For the hadith above, see Bukhari, Sawm, 4; Mıslim, Siyam, 166).
- First of all, we cannot say that all of those who will enter Paradise are those who perform fasting. For, there may be some Muslims who did not perform fasting but who were forgiven by Allah and entered Paradise. It means they will not enter Paradise through the gate of Rayyan. Those who die before the age of fasting might not enter Paradise through this gate.
- The word Rayyan means the one who is not thirsty, whose thirst has been quenched.
This word expresses that the reward of the thirst experienced while performing fasting will be special. On that very hot Gathering Day, those who perform fasting will follow the route where there is no thirst to go to Paradise through the gate of Rayyan.
- In order to point to the special places of some important deeds, eight different gates of Paradise are mentioned on the way to Paradise corresponding eight gardens of Paradise. The names of those eight gates mentioned in different hadiths are as follows: The Gate of Prayer, the Gate of Fasting/Rayyan, the Gate of Sadaqah/Zakah, the Gate of Charity/Jihad, the Gate of Repentance, the Gate of Keepers of their Temper/Forgivers, the Gate of Consent and the Gate of Those who are not Called to Account/the Right Gate (see Nawawi, the explanation of the relevant verse)
- In fact, since all of those who go to Paradise do all or most of these deeds in principle, based on which criteria will the gates be allocated?
The scholars answered this question as follows: Every man does a deed more than other deeds and makes progress in it. Thus, each man will be called through the gate of the deed he was mostly occupied with. When he is called from that gate, the good deed he was engaged in will also be declared. (cf Nawawi ibid)
- Paradise dos not consist of one building only; so, it is necessary to think that the gates mentioned above have different symbols of value. As a matter of fact, according to what is stated in a narration, Hz. Abu Bakr asked the Messenger of Allah, “O Messenger of Allah! Can a person be called through all of these gates?” He said,“Yes, I hope you will be one of them.” (Bukhari, Fadailu’s-Sahaba, 5; Muslim, Zakah, 28)
FAQ in the category of Ramadan - Fasting
For the hadith above, see Bukhari, Sawm, 4; Mıslim, Siyam, 166).
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrates:
“Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, would kiss one of his wives while he was fasting.” (Having said this, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, smiled.)
In another narration, she says:
“Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would perform mubasharat (touching the wife/contact with the wife other than sexual intercourse) while fasting. He was more in control of his soul than all of you.”
(Bukhari, Sawm: 24, 23; Muslim, Siyam: 62-65; Muwatta, Siyam: 14; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 33; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 31)
Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
One asked Allah's Messenger (PBUH) about mubasharat of the fasting person with his wife.
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) gave him permission.
After that, somebody else came, he asked the same question, too. The Prophet forbade him from mubasharat (with his wife).
The one to whom Allah's Messenger (PBUH) gave permission was an old man; and the one whom he forbade from mubasharat was young. (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 35)
Jaber, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
Umar Ibn-i Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, (came with alarm and) said:
“O Allah's Messenger (PBUH)! Today I have made a grave mistake; I kissed (my wife) while I was fasting.”
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) answered thus:
“Do you not take water in your mouth while fasting (so as to get Wudu: ablution for ritual purification from minor impurities before salat)? (Does it invalidate your fast)?”
(One of the narrators, Isa Ibn-i Hammad, says in his narration:)
I said: “There is no harm in that.”
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:
“Then why (do you take alarm about kissing)?”
(Abu Dawud, Sawm: 33)
'Mubasharat' means getting closer and a husband's benefiting from his wife.
Here, it is used with the meaning of benefiting from one's wife's body except for sexual intercourse.
While it is permitted for an old person, it is not permitted for young people. This is because a young man may not control himself and may fall into a situation necessitating kaffarah (compensation).
Abu Hurayrah quotes the Prophet as saying:
“He who vomits involuntarily is not required to fast later on; but the one who deliberately causes himself to vomit must fast later on.”
(Abu Dawud, Sawm: 32; Al Tirmidhi, Sawm: 25; Ibn Majah, Sawm 16)
There are two kinds of mouthful vomit; one of them is the intentional vomiting, the other is the unintentional vomiting. If mouthful vomit passes the throat by itself because of an illness, then it is unanimously agreed that it does not invalidate the fast. However,, if a person swallows it intentionally, the fast becomes invalid according to Imam Muhammad, though it does not invalidate the fast according to Imam Abu Yusuf.
Self-induced vomiting will break the fast because in such a situation, something more or less goes to the stomach. Such a breaking of the fast only requires compensation (qadha). However, if less than a mouthful vomit goes back unintentionally, the fast becomes invalid according to Imam Muhammad, though it does not invalidate the fast according to Imam Abu Yusuf. If something goes inside intentionally, then the fast breaks according to both Imams.
When self-induced or involuntary vomiting passes inside as a result of one’s own free will and if that person eats or drinks because of it, then it only requires compensation (qadha).
In essence, it is wajib to wait till iftar without eating or drinking when the fast breaks by mistake. Just like after vomiting, the fast which becomes invalid by mistake, eating or drinking only requires compensation (qadha), not a Kaffaarah (atonement).
Even an involuntary mouthful vomiting does not break the fast.
According to Abu Hurayra’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said the following:
“If a fasting person does not give up lying, committing perjury and ignorant behaviors, and if he commits such sins, Allah does not esteem his stopping eating and drinking.”
(Ibn Majah, Sawm: 21)
A person intending to fast does not only stop eating and drinking. He makes his mouth and stomach fast; and he also sends his other faculties to help them.
Anyway, is not the perfect fast the one fasted in that way? Namely, along with the stomach the other faculties such as eyes, ears, the heart and imagination also perform a kind of fasting. Each of them starts performing its particular worship.
The fasting of tongue is abstaining from lying, back-biting, and indecent words, and being busy with worships such as Qur’an, dhikr (remembrance of Allah), glorifying Allah’s names, asking for Allah’s blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and praying to Allah for His forgiveness.
The fasting of eyes is not looking at what is forbidden. The fasting of ears is not listening to unnecessary words. Instead of those, eyes try to look in order to take lessons and ears try to listen to the true words and the Qur’an. Faculties such as heart, imagination and mind also think about favorable things.
In this way, since all faculties fast along with the stomach, man does not keep away from eating and drinking in vain and he approaches the perfect fast as a result.
According to Abu Hurayra’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
“There are some fasting people whose only benefit from their fasting is remaining without food and water.
There are some people who get up in the night and perform salat (prayer) but can not obtain anything except not sleeping enough.” (Ibn Majah, Siyam: 21)
How should a fasting person behave?
According to Abu Hurayra’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
“None of you should utter nasty words and behave ignorantly on the day you are fasting. If another person provokes you or tries to pick a quarrel with you, you should keep away from him by saying ‘I am fasting, I am fasting’.” (Ibn Majah, Siyam: 21)
The decree depends on whether the person breathes in the smoke voluntarily or involuntarily. If a person breathes in the smoke voluntarily, his fasting is invalidated; he needs to perform both qada and kaffarah (perform fasting for sixty-one days).
The pleasure-giving smoky substance of tobacco products like cigarettes and hookah and all of the substances that are taken as an addiction like morphine are prohibited while fasting. If one of them is taken when a person is fasting, his fasting is invalidated.
The fasting of a person who breathes in the smoke of a cigarette or hookah that somebody else is smoking is not invalidated if he breathes it in involuntarily. For, it is impossible to avoid it.
Enes Ibn Malik (R.A.) quotes the Prophet as saying:
“Undoubtedly Allah has relieved the travelers of fasting and half of the prayer, and the pregnant and the breast-feeding women of the fast."
(Abu Dawud, Sawm: 44, Tirmidhi, Sawm: 21; Ibn Majah Sıyam: 12)
If pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers cannot endure fasting, they don’t have to fast in the month of Ramadan. They can perform their missed fast(s) without any necessary order at a reasonable time after Ramadan.
Abu Said, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:
“There are three things which do not invalidate the fast: hajamat (getting blood drawn from one's body), vomiting, and ihtilam (getting ejaculation during sleep).”
(Tirmidhi, Sawm 24)
As is understood from the hadith (saying of the Prophet), getting blood drawn does not break the fast. Moreover, it does not invalidate the fast to clean that area with a piece of cloth wetted with alcohol, either.
