed the same poor person. She may feed any number of persons, provided she keeps a proper count and ensures that for each day she feeds one poor person two meals.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamicity

 

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18. DO WOMEN HAVE TO MAKE UP MISSED FASTS

Question:

Is it obligatory for a woman who had menstruation during Ramadan to make up for the days she missed?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

The fact that a woman who menstruates is obliged to make up missed fasts is a ruling on which there is consensus among the Muslims, and is indicated by the saheeh Sunnah and scholarly consensus. 

In his book Fiqh-us-Sunnah, the late Egyptian scholar Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq (may Allah bless his soul) states:


"Scholars have unanimously agreed that it is mandatory for menstruating women and women who had post childbirth bleeding to break their fast and to make up for the days they missed later on (after Ramadan). Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that `A'ishah (may  pleased with her) said:
"When we would have our periods during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), we were ordered to make up for the days of fasting that we had missed but were not ordered to make up for the prayers we had missed."

Al-Bukhaari (321) and Muslim (335) narrated that Mu’aadhah said: I asked ‘Aa’ishah: “Why does a woman who menstruates have to make up the fasts but not the prayers?” She said: “Are you a Haroori?” I said: “I am not a Haroori, but I am asking.” She said: “That used to happen to us and we were commanded to make up the fasts but we were not commanded to make up the prayers.” 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This ruling is agreed upon. The Muslims are unanimously agreed that menstruating women and women who bleed following childbirth are not obliged to pray or fast at that time, and they are agreed that they do not have to make up the prayers, and they are agreed that they have to make up the fasts. The scholars said: the difference between them is that the prayers are many and repeated, and it would be too difficult to make them up, unlike the fast which is enjoined only once in the year, and a woman’s period may last only one or two days. 

Al-Haafiz said: 

“Are you a Haroori?” – the word Haroori is derived from Haroora’, which is a village two miles from Kufa. Those who believe in the madhhab of the Khaarijis are called Harooris because the first group of them rebelled against ‘Ali in that village, so they became known by this name. There are many such groups, but one of their basic principles on which they are all agreed is following what is indicated by the Qur’aan and rejecting additional evidence from the hadeeth. Hence ‘Aa’ishah asked Mu’aadhah this question by way of criticism.  

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (3/39): 

The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for menstruating women and women who bleed following childbirth to fast, and that they should not fast in Ramadaan, and should make up the missed days, and that if they do fast their fast does not count. 

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (2/386): 

The ummah is also unanimously agreed that it is obligatory to make up missed Ramadaan fasts. Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Jareer, our companions and others narrated that there was consensus on this point. 

Shaykh al-Islam said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (25/219): 

It is proven by the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslims that menstrual bleeding invalidates the fast, so a menstruating woman should not fast, but she should make up the missed fast. 

This is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him), and scholarly consensus on this matter was narrated by more than one of the scholars.  

So how can anyone then say that there is no evidence that a woman who menstruates has to make up missed fasts! 

This woman referred to in the question has to repent to Allah from this wrong idea which implies rejection of the laws and rulings of Allah. Whoever does not know something has to research and ask the scholars; it is not permissible for him to speak about the religion of Allah without knowledge, because that is something that is forbidden. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge”  (Al-A’raaf 7:33)

The Muslim should realize that he is responsible for every word he says. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)”  (Qaaf 50:18) 

We ask Allah to bless us with insight and understanding of His religion. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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19. STOPPING PERIODS FOR GETTING COMPLETE RAMADAN

Question:

Is it permissible for a woman to use contraceptives and other forms of medication during Ramadan to stop her period in order to be able to fast the whole month of Ramadan? I know that women are allowed to use such kind of medication during Hajj, but I wonder does the same ruling applies here?

Answer:

The Muslim woman is allowed to take pills to stop menses during Ramadan. If she does so to continue observing fasting, then her intention is a good one and Allah will reward her for such a good intention.

In an attempt to furnish you with an answer to your question, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by the late Sheikh Sayyed Mutawalli Ad-Darsh, former head of the UK Shari`ah council, in which he states the following:

The majority of Muslim scholars, as far as I know, do not consider such an act as being tantamount to tampering with nature. Rather, it is considered an act of regulation with the aim of allowing women who'd rather avoid their periods in order to participate with people in fasting Ramadan and performing Hajj at ease. There is nothing wrong with women using pills or available resources to block menstruations and have chance to perform their acts of worship during such times.

Moreover, Dr. Rif`at Fawzi, former professor of Shari`ah at Cairo University, adds:

There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, if a woman takes such pills during Ramadan in order to be able to continue fasting the whole blessed month without interruption.

However, we have to keep in mind that a woman is allowed to do so while being guided by the following conditions:

1. Taking such pills must not result in putting her life and health at risk.

2. It is better, before taking such medication, to seek the advice of a reliable physician.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

 

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20. MENSTRUATING WOMEN AND LAYLATUL-QADR

Question :          

If a woman is menstruating then how can she pray in Laylatul-Qadr?

Answer :             

As for your question, you have to keep in mind the fact that during their menses, women can read the Qur’an and make dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and du`a’ (supplication), though they are forbidden from fasting, performing Salah (prayer) and touching the Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an). In this way, they still have the opportunity to observe Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power) by reciting the Qur’an and making dhikr.

In his response to the question in point, the prominent Muslim scholar, Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah, professor of the Islamic Studies & Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar Univ. states:

A menstruating woman should not perform Salah (prayer) nor touch the Qur'an, but she can make du`a' (supplication) and share with other Muslims their prayer by watching and listening to TV channels or radio stations that broadcast Tarawih prayer live.

She can ask someone to put the Mushaf on a table or a stand and read from it without touching it. She can take a cassette and listen to Qur'anic recitation.

