PREPARING FOR FASTING – Book Sample
Concerning the conditions of fasting, its obligations and the rulings upon those who may break their fast
- : Fasting is obligatory on every Muslim who:
- has come of age
- is of sound mind
- is capable (of fasting)
- is resident (meaning not a traveler)
- is not prevented (due to menstruation or post-partum bleeding).
- : Whoever doesn’t fast, denying its obligation, then he has disbelieved, because he has denied one of the pillars of Islam. Whoever doesn’t fast through laziness and taking the matter lightly then he has committed a major sin and is in grave danger.
- : If a disbeliever embraces Islam or a child comes of age during the course of Ramadaan, then they must fast for the remainder of the month. However, they do not need to make up the preceding days which they missed (of Ramadaan) by consensus.
- : If a disbeliever embraces Islam or a child comes of age during the day (during Ramadaan) then they must withhold from eating and drinking etc. for the remainder of the day without having to make up that fast at a later date. This is the opinion of the majority of the fiqh scholars due to the conditions of fasting coming into effect, namely the disbeliever embracing Islam and the child coming of age.
- : It is not permissible to fast the day immediately preceding Ramadaan unless it is someone’s habit to fast certain optional days in accordance with the Sunnah, such as on Mondays and Thursdays, or if he has a day to make up (from last year). He n said “One should not precede Ramadaan by fasting a day or two days immediately before it, unless it is someone’s usual habit to do so, in which case he may fast that day.” [al-Bukhari 1914 and Muslim 1082].
- : Everyone should follow the sighting of their own country for the start and end of the month. If there is no specific sighting arranged for where they live, then they should follow the nearest Muslim country in sighting (the new moon).
The Muslims in one particular country should not become divided or disagree in this matter. Agreeing upon the start and end dates for fasting fulfills a very important goal of the sharee`ah. In a matter where there is scope for multiple differing interpretations, then adopting a weaker position which leads to unity and togetherness may be better than adopting a technically stronger position which leads to splitting and disagreement.
- : One must have the intention to fast an obligatory fast from the night before, due to his n statement “Whoever does not make his intention to fast from the night before, prior to fajr, then there is no fast for him”(( an-Nasaa.ee 2332, declared authentic and raised to the level of be- ing a statement of the Prophet by al-Bayhaqi, ad-Daaraqutni, al-Khattaabi, `Abd-ul-Haqq and ibn-ul-Jawzi and only to the level of being a statement of a Companion by at-Tirmidhi and Aboo Haatim)). It is sufficient to make the intention once at the beginning of the month according to the more correct of the two opinions of the scholars. However, if one needs to stop fasting (for some days) due to illness or travelling, then one should renew one’s intention when resuming fasting. This is the opinion of a number of scholars. Some scholars say that one should have the intention to fast the night before each fast, which is the opinion of the majority of fiqh scholars (i.e. scholars of Islamic rulings). However, the more correct opinion is the first because everyone will intend to fast the whole month at the beginning of the month. So, the intention will be there, and they will have fulfilled the required Islamic ruling, even if it is not explicitly made (every night).
- : One should form one’s intention in the heart. Verbalizing the intention is not legislated and is not a condition (for it to be valid). This is based on the fact that (verbalizing) is not reported in the Sunnah of the Messenger n nor in the example of the Companions.
- : It is valid to intend a voluntary fast at any time either during the night before or during the day of the fast itself. This is the opinion of the majority of fiqh scholars based on the report of `Aa.ishah, Mother of the Believers (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: the Prophet n entered upon me one day and said “Do you have anything (to eat)?” So we said “No.” He said “Then I am fasting.” ((Muslim 1154))
- : His reward for this voluntary fast will begin from the time he made his intention. This is the opinion of a number of scholars, because ‘actions are in accordance with their intention’.
- : Eating suhoor (a pre-dawn meal) or dinner indicate one’s intention to fast, because one eats this meal as a preparation for the fast, and one can make the intention to fast at any point during the night before the fast.
- : Someone who is unconscious could be in one of two situations:
- Someone who was unconscious for part of the day. His fast would be valid. This is the opinion of the majority of fiqh scholars, as this person would have caught the act of worship (i.e. the fast) during its time period.
- Someone who was unconscious from night-time until sunset the next day. His fast would be invalid whether he intended to fast or not. This is the opinion of the majority of fiqh scholars due to the fact that his intellect was absent for the duration of the fast. This would also apply to people who are unconscious as a result of an accident or surgical procedure etc.
- : Someone who was unconscious for the whole month of Ramadaan, regaining consciousness after that – it is obligatory for him to make up the month. This is the opinion of the four Imams. This is because (unconsciousness) is considered to be an illness, so once you recover from this then you must make up your fasting.
- : Someone who is very old, or ill and unable to fast or to make up his fast, then he should feed a poor person for every day he missed. He should feed them to their fill with cooked or uncooked food. There is no proof for which specific type of food should be given to them, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. There is no textual proof for specifying a particular type of food, so therefore the matter goes back to what people customarily do. This is also the position of a number of the tafsir scholars (i.e. scholars who explain the Qur’an). They must be fed rather than being given money. This is the opinion of the majority of fiqh scholars as this constitutes sticking to the Islamic texts, (giving them their due and acting in accordance with them), and also not going against the Companions (namely `Umar, `Ali, ibn `Umar and ibn `Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them) in this matter.
- : The above compensation for missed fasts should be given to the faqeer and miskeen (poor and needy). However, it should not be given to the other categories of those people eligible to receive zakaat. This is according to the texts of the Qur’an, and is the opinion held by the majority of fiqh scholars.
To read more about the Preparing For Fasting book Click the download button below to get it for free