The Way of the Prophets:
Restoring the Balance in Ramadan
Obligation: Qur’an
"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as
it was prescribed for those before you, that you may
become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).
(Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of
you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should
be made up) from other days. And as for those who
can fast with difficulty, (i.e. an old man, etc.), they
have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a poor
person (for every day). But whoever does good of
his own accord, it is better for him. And that you
fast, it is better for you if only you know." (2:183-84)
"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the
Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for
the guidance and the criterion (between right and
wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on
the first night of) the month (of Ramadan), he must
fast that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey,
the same number (of days which one did not fast
must be made up) from other days.
Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to
make things difficult for you. (He wants that you)
must complete the same number (of days), and that
you must magnify Allah for having guided you so
that you may be grateful to Him" (2: 185).
Obligation: Hadith
Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be
upon him) said: Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and
seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.
Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and
seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.
And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and
seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven
(Bukhari, Muslim).
Abu Huraira related that Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
him) said: If anyone omits his fast even for one day in
Ramadan without a concession or without being ill, then if he
were to fast for the rest of his life he could not make up for it
(Bukhari).
Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be
upon him) said: Allah the Majestic and Exalted said: "Every
deed of man will receive ten to 700 times reward, except Siyam
(fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward it (as I like). There
are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one when he
breaks the fast and the other when he will meet his Lord"
(Muslim).
Abu Huraira related that Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
him) said: Many people who fast get nothing from their fast
except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night
get nothing from it except wakefulness (Darimi)
History
The word Ramadan originates from the Arabic root ramida or ramad, which means
“intense scorching heat or dryness”. Some have said “scarcity of rations”
It is Allah’s gift to mankind
Allah wanted to give us a time during which we are totally dedicated to worship. Hence He
put the Shaytan in chains
Became obligatory on a Monday during the 2nd year of migration (Hijrah) - Abdullah ibn
Abbas RA narrates that the first two things given to the Believers after migration were the
Baitullah becoming the Qiblah and fasts of Ramadan
Ibn Hajar writes that the Prophet SAW fasted for 9 Ramadans
He SAW used to make i’tikaaf (seclusion) during this month even before its obligation and it
was in this month, he received the first revelation in Hira. ‘Ubaid ibn ‘Umar narrates: Each
year the Prophet SAW would go to Mount Hira for a month in search of solitude and it was
in that month that He announced His Prophethood and that was the month of Ramadan. He
SAW had a relationship with Ramadan, both before His announcement of His Prophethood
and after
Why Do We Fast?
Fasting is a means that:
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allows us to appreciate and give thanks for pleasures
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makes us give up haram things
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helps us control our desires
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enables us to feel compassion and empathy towards the poor
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humiliates and weakens the Shaytan
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trains us to remember that Allah is always watching
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• assists us in developing an attitude of asceticism towards this world and its
desires
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gets us used to doing numerous acts of worship
Fiqh of Ramadan
Definition
Types of Fasts
Intention - Specific and Non-Specific
Actions that invalidate the fast - 4 categories
Exemptions
I’tikaaf
Fasting/Sawm
To withhold from eating, drinking, and marital
relations during daylight hours, with an intention of
