Zakaah And Fasting


  • bookcover

  • Zakaah And Fasting

  •  

    the Most
    Gracious, the Most Merciful.

    All the
    praises and thanks are due to Allah
    (S.W.T),

    the peace
    and blessings of Allah
    (S.W.T) be upon Prophet Muhammad,

    his
    Household, and all of his Companions.

     

     

     

    Publisher's
    Note

     

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
    This series of seven books entitled “Lessons for New Muslims," includes he
    titles: The Muslim Creed Expounded; Prayer and Purification; Zakah and Fasting; Easy ‘Umrah and Hajj;
    Basic
    Muslim Morals and Manners; some selected supplications From the
    Qur'an; and the Noble Qur'an (part 30). The material for these books was
    compiled and edited by Sidheeque M.A. Veliankode, Aqeel Nalker, Abu Hamza Al-Arabi, and Abu Khaliyl. Our main
    objective was only to include information for someone who has recently accepted
    Islam as their new way of life. This series is accompanied by a cassette with
    complete instructions about ritual purity and prayer (Salah), featuring Dr. Ahmad Saifuddeen,
    associate professor at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic
    University of Riyadh. We would like to thank all those involved in the
    preparation of this series.

    General Director

    Abdul Malik Mujahid

    Darussalam

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Zakat

    (Obligatory Charity)

     

    Zakat
    is a certain fixed portion of the wealth and property that a Muslim is
    obliged to pay yearly for the benefit of the poor in the Muslim community. The
    payment of Zakat is obligatory, as it is one of the five pillars of
    Islam. Zakat is the major economic means for establishing social justice
    and leading the Muslim society towards prosperity and security.

    Every
    Muslim who owns a fixed, minimum amount of wealth (called Nisab), and
    who satisfies certain other conditions, must pay Zakat. The Qur'an mentions
    Zakat in many places. For example, Allah (S.W.T) says:

     

    "Take Sadaqah
    (obligatory charity) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify
    them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source
    of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower."

    (9:103)

     

    Zakat
    has also been mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) in many Ahadith
    (recorded statements and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). The
    Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "Islam
    was built on five (pillars): testifying that none has the right to be
    worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), is the Messenger of
    Allah; establishing the prayer (perfectly and on time); paying Zakat; performing
    pilgrimage to the House (the Ka 'bah); and fasting Ramadhan"
    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    Furthermore, the Prophet (Peace be
    upon Him) said in his advice to his Companion Mu'ath
    (May Allah (S.W.T) be pleased with him) when he sent him to Yemen:

     

    "You are going to a People of the (Divine) Book."
    Then he (Peace be upon Him) continued… "Allah (S.W.T)
    has enjoined on them Zakat that is to be taken from the rich amongst
    them and given to the poor. If they obey you in that, take Zakat from
    them, yet avoid (don't take) the best property of the people as Zakat. "

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    Zakat has been made obligatory on Muslims for
    an honorable wisdom and to bring about many noble benefits. Zakat purifies
    one's property and earnings, increases them and saves them from destructive
    impurities. Zakat fills one's wealth with the blessings of obedience to
    Allah ~ and honoring His Commandments. It cleanses the human soul from the ills
    of greed, miserly conduct, covetousness and selfishness. It extends help to the
    poor, the needy and the deprived. It unites the hearts upon Iman (Faith)
    and Islam (submission to Allah). It rids the hearts of the darkness of
    weak faith and evil doubts, and brings them to the clarity of strong faith and
    certainty. The Qur'anic Verses and the

    Prophetic Ahadith strongly encourage giving Zakat
    while affirming its great reward and tremendous bounties. It is a means to
    enter Paradise, and a deed that allows one to taste the sweetness of Iman (Faith).
    Giving this obligatory charity does not decrease a person's wealth, as some stingy
    people may think.

     

    Whoever refuses to pay Zakat, while rejecting
    its necessity in Islam, is a disbeliever. On the other hand, whoever refuses to
    pay the required Zakat on his wealth due to stinginess or laziness,
    while he still believes that it is a necessary act in Islam, is a sinner, The Qur'anic Verses and the Ahadith have
    used the strongest terms to warn against refusing to pay Zakat,
    promising ultimate failure and the severest punishment and torment for such
    an offense, Allah
    (S.W.T) said:

     

    "And those who hoard up gold and silver (i.e, the money, the Zakat of which has not been
    paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful
    torment. On the Day when that (wealth) will be heated in the fire of Hell and
    with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it
    will be said unto them:) 'This is the treasure which
    you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard,'"

    (9:34-35)

     

    Also, Allah (S.W.T) said:

     

    "And let not those who covetously
    withhold of that which Allah has bestowed ,on them of His Bounty (wealth) think
    that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakat). Nay,
    it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be
    tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection."

