Friday, June 19, 2015

(Notes & Audio) Rules Of Fasting

Rules Of Fasting
By Shaikh Abdullah Faisal
Monday 15th June 2015



Fasting has both literal and technical meanings:

Literal meaning = Imsaak (Abstention)
Technical meaning = To abstain from food, drink, smoking, intercourse (between fajr & maghrib) to seek Allah's (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) pleasure
Therefore, those who fast to lose weight are making a grave mistake 
The purpose of fasting is to seek Allah's (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) Pleasure 

We fast in the holy month of Ramadan because the Holy Quran was revealed in Ramadan 
We fast to thank Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) for the Guidance He has bestowed upon us.


Saum = The fast of Ramadan. It is a specific fast 
Siyaam = the general fast performed outside of Ramadan. 



Ali reported that Allah's Messenger (SAW) said, "The pen has been raised for three persons (meaning they are not held accountable for what they do): one who is sleeping until he gets up, a child until he reaches the age of puberty, and an insane person until he becomes sane." [Musnad Ahmad (1/154) No. 1327, Sunan Abu Dawud (4/140) No. 4402, Sunan Tirmidhi (4/32) No. 1423, Sunan Ibn Majah (3/198) No. 2041, al-Sunan al-Kubra al-Nasa'i (5/265) No. 5596, Mustadrak al-Haakim (2/67) No. 2350] 

The madman cannot form an intention
Thus there is no ibadah, because there is no intention 
Similarly, if you make salah without stating your intention, your salah is batil 
This doesn’t mean uttering it but making the intention in your heart

Omar ibn al-Khattab (RA) said, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW), say, "Actions only go by intentions. Everyone gets what they intend..." [Al-Bukhari (1) and Muslim (1907)]


The ulama say that you can’t force a child to fast before he reaches puberty

Ibn Qudaamah (rh) said: "The age of ten is more likely, because the Prophet (SAW) enjoined smacking children for not praying at this age, and regarding fasting as being like prayer is better, because they are close to one another, and because they are both physical actions that are pillars of Islam. But fasting is harder, so attention should be paid to when the child becomes able for it, because some may be able to pray who are not yet able to fast." [Al-Mughni (3/161)]

If he is young and has not yet reached puberty, he is not obliged to fast, but if he is able to do it without hardship, then he should be told to do so. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to make their children fast, and if the younger ones cried they would give them toys to distract them. But if it is proven that it is harmful to him, then he should be stopped from fasting. If Allaah has forbidden us to give youngsters their wealth if there is the fear that they may abuse it, then it is more appropriate that they be stopped from doing something if there is the fear of physical harm. But that should not be done by force, because that is not appropriate in raising children. End quote. Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 19/83

If you ask the scholars what age a child should fast, most will say age 10: 

Amr ibn Shu’ayb from his father that his grandfather said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them if they do not pray when they are ten years old, and separate them in their beds.” [Sunan Abu Dawud (1/133) No. 495 and Musnad Ahmad (2/180) No. 6689]

Their Qiyaas is if we are able to beat our children regarding prayer then they should fast too. 

Others say age 12:
Uthaymeen said some children are stronger than others 
So some should fast at 10 and others at 12 


The elderly do not fast 
Instead they feed poor people 
This cost roughly $150 in charity to the poor for the whole of Ramadan
You should give it to the Muslims and not to the kuffaar  
Because feeding the kuffaar is the responsibility of the kafir Government. 


There are two types of sick people:
1) Temporarily sick 
2) Terminally sick 

Those who are temporarily sick should not fast, but must make up the missed days after Ramadan.

The terminally ill (no hope of getting better - like someone suffering from diabetes) should give away $150 

It is wrong to fast when you are sick because Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) said not to kill yourself in Nisa 29:

And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you. (Nisa: 29)

'Ata' said, "One should break the fast on account of illness, whatever it may be, as Allah has said (in Al-Baqarah: 184)." And Hasan and Ibrahim said, "Concerning the woman who gives suck and the one with child, when they fear about themselves or their child, they should break the fast, then fast on other days. And as to the very old man when he cannot bear fasting. Anas, after he became old, fed one who was needy, for a year or two daily with bread and meat, and broke the fast." [Sahih Bukhari (6/25)]


She should not fast if she finds it difficult 
She falls into the category of those who are, 'terminally ill'

This makes for an interesting case study, how we take the opinion of the sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) over our scholars (RH)

According to all four of the great imams, a pregnant lady must make up the days she missed her fasts in Ramadan due to her pregnancy 

This, however is the wrong opinion 
The correct opinion is that of Ali, ibn Abbas and Ibn Omar (radiyallahu ‘anhum)

