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Lessons on Fasting Taraaweeh and Zakaat – Sample Book

INTRODUCTION – Lessons on Fasting Taraaweeh and Zakaat

All praise be to Allaah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and ask for His forgiveness. And we repent to Him and seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves and the evils of our actions. Whoever Allaah guides, there is no one that can lead him astray, and whoever is lead astray, there is no one that can guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his family, companions and those who followed them in goodness until the Day of Recompense. To Proceed:

On this occasion of the rapid approach of the blessed month of Ramadaan, we would like to present to our Muslim brothers the following lessons, asking Allaah that He make this deed of ours sincere for His sake alone and in accordance with His Divine Legislation, as well as a source of benefit to His creation. Verily, He is the Most Giving, Most Generous.

The First lesson: The Ruling on Fasting

Fasting during Ramadaan is an obligation that is established in the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallAllaa u ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the unanimous

agreement of the Muslims. Allaah says:

“O you who believe. Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for thos

before you in order that you may gain Taqwaa (fear and dutifulness to Allaah).”

“(Fasting) is for a certain number of days. But if any of you is ill or on a journey, (he should make up) the same amount of missed days on other days. And as for those who are able to fast (but with difficulty), they (have a choice to fast or) they can feed a needy person (for the day missed). But whoever exceeds in good, t fast is better for you if you only knew.”

“The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guide for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and criterion. So whoever amongst you sights (the crescent indicating the beginning of the) month (of Ramadaan), must fast it. And whoever amongst you is sick or on a journey, then (he may make up) the same amount of missed days on other days. Allaah wants ease for you and He doesn’t want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) complete the (required) number of days, and that you thereafter glorify Allaah (with Takbeer during ‘Eid) for having guided you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 183-185]

Also, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Islaam is built upon five (pillars): Testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Messenger; Establishing the Prayer; Giving the Zakaat; Making the Pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House (of Allaah); and Fasting in Ramadaan.” [Agreed Upon]

In the narration found in Saheeh Muslim it reads: “…Fasting in Ramadaan; and Making the Pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House.”

The Muslims have unanimously agreed on the obligation of fasting in Ramadaan. So

whoever rejects the obligation of fasting during Ramadaan, then he is an apostate,

disbeliever, who must seek repentance. So if he repents and agrees to its obligation, he is to be pardoned, but if not, he is to be executed as a disbeliever.

Fasting in Ramadaan was made obligatory in the second year after Hijrah. So altogether, Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) fasted nine Ramadaans.

Fasting is mandatory on every Muslim that is a sane adult (i.e. he has reached the age of puberty). Therefore, fasting if not obligatory upon a disbeliever, nor will it be accepted from him until he accepts Islaam. Neither is it obligatory for a youth to fast until he reaches the age of puberty. A boy reaches the age of puberty when he turns fifteen years old or with the sprout of pubic hairs or when sexual fluids descend during sleep or elsewhere. A girl reaches the age of puberty with her (first) menstruation. So when one of these things occur in a youth, he/she has reached the age of puberty (and is obligated to fast).

However, children (i.e. under age of puberty) should be ordered to fast, if they are able to and it won’t cause harm to them, so that they may grow accustomed and attached to it.

It is also not obligatory on someone who loses sanity, whether due to madness, brain surgery and so on to fast. So based on this, if there is an adult that is delirious and cannot distinguish on his own, he is not obligated to fast or feed needy people (as recompense).

Lesson Two: The Wisdom and Benefits of Fasting

One of Allaah’s Names is Al-Hakeem (The Most Wise). This name is given to one who is characterized with the attribute of Wisdom. Wisdom means: Treating affairs with accuracy and precision and putting them in their proper place. This name necessitates that everything that Allaah created and legislated is due to some profound wisdom – whoever knows about it, knows about it and whoever is unaware of it, is unaware of it.

Fasting, which Allaah has prescribed and obligated on His servants, has tremendous aspects of wisdom and numerous benefits.

From the wisdom behind fasting is that: It is an act of worship done for Allaah, in which the ‘abd (servant) draws closer to His Lord by abandoning the things that he loves and desires, such as food, drink and sexual intercourse. This is done in order to achieve His Lord’s Pleasure and success in the next life. By doing this, he shows outwardly that he has chosen what his Lord loves over what he loves, as well as the next life over this life.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it is a means of attaining Taqwaa, as Allaah says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, in order that you gain Taqwaa.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 183]

So a fasting person is commanded to have Taqwaa of Allaah, which means obeying His orders and avoiding His prohibitions. This is the greatest goal behind fasting. The objective behind fasting is not to torture a person by having him abandon food, drink and sexual intercourse.

