Ramadaan preparatory reminders- Fiqh of fasting
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Let’s get ready for Ramadan in obedience to our Most Merciful Rabb, Allah!
It is hoped this will inform us of the primary reasons we fast, what is required of us and what to hope for.
May Allah, The Supreme Creator, permit us to fast for none but Him alone, may He reward us for our endeavours, and may He permit us to strive to avoid that which nullifies the fast, and strive to adhere to what maintains and perfects it, in accordance with the teachings of His final prophet peace be upon him. Ameen.
DISCLAIMER: This is for educational purposes and serves as an introduction to the issues pertaining to fasting. Parents/guardians are advised to supervise the following read as some issues which pertain to married adults have been mentioned. Please consult a knowledgeable Islamic scholar (and trustworthy medical professional) for details, particularly for questions and advice related to individual circumstances. We are not scholars and thus cannot issue fatwa, however we endeavour relate to you the words of the scholars who have studied the authentic teachings of Islam from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad upon him be peace. And ultimately, Allah knows best.
Fiqh of Fasting – Part 7 (adapted mainly from Sh. Yahya Adel Ibrahim with notes from others)
Summary of Siyam (Fasting) Essentials
What is the meaning of “Siyam?”
The word “siyam” comes from the root word “sowm,” which means “to abstain from.”
Did Muslims fast before 2 A.H.?
Yes, in fact the Prophet sala Allahu alihi wasSalaam and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to fast on various days, including:
1. Day of Ashura (the exodus) when Allah delivered Musa sala Allahu alihi wasSalaam and the Muslims of that time from the evil of Pharaoh. The Prophet (upon him be peace) taught us to fast two days—either the day before or after plus the actual day of Ashura.
2. On the day of Arafat, if not making Hajj
3. The first 9 Days of dhul-Hijjah
4. Mondays & Thursdays through out the year
5. The middle three days of each lunar month (13th, 14th & 15th) when he moon is at its brightest
6. There are some proofs by way of Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) who reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast before the prophethood—but we do not know the exact days.
Why was Siyam ordered?
The answer to this question lies only with Allah. However, we can find that there are many benefits and bits of wisdom behind this pious and sincere act.
1. Increases one’s Taqwa (remembrance of Allah in daily affairs), as is stated in the Quran: Surah Baqara verse 183.
2. Trains the body, mind and spirit to bear hardships while remaining patient.
3. Trains the body, mind and spirit to hold back from the natural desires of the human: food, drink, anger, lust, etc.
4. To help one understand what the impoverished go though.
What is the importance of the month of Ramadan?
This is the month in which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed. This is the month where every dua’ reaches Allah. This is the month where the Muslims are protected from the evil whisperings of the shayateen. This is the month where one plants the seeds of worship, the seeds of taqwa in the earth and harvests the good deeds for sustenance throughout the year. And most importantly, this is the month in which the Quran was revealed—more specifically, on the night of Lailat-ul-Qadr.
Who must fast?
1. One who is Muslim
2. One who has Aql (mental faculties are sound and understands the responsibility of fasting)
3. One who has reached the age of puberty (signs include: growth of pubic hair or nocturnal emissions, emitting maniy, or reaching 15 years of age, occurrence of menses)
4. One who is Kaadir (able to maintain the fast)
What is the requirement for the fast?
Very simply, the fast begins with the niya (intention-this need not be verbal, rather intention resides in the heart)—this is a pre Requisite/ Shart—and then refraining from food, drink and things that break the fast, until the time for Maghrib has arrived.
It must be noted by the reader that one cannot just wake up in the morning and proclaim his fast for that day. This was only allowed for the Prophet sala Allahu alihi wasSalaam. Rather, for the followers, there needs to be mental recognition of the fast BEFORE FAJR in other than the month of Ramadan.
What breaks the fast?
3. Sexual relations/intimate acts of any type that leads to male or female sexual discharge,
4. Haid (menstrual bleeding)
5. Nifas (post natal bleeding)
6. Intentional vomiting
7. Needles that give you nourishment
For further clarification on some issues:
a. Blood testing is okay
b. If one needs to take Insulin then that person cannot fast
c. Using the puffer for asthma patients is okay—the respiratory type only.
(in sha Allah, see more detailed article on things which nullify the fast)
What happens if a couple has intimate relations during the fast?
• If the couple have intercourse intentionally then they have to make up that day and they have to fast 60 days consecutively, or if unable feed 60 people or Kafarah
What is Kafarah?
This is given only as expiation for sexual infractions during the fast. There are three methods of expiation:
1. Freeing of a slave
2. Fast for 60 consecutive days. If one day is missed then you would start from the beginning again
3. If you are unable to fast, for a legitimate reason (sick, old,etc.) then you may feed 60 miskeen (poor) people. They have to be Muslim people and it can happen on one day as a feast. Also, one can just give the money to feed 60 people. This is considered a debt for that person and they should fulfil it before their death. If they do die then the relatives can either fast for them or feed the miskeen.
