FASTING – The Fourth Pillar of Islam
Order and encouragement to fast
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you might learn piety . . . . The month of Ramadan is that wherein was revealed the Qur’an, as a guidance to mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion. So, whoever among you witnesses the month should fast.”[Al-Qur’an 2:183, 185]
“Every deed of the Son of Adam is for himself, except fasting – it is for Me, and I shall reward it.”[Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
“There is not any believer who remains hungry, and abstains from the forbidden things, and does not wrongfully consume the wealth of Muslims, except that Allah will feed him from the fruits of Heaven.”
[Musnad Abu Hanifah]
“Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and expectation [of reward], his previous sins are forgiven him.”[Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i]
Rewards of fasting in general
“Fasting is a shield.”[Ahmad]
“There is not any servant who fasts a day in the path of Allah, except that Allah will distance him from the Fire by a distance of seventy years.”[Bukhari, Muslim]
“Fasting the month of patience and three days of each month remove rancor of the heart.”[Ahmad, Bazzar]
Warning against abandoning fasting in Ramadan
“Whoever breaks his fast in Ramadan without a [valid] concession or illness, he cannot repay it, even if he were to fast the rest of his life.”[Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah]
RAMADAN – What does not break fast
In Ramadan-i-Mubarak during the fasting the following actions do not break the fast:
- If one forgets that one is fasting and eats, drinks or has sexual intercourse, or has a nocturnal emission while asleep or emits semen involuntarily by looking [at something sex ] (though it is totally haram to see such things)
- If one applies tincture of iodine or some ointment [even if their tint or smell is noticed in one’s saliva or urine].
- If one vomits a mouthful involuntarily or vomits a little voluntarily.
- If water goes into ones ear or dust, smoke or a fly goes into one’s throat through one’s mouth or nose involuntarily or if one cannot prevent the smoke of others cigarettes from going into one’s mouth and nose.
- If after rinsing one’s mouth one swallows the wetness remaining in one’s mouth together with one’s saliva.
- If one puts some medicine in one’s eye or even if one feels its taste in one’s throat.
- If a fasting person swallows his saliva, his fast will not break. Bleeding from an injury in the mouth from taking a tooth out, or blood coming from the stomach to the mouth does not break a fast or an ablution. When one spits out or swallows his blood coming from mouth, if the saliva is greater than the blood, that is if the saliva is yellow in color, his fast is still not broken. If a mouthful comes to the mouth and goes out of the mouth, both are broken. It is seen that, when a tooth is extracted if there is much bleeding, the fast is not broken when one spits it out. When one is not fasting, one’s ablution is not broken when one swallows it. Neither of the two is broken if the blood is less than the amount of saliva.
- Using antimony (surma) or cosmetics for one’s beard, mustaches, face, smelling flowers, musk or Lotions will not break one’s fast.
VIRTUES OF SEHRI
Hazrat Anas (Radiallah anhu) narrates that Rasulallah (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) Said:
“Eat Sehri (food to be taken a little before dawn during the fasting month of Ramadan) that Sehri brings prosperity” (Bukhari, Muslim, tirmizi)
Hazrat Umar (radiallah anhu) narrates that Rasulallah (SalallahoAlaiheWasalm) said:
“Those who eat Sehri, they are blessed by the angels and Allah the Almighty”
Taraveeh is an emphasized tradition of Islam and its neglect is not just. Rasulallah (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) himself and Sahabahs i.e. his associates (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) offered Taraveeh prayers and liked it.
Hadrat Abu Huraira (RadiAllahAnho) narrates that Rasulallah (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) said:
“All past small sins will be forgiven who offer Nafl and Sunnah regularly in the month of Ramadan to confirm his belief and to obtain rewards from Allah, the Almighty”.
But thinking that Taraveeh may not become a fard or duty, Rasulallah (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) did not offer it regularly. Once Syedna Umar Farooq (RadiAllahAnho) visited a mosque in a night of the month of Ramadan and observed that Taraveeh are offered in different styles. One person is offering individually and some in gathering. Seeing this he said that Taraveeh be also offer under guidance of an Imaam. So he assembled all of them with Imam Ubai bin Ka’ab (RadiAllahAnho) and the next day he saw that all the followers are offering Taraveeh Namaz behind an Imam. Upon this Hazrat Umar Said
“What a beautiful Bid’at”(Sahih Muslim etc).
(Note: from this hadith it is proved that to start a new innovation as long as this new innovation is not against the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) is a good bid’at.)
There are twenty (20) rakats in Taraveeh and its offering time is between after Fard of Isha Namaz and before the rising of dawn. In Taraveeh it complete recitation of the Holy Quran is a confirmed tradition and (recitation) twice is a virtue and its recitation three times is beneficence. (Bahar-e-Shariat etc)
Taraveeh in congregation is Sunnat-e-Kafaya and if all followers leave the mosque without offering it then all will be sinners. In Ramadan “Witr” Namaz is most venerable in congregation provided that the person has offered Isha prayers in assembly.