Stressing the permissibility of a woman reciting the Qur’an in their menses, we would like to cite the fatwa issued by the Saudi House of Fatwa headed by the late Sheikh `Abdul-`Aziz Ibn Baz (may Allah bless his soul):

There is nothing wrong with a menstruating woman or a woman in post-natal bleeding to recite the Qur'an, because there is no clear-cut authentic Hadith that forbids them from doing so. However, it is reported in an authentic Hadith that one who is Junub (one in a state of impurity following sexual intercourse or wet dream), must not read the Qur'an while he or she is impure, according to the Hadith reported by `Ali (may  pleased with him).

The Hadith reported as regards the menstruating woman and the one experiencing post-natal bleeding reads: “The menstruating woman and the one who is Junub are not to read Qur'an". This Hadith is reported by Ibn `Umar, but it is Da`if (weak), because the Hadith was reported by Isma`eel Ibn `Ayyaash from the Hijaaziyeen, and he is famous for narrating Da`if Hadiths from them.

However, such woman (in menstruation or post-natal bleeding) should not touch the Mushaf; she can recite from her own memory (or from a copy of the Qur’an without touching it, as per the above opinion). As for the Junub, he or she is not to recite the Qur'an, whether from memory or from the Mushaf, until he or she has performed Ghusl (purificatory bath). The difference between them is that the time span for the one who is Junub to have himself or herself purified is very short; he or she can do Ghusl right away after lovemaking or wet dream. The Junub does not stay in this condition for long, and it is up to him/her when he/she wants to make Ghusl; if he/she does not find water, he/she can do Tayammum (dry ablution) and then he or she can pray and read the Qur'an. But the woman in menses or in post-natal bleeding has no control over her situation – the matter is up to Allah the Almighty.

Therefore, it is permissible for them to recite the Qur'an so that they do not forget it and they do not miss learning the teachings of Shari`ah from the Book of Allah. If that is the case, then it should certainly be permissible for them to read books containing du`a' that are mixed with verses and Hadiths, etc. This is the view believed to be the most correct.

Finally, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, concludes:

A menstruating woman is not supposed to pray. She can do the following:

1. Read as much as she can to increase he knowledge about Islam.

2. Make du’a’ and spend time making dhikr to Allah Almighty.

3. Listen to the Qur’an or read from her memory.

4. Watch Islamic programs or shows on TV or video to educate herself about Islam.

5. Attend religious classes to be always around the committed sisters.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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21. Fasting: And the willful violation

Question :

What is the compensation required of a person who spoils his fasting in Ramadan by having sex with his wife during the day?

Answer :

To have sexual intercourse with one's wife during a day of Ramadan is a very serious offense indeed. The compensation is proportionate to the offense. The Prophet has outlined the compensation when a man told him that he had ruined himself by having intercourse with his wife during a day in Ramadan. The Prophet told him to free a slave. When the man mentioned that he did not have any money to buy a slave, the Prophet told him that he should fast two consecutive months. This means that he should fast for 58-60 consecutive days, without a break.

If a person is unfit to do this fasting, because of ill health, then he should feed sixty poor people for a day. Scholars have different views on whether the woman is also required to make such a compensation. If the man has pressurized his wife into this, then she need not do any compensation other than fast one day in place of the day of Ramadan she spoilt by her intercourse. Some scholars are of the view that she need only do that in any case.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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22. INVALIDATING OF FASTS

Question :

What are actions which invalidate fasts?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah .  

Things that invalidate the fast are of two types: 

Some of the things that invalidate the fast involve things coming out of the body, such as intercourse, deliberate vomiting, menstruation and cupping.

And some of the things that invalidate the fast involve things entering the body, such as eating and drinking. If the fasting person eats or drinks, he does not achieve the purpose of fasting. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 25/248 

Allah has summed up the things that break the fast in the verse where He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah 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 Sawm (fast) till the nightfall” (Al-Baqarah 2:187)

In this verse Allah mentions the main things that invalidate the fast, which are eating, drinking and intercourse. The other things that break the fast were mentioned by the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) in his Sunnah. 

There are seven things that break the fast, as follows: 

1- Intercourse

2- Masturbation

3- Eating and drinking

4- Anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking

5- Letting blood by means of cupping and the like

6- Vomiting deliberately

7- Menstruation and nifaas 

1. Intercourse. 

This is the most serious and the most sinful of the things that invalidate the fast. 

Whoever has intercourse during the day in Ramadaan deliberately and of his or her own free will, in which the two circumcised parts meet and the tip of the penis disappears in either of the two passages, has invalidated his fast, whether he ejaculates or not. He has to repent, complete that day (i.e., not eat or drink until sunset), make up that day’s fast later on and offer a severe expiation. The evidence for that is the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may  pleased with him) who said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allaah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?” He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadaan.” He said, “Can you free a slave?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”… Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1936; Muslim, 1111. 

No expiation is required for any of the things that break the fast apart from intercourse. 

2. Masturbation.

This means causing ejaculation or climax by using the hand etc. 

The evidence that masturbation is one of the things that invalidate the fast is the words of Allah in the hadeeth qudsi in which He says of the fasting person: “He gives up his food and drink and desire for My sake.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim, 1151. Causing ejaculation comes under the heading of the desire which the fasting person gives up. 

Whoever masturbates during the day in Ramadaan has to repent to Allah and refrain from eating and drinking for the rest of the day, and he has to make up that fast later on.  

If he starts to masturbate then stops without ejaculating, he has to repent, but his fast is still valid, and he does not have to make it up later because he did not ejaculate. The fasting person should keep away from everything that provokes desire and shun bad thoughts. 