    (3:180)

     

     

     

    Those Required to Pay Zakat

     

    Those who satisfy the following conditions are
    required to pay the Zakat:

     

    • Muslims who own a minimum
      amount of extra wealth (referred to as Nisab) beyond the
      necessities of life, such as food, clothing, places of residence, means of
      transportation and the tools necessary for work.
    • A full year has passed (hawl) since one had possession of the minimum
      amount of wealth liable for payment of the Zakat. However, fruits
      and vegetables are not included in this ruling.
    • The Nisab is free
      from debts and thus is not owed to debtors.

     

     

     

    Types of Possessions That Require Paying the Zakat

     

    *Gold and Silver

    This
    is based on Allah's Statement in the Noble Qur'an:

     

    "And
    those who hoard up gold and silver (i.e. the money, the Zakat of which
    has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a
    painful torment,"

    (9:34)

     

     

    Also,
    the Prophet (Peace be upon Him), said:

     

    "There is no charity on what is less than five Uqiyyah
    (of silver),"

    (Al-Bukhari
    and Muslim)

     

    (Note:
    One Uqiyyah of silver is 147 grams, thus five Uqiyyahis
    equal to 735 grams.)

     

     

    * Women's
    Jewelry That is made of Gold or Silver and is Used for
    Beautification Purposes

    There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars
    concerning Zakat on gold and silver jewelry that is kept for
    beautification and not sold for business purposes, The correct view is that
    there is Zakat due on it if it reaches the Nisab amount, The Prophet
    (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "Anyone who owns gold or silver and does not pay
    Zakat
    on them, on the Day of Resurrection they will be made into plates of
    fire and they will then bum his sides, forehead and back."

    (Muslim)

     

     

    The
    Prophet (Peace be upon Him) also asked a woman whose daughter was wearing two
    gold bracelets, if she had paid the Zakat on them. When the woman
    replied that she had not, the Prophet (Peace be upon
    Him) said:

     

    "Would you be pleased to have Allah make two
    bracelets of fire from them on the Day of Judgment?"

    (Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i and graded as good)

     

    The
    Nisab amount for gold is twenty Mithqals,
    or 92 grams. The Nisab for silver is one hundred and forty Mithqals, or 735 grams. If the amount of gold
    and silver jewelry that a woman owns is less than these amounts, there is no Zakat
    due upon her jewelry.

     

     

    *Rikaz (Buried Precious Metals or Minerals)

    These
    are any precious metals, stones or minerals that are buried in the earth (such
    as buried treasures or mines) When they are found, 1/5th (20%) Zakat is
    due upon the find. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him)
    said:

     

    "There is no compensation for one killed or
    wounded by an animal, or by falling in a well, or due to working in mines: and
    one-fifth (Zakat) is compulsory on Rikaz,"

    (Al-Bukhari
    and Muslim)

     

     

    * Livestock
    Animals: Camels, Cows, and Sheep

    Allah's
    Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "Whoever had camels or
    cows or sheep, and did not pay their Zakat those animals will be brought
    on the Day of Resurrection far bigger and fatter than before, They will trample
    him with their hooves and butt him with their horns, When the last has its
    turn, the first will start again, and this punishment will go on until Allah
    has finished the judgements amongst the people,"

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

     

    *
    Food Grains and Fruit

    Certain
    crops and grains that could be kept or stored require Zakat to be paid
    on them. The grains that require Zakat are barley and wheat. The fruits
    that require Zakat to be paid are dates (fresh and dried) and raisins,
    However, this does not include the fruit and grains that one intends to feed
    oneself and one's family with, This ruling applies to a person like a farmer
    who harvests and sells fruit and grains that he does not intend to use for his
    own needs and the needs of his family, Allah (S.W.T) said:

     

    “… but pay
    the due thereof on the day of its harvest...”

    (6: 141)

     

    Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "On a land irrigated by rain water or by natural
    water channels or land that is wet due to a nearby water channel. One-tenth
    (10%) is compulsory (as Zakat); on the land irrigated by a well. half of
    a tenth (5%) is compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land).”

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    He (Peace be
    upon Him) also said:

     

    "There is no Zakat due on what is less
    than five Wasqs (of grains or vegetation)."

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    (Note:
    Five Wasqs are approximately 900 kg; One Wasq
    = 60 Sa` of measured grain.)

