View Full Version : Fiqh-us-Sunnah , The Fast of Ramadan
09-16-2005, 09:20 AM
2.2 Fasting, RamadanReply
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.108a The Fast of Ramadan
The fast of Ramadan, according to the Qur'an, sunnah and consensus, is obligatory.
The evidence from the Qur'an consists of the following two verses: "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for the people before you in order for you to gain God consciousness, and, "...The month of Ramadan, during which the Qur'an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance and the criterion; and whoever of you is resident, let him fast the month" [al-Baqarah 185].
From the sunnah we have the following statements of the Prophet: "Islam is built upon [the following] five pillars: testifying that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, the establishment of the prayer, the giving of zakah, the fast of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Makkah." Talhah ibn 'Ubaydullah reported that a man came to the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, tell me what Allah requires of me as regards fasting." He answered, "The month of Ramadan." The man asked: "Is there any other [fast]?" The Prophet answered: "No, unless you do so voluntarily."
The whole Muslim nation agrees that the fast of Ramadan is obligatory. It is one of the pillars of Islam, and if one disputes this, he cannot be called a Muslim.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.109 The Virtues of Ramadan and the Deeds Done During It
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it, the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates to hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great]." This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, and al-Baihaqi.
'Arfajah testifies to this: "We were with 'Utbah ibn Farqad while he was discussing Ramadan. A companion of the Prophet entered upon the scene. When 'Utbah saw him, he became shy and stopped talking. The man [the companion] spoke about Ramadan, saying: 'I heard the Messenger of Allah say during Ramadan: "The gates of Hell are closed, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the devils are in chains. An angel calls out: 'O you who intend to do good deeds, have glad tidings. O you who intend to do evil, refrain, until Ramadan is completed.'"
Muslim relates that Abu Hurayrah reported the Prophet saying: "The time between the five prayers, two consecutive Friday prayers, and two consecutive Ramadans are expiations for all that has happened during that period, provided that one has avoided the grave sins."
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan, obeying all of its limitations and guarding himself against what is forbidden, has in fact atoned for any sins he committed before it." Ahmad and al-Baihaqi related this hadith with a good chain.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and seeks Allah's pleasure and reward will have his previous sins forgiven." This hadith is related by Ahmad and the compilers of the sunan.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.110 The Consequence of Breaking the Fast of Ramadan
Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet said: "The bare essence of Islam and the basics of the religion are three [acts], upon which Islam has been established. Whoever leaves one of them becomes an unbeliever and his blood may legally be spilled. [The acts are:] Testifying that there is no God except Allah, the obligatory prayers, and the fast of Ramadan." This hadith is related by Abu Ya'la and ad-Dailimi. Adh-Dhahabi called it sahih.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), said: "Whoever breaks his fast during Ramadan without having one of the excuses that Allah would excuse him for, then even a perpetual fast, if he were to fast it, would not make up for that day." This is related by Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi.
Al-Bukhari records from Abu Hurayrah in marfu' form: "Whoever breaks the fast of Ramadan without having a legitimate excuse or being ill, he cannot make up for that day, even if he were to undertake a perpetual fast." Ibn Mas'ud has also reported this.
Adh-Dhahabi says: "According to the established believers, anyone who leaves the fast of Ramadan without being sick is worse than a fornicator or an alcoholic. In fact, they doubt his Islam and they suspect that he might be a zandiqah and one of those who destroy [Islam].
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.111 The Arrival of Ramadan
This event is confirmed by sighting the new moon, even if it is seen by only one just person, or by the passage of thirty days in the immediately preceding month of Sha'ban.
Ibn 'Umar said: "The people were looking for the new moon and when I reported to the Messenger of Allah that I had seen it, he fasted and ordered the people to fast." This is related by Abu Dawood, al-Hakim, and Ibn Hibban, who declared it to be sahih.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet instructed: "Fast after you have seen it [the new crescent] and end the fast [at the end of the month] when you see it. If it is hidden from you, then wait until the thirty days of Sha'ban have passed." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Commenting on these reports, at-Tirmidhi states: "Most knowledgeable people act in accordance with these reports. They say that it is correct to accept the evidence of one person to determine the beginning of the fast. This is the opinion of Ibn al Mubarak, ash-Shaf'i, and Ahmad. An-Nawawi says that it is the soundest opinion. Concerning the new moon of Shawwal [which signifies the end of the fast], it is confirmed by completing thirty days of Ramadan, and most jurists state that the new moon must have been reported by at least two just witnesses. However, Abu Thaur does not distinguish between the new moon of Shawwal and the new moon of Ramadan. In both cases, he accepts the evidence of only one just witness."
Ibn-Rushd comments that: "The opinion of Abu Bakr ibn al Mundhir, which is also that of Abu Thaur and, I suspect, that of the Dhahiri school of thought, is supported by the following argument given by Abu Bakr al-Mundhiri: there is complete agreement that breaking the fast is obligatory, that abstaining from eating is based on one person's report, and that the situation must be like that for the beginning of the month and for the ending of the month, as both of them are simply the signs that differentiate the time of fasting from the time of not fasting."
Ash-Shawkani observes: "If there is nothing authentic recorded that states that one may only accept two witnesses for the end of the month, then it is apparent, by analogy, that one witness is sufficient, as it is sufficient for the beginning of the month. Furthermore, worship based on the acceptance of one report points to the fact that such singular reports are accepted in every matter unless there is some evidence that specifies the peculiarity of specific cases, such as the number of witnesses concerning matters of wealth, and so on. Apparently this is the opinion of Abu Thaur."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.112 Different Locations
According to the majority of scholars, it does not matter if the new moon has been sighted in a different location. In other words, after the new moon is seen anywhere in the world, it becomes obligatory for all Muslims to begin fasting, as the Prophet said: "Fast due to its sighting and break the fast due to its sighting." This hadith is a general address directed to the whole Muslim world - that is, "if any one of you sees the moon in any place, then that will be a sighting for all of the people."
According to 'Ikrimah, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, Salim, Ishaq, the correct opinion among the Hanafiyyah, and the chosen opinion among the Shaf'iyyah, every "country" (or territory) is to take into consideration its own sighting and not necessarily to follow the sighting of others. This is based on what Kuraib said: "While I was in ash-Sham, the new moon of Ramadan appeared on Thursday night. I returned to Madinah at the end of the month. There, Ibn 'Abbas asked me: 'When did you people see the new moon?' I said: 'We saw it on Thursday night.' He said: 'Did you see it yourself?' I said: 'Yes, the people saw it, and they and Mu'awiyyyah fasted.' He said: 'But we saw it on Friday night. We will not stop fasting until we complete thirty days or until we see the new moon.' I said: 'Isn't Mu'awiyyah's sighting and fasting sufficient for you?' He said: 'No . . . This is the order of the Messenger of Allah.' " This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and at-Tirmidhi.
About the hadith, at-Tirmidhi says: "It is Hasan sahih ghareeb. Scholars act in accordance with this hadith. Every land has its sighting." In Fath al-'Alam Sharh Bulugh al-Maram, it is stated: The [opinion] closest [to the truth] is that each land follows its sighting, as well as the areas that are connected to it."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.113 Sighting of the Crescent by one Person
The scholars of Fiqh agree that if only one person sees the new moon, he is to fast. 'Ata differs and says that he is not to fast until someone else also sights the new moon with him. The correct position is that he is to break the fast, as ash-Shaf'i and Abu Thaur have ruled. The Prophet has based the fast and its breaking on the sighting of the moon. One's own sight is enough for him and there is no need for another person's sighting.
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09-16-2005, 09:21 AM
3 Fasting, Essential Elements ofReply
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.113a The Essential Elements of the Fast
The fast has two essential elements (literally, "pillars") that must be fulfilled for it to be valid and acceptable. They are: 1. The intention to fast, 2. Abstaining from acts which break the fast.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.113b 2. Abstaining from Acts That Break the Fast
This point is based on the Qur'anic verse: "Eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast until nightfall."
This is also based on the following hadith: "When the verse 'Eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you...' was revealed, I took a black thread and a white thread and placed them underneath my pillow. During the night I looked at them to see if I could distinguish between them. In the morning I went to the Messenger of Allah and mentioned that to him and he said: 'It is the black of the night and the white of the day.'"
