Making Du`aa’ when breaking fast

Question: The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: The Du`aa’ (supplication) of a fasting person at the time of breaking Sawm (Fast) will not be rejected.What is the exact time referred to by the phrase “Du`aa’ at the time of breaking Sawm”? Does it refer to Du`a’ made just few moments before Iftaar (breaking the Fast), or immediately after it?

Answer: This Hadeeth is narrated by Ibn Maajah. The author of Al-Zawaa’id ranked its Isnaad (chain of narrators) as Saheeh (authentic).Focusing on the question, Du`aa’ can be made before or after Iftaar because the preposition “at” refers to both times… read more here.

Iftaar starts at the time of the Athaan of the Maghrib Salaah

Question: Does Iftar (breaking the Fast) during Ramadaan start upon hearing the Athaan (call to Prayer) of the Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer or upon seeing the setting of the sun? According to a Hadeeth, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Once he was on a journey, he said to one of his Companions: “Get up and mix Saweeq (powdered barley) with water for us.” He then bade him mount a camel and watches for the sunset. Once he has seen it, they would immediately break fast.

Answer: The fast is to be ended upon the sunset or when one has been informed by a trustworthy person that the time of Iftaar has become due; alternatively, when they hear the Athaan of the Maghrib Prayer… read more here.

Breaking fast upon verifying that the sun has set and declined below the western horizon

Question: A group of people emerged in our town saying that they are staunch adherents to the Sunnah of Al-Mustafaa (peace be upon him). But it is observed that they break fast in Ramadaan and in other months at twilight (the time the sun is declining). They also say that the Hadeeth which they quote in support of their action is sound and authentic. What is your opinion with regard to this issue, our Shaykh?

Answer: Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated: When night falls from this side and the day disappears from this side and the sun has set, then the fasting person should break fast. (Reported by Al-Bukhaaree) Therefore, it is not allowed to break fast until the sun has completely set and declined below the western horizon, and the night has fallen in the eastern horizon. This can be ascertained either by witnessing the setting of the sun or by hearing the Mu’ath-thin (caller to Prayer) making the Athaan (call to Prayer) at the prescribed time… read more here.

Breaking the fast when the sun sets

Question: Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall It is established that Shiites quote this verse as evidence that breaking the fast should not take place except after seeing the stars in the sky, which for them is the actual night, as stated in the story of Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham) (peace be upon him) in which Allaah says: When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. Then, what is the reply to their claim, keeping in mind that they deny some Hadeeths which we quoted for them as evidence for breaking the fast upon the setting of the sun. They also claim that the Noble Qur’aan has more authority than the Hadeeth?

Answer: If the sun has set, then it is the time to break the fast. The setting of the sun is the inception of the night, according to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement: When night falls from this side and the day disappears from this side and the sun has set, then one should break his fast.read more here.

One should break the fast upon witnessing sunset

Question: Is it permissible to break the fast immediately upon hearing the Athaan (call to Saalah) of Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer during Ramadaan, or must one wait until the Mu’ath-thin (caller to Prayer) finishes the Athaan and then one may break the fast?

Answer: One should break the fast when seeing the sunset, or by hearing the Athaan of the Mu’ath- thin who raises the Athaan only after the sun has set. Thus, one should break fast upon hearing the Athaan… read more here.

Ruling on a person who mistakenly breaks his fast 5 minutes before the Athaan?

Question: What is the ruling on a person who mistakenly breaks their fast five minutes before the Athaan (call to Prayer) of Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer is announced? The reason is related to miscalculation of time.

Answer: The time of the fast starts from the break of dawn until sunset. A person is required to make up for their fast if they mistakenly broke it before sunset. One should not solely depend on checking the time by looking at the clock when breaking the fast. The visualization of the setting of the sun must also be taken into consideration. This is because the day length differs from one day to another… read more here.

Is it permissible to fast without having Suhoor ?

Question: Is it permissible to fast without having Suhoor (pre-dawn meal before the Fast)? May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: A fasting person is recommended to have Suhoor before dawn breaks as it gives the energy to fast. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to have Suhur stating that there is a blessing in this meal. However, Sawm (Fast) will still be valid even if one does not have Suhoor… read more here.