They, the sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum), say the pregnant woman does not have to make up the days 

That they have to feed the poor only, and do not have to make up the fasts. Among the Sahabah, this was the view of Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA). Ibn Qudamah also narrated this in al-Mughni (3/150) from Ibn Omar (RA). Abu Dawood (231 narrated from Ibn Abbas (RA) and Ali (RA) that this phrase; 'those who can fast with difficulty [Surah al-Baqarah (2):184] was a concession granted to old men and old women who find it difficult to fast, allowing them not to fast and to feed one poor person for each day instead, and the same for pregnant and breastfeeding women if they are afraid. Abu Dawood said, i.e., for their children they may not fast and may feed (the poor) instead.' Al-Nawawi said, 'its isnad is hasan.' This was also narrated by al-Bazzar who added at the end, 'Ibn Abbas used to say to a concubine of his who was pregnant: You are like one who cannot fast, so you have to pay the Fidya but you do not have to make up the fasts. [Al-Daraqutni classed its isnad as saheeh, as stated by al-Hafiz in al-Talkhees]

Instead, they should give away in charity. 


Her hukum (ruling) is like that of the pregnant woman 
If breastfeeding the baby makes it too difficult to fast, she can feed the poor or give charity instead 

Some Muslimah miss multiple Ramadan because of pregnancy or breastfeeding:
How can you tell a Muslim woman to make up these days, it's too difficult 

…..Allāh burdens not a person beyond his scope. (Baqarah: 286)


No pressure should be put on the traveller to fast

Aysha (RA) narrated: Hamza bin 'Amr Al-Aslami asked the Prophet (SAW), "Should I fast while traveling?" The Prophet replied, "You may fast if you wish, and you may not fast if you wish." [Al-Bukhari (1943) and Muslim (1121)]

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Do not condemn one who observes fast, or one who does not observe (in a journey) for the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed fast in a journey or he did not observe it (too).   (Muslim, Book 35, # 2471)

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported: We went out on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) during Ramadan. Some of us observed the fast and some of us broke it. Neither the observer of the fast had any grudge against one who broke it, nor the breaker of the fast had any grudge against one who had fasted They knew that he who had strength enough (to bear its rigour) fasted and that was good, and they also found that he who felt weakness (and could not bear the burden) broke it, and that was also good.  (Muslim, Book 35, # 2480)

Abu Nadra reported Abu Sa'id al.Khudri and Jabir b. Abdullah as saying: We travelled with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). The observer of the fast observed it, and the breaker of the fast broke it, but none of them found fault with each other.  (Muslim, Book 35, # 2481)


The mujahedeen fall in the same category as the traveller 

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (RA) said: 'We travelled with the Messenger of Allah (SAW) to Makkah (meaning at the Conquest of Makkah) and we were fasting. We stopped to camp and the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “You are approaching your enemy and breaking the fast will make you stronger.” This was a concession, and some of us continued to fast and some of us broke our fast. Then we stopped to camp again, and he said, “You are going to meet your enemy in the morning, and breaking the fast will make you stronger, so break your fast.” So we had no choice but to break our fast' [Sahih Muslim (2/789) No. 1120]


She has to make up the days she missed after Ramadan 

Mu'adha narrated: I asked 'A'isha: What is the reason that a menstruating woman completes the fasts (that she abandons during her monthly course). But she does not complete 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 complete the fasts, but were not ordered to complete the prayers. [Sahih Muslim (1/265) No. 335]

Haruriya = khawaarij 


Her hukm is like that of the woman on her menses.
However she is normally breast feeding during this period
So the exception for breast-feeding women would apply if that was the case.


Bricklayers or truck drivers are examples 

Because of Baqarah: 185 

Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.  (Baqarah: 185)


Meaning you normally fast but you find it strangely unbearable to fast one day or so
You are allowed to break your fast but you have to make up the day(s) you missed 
The evidence for this is in Maidah Verse 6:

Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful. (Ma'idah: 6)

If Fasting Causes Fainting and Madness
He was asked about a man who, whenever he wants to fast, he faints, and speaks incomprehensibly. He may continue for days in this state. Some people accuse him of madness, although this is not apparent from him?

