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The Fiqh of Fasting: Things That Invalidate Fasting – Part 3

The things that invalidate Fasting

Fasting becomes invalid if any of the following occurs. However, there are actions that break the fast unanimously and there are other cases on which there is a difference of opinions regarding them. Here is the discussion of that!

Fiqh of Fasting: There are actions that break the fast unanimously and others where there is a difference of opinions.

1. Anything that reaches the stomach intentionally

If a person swallows anything intentionally even if it is as little as a seed and whether it is taken through the mouth, the nose, etc., the fast is invalid. However, if a person eats or drinks while forgetting that he or she is fasting, their fast is valid.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If somebody eats something forgetfully while he is fasting, then he should complete his fast, for Allah has made him eat and drink.” [Al-Bukhari]

2. Injection and enema

There are three opinions regarding having injections:

First, they invalidate the fast because they enter the body.

Second, they do not invalidate the fast because they are not put into the body through the mouth. Moreover, they are not used to satisfy hunger or thirst and they are not food or drink.

Third, some scholars differentiate between nutrient injections and other injections. They say that only nutrient injections invalidate the fast.

The preferred opinion is the third one. However, it is better to have injections at night if possible.

As for enemas, Islam Question & Answer website discusses this matter as follows:

Concerning enemas which are given to sick people to counteract constipation, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. Some say that it does break the fast, based on the fact that everything that reaches inside the digestive tract breaks the fast. And some of them said that it does not break the fast. Among those who said that was Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, who said that this is not food or drink, and it is not like food or drink.

What I think is that we should look at the doctors’ opinions concerning that; if they say that this is like food or drink then it should be classified as such and thus it breaks the fast. If they say that this does not give the body what food and drink give it, then it does not break the fast.

3. Cupping, blood donation and biopsies

There are different opinions regarding cupping and whether it invalidates fasting. Let us look at the most famous proofs related to this issue:

1. ”The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done, both their fasting is broken.”(Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad, Al-Nasa’i’s Al-Sunan Al-Kubra) This is an authentic hadith related through several chains of narrations tracing back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

2. Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) was cupped while he was in the state of lhram, and also while he was observing a fast. [Al-Bukhari]

3. Narrated Thabit Al-Bunani: Anas bin Malik was asked whether they disliked the cupping for a fasting person. He replied in the negative and said, “Only if it causes weakness.” [Al-Bukhari]

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal is of the opinion that cupping invalidates fasting. He used hadith 1 above to support his opinion. In addition, he says that there is a defect in the narration of hadith 2 above and the sound version the following:

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) was cupped while he was fasting. [Al-Bukhari]

On the other hand, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that cupping does not invalidate fasting for hadith 2 and 3 mentioned above. As for hadith 1, the majority’s opinion is that it is abrogated.

There are other interpretations to hadith 1 which help support the majority’s opinion. One interpretation is that it is a specific issue where the persons involved were backbiting people. Thus, they will not be rewarded for their fasting due to backbiting. Cupping has nothing to do with this.

The preferred opinion is that of the majority of scholars. However, it is better to do cupping at night.

Blood donation and biopsies take the same ruling mentioned above.

4. Intentional vomiting

Scholars differentiate between intentional and unintentional vomiting. The opinion of the majority of scholars is that only intentional vomiting invalidates the fast.

The issue is discussed in detail in a previous article (click here).

5. Sexual intercourse

Scholars unanimously agreed that sexual intercourse invalidates the fast. The proofs from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Consensus of scholars are mentioned in the previous article (click here).

There are some issues related to sexual intercourse:

– Kissing, fondling or embracing one’s spouse

It is allowed for the person observing fasting to kiss, embrace and fondle his or her spouse as long as the spouses are able to control their desires. If the spouses fear that this may lead to having sexual intercourse, then, it is not allowed to continue. In this case, blocking the means to unallowable matter is better because it prevents one from committing an act of disobedience.

There are a number of hadith that support this legal ruling. Here is one of them.

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to kiss (his wives) while fasting and embraced (them) while fasting; but he had the greatest mastery over his desire among you. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) differentiate between the old and the young.

Abdullah ibn Abbas was asked about people kissing while fasting and he said that he allowed it for old men but disapproved of it for young men. (Muwatta’ Malik)

6. Intentional ejaculation or ejaculation while the person is awake

The majority of scholars are of the opinion that intentional ejaculation due to masturbation, fondling, etc. invalidates the fast. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah says: ‘(The person observing fasting) has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I will bestow its reward. Every good deed has ten times its reward’. [Al-Bukhari]

However, if the person observing fasting has a wet dream during the day, the fast is valid. There is a consensus of opinion regarding this issue.