With regard to the emission of madhiy (prostatic fluid), the most correct view is that it does not invalidate the fast. 

3. Eating or drinking 

This refers to food or drink reaching the stomach via the mouth. 

If anything reaches the stomach via the nose, this is like eating or drinking. 

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Snuff up water deeply into the nose (when doing wudoo’), except when you are fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 788. If water reaching the stomach via the nose did not invalidate the fast, the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) would not have told those who are fasting not to snuff up water deeply into the nose. 

4. Things that invalidate the fast is anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking 

This includes two things: 

1- Transfusion of blood to one who is fasting – such as if he bleeds heavily and is given a blood transfusion. This invalidates the fast because blood is formed from food and drink.

2- Receiving via a needle (as in the case of a drip) nourishing substances which take the place of food and drink, because this is the same as food and drink. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p/ 70. 

With regard to injections which do not replace food and drink, rather they are administered for the purpose of medical treatment – such as penicillin or insulin – or are given to energize the body, or for the purpose of vaccinations, these do not affect the fast, whether they are intravenous or intramuscular (injected into a vein or a muscle). Fataawa Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem, 4/189. But to be on the safe side, these injections may be given at night. 

Kidney dialysis, in which blood is extracted, cleaned and then returned to the body with the additional of chemical substances such as sugars and salts etc. is regarded as invalidating the fast. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/19 

5. Letting blood by means of cupping 

Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2367; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2047. 

Donating blood comes under the same heading as cupping, because it affects the body in the same way. 

Based on this, it is not permissible for a person who is fasting to donate blood unless it is essential, in which case it is permissible. In that case the donor has broken his fast and must make up that day later on. Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p. 71 

If a person suffers a nosebleed, his fast is valid, because that happened involuntarily. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/264 

With regard to bleeding that results from extraction of a tooth, surgery or a blood test etc., that does not invalidate the fast because it is not cupping or something that is similar to cupping, unless it has an effect on the body similar to that of cupping. 

6. Vomiting deliberately

Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 720, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 577. 

Ibn al-Mundhir said: The scholars are agreed that the fast of one who vomits deliberately is invalidated. Al-Mughni, 4/368. 

Whoever vomits deliberately by sticking his finger in his throat, pressing his stomach, deliberately smelling something nasty or persisting in looking at something that makes him vomit, has to make up his fast later on. 

If his gorge rises, he should not suppress it, because that will harm him. Majaalis Sharh Ramadaan, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, p. 71. 

7. Blood of menses and Nifaas

Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when she gets her period, she does not pray or fast?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 304. 

When a woman sees the blood of her period or nifaas (post-partum bleeding), her fast becomes invalid even if that is one moment before sunset. 

If a woman feels that her period has started but no blood comes out until after sunset, her fast is still valid. 

If the bleeding of a woman who is menstruating or in nifaas ceases at night and she has the intention of fasting, then dawn comes before she does ghusl, the view of all the scholars is that her fast is valid. Al-Fath, 4/148. 

It is preferable for a woman to keep to her natural cycle and to accept that which Allah has decreed for her, and not to take any medicine to prevent her period. She should accept what Allah has decreed for her of not fasting during her period, and make up those days later on. This is what the Mothers of the Believers and the women of the Salaf used to do. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/151. In addition, it has been medically proven that these means of preventing menstruation are harmful and many women have suffered menstrual irregularities as a result. If a woman takes pills and her period stops as a result, that is fine, she can fast and her fast is acceptable.  

These are things that invalidate the fast. All of them – apart from menses and nifaas – only invalidate the fast if three conditions are met: that the person was aware of the ruling and not ignorant of it; that he did it knowingly and not out of forgetfulness; and that he did it by choice and was not forced to do it. 

Some things that do not invalidate the fast:

Enemas, eyedrops, eardrops, tooth extraction and treatment of injuries do not invalidate the fast. Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, 25/233; 25/245 

Medical tablets that are placed under the tongue to treat asthma attacks etc, so long as you avoid swallowing any residue. 

Insertion of anything into the vagina such as pessaries, or a speculum, or the doctor’s fingers for the purpose of medical examination. 

Insertion of medical instruments or IUD into the womb. 

Anything that enters the urinary tract of a male or female, such as a catheter tube, or medical scopes, or opaque dyes inserted for the purpose of x-rays, or medicine, or a solution to wash the bladder. 

Fillings, extractions or cleaning of the teeth, whether with a siwaak or toothbrush, so long as you avoid swallowing anything that reaches the throat.  

Rinsing the mouth, gargling, sprays etc. so long as you avoid swallowing anything that reaches the throat.  

Oxygen or anaesthetic gases, so long as that does not give the patient any kind of nourishment. 

Anything that may enter the body via absorption through the skin, such as creams, poultices, etc.  

Insertion of a fine tube via the veins for diagnostic imaging or treatment of the veins of the heart or any part of the body. 

Insertion of a scope through the stomach wall to examine the intestines by means of a surgical operation (laparoscopy). 

Taking samples from the liver or any other part of the body, so long as that is not accompanied by administration of solutions. 

Endoscopy, so long as that is not accompanied by administration of solutions or other substances. 

Introduction of any medical instruments or materials to the brain or spinal column. 

And Allah knows best. 

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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23. Breaking the fast in Ramadaan with no excuse

Question :

What is punishment of breaking fast?

Answer :

It was narrated that Abu Umaamah al-Baahili (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say: “Whilst I was sleeping, two men came to me and took me by the arms, and they brought me to a mountain and said: ‘Climb up.’ I said: ‘I cannot.’ They said: ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until, when I was at the top of the mountain, I heard loud voices. I said: ‘What are these voices?’ He said: ‘These are the cries of the people of Hell.’ Then they took me on, and I saw some people hanging by their heels, with the sides of their mouths torn, and the sides of their mouths were flowing with blood. I said: ‘Who are these?’ He said: ‘They are the ones who broke the fast before it was permissible for them to do so.’” Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim (1/210, 290); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah (3951). 