He (Sheikh ul Islam) answered:
Praise be to Allah. If fasting causes such illness for him, he is permitted to break his fast and make it up. If this happens whenever he fasts, then he is unable to fast. Hence he is required to feed a poor person for everyday he breaks the fast. And Allah knows best.    (Ibn Taymiyyah, ‘The Nature of Fasting’ (Dar us Salam: Riyadh, 2000) pg 79)


E.g. The cessation of menses

Is a woman allowed to start her fast before making ghusl at the end of her menses? 
Yes, janaaba doesn't stop the fast 
Example she become pure 2 or 3 hours before fajr
A man can also start his fast in a state of janaaba
But he must make ghusl before fajr in order for his fast to be valid 

Aysha and Umm Salama (RA) narrated: "The Prophet (SAW) used to get up at dawn while in a state of Janaba (sexual impurity). Then, he would take a bath and fast." [Al-Bukhari (1926) and Muslim (1109)]


Two adhans are important in Ramadan:

The adhan of Fajr and the adhan of Maghrib 
The adhan of Fajr means one must stop eating
The adhan of Maghrib means one must rush to break the fast 
The sunnah is to rush to break the fast: 

Sahl ibn Sad reported that Allah's Messenger (SAW) said, "The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast." [Al-Bukhari (1957) and Muslim (109]

How Fast is the Fast to be Broken?
He was asked: about the sunset: "Is it permissible for the fasting person to break his fast as soon as the sun sets?"

He (Sheikh ul Islam) answered:
If the whole disc of the sun disappears, the fasting person permitted to break his fast, it does not matter if the red color still remains in the horizon.

When the whole disc disappears, darkness appears from the east. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“When the night comes from here, and the day ends up there, and the sun has set, indeed the fast is to be broken.” (Bukhari and Muslim)  (Ibn Taymiyyah, ‘The Nature of Fasting’ (Dar us Salam: Riyadh, 2000) pg 77-8)


This doesn't break the fast 
Not even French kissing:

Narrated Aysha, Ummul Mu'minin: The Prophet (SAW) used to kiss her and suck her tongue when he was fasting. [Abu Dawud, 2386]

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to swallowing the saliva of someone else, this invalidates the fast, because he is swallowing something that did not come from his own mouth, so it is likened to swallowing something else. If it is said that ‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to kiss her when he was fasting and suck her tongue (narrated by Abu Dawood, 2386), our response is that it was narrated from Abu Dawood that he said this isnaad is not saheeh. Among those who also classed the additional phrase “and suck her tongue” as weak (da’eef) is al-Albaani in Da’eef Sunan Abi Dawood. Ibn Qudaamah mentioned two ways of understanding the hadeeth if we assume that it is saheeh: 1 – That the two matters are not connected. He said: It may be that he used to kiss her when fasting and suck her tongue at other times. 2 – The hadeeth does not refer to swallowing saliva at all. He said: It may be that he sucked it (her tongue) but did not swallow the saliva, because the wetness on her tongue was not transferred to his mouth. Al-Mughni, 3/17 

Albani declared this as a weak Hadith. 
Therefore, kissing during fasting maybe makrooh


This is halal after Maghrib 
But intercourse with your wife before maghrib is a grave sin in Islam

Narrated By Abu Huraira: While we were sitting with the Prophet, a man came and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have been ruined." Allah's Apostle asked what the matter with him was. He replied "I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting." Allah's Apostle asked him, "Can you afford to manumit a slave?" He replied in the negative. Allah's Apostle asked him, "Can you fast for two successive months?" He replied in the negative. The Prophet asked him, "Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?" He replied in the negative. The Prophet kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet. He asked, "Where is the questioner?" He replied, "I (am here)." The Prophet said (to him), "Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity." The man said, "Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah; there is no family between it's (i.e. Medina's) two mountains who are poorer than I." The Prophet smiled until his pre-molar teeth became visible and then said, 'Feed your family with it." [Al-Bukhari (1936) and Muslim (1111)]

The man who went to bed with his wife before Maghrib has to pay an atonement - to free a slave/to fast two months/to feed 60 poor people
Just as it is mentioned in the above Hadith

It is not compulsory for the wife to pay any atonement unless she initiated the intercourse
If she initiated it, both have to pay
But if the husband initiated it, he alone has to pay the atonement

If the couple is poor and cannot afford the atonement, then nothing is required of them


If a person masturbates, and ejaculates, before Maghrib he has broken the fast
He has to make up one day of Ramadan because he masturbated one day of Ramadan
If he should masturbate 7 days of Ramadan, and ejaculates all 7 occasions, he has to make up 7 days because he broke his fast 7 times

This ruling applies if he masturbates before Maghrib
If he masturbates after Maghrib, he does not have to make up the day


If a person should mistakenly eat or drink during Ramadan, his fast is still valid

Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “If anyone forgets and eats or drinks (by accident while he is fasting), he should complete his fast, for it is Allah who has fed him and given him drink.” [Al-Bukhari (6669) and Muslim (1155)]