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.113c 1. The Intention
Allah instructs in the Qur'an: "And they are ordained nothing else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him." (Bayyina 5) The Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Actions are judged according to the intention behind them, and for everyone is what he intended."
The intention must be made before Fajr and during every night of Ramadan. This point is based on the hadith of Hafsah which reported that the Prophet said: "Whoever does not determine to fast before Fajr will have no fast" (that is, it won't be accepted). This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Majah. Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban have classified it as sahih.
The intention is valid during any part of the night. It need not be spoken, as it is in reality an act of the heart which does not involve the tongue. It will be fulfilled by one's intention to fast out of obedience to Allah and for seeking His pleasure.
If one eats one's pre-dawn meal (sahoor) with the intention of fasting and to get closer to Allah by such abstinence, then one has performed the intention. If one determines that one will fast on the next day solely for the sake of Allah, then one has performed the intention even if a pre-dawn meal was not consumed.
According to many of the jurists, the intention for a voluntary fast may be made at any time before any food is consumed. This opinion is based on 'Aisha's hadith: "The Prophet came to us one day and said: 'Do you have any [food]?' We said, 'No.' He said: 'Therefore, I am fasting." This is related by Muslim and Abu Dawood.
The Hanafiyyah and Shaf'iyyah stipulate that the intention must be made before noon (for voluntary fasts). The apparent opinion of Ibn Mas'ud and Ahmad is that the intention may be made before or after noon.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.114 Who must Fast
All scholars agree that fasting is obligatory upon every sane, adult, healthy Muslim male who is not traveling at that time. As for a woman, she must not be menstruating or having post-childbirth bleeding. People who are insane, minors, and those who are traveling, menstruating, or going through post-childbirth bleeding, and the elderly and breast-feeding or pregnant women do not need to observe the fast.
For some, the fast is not obligatory at all, for example, the insane. In the case of young people, their parents or guardians should order them to fast. Some are to break the fast and make up the missed days of fasting at a later date, while others are to break the fast and pay a "ransom" (in which case, they are not obliged to make up the days they missed). We shall discuss each group in more detail.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.114a The Fast of the Insane
Fasting is not obligatory for the insane because of their inability to understand what they are doing. 'Ali reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "The pen is raised for three groups [of people]--that is, they will not be responsible for their actions: the insane until they become sane, those who are sleeping until they awaken, and the young until they reach puberty." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and at-Tirmidhi.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.114b The Fast of the Young [Non-Adults]
Though the young are not required to fast, it is proper for their guardians to encourage them to fast so they will become accustomed to it at an early age. They may fast as long as they are able to and then may break it. Ar-Rabi'a bint Mu'awiyyah reported: "The Messenger of Allah sent a man, on the morning of the day of 'Ashurah, to the residences of the Ansar, saying: 'Whoever has spent the morning fasting is to complete his fast. Whoever has not spent this morning fasting should fast for the remainder of the day.' We fasted after that announcement, as did our young children. We would go to the mosque and make toys stuffed with cotton for them to play with. If one of them started crying due to hunger, we would give them a toy to play with until it was time to eat." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.115 Those Who Are Permitted to Break the Fast, but Must Pay a "Ransom" for Not Fasting
Elderly men and women are permitted to break their fasts, as are the chronically ill, and those who have to perform difficult jobs under harsh circumstances and who could not find any other way to support themselves. All of these people are allowed to break their fast, because such a practice would place too much hardship on them during any part of the year. They are obliged to feed one poor person [miskin] a day (for every day of fasting that they do not perform). The scholars differ over how much food is to be supplied, for example, a sa', half a sa', or a madd. There is nothing in the sunnah that mentions exactly how much is to be given.
Ibn 'Abbas said: "An elderly man is permitted to break his fast, but he must feed a poor person daily. If he does this, he does not have to make up the days that he did not fast. This is related by ad-Daraqutni and by al-Hakim, who said it is sahih.
Al-Bukhari recorded that 'Ata heard Ibn 'Abbas recite the 'ayah: "And for those who can fast [but do not], there is a "ransom': the feeding of a person in need" [al-Baqarah 185]. Then Ibn 'Abbas continued: "It has not been abrogated. [Its ruling applies] to elderly men and women who are not able to fast. Instead, they must feed one poor person on a daily basis."
The same is true for one who is chronically ill and as such cannot fast, and for one who is forced to work under harsh circumstances and as such cannot endure the additional burden of fasting. Both groups must also feed one poor person daily.
Commenting on al-Baqarah's 'ayah, Sheikh Muhammad 'Abduh says: "What is meant by those who can fast' [(but do not) in the Qur'anic verse] is the weak elderly people, the chronically ill, and so on, and similarly, those workers who are working under severe conditions, such as coal miners. The same applies to criminals who are sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. They have to pay the 'ransom' if they have the means to do so."
Pregnant and breast-feeding women, if they fear for themselves or for the baby, can break the fast and pay the "ransom." They do not have to make up the days missed. Abu Dawood related from 'Ikrimah that Ibn 'Abbas said concerning the 'ayah "And for those who can fast [but do not],": "This is a concession for the elderly, as they can fast. They are to break the fast and feed one poor person a day. Pregnant or breast-feeding women, if they fear for the child, can do likewise." This is related by al-Bazzar. At the end of the report, there is the addition: "Ibn 'Abbas used to say to his wives who were pregnant: 'You are in the same situation as those who can fast [but do not]. You are to pay the "ransom" and do not have to make up the days later.' " Of its chain, ad-Daraqutni says it is sahih.
Nafi' reported that Ibn 'Umar was asked about a pregnant woman who feared for her unborn baby. He replied: "She is to break the fast and to feed one poor person a day one madd of barley."
There is also a hadith that states: "Allah has relieved the travelers of fasting and half of the prayer, and the pregnant and the breast-feeding women of the fast."According to the Hanafiyyah, Abu Ubayd, and Abu Thaur, such women are only to make up the missed days of fasting, and they are not supposed to feed one poor person a day.
According to Ahmad and ash-Shaf'i, if such women fear only for the baby, they must pay the "ransom" and make up the days later. If they fear only for themselves or for themselves and the baby, then they are only to make up the missed days at a later date.
09-16-2005, 09:22 AM
4 Fasting, Making Up Missed FastReply
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.116 Making up the Missed Days of Fasting
It is allowed for those who are (not chronically) ill and for travelers to break their fasts during Ramadan, but they must make up the days they missed. Allah says in the Qur'an: "And [for] him who is sick among you or on a journey, [the same] number of other days."
Mu'adh said: "Verily, Allah made the fast obligatory upon the Prophet by revealing: 'O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you...' until the words, 'And for those who can fast [but do not] there is a "ransom" payment...' Then, whoever wished to do so would fast and whoever wished to do so would feed a poor person, and that was sufficient for them. Then Allah revealed another verse: 'The month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was revealed...' to the words: 'Whoever is resident among you during this month is to fast.' [By this verse,] the fast was established for those who were resident and healthy. A concession was made for the sick and travelers, and the feeding of the poor by the elderly who could not fast was [left] confirmed." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and al-Baihaqi with a sahih chain.
A sick person may break his fast which, if continued, would only aggravate the illness or delay its cure. In al-Mughni it is stated: "It is related from some of the early scholars that any type of illness allows one to break the fast, even an injury to the finger or a toothache. They based their opinion on the following:
1. the wording of the verse is general and applies to all types of illness, and
2. a traveler is allowed to break his fast even if he does not need to and, therefore, the same must be the case for one who is sick." This was also the opinion of al-Bukhari, 'Ata, and the Dhahiri school of thought.
One who is healthy but fears that he will become ill if he fasts can break the fast, as can the person who is overcome by hunger and/or thirst and fears that he may die because of it, even if he is resident and healthy. He must make up the days of fasting that he missed. The following two Qur'anic 'ayahs support this point: "And do not kill yourselves, Lo! Allah is ever Merciful to you," and "He has not laid upon you in your religion any hardship."
