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Scholars act in accordance with this hadith. Every land has its sighting. The scholars of fiqh agree that if only one person sees the new moon, he is to fast. The correct position is that he is to break the fast, as ash-Shaf'i and Abu Thaur have ruled. The Prophet has based the fast and its breaking on the sighting of the moon.

One's own sight is enough for him and there is no need for another person's sighting. The fast has two essential elements literally, "pillars" that must be fulfilled for it to be valid and acceptable. They are:. This point is based on the Qur'anic verse: "Eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast until nightfall. This is also based on the following hadith: "When the verse 'Eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you During the night I looked at them to see if I could distinguish between them.

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In the morning I went to the Messenger of Allah and mentioned that to him and he said: 'It is the black of the night and the white of the day. Allah instructs in the Qur'an: "And they are ordained nothing else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him. The intention must be made before fajr and during every night of Ramadan. This point is based on the hadith of Hafsah which reported that the Prophet said: "Whoever does not determine to fast before fajr will have no fast" that is, it won't be accepted.

Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban have classified it as sahih. The intention is valid during any part of the night.

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It need not be spoken, as it is in reality an act of the heart which does not involve the tongue. It will be fulfilled by one's intention to fast out of obedience to Allah and for seeking His pleasure. If one eats one's pre-dawn meal sahoor with the intention of fasting and to get closer to Allah by such abstinence, then one has performed the intention.

If one determines that one will fast on the next day solely for the sake of Allah, then one has performed the intention even if a pre-dawn meal was not consumed. According to many of the jurists, the intention for a voluntary fast may be made at any time before any food is consumed. This opinion is based on 'Aishah's hadith: "The Prophet came to us one day and said: 'Do you have any [food]? The Hanafiyyah and Shaf'iyyah stipulate that the intention must be made before noon for voluntary fasts. The apparent opinion of Ibn Mas'ud and Ahmad is that the intention may be made before or after noon.

All scholars agree that fasting is obligatory upon every sane, adult, healthy Muslim male who is not traveling at that time. As for a woman, she must not be menstruating or having post-childbirth bleeding. People who are insane, minors, and those who are traveling, menstruating, or going through post-childbirth bleeding, and the elderly and breast-feeding or pregnant women do not need to observe the fast. For some, the fast is not obligatory at all, for example, the insane. In the case of young people, their parents or guardians should order them to fast.

Some are to break the fast and make up the missed days of fasting at a later date, while others are to break the fast and pay a "ransom" in which case, they are not obliged to make up the days they missed. We shall discuss each group in more detail. Fasting is not obligatory for the insane because of their inability to understand what they are doing. Though the young are not required to fast, it is proper for their guardians to encourage them to fast so they will become accustomed to it at an early age. They may fast as long as they are able to and then may break it.

ArRabi'a bint Mu'awiyyah reported: "The Messenger of Allah sent a man, on the morning of the day of 'Ashurah, to the residences of the Ansar, saying: 'Whoever has spent the morning fasting is to complete his fast.

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Whoever has not spent this morning fasting should fast for the remainder of the day. We would go to the mosque and make toys stuffed with cotton for them to play with. If one of them started crying due to hunger, we would give them a toy to play with until it was time to eat. Elderly men and women are permitted to break their fasts, as are the chronically ill, and those who have to perform difficult jobs under harsh circumstances and who could not find any other way to support themselves.

All of these people are allowed to break their fast, because such a practice would place too much hardship on them during any part of the year. They are obliged to feed one poor person [miskin] a day for every day of fasting that they do not perform. The scholars differ over how much food is to be supplied, for example, a sa', half a sa', or a madd.

There is nothing in the sunnah that mentions exactly how much is to be given. Ibn 'Abbas said: "An elderly man is permitted to break his fast, but he must feed a poor person daily.

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If he does this, he does not have to make up the days that he did not fast. This is related by ad-Daraqutni and by al-Hakim, who said it is sahih. Al-Bukhari recorded that 'Ata heard Ibn 'Abbas recite the 'ayah: "And for those who can fast [but do not], there is a "ransom': the feeding of a person in need" [al-Baqarah ]. Then Ibn 'Abbas continued: "It has not been abrogated. Instead, they must feed one poor person on a daily basis. The same is true for one who is chronically ill and as such cannot fast, and for one who is forced to work under harsh circumstances and as such cannot endure the additional burden of fasting.

Both groups must also feed one poor person daily. Commenting on al-Baqarah's 'ayah, Sheikh Muhammad 'Abduh says: "What is meant by those who can fast' [ but do not in the Qur'anic verse] is the weak elderly people, the chronically ill, and so on, and similarly, those workers who are working under severe conditions, such as coal miners.

The same applies to criminals who are sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. They have to pay the 'ransom' if they have the means to do so.

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Pregnant and breast-feeding women, if they fear for themselves or for the baby, can break the fast and pay the "ransom. Abu Dawud related from 'Ikrimah that Ibn 'Abbas said concerning the 'ayah "And for those who can fast [but do not],": "This is a concession for the elderly, as they can fast.

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They are to break the fast and feed one poor person a day. Pregnant or breast-feeding women, if they fear for the child, can do likewise. At the end of the report, there is the addition: "Ibn 'Abbas used to say to his wives who were pregnant: 'You are in the same situation as those who can fast [but do not].

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  • You are to pay the "ransom" and do not have to make up the days later. Nafi' reported that Ibn 'Umar was asked about a pregnant woman who feared for her unborn baby. He replied: "She is to break the fast and to feed one poor person a day one madd of barley. There is also a hadith that states: "Allah has relieved the travelers of fasting and half of the prayer, and the pregnant and the breast-feeding women of the fast.

    According to Ahmad and ash-Shaf'i, if such women fear only for the baby, they must pay the "ransom" and make up the days later. If they fear only for themselves or for themselves and the baby, then they are only to make up the missed days at a later date. It is allowed for those who are not chronically ill and for travelers to break their fasts during Ramadan, but they must make up the days they missed. Allah says in the Qur'an: "And [for] him who is sick among you or on a journey, [the same] number of other days.

    Mu'azh said: "Verily, Allah made the fast obligatory upon the Prophet by revealing: 'O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you Then Allah revealed another verse: 'The month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was revealed A concession was made for the sick and travelers, and the feeding of the poor by the elderly who could not fast was [left] confirmed.

    A sick person may break his fast which, if continued, would only aggravate the illness or delay its cure. In al-Mughni it is stated: "It is related from some of the early scholars that any type of illness allows one to break the fast, even an injury to the finger or a toothache.

    They based their opinion on the following:. He must make up the days of fasting that he missed. The following two Qur'anic 'ayahs support this point: "And do not kill yourselves, Lo! Allah is ever Merciful to you," and "He has not laid upon you in your religion any hardship. If a sick person fasts and withstands the hardships of the fast, his fast will be valid but disliked, for he did not accept the concession Allah gave him, thereby causing himself much hardship.

    Some of the companions would fast during the Prophet's lifetime while others would not that is, if they were ill , thereby following the verdict of the Prophet. Would there be any blame upon me if I were to do so? Whoever takes it has done well.