fasting, performed by one capable and required to do
so
7 Types of Fasts
Obligatory / fard
Mandatory / wajib
Sunna
Recommended / mandub
Voluntary / nafl
Prohibitively disliked / makruh tahriman
Mildly disliked / makruh tanzihan
Intention (Specific)
The following require an intention and specification of
type:
1) Makeups (qada) from Ramadan
2) Makeups from voluntary (nafl) that was invalidated
3) Fasts of expiation (kaffara)
4) Unspecified vows (nadhr mutlaq)
Kaffarah
What is a Kaffarah? It is an Expiation
- Fast for 60 days consecutively
However, if a person is genuinely unable to keep these 60 fasts, for a truly
valid reason, then one has the option of choosing from one of the following
four:
1) Feed sixty poor people to their fill for two meals, or
2) Feed one poor person two meals a day, for sixty days; or
3) Give sixty poor persons 3 lbs. (approx. 1.6 kg.) of wheat or its value in
cash or food grains;
4) Give to one poor person not less than 3.5 lbs. of wheat, rice or food
grains, etc. or its value in cash for sixty days
Intention (Non-Specific)
The following don’t require a specification; intention is
made anytime from previous night until dahwa kubra:
1) Ramadan fasts during the month
2) Specified vows (nadhr mu’ayyan)
3) Voluntary (nafl) fasts
Actions that Invalidate the Fast
(mufsidat)
The actions of one who is fasting are divided into four
categories:
1) Those that require a makeup as well as expiation
2) Those that require a makeup without expiation
3) Those that require nothing (and are not disliked)
4) Those that require nothing yet are disliked
Exemptions
People who are exempted from fasting in Ramadan:
1) Ill person eg. Type 1 Diabetes
2) Pregnant/Nursing woman
Not required to make up before the next Ramadan
3) Severe thirst
4) Traveler
Sports/P.E. /Training are not valid reasons
Fidya: $6 (wheat), $15 (barley), $21 (raisins), $33
(dates)
Inner Dimensions
There are 3 Grades of Fasting:
1) Ordinary
2) Special:
1) See not
2) Speak not
3) Hear not
4) Do not
5) Avoid overeating
6) Look to Allah with Fear and Hope
3) Extra-Special:
Fasting from the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total
disregard of everything but Allah
His Love for Ramadan
Supplication at the
beginning of Rajab
Begin to fast in Sha’ban
Special arrangements to
sight the moon of
Sha’ban
Beginning Ramadan
Special du’a
Congratulate Companions
Welcoming Sermon
Describe virtues of fasting
Five Glad Tidings
Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrates that the Prophet SAW said: ‘In relation to
Ramadan, my Ummah has been given five things never granted to any
previous nation:
1) The smell from a fasting person’s mouth is more beloved to Allah than
the fragrance of musk
2) The fish in the sea keep seeking forgiveness from Allah for the fasting
person until Iftar
3) Allah decorates Jannah everyday
4) The devils are chained up in this month
5) The Ummah is forgiven in the last night”
Suhoor
It is a blessed meal
Make Suhoor with dates
Distinction between the
Muslims and Ahl al Kitab
Eat healthy
During the Day
Qur’an, Qur’an & Qur’an: Recite
and, if not, listen
Reading is better than translation,
tafseer and listening - double reward
if it’s difficult for you
And it must be recited, not looked at
Be generous: Give something
everyday
It is not enough to just give up food
and drink
Do not spend all day sleeping
Iftar
Although He SAW did Iftar
immediately after sunset, He
made sure the sun had set.
He SAW did Iftar with the poor
He SAW did Iftar before
Maghrib
Did Iftar with dates, water,
andor milk
Du’a at the time of Iftar
Iftar Party
Waste of time (preparing, driving there, upon arrival
there)
Waste of food
Du’as are not made
Late to the Masjid for ‘Isha
Alternatively, sponsor an Iftar
Taraweeh
Sunnah of the Prophet SAW
In its current form since the time of Umar (RA): Ijmaa’ of the
ummah that it is 20 Rak’ah
Know that it is specific to Ramadan, so pray it - stop arguing
about how many Rak’ahs it is
Don’t make noise in the parking lot - keep the parking lot
clean
At least pray ‘Isha & Fajr in the Masjid
i’tikaaf/
Last 10 days
Literally means ‘seclusion’
Can be done at any time
Last 10 nights of Ramadan are recommended
Any amount of time
I’tikaaf for women
Increase His effort
Awaken His family
I’tikaf: Seclusion (Talk/eat only when required)
Seek night of Qadr
Zakat
Calculate your Zakat
The fiscal year is the lunar year
Give your Zakat, or at least separate it
Local vs. Abroad
Zakat must be given every year, on jewelry also
Give to poor & needy; not masjid operation/construction funds
The receiver does not need to know
Schedule
Make a schedule!
Prepare during Sha’baan (shopping, etc.)
Take time off from work - Use your vacation time
Pray Fard prayers at the Masjid
Come to Friday Prayers early
Attend every Taraweeh
Carry a Qur’an with you
Shawwal
Fast the 6 of Shawwal
Cannot combine intentions