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24. Fasting is not accepted if one doesn’t pray

Question: 

Is it permissible to fast without praying?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

No good deeds will be accepted from one who does not pray – no zakaah, no fasting, no Hajj or anything else. 

Al-Bukhaari (520) narrated that Buraydah said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.” 

What is meant by “his good deeds will be annulled” is that they will be rendered invalid and will be of no benefit to him. This hadeeth indicates that Allah will not accept any good deed from one who does not pray, so the one who does not pray will not benefit at all from his good deeds and no good deed of his will be taken up to Allah. 

It seems from the hadeeth that there are two types of those who do not pray: those who do not pray at all, which annuls all their good deeds, and those who do not offer a particular prayer on a particular day, which annuls the good deeds of that day. So annulment of all good deeds happens to those who forsake all the prayers, and annulment of the good deeds of a particular day happens to the one who omits a particular prayer. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 87) about the ruling on the fasting of one who does not pray.

 He replied: 

The fast of one who does not pray is not valid and is not accepted, because the one who does not pray is a kaafir and an apostate, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah) and give Zakaah, then they are your brethren in religion....” [At-Tawbah 9:11] 

And the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr stands his giving up prayer.” Narrated by Muslim, 82. And he (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “The covenant that separates us from them is prayer; whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2621; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

This is also the view of most of the Sahaabah, if not their consensus. ‘Abd-Allah ibn Shaqeeq (may Allah have mercy on him), who was one of the well-known Taabi’een, said: The companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) did not think that omitting any action made a person a kaafir, except for prayer. Based on this, if a person fasts but he does not pray, then his fast is rejected and not accepted, and it will not avail him anything before Allah on the Day of Resurrection. We say to him: Pray then fast, because if you fast but do not pray, then your fast will be rejected, because acts of worship are not accepted from a kaafir. 

The Standing Committee (10/140) was asked: if a person is keen to fast in Ramadaan and to pray in Ramadaan only, but he stops praying as soon as Ramadaan is over, does his fasting count? 

They replied: 

Prayer is one of the pillars of Islam, and it is the most important pillar after the Shahaadatayn. It is an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn), and whoever does not do it because he denies that it is obligatory, or he does not do it because he is careless and lazy, is a kaafir. With regard to those who fast Ramadaan and pray in Ramadaan only, this is trying to cheat Allah, and unfortunate indeed are those who only acknowledge Allah in Ramadaan. Their fasting is not valid if they do not pray at times other than Ramadaan, rather this makes them kaafirs in the sense of major kufr (kufr akbar), even if they do not deny that prayer is obligatory, according to the more sound of the two scholarly opinions.

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25. Fasting: And the use of eardrops or eye drops

Question :  

What is ruling in fasting and the use of toothpaste (or siwak) eardrops or eye drops?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

There is nothing wrong with the fasting person using ear drops and eye drops, and his fast is not invalidated by that. Some scholars are of the view that it invalidates the fast if the taste of it can be felt in the throat, so in order to be on the safe side it is better to avoid that during the day in Ramadaan, and if the one who feels the taste of it in his throat repeats that fast, then that is better. 

It says in a statement of the Islamic Fiqh Council: 

The following things are not regarded as breaking the fast: eye drops, ear drops, having the ears syringed, nose drops and nasal sprays, so long as one avoids swallowing anything that may reach the throat. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Cleaning the teeth with toothpaste or a siwaak does not invalidate the fast, but the fasting person must avoid letting any of that reach his stomach, but if it happens without him intending it to, then he does not have to make up the fast.

The same applies to eye drops and ear drops. They do not break the fast according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, but if he finds the taste of the drops in his throat, he should make up the fast in order to be on the safe side, but it is not obligatory, because these are not openings through which food and drink enter the body. But nose drops are not permissible, because the nose is an opening through which food and drink may enter the body. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) said: “Snuff water up into the nose deeply, unless you are fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (788) and Abu Dawood (142); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. 

The one who does that has to make up the fast because of this hadeeth and similar reports, if he finds the taste of that in his throat. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (15/260, 261) 

He also said: 

The correct view is that drops do not break the fast, although there is a difference of opinion among the scholars and some of them said that if the taste of them reaches the throat then they do break the fast. But the correct view is that they do not break the fast at all, because the eye is not an opening through which food reaches the body. But if the one who uses them and finds the taste of that in his throat repeats the fast in order to be on the safe side and to avoid an area of scholarly difference of opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. But the correct view is that they do not break the fast whether they are eye drops or ear drops. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (15/263) 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  

With regard to eye drops – and also using kohl – and ear drops, they do not break the fast because there is no report to indicate that, or anything mentioned in the reports that suggests that, and the eye is not an opening through which food and drink enter the body, and neither is the ear. 

The scholars said: If a man stains his feet with colocynth (bitter-apple) and notices the taste of that in his throat, that does not break his fast, because that is not an opening through which food and drink enter the body. The same applies if he uses kohl or puts drops in his eye or his ear: it does not break his fast even if he notices the taste of it in his throat. Similarly if he applies ointment for medical purposes or otherwise, it does not affect him. And if he has difficulty in breathing and uses this puffer in his mouth in order to make his breathing easier, that does not break his fast, because it does not reach the stomach, and it is not food or drink. End quote. 

