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FASTING IN RAMADHAN - NOTES


1. Importance of Fasting

1. Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
2. Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is Fard upon every Muslim, male and female who is sane and mature.
3. Almighty Allah has promised great reward for those who Fast
4. Fasting has many physical, moral and social benefits. However, Allah has made fasting compulsory so that we become pious, God fearing, God conscious and learn abstinence.
5. Fasting in Islam means to stay away from eating, drinking and sexual activity from Subha Sadiq (early dawn when the light first begins to appear horizontally) to sunset with a Niyyah of fasting.





2. The Niyyah (intention)

1. The Niyyah (intention) of fasting is necessary. If a person stays away from all those things that break one's fast without a Niyyah, the fast will not be valid.
2. It is not necessary to express the Niyyah verbally as Niyyah means to intend. Thus, the intention at heart will suffice.


3. The time to make Niyyah lasts until Mid day for the Fasts of Ramadhan. The Fast itself is from Subha Sadiq until sunset.

4. The Niyyah for Qadha fast should be made before Subha Sadiq.

This dua can be recited at the time of breaking fast

dua at breaking the fast




3.Sunnah of Ramadhan

1. To partake of Sehri or predawn meals.
2. To break fast immediately after sunset.


3. Te read Tarawih Salah at night.

4. To feed the poor and hungry.

5. To increase the reading of the Holy Qur'an.

6. To observe I'tikaaf within the Masjid during the last ten days of Ramadhan.

7. To break one's fast with dry or fresh dates if available. If dates are not available, then with water.

8. To search for Lail atul Qadr in the Last ten days of Ramadhan (specifically on the odd nights)




4.Things that break one's fast

Things that break one's fast are of two kinds. Some make only Qadha necessary whilst others make both Qadha and Kaffarah compulsory.
1. Qadha:- To keep one fast in place of the one that breaks, or is broken intentionally.
2. Kaffarah:- To keep one fast after another for sixty days continuously.


However, if a person is unable to keep these 60 fasts for some valid reason e.g. continuous sickness, then one has the option of choosing from one of the following four:

1. Feed sixty poor people to their fill for two meals

2. Feed a poor person two meals a day for sixty days

3. Give 60 poor persons 3 1/2 Ibs. (approx. l.6kg of wheat or its value in cash or food grains)

4. Give to one poor person not less than 3 1/2 Ibs. of wheat, rice or food grains, etc. to its value or cash for sixty days.




Things that break one's fast but make only Qadha wajib

1. Anything put by force into the mouth of fasting persons.

2. Water goes down the throat whilst gargling, conscious of one's fasting.

3. To vomit mouthful intentionally or to return vomit down the throat.

4. Swallowing intentionally a pebble, piece of paper or any item that is not used as food or medicine.

5. Swallowing something edible, equal to or bigger than a grain of gram which was stuck between the teeth. However if it is first taken out of the mouth and swallowed, it will break the fast whether it is smaller or bigger than the size of a gram.

6. Putting oil into the ear.

7. Inhaling snuff into the nostrils.

8. Swallowing the blood from the mouth if the colour of the blood is more than saliva with which it is mixed.

9. To eat and drink forgetting that one is fasting and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to eat and drink again.

10. To eat and drink after Subha Sadiq or to break the fast before sunset due to a cloudy sky or a faulty watch etc. and then realising one's fault.

N.B. Any other fast other than a Ramadhan one whether broken intentionally or with a good and valid reason, makes ONLY Qadha wajib. There is no Kaffarah for breaking any fast besides that of Ramadhan.




Things that make both Qadha and Kaffarah wajib

1. Eating and drinking of any edible or drinkable substance without a valid reason.
2. To have sexual intercourse.
(Women who miss the fast due to monthly periods will do Qadha only for the missed fast after Ramadhan)






5. Things that do not break the fast


1. To eat or drink something unintentionally.
2. A mosquito, fly or any other object going down the throat unintentionally.