On the other hand, if a person has sexual intercourse anytime during the night and they do not have a ritual bath till the time of dawn, the fast is valid. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) (at times) got up in the morning in a state of major ritual impurity, not because of sexual dreams (but on account of intercourse at night), and then observed fast. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

7. Menses, childbirth and postnatal bleeding

There is a consensus of opinion among the scholars that menses or postnatal bleeding invalidates the fast. If any of them occurs during the time of fasting, the fast is invalid.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Isn’t it true that a woman does not pray and does not fast on menstruating?” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Mu’adha said: I asked ‘A’isha: What is the reason that a menstruating woman makes up the fasts (that she abandons during her monthly course). but she does not make up the prayers? She (‘A’isha) said: Are you a Haruriya? I said: I am not a Haruriya, but I simply want to inquire. She said: We passed through this (period of menstruation), and we were ordered to make up the fasts, but were not ordered to make up the prayers. (Muslim)

8. Apostasy

Scholars unanimously agree that apostasy, abandonment of Islam, invalidates the fast. Allah says,

“Yet truly it has been revealed to you, O Prophet, and to those of the prophets before you: If ever you were to associate any gods with God, then utterly futile would be all your good works. And, most surely, you yourself would have become among the losers, of an everlasting Paradise.” (Quran 39:65)

 

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The Journalist and Writer Amanda Figueras Shares Experience of Being Spanish Muslim Woman

Amanda Figueras discovered Islam and has written about being a woman, European and a Muslim

Amanda Figueras has published a book titled ‘Why Islam: My life as a woman, European and Muslim’ that talks about her journey into Islam.

MADRID: This might not be her first Ramadan, but for Spanish Muslim Amanda Figueras it still feels new.

She became a Muslim a few years ago and for her Ramadan is always a very special month.

“At the beginning, when I used to practice Islam alone with no one in my family to share it with, I used to go to the mosque and break the fast there and pray taraweeh. I always loved how I was welcomed by my sisters in Islam.”

Now it is different. Since her marriage a few years ago she shares her faith with her Egyptian husband and a three-year-old son. “We have done some decorations at home we try to show our son the spirit of Ramadan.”

Amanda, who is a journalist and a writer, doesn’t consider herself a Muslim convert.

“I did not change from one religion to another. I was not a believer, simply I did not have any faith. This makes my personal awakening fascinating because I found that there is God and that Islam was what I wanted for my life,” she said.

“I encounter Islam because as a journalist I had to write about Muslim people, and I realized that I had no idea at all. I started to read non-stop and I fell in love with our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) after knowing about his generous character and genuine humbleness.”

“Then, reading the Holy Qur’an, especially those ayas emphasizing the perfection of nature, I started to find and feel Allah. The simplest things were those which opened my eyes to Islam.”

The decision to become a Muslim took her family by surprise, she said.

“For my family it was not easy, they reacted in the normal way: with fear. For me it was painful to see how at the same time that I was finding happiness, tranquility, and calmness, they were feeling bad about it. But Islam was giving me only good things.

“We do not talk a lot about this anyway, and sadly I have lost both of my parents.

Nevertheless, I am happy I have a little family and a husband who is always supportive of my projects and of course of my curiosity to know more about our religion.’

She admits the beginning of her journey into Islam was also confusing for her.

“The main barrier that I encountered when I started to feel that I really liked Islam was that of my own prejudices and some misconceptions. However, I discovered that Islam is beautiful, that it is all about trust, generosity and forgiveness,” she said.

Amanda is passionate about fostering dialogue and building bridges between different peoples, as well as fighting Islamophobia and hate speech.

She started working 5 years ago as a project and communications manager at Foro Abraham for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue.

“It is a non-profit civil society organization based in Spain that works to promote understanding through what we call ‘interreligious dialogue and interfaith action.’ I started to be interested in this topic after being selected for the fellowship program of the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations.

“At Foro Abraham we do activities to connect people of different backgrounds and it is an amazing experience. Before the COVID-19 crisis we were working on a cycle of dialogue sessions with refugees and migrants in Europe, in collaboration with the International Dialogue Center — Kaiciid (King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue) — as I am a Kaiciid European Fellow 2020, but now our activities are postponed due to the pandemic.”

Amanda says she faces some difficulties within Spanish society as a Spanish Muslim.

“Today, I still face glances of hatred both on the part of those who hate Islam — without knowing it — and on the part of those who think that I have renounced the European ‘developed culture’ to adopt the culture of the barbarians. I am Spanish and that is my culture, which is perfectly compatible with Islam.’

