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Islamic audio Lectures>>> Ramadaan | The EmanRush Zone

Ramadan information guide

::The Meaning of Ramadan::
Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives. There are as many meanings of Ramadan as there are Muslims. The third "pillar" or religious obligation of Islam (submission in English), fasting has many special benefits. Among these, the most important is that it is a means of learning self-control. Due to the lack of preoccupation with the satisfaction of bodily appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, a measure of ascendancy is given to one's spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Quran, giving charity, purifying one's behavior, and doing good deeds. For Muslims (Submitters), Ramadan is an opportunity to gain by giving up, to prosper by going without and to grow stronger by enduring weakness. As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.

::Who Fasts in Ramadan?::

Fasting in Ramadan is obligatory on those who can do it. . Sick people and some travelers in certain conditions are exempted from the fast but must make it up as they are able.

::From Dawn to Sunset::
The daily period of fasting starts at the breaking of dawn and ends at the setting of the sun. In between -- that is, during the dawn and daylight hours -- Muslims (Submitters) totally abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex. The usual practice is to have a pre-fast meal (suhoor) before dawn and a post-fast meal (iftar) after sunset. The Islamic lunar calendar, being 11 to 12 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, migrates throughout the seasons. Thus, if Ramadan begins on August 20 in one year, next year it will begin on August 9. In this way, the length of the day, and thus the fasting period, varies in length from place to place over the years. Every Muslim, no matter where he or she lives, will see an average Ramadan day of the approximately 13.5 hours.

::Quran Verses about Ramadan & Fasting::

[2:185] "Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation."
[2:183] O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation.
2:183-187. Like all duties in Submission, fasting was decreed through Abraham(22:78). Prior to revelation of the Quran, sexual intercourse was prohibited throughout the fasting period. This rule is modified in 2:187 to allow intercourse during the nights of Ramadan.
[2:184] Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast. If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But fasting is the best for you, if you only knew. [2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.
[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.
[2:187] Permitted for you is sexual intercourse with your wives during the nights of fasting. They are the keepers of your secrets, and you are the keepers of their secrets. GOD knew that you used to betray your souls, and He has redeemed you, and has pardoned you. Henceforth, you may have intercourse with them, seeking what GOD has permitted for you. You may eat and drink until the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn. Then, you shall fast until sunset. Sexual intercourse is prohibited if you decide to retreat to the Masjid (during the last ten days of Ramadan). These are GOD's laws; you shall not transgress them. GOD thus clarifies His revelations for the people, that they may attain salvation.


Order and encouragement to fast

"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you might learn piety . . . . The month of Ramadan is that wherein was revealed the Qur'an, as a guidance to mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion. So, whoever among you witnesses the month should fast." [Al-Qur'an 2:183, 185]

"Every deed of the Son of Adam is for himself, except fasting - it is for Me, and I shall reward it." [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

"There is not any believer who remains hungry, and abstains from the forbidden things, and does not wrongfully consume the wealth of Muslims, except that Allah will feed him from the fruits of Heaven." [Musnad Abu Hanifah]

"Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and expectation [of reward], his previous sins are forgiven him." [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i]

Rewards of fasting in general

"Fasting is a shield." [Ahmad]

"There is not any servant who fasts a day in the path of Allah, except that Allah will distance him from the Fire by a distance of seventy years." [Bukhari, Muslim]

"Fasting the month of patience and three days of each month remove rancor of the heart." [Ahmad, Bazzar]

Warning against abandoning fasting in Ramadan

"Whoever breaks his fast in Ramadan without a [valid] concession or illness, he cannot repay it, even if he were to fast the rest of his life." [Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah]

Rules Related to Fasting

THE OBLIGATION OF FASTING

a) The time for fasting is from the rising of the second dawn until the setting of the sun.

b) Fasting is: abstention from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse by day with the intention.
 
THE INTENTION

The fasting is valid with an intention from the night, but if one did not intend until the morning, the intention suffices him between [dawn] and {the middle of the day}.


1.  Things which invalidates fasting and requires full recompense

1.1 If someone intentionally does one of the following without any valid excuse(see 6 below)

a) Does not fast at all

b) Breaks fast by eating, drinking and sexual activities

c) Assuming that cupping has broken ones fast thus quit fasting for the day.
 