What about those that cannot fast, but are of age?
Of those who are excused from the fast are those who have a long-term sickness, the pregnant woman, the woman who is breast-feeding and the traveller. For the traveller, the fast is to be made up. But for the others, they are to pay the Fidya (please note, there is a scholarly difference of opinion regarding who can pay fidyah instead of making up fasts- please consult a scholar for your own case, see the links below). Fidya is to pay for a meal for one miskeen person for everyday that is missed. Like the Kafarah, one can arrange to give 30 days worth of money at one time, or arrange a feast for 30 miskeen people on one day.
PLEASE NOTE however, regarding pregnant and nursing mothers and sickness, please ask a highly knowledge Islamic scholar for individual cases. see this and this-is fidyah enough for pregnant women/sick people or not & should they make up the fast?) . Regarding pregnant and nursing mothers and sick people whose illness goes away and making up missed fasts, see these (who is exempt) and (how to make up fasts for ladies/mothers) and (how to make up missed fasts- sickness and all else)
Confused about your case? Contact a knowledgabe Mufti (try calling up on the Ask the Sheikh programmes on Eman Channel, or similar.)
The Sunnan of Fasting
1. The sahoor and iftaar should be done with the family. If the family is not available then one should make an effort to never break the fast alone.
2. To hurry up with breaking the iftaar—not to delay it. But the sahoor can be delayed right up until the time for Fajr enters.
3. To break the fast with dates, or at least 3 sips of water.
4. To make dua’ of breaking the fast. (“Dhahaba al-zamau’a, wa abtallat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr insha Allah (Thirst has gone, the veins are moist, and the reward is assured, if Allaah wills).” see Arabic below )
5. To increase in acts of ibada (recitation of the Quran) and this should continue after the month of Ramadan has passed.
6. To give more sadaqa (charity).
7. To offer the tahajud prayers and the tarrawih prayers (in congregation).
8. To feed other Muslims, even if they are not needy—meaning to invite people to your house for the iftaar. In fact, when you invite people the host receives the reward that his guest earned on that day (while the guest retains his own reward). This is true even for the one who finances an iftaar, or one who prepares the food.
The Makrooh (hated things) of Fasting
1. To be excessive in rinsing with water, during wudu or other times. Having too much water in the mouth might cause a person to swallow some.
2. To unnecessarily taste food. There cannot be any swallowing and the tongue should be cleaned of any residual taste.
3. Kissing your spouse.
4. To sexually excite/touch your spouse.
5. To lie, to make ghiba (back biting), to do nameema (telling lies to cause two parties to fight). In fact, those who practice nameema do not enter paradise with the first set of Muslims.
6. To not pray the tarrawih or tahajjud in the last 10 days.
What are some the Voluntary Fasts that one may do?
1. The fast of the Prophet Dawood (peace be upon him) was mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as the best. It includes one day of fasting and one day of resting, continuously.
2. The best months for fasting include: Sha’ban, Muharram, Ramadan,Dhul Hijja.
3. The 13th, 14th & 15th of every Islamic month. The reward of fasting these three days is like having fasted an entire year.
4. Mondays and Thursdays—for these are the two days that the angels rise and descend with your deeds; i.e. the gates of heaven are open.(This refers to Maghrib time)
5. The 9th day of Dhul Hijja (for the ones not performing the hajj).This is the day of Arafat and fasting on this day ensures that the minor sins for the previous year and the coming year are forgiven.
Allah knows best!
May Allah make this benefit us, and this advice is to us before it is to you our beloved readers.
May Allah allow us to succeed this Ramadan and may He forgive us for He is the Oft-Forgiving, The Forbearing! May Allah forgive us for any errors in this and grant us correctness. Wasallallahu alaa nabiyina Muhammad.Amin
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THE SACRED MONTHS – RAJAB 1442AH
Asalamu alaykum dear readers.
We are now in the sacred month of Rajab walhamdulillah and we would like to remind ourselves about the importance of the four sacred months in Islam. Rajab is the 7th month of the Islamic calendar. The sacred months are are Rajab, Dhul Qad’ah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram, the 7th, 11th, 12th and 1st month of the Islamic Hijri calander respectively. (see Surah Tawbah, Qur’an chapter 9 verse 36).
Watch this video on what to do in Rajab and other sacred months, Sheikh Assim Al Hakim explains:
(We should be extra careful not to sin, all the time, but particularly in the sacred months, and avoid aggression…also a word on Isra’ wal Miraaj and religious innovations/bid’ah…and the importance of holding on to the Sunnah of Rasoolullah peace be upon him)
May Allah forgive us, be merciful to us and guide us, for He is the Most Gracious the Most Merciful, The Ever-Relenting. May Allah enable us to witness and observe many Ramadans in His obedience, with sincerity and strength. May Allah unite us in jannat al firdaus. Allah bless His final messenger Muhammad ibn Abdillah in abundance. Amin
Please keep us in duas and support our work. Help us keep this going in sha Allah.