If a sick person fasts and withstands the hardships of the fast, his fast will be valid but disliked, for he did not accept the concession Allah gave him, thereby causing himself much hardship. Some of the companions would fast during the Prophet's lifetime while others would not (that is, if they were ill), thereby following the verdict of the Prophet. Hamzah al-Aslami said: "O Messenger of Allah, I find within me the strength to fast while traveling. Would there be any blame upon me if I were to do so?" The Prophet, (pbuh), answered: "It is a concession from Allah. Whoever takes it has done well. Whoever likes to fast, there is no blame upon him." This is related by Muslim.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported: "We traveled with the Messenger of Allah to Makkah while we were fasting. We stopped at a place and the Messenger of Allah said: 'You are coming close to your enemies. You will be stronger if you break the fast.' That was a concession and some of us fasted and some of us broke our fasts. Then we came to another place and the Prophet said: 'In the morning you will face your enemy. Breaking the fast will give you more strength.' So we broke our fast, taking that as the best course of action. After that, you could see some of us fasting with the Prophet while traveling." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawood.
In another report, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said: "We fought under the leadership of the Messenger of Allah during Ramadan. Some of us fasted and some of us did not. The ones who fasted did not find any fault with those who did not fast, and those who did not fast found no fault with those who fasted. They knew that if one had the strength to fast he could do so and it was good, and that if one was weak, he was allowed to break his fast, and that was good." This is related by Ahmad and Muslim.
The jurists differ over what is preferred (that is, to fast or not to fast while traveling). Abu Hanifah, ash-Shaf'i, and Malik are of the opinion that if one has the ability to fast, it is better for him to do so, and if one does not have the ability to fast, it is better for him to break the fast. Ahmad said that it is best to break the fast. 'Umar ibn 'Abdul Aziz says: "The best of the two acts is the easier of the two. If it is easier for one to fast than to make up the day later on, then, in his case, to fast is better."
Ash-Shawkani has concluded that if it is difficult for an individual to fast or to reject the concession, then it is best for him not to fast (while traveling). Similarly, if one fears that one's fasting during travel will look like showing off, then in this case, breaking the fast would be preferred. If one is not faced with such conditions, then fasting would be preferred.
If a traveler makes the intention (to fast) during the night, he can still break his fast during the day. Jabir ibn 'Abdullah reported:
"The Messenger of Allah left for Makkah during the year of the conquest [of Makkah] and he and the people with him fasted until he reached a certain valley. He then called for a cup of water, which he elevated so that the people could see it, and then he drank. Afterwards, he was told that some people had continued to fast, and he said: 'Those are disobedient ones, those are disobedient ones.' " This is related by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, and an-Nasa'i. At-Tirmidhi called it sahih.
If one has already made the intention to fast while resident but then decided to travel during the day, the majority of scholars maintain that he must fast. Ahmad and Ishaq say that he may break the fast. This opinion is based on the report of Muhammad ibn Ka'b who said: "I came to Anas ibn Malik during Ramadan while he was planning on traveling. His mount was prepared for him, and he was wearing his clothes for traveling. He asked for some food and ate. I said to him: 'Is this a sunnah?' He said, 'Yes.' Then he mounted his animal and left." This is related by at-Tirmidhi, who called it Hasan.
'Ubayd ibn Jubair said: "During Ramadan, I rode on a ship with Abu Basra al-Ghafari from al-Fustat. He prepared his food and said, "Come [and eat]." I said: "Are we not still among the houses [of the city - that is, they had not left yet]?" Abu Basra asked: "Are you turning away from the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah?" This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawood. Its narrators are trustworthy.
Ash-Shawkani contends: "These two hadith prove that a traveler may break his fast before he begins his journey. Of its credentials, Ibn al-'Arabi says: 'Concerning the hadith of Anas, it is sahih and proves that one can break the fast when he is prepared to travel.'" This is the correct position.
The type of travel that allows one to break his fast is the same as the traveling which allows one to shorten the prayers. We have discussed all of the opinions on this point under the section Shortening the Prayers, and we have also recorded Ibn al-Qayyim's conclusions on this question.
Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Baihaqi, and at-Tahawi recorded from Mansur al-Kalbi that Dihya ibn Khalifah traveled a distance of one farsakh during Ramadan. When he broke his fast, some of the people accompanying him did likewise. Some of them did not agree with this action. On his return to his city, Dihya said: "I saw something today that I did not suspect I would ever see. The people turned away the Messenger of Allah's guidance and that of his companions." He said that about the people who had fasted. Then he said: "O Allah, take [my soul] to you." All of its narrators are trustworthy, except for Mansur al-Kalbi... although al-'Ijli affirms his credibility.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.120 Those Who must Make up the Missed Days
The scholars agree that it is obligatory for menstruating women and women with post childbirth bleeding to break the fast and to make up the missed days later on. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that 'Aisha said: "When we would have our menses during the lifetime of the Prophet, we were ordered to make up the days of fasting that we had missed but were not ordered to make up the prayers that we had missed.
2.5 Fasting, Forbidden Days To Fast
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.120a The Days of 'Id
All scholars agree that such a fast is prohibited. It does not matter if the fast is obligatory or voluntary. 'Umar testifies: "The Messenger of Allah has forbidden fasting on these two days. Concerning the 'id of breaking the fast, it is for you to break your fast [of Ramadan]. On the 'id of sacrifice, you should eat from what you sacrifice." This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Majah.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.120b The Days of Tashreeq (Three Days Following the 'Id al-Adha)
It is not permissible to fast during the three days following the 'Id al-Adha. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), sent 'Abdullah ibn Hudhaqah to announce at Mina: "You are not to fast these days. They are days of eating and drinking and remembering Allah." This is related by Ahmad with a good chain.
Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), sent a person to announce: "Do not fast on these days, as they are days of eating, drinking and rejoicing with one's family." At-Tabarani related it in al-'Awsat.
The Shaf'iyyah allow fasting on the days of tashreeq if there is some reason for the fasting - that is, if it is due to an oath, for expiation, or for making up a missed day of Ramadan. Those fasts that have no special reason behind them are not allowed, and there is no disagreement on this point. The Shaf'iyyah applied the same reasoning that they used in saying that prayers that are performed for a specific reason are allowed to be performed during the prohibited times of prayer [for example, the prayer of salutation to the mosque, and so on].
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.121 Prohibited to Single out Friday as a Day of Fasting
The day of Friday is a kind of weekly 'id for Muslims and, therefore, it is prohibited to fast on that day. Most scholars say that this prohibition is one of dislike,9 not one of complete forbiddance.
If one fasts on the day before or after it, or if it is a day that one customarily fasts on (for example, the 13th, 14th, or 15th of the month), or if it is the day of 'Arafah or 'Ashurah, then it is not disliked to fast on such a Friday.
'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah entered the room of Juwairiyah bint al-Harith while she was fasting on a Friday. He asked her: "Did you fast yesterday?" She answered, "No." He said: "Do you plan to fast tomorrow?" She answered, "No." Therefore he said: "Then break your fast." This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i with a good chain.
'Amr al-'Ashari reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: "Verily, Friday is an 'id for you, so do not fast on it unless you fast the day before or after it." This is related by al-Bazzar with a good chain.
'Ali counseled: "He who wants to [fast] voluntarily should fast on Thursday instead of Friday, for Friday is a day of eating, drinking, and remembrance." This is related by Ibn Abu Shaibah with a good chain.
In the two Sahih (those of al-Bukhari and Muslim), Jabir reported that the Prophet said: "Do not fast on Friday unless you fast on it together with the day before or the day after." Muslim's version states: "Do not exclusively choose the night of Friday [Thursday night in English] as a special night for performing the night prayers. Also, do not exclusively choose Friday as a day of fasting unless it occurs on a day that you regularly fast."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.122 Prohibited to Single out Saturday as a Day of Fasting
Busr as-Salmi related from his sister as-Sama' that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), said: "Do not fast on Saturdays unless it is an obligatory fast. [You should not fast] even if you do not find anything [to eat] save some grape peelings or a branch of a tree to chew on."
This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim. Al-Hakim said that it is sahih according to the conditions of Muslim, while at-Tirmidhi called it Hasan. At-Tirmidhi said that what is disliked here is for a person to exclusively choose Saturday as a day of fasting, as it is the day that the Jews honor.
In contradiction with the preceding report, Umm Salamah claims: "The Prophet used to fast more often on Saturdays and Sundays than on the other days. He would say: 'They are the 'ids of the Polytheists, and I love to differ from them.' " This is related by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi, al-Hakim, and Ibn Khuzaimah who called it sahih.
