Fasting the Month of Ramadan – From the Risālah of Ibn Abī Zayd Al Qayrawaanī

23.1 Its Ruling

Fasting the month of Ramadan is obligatory.

[It is obligatory by the Book, the Sunna and consensus. Whoever denies that it is obligatory to fast Ramadan is an unbeliever by agreement. Whoever affirms its obligation and refuses to fast it is a rebel and is compelled to do it.

It is affirmed that the fast of Ramadan begins by one of two things, either by the month of Sha’ban lasting 30 days or by sighting the new moon.]

23.2 Beginning the Fast

23.2a. When the fast begins

You start fasting when the new moon is sighted and you stop fasting when the new moon is sighted, whether this is after thirty or twenty-nine days. If the new moon cannot be seen because of clouds you count thirty days from the beginning of the preceding month and then begin fasting. The same applies to ending the fast.

[His literal words are whether the sighting is exhaustive, when a group sight it so that impossible to accuse them of lying because their report gives information, or with two witnesses of good character only, with clouds or clear skies, meaning there is no difference between the large and small town. Similar to the two witnesses of good character is one whose report is trusted, even if a slave or a woman, when the place does not pay attention to the business of the new moon in respect of the people of the seer and others. If the place is concerned with the business of the new moon, the seeing of one does not affirm it, even for his family, and even if they believe him, but he must present his business to the ruler. It is not permitted for him to break the fast. If he breaks it, he disbelieves, even if by interpretation because the interpretation is unlikely. The fast is also broken by seeing the moon of Shawwal. If there are clouds, then you count from the beginning of the month of Sha’ban. The basis for this is what is in the two Sahih collections that he said, “Fast when you see it and break the fast when you see it. If it is cloudy, then complete the number.”

There are seven preconditions for the fast.]

23.2b. 1. The intention

You should make an intention to fast the whole month at the beginning of the month and it is not necessary to make a new intention every night for the rest of the month.

[He should formulate the intention with his heart the first night of Ramadan after sunset and before dawn or at dawn as an act of nearness to Allah Almighty by performing what is obliged of him during the day of refraining from eating, drinking and intercourse. It is not an obligation to make the intention on the rest of the days. Malik says that the intention is must be made at night, and that is stated by ash-Shafi’i and Abu Hanifa, because the days of the month are individual acts of worship separate from one another. The invalidation of one does not invalidate another, and they are not impaired by what is contrary to them at night, like eating, drinking and intercourse. So the days become like the five prayers during the day. It is obliged to give day an intention for the fast as it is obligatory to have an intention for every prayer. The evidence of the Maliki School is the words of the Almighty, “So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting..” (2:185) This command is transferred to one fast, which is the fast of the month. The intention is made in the night based on what the authors of the Sunan reported of the words of the Prophet: “”Whoever does not intend the fast before dawn has no fast.” Advancing it is overlooked in the fast because of the difficulty. Ibn Naji said, “The literal words of the shaykh is that it is not obliged for someone who breaks the fast, like the menstruating women, to renew the intention. That is the case according to Ashhab and others. There remain the sick person and traveller when they continue to fast. They are obliged to make the intention every night beause it is not oblgiatory for them to continue. When the sick person becomes well and the traveller arrives, the intention for what is remains is enough for them, like the menstruating woman who becomes pure, the child who reaches puberty in the fast, and the kafir who becomes a Muslim during the month.

The other preconditions are:

2. Islam.
3. Sanity.
4. Being free of menstruation and lochia.
5. Refraining from things that break the fast.
6.The ability to fast.
7. Adulthood.]

23.2c. Duration of the fast

You fast until night comes

[Based on the ayat and because the Prophet said in the Sahih, “When night advances from there and the day retreats from here and the sun sets, the faster breaks the fast.”]

and it is sunna to break the fast as soon as possible

[When you are certain the night has come. There is disagreement about continuing after sunset. Some say that it is unlawful as it is unlawful on the Day of the ‘Id. Some say it is permitted and he has the reward of the faster. The fiqh of the question that he he has the reward of the faster is weak. The statement that it is unlawful is more likely unless his intention is that it is obliged for him. Otherwise, it is disliked when it is without necessity.]

23.2d. Delaying suhur

and to delay your suhur.(1) If you are not sure if the time of fajr has come or not you should not eat.

[Sahur means what is eaten and suhur is the act of eating. The amount of the best delay after finishing eating and drinking there remains until Fajr the amount of time it takes to recite 50 ayats. The basis for this is the words of the Prophet, “My community will continue to be all right as long as they hurry to break the fast and delay the sahur.” (Ahmad) If he is unsure of the time of Fajr, he should not eat or drink or have intercourse. This can mean prohibition or dislike. The well-known position is that it is a prohibition. If he is unsure about sunset, it is unlawful to eat and otherwise break the fast by agreement.]

23.2e. Not fasting the Day of Doubt

You do not fast the ‘day of doubt’, [2] fasting on the grounds that it might be part of Ramadan.

[This prohibition is one of dislike according to the probable text of the Mudawwana. Ibn ‘Abdu’s-Salam said, “What is probable is that it is a prohibition based on what at-Tirmidhi related in a hasan sahih hadith: ‘Ammar ibn Yasir said, “Whoever fasts the Day of Doubt, has rebelled against Abu’l-Qasim (the Prophet).”

We consider the Day of Doubt which is forbidden to fast to be the day when it was cloudy on the night of the 29th and vision was not established, and so the morning of that night is the Day of Doubt.]

23.2f. Its judgement when it is fasted

If you do this it is not counted even if it turns out to have been Ramadan.

[If you fast the Day of Doubt out of caution and then it is established to be Ramadan, it is not counted because the intention was not firm.]

If you want to fast that day as a voluntary fast, however, you can do so.

[i.e. this is when it is his custom to fast.]

23.2g. When you discover it is Ramadan in the morning

If you get up in the morning and discover, before having eaten or drunk anything, that Ramadan has begun you must fast the rest of the day but you cannot count it as one of the days of your Ramadan and you have to make up a day.

[If this happens, you have to make it up by the lack of the intention. Nevertheless you must avoid food and drink and anything that would invalidate the prayer for the rest of the day. It is also obligatory for him to fast if he has eaten or drunk or the like. He makes it up, but there is no kaffara since he forgot or it was intentional by interpretation. If it is something else, then he must do kaffara.]

23.2h. When someone returns from a journey or stops menstruating

If someone returns from a journey and they are not fasting or if a woman finishes menstruating during the day then in both these cases it is alright for them to eat and drink during the remainder of that day.

[This in the daytime. It is not recommended for them to refrain. It is the same in the case of the child who reaches maturity, the madman who recovers his senses, the sick person who starts out not fasting and then becomes well. It is the same for the one who faints and then regains consciousness, the one compelled by the necessity of hunger or thirst, and the nursing woman whose child dies in the day. It is the same for an unbeliever who becomes Muslim, although it is recommended for him to refrain which is not the case with the others. As for the one who breaks his fast by forgetfulness or on the Day of Doubt or is forced to break it, and their excuse is removed, then it is obligatory for them to refrain. When the one forced breaks his fast after the compulsion is removed, he must make it up with kaffara unless there was a valud interpretation.]

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Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 09:50  Leave a Comment  

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