Fataawa al-Siyaam, p. 206. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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26. Fasting: withdrawing Blood - missed fASTS

Question:

Is taking a blood test considered to break the fast in Ramadan? In addition, what can be done to correct for the shortfall in fasting? i.e., I missed throughout my life many days of fasting, how can this be rectified?

Answer:

Regarding your question, Withdrawing blood doesn't break a person's fast. Ibn Abbas said: 'What breaks the fast is whatever enters (the body) not what comes out'. However, you should pay attention that withdrawing blood can weaken the body which may force you to break the fast. Therefore, if it is not necessary, try to delay the withdrawing until after ending fast. In addition, if you are sick and need to take a blood test, then you are allowed to break the fast as stated in Surah al-Baqara verse 184.

Regarding the second portion of the question, if you are still young and are able to fast, then you should start making up for the past days as much as you can and this is the only acceptable way to make up, i.e., you are not allowed to feed another poor person for each day you missed. However, if you are old and /or sick, or have any Islamic justification, then you may feed for each missed day a poor person (the value of the meal is decided according to the region you live in), and you should also ask for forgiveness and repentance from Allah who is the Most Merciful and Forgiving.

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 27. BLOOD DONATING IN FASTING

Question :          

Can a person donate blood while fasting?

Answer :             

It stands to reason that Islam teaches us to feed the hungry, to take care of the sick and to save the life of people. Blood transfusion for medical purposes is permissible in Islam. This is the case in normal occasions, but what would be the ruling if the donator is fasting?

In his response to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

It is not recommended to donate blood while fasting unless there is an absolute necessity to do so.

Drawing lots of blood may make a person weak and thus he may be forced to break his fast. So indulging in such an activity is not at all recommended as we are advised to keep our fasts intact as best as possible.

Moreover, there are scholars who are of the opinion that drawing lots of blood would invalidate one’s fast. This is the view of Imam Ahmad. However, Imam Ash-Shafi`i and others are of the view that drawing of blood by itself does not break the fast, but one is not encouraged to do so as it may render a person weak.

The ruling, however, is different when faced with an emergency. Such is the case when one must donate blood to save a person’s life; in this case one must do so without any hesitation; it is better for him to break his fast if he has to than continuing his fast.

Another exception: If a person is exceptionally strong and is certain that donating blood would not render him weak at all, then there is no harm for him in donating blood, according to the view of Imam Ash-Shafi`i and others.

In conclusion: Each person should consider his own state of health before embarking on this action.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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28. INTRAMUSCULAR OR INTRAVENOUS INJECTION IN FASTING

Question :

As a doctor, I would like to know whether intramuscular or intravenous injections may be given to a fasting person, in normal circumstances or in emergency. Can a person who suffers from asthma use his aerosol inhaler while fasting? What is the ruling regarding the case of ear, nasal and eye drops, suppository and the drawing of blood for investigation during fasting?

Answer :

Injections of both types may be given to a fasting person in any situation. Similarly, samples of blood may be taken from a person while he is fasting. Some people try to distinguish between intramuscular and intravenous injections, approving of the former and disapproving of the latter. There are certainly no grounds for making such a distinction when neither method is used for feeding purposes.

Likewise, the use of aerosol inhalers by asthma patients, to relieve their breathlessness, is permissible and does not invalidate fasting.

There are scholars who argue that the use of such inhalers invalidates fasting. They advise the patients who may get an asthma attack during the day not to continue fasting but to take necessary medication. He should fast later instead, if he is able to. It is perhaps more correct to advise patients to use the inhaler when the need arises, and to continue their fasting. It is true that one uses the inhaler through one's mouth, but the aim is to get the medicine into the lungs. Some fine particles may be left in the mouth, but this is not food.

I personally use my Ventolin inhaler when I need to [use it] during the day of fasting, for I have a mild case of asthma. The use of ear, nasal and eye drops as well as suppositories is, perhaps, a little more controversial. In past generations, scholars ruled that all these invalidate fasting, since they considered that they went through the passages which lead to the "internal space" of the body. We have now learned that this is not the case.

Moreover, as Imam Ibh Hazm says [that] people do not use these organs to get food inside them. Allah has forbidden us to eat, drink and to have sex during the day of fasting. When we take eye drops or nasal drops, we do not violate His orders, because these are not food or drinks. Hence, they do not invalidate our fasting.

Perhaps I should add a word about illness and fasting. When a person is ill, he is allowed not to fast, provided that he compensates by fasting a similar number of days later. Since Allah has given sick people this concession, it is better if they use it. At the same time I realize that there are certain conditions which may require the use of nasal or eye drops, without the person being considered sick enough to justify exemption from fasting.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )


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29. ANESTHETIC VIA INJECTION DURING RAMADAAN

Question :

I am going to have two non-invasive medical procedures during the month of Ramadan, and I am going to take a drug via injection during these two procedures. Will my fast be invalidated by that?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.

Being given medicine via injection does not break the fast, whether it is intramuscular or intravenous, so long as the injected substance does not provide nutrition, because in that case it is like food and drink which are forbidden to the one who is fasting. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/252): 

It is permissible to be given medicine via injection into the muscles or veins when fasting during the day in Ramadan. But it is not permissible for the fasting person to be given nutrients during the day in Ramadan, because that comes under the same rulings as consuming food and drink, and this injection is regarded as a means of breaking the fast in Ramadan. If it is possible to give the injection into a muscle or vein during the night, that is preferable. End quote. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the spread of anesthesia through the body – does that break the fast? And what about the flow of blood when a tooth is extracted? 

He replied: 

Neither of these breaks the fast, but the blood that flows after removal of a tooth should not be swallowed. End quote. 