The Hanafiyyah, Shaf'iyyah, and Hanbaliyyah say it is disliked to fast on Saturday by itself due to the preceding evidence. Malik differs from them, but the hadith is proof against him.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.122a The "Day of Doubt"
'Ammar ibn Yasir said: "Whoever fasts the 'day of doubt' has disobeyed Abu al-Qasim [the Prophet]." This is related by an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Majah.
Of its status, at-Tirmidhi says: "It is a Hasan sahih hadith. Most of the knowledgeable people act in accordance with it. It is the opinion of Sufyan ath-Thauri, Malik ibn Anas, 'Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, and Ishaq. They all hate that one fasts on a 'day of doubt.' Most of them believe that if one fasts on such a day and it turns out to be Ramadan, then that day still has to be made up later. If such a day occurs during one's regular fasting period, then it is permissible to fast on such a day."
As related by "the group," Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Do not precede Ramadan by fasting the day or two before it unless it is a day on which the person usually fasts."
About this hadith, at-Tirmidhi says: "The hadith is Hasan sahih and the scholars act in accordance with it. They dislike that a person should hasten Ramadan by fasting on the day before it. If a person usually fasts on a day and 'the day of doubt' occurs on that day, then there is no problem with his fasting on that day, in their opinion."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.123 Forbidden to Fast Every Day of the Year
It is forbidden to do so because there are certain days of the year on which one is not allowed to fast. The Messenger of Allah said: "There is no [reward for] fasting for the one who perpetually fasts." This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim.
If one breaks his fast during the days of 'id and the days of tashreeq, then his perpetual fasting would no longer be considered disliked. In his comments on this issue, at-Tirmidhi says: "A group of scholars dislike fasting every day if it includes the 'ids ('id al-Fitr, 'id al-Adha) and the days of Tashreeq. If one breaks his fast on those days, his action is no longer disliked, as he is no longer fasting the whole year." The scholars are Malik, ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, and Ishaq.
The Prophet approved of Hamzah al-Aslami's nurnerous fasts when he told him: "Fast if you wish and break your fast if you wish." This hadith was mentioned earlier.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.123a Woman needs Husband's Permission to Fast in his Presence
The Messenger of Allah forbade a woman to fast if her husband was present until he gave her his permission to do so. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said: "A woman is not to fast [even] for one day while her husband is present except with his permission, unless it is during Ramadan." This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim. The scholars have interpreted this prohibition as one of forbiddance, and they allow the husband to end his wife's fasting if she fasted without his permission and he seeks his right [to sex] from her. This is also true, obviously, for days other than those of Ramadan in which case she does not need her husband's permission. Similarly, if she fasted without his permission because he was not present, he has the right to end her fast when he returns.
If the husband is sick or incapable of intercourse, it is permissible for the woman to fast without his permission--that is, it is similar to the case of where the husband is not present.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.124 Forbidden to Fast Consecutive Days Without Eating at All [Al-Wisal]
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), said: "Do not perform al-wisal." He said that three times and the people said to him: "But you perform al-wisal, O Messenger of Allah!" He said: "You are not like me in that matter. I spend the night in such a state that Allah feeds me and gives me to drink.. Devote yourselves to the deeds which you can perform." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
The scholars say this prohibition implies that the act is disliked. Ahmad and Ishaq say that it is allowed to fast until the time of the pre-dawn meal as long as it is not a hardship on the one fasting. This opinion is based on what al-Bukhari recorded on the authority of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Do not make al-wisal. If one of you insists on making al-wisal, he may continue his fast [after sunset] until the time of the pre-dawn
2.6 Fasting, Voluntary Fasts
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.124a Voluntary Fasts
The Prophet has exhorted us to fast during the following days: six days of the month of Shawwal, first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah for those not performing the pilgrimage, month of Muharram.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.124b Six Days of the Month of Shawwal
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be [rewarded] as if he had fasted the entire year." This is related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and an-Nasa'i.
According to Ahmad, one may fast on these days consecutively or non consecutively, as neither practice is preferred over the other. Hanafiyyah and Shaf'iyyah maintain that it is preferable to fast on consecutive days after the 'id.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.124c The First Ten Days of Dhul-hijjah, Especially the Day of Arafah, for Those Who Are Not Performing the Pilgrimage
1. Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of 'Ashurah is an expiation for the year preceding it." This is related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi.
2. Hafsah reported: "There are five things that the Prophet never abandoned: fasting the day of 'Ashurah, fasting the [first] ten [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting three days of every month and praying two rak'ah before the dawn prayer." This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.
3. 'Uqbah ibn 'Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "The day of 'Arafah, the day of sacrifice, and the days of tashreeq are 'ids for us--the people of Islam--and they are days of eating and drinking." This is related by "the five," except for Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi grades it sahih.
4. Abu Hurayrah stated: "The Messenger of Allah forbade fasting on the day of 'Arafah for one who is actually at 'Arafah." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, an-Nasa'i, and Ibn Majah.
At-Tirmidhi comments: "The scholars prefer that the day of 'Arafah be fasted unless one is actually at 'Arafah."
5. Umm al-Fadl said: "The people were in doubt over whether or not the Prophet was fasting on the day of 'Arafah. I sent him some milk, and he drank it while he was delivering an address to the people at 'Arafah." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.125 During the Month of Muharram, Especially the Days of 'Ashurah (Day of 'Ashurah and the Days Immediately Preceding and Following it)
Abu Hurayrah reported: "I asked the Prophet: 'Which prayer is the best after the obligatory prayers?' He said: 'Prayer during the middle of the night.' I asked: 'Which fast is the best after the fast of Ramadan?' He said, 'The month of Allah that you call Muharram.' " This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawood.
Mu'awiyyah ibn Abu Sufyan reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: "Concerning the day of 'Ashurah, it is not obligatory upon you to fast on it as I do. Whoever wishes may fast and whoever does not wish to is not obliged to do so." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
'Aisha stated: "The tribe of Quraish used to fast on the day of 'Ashurah in the days before Islam, as did the Prophet. When he came to Madinah, he still fasted on it and ordered the people to do likewise. Then, when fasting during the month of Ramadan became obligatory, he said: 'Whoever wishes may fast ['Ashurah] and whoever wishes may leave it." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashurah. He said to them: 'What is this fast?' They said: 'A great day. Allah saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.' The Prophet said: 'We have more of a right to Moses than you,' so he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day." This is recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
According to al-Bukhari and Muslim, Musa al-Ash'ari reported: "The Jews would honor the day of 'Ashurah as an 'id. The Prophet said: 'You [Muslims] are to fast on it.'"
Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Messenger of Allah fasted on the day of 'Ashurah and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said: 'O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.' The Prophet said, 'When the following year comes--Allah willing--we shall fast on the ninth.' The death of the Prophet came before the following year." This is recorded by Muslim and Abu Dawood. In one version the wording is: "If I remain until next year, we shall fast the ninth," meaning, the tenth. This is related by Muslim and Abu Dawood.
The scholars have mentioned that the fast of 'Ashurah is of three levels:
1. fasting three days--that is, on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of Muharram;
2. fasting on the 9th and 10th; and
3. fasting only on the 10th.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.126 Being Generous in Providing Household Provisions on the Day of 'Arafah
Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever is generous to himself and to his family on the day of 'Ashurah will have Allah's generosity bestowed on him for the rest of the year." This is related by al-Baihaqi in ash-Shu'ab and by Ibn 'Abdul-Barr. The hadith has other chains, but they are all weak; however, strung together these chains strengthen the rank of the hadith, as as-Sakhawi said.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.127 Fasting Most of the Month of Sha'ban (The Month Preceding Ramadan)
The Prophet would fast most of the month of Sha'ban. 'Aisha said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast a complete month save for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Sha'ban." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Sha'ban." The Prophet responded: "That is a month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting." This is related by Abu Dawood, an-Nasa'i, and by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih.
Some people fast on the 15th of Sha'ban in particular, thinking that that day contains more virtues than the other days. This is an unsubstantiated claim.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.127a Fasting During the four "Forbidden" Months
The "forbidden" months (during which killing is forbidden) are Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. It is preferred to fast a lot during these months.
A man from Bahila came to the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I am the man who came to you during the first year." The Prophet, (pbuh), said: "What has changed you? You used to be much more handsome!" He answered: "I did not eat save during the night since I left you." The Messenger of Allah asked: "Why did you punish yourself? Fast during the month of patience [that is, Ramadan] and then one day of every month." The man said: "Add something to that for me, for I have more strength than that." The Prophet responded: "Fast two days [a month]." The man said: "Add more for me." The Prophet said three times: "Fast from the forbidden months, then leave fasting." He pointed with three of his fingers by clenching them and releasing them. This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi with a good chain.