As is narrated by Abu Bakr Ibn-i Abdirrahman, may Allah be pleased with him, Aisha and Ummu Salama, may Allah be pleased with them both, told his father Marwan:
“In Ramadan, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) sometimes happened to reach the time of fajr (the time of the morning prayer) as junub (necessitating full ablution) not because of a dream; he would get up and take a bath and would fast.”
(Bukhari, Sawm: 22, 25; Muslim, Siyam: 76; Muwatta, Siyam: 12; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 36; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 63; Nasai, Taharah: 123)
It is permitted to start fasting or to fast as junub and it does not invalidate the fast. However, as it is not permitted to stay junub so long as to skip one of the obligatory daily prayers, one must get full ablution (ghusl) by washing one's whole body. While getting full ablution, one must wash one's mouth. One must wash one's mouth in such a way that water should not flow down the throat (as one is fasting). It is not a must to gargle.
Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
A man came to the Prophet and asked him:
“O Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, my eye aches; I apply eyeliner although I am fasting (Does it invalidate my fast?)”
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) replied: “No (it does not invalidate)”
(Tirmidhi, Sawm: 30)
From the hadith (saying of the Prophet), the following rules are understood:
1- Applying eyeliner on the eye does not invalidate the fast.
2- The medicine put on a wound on the head or the stomach does not invalidate the fast as long as it does not penetrate into the body.
As is narrated by Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“If somebody eats something forgetfully while s/he is fasting, and remembers that s/he was fasting, then s/he should complete his/her fast, for Allah has made him/her eat and drink.”
(Darimi, Sawm: 23; Muslim, Siyam: 171)
Allah does not hold humans responsible for the mistakes that they perpetrate forgetfully/obliviously. For in this case humans have no choice. It is the same for fasting, too. If one eats forgetfully even till one is full, or drinks water till one quenches one's thirst, it does not harm fasting as long as one does not remember that one is fasting. As soon as one remembers, one must immediately clean one's mouth.
This rule is also valid for supererogatory fasting, as well as the obligatory fasting. For the states that invalidate both the obligatory and the supererogatory fasting are the same.
The following hadith (saying of the Prophet), which clarifies the subject about supererogatory fasting is narrated:
Ummu Ishaq, may Allah be pleased with her, was present before Allah's Messenger (PBUH). They brought some sippet to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a pot. Zulyadayn, may Allah be pleased with him, was also there. The Prophet gave a bone with meat to Ummu Ishaq, may Allah be pleased with her.
Zulyadayn said: “ Ummu Ishaq, eat it!”
Ummu Ishaq says:
- Then I remembered that I was fasting. My hand was virtually petrified. I could neither stretch my hand nor pull it. Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) asked: “What happened to you?”
- I said I was fasting and had forgotten that I was.
Zulyadayn said “Did you remember it only after you were full?”
Then, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated:
“Complete your fasting. This is only a bounty that Allah granted you.”
(Kutub Sitta, a Condensed Translation and Explanation, 9:457)
Talk b. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) tells:
The Messenger of Allah stated:
"Do not let the fajr al-kazib (the false day break) prevent you from eating or drinking so eat and drink until fajr al-Sadiq, (the true daybreak) till the true fajr appears." (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 17; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 15)
According to the relation of Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah said “It is a brightness seen as horizontal, but not vertical” when he was describing “the true fajr.” (Bukhari, Adhan: 13, Talaq: 24, Khabar al- Wahid: 1; Muslim: Siam: 40)
Fajr means dawn time. It indicates the time Suhur ends and the Morning Prayer can be performed.
The false fajr is a light brightness seen vertically when close to morning in the horizon and which is visible only for a short time. That brightness disappears and after 20-25 minutes, then the true fajr appears. That time, a horizontal brightness among the horizon line appears. That brightness is also called “breaking of the day.”
Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) advices not to esteem the first brightness seen in the horizon.
The time taking place in the daily calendars and known as “imsak” is the time of the true fajr. Adhan for the Morning Prayer is called at that time. In this way, both the time of imsaak begins, fasting starts and salat al-fajr is performed.
There is no religious drawback to performing in Shawwal the fasts that you missed in Ramadan.
The month of Shawwal is a special month that reminds us some religious events. Firstly, it reminds us the preparation for hajj. The months after Ramadan are regarded as months of hajj. Candidates of hajj start to make preparations in excitement. They ask questions about hajj until they start their journey; they try to obtain information in order to perform hajj perfectly.
They also do not forget that there is a fasting peculiar to Shawwal. It is such a fasting that a person who fasts six days in this month gets reward as if he fasted during the whole year; they can obtain the reward of one-year supererogatory fasting. Some scholars state the following when they explain how a person can get the reward as if he fasted the whole year for fasting six days:
- It is stated in a verse that ten rewards will be given for each good deed. A person who fasts thirty days in the month of Ramadan receives three hundred rewards. If a person who fasted thirty days in Ramadan fasts six more days in Shawwal, he will get sixty (six by ten) more rewards, which makes three hundred and sixty. That is, one year of supererogatory fasting.
Can so many rewards be given for fasting a few days? The following answer can be given to this question:
- Nobody should compare his own stinginess with the generosity of our Lord, who has endless generosity and kindness. If people have sincere intentions, our Lord, Whose mercy prevails His wrath, always wants to forgive His slaves. Therefore, he grants a lot of rewards for few deeds of His slaves.
It is not necessary for the fasting of Shawwal to be performed six days on end. It can be performed intermittently. However, it will not be wrong for those who could not perform fasting in Ramadan due to their excuses perform their missed (qada) fasting first. They had better perform their fard fasting as soon as possible. After that, they can perform six-day Shawwal fasting if possible. If they cannot perform supererogatory Shawwal fasting due to their fard fasting, they will still have performed fasting in the month of Shawwal.
Abu Umamah al-Bahili, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:
I have heard Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, say:
“While I was sleeping, two men came and, holding both of my arms, they brought me to a mountain which was hard to climb. And they said:
When I said “I can't.” they replied:
“We will make it easy for you.”
Thereupon, I started to climb the mountain. When we reached the middle, suddenly harsh voices were heard.
When I asked: “What are those voices?” they replied:
“The clamor of the people of Hell.”
We started again. We suddenly saw a group of people whose cheek pouches were split, and out of these pouches flew blood; and their feet were bound!
I asked: “Who are they?”
They replied: “They are those who eat their fasts before due time (those who don't fast).”
(at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:453.)
Fidyah (ransom) can be given to all of those to whom zakah can be given.
There is no religious drawback to giving zakah, fitrah and fidyah for fasting to the associations, institutions and charity organizations that collect zakah, fitrah and fidyah for fasting in a fund, that are known to give them onlyto those mentioned in verse 60 of the chapter of at-Tawba and that are directed by trustworthy people.
A person who can perform fasting cannot be relieved of the responsibility of fasting by giving fidyah; he has to perform fasting for each day that he has not performed fasting in Ramadan.
A Muslim who is too old to perform fasting gives fidyah for each day that he has not performed fasting. This money replaces fasting. The amount of fidyah is the same as the amount of fitrah.
The fidyah (ransom) about fasting was determined by a verse:
"(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent..." (al-Baqara, 2/184).
As it is understood from the clear expression of the verse, fidyah for fasting is paid due to an excuse like illness and old age when it is impossible to perform fasting even after Ramadan. If a person gives fidyah but gets well enough to perform fasting afterwards, he has to perform fasting for the days he has missed even if he has given fidyah. In that case, if such a person dies before performing fasting, he has to tell his inheritors to pay fidyah for him. If he dies before getting well enough to perform fasting, the fidyah he has given is enough; he does not have to tell his inheritors to pay fidyah for him.
The amount of fidyah is the same as the amount of fitrah determined for that year.
Very old people whose impotence and weakness increase day by day and who are unlikely to get well and people with incurable diseases have to give fidyah for each fard and wajib fasting.
One fidyah -as it is stated in the verse- is to feed one person for a day. There are two meals in a day. Fidyahs can be given to one poor person or to more than one. It can be given at the beginning or end of the month of Ramadan. It is possible two feed the poor people in the morning and evening - two meals a day - or to give the equivalent money to the poor. The money can be given as a whole or every day separately.
Accordingly, you can give the fidyah of two months to any people that zakah can be given.
If a person who cannot perform fasting is not rich enough to give fidyah, what he needs to do is to ask forgiveness from Allah. He is relieved of the responsibility of giving fidyah.