We are in the sacred month of Rajab 1442, and those of us who owe missed fasts from previous Ramadan, we really must make them up now in sha Allah!
Don’t worry about the length of the day etc, let us put our trust in Allah, and it will be alright. (Alhamdulillah) Remember Allah is Al-Qadeer (capable of all things) and He will surely help us and make it possible.
Trust Allah, that we can do it! And it’s good preparation for Ramadan in sha Allah!
Be inspired by those who have genuine difficulty/lack of resources and food, but soldier on for the sake of Allah.
Remember Allah gave us a lot more than others, so let’s drop the excuses and start showing Allah more gratitude by obeying Him as we owe Him everything, because He owns everything!!!
May Allah grant us the ability. May Allah make us sincere and make our fasting easy, rewarded and accepted and may He grant us many Ramadans in His obedience, Ya Rabb al aalameen! Allahumma Salli alaa Rasoolillah Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam!
Peace and love.
Violets are blue
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WHAT IS VALENTINE’S DAY?
In a nutshell, Valentine’s Day was a Roman, Pagan tradition, which was Christianized and associated with Saint Valentine who was killed for a cause he believed in, namely marriage in lieu of celibacy, as one legend suggests. Today, it has come to be known as the festival of “love” (whatever that means!), and has become heavily commercialised. It’s a day where “romantic love” or “lust” is glorified and advocated, as are casual relationships, pre-marital relationships and extra-marital affairs. It can be argued that it is a day where people indulge in their desires.
Do Muslims celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Short answer: No. lol
Long answer: Drawing from the above, Valentine’s Day is a festival unfound in the authentic Islamic texts. Particularly due to the nature of the festival, Valentine’s Day contradicts some of the main principles of Islam. Other world religions such as Christianity an Judaism denounce relationships outside of marriage, but many followers of these religions have adopted liberal and secular values instead.
On the contrary, followers of Islam understand that the primary purpose in life is to worship Allah (The One True God) alone, with sincerity and with an unrivalled love. Acts of worship in Islam are only acceptable if they are done solely for Allah, and in accordance to the ‘Sunnah’ or teachings of the final prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace).
In Islam, we have the concept of ‘Halal’ (permitted) and ‘Haram’ (forbidden), which are ultimately derived from the Islamic sources of legislation, namely The Qur’an and The Sunnah.These laws are still valid from the time they were revealed and thus, we don’t change certain principles as time goes on. Islam governs everything we do, from worship, to food laws, to dress code, to interactions with others and relationships.
Valentine’s day, as mentioned above, encourages fornication & adultery among other forbidden deviances regarding carnal desires. Fornication and adultery are among the major sins in Islam, since Islam teaches that people’s honour and lineages are to be protected. As Muslims we must maintain God-conciousness in our lives and avoid wronging or oppressing ourselves and others. We have to resist our long-term Enemy, the Satan, and fight his insinuations to worship our desires.
What relationships are allowed in Islam?
Islam recognises a man’s natural inclination to need a woman and vice versa, but there are legislated guidelines to adhere to in this respect. Essentially, the only permissible outlet to satisfy the natural desires in man, would be through the institution of marriage. Marriage is highly regarded in Islam, and many factors have to be considered before initialising this great contract. Islamic tradition advises people to choose their spouse for their children, that is, choose someone who would be a good father/mother for your future children (since children are a usual consequence of relationships).
Relationships in Islam, are ultimately formed to achieve the primary purpose, to worship Allah. Marriage entails rights and responsibilities, and as Muslims we don’t do the short term flings, it’s all about the long haul. We believe in accountability, that we will be questioned in the afterlife about what we have done, so we take these things seriously. A relationship is something you commit to for life, not for your own convenience until you find something ‘better’.
What to do if someone asks you out, as a Muslim?
It’s simple, if someone asks you out on a date or whatever, as a Muslim, remember
Taqwa of Allah, have God-conciousness and don’t be tempted.
by Teaching them the basics of Islam with evidence,
and be Honest, just let them know what Islam’s stance is on the matter.
And Muslim men and women, ponder over these beautiful ayat in the Qur’an…
May Allah guide us all to the straight path, perfect our belief and worship of Him, allow us to follow the sunnah, and protect us from fornication, adultery, major sins and may Allah save us from the enemy Satan. Allah make us the true believers with the ten characteristics at the beginning of Surah Muminoon that cause us to inherit jannat al firdaus. Wasallallahu ala nabiyyina Muhammad, wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa saHbihi aj’maeen. Amin
Until next time, keep smiling 🙂
Thurrock Muslim Community
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