     

     

     

     

    Types
    of Wealth That do not Require Zakat

     

    *Fruits,
    Vegetables and Grains Other Than Dates, Raisins, wheat and Barley

    There is no evidence that other
    produce requires Zakat. The Prophet (Peace be upon

    Him)
    never levied Zakat on any produce or grain other than these four items.
    Yet, it is

    preferred
    to give away some of this produce to the poor and neighbors. Allah (S.W.T) said:

     

    "O you who believe!
    Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of

    that
    which We have produced from the earth for you..."

    (2:267)

     

     

    *Servants,
    Horses, Mules and Donkeys

    Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "There is no charity required from the
    Muslim regarding his horse or servant."

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    Further, it has not been reported that the
    Prophet (Peace be upon Him) ever collected

    charity on mules or donkeys.

     

     

    *The Money that
    does not Reach the Amount of Nisab

    Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "There is no Zakat on
    less than five Wasqs (approximately 900 kilograms of grain). There is

    no Zakat
    on less than five Uqiyyah of silver (735 grams). And there is no Zakat
    on less than

    five
    camels

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

     

    *The Property That is not Used
    for Commercial Purposes

    These include rugs, homes,
    cars, furniture, precious stones, pearls, and diamonds that are

    not
    used for commercial purposes. These personal items do not require payment of Zakat.

     

     

    *Women's
    Jewelry That is used for Beautification Purposes

    This applies to any precious
    stones, such as pearls, diamonds and so forth. There is no

    Zakat due on them
    Therefore, any necklaces, bracelets broaches or rings that are made a

    materials
    other than gold and silver do not require payment of Zakat.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Required Amount (Nisab) for Zakat

     

     

    *Gold

    The
    amount of gold that requires Zakat is around 92 grams, when this amount
    or more has remained unchanged in one's possession for one full year. The
    required Zakat in this case is one-fourth of a tenth (2.5%), which is
    approximately 2.3 grams.

     

     

    *Silver

    Silver requires Zakat to be paid when it
    reaches 735 grams or more and when this amount remains unchanged in one's
    possession for a full year. The amount of Zakat required in this case is
    also one-fourth of a tenth (2.5%), which is approximately 18.4 grams.

     

    *Cash at One's
    Disposal

    When
    it is worth the amount of gold or silver that requires Zakat and when
    this amount remains above the Nisab value for a full year. Zakat in
    this case is also one-fourth of a tenth, or 2.5%.

     

    *Items Used for Business Transactions and
    Commercial Purposes

    This
    requires a fourth of a tenth (2.5%) Zakat to be paid
    on them, when they remain a full year without decreasing below the Nisab amount.

    The minimum amount of the value of business merchandise that requires Zakat to
    be paid is the same as gold and silver, and the merchant could use either
    standard to estimate how much Zakat he should pay.

     

    *Treasures

    When the Muslim finds any treasures hidden in his land, he
    is required to give a fifth (20%) of that treasure in charity as Zakat.

     

    * Mines

    Mines,
    such as gold and silver mines, require Zakat to be paid on them whenever
    the minerals are discovered and extracted, just as the case with produce. Mines
    for extracting precious metals and minerals fall under the ruling of Rikaz and
    thus 1/5th (20%) Zakat is due upon them just as with buried treasure.

     

    *Returns on Investments

    If
    the investment is merchandizing transactions or animal products, then the Zakat
    for these returns on investment should be paid in addition to, and at the
    same time when the Zakat is paid on the principal, even if these profits
    did not remain for a full year. For instance, if the animal gives birth when
    the Zakat on the animals is due, then the owner should add all of these
    animals together and pay the Zakat due on all of them, and such is the
    case with monetary investments. When one earns money from inheritance or gifts,
    the Zakat becomes due if such inheritance reaches the minimum amount
    that requires Zakat and remains for a full year in one's possession
    without decreasing below the Nisab amount.

     

     

     

     

    *Livestock

    Grazing
    camels, grazing cows and grazing sheep and goats are eligible for Zakat payment.
    Each category of the above mentioned livestock animals has a set Nisab amount
    based upon the number of animals owned. These figures can be researched from
    the appropriate books of Islamic Jurisprudence.

     

    *Fruits
    and Grains

    When
    the produce is ready for harvest and the fruits become ripe, then the Zakat on
    them is due. Allah (S.W.T)says:

     

    "...but pay the due thereof (their Zakat)
    on the day of their harvest..."

    (6:141)

     

    As
    for fruit, every type of fruit has its own standard as to when it is ripe and
    ready to eat. For instance, dates are ripe when they become red or yellow,
    while grapes are ripe when they become sweet.