Fataawa Ramadan, p. 525 

It makes no difference whether it is a local or general anesthetic. Many of the fuqaha’ have stated that if a person who is unconscious is awake for even a moment of the day, his fast is valid, so long as he formed the intention to fast from the night before.  

Imaam al-Shaafa’i said in al-Umm (8/153): 

If a man loses consciousness for a day or two days during the month of Ramadan, and he did not eat or drink anything, then he has to make up those days. But if he was awake for part of the day, then he is regarded as having fasted on that day. End quote. 

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (4/343): 

If he was unconscious for the whole day and did not wake up at all, then his fast is not valid, according to the view of our imam (i.e., Imam Ahmad) and al-Shaafa’i… 

If the person who was unconscious woke up for a part of the day, his fast is valid, whether that was at the beginning or the end of the day. End quote. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

 

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30. SELLING FOOD TO NOT FASTING PEOPLE AND KUFFAAR

Question :

Is it permissible for the owner of a restaurant to sell food to those who are not fasting and to kuffaar during the day in Ramadan?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.  

Firstly:

In many answers on this site we have mentioned the warning against settling in kaafir countries, because of the danger that that poses to a man’s religious commitment and that of his family too. The man cannot give his family the Islamic upbringing that he wants. Work is no excuse for a Muslim to live in those countries.

Secondly:

With regard to your question, you should note that it is not permissible for you to offer food to anyone to eat during the day in Ramadan, unless he has an excuse that allows him not to fast, such as one who is sick or is traveling. There is no differentiation between Muslims and kaafirs in this matter. The Muslim who is not fasting is commanded to fast, so he is sinning by not fasting. Enabling him to eat and drink during the day in Ramadan is helping him in sin and transgression. The command to fast and all other rulings are also addressed to the kaafir, but before that he is required to utter the Shahaadatayn (the twin declaration of faith) and enter Islam. On the Day of Resurrection the kaafir will be punished for his kufr and for the laws of Islam that he did not follow, so his punishment in Hell will be increased. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The correct view which is followed by the majority is that the minor issues of sharee’ah are addressed to the kuffaar, and silk is haraam for them as it is haraam for Muslim men. End quote. 

Sharh Muslim, 14/39. 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

How will the kaafir be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection when he is not required to follow the obligations of Islam? 

He replied: 

This question is based on a misconception. The same is required of the kaafir as is required of the believer, but he is not to be compelled to follow it in this world. The fact that it is required of him is indicated by the passage in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Except those on the Right (i.e. the pious true believers of Islamic Monotheism) (39)  In Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another (40) About Al‑Mujrimoon (polytheists, criminals, disbelievers) (and they will say to them) (41) What has caused you to enter Hell? (42) They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the Salaah (prayers) (43) Nor we used to feed Al‑Miskeen (the poor) (44) And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allah hated) with vain talkers (45) And we used to belie the Day of Recompense”  (Al-Muddaththir 74:39-46) 

If they were not being punished for not praying and not feeding the poor, they would not have mentioned that, because there would be no point in mentioning it in this situation. This indicates that they are being punished for not doing the minor issues enjoined by Islam. As this is implied by the texts, it is also implied by reasoning. If Allah will punish His believing slave for what he failed to do of religious duties, how can He not punish the kaafir? Moreover, the kaafir will be punished for all the blessings that stowed upon him of food and drink etc. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate (in the past), if they fear Allah (by keeping away from His forbidden things), and believe and do righteous good deeds, and again fear Allah and believe, and once again fear Allah and do good deeds with Ihsaan (perfection). And Allah loves the good‑doers” (Al-Maa’idah 5:93) 

The apparent meaning of the verse is that there is no sin on the believers for what they have eaten. What this implies is that there is sin on the kuffaar for what they have eaten. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/question no. 164). 

Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to offer food to a non-Muslim during the day in Ramadan, because the minor issues of sharee’ah are addressed to the kuffaar too. 

The majority are of the view that everything that is intended for haraam purposes and every conduct that could lead to sin, is haraam and the sale of anything where it is known that the purchaser intends to use it for something that is not allowed is forbidden.                                                                                                               

Among the examples given by al-Shaafa’i are: the sale of drugs to one whom you think will use them in a haraam manner or wood to one who will make it into a musical instrument or a silk garment to a man who will wear it when it is not necessary to do so or selling a weapon to a wrongdoer or a bandit or an animal to one who will make it carry more than it is able to. 

Al-Sharwaani and Ibn Qaasim al-‘Abaadi stated that a Muslim should not sell food to a kaafir if he knows or thinks that he will eat it during the day in Ramadan and al-Ramli stated this in a fatwa and said: Because that is helping him to commit sin based on the most correct view which is that the minor issues of sharee’ah are addressed to the kuffaar.

End quote.                                                                                     

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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31. TASTING FOOD IN FAST

Question :

I wanted to know is it permissible for the wife to taste the food wile she is cooking if she is fasting? I have heard that it is allowed, but I need some reference to hadeeth. Thank you

Answer:                                                                                                                      

A woman is allowed to test the food because she is not going to swallow anything because what is forbidden is eating or drinking. She is neither drinking or eating when she tests food. That is not in need of any evidence to advocate permissibility. The fiqh books have elaborated this understanding in a satisfactory manner.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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32. WHAT TO DO IF ONE IS A DIBATIC

Question :

What to do if one is diabetic? 

Answer: 

Being a diabetic may or may not be a sufficient reason to break your fast. You should consult a pious Muslim doctor to know if fasting will hurt you or if you can do it. If the doctor says you can, then you have no other choice but to fast. If the doctor says you can not fast now but you can sometime during the year, then you have to make the days you miss later in the year before next Ramadan. However, If the pious Muslim doctor says you can not fast any time in the future, then the alternative is to feed a ''Miskeen'', i.e. a poor person, one day's food for every day of Ramadan that you do not fast.  (s.w.t.) knows your situation fully.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamicity

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33. TARAWIH PRAYER RAKAT

Question :          

My question is about Tarawih Prayer. I would like to know how many rak`ahs (prayer units) have to be performed in it? Some people claim that they are 20, and some say 8. Which one is the Sunnah?