She insists that Spanish Muslims have the same rights as any other citizens: “We are a small community but are getting bigger and stronger. However, we are mainly considered as only ‘Muslims’, we are only given the microphone when it comes to talking about ‘Muslim issues,’ mainly about the hijab,” she said.

“We are not considered full citizens with valuable opinions about any other topic. It is harder for us to reach certain work positions and we lose a lot of time justifying ourselves like: ‘Yes, I am a Muslim and I am a normal person and I can work and achieve the same as any other person.’

Amanda has published a book titled ‘Why Islam: My life as a woman, European and Muslim’ that talks about her journey into Islam.

“It is journey I started in the aftermath of the 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid. At that time, I was a journalist at El Mundo newspaper, and I had been asked to investigate the consequences among the Muslim community in Spain.

“I realized that I knew little about Islam and Muslims in general. In my book, while I describe my experience as a new Muslim, I explain basic but important things about my faith to the reader. I also address some of the common misunderstandings surrounding women.”

Amanda has a message for Muslim Spanish women like herself.

“It is the time that we women take more responsibility when it comes to research and to sharing knowledge.”


Source: Arabnews website.

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The Ruling on Praying Jumuah through Broadcast

AMJA has received many questions regarding the ruling pertaining to holding Friday sermon and prayer services in the mosque with the least number of people needed to fulfill the Jumuah quorum, while broadcasting the services live to the other members of the community for them to listen to the sermon and then follow the imam in prayer, all while in their homes.

This would be to avoid large gatherings in accordance with the recommendations of state governments and health authorities, as well as to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It is not permissible according to any valid madhhab for the gap between the rows to be miles long, with tens of buildings and roads as dividers between them.

The answers to these questions are as follows:

It is not permissible according to any valid madhhab for the gap between the rows to be miles long, with tens of buildings and roads as dividers between them.

While they agree on overlooking a customarily small gap, they disagree concerning the effect of a wall, road, river, and the like, which would cause separation.

Some of them say that the maximum distance allowed between one row and the next is three hundred cubits (about five hundred feet).

The valid madhhabs do agree that very long distances (as mentioned in the questions) cannot be overlooked, and that this would nullify the Friday prayer. This has been the practice of the Muslims, is the fatwa given by the four followed madhhabs, and is an opinion closer to the practical consensus of the Muslims.

Furthermore, to have individuals or groups praying in homes while following the imam via live broadcast is a matter in contradiction with the objective of the Legislator (Allah), which is to have people gather in one place during Friday services and congregational prayers.

In addition to this, it is possible that the live stream cuts out, or lags such that people see the imam bowing or prostrating later than he actually did.

Another problem of allowing people to follow through broadcasting is that it may lead to people continuing to pray the Friday prayer at home even after this current pandemic passes, which would lead to the loss of reverence for Jumuah, and the above-mentioned objective of the Legislator to have the Muslims gather in once place would not be achieved.

That being said, there is no problem with the imam giving the sermon in the mosque for a small number of people in accordance with what health authorities allow, even if there are only three other congregants, and broadcasting this via the internet (or local TV or the like) for other community members to benefit from hearing it.

However, when it is time to pray, those in their homes would pray the dhuhr prayer with four raka’at. The dhuhr prayer could be prayed individually, or in congregation as a family with one of them leading the prayer.


Source: amjaonline.org

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The Fiqh of Fasting: Essential Elements of Fasting – Part 2

The Essential Elements of Fasting

These are the mandatory acts that must be observed so that fasting can be valid.

 1. The niyyah (intention)

Fasting in which the intention is not observed is invalid. Allah says,

“though they were not commanded, but to worship (One) God – making the practice of their religion pure and, sincere to Him alone, being ever upright of heart. (Qur’an 98:5)

It has been narrated on the authority of Umar b. al-Khattab that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

The Fiqh of Fasting Essential Elements of Fasting Part 2

The Essential Elements of Fasting are the mandatory acts that must be observed so that fasting can be valid. Read more about them here..

(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) ; and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated. [Al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

When must a person state or confirm the intention of Fasting?

Scholars differentiate between compulsory and voluntary fasting.

The compulsory fasting

The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the person must state the intention of fasting any time during the night until the time of dawn. Thus, if a person states their intention or makes up their mind to fast after the time of dawn, fasting is invalid.

To support their opinion, they used the above mentioned hadith along with the following one:

“Whoever does not form his intention to fast before to fajr (dawn), his fasting will not be accepted.” Related by the five Imams, but At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i consider it to be related by Hafsah and not connected to the Prophet (ﷺ).

In Imām Abū Ḥanīfah’s opinion, it is allowed for a person to intend to fast after dawn and during the day in both voluntary and compulsory fasting as long as they have not had any food or drink.