If the recitation of the Quran is not over then offer Taraveeh with Surahs (chapters/division of the Quran) and for this recite from Surat Alamtra Kaifa till end two times to complete twenty raka-ats.
SHAB-E-QADAR (THE NIGHT OF POWER)
The virtues of Shab-e-Qadr are established from Quran and Sunnah. Adoration and worshipping in this night is venerable from worship in thousand months without Shab-e-Qadrs. Allah Himself said
“We have indeed revealed this (message) in this night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is. the Night of Power is better that a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the spirits by Allah’s permission on every errand. Peace! This until dawn.”(Al-Quran, Surah Qadr)
Hazrat Abu-Hurairah (RadiAllahAnho) narrates that Rasullah(SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) said that who fasted with belief and Iman his earlier sins will be forgiven and who offers prayers i.e. Nafl, recitation of Quran, reciting of Darood and begging pardon from Allah the Almighty, he earns rewards of his virtue and his sins and pardoned. (Bukhari)
Hazrat Anas (RadiAllahAnho) narrates that once on the commencement of Ramadan, Rasulallah (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) said that this month has come among you and one night of this month is as such which is better than thousand months. If anybody is unable to avail its blessings, he is deprived of all virtues. No one is deprived of its blessing unless he himself is unfortunate. (Ibn-e-Maja)
Hazrat Syeda Aisha (RadiAllahAnha) narrates that the Prophet (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) said:
“Find out night of Power among odd nights like 21, 23, 25, 27, 29th of the last ten days of the month of Ramadan”(Bukhari)
This narration is also from her. She says that I asked the prophet (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) Ya Rasulallah, If I could know the exact Night of Power, then what shall I do?” The prophet (SalallahoAlaiheWasalam) said, “Read this Dua”
“Allah humma innaka afu un tuhibbul afwa fafoo ani” (Tirmizi)
It is said that when Night of Power arrives then those angels also come down with Hazrat Jibreel (Alaihisalaam) who live on “Sidratul Muntaha” (a stop in the seventh heaven” and they bring four flags with them. One flag is hoisted on Gumbad-e-Khizra (Masjid-e-Nabavi) and the other on Baitul Muqaddas (i.e. Jurusalam), Next one on the roof of Masjid-e-Haraam (Khana-e-Kabaa) and the fourth one on Koh-e-Toor (Toor Mountain). There after they visitÂ the homes of each and every True Muslim men and women and say Salaam to them. The drunkards, interest eaters and those who do not care for there relations and brethren in religion, are kept away from this benidiction.
NAMAAZ SHAB-E-QADAR (PRAYER IN THE NIGHT OF POWER)
One who offers four raka’at Namaz in this night and in each raka’at he /she recites Surah Fatiha and Surah Qadr once each and Surah Ikhlas 27 times, his/her all earlier sins are pardoned and he becomes like a child who is born the same day. Allah will also give him a thousand palaces in the paradise.
According to another narration, one who offers four rak’at Namaz on the 27th night of the month of Ramadan and in each raka’at he/she recites after Surah Fatiha, Surah Qadr three times and Surah Ikhlas fifty times and after Salaam again goes in Sajda (Prostration) and recites
“Subhaan Allahe Walhamdolillahe Walahelaha illallaho Wallahoakbar”
and then whatever Dua he/she makes that will be granted and the Almighty will pardon his/her sins and give him/her countless rewards. (Ghunyatul Talibeen)
SADAQAT-UL-FITR – 1421 HIJRI ~ 2000 AD
Question: What is Sadaqt-ul-Fitr?
Answer: It is a charity, the annual distribution of which is essential (Wajib) for every Muslim who possesses on the last day of the month of Ramadan or the day of Eid-ul-Fitr goods of the value which makes them liable for Zakat. None of us can escape not saying a few misplaced words during Ramadan. It is from the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala that He prescribed on us Zakat al-Fitr to get rid of the bad effect of vain talks and useless speeches in Ramadan, as well as to feed the needy on the day of `Eid and make him happy on that day as well. A muslim has to pay the Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for himself or herself and for his or her minor children.
HADITHS ON SADAQAT-UL-FITR
Ibn `Umar said “Allah’s Messenger, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, obligated Zakat al-Fitr [for Ramadan upon the people]”.[Bukhari and Muslim]
Another Hadith gives more details : Ibn ‘Umar said, “The Prophet made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Saa` of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan).” The people then substituted half Sa’ of wheat for that. Ibn ‘Umar used to give dates (as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Medina and Ibn ‘Umar gave barley. ‘And Ibn ‘Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn ‘Umar used to give Sadaqatul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the ‘Eid. [Bukhari]
Question: What is the amount of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr
Answer: 1.633 kilogram of wheat or its equivalent value per person is the minimum amount that a muslim enjoined to pay.
Question: When should Sadaqat-ul-Fitr be distributed?
Answer: It should be preferably be distributed before offering the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, otherwise at any other time.
Question: To whom should sadaqat-ul-fitr be given?
Answer: Those who merit Zakat also deserve it.