FIQH OF SIYAM (Fasts)
Praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides cannot be misled, and whomsoever He leaves astray cannot be guided. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Allah has blessed His slaves with certain seasons of goodness, in which hasanaat (rewards for good deeds) are multiplied, sayi’aat (bad deeds) are forgiven, people’s status is raised, the hearts of the believers turn to their Master, those who purify themselves attain success and those who corrupt themselves fail. Allah has created His slaves to worship Him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone).” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]
One of the greatest acts of worship is fasting, which Allah has made obligatory on His slaves, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“… Observing al-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [al-Baqarah 2:183]
Allaah encourages His slaves to fast:
“… And that you fast, it is better for you, if only you know.” [al-Baqarah 2:184 – interpretation of the meaning]
He guides them to give thanks to Him for having made fasting obligatory on them:
“… that you should magnify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [al-Baqarah 2:185 – interpretation of the meaning]
He has made fasting dear to them, and has made it easy so that people do not find it too hard to give up their habits and what they are used to. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“… for a fixed number of days…” [al-Baqarah 2:184]
He has mercy on them and keeps them away from difficulties and harm, as He says (interpretation of the meaning:
“… but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days…”[al-Baqarah 2:184]
No wonder then, that in this month the hearts of the believers turn to their Most Merciful Lord, fearing their Lord above them, and hoping to attain His reward and the great victory (Paradise).
As the status of this act of worship is so high, it is essential to learn the Ahkaam (rulings) that have to do with the month of fasting so that the Muslim will know what is obligatory, in order to do it, what is haraam, in order to avoid it, and what is permissible, so that he need not subject himself to hardship by depriving himself of it and have tranquility in his Ibadah.
DEFINITION OF SIYAAM (FASING)
Linguistically: To Abstain from something.
Juridically: It means abstaining from things that break the fast, from dawn until sunset, having first made the intention (niyyah) to fast.
RULING ON FASTING THE MONTH OF RAMADHAN
It is the fourth pillar of Islam. (Obligatory/Mandatory)
The ummah is agreed that fasting the month of Ramadhan is obligatory, the evidence for which is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing al-sawn (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).” [al-Baqarah 2:183]
The Prophet S.A.W. said: “Islam is built on five [pillars]…” among which he mentioned fasting in Ramadan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 1/49). Whoever breaks the fast during Ramadaan without a legitimate excuse has committed a serious major sin, The Prophet S.A.W. said, describing a dream that he had seen: “… until I was at the mountain, where I heard loud voices. I asked, ‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘This is the howling of the people of Hellfire.’ Then I was taken [to another place], and I saw people hanging from their hamstrings, with the corners of their mouths torn and dripping with blood. I said, ‘Who are these?’ They said, ‘The people who broke their fast before it was the proper time to do so,’ i.e., before the time of iftaar.” (Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/420).
- If someone denies the obligation of Fasting the Month of Ramadan, then he is outside of Islam.
- If some does not fast the Month of Ramadan, knowing its obligation, then he/she is guilty of commiting a Major Sin.
MERITS OF FASTING:-
Allah S.W.T. Proclaims interpretation of the meaning is: –
‘Every deed of the child of Adam is for himself, except for fasting. It is for Me and I shall reward it.’Fasting is a shield, so if it is a day of fasting for any one of you, then he should engage in no obscenity or shouting. If anyone belittles him or fights with him, he should just say ‘I am a person who is fasting’.I swear by Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, the smell of the fasting person’s breath is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment than that of musk. The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast because of his breaking it and the other when he meets his Lord because of the reward for his fast.”
[Sahîh al-Bukhârî (7492) and Sahîh Muslim (1151) with the wording being that of Muslim]
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said: –
“…Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
(Sahih Bukhari Book# 31 Hadith# 125)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
BENEFITS OF SIYAM
- Above all it is an act of obedience to Allah.
- Trains believers in TAQWA (Being Mindful of Allah & Fearing Him by doing all that He ordered & avoiding all that He has forbade).
- Teaches Patience & sincerity.
- Develops endurance & Self-restraint.
- Restricts the movement of the Shaitan.
- Strengthens unity & equality between Muslims.
- Teaches sympathy towards the poor & needy.
- Rests the Digestive organs & gets rid of accumulated waste.
- Uses up stored cholesterol (Fats) in the Blood System, which is one of the causes of Heart Disease.
- Teaches self control from over-eating, smoking etc.
InshaAllah in the next class we will study, “When, Who & How to Fast”