The voluntary fasting

In voluntary fasting, the majority of scholars say that it is allowed to intend to fast during the day. For example, if a person wakes up in the morning of a certain day, they may intend to fast that day. However, this is only allowed if the person has not eaten, drunk or had sexual intercourse from the time of dawn.

There are a number of hadiths that support this opinion. Here is one of them:

‘A’isha, the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with her), reported:

The Apostle of Allah (ﷺ) came to me one day and said: Is there anything with you (to eat)? I said: No. Thereupon he said: I shall then be fasting. Then he came to us another day and we said: Messenger of Allah, hais (a compound of dates and clarified butter) has been offered to us as a gift. Thereupon he said: Show that to me; I had been fasting since morning. He then ate it. (Saḥīḥ Muslim)

It should also be noted that intending to break one’s fast invalidates it.

2. Abstaining from food and drink

It is agreed upon that eating or drinking intentionally breaks one’s fast. There are proofs from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Consensus that indicate that the person observing fasting is not allowed to eat or drink from dawn to sunset. Allah says,

“Moreover, you may “now” eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes clear to you, as distinguished, from the black thread “of night”. Then complete the fast until the night” (Qur’an 2:187)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If one does not eschew lies and false conduct, Allah has no need that he should abstain from his food and his drink.” [Al-Bukhari]

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah says: ‘(The person observing fasting) has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I will bestow its reward. Every good deed has ten times its reward’.” [Al-Bukhari]

The consensus among the Muslim scholars is that intentional eating and drinking during the time of fasting invalidates it.

3. Abstaining from sexual intercourse

The person observing fasting must also abstain from having sexual intercourse during their fast. There are proofs supporting this ruling from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Consensus. Allah says,

“Permitted for you (believers), on the night of the fast is intimate approach to your wives. They are a garment for you. And you are a garment for them. God knows that (before granting this permission), you used to betray yourselves. Thus He has granted you repentance (for what is past), and pardoned you. So now you may lie with them and seek whatever (offspring) God has decreed for you…” (Qur’an 2:187)

Narrated Abu Huraira: A person had sexual relation with his wife in the month of Ramadan (while he was fasting), and he came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) seeking his verdict concerning that action. The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” The man said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Then feed sixty poor persons.” [Al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

As for the Consensus, Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah shower him with His mercy) said, “The Muslim nation have reached a consensus that having a sexual intercourse is prohibited for the person observing fasting and on the invalidity of their fast.

4. Abstaining from intentional vomiting

Islam Question & Answer website discusses this issue as follows:

Vomiting refers to when food etc. is expelled from the stomach outside the body. With regard to whether this breaks the fast or not, the ruling depends on whether it was done deliberately or not. If a person vomits deliberately, this breaks the fast and he has to make up that day. If he cannot help vomiting and vomits involuntarily, then his fast is still valid and he does not have to do anything else.

If a person needs to vomit because he is sick and vomiting will help him to recover, then it is permissible for him to do that, but he has to make up that day after Ramadan, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days” [Qur’an 2:185]

According to the correct scholarly view, it makes no difference whether the amount of vomit is great or small. If a person vomits deliberately and only a small amount comes out, the fast is broken. It says in al-Furoo’: If a person makes himself vomit and vomits anything, then his fast is broken, because of the report of Abu Hurayrah: “Whoever cannot help vomiting does not have to do anything but whoever makes himself vomit deliberately has to make up that day.” Al-Furoo’, 3/49. This hadeeth was narrated by Abu Dawood, 2380; al-Tirmidhi, 720 – he said the scholars follow this. It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.

But there is a difference between spitting and vomiting. Spitting and hawking etc do not come from the stomach, so there is nothing wrong with expelling that matter. But vomiting comes from the stomach as explained above.

And Allah knows best.

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All About Ramadan 1441-2020

Islam aims to transform the whole life of man into a life of worship. Fasting is the second act of worship that Allah enjoins upon the Muslim that helps us come to that life of total worship.

Sawm or the Fasting means abstaining from dawn to sunset from eating, drinking and sex.

Like the prayer, this act of worship has been part of the Shari`ah given by all the Prophets. Their followers fasted as we do.

However, the rules, the number of days, and the periods prescribed for fasting have varied from one Shari`ah to another. Today, although fasting remains a part of most religions in some form or other, people have often changed its original form by accretions of their own.

O Believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it was ordained for those before you. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Why has this particular act of worship been practiced in all eras?

