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Old 09Aug2011, 12:29 AM   #1
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Arrow FASTING in a nutshell (al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee, Sh. Fawzaan)

The obligation of the fast of Ramadhaan and it's time

It's obligation is indicated in the Qur.aan, the Sunnah and al-ijmaa' (major consensus), as follows:

1) {O you who believe! Observing the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious). (Observing (fasts» for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (i.e. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know. The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur.aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadhaan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe the fasting that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not observe fasting must be made up) from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah (i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu-Akbar; Allaah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadhaan and Shawwaal) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayaat 183-185]

And the mention of the command {prescribed} is indicative of it's obligation.

2) And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Islaam is built upon five (pillars)…»

...and amongst them he mentioned the fast of Ramadhaan.

And the ahaadeeth indicating it's obligation and it's excellence are many and are well known.

The wisdom behind the legislation of fasting (Ramadhaan) is that it involves purification and cleansing of the soul from evil manners and characteristics. This is because fasting restricts the influence of Shaytaan upon a person, since his influence flows through the human body as the blood flows.

Fasting instigates a lack of interest in worldly desires and instead causes one to remember the Hereafter. Likewise, it brings about awareness for the poor and destitute, causing one to feel their pain since the fast generates the feeling of hunger and thirst. According to the Sharee'ah, fasting means to abstain from specific things such as food, drink, sexual intercourse and other than that which is mentioned in the Sharee'ah. This is in addition to evil actions and their like.

The obligation of the daily fast begins at the adhaan of the Fajr prayer and ends at sunset (at the adhaan of the Maghrib prayer). Allaah says:

{So now have sexual relations with them} i.e. the wives, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187]

{and seek that which Allaah 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 fast till the nightfall}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187]

And the meaning of {until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread} is that the light of dawn is distinct from the darkness of night.



The obligation of the fast of Ramadhaan begins once the month has started. There are three (3) ways to establish the beginning of the month:

1) The sighting of the moon (with the naked eye). Allaah says:

{So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadhaan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe the fasting that month}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]

And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Fast when you see it»

...so it becomes obligatory for one to fast if he sights the moon (of Ramadhaan) himself.

2) Testification as to the moon (of Ramadhaan) having been sighted or notification of it. Therefore, the obligation of fasting comes into effect if someone, who is trustworthy and fully aware of his faculties, sights the moon (of Ramadhaan) and testifies as such. This is based upon the statement of Ibn 'Umar (radhi-yallaahu 'anhumaa):

«The people were looking for the moon (of Ramadhaan) and I informed the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that I had seen it, so he fasted and ordered the people to fast». [Transmitted by Abu Daawood and authenticated by Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim].

3) Completing the 30 days of Sha'baan. This is when the moon (of Ramadhaan) has not been sighted on the night of the 30th of Sha'baan, (preceding the day of the 29th of Sha'baan) in addition to the presence of that which prevents the moon (of Ramdhaan) from being sighted, such as clouds or the like, since the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Indeed (each) month is 29 days (long), so do not fast until you see the moon (of Ramdhaan) and do not stop fasting until you see it (the month of Shawwaal) and if it is cloudy, then estimate».

And the meaning of «estimate» is to complete the thirty days of Sha'baan, in accordance to that which is confirmed in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu):

«And if it is cloudy, then count thirty days».

The fast of Ramadhaan is obligatory upon every able Muslim who is fully aware of all his faculties. Therefore, it is not obligatory upon the kaafir and nor is it accepted from him. However, if he were to become a Muslim during the month, he would be required to fast the remainder of the month although he is not required to make up that which has passed whilst he was in the state of kufr.

Also, the fast is not obligatory upon the one who is insane or the one who is travelling. Rather they are required to make up for that which they miss once their valid situation has changed. Allaah says:

{and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not observe fasting must be made up) from other days}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]

And the address for the obligation of the fast encompasses both the traveller and the non-traveller, the one who is ill and one who is well, the one who is in a state of purity and one who is on her menses or post-partum bleeding and the one who feels faint. Therefore, fasting is obligatory upon all these people, since they have been addressed (in the command) to fast. So, when their circumstances (as mentioned above) do not permit them to fast, they are required to make up for any missed days. The non-traveller is required to fast the month whilst the woman on her menses or post-partum bleeding is excused until she completes her menstrual cycle and the blood ceases to flow. As for the one who is ill, then he is required to make up for any missed days. However, if his state permits him to fast while enduring difficulties, then there is no harm in him fasting so long as it is not detrimental to his health. So, the traveller and the one who is ill can choose whether or not to fast, without obligation.

