Bismillah & As salamualaykum!
I thought a lot before deciding to actually put up my fiqh of fasting notes because it is going to be a bit comprehensive and I also felt kinda lazy. But what the heck, I want those good deeds too. So you guys stayed updated with my blog, read what i write, so both of us can benefit with them.
Fiqh of Fasting is taught to us by a completely awesome teacher called Sister Q, she is referring for this course to the Fiqh of Fasting from Bulugh Al Maram explained by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Uthaimeen.
Fasting in arabic comes from the word Saum which linguistically in arabic means ''refraining from'' a particular matter. In islamic terms it means worshipping Allah SWT through mainly abstaining from the following three 1. Eating 2.Drinking and 3. Sexual relations from dawn till dusk with the firm intention of pleasing and worshipping Allah SWT.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said:
“Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says:
‘Fasting is Mine and it is I Who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for My sake.’ Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah’s estimation than the smell of musk.”
It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, Malik, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah)
It is one of the pillars of Islam as most of you know and whosoever rejects it has disbelieved. A person who believes in it and yet shuns it is called a fasiq.
Fasting was ordained by Allah SWT in 3 stages because remember? Allah is Al-Lateef , the most subtle, He knows our limitations which is why fasting was prescribed in 3 stages ;
I) Fasting on the day of Ashura (10th muharram)
II) Fasting was then prescribed as a voluntary act. To encourage people, to show the reward (ref : chapter 2, verse 184)
III) Allah SWT then ordained us to fast for the entire month of Ramadan (ref : chaper 2, verse 185)
Fasting was not ordained at once, it was done gradually.
Why did Allah SWT ordain us to fast?
1. To attain piety, to be pious & righteous (ref : chapter 2,verse 183)
2. To appreciate Allah's blessings
3. Training one's self to be patient and tolerant
4. In order for the rich people to feel the need of poor people
5. It constricts the blood, what does it has to do with fasting? because when we do not eat or drink our veins in the body become narrow so there's not the normal flow of blood and remember the hadith?
The Prophet said, "Satan flows inside man like blood.." (Bukhari and Muslim )
So if the veins are constricted there's no chance of shaitan flowing easily through our blood.
6. It clears the body from all waste
7. More time for worshipping Allah SWT
These are the reasons that we in our limited capability can comprehend on, For sure Allah SWT knows what we don't.
Rulings for Fasting
1. Prohibition of asting 1 or 2 days before Ramadan.
Here's our proof : Al-Bukhaari (1914) and Muslim (1082) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.” Reasons ?
a. To prevent exxagerration
b. In order not to make anyone suspect that this is from ramadan
Some scholars have differed opinions on whether it is makrooh (disliked) or haraam (forbidden) to fast on these days. The best opinion is to avoid fasting in them.
2. The prohibition of fasting on 30th of Sha'ban because it is a doubtful day.
In case, the moon of ramadan was not sighted? It is still prohibited and if the moon of Ramadan is sighted then it is haraam.
3. Commencing and terminating our fasting with the sighting of the moon.
Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi' from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once mentioned Ramadan and said, "Do not begin the fast until you see the new moon, and do not break the fast (at the end of Ramadan) until you see it. If the new moon is obscured from you, then calculate (when it should be)."
[cf Bukhari 1807]
If the sky is overcast, determine when it should be. Sighting of the moon should be after maghrib time. One muslim witness is enough to announce the ramadan. Reference?
A bedouin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: I have sighted the moon. Al-Hasan added in his version: that is, of Ramadan. He asked: Do you testify that there is no god but Allah? He replied: Yes. He again asked: Do you testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah? He replied: Yes. and he testified that he had sighted the moon. He said: Bilal, announce to the people that they must fast tomorrow.
[NARRATOR Abdullah ibn AbbasABU DAWUDHADITH_No 2333]
But for witnessing the month of shawwal, 2 witnesses are enough. How about the fasts when you are going from one country to another in Ramadan?
Eg : You are in middle east, where ramadan starts 1 day before it does in India. So, now when you go to India you will be getting 1 additional day for fasting. Is that okay? Yes. You can do the extra fast even if it leads to 31 days.
What if its the other way round? You are going to a country where shawwal starts a day before the country you actually started your ramadan in? You have to complete your month of ramadan by doing the extra 1 or 2 days of fast that you may have missed after the day of Eid.
What if you are travelling to another country after you have completed your 30 days of fasting? and ramadan is still ongoing in that country? You are not supposed to fast.
4. The Intention
One must make the intention of fasting before the time of Fajr in the case of obligatory fasts. You should have the intention before the dawn, if you do it after fajr that day's fast in not accepted.
As related by at-Tirmidhiyy, an-Nasa’iyy, and others, the Prophet peace to be upon him said:
لاصيام لمن لم يبيت النية
which means: : “Whoever does not intend fasting prior to Fajr, then there is no fasting for him
The intention for any obligatory fasting of Ramadan must take place the night before the fast. However, the intention time for an optional fasting, is extended untill Dhuhr time as long as one does not commit any of the invalidators of fasting since the dawn appeared.
It is permissible to make an intention for the whole month at the first evening of Ramadan provided that you have not discontinued in between, then you need to renew the intention. Some scholars suggest that it is better to make intention on every night.
Other rulings to be followed in the next part.