Should a fasting person break his Sawm if they are invited to a banquet?

Question: Should a person, who is invited by a Muslim brother to a daytime meal, break Sawm (Fast)?

Answer: It is not permissible to break an obligatory Sawm. As for voluntary Sawm, a Muslim has the choice either to continue or break the Sawm, although it is better to continue Sawm. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When any of you is invited to a meal, they should accept (the invitation). If they are fasting, they should say, ‘I am fasting.’ In another wording, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: If they are fasting, they should make Du`aa’ (for the inviter), and if they are not fasting, they should partake of the meal.read more here.

What is the ruling on a person who delays Iftaar ?

Question: What is the ruling on a person who delays Iftaar (breaking the Fast) until after Taraaaweeeh (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadaan)? It is noteworthy that the person concerned is well-aware of the rulings pertaining to breaking Sawm (Fast). Also, when observing voluntary Sawm, he is in the habit of breaking Sawm after `Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer. What is the ruling on the validity of Sawm as such? I appreciate giving me advice in this regard.

Answer: Sawm ends at sunset. This is based on the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) in which Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall This is also based on the Hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: When night comes from this direction (east) and the day departs from this direction (west) and the sun has set, it is time for the fasting person to break Sawm. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is also reported to have said: People will remain on the right path (i.e., acting upon the Sunnah) as long as they hasten to break Sawm (immediately at sunset)read more here.

What is the meaning of Imsaak ?

Question: I would like Your Eminence to clarify the meaning of Imsaak. Is it only an act of Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), or are all Muslims required to abide by it? Is it true that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) specified the time of Imsaak as being equal to the recitation of 50 Aayaat (Qur’aanic verses) before Fajr (Dawn) Prayer? Scholars estimated it to be half an hour. What is the ruling on whoever eats or drinks while the Athaan (call to Prayer) for Fajr is being announced? Does Sawm (Fast) start upon hearing the Athaan for Fajr Prayer or half an hour before or after the Athaan is announced?

Answer: Imsaak means abstention from food, drink, and all that invalidates Sawm from the beginning of the appointed time of Sawm. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) clarifies in the Glorious Qur’aan the starting time of Sawm, which is the break of dawn, saying: …and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall. The Athaan for Fajr Prayer is a proclamation of the break of dawn. Therefore, you have to stop eating and drinking when you hear it… read more here.

Each country should begin Sawm upon sighting the new moon

Question: Is it lawful to start fasting Ramadaan in Mayotte Island, Comoros, on a day other than that on which Makkah Al-Mukarramah started fasting or not?

May you, please, cite the evidence for your answer? Also, is it lawful to offer the Prayer of `Eed Al-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice) on a day other than that on which the `Eed Day is celebrated in Makkah Al-Mukarramah or not? Please cite the evidence of your answer, especially that in this season, like all previous seasons of fasting, the majority of the people of the Mayotte Islands started fasting on Monday, March 5, 2001 insteadof Tuesday, March 6, 2001, noting that our island is located on the same meridian as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, our sister Muslim Country.

Answer: It is obligatory for Muslims in each country to start and end fasting and to offer the Prayer of `Eed Al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) and the Prayer of `Eed Al-Ad-haa upon sighting the related new moon in their respective countries. Otherwise, they are to calculate the respective month (Sha’baan, Ramadaan, or Thul-Qa`dah) as thirty days. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fast when you see it (the new moon), and break your fast when you see it. If the weather is cloudy, calculate it, meaning calculate (the months of Sha’baan or Shawwaal as thirty days). In another wording of this Hadeeth, the second part of the conditional clause reads… read more here.

Having intention to fast from the previous night

Question: In some Muslim countries, there might be some delay during the Night of Doubt in the announcement of the beginning of Ramadaan, resulting in the inability of some people to stay up long enough to hear whether the month has begun or not.

My question is: If one is overcome by sleep and cannot wait until hearing the official announcement of one’s country regarding the beginning of the month, how then can they make the intention to fast? Can they condition their intention according to the beginning of the month by saying: If Ramadaan starts tomorrow I will fast, and if not I will not fast? Will one have an excuse and thus can make the intention in the morning if they are informed that the month has started? Or, what should one do in this circumstance?

