Fasting the Month of Ramadaan

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 15th May 2018 10:13
Islaam is Built Upon Five


عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: سَمِعْت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم يَقُولُ: " بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ: شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ، وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ

On the authority of Abu 'Abdur-Rahmaan 'Abdullaah, the son of 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab رضي الله عنهما who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم say: "Islaam is built upon five [pillars [1]]: testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, establishing the prayers, giving the zakaat, making the pilgrimage to the House and fasting the month of Ramadhaan." [2]

The Meaning of Siyaam


Linguistically, siyaam means to abstain from something, such as abstaining from speaking. In the sharee'ah, it is a direct reference to abstaining from food, drink and sexual intercourse during the days of the month of Ramadhaan. This practice is one of the pillars of Islaam, as noted in this hadeeth.

The Importance of Siyaam


Fasting is a source of self-restraint, piety and God-consciousness. It was prescribed by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى for the prophets عليهم الصلاة والسلام before Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. In the verses obligating the fast of the month of Ramadhaan, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has pointed out its goal or purpose:



"O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwa [3] [self-restraint, piety and God-consciousness]." (Sooratul-Baqarah, 2:183)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said that fasting is a protection from the Hell-fire:

الصيام جنة من النار كجنة أحدكم من القتال

"Fasting is a shield from the Hell-fire like one of your shields shielding you while fighting." [4]

Furthermore, it will also come as an intercessor on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has said,

الصِّيَامُ وَالْقُرْآنُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ، يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ : أَيْ رَبِّ مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ . وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآنُ : مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ . قَالَ : فَيُشَفَّعَانِ

"The fast and the Qur'aan shall come as intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. The fast shall say, 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and drink during the day, so let me intercede for him.' The Qur'aan will say, 'I kept him from sleep during the night, so let me intercede for him.' Then they will be allowed to intercede." [5]

It is an act that demonstrates one's sincerity to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Only Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is aware if a person truly fasted or not. No one can know if he secretly broke his fast. Therefore, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has a special reward for those who fast. This is stated in the following hadeeth qudsi [6],

يترك طعامه وشرابه وشهوته من أجلي الصيام لي وأنا أجزي به والحسنة بعشر أمثالها

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has said, "He leaves his food, drink and desires because of Me. Fasting is for My sake and I shall reward it. And every good deed shall be rewarded tenfold." [7]

By Allaah's grace and mercy سبحانه و تعالى, if a person fasts the month of Ramadhaan with faith in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and hoping for its reward, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will forgive all of his previous minor sins. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

"Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhaan with faith and hoping for its reward shall have all of his previous sins forgiven for him." [8]

Imaam lbn al-Qayyim رحمه الله noted some of the beneficial and important aspects of fasting when he wrote,

"The purpose of fasting is that the spirit of man was released from the clutches of desires and moderation prevailed in his carnal self, and, through it, he realized the goal of purification and everlasting felicity. It is aimed at curtailing the intensity of desire and lust by means of hunger and thirst, at inducing man to realize how many were there in the world like him who had to go even without a small quantity of food, at making it difficult for the Devil to deceive him, and at restraining his organs from turning towards things in which there was the loss of both worlds. Fasting, thus, is the bridle of the God-fearing, the shield of the crusaders and the discipline of the virtuous." [9]

There is also a hadeeth of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that warns of the punishment for one who breaks his fast improperly. In this hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

بينا أنا نائم إذ أتاني رجلان فأخذا بضبعيّ ( الضبع هو العضد ) فأتيا بي جبلا وعِرا ، فقالا : اصعد . فقلت : إني لا أطيقه . فقالا : إنا سنسهله لك . فصعدت حتى إذا كنت في سواء الجبل إذا بأصوات شديدة ، قلت : ما هذه الأصوات ؟ قالوا : هذا عواء أهل النار . ثم انطلق بي فإذا أنا بقوم معلقين بعراقيبهم ، مشققة أشداقهم ، تسيل أشداقهم دما ، قلت : من هؤلاء ؟ قال : هؤلاء الذين يفطرون قبل تحلة صومهم