Ibn 'Abbas (RA) the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "Verily Allah has pardoned [or been lenient with] for me my Ummah: their mistakes, their forgetfulness, and that which they have been forced to do under duress." [Sunan Ibn Majah (3/200) No. 2045, al-Mu'jam al-Kabir al-Tabarani (11/133) No. 11274, al-Sunan al-Kubra al-Bayhaqi (7/584) No. 15094, Sunan al-Daraqutni (5/300) No. 4351]

If a person holds a gun at you and orders you to break your fast, this is called duress
So you are not accountable for breaking your fast in this case

If a new Muslim doesn't know you don't drink water during the fast and drinks, this is called a mistake
For example, Christians drink during fasting and he coming from Christianity may think it’s the same in Islam


You have to fast without suhur, it may be difficult but you have to
You should set your alarm to wake you up

Anas ibn Malik (RA) narrated the Prophet (SAW) said: “Eat sahoor, for in sahoor there is blessing.” [Al-Bukhari (1923) and Muslim (1095)]


The intention for fasting is Fard
If you fast without intention, your fast is batil

Hafsah (RA) reported the Prophet (SAW) as saying, “He, who has not formed an intention (to fast) before dawn, has not fasted”. [Sunan Tirmidhi (3/10 No. 730, Sunan Abu Dawud (2/329) No. 2454, Sunan al-Nasa'i (4/196) No. 2331, Sunan Ibn Majah (2/59 No. 1700, Sunan al-Darime (2/12) No. 1698, Musnad Ahmad (6/287) No. 26500]

The intention must be made before the Fajr adhan
That means you need 30 intentions for the 30 days of Ramadan

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “Whoever thinks in his heart that he will fast tomorrow has formed the intention.” [Majmu' al-Fatawa al-Kubra (5/375)]

Just to think in your heart is intention - that is enough for you to have your fast accepted

If the fast is sunnah, you have until zuhr to make your intention:

Aysha (RA) narrated the Prophet (SAW) came to visit me one day and asked, “Do you have anything (to eat)?” I said, “No.” He said, “Then I am fasting.” Then he came to me another day and I said, “I had been given a present of some Hais (a mixture of dates and ghee). He said, “Show it to me, for I had began the day fasting.” Then he ate. [Sahih Muslim (2/809) No. 1154]

Because of this Hadith, the scholars of Fiqh said when the Prophet (Salallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam) is talking about the intention for fast before Fajr, he (Salallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam) was talking about saum; the fasts in Ramadhan


1. To eat on purpose
2. To drink on purpose
3. To smoke on purpose
4. To vomit on purpose (induced vomiting):

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” [Sunan Tirmidhi (3/9 No. 720, Sunan Abu Dawud (2/310) No. 2380, Sunan Ibn Majah (2/581) No. 1676, Musnad Ahmad (2/49 No. 10468, Sunan al-Daraqutni (3/155) No. 2276]

5. Menses

If your menses start before maghrib, your fast is broken.
You have to make up that day

6. Nifaas

Nifaas = Bleeding after childbirth
Nifaas carries the same hukm as menses
You have to make up the days you missed

7. Intercourse on purpose

The man who slept with his wife, forgetting it was Ramadan, does not have to make it up

8. To masturbate before Maghrib
9. Drips in hospitals used to replace food (food supplements)
10. Apostasy


1. To eat or drink out of forgetfulness
2. To vomit unintentionally
3. To brush your teeth with toothpaste
4. To swallow your own saliva, smoke in the kitchen or dust

However, if you kiss your wife and swallow her saliva, your fast is broken

5. Medicinal Injections
6. Asthmatic Pumps
7. Using ear Drops, Eye Drops, Kohl, Mascara:

Anas ibn Malik (RA) narrated that a man came to the Prophet and complained about his eyes troubling him. He said, “Shall I apply kohl (collegiums) while I am fasting?” He said, “Yes!" [Sunan Tirmidhi (3/105) No. 726]

8. Having a wet dream while fasting
9. Thinking about breaking the fast
10. Doing a blood test
11. Doing Hijaama (cupping):

This used break the fast in the early days of Islam
But this was later abrogated and so it doesn’t break the fast now

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Allah's Messenger had himself cupped when he was in the state of ihram. [Al-Bukhari (193 and Muslim (1202). It is added in a variant of al-Bukhari, "and was fasting."]