Fasting during Rajab contains no more virtue than during any other month. There is no sound report from the sunnah that states that it has a special reward. All that has been related concerning it is not strong enough to be used as a proof. Ibn Hajr says: "There is no authentic hadith related to its virtues, not fasting during it or on certain days of it, nor concerning exclusively making night prayers during that month."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.128 Fasting Mondays and Thursdays
Abu Hurayrah reported that the most the Prophet would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: "The actions are presented on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are boycotting each other. He says [about them]: 'Leave them.' " This is related by Ahmad with a sahih chain. It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet, when asked about fasting on Monday, said: "That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received revelations."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.128a Fasting Three Days of Every Month
Abu Dharr al-Ghafari reported: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to fast for three days of every month--that is, on the days of the full moon (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the lunar month). And he said: 'It is like fasting the whole year.' " This is related by an-Nasa'i and by Ibn Hibban, who called it sahih.
It is related that the Prophet would fast on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of one month and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the next month. He would also fast for three days at the beginning of the month, or on the first Thursday and the next two Mondays of the month.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.128b Fasting One Day and Not Fasting the Next
Abu Salama ibn 'Abdur Rahman reported from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr that the Prophet, (pbuh), said to him: 'I have been informed that you stay up in prayer during the night and fast during the day. 'Abdullah answered: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." The Prophet said: "Fast and do not fast, pray and sleep, for your body, your wife, and your guests have a right upon you. It is sufficient for you to fast three days a month." 'Abdullah said: "I wanted to be stricter on myself and I said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have the strength to do more." The Prophet said: "Then fast three days a week." 'Abdullah said: "I have the strength to do more!" The Prophet said: "Fast the fast of the Prophet David and do not do more than that!" 'Abdullah inquired: "And what was the fast of David?" The Prophet replied: "He would fast one day and then not fast the next." This is recorded by Ahmad and others.
Ahmad also related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr that the Prophet said: "The fast most loved by Allah is the fast of David, and the most loved prayer is the prayer of David. He would sleep half the night, pray for a third of the night, and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. He would also fast one day and then eat on the next."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.129 Permissible for One Performing a Voluntary Fast to Break His Fast
Umm Hani reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), entered her room during the day of the conquest of Makkah. He was offered something to drink and he drank from it. Then he offered it to Umm Hani and she said: "I am fasting." The Prophet said: "The one who is fasting voluntarily is in charge of himself. If you wish you may fast and if you wish you may break your fast." This is recounted by Ahmad, ad-Daraqutni, and al-Baihaqi. Al-Hakim also related it and said that its chain is sahih. The version he recorded states: "And if one wishes he may fast and if he wishes he may break his fast."
Abu Juhaifah said: "The Prophet established the bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abu ad-Darda. Once, Salman visited Abu ad-Darda and saw Umm ad-Darda wearing very plain clothes. He said to her: 'What's happening to you?' She said: 'Your brother Abu ad-Darda has no need in this world.' When Abu ad-Darda came, he prepared some food for Salman and said: 'Eat, for I am fasting.' Salman said: 'I shall not eat until you eat.' So he ate. When it was night, Abu ad-Darda got up to pray and Salman said, 'Sleep,' and he did so. Toward the end of the night Salman woke Abu ad-Darda and said, Pray now.' And they prayed. Salman told him: 'Your Lord has a right upon you, you have a right upon yourself, and so does your wife. Give each one its due right.' Abu ad-Darda went to the Prophet and told him what Salman had said. The Prophet said: 'Salman has said the truth.' " This is related by al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said: "I prepared food for the Prophet. He came to me with some of his companions. When the food was laid out, one of the men said: 'I am fasting.' The Messenger of Allah said: 'Your brother has invited you and incurred expenses in your behalf.' Then he asked [him], Break your fast and fast another day in its place if you wish.' " This is related by al-Baihaqi. Al-Hafidh says it has a Hasan chain.
Most scholars maintain that one who is performing a voluntary fast can break it. It is, however, preferred to make up that day later on. The preceding view is clear and authentic hadith are support for that position.
2.7 Fasting, Manners of Fasting
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.130 Eating a Pre-Dawn Meal
All Muslims agree that it is preferred to eat a pre-dawn meal and that there is no sin upon one who does not do so. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Eat a pre-dawn meal, for there are blessings in it." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Al-Miqdam ibn Madyakrib reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "You should eat this pre-dawn meal for it is a blessed nourishment." This is related by an-Nasa'i with a good chain. The reason why it is a blessing is that it strengthens the fasting person, makes him more energetic, and makes the fast easier for him.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.130a What Would Fulfill the Sunnah of Eating a Pre-Dawn Meal
The sunnah would be fulfilled by eating a small or large quantity of food, or even just by drinking a sip of water. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "The pre-dawn meal is blessed, so do not neglect it even if you only take a sip of water. Verily, Allah and the angels pray for those who have pre-dawn meals." This is related by Ahmad.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.130b Time for the Pre-Dawn Meal
The time for the pre-dawn meal is between the middle of the night and dawn. It is considered best to delay it (that is, as close to dawn a possible). Zaid ibn Thabit reported: "We ate the pre-dawn meal with the Messenger of Allah and then we got up for the prayer. He was asked: 'What was the amount of time between the two?' He responded: '[The time it would take to recite] fifty verses.' " This is recounted by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
'Amr ibn Maimun adds: "The companions of Muhammad, (pbuh), would be the first to break the fast and the last to eat their pre-dawn meals." This is recorded by al-Baihaqi with a sahih chain.
Abu Dharr al-Ghafari related that the Prophet said: "My nation will always retain some goodness as long as they hasten breaking the fast and delay eating the pre-dawn meal." This hadith has in its chain one Sulaym ibn Abu Uthman who is unknown.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.131 Doubt Concerning the Time of Fajr
If one is in doubt whether or not the time of Fajr has begun or not, he may continue to eat and drink until he is certain that it is Fajr. He should not base his action on doubt or suspicion. Allah has made the signs for beginning the daily fast very clear and unambiguous. Allah enjoins (upon the believers) in the Qur'an: "Eat and drink until the white thread of the dawn becomes distinct from the black thread [of the night]."
A man said to Ibn 'Abbas: "I eat until I suspect that its time has ended so I stop. Ibn 'Abbas observed: "Continue to eat until you are certain about the time." Abu Dawood reported that Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: "If you have some doubt about Fajr, eat until you are sure dawn has come." This is the opinion of Ibn 'Abbas, 'Ata, al 'Auza'i, and Ahmad.
An-Nawawi informs that: "The followers of ash-Shafai agree that one may eat if he is uncertain whether dawn has come or not."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.131a Hastening in Breaking the Fast
It is preferred for the fasting person to hasten in breaking the fast when the sun has set. Sahl ibn Sad reported that the Prophet said: "The people will always be with the good as long as they hasten in breaking the fast." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
The fast should be broken with an odd number of dates or, if that is not available, with some water. Anas reported: "The Messenger of Allah would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water." This hadith is related by Abu Dawood and by al-Hakim, who called it sahih, and by at-Tirmidhi, who called it Hasan.
Sulayman ibn 'Amr reported that the Prophet said: "If one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates. If dates are not available, then with water, for water is purifying." This is related by Ahmad and by at-Tirmidhi, who called it Hasan sahih.
The preceding hadith also shows that it is preferred to break the fast in the above manner before praying. After the prayer, the person may continue to eat, but if the evening meal is ready, one may begin with that. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "If the food is already presented, eat before the sunset prayer and do not eat your meals in haste." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.132 Supplications While Breaking the Fast and While Fasting
Ibn Majah related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'Aas that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "A fasting person, upon breaking his fast, has a supplication that will not be rejected. When 'Abdullah broke his fast he would say: "O Allah, I ask of You, by Your mercy that encompasses everything, to forgive me."
It is confirmed that the Prophet would say: The thirst has gone, the glands are wet and, Allah willing, the reward is confirmed. In mursal form, it is reported that he would say: "O Allah, for You I have fasted and with Your provisions do I break my fast."