1.2 Expiation for the above is to

a) Fast unceasingly for two months (60 days), if one breaks fats during this one has to start anew.

b) If unable to do so, it is to feed 60 needy persons two full meal

c) If unable to do so, it is to free one slave.


1.3 Things that break fast and requires one to fast similar numbers of days in recompense

a) If something is entered into the body during the hours when one is supposed to fast, irrelevant of how it entered into the body.(see 5)

  • To eat something which is not food such as stone particle or smoking anything.
  • When water enters stomach while gargling
  • When one is fed by force even when one is sleeping or unconscious
  • Inject medicine, place them on wounds which eventually gets in.
  • Eating by mistake thinking it is still night or iftar time is due while it is not.
  • Involuntary full mouth vomiting and subsequent swallowing of it or part of it.
  • When one is force into sexual intercourse or when one is sleeping or unconscious

b) Fasting without intention
c) Breaking (iftar) fast without the intention of doing so.
d) Lustful kissing of ones spouse
e) Emission of semen due to touching, kissing, masturbation.
f) Intentional vomiting. 
 

2. Offensive acts during fasting

a) Backbiting, slander
b) To lie or deceive
c) To use abusive language
d) Not having iftar
e) Taste a food without swallowing it, using toothpaste.
f) Gargling water due to thirsts or hot weather.
g) Wrapping oneself with wet clothes.
h) Throwing up intentionally
i) Weakening the body (e.g. strenuous sport)
j) Gathering saliva and swallowing it;


3. Days when fasting is forbidden

a) Day of Eid al Fitr (Eid of Ramadan)
b) During Eid al ADHa 10, 11, 12 and 13 of month of Dhul Hijjah


4. Events when it is allowed to break the fast and fast later the similar number of days

a) If fasting aggravates health-condition
b) Snake biting
c) Thirsts due to newly developed disease
d) Genuine danger for a pregnant mother, or for her fetus.
e) Genuine fear for the life of a suckling infant
f) Reason to fear death
g) Menstruation
h) If one is a traveller

5. Things that do not break fast

a) Those things which would otherwise break fast does not do so when one is unaware of the fact that one is fasting(complete forgetfulness of fasting).

b) Entrance of insects (i.e mosquitos), smoke and dust from natural environment does not break fast.

c) Wet dream, swallowing ones own saliva when still in the mouth, brushing teeth, smearing oil, ointment on unwounded body do not break fast. or used antimony [in his eyes],
 
d) If one is overcome by vomiting, his fast is not broken.

6. Etiquettes and desirable practices

  1. Preparing for the month.
  2. Bringing to mind the bounty of Allah.
  3. Purifying one's intention
  4. Pre-dawn meal (suhur) as late as safely possible.
  5. Not unnecessarily delaying the breakingof the fast.
  6. Performing salat al-Maghrib soon after breakign the fast, then returning to eat.
  7. Making du`a at the time of breaking the fast.
  8. Enabling others to break their fasts.
  9. Abstaining from all forbidden deeds.
  10. Maintaining a pleasant disposition.
  11. Abundant reciting of the Qur'an.
  12. Abundant charity.
  13. Performing tarawih prayers.

7. Miscellaneous

a) The intention of fasting can be made as late as just before noon, if one forgets to do so during the previous night. If one passes noon without making the intention ones fasting is invalid.(1.3b)

b) One should eat before the day breaks even when one is not hungry.

c) For a woman whenever during the day menstruation stops she should be observing fasting even though it is not a fast for her. She should fast if it happens just before morning and did not have enough time to take shower and eat.

d) If a woman menstruates, she stops fasting and makes up [fasting for the days of menstruation].

e)  Someone who lost consciousness in Ramadan does not make up the day on which the loss of consciousness occurred, but he makes up that which came after it.

f) If a traveller arrives, or a [menstruating] woman attains purity with part of the day [remaining], they abstain [from those things which invalidate fasting] for the rest of that day.

May Allah keep us on the Straight Path. Aameen.

Aqib Farid

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