     

    The
    amounts of fruits and grains that require Zakat is five Wasqs, each
    of which is sixty Sa', and a Sa' is
    slightly less than three kilograms. Hence, the minimum Nisab
    that requires Zakat on dates.
    raisins,
    wheat and barley is three hundred Sa' (or approximately 900 kg). If the
    crop is watered without much effort, such as by spring water or by rain, it
    requires one-tenth (10%) as Zakat payment. This means that half of a Wasq (90 kg) is due for every five Wasqs. If
    such produce is watered with effort. such as from
    wells or irrigation channels, it requires a half of a tenth (5%) as Zakat payment.
    This means for every five Wasqs, there is a quarter of a Wasq (45 kg) due for Zakat.

     

    Allah's
    Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said:

     

    "On a land irrigated by rain water, or by
    natural water channels, or if the land is wet due to a nearby water channel,
    one-tenth is compulsory (as Zakat). On the land
    irrigated by a well.
    half of one ­tenth is
    compulsory (as Zakat on the yield of the land),"

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

     

     

     

    The Recipients of Zakat

     

     

    Zakat
    is spent on eight groups of people, as mentioned in the Qur'an:

     

    "As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) is only for the Fuqara '(poor), and Al-Masakin
    (the needy who do not beg) and those employed to collect (the funds); and
    to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to
    free the captives; and for those in
    debt;
    and for Allah's cause (i.e., for Mujahidun -those
    fighting in a battle for the cause of Islam), and for the wayfarer (a traveler
    who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-­Knower,
    All-Wise."

    (9:60)

     

     

     

     

     

    How
    to Pay Zakat

     

    We have discussed who must pay Zakat, how much
    is to be paid and who are its recipients. Now, the issue remains as to how the Zakat
    is to be paid.

     

    In
    an Islamic state, the Muslim leader (Khalifah, Ameer, etc.) is responsible for the collection of Zakat.
    His duty is to make sure that those Muslims who possess the minimum amount
    of wealth (Nisab) pay their Zakat in a timely manner. The ruler
    will deputize certain trustworthy men to go about amongst the Muslims and
    collect the Zakat from those upon whom it is due. He is also responsible
    for making sure that the Zakat is distributed amongst those who are
    worthy of receiving it.

     

    In a situation where the Muslim lives in a land (i.e.
    country. state, province. etc.) where there is no Muslim ruler,
    and the governing authorities are non­-Muslims, then it is left to the
    individual to pay his Zakat as he sees fit. The person must keep
    up with his own earnings and savings, and determine for himself, based upon the
    previously mentioned conditions, when Zakat is due upon his wealth.
    Likewise, he must decide who is most deserving of receiving his Zakat. He
    may either distribute it amongst those whom he knows to be qualified recipients
    or he may give it to a local mosque to be distributed amongst those who are
    needy.

     

    In
    a non-Muslim society, no Muslim (individual or group) has the right to demand Zakat
    from others by force, violence or any such threats. This is a right that is
    specifically for the Muslim rulers in the lands of the Muslims.

     

     

    Zakatul-Fitr

     

    There is a Zakat payment due at the end of the
    month of fasting, called Ramadhan. The day that it is due is called 'Eidul-Fitr, which is a day of celebrating the end of
    the fast. One of the Prophet's Companions named Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both,
    said:

     

    "Allah's
    Messenger (Peace be upon Him) enjoined the payment of one Sa' of dates
    or one Sa' of barley as Zakatul-Fitr on every Muslim, slave or
    free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the
    people went out to offer the 'Eid prayer."

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    The
    best time to pay Zakatul-Fitr is the time from dawn on 'Eid Day
    (the first day of the month following Ramadhan) until just before the 'Eid prayer.
    However, those who give it before the morning of the 'Eid (i.e.
    a day or two before the 'Eid) have properly fulfilled the obligation.

    Those who give it away after the 'Eid prayer, it is considered as a
    voluntary charity (Sadaqah) only. In other
    words it is not counted as Zakatul-Fitr.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What
    Should be Given as Zakatul-Fitr

     

     

     

    The Prophet's
    Companion.
    Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri
    said: "In the lifetime of Allah's Messenger we used to give Zakatul-Fitr
    on behalf of the young and the old, the free man and the slave, as one Sa’
    of food, or one Sa' of cottage cheese, or one Sa’ of barley,
    or one Sa’ of dates or one Sa’ of raisins."

    (Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud)

     

     

     

     

    The
    Wisdom Behind Zakatul-Fitr

     

     

    Zakatul-Fitr
    purifies the fasting person from whatever shortcomings, such as foul or
    unnecessary speech, that he might have indulged in during his fast. It also
    saves the poor people from the humiliation of asking people for help on the day
    of the 'Eid. One of the Prophet's Companions named Ibn
    'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, said:

    "The
    Messenger of Allah enjoined Zakatul-Fitr as a redemption for the fasting
    person from unneces­sary or foul speech and as a food for the poor."