Whoever is prevented from fasting due to any (Islaamically) acceptable reason must refrain from all that breaks the fast if the circumstance changes thus rendering them capable to fast. This includes the traveller who has arrived at his destination, the woman on her menses or post-partum bleeding who has completed her menstrual cycle, the disbeliever who has accepted Islaam, the one who is insane but regains his sanity and the young child who attains adulthood.

In addition, this includes everyone when the belated announcement is made during the day as to the month of Ramadhaan having already started. So, in this case, all Muslims are required to refrain from all that breaks the fast for the rest of the day after which, they are to make up this day whereby they had not fasted.

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee - Volume 1, Pages 261-264

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Published: 3 November 2001
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Default The beginning and ending of the daily fast

The beginning and ending of the daily fast

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

1) {It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Sawm (the fasts). They are Libaas [i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her), for you and you are the same for them. Allaah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allaah 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}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187]

Regarding this, Imaam Ibn Katheer said:

«This is ease (which has been bestowed by Allaah) upon the Muslims and they were alleviated of this since Islaam was still in its early days. So it was the case that whoever completed his fast, then he was permitted to eat, drink and have sexual intercourse (with his wife) until the 'Ishaa. prayer or if he slept before that time. So, when he slept or performed the 'Ishaa. prayer it became prohibited for him to eat, drink or have sexual intercourse (with his wife) until the following night. As a result, they found much difficulty in this, so then this aayah was revealed whereby they were extremely happy since Allaah had (now) permitted them to eat, drink and have sexual intercourse (with their wives) throughout any part of the night until a such time that the morning light could be distinguished from the darkness of night».

The limits are clear, from the noble aayah, as regards the daily fast and it's start and finish. It starts from the adhaan of the Fajr prayer and finishes at sunset (at the time of the adhaan of the Maghrib prayer).

The permissibility of eating and drinking (throughout the night) until the time of Fajr prayer is evidence of the recommendation of taking the sahoor (pre-dawn meal). It is mentioned in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim in the hadeeth of Anas (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu), who said:

«Take the pre-dawn meal, for indeed the pre-dawn meal is a blessing».

And there are many narrations encouraging the observance of the sahoor, even if it were a mouthful of water. And it is recommended to delay it until (a short time) before the time of Fajr enters.

Even if a person were to wake up in a state of janaabah or if a woman had completed her menstrual cycle before the time of Fajr, then they should first partake in the sahoor and fast, thereby delaying their ghusl until after the time of Fajr had entered.

There are some people who are prompt in taking the sahoor and remain awake most of the night eating, whereupon they go to sleep a few hours before the time of Fajr. Due to this, the people have committed a number of errors:

Firstly: Because they have started to fast before the legislated time;

Secondly: They abandon the Fajr prayer in congregation (in the masjid) and thereby commit a sin by leaving that which is more obligatory upon them, that being the congregational prayer;

Thirdly: It is quite possible they delay performing the Fajr prayer by not performing it until after sunrise. And this is extremely dangerous and more sinful, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers) (hypocrites). Who delay their Salaah (prayer) from their stated fixed times}, [Soorah al-Maa'oon, Aayah's 4-5]

It is imperative to make the intention for the obligatory fast during the night prior to the fast. So if he were to make the intention and did not wake up until after the Fajr prayer, then he is required to abstain from all that breaks the fast and as such his fast is correct and complete, inshaa.-Allaah.

It is recommended to hasten to break the fast once it is confirmed the sun has set, either by witnessing it's setting or if someone trustworthy was to inform that it has set or if the adhaan for the Maghrib prayer is called or by other (trustworthy means) than this.

It has been narrated on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa'd that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«The people will continue to remain in good so long as they hasten to break the fast».

It's authenticity is agreed upon by both al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) narrates on behalf of his Lord (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala), who said:

«Indeed, the most beloved of my servants to me is the one who hastens to break the fast». (This is once the sun has set).

It is from the Sunnah to break the fast with fresh dates and if these are unavailable, then the dry dates. If these too are unavailable, then with water. This is based upon the saying of Anas, who said:

«The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) used to break his fast with fresh dates before he prayed (the Maghrib prayer). And if he did not have fresh dates, then with dry dates. And if he did not have dry dates, then he would take sips of water…»

This is transmitted by Imaam Ahmad, Abu Daawood and at-Tirmidhee.