3. Water entering the ears.

4. Dust or dirt going down the throat.

5. Swallowing one's OWN saliva.

6. Taking an injection.

7. Applying of Surma (kohl) into the eyes.

8. Taking a bath to keep cool.

9. Rubbing oil onto the body or hair.

10. To vomit unintentionally.

11. Applying Itr or perfume. It is not permitted to inhale the smoke of Lobaan or Agarbatti whilst fasting. It is also NOT permitted to smoke cigarettes or inhale its smoke.

12. Brushing the teeth without toothpaste or powder e.g. using a Miswaaq, etc.

13. A dream which makes Ghusl wajib (necessary) does not break the fast.




6. Fidya (compensation) for fast

1. A very old person who does NOT have the strength to fast or a very sickly or diseased person who has NO hope of recovering after Ramadhan should give FIDYA for each fast he missed in Ramadhan.

2. The Fidya for a fast is similar to that of a missed Fard or Wajib Salah i.e.
To give 3 1/2 Ibs = approx 1.6kg of wheat
OR 7 lbs = approx 3.2kg of barley
OR the equivalent of the above in cash or kind.
If, however, an old or sick person gains strength or recovers after Ramadhan, he must keep the missed number of fasts and whatever was given as Fidya will be a reward for him from Allah Ta'ala.


No one is allowed to fast for another (sick or fit ) person.

Children should be encouraged to fast, but should not be forced to complete the fast unto sunset if they are unable to bear the hunger.




7. People exempted from fasting in Ramadhan

1. Sick people when their health is likely to be badly affected by fasting. They should make up the loss, a day for a day, when they recover after Ramadhan.
2. A Musafir (one who is undertaking a journey of more than 48 miles and does not intend staying more than 14 days at his destination). However, it is better for him to fast in Ramadhan than keep Qadha later, provided the journey is NOT a tiresome one.


3. If it is feared that hunger or thirst will lead to death, it is permitted to break one's fast.

(It is WAJIB to keep Qadha of a Nafl fast that was broken before completing it)




8. TARAWIH PRAYER

Tarawih Salah is sunnah mu'akkadah for both men and women.

The time for Tarawih is from after Isha Salah to a little before Subha Sadiq. It can be performed before and after the Witr Salah also.

If one has missed a few Rak'aats of Tarawih and the Imam has commenced the Witr then onemay join for the Witr and complete the remainder of his Tarawih thereafter.

20 Rak'aats with 10 Salaams are masnoon i.e. one should have a Niyyah for 2 Rak'aats of Tarawih each time. After every four Rak'aats it is Mustahab to sit a while and take a rest.

lt is MAKROOH to perform Tarawih sitting if one has the strength of Qiyam (standing).

While performing Tarawih some do not join the Jama'at from the beginning but join the Imam when he prepares to go into Ruku. This is MAKROOH. They should join at the beginning.
If one does not get the Jama'at for Fard, he should perform his Fard first and then join the Jama'at for Tarawih.





9. VIRTUES OF FASTING

1. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Apostle of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "When Ramadhan comes, the doors of Heaven are opened and the doors of Hell are closed and the devils are put in chains and the doors of Mercy are opened."

2. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The fragrance of the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the smell of musk."

3. Sahl bin Saad (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "In Paradise there are eight doors of which there is a door named RAYYAAN. None but those that fast will enter it."

4. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Whoever breaks fast on one day of Ramadhan without excuse or illness, his fasting of his whole age will not compensate it."

5. Hazrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Partake of Sehri before dawn because in this Sehri there is blessing."

6. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Whoever fasts during Ramadhan with faith and is hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven and whoever stands up in Namaaz with faith and is hopeful of reward all his past sins will be forgiven and whoever stands up in Namaaz during the blessed night with faith and is hopeful of reward all his past sins will be forgiven."




10. SADQAT UL FITR

Sadqatul fitr is wajib upon every single individual who were alive at the time of sunrise on the day of eidul fitr.

Everyone should pay his or her own sadqa.

In the case of children who are not earning then the head of the house should pay on their behalf.
The sadqatul fitr is determined by finding the value of 1.1 kg of barley, which is approximately 2.50.


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