    (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

     

     

     

     

     

    The
    Recipients of Zakatul-Fitr

     

    Zakatul-Fitr
    is paid to the same eight categories of people who are eligible to receive
    the Zakat on wealth, as we explained before. The poor and the needy are
    the most deserving people for Zakatul-Fitr, as we mentioned above:

     

    "Allah's
    Messenger~ enjoined Zakatul-Fitr as a redemption
    for the fasting person, from unnecessary and foul speech, and as food for the
    poor,"

    (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fasting

    In

    Ramadhan

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fasting In Ramadhan

     

    Allah
    has blessed the month of Ramadhan with numerous advantages and virtues over
    other months. This is the month in which the noble Qur'an was revealed. Allah (S.W.T)
    says:

     

    "The month of Ramadhan
    in which was revealed the Qur'an."

    (2:185)

     

    In
    one of the odd nights of the last ten days of this month is the Night of
    Decree, in which worshipping Allah (S.W.T) is better than worshipping Him for a
    thousand months. Allah (S.W.T) says:

     

    "The Night of Al-Qadr
    (Decree) is better than a thousand months,"

    (97:3)

     

    When
    Ramadhan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of Hell are
    closed. All the devils are chained during this month. At the end of every night
    of Ramadhan, Allah(S.W.T)will forgive all the sins of
    those who really observed fasting in a proper manner, and rid them of every act
    of disobedience, The angels will continue to seek mercy and forgiveness for
    those who observe fasting until they break their fast, The smell coming from
    the mouth of a fasting person is better with Allah (S.W.T) than the fragrance
    of musk.

     

    Fasting

     

    The
    best deed of this month is fasting, Allah's Messenger (Peace be
    upon Him) said:

    "Whoever
    observes fasting in Ramadhan with firm belief and hope of a reward, his past
    sins will be forgiven,"

    (Al-Bukhari)

     

    Fasting
    is to abstain from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, and the rest of what
    breaks the fast from dawn until sunset, with the intention of drawing closer to
    Allah(S.W.T).

     

    Fasting
    during the lunar month of Ramadhan is obligatory, according to the Qur'an, the Sunnah
    and the consensus of Muslim scholars, Allah (S.W.T) says:

     

    "O you who believe!
    Observing As-Sawm (fasting) is prescribed for
    you as it was prescribed for those before you."

    (2: 183)

     

    After
    mentioning fasting as an obligation in this Verse of the Noble Qur'an, Allah (S.W.T)mentions the purpose of observing the fast. He concludes
    the Verse by saying:

     

    "in order
    that you may become pious."

    (2:183)

     

    It
    is mandatory for every Muslim to fast during Ramadhan and it is one of the
    well-established pillars of the religion. The month of Ramadhan has many great
    virtues that are not found in any of the other months. Allah's Messenger (Peace
    be upon Him) said:

     

    "Whoever
    fasts Ramadhan with firm belief and hope of a reward (from Allah(S.W.T)),
    his past sins will be forgiven."

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    Allah (S.W.T) multiplies the reward for the good
    deeds performed during certain special occasions, such as during the month of
    Ramadhan. There are also some specific good deeds that are highly recommended
    during Ramadhan. Performing voluntary prayers at night, and performing 'Umrah
    during Ramadhan are such deeds.

     

    Fasting itself has numerous virtues. The Prophet (Peace
    be upon Him) said:

     

    "There
    is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan, and
    those who observe fasting (Sawm) will enter
    through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through
    it. It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observe fasting?' They will
    stand up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry, the gate
    will be closed and no one else will enter through it."

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

     

     

    *When to Begin Fasting

    The
    first day of Ramadhan can be confirmed by one of the following:

     

    1. By sighting the moon on
      the night of the 29th of Sha'ban (the month which precedes Ramadhan) , When the new crescent is sighted, the fast becomes
      an obligation on the following day from dawn to sunset. Allah's Messenger
      (Peace be upon Him) said: "Fast when you sight the moon (of Ramadhan)
      and break your fast when you sight it (meaning the moon for Shawwal, which
      comes after Ramadhan)," (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    1. By completing thirty days
      of Sha'ban, in which case the following day will be the first day of
      Ramadhan. Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: "If you were
      not able to see it (the crescent of Ramadhan), then complete the month (of
      Sha'ban) as thirty days." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

     

     

     

    *Who Must Fast

    Fasting
    is mandatory for all sane, healthy, adult Muslims, male and female. People who
    are insane, physically ill, minors (under the age of puberty), travelers,
    menstruating women, women experiencing post childbirth bleeding, breastfeeding
    women and pregnant women are all not required to fast. For some of these
    people, fasting is not obligatory at all, while others are required to make up
    for the missed days of fasting at a later date.