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever does not abandon false speech, acting upon that (falsehood) and ignorance, then Allaah has no need of him abandoning his food and drink.” ((Reported by Al-Bukhaaree))

False speech refers to every forbidden type of speech such as lying, backbiting and slandering, as well as other prohibited acts. Acting upon falsehood refers to performing any type of forbidden act such as transgressing against people, betraying, deceiving, beating up people, taking money unjustly and so on. What also falls into this is listening to what is forbidden to listen to such as prohibited songs and musical instruments. Ignorance refers to foolishness, and that means not using the religious guidance in speech and action.

So when a fasting person abides by the requisites of this ayah and hadeeth, the fast becomes a means for him to cultivate his soul, correct his character and rectify his manners. And he will then not come out of the month of Ramadaan except that he finds that his soul, character and manners have been positively affected.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that a person who has wealth is caused to realize the magnitude of Allaah’s blessing on him, such that Allaah made it easy for Him to achieve what he desires from food, drink, sexual intercourse and those things Allaah had permitted in the Religion.

So because of this, he becomes grateful to his Lord for these blessings and remembers his destitute brother who is not able to achieve these things. And this will cause him to be generous with him, by giving him charity and showing kindness to him.

And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it trains one to curb and subject his soul, such that he is able to lead it towards that which is good for it and what will make it prosper in this world and the next. And he distances himself from becoming an animal- like person who cannot control and restrain himself from fulfilling his yearns and desires.

And from the wisdom behind fasting are the health benefits that come as a result of in- taking little food, allowing the digestive system to rest for a specified time, and allowing excess wastes and excrements that are harmful to the body to be discharged.

Lesson Three: The Ruling on a Sick or Traveling Person Fasting

Allaah, the Most High, says:

And whoever amongst you is sick or on a journey, then (he may make up) the same amount of missed days on other days. Allaah wants ease for you and He doesn’t want to make things difficult for you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 185]

A sick person falls into two types:

First: Whoever has a chronic illness and there is no anticipation of it being cured (near term), like cancer for example, this person is not required to fast. This is because he does not have a condition in which it is expected that he will be able to do it (i.e. the fast).

 However, for every day missed, he must feed a needy person whether if it is by gathering the same amount of needy people as the days he missed and feeding all of them at once as Anas bin Maalik (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) used to do when he was old, or it could be by dividing up the food for the needy people according to the days missed and then giving every needy person a quarter of a Prophetic saa’, i.e. what weighs about half a kilo and 10 grams of good wheat.

It is better if one serves meat or fat along with it in order to compliment the meal. The same applies to an elderly person that is not able to fast, in that he should feed a needy person for every day missed.

Second: Whoever has a temporary illness that they will recover from, such as a fever and what resembles that. This kind of illness has three scenarios:

  1. Fasting will not burden or cause harm to him. Such a sick person is obligated to fast since he has no excuse to abandon it.
  2. Fasting will be difficult on him but it won’t cause any harm to him. In this situation it is detested for him to fast because one is actually refraining from using Allaah’s concession (rukhsah), while at the same time he is burdening himself.
  3. Fasting will harm him. In this situation, it is forbidden for him to fast because of the harm that he will be inflicting upon himself. Allaah says:

“And do not kill yourselves. Verily Allaah is All-Merciful to you.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 29]

And He says:

“And do not throw yourselves into destruction by your own hands.” [Surah Al- Baqarah: 195]

And in a hadeeth, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is to be no harming (of others) nor harm (to oneself).” Reported by Ibn Maajah and Al-Haakim, and An-Nawawee said: “Its paths of narrations strengthen one another.”

One can find out if fasting will be harmful to a sick person by (1) that person feeling it to be harmful on himself or by (2) him being informed of it by a reliable doctor. When a person who falls under this category of being sick breaks his fast, he must make up the number of days he missed when he recovers. But if he dies before he recovers then making up the missed days is no longer binding upon him, since he is only obligated to fast the number of days missed on other days, which he was not able to reach.

A traveler falls into two types:

First: Whoever intends by traveling to cheat his way out of fasting. It is not permissible for such a person to break his fast, since cheating one’s way out of Allaah’s obligations does not remove those obligations from him.