Answer :

First of all it is to be noted that Tarawih prayer is a Sunnah that is highly recommended. In the Hadith reported by Salman Al-Farisi (may  please with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) addressed the people saying: "O people a blessed and holy month comes to you spreading its shade on you, a month in which Allah made fasting obligatory and staying up at night in worship (i.e. performing Tarawih) as an optional act. In this month there is a single night which is better than one thousand months…"

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

As far as Tarawih is concerned, it is a nafl or a recommended prayer and there is no fixed number for it. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about optional night prayer he replied: "One should perform the night prayer two rak`ahs, then two rak`ahs, etc. And when he feels the arrival of the dawn he should close it off by offering witr, even if it is by praying one rak`ah.”

Traditionally, Muslims have prayed 8 rak`ahs or 20, or 30, or 40 rak`ahs in various circumstances. So, as Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said, it is up to the decision of the Imam and the worshippers; if they can perform 8 rak`ahs while reading the same portion of the Qur'an that one would read while praying 20 rak`ahs, they may do so.

However, if the Imam feels that the congregation cannot endure long recitation with fewer number of rak`ahs, he can increase the number of rak`ahs and reduce the portion of recitation in each rak`ah.

In conclusion, we can say that the Prophet’s way of offering optional prayer at night through the whole year can be applied to Tarawih Prayer, by virtue of analogy.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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34. Holding the Quran in Taraweeh Prayers

Question:

We perform the Tarawih prayers in the holy month of Ramadhan in the American city of Fresno and a dispute took place regarding the recitation from the Noble Book. Some of the brothers said that it is not permissible to recite from the Book in Tarawih prayers, while others said that it is permissible, due to the fact that there was no one present among the brothers who had memorized the whole of the Noble Quran.

Answer:

If your situation was as you have described it, then it was permissible for your Imam to read from the Book in Tarawih. Indeed, in cases such as yours, that would be recommended according to the Islamic law, because it is preferred for the recitation in Tarawih prayer to be long and that could not be done by the likes of yourselves without the Imam reading from the Book. It has been narrated by Abu Dawud in Kitabul-Masahif, via Ayyub, from Ibn Abi Mulaikah, that Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was being led in prayers by her servant, Thakwan and he was reading from the Book. And Ibn Abi Shaybah said: Waki informed us, on the authority Hisham bin Urwah, on the authority of Ibn Abi Mulaikah, on the authority of Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she freed a slave belonging to her and he used to lead her (in prayer) in Ramadhan, using the Book.

Imam Of Masjid Nabawi making an announcement on holding The Quran In Taraweeh Pray:"As pointed out earlier, it is permitted according to the Shafi’i and Hanbali Schools to recite from a Mushaf in Fardh and Nafl prayers, whether one has memorized the portion one is reciting or not. According to Imam Malik, it is permitted to do so in Nafl and Tarawih prayers. (See: al-Majmu’ of Imam Nawawi and Kasshaf al-Qina’ of Bahuti 1/361)"

According to the Hanafi Madhab, it is not permissible to look into the Qur'aan and recite in Salaat. (Ahsanul Fataawa part2 pg.445)

Nevertheless, in conclusion, this is a matter differed upon by the jurists of the four Sunni Schools of Islamic law. Nevertheless, in conclusion, this is a matter differed upon by the jurists of the four Sunni Schools of Islamic law.

The Hanafi School does not permit reciting from a copy of the Qur’an (mushaf) during Salat, with Imam Abu Hanifa of the opinion that one’s Salat is invalidated should one do so. The other Imams have allowed this practice, but one should be cautious in terms of making too many movements whilst carrying the Mushaf, since it may invalidate the prayer according to them as well.

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35. Adding another rak’ah to the imaam’s witr

Question :

Some people, when they pray witr with the imaam and he says salaam, they get up and do another rak’ah, because they want to do more prayers before praying witr later in the night. What is the ruling on this action? Is it considered to be forsaking the prayer with the imaam?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.

We do not see anything wrong with this, and the ‘ulama’ stated that there is nothing wrong with doing this, so that his witr will be at the end of the night. He will be considered to have prayed with the imaam until he finished, because he stayed with him until he finished, and added another rak’ah for a shar'i reason, which was so that he could pray witr later in the night. There is nothing wrong with this, and it does not mean that he did not stay with the imaam until he finished, but he did not finish with him – he delayed it a little longer.

From al-Jawaab al-Saheeh min Ahkaam Salaat al-Layl wa’l-Taraaweeh by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, p. 41.

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36. Which is better during RAMADAN - READING QURAN OR VOLUNTARY PRAYERS ?

Question :

Which is better during the day in Ramadaan – reading Qur’aan or praying voluntary prayers? 

Answer : Praise be to Allah.

The Sunnah of the Prophet  (PBUH) was to do a lot of different kinds of worship during Ramadaan. Jibreel used to review the Qur’aan with him at night, and when Jibreel met with him, he was more generous in charity than the blowing wind. He was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous in Ramadaan. At this time he used to give more in charity and treat people even more kindly; he would read more Qur’aan, pray more, recite more dhikr, and spend time in I’tikaaf (retreat). This is the guidance of the Prophet  (PBUH) in this aspect of this holy month.

As to whether it is better to read Qur’aan or to pray voluntary prayers, this depends on people’s circumstances, and the true evaluation of this is up to Allah, because He knows all things.