     

     

     

     

    *Those Who are not Obliged to
    Fast

    The
    following groups of people are not ­required to fast and they do not make up
    for- the missed days of fasting. Likewise, they are not required to do anything
    as a compensation or atonement for missing the fast.

     

    • The Person who is
      Insane:
      Fasting is not obligatory for the insane because of their
      inability to under­stand what they are doing. Allah's Messenger (Peace be
      upon Him) said: "The pen (that records deeds and sins) is lifted
      (from writing) for three people: the insane until they regain their
      sanity, those who are sleeping until they awaken, and the young until they
      reach puberty." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi)

     

    • Children: Those who
      have not reached the age of puberty are not required to fast as evidenced
      by the Hadith mentioned above. However, it is recommended that
      their guardians encourage them to fast so that they become accustomed to
      it at an early age. They may fast as long as they are able and then break
      the fast if it becomes too difficult for them.

     

    *Those who must make up Missed Fasting

    There
    are some persons who are fallowed to abstain from fasting and make up for it by
    fasting later. They are as follows:

     

    • The ill Person: A
      person who is sick, but not terminally ill, is allowed to abstain from
      fasting and is required to make up for missed days. Allah(S.W.T)
      said: "... but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same
      number (should be made up) from other days."
      (2:184)
    • The Traveler: If
      one travels as far as the distance that requires shortening the prayer, it
      is allowed for him to abstain from fasting, but he is required to make up
      for missed days. This is proven in the previous Verse of the Qur'an.
    • Pregnant and
      Breast-feeding Women:
      Such women are allowed to abstain from fasting
      if they fear for their health, their infants, fetuses, or both. Allah's
      Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: "Allah
      has relieved the traveler of the fast and a part of the prayer, and has
      relieved the pregnant and the breast-feeding woman from the fast."
      (Ahmad and As-Sunan Collections) The pregnant
      and breast-feeding women make up for the missed days of fasting when the
      circumstances that allowed them to abstain have ended.

     

     

    *Those Who Are not Obliged to
    Fast but Must Pay some Compensation

    Elderly
    men and women, the terminally ill (who have no hope of being cured of their
    illness) and all those in comparable situations who find it difficult to fast
    are allowed to abstain from fasting. They do not have to make up for the missed
    days, but are required to feed a poor person a Mudd
    of food for each day of fasting that they missed. Allah (S.W.T) says:

     

    "And as for those who can fast (but) with
    difficulty (e.g. an old person, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or)
    to feed a poor person (for every day of their missed fast)."

    (2:184)

     

     

     

     

     

    The Essential Elements
    of The Fast

     

     

    • Abstaining from eating,
      drinking, and sexual intercourse.
    • Making intention in the
      heart to fast during the preceding night. Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon Him) said: "Whoever does not make
      intentions to fast before Fair (dawn) (i.e. during the preceding
      night) will have no fast." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, ibn
      Majah and At-­Tirmithi)
    • Fasting
      starts at dawn (about an hour and twenty minutes before sunrise) and lasts
      until sunset. Allah (S.W.T) says: "...and eat and drink until the
      white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread
      (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm
      (fast) till the nightfall."
      (2:187)

     

     

    *The Recommended Acts of the Fast

    • Eating the Suhur meal,
      which is a breakfast (eating and drinking) eaten during the latter part of
      the night until dawn with the intention of fasting.
    • Hastening to break the
      fast at sunset and breaking it by eating some dates or sipping water.
    • Invoking Allah while
      fasting, especially when breaking the fast.

     

     

    *Acts Disliked During the Fast

    • Exaggerating while rinsing
      the mouth and cleaning the nose is disliked during performing the Wudhu' (ablutions for prayer). This
      action might allow some water to enter the person's stomach and thus spoil
      his fast.
    • Kissing and embracing the
      wife with sexual desire (i.e. fondling, etc.) are disliked.
    • Tasting food or drinks
      without a valid excuse is disliked.

     

     

    *Actions that Void the Fast

    Certain
    actions void the fast and require the fast to be made up for. The following is
    a list of such acts:

    • Intentional eating and
      drinking.
    • When one swallows water
      because of exaggerating while rinsing the mouth or the nose during Wudhu'. This type includes allowing the food to
      reach the stomach by any means, such as taking injections that nourish the
      body.
    • Ejaculating by
      masturbating, fondling the wife or looking at her with sexual desire. As
      for wet dreams, or uncontrollable ejaculation, they do not break the fast
      because they are not intentional.
    • Intentional vomiting.
    • Those who intend to break
      their fast will have their fast voided even if they do not actually eat or
      drink anything.
    • Reverting from Islam.