Second: Whoever does not intend the above by traveling. This person may fall into one of the following three situations:

  1. Fasting is extremely difficult upon him. In this case, it is forbidden for him to fast since one time “The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was fasting while on the military expedition to conquer Makkah, when news reached him that the people found it difficult to fast and they were looking at him to see what he would do. So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) called for a cup of water after ‘Asr and drank from it while the people were looking at him. Later it was said to him: ‘Some people are still fasting.’ So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: ‘Those are the disobedient ones. Those are the disobedient ones.’” ((Reported by Muslim))
  2. Fasting is difficult upon him, but not so severe. In this situation it is detested (makrooh) for him to fast since he is refraining from one of Allaah’s concessions, while putting a burden upon himself.
  3. Fasting is not difficult upon him. In this case he may do whatever is easiest on him – whether it is fasting or choosing not to fast. This is based on Allaah’s statement:

“Allaah wants ease for you and He doesn’t want to make things difficult for you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 185]

The word “want” here takes on the meaning of love (i.e. He loves ease for you). If there is no difference between fasting or not fasting, then fasting is more preferable, because this is what the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did, as is reported in Saheeh Muslim from Abud-Dardaa (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) who said: “We went out (on a journey) with the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) during Ramadaan under intense heat conditions to the point that each of us would put his hand over his head (to cover it) due to the severe heat (of the sun). And no one would be fasting among us except for the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and ‘Abdullaah bin Rawaaha.”

A traveler is considered to be traveling from the time he leaves his country to the time he returns to it. And if he takes up residency in the land he travels to for a period of time, he is considered to be traveling as long as he holds the intention that he will never reside there after the objective for which he traveled there for in the first place is fulfilled.

So he is entitled to all of the allowances a traveler has even if the length of his residency extends for a long time. This is since the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not mention any time limit defining when a travel ends. And the foundation with regard to this issue is that one remains in a traveler’s state and under its rules until there comes a proof that the travel has ended and that its rules fail to apply.

There is no difference in breaking the fast while traveling between a time-constrained travel, such as Hajj, ‘Umrah, visiting a relative, business travel, and so on and between a continuous travel, such as journeys made by car service drivers such as taxis or other larger forms of transportation (i.e. buses). When these drivers exit from their countries, they all enter into the state of travelers and it is permissible for them to do whatever other travelers are permitted to do, such as not fasting during Ramadaan, shortening the four rak’ah prayers into two rak’ahs, and combining the Dhuhr and ‘Asr prayers and Maghrib and ‘Ishaa prayers, when there is a need for it.

Abstaining from the fast is better for them than fasting, if that is easier for them. And they can make up the days missed during the winter. This is because these car service drivers have their own country, which they ascribe to. So when they are in their country, then they are considered residents and whatever applies for or against all other residents also applies for and against them. And when they travel, they are considered travelers and whatever applies in favor or against travelers also applies in favor or against them.

Lesson Four: The Things that break One’s Fast

The things that break one’s fast are seven:

1. Sexual Intercourse: This Is when the penis enters the vagina. So when a fasting person has sexual intercourse, his fast becomes broken. Furthermore, if this sexual intercourse occurs during the day of Ramadaan, when fasting is obligatory, he is required to perform the mandatory atonement for the vileness of his act, which is freeing a slave. If he is not able to, then he must fast two consecutive months (after Ramadaan). If he cannot do this, he must feed sixty needy people. However, if a person is not obligated to fast, such as a traveler, and he has intercourse with his wife while fasting, he must make up the missed day and doesn’t have to perform this atonement.

  • When sexual fluid descends due to fondling, kissing, hugging and so on. But if one kisses his wife and no sexual fluids descend then nothing is binding on him.
  • Eating and Drinking: This is when food or drink is transported into the interior of the body, whether by way of the mouth or the nose1 depending on what is being drunk or eaten. It is not permissible for a fasting person to inhale the smoke of incense (bukhoor) such that it will enter into his interior, since smoke is a substance. But as for smelling pleasant fragrances and perfumes then there is no harm (sin) in this.
  • Whatever bears the same function as eating or drinking such as nutritive injections, which serve as food and drink supplement. But as for injections that are not alimental or nutritive, they do not cause one to break the fast regardless of whether they are injected through the veins or the muscles.
  • Emitting blood due to Hijaamah (Cupping): According to analogy, all forms of emitting blood intentionally, which affects the body like Hijaamah does, applies to this. As for the emission of a small amount of blood as part of a medical examination, and so on, this does not break the fast since it does not affect the body by weakening it, as is the case with Hijaamah.
  • Vomiting Intentionally: This means releasing out what food and drink is in the stomach.
  • The release of blood from menstruation and postpartum bleeding.

A fasting person does not break his fast with any of the above unless he first meets three conditions:

  1. He must be aware of its ruling and the time that it applies to.
  2. He must remember (i.e. not accountable for forgetfulness)
  3. He must do it intentionally and willingly

So if a person performs Hijaamah and doesn’t think that the Hijaamah breaks his fast, then his fast is still valid since he is just unaware of its ruling. Allaah says:…

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