Ramadan is earmarked for all Muslims to fast together, to ensure similar results, turning individual into collective i`badah, and suffusing the whole environment with a spirit of righteousness, virtue and piety. As flowers blossom in spring, so does taqwa in Ramadan.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said:

Every good deed of a man is granted manifold increase, ten to seven hundred times. But says Allah: Fasting is an exception; it is exclusively for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish. (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

So, how do we fast in Ramadan? what is true spirit of fasting as an act of worship? And what is the wisdom behind fasting? How can we reap the benefits of witnessing the blessed month of Ramadan?

In this Special Folder (All About Ramadan), we will focus on fasting and its related issues.

Prayers of the Pious (With Sh. Omar Suleiman)

Prayers of the Pious

(1) The Best of My Days

In the first episode of the Prayers of the Pious series, we cover the righteous dua that Abu Bakr (r) made at the end of his lifetime.

Read More…

Your Health in Ramadan

Fasting and Overall Health

Fasting and Overall Health

In some cases, fasting could do more harm than good to some ill people, but could be beneficial to others, and even improve health. Who is exempted from fasting, who can decide this? How should fasting…

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Last Ten Days of Ramadan

Excellence and Rulings of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. These are the nights that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would spend in constant worship. Among these nights is Laylat al-Qadr…

Read also:

 

E-Books on Ramadan

New Muslim Ramadan Guide

New Muslim Ramadan Guide

With the coming of Ramadan, every Muslim has to prepare himself for that blessed month. This book tackles the most important issues that a Muslim has to be aware of before going on fasting. It tries to present the rulings of fasting as well as the spiritual objectives for which fasting was obligated. Take your time in going through this helpful book and we hope that we provided something that has been beneficial for you.

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The Fiqh of Fasting: Definition and Prerequisites – Part 1

Definition of the Sawm or Siyam

Sawm or Siyam (fasting) means in language to abstain from something.

Maryam (Mary) (peace be upon her) said,

“Indeed, I have vowed a fast to the All-Merciful. Thus, I shall not speak today to any human being.” (Qurʾan 19:26)

In the legal usage of the term, fasting means to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.

Fasting

In the legal usage of the term, fasting means to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.

This must be accompanied by the niyyah, intention.1he great commentator Al-Qurṭubī, the author of Al-jamiʿ lī Aḥkam Al-Qurʾan, adds to this definition that the perfect and complete Fasting is that in which acts of disobedience are avoided and acts of worship are maintained.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If one does not eschew lies and false conduct, Allah has no need that he should abstain from his food and his drink.” [Al-Bukharī].

Observing the niyyah here means that you observe fasting as an act of worship only for the sake of Allah and out of obedience to Allah.

The legal ruling regarding fasting the month of Ramaḍan:

It is obligatory to fast the month of Ramadan according to the Qurʾan, the Sunnah and the Consensus.

Allah says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those (who have believed) before you, so that you may be (ever) God-fearing. … So whoever among you bears witness to the month shall then fast it.” (Qurʾan 2: 183-185)

On the authority of ʿAbdullahh, the son of ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭab (ra), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) says, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramaḍan.” [Al-Bukharī and Muslim]

There is a consensus among all Muslim scholars that fasting Ramadan is obligatory.

The prerequisites for the obligation of fasting:

There are four prerequisites:

1- Islam

If non-Muslims fast or do any act of worship, it will not be accepted. Allah says,

“Yet truly it has been revealed to you, O Prophet, and to those of the prophets before you: If ever you were to associate any gods with God, then utterly futile would be all your good works. And, most surely, you yourself would have become among the losers, of an everlasting Paradise.” (Qurʾan 39:65)

ʿAʾisha reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, the son of Judʿan established ties of relationship, fed the poor. Would that be of any avail to him? He said: It would be of no avail to him as he did not ever say: O my Lord, pardon my sins on the Day of Resurrection. (Saḥīḥ Muslim)

2- Reaching puberty:

This is the second prerequisite. In Islam, there are three signs that denote a certain person has reached puberty.

  1. The first wet dream and menstruation

There is an agreement among scholars on only one of these signs which is having the first wet dream for boys and the first menstruation for girls. This is the most authentic sign.

  1. being 15 years old (only lunar years are used here)

Some scholars hold the opinion that if a person is 15 lunar years old, he or she is an adult who is obliged to fast and do other acts of worship.

However, the first sign is the most famous among the scholars.

What is the legal ruling regarding the child who fasts? 

If the child fasts, his or her fast is valid and acceptable. In addition, he and his or her parents will be rewarded. So, it is recommended for the children to train and learn to fast before they reach the age of puberty but it is not obligatory.