At-Tirmidhi recorded, with a good chain, that the Prophet said: "Three people will not have their supplications rejected: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler, and an oppressed person."
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us-Sunnah 3.132a Refraining from Performing Any Actions That Do Not Befit the FastingReply
Fasting is a type of worship that draws one closer to Allah. Allah has prescribed it to purify the soul and to train it in good deeds. The fasting person must be on guard against any act that may cause him to lose the benefits of his fast. Thus, his fast will increase his God-consciousness, and Allah says in the Qur'an: "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so perchance you may attain God consciousness."
Fasting is not just refraining from eating and drinking, but it is also refraining from everything else that Allah has forbidden. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said: "Fasting is not [abstaining] from eating and drinking only, but also from vain speech and foul language. If one of you is being cursed or annoyed, he should say: "I am fasting, I am fasting." This is related by Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim. The latter said that it is sahih according to Muslim's criterion.
Abu Hurayrah also reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Allah does not need the fast of one who does not abandon false speech or acting according to his false speech." This is related by the group, except for Muslim.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said: "Perhaps a fasting person will get nothing from his fast save hunger, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will get nothing from his standing except sleeplessness." This is related by an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim. The latter said that it is sahih according to al-Bukhari's criterion.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.133 Fasting, Using the Tooth Stick [Brush]
It is preferred for the fasting person to use a tooth stick or a brush. There is no difference if he uses it at the beginning or the ending of the day. At-Tirmidhi affirms that: "Ash-Shafhi did not see anything wrong with using a tooth stick [brush] during the beginning or the ending of the day." The Prophet would use his tooth stick [brush] while fasting.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.133a Fasting, Being Generous and Studying the Qur'an
Being generous and studying the Qur'an is recommended during any time, but it is especially stressed during the month of Ramadan. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn 'Abbas said: "The Prophet was the most generous of people, but he would be his most generous during Ramadan when he would meet with [the angel] Gabriel. He would meet with him every night and recite the Qur'an. When Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.133b Performing Many Acts of Worship During Last 10 Days of Ramadan
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from 'Aisha that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A version in Muslim states: "He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time." At-Tirmidhi also recorded this from 'Ali.
2.8 Fasting, Acts That are Permissible
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.133c Acts That are Permissible During the Fast
The following acts are permissible for the fasting person:
1. Pouring water over one's self and submersing one's self in water: Abu Bakr ibn 'Abdur Rahman reported from a number of companions that they had seen Allah's Messenger pour water over his head while he was fasting due to thirst or extreme heat. This is related by Ahmad, Malik, and Abu Dawood with a sahih chain.
In the two Sahih of al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is related from 'Aisha that the Prophet would rise in the morning on a fasting day and then would perform ghusl (a complete bath). If during the bath some water is swallowed unintentionally, the fast is still valid.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.134 Fasting, Applying Kohl or Eye drops or Anything Else to the Eyes
These acts are all permissible, even if some taste from it finds its way to the throat, as the eyes are not a passageway to the stomach. Anas reported that he would apply kohl while he was fasting. This is the opinion of the Shaf'iyyah. Ibn al-Mundhir records the same opinion from 'Ata, al-Hasan, an-Nakha'i, al-Au~a'i, Abu Hanifah, Abu Thaur, and Dawood. It is related from the following companions: Ibn 'Umar, Anas, and Ibn Abu 'Awfa. According to at Tirmidhi, nothing authentic has been related from the Prophet concerning this question.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.134a Fasting, Kissing for One Who Has the Ability to Control Himself
It is confirmed that 'Aisha said: "The Prophet would kiss and embrace while he was fasting, for he had the most control of all of you over his desires." 'Umar said: "I was excited one time and I kissed [my wife] while I was fasting. I went to the Prophet and said: 'Today I committed a horrendous act--I kissed while I was fasting.' The Prophet asked: 'What do you think of rinsing with water while fasting?' I said: 'There is nothing wrong with that.' The Prophet said: 'Then what is the question about?'"
Ibn al-Mundhir says: " 'Umar, Ibn 'Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, 'Aisha, 'Ata, ash-Sha'bi, al-Hasan, Ahmad, and Ishaq permit kissing. The Hanafiyyah and Shaf'iyyah say that it is disliked if it incites one's desires. If it does not do so, it is not disliked although it is better to avoid it." There is no difference between an old man or a young man in this matter. The question is whether or not the kiss excites one's desires. If it does, it is disliked. If it does not, it is not disliked although it is best to avoid it. It does not matter if the kiss was on the cheek or on the lips, and so on. Touching with the hand or embracing follow the same ruling as kissing.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.134b Fasting, Any Type of Injection
Injections do not break the fast whether they are for feeding the person or just medicine. It does not matter if the injection was intravenous or underneath the skin. It also does not matter if what was injected reaches the stomach, as it does not reach the stomach through the customary manner (that food does).
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.135 Fasting, Cupping to Drain Blood
The Prophet, (pbuh), was cupped while he was fasting. However, if doing this weakens the fasting person, it is disliked. Thabit al-Bunani asked Anas: "Did you dislike cupping for a fasting person during the time of the Prophet?" He answered: "No [we did not], unless it made someone weak." This is related by al-Bukhari and others. Vivisection follows the same ruling as cupping.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.135a Fasting, Rinsing the Mouth and Nose
These acts are allowed in general, but it is disliked to exaggerate (that is, use a lot of water and put the water deep into the mouth or nose while fasting). Laqit ibn Sabra reported that the Prophet said: "Exaggerate when rinsing your nose unless you are fasting." This is related by an-Nasa'i, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi called it Hasan sahih.
Scholars dislike using nose drops (that is, applying medicine through the nose) while one is fasting, for they are of the opinion that it breaks the fast. There is a hadith that supports their opinion.
Ibn Qudamah sums up the various opinions on the subject: "If while gargling or rinsing the nose for the sake of purifying one's self [for example, for prayer] water reaches the throat unintentionally and not due to exaggeration, there is no problem. This is according to al-Auza'i, Ishaq, and one statement from ash-Shaf'i, which is related from Ibn 'Abbas. Malik and Abu Hanifah hold that it breaks the fast because that water reaches the stomach. If he was aware that he was fasting, it breaks his fast, as if he would have drunk intentionally. The first opinion is stronger, since [the water] reached the throat without intention or exaggeration. It is similar to having a fly enter the mouth and proceed to the throat. That differentiates it from an intentional act."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.135b Those Things Which One Could Not Protect Oneself From, Such as Swallowing One's Saliva, the Dust of the Road, Sifting Flour and So on Are All Overlooked
Ibn 'Abbas ruling is that: "There is no problem with tasting liquid food or something you wish to purchase." Al-Hasan used to chew the walnuts for his grandson while he was fasting. Ibrahim also permitted that.
Chewing gum (unlike the one in vogue in the West, it has no sweetness or fragrance) is disliked. The gum must not break into pieces. Those who say that it is disliked include ash-Sha'bi, an Nakha'i, the Hanafiyyah, the Shaf'iyyah, and the Hanbaliyyah. 'Aisha and 'Ata permit chewing, as nothing reaches the stomach and it is just like putting pebbles into one's mouth provided it does not break into parts. If a part of it breaks off and enters the stomach, it will break the fast.
Ibn Taimiyyah says: "Smelling perfumes does not harm the fast." Enlarging upon the subject, he says: "As for kohl, injections, drops dropped into the urethra [that is, enemas for medicinal purposes], and treatment for brain and stomach injuries, there is some dispute among the scholars. Some say that none of these break the fast, some say that all except kohl would break the fast, while others say all except the drops break the fast, or that the kohl or drops do not break the fast but that the rest do." Ibn Taimiyyah continues: "The first opinion on this question is preferred. The most apparent conclusion is that none of them break the fast. The fast is part of the religion of Islam. Both the layman and specialist must be knowledgeable about it. If the preceding actions were forbidden by Allah and His Messenger to the fasting person because they would ruin the fast, then it would have been obligatory upon the Messenger to clarify that fact. If he had done so, his companions would have known about it and would have passed it on to the rest of the Muslims. Since no one has related that not from the Prophet, not with an authentic or a weak hadith, nor in mursal or musnad form then it must be the case that such acts do not void [the fast]."