"While I was sleeping, two men came to me and took hold of my arms. They brought me to a steep mountain and said, 'Climb.' I said, 'I am not able to.' They said, 'We will make it easy for you. ' So I climbed until I came to the summit of the mountain where I heard terrible cries. I said, 'What are these cries?' They said, 'Those are the cries of the inhabitants of the Fire. ' Then they took me further until I came to a people who were strung up by their hamstrings, and their jawbones were torn and flowing with blood. I said, 'Who are these people?' He said, 'Those are the people who break their fast before the time it was permissible to do so."' [10] [11] [12]

Notes:

[1] In their translation of this hadeeth, Ibrahim and Johnson-Davies make the following comment, "The word 'pillars' does not appear in the Arabic but has been supplied for clarity of meaning. Pillars (arkaan) is the generally accepted term in this context." Ibrahim and Johnson-Davies, p. 34, fn. 1. The narration from 'Abdur-Razzaaq explicitly mentions "supports" or "props". In the narration in Saheeh Muslim, five is in the feminine form, which would imply arkaan or pillars. Cf., Imaam lbn Hajr رحمه الله, Fat-hul-Baari, vol. 1, p. 72.

[2] This hadeeth has been narrated through numerous chains from 'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab رضي الله عنهما. It was recorded by al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i, at-Tirmidhi, al-Baihaqi (in three different works), ibn Khuzaima in his Saheeh, ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, al-Tabaraani in his al-Kabeer and numerous others. The hadeeth has also been narrated from the Companion Jareer ibn 'Abdillaah al-Bajali رضي الله عنه. Through Jareer رضي الله عنه it was recorded by at-Tabaraani with a saheeh chain. See: Shaykh Fauzi ibn Muhammad حفظه الله, Al-Adhwaa as-Samaawiyyah fee Takhreej Ahaadeeth al-Arba'een an-Nawawiyyah, pp. 57-59.

[3] For a definition of the word 'Taqwa' as well as an explanation of who the true 'Muttaqeen' are, see: Fear Allah Wherever You Are (Taqwa) - https://www.muftisays.com/forums/12-virtues/7703-fear-allah-wherever-you-are-taqwa.html

[4] Recorded by Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and others. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. Saheeh al-Jaami, vol. 2, p. 720.

[5] Recorded by Ahmad. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. Saheeh al-Jaami, vol. 2, p. 720.

[6] For more on Hadeeth Qudsi, see: https://www.muftisays.com/forums/12-virtues/9570-hadith-qudsi.html

[7] Recorded by al-Bukhaari.

[8] Recorded by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

[9] Quoted in Shaykh Abul Hasan 'Ali Nadwi رحمه الله, The Four Pillars of Islam, p. 173.

[10] Recorded by ibn Hibbaan and ibn Khuzaima. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, vol. 1, p. 420.

[11] Shaykh Jamaluddin Zarabozo حفظه الله, Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi, vol. 1, p. 279 and pp. 316-319.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 15th May 2018 10:32
The Ruling Concerning One who Does Not Fast Ramadaan Without a Valid Excuse


If a person denies the obligation of the fast, he becomes a disbeliever. Its obligatory status is confirmed in the Qur'aan and numerous ahaadeeth of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

As for the one who believes in the fast but does not fast, there is a hadeeth which states,

عرى الإسلام وقواعد الدين ثلاثة عليهن أسس الإسلام من ترك واحدة منهن فهو بها كافر حلال الدم : شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله والصلاة المكتوبة وصوم رمضان

"The bare essence of Islaam and the basics, upon which Islaam has been established, are three. Whoever leaves one of them becomes an unbeliever and his blood may legally be spilled. [These acts are:] Testifying that there is no God except Allaah, the obligatory prayers and the fast of Ramadhaan."

This hadeeth was recorded by Abu Ya'la and ad-Dailami. Some scholars have called it hasan. However, the correct view seems to be that of Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, that the hadeeth is weak. But, most likely, it seems that it is a statement of the Companion ibn 'Abbaas رضي الله عنهما and not that of the Prophet (peace be upon him). [1]

Therefore, it cannot be considered an overriding proof in this matter, especially if there is no record that the other Companions رضي الله عنهم agreed with him on this point.