Answer: If one goes to bed without knowing whether the month has begun or not and does not wake up until the following day morning only to realize that the month has already started, then they must fast for the remainder of that day and make up for it after Ramadaan… read more here.

Whoever completes Sawm in a country and travels to another finding its people still fasting

Question: Someone completed the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan as thirty days in his own country. On the next day, he traveled to another country to find the people there observing Sawm. So he observed Sawm on that day like them to observe Sawm for thirty one days. He later came to know that the people of the country referred to had sighted the new moon of Ramadaan two days after his country had sighted it. In general, it may happen that after completing the Sawm of Ramadaan, either as twenty nine days in view of sighting the new moon of Shawwal or as thirty days for not sighting it, a Muslim travels to another country to find the people there still have to observe Sawm for two more days. In such a case, should such a person observe Sawm on these two additional days or not due to the fact that Ramadaan can be no more than 30 days? I greatly appreciate Your Eminence’s Fatwaa’ in this regard.

Answer: If someone, after completing the Sawm of Ramadaan in their country, breaks the Sawm on the first day of Shawwaal on a Shar`ee (Islaamically legal) basis, they should not observe Sawm if they happen to travel to another country where people are still observing Sawm because Ramadaan, according to their sighting, has begun there on a later date. This is because they are to abide by the calendar of the country where they initiated their Sawm provided that ending the Sawm was founded on a Shar`ee basis. However, they should not eat openly lest Fitnah (temptation) should take place… read more here.

Sighting the new moon determines the beginning and end of Islaamic appointed times of rituals

Question: How is the first day of every month determined, and how do the scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia know the number of the days of every Month when preparing the annual lunar calendar

The answer to this question is paramount for us due to huge disagreement on how to determine the first day of the month. This confusion causes some Muslims sometimes to fast one or two days before or after Ramadaan. Some of them celebrate `Eed Al-Ad-haa (the Feast of the Sacrifice) and sacrifice their animals on the Day of `Arafah. The only reason for this confusion is the lack of sound knowledge regarding the method of determining the first day of the month and the number of days in each month. Moreover, the new moon does not clearly appear to us on the first day of the month.

Answer: The beginning and end of Islaamic appointed times of rituals, such as Ramadaan, Hajj (pilgrimage), and other rituals are determined by sighting the new moon with the naked eye. It is not permissible to rely on predetermined calculations and calendars which are made for the next ten years. This ruling is based on Allaah’s (Exalted be He) Saying: They ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage and on the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying: Observe the fast when you see it (the new moon) and break the fast when you see it (the new moon). If the sky is overcast, complete the month of Sha’baan as thirty days. (Related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim in their two Saheehs).. read more here.

Watching the crescent is the criterion of the beginning and end of Ramadaan

Question: You know, may Allaah safeguard you, what occurs every year, especially this year, with regard to the difference of the Muslim countries over the beginning and end of the obligatory Sawm (Fast). Some Libyans observed a thirty one-day Sawm; some other Libyans received a Fatwaa’ from their scholars and some of our scholars to break their Sawm in secret on the 30th day of Ramadaan. After the latter had broken their Sawm, they came to us seeking a Fatwa on their breaking Sawm. This resulted in a conflict of Fatwas. We have refrained from giving a Fatwa to this latter group. Also some countries observed Sawm after us like Morocco, and then they came to this country (Saudi Arabia). May you, kindly, submit these cases to the competent scholarly authorities whose issued Fatwas are accepted by the laypeople. We pose here, in brief, the questions we want to ask about as follows:

1. If the Sawm of those who observe Sawm a day before us is based – as some of them have mentioned- on seeing the crescent of Ramadaan (in their country), is it permissible for them to follow our country in its Sawm when they come here and observe Sawm for thirty one days?

2. If their Sawm is based on the calculation of time, would this mean they should observe Sawm thirty one days? Would the ruling differ if their Sawm was based on the calculation of Greenwich Meridian Time – according to some people, as the Greenwich Meridian line passes by Morocco at a two thousand km. Distance from Libya?