He also says: "If the ruling is one that would affect everyone or everyday matters, then the Prophet would have clarified it to a general audience. It is well-known that kohl was in common use as were oils, washing, incense, and perfume. If they broke the fast, the Prophet would have mentioned them, as he mentioned other things [that break the fast]. Since he did not do so, they belong to the class of perfumes, incense, and dyes. Incense goes through the nose and enters the head and lands on the body. Dyes or oils are absorbed by the skin and the body is refreshed by it. The case of perfumes is similar. Since these have not been [explicitly] prohibited to the fasting person, it points to the fact that using them is permissible for the fasting person and so is kohl. The Muslims during the time of the Prophet would injure themselves, either from jihad or otherwise, and would injure their stomachs or skulls. If that would have ended their fasts, it would have been made clear to them [by the Prophet].
Since that was not prohibited for the fasting person, it must not break the fast." Ibn Taimiyyah continues: "No one eats kohl and no one causes it to enter his stomach--neither through his nose nor through his mouth. Anal enemas are also not taken as food. Indeed, it helps the body to release whatever is in the intestines and it does not reach the stomach. Any medicine that is used to treat stomach wounds or head injuries [that is taken orally] is not considered similar to food. Allah says in the Qur'an: 'Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you.' The Prophet, (pbuh), said: 'Fasting is a shield,' and, Verily, Satan rushes through the body like the flowing of the blood [in the body]. You should constrict his rushing by hunger and fasting.' To increase his Allah-consciousness a fasting person must not eat or drink because food and drink cause the veins to fill up with blood in which Satan circulates [in one's body]. They become easier for Satan through eating and drinking, not from enemas, kohl, or medicines applied through the penis or used to treat stomach and brain injuries."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.137 Fasting Person Can Eat, Drink, Perform Sexual Intercourse until Fajr
If someone has food in his mouth when Fajr is beginning, he should spit it out. If he is having intercourse (with his wife) at that time, he should immediately stop. If he does so, his fast will still be valid. If he continues in these actions at that time, he will have broken his fast. Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Aisha that the Prophet said: "Bilal makes the call to prayer while it is still night; therefore, eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktum makes the call to prayer."
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09-16-2005, 09:24 AM
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.137a Permissible for Fasting Person to Be Sexually Defiled in the Morning (That Is, a Person Is Not Required to Perform Ghusl Before Fajr)Reply
The hadith from 'Aisha on this point has already been mentioned.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.137b Menstruating or Post-Childbirth Bleeding Women
If the blood of a menstruating woman or of a woman with post-childbirth bleeding stops during the night, she can delay ghusl until the morning and still fast but, she must perform ghusl before the morning prayer.
2.9 Fasting, Actions That Void The Fast
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.138 Actions that Void the Fast
The actions that void the fast may be divided into two types:
1. those which void the fast and require that the day be made up later, and
2. those which void the fast and, in addition to being made up, also require an act of expiation.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.138a Intentional Eating or Drinking
If one eats due to forgetfulness, a mistake, or coercion, then he does not have to make up the day later or perform any expiation. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said: "Whoever forgets he is fasting, and eats or drinks is to complete his fast, as it was Allah who fed him and gave him something to drink." This is related by the group.
Commenting on it, at-Tirmidhi says: "Most of the scholars act according to this hadith. It is the opinion of Sufyan ath-Thauri, ash-Shaf'i, Ahrnad, and Ishaq."
Abu Hanifah reported that the Prophet said: "Whoever breaks his fast during Ramadan due to forgetfulness is not to make up the day later or to perform any expiation." This is related by ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi, and al-Hakim, who says that it is sahih according to Muslim's criterion. Ibn Hajr says that its chain is sahih.
Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet said: "Allah will not hold anyone of this nation responsible for what is done in error, forgetfulness or under coercion." This is recounted by Ibn Majah, at-Tabarani, and al-Hakim.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.138b Intentional Vomiting during Fasting
If one is overcome and vomits unintentionally, he does not have to make up the day later on or perform the acts of expiation. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Whoever is overcome and vomits is not to make up the day." Whoever vomits intentionally must make up the day." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, ad-Daraqutni, and al-Hakim. The latter called it sahih.
Of the report's credibility, al-Khattabi says: "I do not know of any difference of opinion among the scholars on this point. If one vomits unintentionally he is not in need of making up the day, while one who vomits intentionally must make up the day later."
09-16-2005, 09:24 AM
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.139 The Menses and Post-Childbirth Bleeding during FastingReply
Even if such bleeding begins just before the sunset, the fast of that day is rendered void and the day must be made up. There is a consensus of scholars on this point.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.139a Ejaculation of Sperm during Fasting
Ejaculation voids the fast even if it was just due to kissing, hugging, or masturbation, and the day must be made up. If the ejaculation was due to looking at or thinking about something, then it is like having a wet dream during the day and it, therefore, does not void the fast nor is there any requirement on the person. Similarly, ejaculation of seminal fluid does not harm the fast in any way.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.139b Eating Something That Is Not Nourishing, Such as Salt
Someone who uses a lot of salt for a reason other than eating, in which it goes down to the stomach, breaks the fast according to most scholars.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.139c If One Has the Intention, While He Is Fasting, to Break the Fast, He in Effect Voids the Fast Even If He Does Not Actually Eat Anything
This is because the intention is one of the pillars of the fast and, if one changes his intention, he has nullified his fast. (What about the hadith that says that if one plan to perform one bad deed but does not do it, a good deed is recorded for him ?)
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.139d One Does an Act Thinking Sun Has Set or Fajr Has Not Occurred
In such cases, according to most scholars and the four imams, that person is to make up that day. However, there is a difference of opinion on this point. Ishaq, Dawood, Ibn Hazm, 'Ata, 'Urwah, al-Hasan al-Basri, and Mujahid maintain that such a fast is sound and that the person need not make up the day later. They base their opinion on the fact that Allah says in the Qur'an: "And there is no sin for you in the mistakes you make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose [that will be a sin for you]."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.139e Unintentional Mistakes
The Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), said: "Allah will not hold anyone of this nation responsible for what is done by mistake . . ."
'Abdur Razaq related that Mamar reported from al-Amash that Zaid ibn Wahb said: "The people broke their fast during the time of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. I saw a big pot being brought from Hafsah's house and the people drank. Then the sun appeared from behind the clouds and this distressed the people. They said: 'We have to make up this day.' 'Umar asked: 'Why? By Allah, we have not involved ourselves in any sin.' "
Al-Bukhari records that Asma' bint Abu Bakr said: "We broke the fast of Ramadan when it was cloudy during the time of the Prophet, and then the sun appeared again."
Commenting on the subject, Ibn Taimiyyah says: "This points to two things:
1. that it is not preferred for one to delay breaking the fast until one is absolutely certain that the sun has set . . . and
2. that it is not necessary to make up such a day. If the Prophet would have ordered them to make up that day, it would have become public knowledge. The fact that it has been related that they broke their fast [and that it has not been related that they were ordered to make up that day] points to the fact that they were not ordered to make up that day."
The only action, according to most scholars, which requires that both the day be made up and the act of expiation be performed is having sexual intercourse during a day of Ramadan.
Abu Hurayrah reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: "I am destroyed, O Messenger of Allah!" The Prophet asked: "What has destroyed you?" He said, "I had intercourse with my wife during a day of Ramadan." The Prophet asked: "Are you able to free a slave?" He said, "No". The Prophet asked: "Is it possible for you to fast for two consecutive months?" He said, "No." The Prophet asked: "Is it possible for you to feed sixty poor people?" He said, "No." The Prophet said: "Then sit." A basket of dates was brought to the Prophet and he said to the man: Give this in charity. The man said: "To someone poorer than us? There is no one in this city who is poorer than us!" The Prophet laughed until his molar teeth could be seen and said: "Go and feed your family with it." This is related by the group.
Most scholars say that both men and women have to perform the acts of expiation if they intentionally have intercourse during a day of Ramadan on which they had intended to fast. If they had intercourse out of forgetfulness or not due to choice--that is, due to coercion, or they did not have the intention to fast, then the expiation is not obligatory on either one of them. If the woman was forced to have intercourse by the man, the expiation will be obligatory only upon the man.