Narrated Al-Rubayiʿ bint Muʿawadh: “The Prophet (ﷺ) sent a messenger to the village of the AnSar in the morning of the day of ʿAshuraʾ (10th of Muḥarram) to announce: ‘Whoever has eaten something should not eat but complete the fast, and whoever is observing the fast should complete it.’ “She further said, “Since then we used to fast on that day regularly and also make our boys fast. We used to make toys of wool for the boys and if anyone of them cried for, he was given those toys till it was the time of the breaking of the fast.” (Saḥīḥ  al-Bukharī)

3- Sanity

An insane person cannot be asked to perform any act of worship because they cannot understand the Shariʿa address. Narrated Alī ibn Abū Ṭalib: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and a lunatic till he comes to reason. (Related by Al-Nasaʾī, Abū Dawūd and Ibn Majah)

4- Ability

In addition to the three prerequisites mentioned above, fasting is only obligatory if the person has the ability to observe it. Allah says:

“God does not task a soul beyond its capacity.” (Qurʾan 2:286)

—————————

Read also:

The Best 10 Virtues of Fasting in Islam: What Are They?
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“Jesus Fasted on Many Occasions”: This Christian Man Explains Why He Fasts During Ramadan

By Craig Considine

My encounters with Muslims over the years have taught me that criticizing and condemning faiths and religious groups is futile.

This only exacerbates the strength of the so-called “clash of civilizations.”

My fasting is about the spirit of Ramadan and how this period brings me and others closer to the Almighty.

Instead of fanning the flames of arrogance and ignorance, I do what Jesus called on me to do – engage with humanity and offer a hand of peace to people who have been branded “enemies.”

It is in this spirit that I decided to participate in something that is both inherently Christian and Islamic – fasting during Ramadan.

I broke the Ramadan fast with the Clear Lake Islamic Center and Muslim American Society in Seabrook, Texas. This gathering included people of diverse social backgrounds.

I had the opportunity to speak on Prophet Muhammad’s model of social integration and how this model can be implemented in society today. I heard others speak about the Prophet’s legacy of social justice activism and the importance of doing good deeds for mankind in the U.S. and beyond.

Though I had previously participated in fasting with Muslims, the Clear Lake gathering was special because it included many non-Muslims who gathered to show support for their Muslim neighbors, and to learn more about Islam.

Muslims believe that fasting is an essential pillar of the Islamic faith – indeed, fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Muslims during this holy month focus not only abstaining from food and impurities in body/mind, but also the awareness of a Higher Being and His expectations of us as human beings.

Awareness of God, or taqwa in Islamic terms, is cultivated by Muslims during Ramadan through charity and service to mankind.

It is also nourished when Muslim communities worldwide invite their neighbors to break bread with them and spread the message of peace.

Christians like myself also believe that fasting is paramount to the Christian tradition. Jesus practiced fasting on many occasions, especially when he was tempted by evil (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-12; Luke 4:1-4).

The purpose of Jesus’ fasting was simple – to draw nearer to God for guidance. Ramadan allows me – a follower of Jesus – to draw closer to God and all of His creation, which includes a wide range of races, ethnicities, cultures, and nations.

In the context of encounters with Muslims, Ramadan also teaches me that my well-being is dependent upon the well-being of my neighbors and enemies.

If Muslims suffer, I suffer too because we are part of the same community.

Our well-being depends on our shared commitment to social harmony and unity.

While solidarity and interfaith dialogue may not be obviously linked to fasting, they do certainly capture the spirit of Ramadan.

The Qur’an (2:185) states:

“It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed from on high as a guidance for humanity and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false.”

This passage focuses on humanity and righteousness, not closed-knit communities and wrongdoing. This universalist message calls on human beings to be compassion and just, not divisive and cruel.

Prophet Muhammad reiterated these egalitarian messages when he warned mankind not to fast if fasting does not improve one’s community.

He stated: “If anyone does not refrain from lies and false conduct, God has no need for him to abstain from his food and drink.”

Muhammad’s statement reveals that Ramadan is about more than abstaining from food – it is also about spiritual nourishment and how good relations between groups of people is expected of us by God.

My fasting was more than a simple gesture of friendship in order to build bridges of understanding between Muslims and Christians.

My fasting is about the spirit of Ramadan and how this period brings me and others closer to the Almighty.

I observed Ramadan not because I am Muslim, but because I am a Christian and a human being who cares about my fellow man.

Each and every Ramadan is an opportunity for us all to engage in the “dialogue of civilizations,” where people of various faiths come together and unite under the banner of humanity.

This is the formula to cure our world of its many ills.  This is the commandment of Muhammad and Jesus.


This article was originally shared on Mvslim.com on the 27/05/18.


About the author:

Craig Considine (Irish: Carrig MacConsáidín) is a Catholic American and native of Massachusetts. As a sociologist, he focuses on religion, Islam, Christianity, interfaith, race and ethnicity, identity as well as comparative research and ethnography.

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Wilhelm Ott, the Great Austrian MMA Fighter, Converts to Islam

Wilhelm Ott, the Great Austrian MMA Fighter, Converts to Islam

 
 
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Austrian famed Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Wilhelm Ott converted to Islam while searching for the ‘truth’ during the Coronavirus crisis.

Wilhelm Ott, a 37-year-old Austrian fighter from Mixed Martial Arts, announced on Instagram that he had become Muslim after reading the Shahadah.

 

“The Coronavirus has given me so much time that I can find my faith, my faith is so strong that I can proudly say that I am a Muslim, knowing God and reading the Shahadah,” he said.

“I let myself be influenced politically. But when I had hard times, the Islamic faith gave me the necessary strength,” he added.

Ott said he had been researching Islam for many years and thanked the fans for their full support.

On this occasion, he thanked fellow Turkish MMA fighter Barak Kizlermak who had given him the gift of the Holy Quran and prayer.

Ott thanked the Muslim community for accepting Islam openly, acknowledging that they would fast for the first time in Ramadan this year.

The great Austrian fighter known as The Amazing was born in 1982 and is currently ranked 74th in the rankings of 615 active wrestlers.


Sources: gossip.pk with some modifications

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

British Muslims find new ways to be together for Ramadan under lockdown

With mosques closed, prayers are moving online and video conferencing apps will be used for iftar parties at sunset.

Finsbury Park mosque, north London. Islamic centres across the country have suspended activities during lockdown.

At Finsbury Park mosque in north London – once a byword for extremism, now a model of tolerance and community outreach – the first night of Ramadan heralds a month of communal praying, eating and charity work. About 2,000 people attend prayers each day. Volunteers cram into its kitchen to prepare iftar, the meal that breaks the Ramadan fast at sunset, for 300 people each night.

Not this year. “We will miss all that,” said Mohammed Kozbar, the mosque’s general secretary. The building’s gates are locked, with only security guards patrolling its prayer halls and community spaces. “I visited last week. It was heartbreaking to see it empty and silent,” said Kozbar.

The world’s 1.8bn Muslims are facing the most important period of the Islamic year, the holy month of Ramadan, which starts this week, under lockdown because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Mosques in most countries are shut and gatherings forbidden. The holy sites of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are under curfew. The al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City are closed and prayers suspended.

In the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called for the suspension of all congregational activities at mosques and Islamic centres on 16 March, a week before the government announced all places of worship must close under the lockdown order.

On Friday, the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board said Islamic buildings would remain closed during Ramadan until the lockdown is lifted. “It would be deemed extremely irresponsible to congregate for night prayers or hold religious gatherings during this Ramadan in any mosque or houses with people who are not members of the immediate household,” said Qari Asim, a Leeds imam and chair of the board.

“During the epidemic, the desire to perform prayers with a congregation in a mosque comes second to saving lives.”

For Muslims, to be unable to take part in congregational prayers and break the fast with family and friends during Ramadan was “emotionally challenging, frustrating and culturally alien”, he added.

Shelina Janmohamed, the author of Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World and vice-president of Islamic marketing at Ogilvy Consulting, said: “This is going to be the most unusual Ramadan of my lifetime and I think in the living memory of Muslims across the UK.”

The Islamic holy month was “a time of togetherness and spiritual congregation. Those are the two anchors [of Ramadan], and built into that is a nostalgia around traditions and rituals. Even those who might not normally classify themselves as observant Muslims feel drawn to Ramadan because those feelings of togetherness and community are built into us from childhood.”

Like other faiths, Muslims are using technology to meet the challenges of lockdown. Ramadan prayers and the nightly recitation of the Qur’an will move online, and fundraising for charities will also be digital. Platforms such as Zoom are expected to host iftar parties.

Guidance is being drawn up by Islamic scholars on exemptions from fasting for people who are vulnerable to coronavirus. Muslims working long shifts in essential services will “need to be pragmatic in their approach” to fasting, said Harun Khan, secretary general of the MCB.

“This Ramadan will be at a slower pace. It will give us more time for reflection and the opportunity to be closer to God,” he said. Instead of visiting different mosques every day, Khan will be spending Ramadan at home with his immediate family.

According to Asim: “There is likely to be a tiny group of zealous people who may try to organise iftar events or congregational night prayers in their homes. My message to them is that selfishness has no place with God.”

He also warned that extreme rightwing groups were “trying to use the pandemic to create division” and were scapegoating Muslims for the spread of the virus.

At Finsbury Park mosque, there are plans to distribute iftar meals to people in need or alone who would normally come in person. “People who volunteer with us every Ramadan are calling to say, ‘Please, how can we help?’,” said Kozbar.

The mosque will be streaming lectures and prayers, offering online counselling and organising members to take food to staff at nearby hospitals. “This lockdown is something new for us, like everyone else. It’s a very difficult time, but we want to do our bit.”


Source: The Guardian

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

Juristic Rulings on Congregational Prayer Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By Editorial Staff

The spread of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) has affected people’s lives worldwide. In their attempt to limit the spread of the virus, governments are banning public gatherings. The outbreak of the virus has led to the suspension of congregational prayer including the Jumu’ah (Friday Prayer) at mosques in most countries.

However, family members still have the opportunity to perform prayer in congregation at home. This article will address this recent juristic issue.

“The congregational prayer is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.”

The General Ruling on Congregational Prayer

Scholars have divergent opinions regarding the legal ruling of congregational prayer. It is highly recommend according to the majority of the shafi’i and maliki scholars. On the other hand, the hanbali scholars hold the opinion that it is compulsory. The following hadith may serve as evidence for the first opinion.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The congregational prayer is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

As for the second opinion, there is evidence from the Quran and the Sunnah to support it. Allah says,

…and you shall bow (to God in Prayer) along with those who bow (to Him). (Quran 2:43)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

A blind man came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have no one to guide me to the mosque”. He, therefore, sought his permission to perform Salah (prayer) in his house. He (ﷺ) granted him permission. When the man turned away, he called him back, and said, “Do you hear the Adhan (call to prayer)?” He replied in the affirmative. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) then commanded him to respond to it. (Muslim)

Suspension of Congregational Prayer during the Pandemic

Today, there is an exceptional situation which requires a new legal ruling. Since covid-19 is highly contagious, it is allowed to suspend congregational acts of worship especially prayer.

In fact, scholars have mentioned a good number of legal excuses that allow a person not to perform prayer at the mosque. The fear that harm can befall oneself, one’s property or one’s honor is one of these excuses. This includes the fear to contract covid-19 or pass it to others. In this situation the fear has prevailed. So, it is right to suspend the congregational prayer at mosques. Narrated Hudhaifa:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to us), “List the names of those people who have announced that they are Muslims.” So, we listed one thousand and five hundred men. Then we wondered, “Should we be afraid (of infidels) although we are one thousand and five hundred in number?” No doubt, we witnessed ourselves being afflicted with such bad trials that one would have to offer the prayer alone in fear. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In addition, the general juristic rule is that the repelling of harm takes presence over the procurement of good.

There are a few countries where people can still perform prayer at mosques. They have taken different precautions to contain the spread of the virus. Although people can attend the congregational prayer at mosques, everyone must keep a space between himself and the person next to him. Other precautions include avoiding shaking hands, using private prayer mat, allowing a few number to attend, etc. If covid-19 did not spread easily in closed spaces, such measures might be a good solution.

How to Perform Congregational Prayer at Home?

If you live in a country where the congregational prayers are suspended, you can perform them with your family members. In this way, you can get the reward of performing prayers in congregation.

As for the Jumu’ah prayer, there is a substitute for it i.e. the Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer. The preferred opinion is that Jumu’ah may not be performed at home.

Besides, you may not follow the imam in prayer through broadcast while you are at home. This is by no means in accordance with the prerequisites of congregational prayer.

Who may be the imam?

According to the majority of scholars, youngsters may lead the prayer in presence of the older family members. This is especially recommended if youngsters are more knowledgeable about recitation of the Quran and the rulings of prayer. If the older members are more knowledgeable, it is better that they lead the prayer.

A male person can lead both men and women. On the other hand, a female person may lead only females.

 

 

 

In case there is a father and a son, one of them can lead the prayer with the other following him while standing next to him on his right side.

Second, if the family members are three or more males, one of them can be the imam while the others standing behind him in a row.

Third, the family members may be one male and one female such as husband and a wife, a son and his mother, a father and his daughter, etc. Here, the male must be the imam and the female follows him in prayer while standing behind him.

Fourth, in case there are two males and one female, one of the two males may be the imam and the other male stands next to him on his right side. As for the female, she stands behind the imam.

Fifth, if there are three or more males and one female or more, one of the males can lead the prayer. The other two or more males stand behind him in a row. Then, the female stands behind the row alone. In case there are two or more females, they stand in a row behind the row/rows of the males.

Sixth, the family members may all be females. In this case one of them can lead the prayer. The more knowledgeable one in this regard is the best. However, according to the majority of scholars, the female imam stands in the middle of the first row among other women and girls.

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