     

    All
    of the above mentioned acts require the fast to be made up for. However, there
    is one act that voids the fast and requires making up for the missed days and
    paying a compensation for atonement:

    ·    Having sexual intercourse
    intentionally. The compensation in this case entails freeing a believing slave,
    and if unable, fasting sixty consecutive days, and if unable, feeding sixty
    poor persons from what one usually feeds his household.

     

     

    *Acts
    Permissible For the Fasting Person

    ·     The fasting person is allowed to
    bathe and submerge himself in water to cool off.

    ·       One is allowed to wake up while in
    a state of sexual impurity (such as after having sexual intercourse or a wet
    dream) during Ramadhan and thus, would take a bath and begin fasting.

    ·      Eating, drinking and having sexual
    intercourse with the wife during the night of Ramadhan until the Adhan for Fair prayer is also allowed.

    ·       Using the Siwak
    (tooth stick for cleaning the mouth) for the fasting person during the day
    or the night is allowed.

    ·       Taking any permissible medicine
    that does not reach the stomach or nourish the body is also allowed (i.e. eye
    drops, skin medications, etc.).

    ·       Tasting food is allowed (for one
    who must do so due to necessity), providing that none of it is swallowed.

    ·       Wearing perfumes and smelling good
    scents is also allowed.

     

     

    *Things Forbidden to a Fasting Person

    • Fasting person must
      abstain from the following evil deeds and speech:
    • False speech.
    • Vain speech and foul
      language.
    • Anything that is
      irrational and unrealistic.
    • Every action and word
      expressing sexual desire or its connotations.
    • Whoever attempts to
      quarrel, dispute, utter obscenities and foul words, or is harshly abusive,
      then a fasting person must show perseverance and
      patience towards such an evil doer. A fasting person must abstain from
      arguments, disputes and hostilities, and face those situations with a
      polite and moderate composure.
    • Lying and doing evil deeds
      are prohibited and must be avoided. The fasting person must refrain from
      telling lies and engaging in vain arguments.

     

     

     

     

    The
    Voluntary Fast

     

     

    Allah's
    Messenger (Peace be upon Him) has encouraged the
    Muslims to fast the following days:

    • Six days during the month
      of shawwal (the month
      that immediately follows Ramadhan).
    • Fasting Mondays and
      Thursdays.
    • Fasting three days of
      every lunar month. In the Islamic calendar they are the 13th, the 14th and
      the 15th.
    • Fasting on the 9th day of Thul-­Hijjah
      -the Day of `Arafah -for those who
      are not performing Hajj.
    • Fasting the day of `Ashura, which is the 10th day of
      Muharram. It is preferred that the Muslim observes fast on the 9th day and
      the 10th day of Muharram, or the 10th day and the 11th day, in contrast to
      the practice of the Jews who used to fast this day also (i.e. lath
      Muharram).

    *Days That the Muslims
    Are Forbidden to Fast

    • During the days of the two
      'Eids (i.e. the festivals of the Day of
      the Sacrifice on the lath day of Thul-Hijjah, and the Day of Breaking the
      Fast on the 1st day of Shawwal).
    • The Days of Tashriq, the 11th, the 12th,
      and the 13th of the month of Thul-Hijjah for the pilgrims.
    • Those who are not performing
      the Hajj and 'Umrah, are exempt from this prohibition.
    • The days in which the
      woman is still in her menses or experiencing post childbirth bleeding.
      Further­ more, there is a consensus between the scholars that the fast of
      such women is void.
    • The woman should not fast
      while her husband is present except with his permission, excluding the
      obligatory fast of Ramadhan.

     

     

    *When is Fasting Discouraged

    • Fasting the Day of `Arafah for those who are performing Hajj
      and standing at 'Arafat.
    • Fasting on Friday alone
      except if one observes fast a day before or a day after it.
    • Fasting on Saturday alone,
      except when it is making up for a day of obligatory fasting.
    • Fasting everyday without
      any break.
    • Intentionally fasting two
      or more days continuously without breaking the fast.
    • Fasting 'the Day of the
      Doubt', which is the 30th day of Sha'ban. Also, fasting the day or two
      which immediately precede Ramadhan, except for a person who is observing
      his regular fast.