(From al-Jawaab al-Saheeh min Ahkaam Salaat al-Layl wa’l-Taraaweeh, by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, p. 45).

A specific action may be better in the case of any given individual, and another may be better for another individual, according to the degree to which a particular action brings a person closer to Allah. Some people may be influenced more by naafil prayers and may focus on them and do them properly, which will bring them closer to Allah than other deeds might, so in their case those deeds are better. And Allah knows best.

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37. DIFFERENT DATES OF MAIRAJ & QADR NIGHTS IN COUNTRIES

Question : 

Lunar dates do not tally in different countries. This results in confusion over such important occasions as the night of power and the one on which we celebrate the Prophet's night journey. As Muslims are keen to mark the night of power, and since it is one night a year, how could it be timed when the month starts on different days in different countries?

Answer :

May I first of all clarify a small point about the Prophet's night journey [Shab-e-Mairaaj]. This took place, as far as can be determined, on the night of the 27th Rajab in the 10th year of the start of Islamic revelation; that is, three years before the start of the Islamic calendar. That night, the Prophet was taken by the chief of angels, Gabriel, from Makkah to Jerusalem, where he met earlier prophets and they joined him in a prayer, which he led. He was then raised to heaven and returned to Makkah before the break of day. Although this was an important event for the Prophet, as it came shortly after the death of his wife and his uncle, the two people who provided him with comfort and support when he faced the determined opposition by his people to his call.

Nevertheless, we do not mark the night with any social type of worship because this has not been ordered or recommended by the Prophet. As you realize, in our worship, we must strictly follow the Prophet's teachings. He was the most dedicated and devoted servant of Allah. If he did not do a particular thing as part of his worship, we do not do it. We only follow his footsteps.

It is true that different countries start Ramadan on different dates, with a difference of one day in most cases and extending to two days in certain instances. The fact is that there should be no more than one day difference in starting any lunar month. As for the night of power, Allah mentions in the Qur'an that it is better than 1000 months. The Prophet has encouraged us to mark it with devotion, recitation of the Qur'an, prayer, supplication and glorification of Allah. Every prayer addressed to Allah on that night is answered. Therefore, Muslims are keen to observe this night every year, with as much devotion as possible. The Prophet, however, has not given us a specific date for it, but told us to seek it on the odd nights of the last third of the month of Ramadan. This means that it could be the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night of Ramadan.

This applies regardless of the differences in starting the month of Ramadan. Every country counts according to its own start of the month. If it was only one night for the whole world, then it would be an odd night of the month in one country and an even night in another. This will be contrary to what the Prophet has told us. It may be asked, then, whether there can be two nights of power. The answer is that for every Muslim there is one night of power every year, which happens to be on one of the odd nights of the month of Ramadan. He counts on the basis of his country's calendar.

This is the appropriate criterion to apply, since mistakes in starting the month can be made. Take for example the case when the moon cannot be sighted because of an overcast sky, yet the moon has been born. In this case, the Muslims of that area are required to complete the month of Sha'ban, which precedes Ramadan, to 30 days and start Ramadan on the following day. Had the sky been clear, they would have started a day earlier. But the night of power falls, as far as they are concerned on the odd nights according to their start of the month, even though they may realize their mistake at the end and maybe required to fast in compensation later. In such a matter we should not forget that we are dealing with Allah. He rewards us according to our intentions.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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38. SHATAN BEING CHAINED IN RAMADAN

Question :

What do you say about the devils being chained up in Ramadan?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.  

Al-Bukhaari (1899) and Muslim (1079) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may  pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of  upon him) said:When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” 

The scholars differed as to the meaning of the devils being chained up in Ramadan. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said, quoting al-Haleemi: It may be interpreted at meaning that the devils are not able to tempt the Muslims as they are busy with the fast which controls their desires, and with reading Qur’aan and dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Another scholar – someone other than al-Haleemi – said that what is meant by the devils is some of them, namely the maarids (strong devils), who are chained up. 

‘Iyaad said: it may be interpreted in a literal sense, and that is as a sign to the angels that the month has begun, and in veneration of its sanctity, and so as to prevent the devils from harming the Muslims. And it may be interpreted as referring to the great amount of reward and forgiveness, and that the devils tempt people less, so it is as if they are chained up.

This second interpretation is supported by the fact that according to a report narrated by Yoonus from Ibn Shihaab which is recorded by Muslim it says “the gates of mercy are opened”. The chaining up of the devils may also be understood as a metaphor for them being unable to tempt people and make their whims and desires attractive to them. Al-Zayn ibn al-Muneer said: The first view is most likely to be correct, and there is no need to try to understand it in anything other than the literal sense. 

Fath al-Baari, 4/114.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of  upon him) “and the devils are chained up,” – yet we still see people suffering from epilepsy during the day in Ramadan, so how can the devils be chained up when some people are suffering epileptic fits? 

He replied: In some versions of the hadeeth it says “and the strong devils (maarids) are chained up” this is narrated by al-Nasaa’i. This hadeeth is speaking of matters of the unseen, so we have to accept it and not discuss it any further. This is safer for a person’s religious commitment. Hence when ‘Abd-Allah, the son of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said to his father, “Some people suffer epileptics fits during the day in Ramadan,” the Imam said: “This is what the hadeeth says and we do not discuss this.” 

Moreover it seems that what is meant by their being chained up is that they are prevented from tempting people, based on the fact that there is a great deal of goodness and many people turn to Allah during Ramadan. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 20.

Based on this, the chaining up of the devils is something that happens in a real sense, about which Allah knows best. This does not mean that evil things do not happen or that people do not commit sin. And Allah knows best.

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