3. What is the legal ruling to be followed in the future in cases similar to those who broke their Sawm after completing thirty days, whether due to having been given a Fatwaa’ on their doing so or not? Also, what is the legal ruling to be given to those who observed Sawm for twenty nine days, following the Sawm of Saudi Arabia, while their country where they started Sawm for thirty days, as was the case in the previous years?

Answer: First: The criterion upon which the beginning and end of Ramadaan is based is watching the crescent, not astronomical calculations of time; as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Start fasting on seeing it (the new moon of Ramadaan), and give up fasting on seeing it (the new moon of Shawwaal). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: Do not fast until you sight it (the moon) and do not break your fast until you sight it. What is meant here is to observe Sawm on seeing the crescent of Ramadaan with the naked eye or by the tools that help a person watch the sky and identify the crescent, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The beginning of Ramadaan is on the day when you begin fasting, the end of Ramadaan is on the day when you end it, and `Eed Al-Ad-haa is on the day when you sacrifice… read more here.

Not starting to fast when Ramadaan commences claiming that a Shaykh has not commanded

Question: I have some relatives who do not start their fast with us when Ramadaan commences, claiming that one of their Shaykhs in Makkah has not commanded them to start the fast. Thus, they may delay their fast for one or two days after us. They have been approached with advice in order to follow the community in the beginning of the fast, but they still insist on their practice. Their excuse is that their Shaykh has not yet commanded them to start fasting and he has not sighted the new moon.

My question, Your Eminence, is: Can the sighting of the new moon be established by the witness of one man, two men, or more? What is the ruling on the fast of those people? Should I maintain good relations with them or desert them? And what is the ruling on my dealing with them and keeping good relations with them? Please give us Fatwaa’ regarding this, may Allash reward you with the best, and may Allaah benefit everyone with your knowledge!

Answer: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Observe the fast when you see it (the new moon), and break the fast when you see it (the new moon). If the sky is overcast, then calculate it (the months of Sha’baan or Shawwaal as thirty days.) In another narration, he (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Should a person, who starts the fast upon receiving the news of the beginning of the Month of Ramadaan during the day time, make up for this day?

Question: Should a person, who starts the fast upon receiving the news of the beginning of the Month of Ramadaan during the day time, make up for this day? Some people argue for this ruling by referring to the Hadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in which he says: Whoever has not resolved the intention during the night to fast the following day, his Sawm (Fast) is null or as he (peace be upon him) said.

And what is the ruling on the one who has not started the fast upon receiving the announcementof the beginning of Ramadaan? Is he obligated to make up for this day and offer expiation?

Answer: Whoever has received the news of the beginning of the Month of Ramadan during the day time must complete the fast the rest of the day, by the way of honoring the month. He then must make up for this day, since he has not actually fasted it from the beginning… read more here.

Does the day begin from the time of Fajr or mid-day?

Question: When does the day start according to the Islaamic law? Does it start at the time of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer or right after midnight as established by astronomers? And what is the proof for that from the Noble Qur’aan and the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet)?

Answer: The Islaamic day starts at the daybreak when the Fajr Prayer is offered. Allaah (Exalted be He) said: It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of Al-Sawm (the fast). till His (Exalted be He) Saying: So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allaah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Verily, Bilaal announces the Athaan (call to Salaah) during the night, so continue eating and drinking until the second Athaan is raised by Ibn Umm Maktoom read more here.

Using a computational method based on an allegedly implicit meaning of certain Qur’aanic Aayaat

Question: Is it permissible to know and predetermine the beginning of the blessed Month of Ramadaan by the means of calculation based on the implicit meaning of the noble Qur’aanic aayah number: twenty-five (25) of Soorah Al-Kahf?