However, a Companion coming to such a conclusion demonstrates the importance of this act of fasting. No scholar would make such a statement, not to speak of a Companion, unless that act was of great importance in Islaam. Although the majority and the strongest opinion is that such a person does not become a disbeliever, those Muslims who refuse to fast the month of Ramadhaan should consider ibn 'Abbaas' رضي الله عنهما statement very carefully as there is a likelihood that what he said is correct.

Furthermore, Imaam adh-Dhahabi رحمه الله once wrote,

"According to the established believers, anyone who leaves the fast of Ramadhaan without being sick is worse than a fornicator or an alcoholic. In fact, they doubt his Islaam and they suspect that he might be a zindeeq (renegade against Islam) and one of those who destroy Islaam." [2] [3]

Notes:

[1] See: Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth ad-Dha'eefah (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islaami, 1398 A.H.), vol. 1, pp. 131-2.

[2] Quoted in as-Sayyid Saabiq رحمه الله, Fiqh us-Sunnah, vol. 3, p. 111.

[3] Shaykh Jamaluddin Zarabozo حفظه الله, Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi, vol. 1, pp. 319-320.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 25th May 2018 14:47
Du'aa' During Ramadaan


The month of Ramadaan is a blessed month, during which the Qur'aan was revealed, and the process of inspiration started upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Therefore, the du'a of Ramadaan is a blessed du'aa' and this can be inferred from the Prophet's hadeeth صلى الله عليه وسلم:

إِذَا دَخَلَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الجَنَّةِ ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ ، وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ

"When Ramadaan comes, the Doors of Paradise are opened, and the Doors of Hell are closed, and the Shayaateen are chained up." [1]

So it can be inferred from this hadeeth that du'a during Ramadaan has a greater chance of being accepted, as the Gates of Paradise and Mercy are opened. [2]

Notes:

[1] Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

[2] Shaykh Dr. Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi حفظه الله, Du'a - The Weapon of the Believer, p. 128.

See also: Dua (Supplication)
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2018 13:35
Du'aa' When Fasting is Not Rejected


The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ثلاث دعوات لا ترد: دعوة الوالد، ودعوة الصائم، ودعوة المسافر

"Three du'aa's are never rejected:

1) The du'aa' of the father,

2) The du'aa' of the one fasting,

3) The du'aa' of the traveller."
[1]

In another narration, it is reported that he صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ثلاث لا ترد دعوتهم: الصائم حتى يفطر، والإمام العادل، ودعوة المظلوم يرفعها الله فوق الغمام، يفتح لها أبواب السماء، ويقول الرب: وعزتي لأنصرنك ولو بعد حين

"Three people's du'aa's are never rejected:

1) The one who is fasting, until he breaks his fast,

2) The just ruler,

3) The one who has been wronged.

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى raises it above the clouds, and the doors of the skies are opened for it, and the Lord سبحانه و تعالى says, 'By My Honour and Glory! I will help you, even if it be after some time!'"
[2]

The preceding hadeeth shows that the one who is fasting can make du'aa' throughout the day, and his du'aa' will be responded to.

In a third hadeeth, the time just before breaking the fast has been specified, so a person should strive even more at this particular time to be sincere in his du'aa'. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إن للصائم عند فطره دعوة لا ترد

"Indeed, the one who is fasting has - while he is about to break his fast - a du'aa' that is not rejected." [3] [4]

Notes:

[1] Reported by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan (3/345) and others. Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله declared it to be authentic in as-Saheehah, # 1797.

[2] Reported by at-Tirmidhi (# 3598), who declared it to be hasan. However, Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله pointed out that it has a very slight weakness in it in ad-Da'eefah, # 1358.

[3] Reported by Ibn Maajah (# 1753) and others. Imaam al-Busayri رحمه الله said (2/350), "Its isnaad is saheeh," and al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar رحمه الله declared it to be hasan (see Shaykh Sa'eed ibn 'Ali al-Qahtaani حفظه الله, Shuroot ad-Du'aa' wa Mawaani' al-Ijaabat, Mu'asasat al-Juraysi, Riyadh, 1416 A.H., p. 121). However, Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله did not agree with them, and declared it to be da'eef in his al-Irwaa', # 921. It seems that the hadeeth has a very slight weakness in it, and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows best.

[4] Shaykh Dr. Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi حفظه الله, Du'a - The Weapon of the Believer, pp. 140-141.

See also: Dua (Supplication)
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