Thawban narrated the Prophet (SAW) said: “The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” [Sunan Abu Dawud (2/30 No. 2367, Sunan Ibn Majah (2/584) No. 1680, Sunan al-Darime (2/25) No. 1730, Musnad Ahmad (5/282) No. 22484]

Anas (RAA) narrated, 'The first time cupping was disliked for the one who is fasting was when Ja'far bin Abi Talib had himself cupped while fasting and the Messenger of Allah (SAW) came across him and said, "Those two have broken their fast (meaning Ja'far and the man who was cupping him)." But later on, the Prophet (SAW) allowed cupping for the one who is fasting. Anas used to have himself cupped while he was fasting. [Related by Ad-Daraqutni, who regarded it as a strong hadith]

12. Water slipping down your throat accidentally when making wudu


1. On a doubtful day

'Ammar bin Yasir (RA) reported: "He who observes the fast on a doubtful day, has in fact disobeyed Abul-Qasim." [Sunan Abu Dawud (2/300) No. 2334, Sunan Tirmidhi (3/70) No. 686, Sunan al-Nasa'i (4/153) No. 2188, Sunan Ibn Majah (2/561) No. 1645, Sunan al-Darime (2/5) No. 1682]

2. The 10TH, 11TH, 12TH and 13TH of Dhul Hijjah

These are the four days of Eid ul Adha
It is haram to fast on Eid day:

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (RA) narrated the Prophet (SAW) forbade fasting on the day of (Eid) al-Fitr and al-Nahr (the day of sacrifice, i.e., Eid al-Adha). [Al-Bukhari (1991) and Muslim (113]

NubAysha al-Hudhali narrated the Prophet (SAW) said: “The days of al-Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah.” [Sahih Muslim (2/800) No. 1141]

This Eid is called Eid Kabir because Eid ul Adha is four days
And kabir means big

3. The 1st of Shawwal

The first of Shawwal is called Eid ul Fitr
It is haram to fast on Eid day


Abu Huraira (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, "Observe Saum (fast) on sighting the crescent and terminate it on sighting it (the new moon), but if the sky is cloudy before you, then complete the number (thirty days) of the month." [Al-Bukhari (1909) and Muslim (1081)]

The scholars differ on this, and the correct opinion is that you should follow the moon of Makkah
But those who follow the local sighting follow the hadith of Muawiya (radiyallahu ‘anhu):

Kuraib narrated that Umm Al-Fadl sent him to Muawiyah in Ash-Sham. He said: "I came to Ash-Sham. He said: "I came to Ash-Sham and complete her errand. Then the new crescent of Ramadan was sighted while I was in Ash-Sham. I saw the new crescent on the night of Friday, then I came to Al-Madinah at the end of the month. 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas asked me about the sighting of the moon and said: ' When did you see it?' I said: 'We saw it on the night of Friday.' He said; 'You saw it on the ninth of Friday?' I said: 'Yes, and the people saw it and started fasting, and so did Muawiyah. He said: 'But we saw it on the night of Saturday, so we will continue fasting until we have completed thirty days or we see it.' I said: 'Will you not be content with the sighting of Muawiyah and his companions? He said; 'No; this is what the Messenger of Allah enjoined upon us." [Sunan al-Nasa'i]

It is better to follow the moon of Makkah to unite the Ummah
This is what my teachers told me


The ulema have decided that if you pray 8 you follow the sunnah of the Prophet (Salallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam)
If you pray 20 you follow the sunnah of Omar (radiyallahu ‘anhu)
Both are correct
You can do 8 or 20 - the choice is yours

"Pray as you have seen me praying..." [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1, Book 11, Hadith #604]

The Madkhali say you have to do 8 quoting the hadith above
But they are not being sincere

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Here we say that we should not go to extremes or be negligent. Some people go to extremes in adhering to the number mentioned in the Sunnah, and say that it is not permissible to do more than the number mentioned in the Sunnah, and they aggressively denounce those who do more than that, saying that they are sinners.

The 4 great Imams prayed 20.
Are they doing bidah? No!

This is undoubtedly wrong. How can they be sinners, when the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), upon being asked about night prayers, said that they are to be done two by two, and he did not specify any particular number? Of course, the one who asked him about the night prayer did not know the number, because if he did not know how to do it, it is even more likely that he did not know the number. And he was not one of those who served the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so that we might say that he knew what happened inside his house. Since the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him how to do it but did not say how many times, it may be understood that the matter is broad in scope, and that a person may pray one hundred rak'ahs then pray Witr with one rak'ah.With regard to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Pray as you have seen me praying”, this does not apply in absolute terms even for these people. Hence, they do not say that a person should pray Witr with five rak'ahs sometimes and with seven rak'ahs sometimes and with nine rak'ahs sometimes. If we understand it in absolute terms, then we would have to pray Witr with five rak'ahs sometimes and with seven rak'ahs sometimes and with nine rak'ahs sometimes. But what is meant by the hadeeth is pray as you have seen me praying with regard to how to pray not how many rak'ahs, unless there is a text to state what the number is. Whatever the case, a person should not be strict with people with regard to a matter that is broad in scope. We have even seen some brothers who are strict on this matter accusing the imams who pray more than eleven rak'ahs of following bid'ah, and they leave the mosque, thus missing out on the reward of which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stands with the imam until he finishes (the prayer), the reward of qiyaam al-layl will be recorded for him.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 806; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 646).