Answer: The Islaamic correct method of determining the beginning of the Month of Ramadaan can be applied by sighting the new moon of Ramadaan or by the completion of the Month of Sha’baan as thirty days, following what has been authentically reported from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said: Observe the fast upon sighting the new moon (of Ramadaan), and end the fast upon sighting the new moon (of Shawwaal), and if the sky is overcast (and you cannot see it), complete the term of the month of Sha`baan as thirty days. As for using a computational method based on an allegedly implicit meaning of certain Qur’aanic verse and their allusive numbers in order as a way to predetermine the beginning of the Month of Ramadaan or any other lunar Months, this is an invalid method which keeps people away from the real understanding of the Noble Qur’aan and from reflecting upon its true meanings. This is merely a waste of time and effort on useless things. Therefore, it is an obligation upon Muslims to eschew these fancies and to busy themselves with what is beneficial for their religion, lives, and Afterlife… read more here.

Relying on the calendar for determining Sawm and `Eed

Question: In India, the beginning of Ramadaan and `Eed Al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) are determined based on the annual calendar which is issued by the Indian Parliament; namely, the beginning and the end of Ramadaan are predetermined at the beginning of the year. By the same token, `Eed Al-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice) is also predetermined based on the annual calendar, and not based on the Day of `Arafah. Moreover, Muslims in India usually sacrifice their animals after the time other Muslims, especially in Arab states, sacrifice their animals.

Now, our question is: Concerning the fast of Ramadaan, we usually start our fast when we receive a confirmation of the beginning of Ramadaan by calling our families in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, or in the Gulf States in general. Our commence of the fast usually occurs before the fast of Muslims in India. Is our fast valid or invalid in this case, taking into consideration that most of the Muslim foreign students in India fast after the new moon is sighted in the Gulf states. Please provide us with a Fatwa on this matter.

Answer: You should observe the fast with Muslims in your country, and it is not permissible to have differences among the residents of the same country in this regard, due to the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying: The beginning of Ramadaan is the day when you begin fasting, the end of Ramadaan is on the day when you end it, and ‘Eed Al-Ad-haa is on the day when you sacrifice. It is noteworthy that the legal confirmation of the beginning of the lunar month is legally established by sighting the new moon with the naked eye or by adopting the means which help the eye sight the new moon. If the new moon can not be sighted, then it is an obligation to complete the month as thirty days. For the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

New moons, different risings of the moon, and astronomical calculations

Question: We are accustomed to fasting the month of Ramadaan as thirty days, not less.

Answer: This is a wrong and Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) act because it is in disagreement with the commands of the Book of Allaah, Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet Muhammad) of His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the regular practice of his Sahaabah (Companions) and the Taabi`oon (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad) (may Allaah be pleased with them all). This is based on the Aayah (Qur’anic verse) in which Allaah (Glorified be He) says… read more here.

Congratulations on the coming of Ramadaan

Question: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Iftaa’ has examined the Fatwa request submitted to His Eminence, the Grand Muftee, by Al-Ahsa’ General Court judge Muhammad ibn Sulaymaan Al-Sa`eed, which was referred to the Committee by the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars, no. 5845, dated 24/9/1419 A.H. Following is a statement of the question:

Exchanging congratulations at the start of the blessed month of Ramadaan whether by shaking hands, embracing one another, and exchanging family visits, as commonly practiced by the people of Al-Ahsaa’: to which category does doing so belong: customarily practices or `Ibadaahs (acts of worship)? If it is better not to do so, what should the congratulated person do? Should they show disapproval of those who congratulate them? Please, bear in mind that such people do so in good faith.

I ask Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) to prolong our lives to witness Ramadaan many years and enjoy its blessings for long. I also ask Him to make us all and our parents among those who will be manumitted from Hellfire during this month. Indeed, He (Glorified be He) is the Most Generous, Ever-Bountiful. May Allaah safeguard and protect you.

Answer: After examining the Fatwaa’ request, the Committee gives the answer that there is nothing wrong with exchanging congratulations on the coming of Ramadaan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to announce to his Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet) the coming of Ramadaan by saying: There has come to you a great and blessed month. He (peace be upon him) also used to educate them about the merits of Ramadaan and urge them to make the best use of it… read more here.

Two Hadeeths: “Fast and you will be healthy” and “The sleep of a fasting person is an act of worship”

Question: How authentic are the following two Hadeeths? The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Fast and you will be healthy. And: Sleeping in Ramadaan is an act of worship. 

