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SPECIAL EDITION ON FASTING: The Spiritual and Social benefits of Islamic Fasting

Aug 2, 2013, 10:19 AM

FASTING (SAWM) ANOTHER TOOL TO UNITE THE UMMAH

On matters Related to Fasting

Abu Huraira (God be pleased with him) relates that the Messengers of God (PBUH) said, if one of you forgets [that he is on fast] and eats or drinks, let him continue with his fast; God has fed him and made him drink,” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). But according to Maliki School of thought, he or she should the day.

Aisha (God be pleased with her) relates that the Messenger of Allah used sometime to reach dawn in a state of janaba from intercourse with one of his wives, and he would take a bath and go on with his fast. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Waking up with Janaba would not stop you from fasting.

Aisha and Um Salama (God be pleased with them) relate that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used sometimes to reach dawn in a state of janaba, and not from a dream, and he would go on fasting. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

On the Merit of Offering Food for Breaking the Fast of Someone Who Is on Fasting

Zaid Ibn Khaled Al-Juhani (God be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who offers food for breaking the fast of someone who is on fast will have the like of his reward without diminishing the reward of the person on fast in any way.” (Al-Tirmidhi, and he says it is a hasan hadith)

Um ‘Amara Al-Ansariyya (God be pleased with her) relates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) once visited her and she offered him some food, and he asked her to eat from the food as well. She said that she was on fast, and he commented, “Angels will invoke Allah’s mercy on someone who is fasting when someone eats in their presence until they finish their meal,” or he may have said, “….until they have had they fill.” (Al-Tirmidhi, and he says it is a hasan hadith)

Ana (God be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah once visited Sa’d Ibn ‘Obada, and he offered him some bread and olive oil. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) ate and said, “May people on fast break their fast at your place, May virtuous people eat from your food, and may the angels pray for you.” Abu Dawud, with a good chain of transmission)

On the Merit of Night Prayer in Ramadan (tarawih)

Abu Huraira (God be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who spends the Ramadan nights in prayers out of deep and sincere belief and seeking God’s reward will have his past sins forgiven. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Huraira (God be pleased with him) also said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to encourage his companions to perform night prayers during Ramadan, but he did not make it obligatory. He used to say, “He who spends the Ramadan nights in prayers out of deep sincere belief and seeking God’s reward will have his past sins forgiven.” (Muslim)

Laylat Al-Qadr (Night of Power) And Discussing the Most Probable Night on Which it Occurs

God the Most Sublime asserts that He revealed the Quran on the Night of Power (Al-Qadr). In the Surat Al-Qadr, it says:

“Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [jibril (Gabriel) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, (all that night), there is Peace (and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”. (97:1-5)

Here are some Hadith about Laylat Al-Qadr (Night of Power)

Aisha (God be pleased with her) relates that the Prophet PBUH) used to perform ‘I’tikaf (spend the time in mosque in devotions) during the last ten night of Ramadan, and he used to say, “Seek the Night of Power during the last ten days nights of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

She (God be pleased with her) relates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Seek the Night of Power on the odd numbered nights (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th) during the last ten nights of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

And again Aisha (God be pleased with her) also relates that she once asked the Prophet (PBUH), “O Messenger of Allah, if I recognized which night is the Night of Power, what should I say [in supplication] in it?” He answered, “Say, O God, You are most Forgiving and You love forgiveness, so do forgive me.”’ “ALLAH HUMMA INNAKA A’FUW’WUN TOHIB’BUL AFWA FA’FU ANNI”

Zakat al-Fitr: is only Wajib (Obligation) for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of ‘Eid Prayer (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above mentioned period, as many of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) used to pay Sadaqah al-Fitr a couple days before the `Eid. Maximum three day fore Eid.

Nafi` reported that the Prophet’s companion Ibn ‘Umar used to give it to those who would accept it and the people used to give it a day or two before the `Eid. [Bukhari - Vol. 2, p.339, no. 579]

Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet ordered that it (Zakat al-Fitr) be given before people go to perform the (`Eid) prayers.

One who forgets to pay this Zakat al-Fitr on time should do so as soon as possible even though it will not be counted as Zakat al-Fitr

The distribution of Zakat al-Fitr is the same as that of Zakah, and is included within its broader sense. Those who may receive Zakat al-Fitr are the eight categories of recipients mentioned in Surat Al-Tawbah, [9: 60]. They include:

1.the poor

2.the needy,

3. collectors of Zakah,

4. reconciliation of hearts,

5. freeing captives / slaves(fee al-Riqab),

6. debtors

7. in the Way of Allah / Islamic causes (fee sabeel illah)

8. the traveler.

All these have some details and some explanation. Most people have the habit of giving their zakah al-Fitr to the people they know, though it is a good habit to help those you know but this zakah is only meant for the categories listed above. Except If the one you want is among them he/she can take it.

This is our final edition on Fasting in this year’s Ramadan, I pray that Allah answer all our prayers and make us witness many more Ramadans. 

HAPPY EID- AL-FITR IN ADVANCE TO ALL THE MUSLIM UMMAH. 

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