Some of them even sit down after completing ten rak'ahs, thus breaking up the rows of worshippers by sitting there, and sometimes they start talking and disturb the people who are praying. We have no doubt that their intentions are good and they are doing their best to come to the right conclusion, but that does not mean that they are correct. The other group does the opposite. They sternly denounce those who pray only eleven rak'ahs and say that they have gone against scholarly consensus. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell -- what an evil destination!”[al-Nisa' 4:115] All the generations who came before you only knew the number as twenty-three rak'ahs, and they denounce anyone who says anything different. [Al-Sharh al-Mumti', 4/73-75]

The hukm for salat ul taraweeh is that it is sunnah mu’akkada
They say this because of the following hadith:

An-Nadr bin Shaiban said: "I said to Abu Salamah bin 'Abdur-Rahman: 'Tell me of something that you heard from your father, that he heard from the Messenger of Allah, with no one in between your father and Messenger of Allah concerning the month of Ramadan. He said: 'Yes; my father said: The Messenger of Allah said: Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, enjoined the fast of Ramadan upon you, and I have made it Sunnah for you to spend its nights in prayer. Whoever fasts it and spends its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will emerge from his sins as on the day his mother bore him."' [Sunan al-Nasa'i (4/15😎 No. 2210, Sunan Ibn Majah (2/355) No. 1328, Musnad Ahmad (1/191) No. 1660] (Daeef)


1. To single out Friday to fast - because Friday is the Eid of the week

2. To single out a Saturday or Sunday to fast - because it is the day of the Jews and the Christians

3. A woman to fast sunnah without the permission of her husband - because you deny him his sexual needs:

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated the Prophet (SAW) said: "It is not lawful for a woman to fast (Nawafil) when her husband is present except with his permission; and she should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission; and if she spends of his wealth (on charitable purposes) without being ordered by him, he will get half of the reward." [Al-Bukhari (5195) and Muslim (1026)]


1. Mondays and Thursdays:

It was narrated that Aysha (RA) said: "The Prophet (SAW) was keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays." [Sunan Tirmidhi (3/121) No. 745, Sunan Ibn Majah (2/627) No. 1739, Musnad Ahmad (6/106) No. 24792, al-Sunan al-Kubra al-Nasa'i (3/122) No. 2508]

Abu Huraira (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Deeds are shown (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.” [Sunan Tirmidhi (3/122) No. 747]

2. The day of Arafah - 9th of Dhul Hijjah

Abu Qatada narrated the Messenger of Allah (SAW) was asked about fasting the Day of 'Ashura' and said, "It expiates the past year." [Sahih Muslim (2/819) No. 1162 and Musnad Ahmad (5/296) No. 22590]

Al-Nawawi (rh) said: “Fasting the day of 'Arafaah expiates for all minor sins, in other words this brings forgiveness for all sins except for major sins.”

3. The 6 days of Shawaal

Abu Ayub narrated that: the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever fasts Ramadan, then follows it with six from Shawwal, then that is (equal in reward) to fasting every day." [Tirmidhi]

4. The 10th Day of Muharram

10th Muharram = Yaum Ashura

Abu Qatada narrated the Messenger of Allah (SAW) was asked about fasting the Day of 'Ashura' and said, "It expiates the past year." [Sahih Muslim (2/819) No. 1162 and Musnad Ahmad (5/296) No. 22590]

Ibn Abbas said, "When the Messenger of Allah came to Al-Madinah, he found the Jews fasting the day of `Ashura'. Therefore he asked them about it and they said, `This is the day that Allah gave Musa victory over Fir`awn.' Then, the Prophet said, 'We have more right to Musa (than them), so fast it.'" [al-Bukhari (3943) and Muslim (1130)]

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) Saved Musa (‘alayhi salatu wa salam) from the Pharoah on the 10th of Muharram
Muslims should also fast on the 9th or 11th in order not to be like the Jews

5. Fast of David (‘alayhi salatu wa salam)

This is to fast one day and skip one day:

I said: "I am capable of doing more than this, O Messenger of Allah." Thereupon he said: "Fast one day and do not fast for the next two days." I said: "Messenger of Allah, I have the strength to do more than that." The Holy Prophet (SAW), said: "Fast one day and break on the other day. That is known as the fasting of Dawud (AS) and that is the best fasting." I said: "I am capable of doing more than this." Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "There is nothing better than this." [Al-Bukhari (341😎 and Muslim (1159)]