     

     

     

     

    Meritorious Acts During Ramadhan

     

     

    *The Night Prayer or Tarawih Prayers

    Allah's
    Messenger (Peace be upon Him) has encouraged offering prayer at night
    regularly. This prayer is known as the 'night prayer' (Qiyamul-Layl) or (Tahajjud).
    During Ramadhan this prayer is also call Tarawih. It is allowed to
    offer the Tarawih, at any time starting from the conclusion of' Isha (Night) prayer until the commencement of
    the Fajr (Dawn) prayer. The Prophet
    (Peace be upon Him) always prayed eleven Rak'ahs
    (units of prayer) for the optional night prayer, whether it was during Ramadhan
    or any other time of the year. Tarawih, is
    a voluntary prayer by which a true believer intends to seek the pleasure of
    Allah and draw near to Him. The Prophet said (Peace be
    upon Him):

     

    "Whoever
    performed the night prayer in Ramadhan with sincere faith and hoping for a
    reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be
    forgiven."

    (Al-Bukhari)

     

    *Giving Charity And Donations

    One
    of the good deeds of this blessed month of Ramadhan is charity and benevolence,
    which is more virtuous than during the other months. The goal of giving charity
    and donations is to attain the pleasure of Allah(S.W.T).

     

    *Increasing One's Recitation of The
    Qur'an

    The
    blessed month of Ramadhan is the month of the Qur'an, in which reciting the
    Qur'an according to one's ability is strongly recommended. The Messenger of
    Allah (Peace be upon Him) recited the Qur'an with the utmost concentration and
    deep contemplation of its meanings. For Ramadhan is the month in which the Qur'an
    was revealed. Allah (S.W.T) says:

     

    "The
    month of Ramadhan, in which the Qur'an was revealed; a guidance for mankind and
    clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and
    wrong)."

    (2:185)

     

    Everyone must endeavor to the best of his ability to
    fear Allah ~ with a conscious heart. In order to generate such a fearful mind,
    the best method is to recite the Noble Qur'an with due concentration,
    understanding, and contemplation of its meanings. Moreover, while reciting the
    Qur'an, he should reflect upon the supreme Omnipotence and absolute Majesty of
    Allah (S.W.T).

     

     

    *Seclusion in the Mosque (I`tikaf)

    One
    of the special deeds of Ramadhan is I`tikaf. Performing I`tikaf means
    to confine oneself in seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping
    Allah alone, leaving every worldly and personal affair. The mind of the person
    who observes I`tikaf concentrates exclusively on the goal of pleasing
    Allah (S.W.T). He is engaged in various types of worship, repentance, and
    beseeching Allah's forgiveness. He offers as many voluntarily prayers as he
    can, saying words of remembrance and invocations, etc. to Allah (S.W.T). In
    this sense, practicing I`tikaf is a combination of many acts of worship.

     

     

    *Searching for the Night of Decree

    The
    Night of Decree (Laylatul-Qadr) is more
    virtuous and meritorious than one thousand months. It is the night of Ramadhan
    in which the Qur'an was brought from the highest heavens down to mankind. Allah
    ~ says in the Noble Qur'an:

     

    "Verily, We have
    sent it (this Qur'an) down in the Night of Decree (Al-Qadr).
    And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of
    Decree is better than a thousand months."

    (97:1-3)

     

    This
    night occurs every year during one of the five odd nights of the last ten days
    of Ramadhan. The exact time of its occurrence is unknown. The only thing that
    is clear concerning its time is that it occurs during the last ten nights of
    Ramadhan. Many scholars hold the view that it fluctuates from year to year
    between the odd nights of the last ten nights. This means that one year it may
    occur during the 21st night (for example) and the next year it may fall on the
    27th night. One of the possible reasons behind its concealment is that a true
    believer should endeavor in worshipping Allah during those odd numbered nights
    so as to attain all the rich reward and virtue of that tremendous time. Allah's
    Messenger (Peace be upon Him) has described its
    superiority and said:

     

    "Whoever
    prays during the Night of Decree, with firm belief and expecting a reward for
    it, his previous sins are forgiven."

    (Al­-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

    In
    other words, whenever you endeavor in worshipping in the odd nights of the last
    ten nights, then you will definitely attain the virtues of the Night of Decree.

     

     

    *Performing `Umrah
    During Ramadhan

    Performing 'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage to Makkah)
    in Ramadhan is especially virtuous because it is equal in reward to Hajj (the
    major pilgrimage to Makkah).
    The Prophet (Peace
    be upon Him) said:

     

    "Umrah
    in Ramadhan is equal (in reward) to Hajj -or he said "equal to
    (performing) Hajj with me."

    (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Spread Knowledge

    Islambasics.com © 2018