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A woman who is breastfeeding can perform fasting; fasting is not invalidated when she breastfeeds.If a woman who is breastfeeding or pregnant fears that she or her baby will be harmed, she can perform fasting later. This decree does not change even if the baby belongs to somebody else.
A woman/man who wants to perform the fasting that she/he has missed can utter intention as follows: "I intend to perform for Allah's sake the Ramadan fasting that I could not perform on time." She performs one day for each day she missed.
Hz Abu Hurayrah R.A. narrates:
A man came to the Prophet and said:
O Messenger of Allah, I am ruined.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "What has brought about your ruin?"
"I have had intercourse with my wife (while I was fasting) in Ramadan. Upon this, the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Can you find a slave to set him free?"
He said: “No!”
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Can you observe fast for two consecutive months?
He said: “No!”
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Can you provide food for 60 poor people?"
He said: “No!”
Then the Prophet said to him, "Sit down!”
Meanwhile, a big basket which contained dates was brought to the Apostle of Allah.
The Prophet (pbuh) searched the man by asking: “Where is the questioner?”
The man answered, “It’s me! I’m here!” then The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Give these dates in charity.”
The man said: Am I to give to one who is poorer than me? I swear to Allah that there is no family poorer than mine between the two lava plains of Medina.
The Prophet (pbuh) laughed and said:
“Then go and give it to your family to eat!
(Bukhari, Sawm: 29, 31; Muslim, Siyam: 81; Muwatta, Siyam: 28; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 37; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 28)
In this Hadith, Our prophet informs us about “Kaffarah” with a very delicate way of expression to a person who had intercourse with his wife in the month of Ramadan. The subject is clear in terms of fiqh and present in all of the fiqh books. It is practiced as it is mentioned in the Hadith.
However, our Prophet (PBUH) teaches about the easiness that is present in Islam. He is teaching us not to put great pressure on people, behaving with tolerance towards them and not to alienate people from Islam.
Both Qadha and Kaffarah are required for a person who does any of the things listed below intentionally, without being forced to, without difficulty and by forgetting from the time of Imsaq (abstinence) until the Maghrib adhan:
1- Having sexual intercourse.
2- Eating, drinking or taking a medicine.
3- Deliberate swallowing of rain, hail or snow water drops that enter mouth involuntarily.
4- Smoking, burning and inhaling tobacco or any type of incense material.
5- Taking Snuff.
6- Eating suet, dried meat or raw meat.
7- Swallowing or eating something in the size of a sesame seed by chewing.
8- Eating a little salt. (As for eating much salt, it only requires Qadha.)
9- Swallowing of one’s wife’s or lover’s saliva, mouthwash. The things that are listed here contain the cure, nourishment and pleasure of the body. Thus, they require both qadha and Kaffarah.
The Kaffarah of intentional breaking of Ramadan fasting: It is a sin if there is not a valid excuse for the intentional breaking of a definite (compulsory) fard fasting. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The expiation for spoiling a fast in Ramadan is like the expiation for zihar” (Ibnu'l- Humam, Fathu'l-Qadir, II, 70).
Therefore, a person who breaks his fast intentionally is obliged to fast 60 days successively. This is fard (compulsory) for that person. Besides, he/she has to perform qadha for the spoiled fast. “There is no Kaffarah apart from the compulsory (fard) fasting such as nafila (supererogatory) fasting because breaking a fast during the month of Ramadan constitutes a sin. And it is not evaluated in the same way as Nafila (supererogatory) fasting.” (Marghinani, ibid, I, 125).
Anas, my Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, practiced al-Wisal (fasting continuously without breaking one's fast in the evening or eating before the following dawn) at the end of the month of Ramadan.
The community also practiced al-Wisal together with him. When the situation was relayed to Allah's Messenger (PBUH), he said:
If the month of Ramadan was prolonged for us, we would practice al-Wisal to such an extent that those going to the extremes would have to give it up.
I am not like you. I get shaded (taken good care of). My Lord makes me both eat and drink.”
(Kutub-i Sitta, Condensed Translation and Explanation, 9:500)
Such a fast was peculiar only to our Prophet and it was a sort of fasting which only he could follow. Fasting in such a way is not possible for everybody.
In some worships, there are styles which only our Prophet practiced. And al-Wisal also falls into this category. As a matter of fact, in the hadith that point is clearly stated.
It is a duty of servitude and fard al-ayn to perform fasting in Ramadan for every sane Muslim, whether male or female, who has reached the age of puberty.
It is not fard for children who have not reached the age of puberty to perform fasting but it is necessary to accustom them to fasting, like performing prayers, beginning from a young age.
Fasting is fard for travelers and ill people too. However, they do not have to perform fasting in Ramadan. For, health and being resident are necessary for fasting of Ramadan to be performed in Ramadan. The shari'ah does not render fasting obligatory totravelers and ill people in Ramadan. If they wish, they can perform fasting in Ramadan; or, travelers can perform fasting when they return home and ill people can perform fasting when they get well.
It is fard for soldiers to perform fasting if they do not have any excuses like travelling and being ill.
The view of the High Religious Affairs Committee regarding the issue is as follows:
"According to the information received from specialists and ophthalmologists, the eye drop dropped in the eye is very small (50 microliter, which is 1/20 of 1 mililiter); some of it is sent out when the eye is winked; some of it is absorbed into the body through the eye, through the channels that combine the eye and the nasal cavity and through the pores of the nose mucosa; scarcely any amount can reach the alimentary canal; therefore, it is concluded that eye drops do not invalidate fasting as Islamic scholars say."
There is a channel between the ear and the throat. However, the eardrum blocks this channel and water, drug, etc do not reach the throat. Therefore, dropping eardrops into the ear or having the ear washed does not invalidate fasting.
If there is a hole in the eardrum, the eardrop will be absorbed in the ear; therefore, the drug will not reach the stomach or very little amount of it will reach the stomach. This very little amount is ignored in fasting.
However, if there is a hole in the eardrum and if the ear is washed, it is possible for the water to reach the stomach. Therefore, if an amount of water enough to invalidate fasting reaches the stomach, fasting is invalidated.
If no liquid like water and blood goes to your stomach, fasting is not invalidated but if some liquid goes to your stomach, fasting is invalidated. If an injection is given while filling the tooth, it does not invalidate fasting.
Whether an injection invalidates fasting or not depends on why it is used. Injections are given for various reasons like relieving the pain, treating, increasing the resistance of the body and giving food. The injections that are not regarded as food and giving pleasure do not invalidate fasting since they do not mean eating and drinking. However, injections that give food and/or pleasure invalidate fasting. The same decree is valid for the blood or serum given to a patient.
No. Every day of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah has separate rewards and virtues. If you have missed the first day, try to fast as many days as you can on the remaining days. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following about fasting on the day of arafah:
“Performing fasting on the day of arafah is like performing fasting one thousand days.” (at-Targhib wat-Tarhib Trnsl, 2. 460)
According to the narration of Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
“There are no days in this world during which worship is more beloved to Allah, than the first ten days of Dhul- Hijjah. Fasting one of these days is equivalent to fasting for one year, and performing prayers on one night of them is equal to Lailatul-Qadr (the Night of Power).” (Ibn Majah, Siyam: 39)
You need to have the intention to perform the fasting that you miss when you are pregnant. You need to perform fasting for the days that you miss afterwards when you can.
A person who has the power to perform fasting cannot be freed of the responsibility of fasting by paying fidyah. You canbe freed of the responsibility of fasting only by performing fasting later. If you cannot fast for the days that you have missed due to legitimate excuses, you will not be held responsible. For instance, a woman who has the intention of fasting for the days she has missed due to pregnancy dies before she performs them, she will not be held responsible.
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There are various kinds of devils like humans. There are very harmful devils and there are private devils given to every human being.
Allah, who has endless wisdom, wants man, whom He equipped with wide coordinates and valuable devices with endless potentials and superior talents, to develop constantly and to elevate materially and spiritually by using his nature and talents properly; that is why, He makes devils bother man.
If we take into consideration that diamond can be obtained only by keeping graphite under 100 thousand atmospheric pressure and 3 thousand degrees C, we can realize how necessary devils are to reveal the ores in human nature that are more valuable than diamond.
However, the devils that are chained in the month of Ramadan are not private devils; they are more harmful and evil devils. Everybody's private devil is always together with him/her. If devil leaves man, his development will stop. However, the effects and harms of those devils can be lessened in Ramadan since the atmosphere becomes more luminous and spiritual, the hearts become affected by the light of belief and the Quran, and everybody's soul leaves their body, stepping into a spiritual life.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, "When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the (Hell) Fire are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained." (Bukhari, Sawm, 5) The word "marada"mentioned in the hadith means stubborn, rebellious and aggressive. With this expression, the wildest and fiercest devils are meant. Yes, in this holy month, "rebellious devils" are chained.
The holy month of Ramadan is like an afterlife market; it is the most productive field of the otherworldly crops; it is like April showers for the deeds to flourish; the reward for reading one letter of the Quran is ten at other times but it can increase up to ten thousand in Ramadan. The great profit obtained by the believers who make good use of this month is a disaster for Satan.
In that case, the devil will go mad and try to use all of his tricks to tempt man to commit sins; from this point of view, that the devils are chained is great mercy for man; this is what our Lord, who has endless mercy, does.
Pregnancy is a sensitive issue; therefore, it is better to decide together with the doctor.
A pregnant woman should not fast in the first and last three months of pregnancy. In healthy pregnancy, a woman can fast in the fourth, fifth and sixth months of the pregnancy under the control of a doctor.
If a woman who is breastfeeding or pregnant fears that she or her baby will be harmed, she can perform fasting later. This decree does not change even if the baby belongs to somebody else.
In conclusion, we advise you to act in accordance with the decision of a religious doctor who is a specialist.
Performing fasting is one of the conditions of being a Muslim. A person who accepts Islam and who regards himself as a Muslim by saying, "Alhamdulillah I am a Muslim" has to perform fasting in Ramadan and keep his promise to Allah.
The word Muslim is derived from the verb "to surrender/to be safe and secure". A Muslim who surrenders himself wholly to the Owner of the skies and the earth needs to give importance to the worshipping of fasting as soon as Ramadan starts and fulfill his servitude. To do the opposite, to ignore fasting in Ramadan though he is healthy deprives this person of the abundance and spiritual rewards of Ramadan. However, the real loss is that the fasting that is skipped cannot be compensated by anything. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding the issue:
"If a person skips fasting one day in Ramadan without any excuse and without being ill, he cannot compensate for it even if he fasts for the whole year." (at-Targhib wat' -Tarhib, 2:452)
A person who breaks his fast during the day without any excuse performs fasting for sixty days after Ramadan to compensate for it but he cannot get the reward for the fasting that he broke. He cannot get the same virtue. For, the reward of a deed of worshipping performed in time cannot be obtained when it is performed later as qada.
There is also an otherworldly aspect of the issue. That is, penalty in the hereafter is in question. The Prophet (pbuh) narrates the penalty of not fasting in the hereafter as follows:
"While I was sleeping, two men came; they held my arms and took me to a mountain which was very hard to climb. They said to me, 'Climb the mountain.'
I said, 'I cannot climb.' They said, 'We will make it easy for you.' Thereupon, I started to climb. In the middle of the mountain, I heard some loud voices.
I said, 'What are those voices?' They said, 'They are the screams of the people of Hell.'
We went on climbing. I saw some people whose cheeks were ripped, blood coming out of those rips. Their feet were tied. I asked, 'Who are they?' They said, "They are the ones who broke their fasting early (who did not perform fasting). (at-Targhib wat' -Tarhib, 2:453)
It is necessary not to ignore fasting, which has hundreds of material and spiritual benefits, and to take pleasure of servitude so as not to undergo these losses and to avoid penalties.
The fasting of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi: The Mother Fasting acted kindly and rejoined her children. My child! Do not miss the opportunity! Hold your Mother Fasting firmly! Do not let her go! Suck her milk of grace! Dwell where she dwells! Sit at the door of fasting! Look at the desert of consent and watch the spring of Allah! Watch His Paradise full of daffodils of fasting! O bud! You are too weak. You have not flourished yet. Jump like the spring acrobat dancing on the rope and pass through the hoop of fasting! O rose! You are in blood. Then, why are you so happy and laughing?
Or are you the Ishaq of Khalil since you like the dagger of fasting? Why are you in love with bread? Watch the world that rejuvenates in the season of spring! Buy the wheat of soul in the threshing of fasting!
A brush is likemiswak; according to to fiqh, it is regarded as miswak. According to Hanafis, a person who is fasting can use a miswak or brush whether it is dry or wet any time, before or after noon.
However, according to some narrations, Abu Yusuf states that it is makruh for a person who is fasting to use a wet miswak
According to Shafiis, it is permissible to use miswaq before noon but makruh after noon. To sum up, According to the preferred view of Hanafis, it is permissible to use miswak (brush) any time.
According to Imam Abu Yusuf, it is makruh for a person who is fasting to use a miswak and brush wetted by water. However, according to Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad, it is not makruh for a person who is fasting to use a miswak or brush wetted by water.
However, it is definitely makruh to use a toothbrush with toothpaste for a person who is fasting; it is necessary to avoid it. However, fasting is not invalidated unless the toothpaste is swallowed.
The women who gave birth and who breastfeed their children:
If they think that their milk will decrease and the child or the baby will be harmed, they can perform fasting later.
It is necessary to act in accordance with the view of a specialist regarding the issue.
Venerable Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, explains:
“When the last ten days of Ramadan came, Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, would make good use of the nights with ibadah (worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to Allah, including the pursuit of knowledge, living a pious life, helping, charity, and humility, can be considered ibadah). He would also wake up his household so that they also perform ibadah. He would take more pains for ibadah than other times.” (Muslim, Itikâf: 7)
Ramadan is a month when any kinds of ibadah are performed much. Ibadah is carried out more and more toward the end of Ramadan. As is expressed in some of the hadiths (sayings of the Prophet), it is recommended that the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr) should be searched for on the last ten days of Ramadan. For this reason, good deeds and different kinds of ibadah are tried to be carried out more after the 20th of Ramadan.
This is also a sunnah (an act which the Prophet performed; not required but carries much reward). Especially, if we stay awake at nights as much as possible, and make a good profit out of this time with such ibadah as prayers, remembrance of Allah, and supplication, then we follow the example of the Prophet in the best way.
If we act this way and if we incorporate our household in that spiritual feast as well, then we will not deprive them of those blessings. This way, they will also serve as a means for the formation of that radiant aura, as much as they can.
Amir Ibn Rabia narrates:
“I saw Hz. Muhammad (PBUH) using a miswak while fasting more times than I can count.”
(Bukhari, Sawm: 27; Abu Dawud, Savm: 26; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 29)
Ibn Umar Radiyallahu Anhuma reports:
“The fasting person uses miswak at the beginning and end of the day.”
(Bukhari, Sawm 25)
As it is understood from the Hadiths, using miswak while fasting is a deed that belongs to Ahl-i Sunnah of our Prophet (PBUH). However we see that our Religious sect Imams, who have authority on the subject of Sunnah, do Ijtihad for the details of some subjects by considering all riwayahs (narration).
According to Imam Abu Yusuf, it is makrooh for the fasting person, to use a miswak or a toothbrush which is dampened with water. It is not makrooh when a fasting person uses a miswak or a toothbrush dampened with water according to Imam Azam and Imam Muhammad. However using a toothbrush with toothpaste is definitely makrooh when fasting. It is necessary to avoid using it. But it does not invalidate the fast.
Abu Hurayrah quotes the Prophet (SAW) as saying:
“The one who did not fast on a (particular) day of Ramadan without a (valid) excuse will not be able to make it up by fasting a (whole) lifetime, even if he were to do that”
(Ibn Majah, Sawm: 14)
As it is understood from the glorious Hadith, by breaking the fast without an excuse, one makes a mistake which has a huge responsibility and so difficult to redeem.
Although one can compensate by fasting the Kaffarah Sawm of 60 days for breaking his/her fasting without any valid excuse, He/she cannot get the reward of that broken fast by any means. He/she misses out that grace.
As our Prophet stated, he/she cannot regain the same reward even fasting yearlong rather than a Kaffarah Sawm.
Because it is impossible to regain the reward, grace of a timely worship by making Qadha of it.
- In Islam, there is no other fasting than the known fasting that we perform with methods like “water” and similar ones.
However, there is no drawback to applying such a method if the science of medicine today proves that the methods called “the fasting of hunger” and “the fasting of water” are useful.
However, this method of diet can never be regarded as “fasting” that gains a person spiritual thawabs. If a person performs fasting in Ramadan with the intention of only diet, this fasting is not accepted. For, deeds are evaluated based on intentions.
- The fasting performed in Islam as worshipping also has worldly benefits; it is a nice diet for man. It is concluded as a result of some studies made in England that not eating anything two days a week contributes to bodily health. This finding is in accordance with the fasting advised on Mondays and Thursdays in Islam.
- In addition, if the following suggestions of Islam are fulfilled with the intention of worshipping, not with the intention of diet, a person will both worship and protect his health:
“Eating a little,
not eating before feeling hungry,
not eating again before 4-5 hours pass,
performing obligatory fasting once a year,
performing voluntary fasting for 6 days in the month of Shawwal,
performing fasting two days a week”.
- Acting upon the verse, “Eat and drink, but waste not in excess” Ibn Sina (Avicenna) introduced the following rule:
"I concentrate the science of medicine in two lines, the best word is the shortest; when you eat, eat little, and do not eat again for four or five hours. Health lies in digestion. That is to say, eat so much as you can digest easily.
The heaviest and most tiring thing for your stomach and yourself is to eat many things one on top of the other” (Lem'alar (Flashes), 147)
Sadaqah al-fitr is a sadaqah that is wajib to be given by every Muslim who is alive at the end of the month of Ramadan and who has at least nisab amount of money or goods apart from his fundamental needs. It is also called fitrah.
Sadaqah al-fitr (fitrah) means sadaqah given by man as gratitude in order to gain rewards.
Fitrah is a means of the acceptance of fasting by Allah and salvation from the agonies of death and torture in the grave. It helps the poor to meet their needs and be happy on the day of eid. From this point of view, fitrah is a humane charity and civilized duty.
The necessary conditions for paying fitrah are as follows: to be a Muslim, to be a free person (not a slave), to have nisab amount of money or goods apart from his fundamental needs. It is not necessary to be sane and to have reached the age of puberty for fitrah. The fitrahs of the rich mentally ill people and children need to be given by their guardians.
If a person's goods of nisab amount are destroyed after fitrah becomes wajib for him, it is necessary for him to pay fitrah.
Fitrah becomes wajib on the first day of eid al-fitr beginning from the dawn. The mustahab way of giving fitrah is to give it after dawn and before leaving the eid prayer. However, there is no drawback to giving fitrah a few days or even months before eid. Thus, it helps the poor to meet their needs for eid beforehand. It is necessary to pay the fitrahs that have not been paid on time as soon as possible.
This is the view of Imam Abu Hanifa. According to the other three imams, fitrah becomes wajib on the last day of Ramadan after the sun sets. It is not permissible to pay it after the eid prayer.
It is not wajib for a person who dies or who becomes poor before the dawn on the first day of eid al-fitr to pay fitrah. It is wajib to pay fitrah for a rich person who dies after dawn. It is paid from his inheritance.
If the money or goods of nisab amount are destroyed after fitrah becomes wajib and before fitrah is paid, it is necessary to pay fitrah.
A Muslim who has nisab amount needs to give fitrah for himself, his children who are poor and his servant. According to Abu Hanifa, the fitrahs of rich children are paid from the children's money. According to Imam Muhammad, it is given by their father.
The fitrah of a child who has reached the age of puberty but who is not sane is given by his father. Fitrah is not paid for a child who has not been born yet.
A person does not have to pay fitrah for his father, mother, grandfather and grandmother even if they live together with him. The same thing is valid for the relatives. A grandfather does not have to pay fitrah for the poor children of his son whether their father is alive or not.
A person does not have to pay fitrah for his wife and his child who has reached the age of puberty and who is sane. For, such people are responsible people and can manage their own affairs. However, it is permissible for the husband or father to pay their fitrah by taking permission from them. However, what is essential for everybody is to pay their own fitrah.
According to Imam Shafii, even if a woman is rich, her fitrah is paid by her husband. It is necessary for a person to have niyyah (intention) for fitrah just like zakah. It has to be given to the poor and become the property of the poor. It is not necessary to say that what you give is fitrah.
A person cannot give fitrah to his wife/her husband or to his/her child or father/mother. For instance, a woman cannot give fitrah to her husband, father or son who is poor.
A person can give his fitrah to a poor person but a fitrah cannot be divided in order to be given to more than one person. A few people can gather their fitrahs and give them to one poor person.
A few people can gather their fitrahs and give them to a few poor in a mixed way. They do not have to give each fitrah separately. However, it is regarded better to give them separately.
A person should give his fitrah to one of the poor people of the area where he lives. It is makruh to send fitrah to other places.
Fitrah is given based on 4 food items mainly:
1 - Wheat or wheat flour. The amount of wheat that is wajib to give is half sa' (520 dirhams: 1667 gr.)
2 - Barley or barley flour. The amount of barley that is wajib to give is one sa' (1040 dirhams: 3333 gr.)
3 - All kinds of raisin. The amount of raisin that is wajib to give is one sa' (3333 gr.)
4 - Dry dates. The amount of dates that is wajib to give is 1 sa' (3333 gr.)
Fitrah can be given based on one of these four food items. Fitrah can be given in kind as dates, wheat, grapes or their equivalent as money. It is better to pay their equivalent as money.
When a person pays fitrah, he can pay it based on one of these four items considering his wealth. For instance, a person who is very rich needs to pay his fitrah based on dates because the one with the highest price among the four items is dates. What is appropriate for his wealth is to pay fitrah based on dates. The item on which fitrah to be paid is based varies in accordance with the degree of wealth. The religious authorities declare the equivalent of these 4 items every year in the month of Ramadan. It is possible to pay fitrah based on those amounts.
Yes, there is. The rich person who is to pay zakah needs to own the nisab amount of money or property for one year but there is no such condition for fitrah. If a person has the nisab amount of money or property on the last day when fitrah can be given, it becomes wajib for him to pay fitrah.
Today, the amount of zakah is usually based on gold for zakah. It is better for the amount of fitrah to be based on silver. This is the reason why fitrah is paid for more people than zakah.
A person who cannot perform fasting due to old age or an illness in Ramadan is not exempted from paying fitrah. He has to fulfill this wajib deed.
Fitrah can be given to the non-Muslims living in the Islamic countries but it cannot be given to the non-Muslims living in the non-Muslim countries.
The decree of fitrah is owning it. Fitrah is not regarded to have been paid before the poor obtains it.
Is there sound information about the value of the Night of Power and what to do on that night?
We need to make the following explanation to answer this question:
1. Its meaning:
At certain times, those who work overtime are given a few times more than the normal wage. The anniversaries of some events are days of bonus. Some kings distribute money to the people when they ascend the throne. Sometimes a general amnesty is granted and even some big crimes are pardoned. In some markets, fairs and other places, a profit of more than one hundred percent is obtained. They can give us only some opinion to be able to understand the Night of Power. For, the owner of that night is the Creator, the Generous, the Pardoner...
His treasure, generosity and pardoning do not resemble to those of anybody else. His grant and pardoning is as big as His majesty compared to man. Since all treasures belong to Him, He knows how much He will give to whom. The Night of Power is His grant, amnesty and bonus to the ummah of Muhammad. This also shows how much mercy Allah has on His slaves and how much He wants their salvation.
2. What is its content or what does "Qadr" mean?
"Qadr" which is an Arabic word lexically means to be strong enough but it also means decree, determination, honor, loftiness and pressure.
When the meaning decree is taken into consideration, Laylatul-Qadr is called night of decree and determination; the night on which "the Quran was sent down and every affair of wisdom is made distinct..." mentioned in the chapter of ad-Dukhan points to this night. However, since the Quran was sent in twenty-three years based on incidents, its being sent down on the Night of Power means its being sent down to the sky of the world as a whole.
When the meaning honor and loftiness is considered, this night is more honorable and greater than one thousand nights; or, a person who has no value or honor will be valuable and honorable by worshipping on that night. (Qurtubi, XX/131)
When the meaning pressure is considered, a big crowd and congestion occur on the earth because angels come down. This also shows that great and honorable incidents take place as a result of big pressure. Laylatul-Qadr includes all of these three meanings; that the phrase "Laylatul-Qadr " is repeated three times in the verse might indicate this.