Abdullah bin Amr bin al-'As (RA) narrated the Messenger of Allah (SAW) was informed that I have said: "By Allah, I will fast all the days and pray all the nights as long as I live." On that, the Messenger of Allah asked me. "Are you the one who says: 'I will fast all the days and pray all the nights as long as I live?? ?' “I said, "Yes, I have said it." He said, "You cannot do that. So fast (sometimes) and do not fast (sometimes). Pray and sleep. Fast for three days a month, for the reward of a good deed is multiplied by ten time, and so the fasting of three days a month equals the fasting of a year." I said: "I am capable of doing more than this, O Messenger of Allah." Thereupon he said: "Fast one day and do not fast for the next two days." I said: "Messenger of Allah, I have the strength to do more than that." The Holy Prophet (SAW), said: "Fast one day and break on the other day. That is known as the fasting of Dawud (AS) and that is the best fasting." I said: "I am capable of doing more than this." Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "There is nothing better than this." [Al-Bukhari (341 and Muslim (1159)]

Even though it is makruh to fast on a Friday or Saturday
It is ok to fast on these days if you are fasting the fast of David
And it falls on these days


1. If you make a promise to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) - an oath
Example you promise to fast if Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) grants you success in your exams and He did

2. If you break your wallahi

Allah will not punish you for what is uninentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masakin (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families; or clothe them; or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allah make clear to you His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful. (Ma'idah: 89)

3. Fasting on behalf of a dead relative

Aysha (RA) narrated the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever dies while some fast is due from him (which is unfulfilled), and his heir must fast on his behalf.” [Al-Bukhari (1952) and Muslim (1147)]

Narrated Ibn Abbas: A man came to the Prophet and said, 'O Allah's Apostle! My mother died and she ought to have fasted one month (for her missed Ramadan). Shall I fast on her behalf?' The Prophet replied in the affirmative and said, 'Allah's debts have more right to be paid.' In another narration a woman is reported to have said, 'My sister died...'
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: A woman said to the Prophet 'My mother died and she had vowed to fast but she didn't fast.' In another narration Ibn 'Abbas is reported to have said, 'A woman said to the Prophet, 'My mother died while she ought to have fasted for fifteen days.'  (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, # 174)

4. When you violate the ihram

You have to fast 10 days if you violate the ihram


1. Muslims who fast but do not pray

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 87) about the ruling on the fasting of one who does not pray.

He replied: The fast of one who does not pray is not valid and is not accepted, because the one who does not pray is a kaafir and an apostate, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah) and give Zakaah, then they are your brethren in religion” [al-Tawbah 9:11]

2. The fast of a kaafir

As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing, but he finds Allah with him, Who will pay him his due (Hell). And Allah is Swift in taking account. (Nur: 39)

3. Munafiq

Verily, the hyprocrites will be in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them. (Nisa: 145)

4. The Zindeeq

(Zindeeq = makes up his own religion)

And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust. (Furqan: 23)

His pious deeds are rejected

4. Murtad (The apostate)

And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever." (Baqarah: 217)

5. Mushrik

And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), as it was to those (Allah's Messengers) before you: "If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers." (Zumar: 65)

The Mushriks are: the Goofy Sufi, the Barailvis and the Shiites.

The ‘goofy Sufis’ are the extreme Sufi who pray to the inhabitants of the grave and they believe in wahdat ul wujood (union, unity of being)

If you are living in a zone where the timetable is abnormal, go by the timetable of Makkah

Anything over 17 hours is abnormal
You are allowed to fast with the timetable of Makkah
To be fasting for 20 hours is making life too difficult
In such cases you are allowed to fast with the timetable of Makkah 

Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful. (Ma'idah: 6)

Question 1: Aswr Sheikh, you said a person has until Dhuhr to make his intention to fast. Now that is assuming that he didn’t eat prior to his intention right? And also, there is a hadith that says that anyone who practices the 5 pillars of Islam and nothing more or less will go to paradise, based on the hadith when the desert man came to the Prophet (saws). How do we understand this hadith, since there are other hadiths that indicate a punishment for abandoning certain acts such as commanding the good and forbidding the evil? The previous hadith can be misunderstood to mean that it is allowed for a Muslim to focus only on spiritual acts of Islam, even though the angels destroyed a city with a pious man in the masjid. Lastly, I made an oath to Allah to fast a certain number of days, Allah gave me what I asked, but I forgot the number of days I promised to fast? How many days should I fast?

Answer 1: You have until dhur to make intention for Sunnah fasting
But you should not have eaten since after fajr
During Ramadan, you must make your intention to fast before Fajr.