And if one was unable to find fresh dates, dry dates or even water, then he is to break his fast with whatever is available from food and drink.

I wish to make mention of a very important issue here and that is that some people remain at the dinner table and continue to eat until they have had a full meal. As a consequence, they do not perform the Maghrib prayer with the congregation in the masjid. In doing this, they fall into a great sin since they have missed the congregational prayer and thereby forfeited much reward and as such are befitting of punishment.

That which is legislated is that the fasting person breaks his fast and then proceeds to perform the Maghrib prayer, after which he returns to have his full and proper meal.

At the time of breaking the fast, it is recommended to supplicate to Allaah with all that one wishes of good, because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Indeed, the supplication of the fasting person at the time of breaking the fast is not rejected».

And from the supplication which is mentioned is as follows:

«O Allaah, I have fasted for you and with that which you have provided me I break my fast»

And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) used to say:



«The thirst has gone and the veins are moistened, and reward is confirmed, if Allaah wills»

And like this, it is befitting for the Muslim to learn the rulings pertaining to the fast and breaking it - in terms of the time and manner, such that he is able to fast according to that which has been legislated in adherence to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). In doing so, his fast will be correct and his actions acceptable to Allaah (inshaa.-Allaah). Indeed, this is from the most important of affairs as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much}, [Soorah al-Ahzaab, Aayah 21]

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee - Volume 1, Pages 265-267


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Default That which invalidates the fast

That which invalidates the fast

It is obligatory for the Muslim to know of all that invalidates the fast so as to be aware of them. They include:

1) Sexual intercourse: Whenever the fasting person has sexual intercourse, his fast is invalidated. Subsequently, he is required to make up the fast for that day in which he had sexual intercourse in addition to paying a penalty (kaffaarah) which is to free a slave. If he is unable to find a slave or funds that are equal to that, then he is required to fast consecutively for two months. If he is unable to fast for two months, due to an Islaamically acceptable reason, he is to feed 60 poor people half a saa' each from the food common in that land.

2) Excretion of semen as a result of kissing, touching with desire, masturbation or persistently looking at that which arouses the desire. In this case, the fast is invalidated and he is required to make up for that day without paying a penalty (kaffaarah), since paying a penalty is specific to having had sexual intercourse.

3) Intentionally eating and drinking, due to that which Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{...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}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187]

As for he who eats and drinks out of forgetfulness, then this does not affect his fast as is mentioned in the following hadeeth:

«Whoever forgetfully eats or drinks, then he should complete his fast, for indeed it was Allaah who provided him the food and drink»

And from that which breaks the fast is water and other such substances to pass his throat via his nose. This is known as as-Sa'oof. Likewise, taking a nutritional injection directly into the vein and taking a blood transfusion whilst fasting. All of these invalidate the fast, as it constitutes nutrition for the body.

As regards a non-nutritional injection, then it is better for one who is fasting to avoid this so as to protect his fast. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Leave that which you are doubtful (about) for that which are not doubtful (about»)

And as such delay it until after having broken the fast at the time of Maghrib.

4) As for extracting blood via cupping or opening a vein or donating blood for medical reasons, then all of this invalidates the fast. As regards giving a small blood sample for testing purposes, then this does not affect the fast. Likewise, this applies to the unintentional flow of blood resulting from a nose bleed, injury or having a tooth removed. All of these do not affect the fast.

5) Intentional vomiting also invalidates the fast. However, the fast is not affected if he is overcome and is forced to vomit without intending so. This is based upon the statement of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):

«Whoever is overcome (and forced) to vomit, then he is not required to make up (the fast for that day) and whoever intentionally vomits then he must make up (the fast for that day»).

The fasting person should not exert himself whilst gargling and sniffing water up his nose (when making wudhoo.) because it is quite possible the water may pass his throat and thereby enter his stomach. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«(Whilst making wudhoo.) exert yourself in sniffing water up the nose except if you are fasting».

Using the miswaak (tooth-stick) does not affect the fast, rather it is recommended, whether fasting or not, throughout the day.

His fast is not affected if any dust or even a fly was to reach his throat.

It is obligatory for the fasting person to refrain from lying, backbiting and swearing, even if someone was to swear at him. If this is the case, he should say:

«(indeed), I am fasting»

Certainly, some people find it easy to abstain from food and drink but find it difficult to abandon that which has become a habit for them from evil speech and actions. This is why some of the Pious Predecessors have said:

«The easiest (type of) fast is abstaining from food and drink».

So it is upon the Muslim to fear Allaah and be aware of Him and His Greatness and the fact that He Sees all that we do, such that absolutely nothing remains hidden from him. In doing this, he should protect his fast from all that invalidates it or reduces it's reward so that his fast remains correct and, inshaa.-Allaah, is accepted by Allaah.

It is befitting for the fasting person to busy himself in the remembrance of Allaah, reciting the Qur.aan and increasing in the performance of naafilah (voluntary) prayers.

It used to be that when the Pious Predecessors would fast, they would sit in the masaajid and they would say:

«We shall protect our fast and not backbite anyone».

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Whoever does not abandon evil speech and actions, then Allaah is not in need of him having left his food and drink (i.e. fasting»).

This is because seeking nearness to Allaah is not complete simply by leaving our personal desires (of eating and drinking, etc). Rather, it is by leaving that which Allaah has prohibited at all times in terms of lying, oppression and the like. In a narration, Abu Hurayrah said:

«The fast is accepted as worship so long as no Muslim has been backbitten or harmed».

And it is narrated by Anas, who said:

«The one who has backbitten the people whilst fasting has not really fasted».

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee - Volume 1, Pages 268-270

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Published: 10 November 2001
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Default The rulings pertaining to making up the fast

The rulings pertaining to making up the fast

Whoever breaks his fast or is unable to fast during Ramadhaan due to an Islaamically permissible reason, then he is required to make up for this day; such as the one whose fast is nullified due to having had sexual intercourse or other than that. In that case, he is required to make up the fast for this day, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{…the same number (should be made up) from other days}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 184]

It is recommended that he hasten to make up that which he has missed during Ramadhaan so as to relieve himself of the responsibility. Likewise, it is recommended that he makes up for that which he missed by fasting consecutively because doing so is like having fasted as such (during Ramadhaan).

However, if he does not immediately make up for that which he has missed, it is then permissible for him to delay it. This is because the available time-span (to make up the missed fasts) is open (until before the arrival of the following Ramadhaan).

Regarding all such obligations within which the time-span to perform that which is obligatory on a person is open, then it is permissible to delay it's performance so long as there exists a firm intention to carry it out. It is also permissible to make up the days intermittently. However, if there is not enough time remaining during the month of Sha'baan preceding the following Ramadhaan, it becomes obligatory to make up the days consecutively, noting that it is not permissible to delay it until the arrival of the following Ramadhaan without an Islaamically acceptable reason.

It is narrated on the authority of 'Aa.ishah, that she said:

«I used to have days to make up from Ramadhaan and it used to be that I was unable to make them up until Sha'baan». It's authenticity is agreed upon by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

So this hadeeth indicates that the time period within which it is permissible to make up the days missed during Ramadhaan is open (until before the arrival of the following Ramadhaan). If he was to delay in making up the fasts until the arrival of the following Ramadhaan, then he is required to fast the current fast of Ramadhaan and then make up for the missed fasts of the previous year afterwards. This is in addition to feeding a poor person half a saa' of the food of the land for every day (remaining to be made up). And if the cause of his delaying making up the fasts until the arrival of the following Ramadhaan is Islaamically acceptable, then he is simply required to make up the missed days from the previous Ramadhaan.

If he was to die before the arrival of the following Ramdhaan whilst still having fasts to make up from the previous Ramadhaan, then there is nothing required of him since he died within the permissible time limit within which to make up the missed fasts.

Likewise, if he was to die after the arrival of the following Ramadhaan and the reason for the delay is Islaamically acceptable, such as illness and travel, then there is nothing required of him (from the estate (wealth) he leaves behind).

However, if the reason for the delay was Islaamically unacceptable, then it is obligatory to pay a penalty from the estate (wealth) he has left behind, sufficient to feed a poor person for every fast remaining to be made up.

Additionally, if he died whilst having any fasts remaining to be made up, such as the fast of ransom or an obligatory fast arising out of any short-coming from the performance of the Hajj, then he is required to feed a poor person for every fast remaining to be made up. This is done from the estate (wealth) he has left behind, noting that no-one is required to make up the fasts on his behalf. The reason for this is that this type of fast does not permit someone else to fast on his behalf whilst he is alive, and likewise is the case upon his death. And this is the opinion of the people of knowledge.