3. Its Time:
The time of acceptance is hidden on Friday; Allah`s consent is hidden among deeds; Allah's wrath is hidden among sins; the time of Doomsday, where and when man will die are hidden; the middle prayer is hidden among daily prayers, the greatest name of Allah is hidden among His names; righteous slaves and saints are hidden among people; similarly, the Night of Power is hidden.(see Qurtubi XX/137) One of the wisdoms behind it is that people should not disobey Allah on other nights relying on the Night of Power; another wisdom is that Allah wants His slaves to worship on all nights of Ramadan so that they will come across with the Night of Power. However, the soundest narrations indicate that it is in the month of Ramadan and on the twenty-seventh night.
For, it is stated in the chapter of "al-Qadr" that the Quran was sent down on the Night of Power and it is stated in the chapter of al-Baqara that the Quran was sent down in Ramadan. It means the Night of Power is a night in Ramadan. In fact, many Companions and imams narrated that the Night of Power was on the seventeenth night of Ramadan, which corresponded to the day of the Battle of Badr, and that it was on the twentieth, twenty-first, twenty-second,..twenty-ninth night but those who narrated that it was on the twenty-seventh night were more than the others. The narrations of the others should be understood as the Night of Power that year was on that night.
That the sum of the letters of the phrase "Laylatul-Qadr" repeated three times in the chapter of "al-Qadr" is twenty-seven in Arabic and that the pronoun hiya referring to Laylatul-Qadr is the twenty-seventh word of the chapter might be indicating this. That the Messenger of Allah performed itikaf on the last ten days of Ramadan and worshipped indicates that the Night of Power is on one of the last ten nights of Ramadan and that the night is not certain. Besides, the Messenger of Allah said, "Laylatul-Qadr was shown to me but afterwards something made me forget it."
Since Laylatul-Qadr is the night when the Quran was sent down, one can think that it occurred once and it is over. However, that it is said "therein come down the angels..." in the chapter of al-Qadr, not came, shows that it is repeated. Then, it should be understood as follows: the Quran's being sent down coincided with Laylatul-Qadr; it should not be understood as follows: That night became Laylatul-Qadr because the Quran was sent down that night.
According to Shah Waliyyullah, there are two Nights of Poewer (Laylatul-Qadr): one of them is hidden in the whole year and the other is hidden in the last ten days of Ramadan. (Shah Waliyullah Dahlawi, Hujjatullah`i1-Baligha, N/55)
It is said that Laylatul-Qadr has some signs. The night is pure, calm and bright as if the moon is there. It is mild, not very cold or very hot. In the morning, the sun does not dazzle the eyes; it rises faintly like the moon; its shape is clear; it is a bit red. (see Ibn Kathir, VNI/466)
4. Why one thousand months?
The reason why it is said that Laylatul-Qadr is better than one thousand months is to show that it is full of goodness, not to compare it to one thousand months as a measurement. For, when it is said better, it means one thousand months and more. Only Allah knows the amount of this more (extra). However, there are some narrations why "one thousand months" is used.
The reason why the phrase "one thousand months" is mentioned is that the Muslims were worried when they found out that somebody from Children of Israel made jihad for one thousand months, or they envied when they heard that four people worshipped for eighty years (about one thousand months) continuously, or the Messenger of Allah was worried that the average life expectancy of his ummah was not long enough to prepare enough deeds for the hereafter. Thus, Allah rewarded His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) and his ummah. (for these narrations, see Elmalılı, VNI/5972)
5. What to do on that night?
Almost everybody accepts that Laylatul-Qadr is better than all days and nights including arafah and Friday for the ummah of Muhammad. However, Laylatul-Miraj (Night of the Ascension) is better for the Messenger of Allah himself. (Elmalılı, VNI/5983) Then, the reward of worshipping on that night will definitely be great. The Messenger of Allah stated the following: "If a person stays up on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, all his past sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari, Iman, I/I5, Sawm NI/23; Muslim, Salat, N/175)
It means the first condition of benefitting from this night is to stay up, not to sleep. There is no allocation or limitation about what to do. To perform prayers, to read the Quran, to read prayers (dua), to meditate are the deeds that are present in the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah did all of them. (see Elmalılı, VNI/5982) When the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet would stay up, awaken his wives and children and worship a lot. (Ibn Kathir, VNI/471).
That the Prophet performed itikaf on the last ten days of Ramadan is a sunnah that aims to find Laylatul-Qadr and to worship on that night. Therefore, it is probably the best to do all kinds of worshipping for a while. When Hz. Aisha asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) what to do on Laylatul-Qadr, he told her to pray as follows: "Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul-afwa fa`fu anni (O Allah! You are the Forgiver and You like forgiving; so, forgive me). " (Musnad, VI/182)
It means the best prayer (dua) to say that night is to ask for forgiveness. To perform the night (isha) and morning (fajr) prayers in congregation will mean to stay up that night; everybody must do this at least. The Messenger of Allah probably indicated this when he said, "A person who performs the night prayer in congregation on Laylatul-Qadr receives his share from it." (Qurtubi, XX/138)
However, if this prayer is said on every night of Ramadan, it will probably coincide with Laylatul-Qadr and it will probably be accepted. Therefore, the following is stated: "Anyone who is deprived of it is deprived of something very big." (Musnad, N/230, N/385, 425; Ibn Kathir, VN/464)
Besides, as an indication of man's respect for these exceptional days and nights, he needs to show more efforts in Ramadan than other months and on Laylatul-Qadr than other nights. Furthermore, it is sunnah to pray and worship more on the day of Laylatul-Qadr than other days and it is mustahab to pray for solutions to the problems of all Muslims. (Nawawi, al-Adhkar, 163)
Although it is not definitely known when the Night of Power is, it is usually accepted to be on the 27th night of Ramadan. The Prophet (pbuh) did not state its exact date but he said:
"Look for the Night of Power in the last ten days of Ramadan among the odd-numbered nights." (Bukhari, Laylatu'l-Qadr, 3; Muslim, Siyam, 216)
The time of the Night of Power is not based on the calendar; it is secret. The first verses were sent down on the twenty-seventh of Ramadan but the following Nights of Power do not have to be on the twenty-seventh of Ramadan. It may be before or after the twenty-seventh of Ramadan. For instance, the Night of Power could be on the nineteenth of Ramadan last year and it could be on the twenty-fifth of Ramadan this year. Allah changes the time of the Night of Power due to some reasons.
Some things are secret due to their values. Besides, they elevate everything resembling them to their level:
- Saints are hidden among people. Therefore, it is necessary to regard everybody as saints.
- On Friday, there is a time period calledtime of acceptance. The prayers (duas) said at that time are accepted. Since it is secret, it elevates every moment of Friday to the value of this time period.
- Time of death is secretin a person's lifespan. Thus, we live as if we can die any moment, keeping away from sins.
- Doomsday is secret in the lifespan of the universe.
- The Night of Power is secret in Ramadan so that every Ramadan night will be regarded as the Night of Power and people will worship.
However, the Prophet (pbuh) gave some clues. He enlightened the ummah by saying,
“Look for the Night of Power in the last fifteen days, especially in the last ten days of Ramadan among the odd-numbered nights.”
If he had mentioned it openly, it would have been contrary to the wisdom of Allah.
It is possible for a time and place to gain value due to the holy incidents taking place in them. In the eye of the believers, the Kaaba is the holiest place. For, Allah made it the qiblah (the direction to be faced while worshipping) for all believers. The month of Ramadan, which is described as "the sultan of the eleven months" by saints is also a holy time. The Quran, which distinguishes between the right and the wrong and which is a guide for the true path, was sent down in Ramadan. This is certain by the following verse:
"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spent it in fasting." (al-Baqara, 2/185)
The incident of the Quran being sent down from Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet) took place on the Night of Power, which is better than one thousand months. Imam Qurtubi attracts attention to a subtlety by saying,
"It is definite that the Quran was sent down in the month of Ramadan by Allah's statement, "Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an." It is stated definitely in the chapter of al-Qadr that the Quran was sent down on the Night of Power. Acting upon those verses, mujtahid imams of Ahl as-Sunnah agreed unanimously that the Night of Power is definitely in the month of Ramadan."(1)
In some resources, the following determination of Imam Abu Hanifa is included:
"The Night of Power is in the month of Ramadan. However, it is not fixed; it sometimes moves forth and sometimes back."(2)
It is in compliance with Sunnah to regard every night of the month of Ramadan as the Night of Power and to worship accordingly. Hz. Abdullah Ibn Umar narrates the following:
"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked about the Night of Power. Thereupon, he said,
'It is in the month of Ramadan.'" (3)
It is stated in sound hadith collections that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed itikaf in the mosque in the month of Ramadan. That he performed itikaf (stayed in the mosque) on different dates each year is related to the fact that he sought the Night of Power. Fiqh scholars agree unanimously that it is mustahab to seek the Night of Power. The following is stated in Fatawa al-Hindiyya:
"It is mustahab to seek the Night of Power. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the Night of Power is in the month of Ramadan. However, it is not known on what night it is. It sometimes moves forth and sometimes moves back. According to Imamayn (Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad), the Night of Power is in the month of Ramadan. It is a certain night that is secret. It does not move forth and back. It is sunnah to seek that night."(4)
It is necessary for Muslims to perform fasting, which is zakah for their bodies, and to seek the night which is better than one thousand nights (the Night of Power) in the month of Ramadan.