Answer: First: The phrase Fast and you will be healthy is a Da`eef (weak) Hadeeth. It was related by Al-Tabaraanee in Al-Awsat, Aboo Nu`aym on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah, and Ibn `Adee on the authority of Ibn `Abbaas. The Sanad (chain of narrators) of this Hadeeth contains Nahshal who has been judged by Hadeeth scholars as Matrook (a narrator whose Hadeeth transmission was discarded due to unreliability)… read more here.

Is it permissible for a person to begin I`tikaaf at any time?

Question: Is it permissible for a person to begin I`tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid) at any time other than the last ten days of Ramadaan?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to begin I`tikaaf at any time, but the best time is the last ten days of Ramadaan in keeping with the tradition of Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) began I`tikaaf during the month of Shawwaal in some years… read more here.

How to spend Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) in worship?

Question: How to spend Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) in worship. Is it by offering Salaah (Prayer), reciting the Qur’aan, reading the Seerah (the Prophet’s biography), listening to lectures and lessons, or celebrating it in the Masjid (mosque)?

Answer: Firstly, the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) used to be exceptionally diligent in his worship during the last ten days of Ramadaan, more than at any other time, praying, reciting the Qur’aan, and supplicating. It was reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim on the authority of `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased upon her) that… read more here.

Specifying a day to observe I`tikaaf

Question: Is it permissible to single out a certain day for observing I`tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid)?

Answer: It is impermissible to single out a certain day for observing I`tikaaf. However, one should be keen to observe it during the last ten days of Ramadaan following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him)… read more here.

I broke my fast because I thought that day was the first of Shawwaal when one is not permitted to fast

Question: I am a resident of Kuwait and was observing I`tikaf (seclusion in the mosque for worship) during the last ten days of Ramadaan. When I heard that the sighting of the new moon (of Shawwaal) in Saudi Arabia and other countries had been confirmed, I ended my I`tikaaf. I went home, had sexual intercourse with my wife and broke my fast because I thought that day was the first of Shawwaal when one is not permitted to fast. What is the legal ruling in this case? What compensation should I and my wife pay? Would you kindly advise and cite the proofs? May Allaah reward you!

Answer: You did the right thing when you broke your Sawm (fast) on Friday and ending your I`tikaaf because it is the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr. The sighting of the crescent of Shawwaal was confirmed on the night of Friday. It is authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he stated… read more here.

Hadeeth: “Whoever does I’tikaaf of one day for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will keep him away from Hell-fire at a distance of three trenches…”

Question: Who narrated the following Hadeeth Whoever practices I’tikaaf of only one day for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will keep him away from Hell-fire at a distance of three trenches, the distance of each trench is like the distance between the East and the West’. And what is the degree of the Hadeeth in terms of authenticity? If a person wants to observe I`tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a mosque during Ramadaan) for one day, when should he begin I`tikaaf and when should he end it? Similarly, if he wants to observe I`tikaaf for two days, when should he begin I`tikaaf and when should he end it?

Answer: The Hadeeth is Da’eef. I`tikaaf begins after Fajr (Dawn) Prayer and ends at sunset whether a day or two… read more here.

Observing I`tikaaf inside the rooms of Masjid

Question: Is it permissible to begin I`tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid) in the security office or in the Zakaah Committee room which are both in the Masjid (mosque)? It should be noted that the doors of these rooms are inside the Masjid.

Answer: The rooms whose doors lead to the Masjid take on the same ruling as the Masjid. If the rooms were outside the Masjid, then they would not be considered a part of the Masjid even if their doors lead to the Masjid… read more here.

What is the time of beginning I‘tikaaf in the Masjid and the time of ending it?

Question: When someone wants to observe I‘tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid) during the last ten days of Ramadaan, what is the time of beginning I‘tikaaf in the Masjid (mosque) and the time of ending it?

Answer: Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim (may Allaah be merciful to them) narrated on the authority of `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) wanted to observe I‘tikaaf, he would offer the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer then go to his place of I‘tikaaf. The period of I‘tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan ends with the setting of the sun of the last day of the month… read more here.

What are the conditions of observing the I‘tikaaf ?