Because you forgot the number days you promised, fast three days.

The Prophet (Salallahu 'Alayhi wa sallam) mentioned the 5 pillars of Islam but it doesn't mean Islam has only 5 pillars
To look after your parents when they become old; to fight in jihad etc
These are also pillars of Islam

Question 2: I heard an imam saying that if you use toothpaste or goggle water in your throat, breaks your fast. Can you explain?

Answer 2: The Imam is wrong
Using toothpaste doesn’t break your fast
Your fast is only broken if you let the water pass through your throat intentionally

Sheikh ul Islam, ibn Taymiyyah (RH) states, ‘.. If the texts have not mentioned a prohibition of this, then reason leads one to know that this falls under the same category as drinking, there is no distinction between the two cases except for the means by which the water enters the mouth, and that is not relevant because the mere entrance of water in the mouth does not break the fast. So it does not break the fast nor does it fall under the category of something that does due to the absence of the results in question. Rather, it is a means that leads to breaking the fast.’
(Ibn Taymiyyah, ‘The Nature of Fasting’ (Dar us Salam: Riyadh, 2000) pg 37-8)

Question 3: Asalam Alekum Shaikh Why is it that a Muslim fasts on the 10 of Muharram or Ashura, and the Shiites crack their skull open in the name of Hussein (radiyallahu ‘anhu) around that time?

Answer 3: It’s because Hussein (radiyallahu ‘anhu) died on the 10th of Muharram
And they practice self-flagellation
The Shia killed Hussein and because they feel guilty over this, they continue to beat themselves until they bleed

Shia killed hussain[ra]:

The man who killed Sayyiduna Hussain (i.e. gave the death-blow) was a man by the name of Shimr bin Thil-Jawshan and he was a Shia, as recorded in both Sunni and Shia books. Shimr was part of the Shia, and then he betrayed Sayyiduna Hussain
and joined Yazid’s men, giving Sayyiduna Hussain the death-blow. To provide a solid proof of this fact (i.e. that Shimr was a Shia), we refer to the esteemed and classical Shia scholar, Al-Qummi. Al-Qummi, author of the famous book “Mafaatihul-Jinaan”, writes in his book: “I say, Shimr was in theforces of Ameer al-Mu’mineen on the Day of Siffin.” (Al-Qummi, “Safinatun-Najaat”, vol.4, p. 492, Chapter Sheen Followed by Meem)

Muslims however fast on the 10th Muharram for a completely different reason:

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with both of them) reported that when Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to Medina, he found the Jews observing the fast on the day of Ashura. They (the Jews) were asked about it and they said: It is the day on which Allah granted victory to Moses and (his people) Bani Isra'il over the Pharaoh and we observe fast out of gratitude to Him. Upon this the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: We have a closer connection with Moses than you have, and he commanded to observe fast on this day.  (Muslim, Book 35, # 2518)

And then:- 

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had ordered to observe fast (on 'Ashura) before the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory. But when it became obligatory, then he who wished fasted on the day of Ashura, and he who wished did not observe it (on thatday).  (Muslim, Book 35, # 2502)

Question 4: Are mujahideen exempt from fasting?

Answer 5: They are exempt from fasting

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (RA) said: 'We travelled with the Messenger of Allah (SAW) to Makkah (meaning at the Conquest of Makkah) and we were fasting. We stopped to camp and the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “You are approaching your enemy and breaking the fast will make you stronger.” This was a concession, and some of us continued to fast and some of us broke our fast. Then we stopped to camp again, and he said, “You are going to meet your enemy in the morning, and breaking the fast will make you stronger, so break your fast.” So we had no choice but to break our fast' [Sahih Muslim (2/789) No. 1120]

Abu Dawood (2365) narrated that one of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) telling the people on a journey in the year of the Conquest (of Makkah) to break their fast. He said, “Gain strength to face your enemy.” 

He (SAW) travelled during Ramadan and he fasted and broke his fast and he left it to his Companions to decide which they preferred. He would order them to break their fast if they were near to the enemy, but it was not a part of his guidance to define the distance which a fasting person must travel. When the companions started out on a journey, they would break their fast, without consideration as to whether or not they had left behind their houses; and they informed us that that was the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) (Ibn al-Qayyim Al Jawziyyah, ‘Provisions for the Hereafter (Abridged)’ ( pg 120)

Question 5: My local masjid in London follows the 18 degree rule for Subah Sadiq so my sohur time finishes and my fajr time starts around 1.20 am which is almost 2 hours earlier than other local masjids. Can you tell me if the 18 degree rule is the right rule to follow in London?

Answer 5: Please follow the timetable coming out of central mosque on Bakers Street: