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Rules of Fasting

Friday Speech in Arabic text: أحكام الصيام
Speaker: Dr. Ali Ghazzawi

When: Friday March 17th, 2023
Language: English
Where: Masjid Omar, Upper Darby, PA

إنَّ الحمدَ لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا وسيئات أعمالنا، من يهدِ الله فلا مضلَّ له، ومن يُضللْ فلا هادِىَ له. والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وأصحابه الطيبين الطاهرين. أما بعد عباد الله، فإنى أوصِّيكُمْ ونفسىَ بتقوى اللهِ القائلِ فى محكمِ كتابِهِ: ﴿يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ ١٨٣ البقرة.

And the Prophet ﷺ said: "مَن صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِِه"

The month of Ramadan is starting in few days, bringing with it goodness that the Muslims are longing for. May Allah enable us to witness this honorable month and fast its days.

Fasting the month of Ramadan is a confirmed obligation that is known to all Muslims. Those who deny this obligation bely the religion and hence are not Muslims. Those who believe in the obligation to fast this month, but abandon fasting without having a valid religious excuse, are Muslims who committed enormous sins, are obligated to repent and to make up those days.

It is appropriate fellow Muslims to go over some rules pertaining to fasting so that we perform this obligation in a valid way that is accepted by Allah.

Fasting is an obligation upon every accountable Muslim. However, there are some people who are not obligated to fast; those who cannot bear fasting due to old age or due to a permanent illness are not obligated to fast. However, they are obligated to pay fidyah (indemnity) for each unfasted day, which is one mudd of the common staple crop in the town (wheat in our area). Mudd is equivalent to what fills two cupped average-size hands. According to the school of Imam Abu Hanifah, it is permissible for those who cannot fast due to old age to pay out as fidyah the value of two meals for each day of not fasting. Such old people are allowed to pay the fidyah at the beginning or end of Ramadan.

Also, during menstruation or postpartum bleeding women are not obligated to fast, and are obligated to make up the missed days of fasting.

It is permissible for people during traveling a long permissible travel to skip the fast if certain conditions are met. Also, sick people are allowed not to fast if they face unbearable hardship. Such people must make up the days they missed of fasting.

Pregnant or nursing women are allowed to leave out fasting if they fear for their safety, and must make up unfasted days. In the Shafi^iyy school, if such women fear for the safety of their children, they may leave out fasting, but they must make up unfasted days and also pay fidyah. However, in the Hanafiyy school, they are not obligated to pay the fidyah.

Fasting has two integrals: Intention, and refraining from all invalidators of fasting.

The place of the intention is in the heart, so it is not a condition to utter it with the tongue. For the obligatory fast, one makes the intention between sunset and dawn for the coming day, and one intends what is the fasting for, so for example, for fasting in Ramadan, one intends in one’s heart between sunset and dawn to fast the following day of Ramadan. One is still allowed to eat and drink during the night after making the intention. In the Shafi^iyy school, one makes the intention every night for each day, because fasting each day is an independent worship.

In the Hanafiyy school, it is permissible for one to make the intention of fasting the following day of Ramadan after Fajr but before Dhuhr time, as long as one has not done what invalidates fasting.

According to School of Imam Malik, it is sufficient for one to make the intention to fast the whole month of Ramadan on the first night.

And the second integral is to refrain from all what invalidates the fast from dawn until sunset. So one refrains from inserting anything that has a volume, even small particles such cigarette smoke, into the head or into the abdomen through an open inlet, like the mouth, the nose, the ears, and the two private parts. It does not invalidate the fast to use an eye drop, or to insert a needle in the arm, because they are not open inlets.

If one forgets about obligatory or recommended fasting and eats or drinks, even a full meal, this does not invalidate the fast, due to saying of the Prophet ﷺ said:

"مَن نَّسِىَ وَهوَ صَائِمٌ فَأَكَلَ أَوْ شَرِبَ فَلْيُتِمَّ صَوْمَهُ فَإِنَّمَا أَطْعَمَهُ اللهُ وَسَقَاهُ"

Among the invalidators of fast is to induce vomiting, by for example inserting one’s finger or the like inside the mouth. However, if one vomits unintentionally and does not swallow any of it back, then one’s fasting is still valid. However, swallowing one’s own pure unstained saliva does not invalidate the fast.

Becoming insane, even for a moment, or passing out the whole day invalidate the fast. If one fainted part of the day then fasting is still valid. Sleeping does not invalidate the fast, even if it was for the whole day.

Furthermore, having intentional sexual intercourse during the day invalidates the fast. Whoever does that is sinful and must refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day, and one must also make up that day immediately after the day of ^Id, and must also pay the specified kaffarah (expiation), which is to free a slave, and if unable to fast two consecutive lunar months, and if unable to feed sixty poor Muslims.

Apostasy is interrupting one’s Islam by a blasphemous belief, action, or saying, such as cussing Allah, or cussing the religion of al-Islam, or cussing an angel, or cussing any of the Prophets, or stepping on the Qur’an intentionally, or likening Allah to the creation, such as believing that Allah is a body, or that Allah resides in the heavens. It is also blasphemous for one to belittle any of the glorified matters in the religion such as the prayer, or for one to belie any matter that one knows to be from the religion. Whoever fell in any of that becomes a blasphemer and one’s fasting would be invalidated. This person needs to return to Islam immediately by uttering the testifications of faith, refrain from the invalidators of fast the rest of the day, and makeup the day immediately after ^Idul-Fitr. Be aware fellow Muslims from falling into blasphemy at all times.

So as the month of Ramadan is about to start, we urge you fellow Muslims to learn the necessary religious knowledge from trustworthy people. Come to this center and attend the circles of religious knowledge to learn how to worship Allah in a valid way, otherwise one may end up performing prayer and fasting without them being valid or accepted by Allah, as the Prophet ﷺ said: "رُبَّ صَائِمٍ لَيسَ لَه مِن صِيَامِهِ إلَّا الجُوعُ، وَرُبَّ قَائِمٍ لَيسَ لَه مِن قِيَامِهِ إلَّا السَّهَرُ"

May Allah facilitate for us fasting the honorable month, and may Allah forgive my sins and yours.

Masjid Omar, UD Fri Sha^ban 26, 1444H/March 17, 2023

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