According to ash-Shaf'i, the expiation is not obligatory upon the woman in any case--that is, regardless if it was due to choice or coercion, and she need only make up the day of fasting that she voided. An-Nawawi says: "The most authentic opinion, in general, is that the expiation is obligatory upon the man only and that there is nothing upon the woman. There is nothing obligatory on her in relation to this matter, as it is a matter of [paying] money [due to something related to] sexual intercourse and this refers to the duty of the man and not the woman. [In this way,] it is similar to the case of dowry."
Abu Dawood says: "Ahmad was asked about someone who had sex during Ramadan: 'Is there any expiation upon the woman?' He said: 'I have not heard of any.' " In al-Mughni it is stated: "This refers to the fact that the Prophet ordered the man who had had sexual intercourse to free a slave. He did not order the woman to do anything, although he obviously knew that she was a partner in the act."
According to most scholars, acts of expiation must be performed in the order that was mentioned in the hadith. The first command is to free a slave. If this is not possible, the person is to fast for two consecutive months. If that is not possible, the person is to feed sixty poor people with meals that are similar to an average meal in his household. The person cannot jump from one act to another unless he is not able to perform the prior order commanded. According to the Malikiyyah and a narration from Ahmad, the person is free to choose any of the above three acts and that will be sufficient for him.
This latter opinion is based on the report from Malik and Ibn Juraij on the authority of Humayd ibn 'Abdur Rahman who reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that a man broke his fast during Ramadan and the Prophet ordered him, as an expiation, to free a slave or fast two months consecutively or to feed sixty poor people. This is related by Muslim.
In the preceding hadith, the word "or" implies choice, but according to some, the reason for the expiation to be performed was different and therefore the person could choose, as in the case of the expiation for breaking an oath. Ash-Shawkani says: "In the different narrations, there is evidence that the expiation is to be performed in order or according to one's choice. Those who relate it to be in order are more in number. Al-Muhallab and al-Qurtubi combined the narrations and said that the event [of someone breaking the fast] occurred more than once."
Al-Hafidh differs: "This is not correct. It was just one event and the parts are all united. So the crux of the matter is that there was not more than one event. Some combine the reports and say that following the order is preferred, but that one may choose. Others say the opposite."
Whoever has sexual intercourse (with his wife) on a day of Ramadan and, before he performs the act of expiation, has intercourse on another day of Ramadan, need only perform one act of expiation according to a narration from Ahmad and the Hanafiyyah. This is because there is a punishment for acts that are repeated, and if the expiation or punishment is not carried out, all the acts are taken together as one. According to Malik, ash-Shaf'i, and Ahmad, the person must perform the expiation twice, as each day of Ramadan is a separate act of worship. If the expiation is obligatory because the person voided the fast, the separate acts are not combined together.
All scholars agree that if the person intentionally had intercourse during a day of Ramadan and has performed the expiation and then has intercourse on another day of Ramadan, then another expiation becomes obligatory upon him. Similarly, they are in agreement that if one has intercourse twice during a day, before performing the expiation for the first act, then he need only perform one act of expiation. If he has performed the expiation for the first one, then he need not perform an act of expiation for the second, according to most scholars. Ahmad says that in such a case, he must perform a total of two acts of expiation.
09-16-2005, 09:25 AM
.10 Fasting, Making Up Missed Days of RamadanReply
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.142 Making Up Missed Days of Ramadan
Making up missed days of Ramadan is an obligation that need not be fulfilled immediately because the time for fulfilling is very wide and one may perform it at any time. This is also the case with the fast of expiation. It has been authentically reported that 'Aisha would make up her missed days during the month of Sha'ban (the month preceding Ramadan), and that she did not perform them immediately even if she had the ability to do so.
Observing the fast of Ramadan and making up the days are the same with respect to the fact that if one day of Ramadan is missed, then only one day needs to be made up. There is no additional penalty. They differ about the fact that when a person makes up the missed days he need not do so on consecutive days. This is because Allah says: "For him who is sick or on a journey, [the same] number of other days"--that is, whoever is sick or traveling and breaks the fast must fast the same number of days that he missed, consecutively or non consecutively.
Allah has ordered the fast in a general manner without any restricting clauses.
As for making up the missed days of Ramadan, ad-Daraqutni recorded from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet said: "If you wish, make them on non consecutive days and if you wish on consecutive days."
If one delays performing the missed days of fasting until the next Ramadan comes, he is to fast the present Ramadan and then make up the days from the previous Ramadan. There is no ransom payment to be made, regardless of whether the person delayed the fasting due to some acceptable excuse or not. This is the opinion of the Hanafiyyah and al-Hasan al-Basri. Malik, ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, and Ishaq agree that there is no ransom payment if the fasting was delayed due to some excuse, but they differ when the fasting was delayed without any acceptable excuse. In such a case, according to them, the person should fast the present Ramadan and then make up the days he missed from the previous Ramadan along with a ransom payment of a mudd of food given in charity each day. It should be noted that they have no acceptable evidence for that opinion. Apparently, the correct opinion is that of the Hanafiyyah, as there is no lawmaking without an authentic legal text to support it (that is, a Qur'anic verse or hadith).
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.143 Whoever Dies and Still Had Some Days of Ramadan to Make up
The scholars agree that if an individual dies and has missed some prayers during his life, his guardian or heir is not to perform those prayers on his behalf. Similarly, if one does not have the ability to fast, no one is to fast for him while he is alive. There is a difference of opinion over the case of one who dies and has not made up some days of fasting although he had the ability to do so.
Most scholars, including Abu Hanifah, Malik, and the Shaf'iyyah, say that the guardian or heir is not to fast on such a person's behalf, but is to feed one person a day for the missed days. The chosen opinion, however, among the Shaf'iyyah is that it is preferred for the guardian to fast on the deceased's behalf, thus fulfilling his duty. There is therefore no need for him to feed anyone.
The meaning of guardian is near relative, whether it be an agnate or an heir or someone else. If a non-relative fasts for the deceased, it will only be valid if he got the permission of the guardian.
The proof for the preceding is what Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim recorded from 'Aisha. The Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), said: "If one dies and has some fasts to make up, then his guardian' should fast on his behalf." Al-Bazzar added the words: "If he wishes to do so, while Ibn 'Abbas related that a man came to the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, my mother died and a month's fasting was due from her. Should I fast on her behalf?" The Prophet asked: "If your mother had a debt would you fulfill it for her?" He said, "Yes." The Prophet observed: "A debt to Allah has more of a right to be fulfilled." This is related by Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Majah.
An-Nawawi [one of the most knowledgeable of the Shaf'iyyah] says: "That statement is the most authentic one, and we follow it. This is the opinion that has been determined to be correct according to our companions in both hadith and Fiqh."
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.144 Places Where the Day Is Extremely Long and the Night Is Short
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--that is, Makkah or Madinah. Others say they should follow the timings of the area that is closest to them which has normal days and nights.
2.11 Fasting, Night of Qadr
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.144a Night of Qadr, its Virtue
The night of qadr is the most virtuous night of the year. Allah says in the Qur'an: "We revealed it on the night of power [that is, qadr]. What will tell you what the night of power is? It is better than a thousand months." Any action therein, for example, reciting the Qur'an, making remembrance of Allah, and so on, is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of qadr.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.145 Night of Qadr, it Is Preferred to Seek this Night
It is preferred to seek this night during the last ten nights of Ramadan, as the Prophet, (pbuh), strove his best in seeking it during that time. We have already mentioned that the Prophet would stay up during the last ten nights, would wake his wives, and then would remain apart from them to worship.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.145a Night of Qadr, Which Night Is It?
Scholars hold different opinions as to the night which is the night of qadr. Some are of the opinion that it is the 21st, some say the 23rd, others say the 25th and still others say it is the 29th. Some say that it varies from year to year but it is always among the last ten nights of Ramadan. Most scholars, though, vouch for the 27th.
Ahmad recorded, with a sahih chain, from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet said: "He who likes to seek that night should do so on the 27th. Ubayy ibn K'ab said: By Allah, and there is no God but Him, it is during Ramadan--and He swore to that--and by Allah, I know what night it is. It is the night during which the Prophet ordered us to make prayers, the night of the 27th. Its sign is that the sun rises in the morning white and without any rays." This is related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ahmad, and by at-Tirmidhi who called it sahih.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.145b Praying and Supplicating During the Night of Qadr
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, (pbuh), said: "Whoever prays during the night of qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven."
As to the supplication during the night of qadr, 'Aisha said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' " This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and by at-Tirmidhi, who called it sahih.
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