(1) Imam Qurtubi, al Jamii li Ahkami'l Qur'an, Cairo: 1967, XX/136.
(2) Imam Qadihan, al Fatawa, Cairo: 1282, I/190.
(3) Imam Bayhaqi, as-Sunanu'l- Kubra, Hyderabad: 1350, IV/307.
(4) Sheykh Nizamuddin et al, Fatawa al-Hindiyya, Beirut: 1400, I/216.
If the amount of blood that leaks between the teeth and goes to the throat is little and does not go in, it does not invalidate fasting. For, it is not possible to avoid it. If the amount is much but the majority of the liquid is saliva, it does not invalidate fasting.
However, if the majority of the liquid is blood, if the taste of blood is felt and if the amount of blood and saliva is equal, fasting is invalidated when it is swallowed. The same decree is valid for the tooth that is extracted. (Ömer Nasuhi BİLMEN, İslam İlmihali, s.294)
Besides, it is necessary to avoid squeezing the lips and the mouth, causing blood to come out. If you avoid it, the blood can be less than the saliva.
If bleeding is caused by a drug that is taken, it is necessary not to use that drug in Ramadan if it is not urgent, based on the advice of the doctor.
Our Prophet commanded that the new moon should be seen so as to start the fasting of Ramadan. We present some examples mentioned in narrations:
Ibn-i Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrates:
Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, told about Ramadan:
Do not fast until you see the new moon; and do not eat until you see the (next) new moon. Should clouds interfere (with your sight), estimate the month. (Bukhari, Sawm: 11; Muslim, Siyam: 9; Muwatta, Siyam: 1; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 4); Nasai, Sawm : 10, 11)
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrates:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would not reckon the days of any month as much as he reckoned the days of Shaban (the month before Ramadan). And then he would start fasting after he had seen the crescent of Ramadan. If clouds came in between (if he could not see the new moon), he would reckon Shaban as 30 days and start the fasting of Ramadan. (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 6)
As is understood from the narrations above, the criterion of the start of Ramadan is seeing the new moon. However, the moon moves in accordance with the order established by Allah and does not delay its duty. Today, the movements of the moon can be estimated well in advance, in which case the information provided by the scientists is enough, instead of the requirement of seeing the new moon with the naked eye.
The narration below is especially meaningful regarding the issue:
Ibn-i Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrates:
A bedouin (wanderer in the desert) came to Allah's Messenger (PBUH) and said:
“I saw hilal (the crescent/new moon) (of Ramadan)!” The Prophet said:
“Do you witness that there is no god but Allah?”
When the man replied as “Yes!”, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“O Bilal! Announce to the people to fast tomorrow!”(Abu Dawud, Siyam: 14; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 7; Nasai, Sawm: 8; Ibn-i Majah, Siyam: 6)
Our Prophet accepts the attestation of a bedouin regarding the issue of seeing the new moon. Seeing that our Prophet accepted a bedouin's testimony, it is clearly an apparent mistake that today some people do not take note of a number of scientists.
After all, such kinds of disagreements cause fitna (trial, tribulation, disorder in community) in the community of Islam and cause Believers to fall into dilemma. However, fitna is qualified in our Holy Book as worse than murder. (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:191)
Our Prophet advised the community to act unanimously in fasting, festivals, and other religious practices and stated that the deed (amal) will only be valid this way.
Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:
"The (valid/worthy) fasting is on the day that you fast (all together). The (valid/worthy) iftar (a meal eaten to break fast after the sunset) is on the day that you eat all together. The (valid/worthy) sacrifice (al-qurban) is on the day that you slaughter sacrifices all together." (Tirmidhi, Sawm 11; Abu Dawud, Sawm 5)
Another important issue in this matter is that Ramadan may sometimes last 29 days and sometimes 30. Indeed, according to both the scientific realities and the narrations from the Prophet, it is understood that Ramadan may sometimes last 29 and sometimes 30 days.
That the earth is not a round sphere but a little flattened at the poles causes the distance that the moon covers while rotating around the earth to increase and decrease and this eventually leads to the difference of days in months.
As we see in the narrations, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took these differences in months into consideration and emphasized that Ramadan may sometimes be 29 and sometimes 30 days:
Abdullah Ibn-i Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrates:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:
“The Month of Ramadan is so-and-so (Meanwhile he shook both hands with all fingers for two times; in the third shake, he closed the thumb of either his right or left hand.)
In a narration by Muslim and Nasai, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“We are an illiterate nation; we know neither how to write nor how to calculate. The moon is so-and-so.”
“It is said that at one time he showed twenty-nine and at another thirty.” (Bukhari, Sawm: 13; Muslim, Sawm: 13-15; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 4; Nasai, Sawm: 17)
As a result, after the Prophet (PBUH) saw the crescent of Ramadan he started fasting; and when he saw the crescent of Shawwal, he celebrated the 'Eid (festival).
He also acted cautiously in the matter of seeing the new moon; encouraged everybody to try to see; and when somebody saw, he started fasting with his testimony.
Saying that the crescent should be seen only with the naked eye is a compulsion and it is not a persuasive approach.
What is important is seeing the crescent at the first night in the evening. Indeed, as the crescent will be very thin on the first day, it is not possible for everybody to see it clearly.
Therefore, it also means “seeing the crescent” to observe and see the crescent with the telescope by benefiting from the data of astronomy.
The Prophet (PBUH) informs us that this is a matter of calculation by saying: “We are an illiterate nation; we know neither how to write nor how to calculate.”
Then, the astronomical calculations were not so improved as they are now.
However, today, observing the crescent and seeing the crescent of Ramadan or Shawwal has turned into a very easy and ordinary work for astronomy.
On the other hand, in the hadith mentioned above, the Prophet (PBUH) draws attention to Muslims' acting together and gave us a lesson of unity.
Just as the science of astronomy predicts the solar and lunar eclipses that will take place years later and it turns out to be exactly true to the very second, so too is it the most appropriate way to rely on the telescope to see the crescent.
However, it in no way prevents people from observing the crescent with the naked eye; it does not mean abandoning observing the crescent, either.
A holy night starts after the evening (maghrib) prayer and continues up to the morning (fajr) prayer. It is the best to perform fasting before and after that night. However, if a person wants to perform fasting one day, it is better to fast on the day after it.
From the religious viewpoint, the previous day ends when the sun sets and a new day starts. The night comes before the day. (Qurtubi, al-Jami’ li Ahkami’l-Qur’an, Riyad 2003, XIV, 15)
As a matter of fact, the month of Ramadan starts when the sun sets on the last day of the month of Shaban; therefore, tarawih prayer is performed that night; When the sun sets on the last day of the month of Ramadan, the month of Shawwal starts; therefore, tarawih prayer is not performed that night.
Friday starts when the sun sets on Thursday and continues up to the time when the sun sets on Friday. For instance, when “the first Friday night of the month of Rajab” is mentioned, the first night that connects Thursday to Friday is understood. Similarly, the 15th night of the night of Shaban is the night that connects the 14th day to the 15th night; the night of eid is the night that connects the day of arafah to the first day of eid.
For instance, if the Night of Ascension (Laylatul-Miraj) is on the night that connects Friday to Saturday, a person can perform fasting on Friday and Saturday. It is better to fast on Saturday.
Since the Night of Raghaib is on the night that connects Thursday to Friday, it is better to fast on Friday but it is possible to fast on Thursday too.