And whoever dies whilst he has any fasts to make up due to an oath or vow he has taken, then it is recommended for the one in charge of his affairs after his death to fast on his behalf as is confirmed in both al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. A woman came to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and said: "My mother has died whilst having fasts to make up due to a vow she made. Should I fast on her behalf?" He said:

«Yes».

With reference to the one in charge of his affairs after his death, then this implies the inheritor.

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee - Volume 1, Pages 271-272

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Published: 22 October 2001
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Default What is required of the one who is unable to fast due to old age or a prolonged illne

What is required of the one who is unable to fast due to old age or a prolonged illness

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) has obligated the fast of Ramadhaan upon all able Muslims and for those who have an Islaamically valid reason and are later able to do so, then they must make up the fasts that they missed. There is another catergory to consider and they are those who are unable to fast during Ramadhaan and other than Ramadhaan due to old age or a persistent illness. In this case, Allaah has made easy their affairs for them by requiring them to simply feed a poor person half a saa' of the food of the land for every day (of Ramadhaan), this being a substitute for fasting.

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 286]

He (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (i.e. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a miskeen (poor and needy person) (for every day)}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 184]

Regarding this, Ibn 'Abbaas (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu) explains:

«That is for the old who are unable to fast», [transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]

As for the one who is suffering from a persistent illness, then his ruling is that of the aged, in that he is also required to feed a poor person for every day (of Ramadhaan).

As for he who is unable to fast due to changing circumstances, such as:
• The traveller;
• One who is ill and is expected to get better;
• A pregnant or breast-feeding woman who fears for herself or her child;
• A menstruating woman or one who is experiencing post-partum bleeding

...anyone who falls into any of the above categories is required to make up any fasts which they miss due to their Islaamically acceptable circumstances, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{…and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]

So one who is considerably ill such that fasting will harm him and the traveller who is permitted to shorten his obligatory prayers, then it is from the Sunnah for them to refrain from fasting in such circumstances, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{…the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]; i.e. then do not fast, rather, make up those fasting days which are missed after Ramadhaan has passed.

Also, He (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

{Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]

And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) was known to opt for the easier of the two permissible choices. It is mentioned in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«It is not from piety to fast whilst travelling»

However, if the traveller and one who was sufficiently ill and was to make experience difficulty in fasting were to fast, then that fast would be correct although it is disliked.

As for the menstruating women and the one experiencing post-partum bleeding, then it is prohibited for them to fast in such a state (until the complete respective terms and then take the ghusl of purification).

Regarding the pregnant and breast-feeding women, then it is obligatory on them to make up the fasts and those days they missed once Ramadhaan has passed. In addition, the one who did not fast because she feared for her child, then it is obligatory upon her to feed a poor person for each day missed.

It is obligatory upon the Muslim to make the intention for the obligatory fast during the night prior to the day of fasting; such as the fasting of Ramdhaan, the fast for a ransom or the fast for an oath or vow; by affirming the reason for which he is fasting, i.e. Ramadhaan or penalty or because of an oath or vow.

This is based upon the hadeeth of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) who said:

«Indeed, actions are but by intentions and for everyone is that which he intended…»

And on the authority of 'Aa.ishah, he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

«Whoever does not make the intention before the arrival of Fajr, his fast is not correct».

So it is obligatory to make the intention for an obligatory fast during the night prior to the day of fasting. Whoever makes the intention during the day, such as the one who wakes up late after Fajr and without eating anything, then his fast is not acceptable if he has made the intention after waking up in this state.

However, this is permissible for voluntary fasts in that the intention is acceptable if it is made during the day since 'Aa.ishah narrates that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) visited her at her house one day and said:

«Do you have anything (to eat)?»

...and she replied: «No». So he said:

«In that case, I am fasting», [transmitted by Muslim]

Note, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) was not fasting at the time since he had asked for some food to eat. So in this there is evidence as to the permissibility of delaying the making of the intention to fast providing the fast is voluntary.

Please note: The condition for the acceptability of the intention to fast a voluntary fast during the day is that you must not have eaten or drunk anything since Fajr nor done anything which renders the fast invalid. If he had done any of this, then the fast for that day is not acceptable. In this regard, there is no difference of opinion between the scholars.

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee - Volume 1, Pages 273-275


...
Published: 13 November 2001
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Default Re: FASTING in a nutshell (al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee, Sh. Fawzaan)

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