It is sunnah to perform fasting on the day of the Night of Barat. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:
"When it is the night of the middle of Shaban, spend its night in prayer and observe a fast on that day. For Allah descends at sunset on that night to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there no one who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there no one who will ask Me for provision, that I may provide for him? Is there no one who is afflicted by trouble, that I may relieve him?’ "
"Allah looks down on the night of the middle of Shaban and forgives all His slaves apart from those who disobey their parents those who associate partners with Allah." (Ibn Majah, Iqamatu's-Salah, 191; Tirmidhi, Sawm, 38)
The verb “yutiquna" mentioned in verse 184 of the chapter of al-Baqara translated as “do it (with hardship)" can be understood differently in terms of linguistics and reading styles; therefore, some scholars understood it as “those who can fast". According to this second understanding, this choice was introduced at the beginning so that the believers would get used to fasting; those who could fast were given the permission to pay fidya if they wished instead of fasting. Afterwards, this permission was annulled and those who could fast were ordered to fast.
According to our translation and understanding, those who have difficulty in fasting due to their body structure and the circumstances they live in and those who fear that they will get ill or will not be able to do the job they have to do can pay fidya for every day that they miss fasting instead of performing fasting. In the past, those who were weak due to old age, breastfeeding and pregnant women were mentioned among “those who had difficulty in fasting”. It is unanimously agreed that the old people can pay fidya. As for the other two groups, according to Imam Shafii and Malik, they pay fidya and perform fasting when their excuses end. According to Hanafis, the people in these two groups do not pay fidya; they perform fasting later as qada for the days that they have missed.
Many fiqh scholars hold the view that those who do hard works like casters, miners, concrete workers, construction workers and porters are included in the group that “have difficulty in fasting”. If they have difficulty or if their difficulty continues in the other days of the year too, they can pay fidyah instead of fasting.
Fidya is the amount of daily food for a poor person. Fiqh scholars determined its amount as one “mudd” of wheat, barley or dates. According to some researchers, one mudd for Hanafis is 924 grams of barley/dates. Those food items were basic food items in the region during the time of the Prophet. In other times and places, fidya should be determined as “the amount of basic foods of medium quality for one day". This is the minimum amount of fidya. According to the verse, to give more will be good for a person both in the world and in the hereafter. (see also al-Maida, 5/89)
Ill people and travelers are given the permission not to fast and to perform fasting as qada afterwards for each day but they are advised to perform fasting if there is not an important difficulty and drawback with the phrase “it is better for you that ye fast". There are some fiqh scholars who understand this phrase as “in general, fasting brings about good things for people"; they claim that it is not related to performing fasting by ill people and travelers.
According to this understanding, it is not necessary to force oneself by saying, “it is better to fast despite having an excuse".
Hayrettin Karaman (Prof. Dr.)
1. To work in hard and toilsome jobs.
It is fard for man to work for his living. It is also fard to fulfill religious duties. The realization of the freedom of religion and conscience in working life and business life is determined as the duty of the employers and the right of the employees in international human rights documents. However, this right is not always fully provided even by Muslim employers. Even if it is provided, some jobs are heavy and difficult due to their nature. There are some things to ease people who face difficult conditions especially regarding fasting.
It is not appropriate for a person to work or to be forced to work in hard jobs that will prevent him from performing his/her worship normally. It is absolutely unacceptable in terms of human rights to force a person into a dilemma to choose between performing his/her worship normally and making his/her living. If a person is left in such a case, if the society is unable to provide him with a better job and if he is unlikely to earn his living when he quits his job, it is permissible for him not to fast. If a person who has to work in a hard job temporarily is worried that his health will be harmed when he fasts, it is permissible for him not to fast. If he finds the opportunity, he can perform fasting later as qada; otherwise, he can give fidyah for each day instead of fasting.
The excuses that render it permissible not to fast are mentioned as illness, travelling and being unable to fast in the Quran (al-Baqara 2/184-185). Fiqh scholars preferred to base the permissibility not to fast on these three causes; the common property of these three situations is hardship but they hesitated to say that it is permissible not to fast in case of all kinds of hardship. The main reason for this is the concern that those who are supposed to fast might act immoderately or in a relaxed manner while determining hardship, which is subjective and changeable, and that they will abandon fasting based on unnecessary things; that is, the concern that this permissibility might be misused. However, since fasting is a relationship of obligation between the slave and Allah, it will be an appropriate attitude for the people who are supposed to fast to use their personal initiative in the light of the excuses mentioned above, not to abandon fasting unless they feel satisfied with their excuses and to benefit from the permissibility only if they are convinced that their excuses are right and valid.
2. Hunger and thirst:
If hunger and thirst reach an extreme level and if a person is worried that he will die or lose his mind, it becomes permissible for him to break his fast. It becomes necessary for him to perform fasting one day for it after Ramadan.
On hot days, if a person who serves on behalf of the Sultan in an imaret (place where meals are given to the poor) and organizes the work is concerned about losing his health or mind, it becomes permissible for him to break his fast.
By comparison, those who work in very tiring and weary jobs in a hot season and who are concerned about their lives and mental and spiritual health, it becomes permissible for them to break their fast. (Fathul-Qadir-Kamal Ibn Humam, Celal Yıldırım, Kaynaklarıyla İslam Fıkhı, Uysal Kitabevi: 2/234)
3. Other excuses that render it permissible not to fast
We know that it is often pointed out in the Quran and hadiths that there is no obligation that is too difficult for man to do in the religion and that some conveniences and permissions are granted to people who are held responsible for religious orders in case of any difficulty and hardship. As a part of this general principle, in some cases, some people are allowed not to perform Ramadan fasting, which is fard.
Excuses (reasons) for not fasting in Ramadan are as follows in general:
Travelling: As it is stated in the Prayer section, the state of travelling (expedition) is generally troublesome and hard; therefore, some ease is in question for travelers regarding many issues. Travelers are allowed to shorten or combine prayers but not abandon them but they are allowed to abandon fasting because it is more wearisome and tiresome. (see al-Baqara 2/183-184) However, it is more virtuous for a traveler to fast if he faces no difficulty and if he is not likely to be harmed.
According to Hanafis, a person who intends to fast at night but who has to travel the next day had better complete this fasting but if he breaks it, kaffarah is not necessary. On the other hand, Shafiis and Hanbalis say that a fasting that is intended at night can be broken if a person starts a journey acting upon the narration that the Prophet (pbuh) fasted until he arrived a place called Qadid when he was on the way to conquer Makkah and broke his fasting there. War and staying in the front line for a long time by fighting are each an excuse. Such a person should act based on the choice that is appropriate for his health and duty.
Illness: Illness is a condition that causes some permissions to be given. Almighty Allah states in the verse mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that those who are sick can fast when they get well without mentioning any conditions. Therefore, those who are worried that their illness will deteriorate or prolong and the ill people who will have difficulty in fasting do not have to fast and they can break the fasting they have started. It is said that a person who is likely to get sick if he fasts according to the data of the science is regarded like an ill person.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or who breastfeed their babies do not have to fast if they fear that they or their babies will be harmed. They are regarded as ill in a way and there are also hadiths that give them this permission. (Nasai, "Siyam", 50-51, 62, Ibn Majah, "Siyam", 3)
Old age: Our religion does not want the old people who are very weak to fast; instead, they are demanded to give fidyah enough to feed a poor person for each day that they cannot fast. It is stated in the verse mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that those who are not strong enough to fast or those who will suffer great distress if they try to fast need to give fidyah. The ill people who do not have any hope of recovery are also regarded like them. However, those who are not strong enough to fast in Ramadan but who will be able to fast in the future do not pay fidyah; they have to fast for each day they have missed.
If a person gives fidyah due to a chronic disease that will not heal becomes strong enough later, the fidyah becomes invalid; he has to perform fasting as qada for each day he has missed.
Anyone who cannot fast because of one of these excuses listed above should not show others that he is not fasting in terms of respect to fasting, the people who fast and the month of Ramadan.
Some scholars say that a person who is threatened to be killed or wounded if he does not break his fast in Ramadan will not be a sinner if he does not break it and on the contrary he will receive a great thawab due to being faithful to his religion; however, the view of the majority of the scholars is that it is better to break the fast. If the person who is threatened so that he will break his fast has an excuse such as being a traveler or having an illness that renders breaking the fast permissible, he will be a sinner if he does not break his fast when he is forced. (see Diyanet İslam İlmihali, Oruç Bölümü)