Question: What are the conditions of I‘tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid)? Is Sawm (Fast) a condition of I‘tikaaf? Is it permissible for a Mu‘takif (one who observes I‘tikaaf) to visit a sick person, accept an invitation, tend to his family’s needs, attend a funeral, or go to work?

Answer: It is legislated to observe I‘tikaaf in a Masjid (mosque) in which congregational Salaahs are held. If the Mu‘takif is one of those for whom Jumu‘ah (Friday) Prayer is obligatory and the period of I‘tikaaf will include a Friday, it is better for him to stay in a Masjid where Jumu‘ah Prayer is observed. It is not a condition for the Mu‘takif to be fasting… read more here.

Making up for supererogatory Sawm (fasts)

Question: I observe Sawm for three days every month. One month, I felt ill. Therefore, I could not observe Sawm (Fast). Do I have to make up or expiate for them?

Answer: There is no making up for the missed days of supererogatory Sawm even if a person missed them willingly. But it is better for the Muslim to continue doing good deeds according to the Saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The deed liked most by Allaah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small. So you do not have to make up or expiate for your missed supererogatory Sawm… read more here.

Fasting on the Day of `Aashooraa’ (عاشوراء)

Question: What is obligatory for a Muslim to do on the Day of ‘Aashoora’ (10th of Muharram)? Should they pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on that day?

Answer: It is permissible for a Muslim to observe Sawm (Fast) on the Day of ‘Aashoora’. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered his Sahaabah (Companions) to observe Sawm on that day. However, when the Sawm of Ramadaan was enjoined, it became permissible either to fast or not to fast on the Day of ‘Aashooraa’. There is no Zakaat-ul-Fitr due on the Day of ‘Aashooraa’, similar to that paid after Ramadan on the Day of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast)… read more here.

Fasting on the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah

Question: Is the Prophet (peace be upon him) authentically reported to have observed Sawm for the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah?

Answer: It is not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed Sawm the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah – better described as the nine days preceding `Eed-ul-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice). However, he (peace be upon him) urged people to do good deeds during these days. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have stated: “No good deed performed on other days are superior to those performed during these (first ten days of Thul-Hijjah).”.. read more here.

Voluntary Sawm and delaying making up for the missed obligatory Sawm

Question: What is the ruling on observing the optional Sawm (fast) of the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) while one has yet to make up for days of Sawm missed during Ramadaan?

Answer: If someone observes Sawm on the Day of `Arafah voluntarily while one has to make up for days of Sawm missed during Ramadaan, his Sawm is valid. However, it is encouraged by Sharee`ah not to delay compensation because one’s soul is in Allaah’s Hands and one does not know when death will come. Thus, observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as compensation for a missed day of Ramadaan is better than observing voluntary Sawm on that a day. Undoubtedly, obligatory acts of worship are to be given priority over supererogatory acts and should be given greater attention… read more here.

Making up for a missed day in Ramadaan by fasting the Day of `Arafah

Question: I broke my Sawm (fast) one day of Ramadaan due to severe illness. Is it permissible for me to make up for it on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) – the Day marking the Hajj – bearing in mind that I had already observed Sawm on that day?

Answer: If you have already observed Sawm on the Day of `Arafah to make up for the day you did not fast in Ramadaan, it will replace making up for the day you missed. However, it is preferable to make up for the days of Sawm one misses on a day other than the Day of `Arafah, so that one may dedicate oneself to Thikr (Remembrance of Allaah), Du`aa’ (supplication) and other acts of worship during Hajj or to fast it voluntarily outside of Hajj. By doing so, one may combine both virtues of observing Sawm voluntarily on the Day of `Arafah and compensation reconciling the opinions of scholars regarding whether compensating for days of Sawm missed during the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah is Makrooh (disliked)… read more here.

Multiplicity of intention for the same deed

Question: Is it permissible to perform an act of worship with more than one intention? For example, one may have to observe Sawm (Fast) to make up for a day missed during Ramadaan. Is it permissible to intend both, making up for that day and observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah), i.e. having two intentions; one for compensation and another for voluntary Sawm? Another example, may one combine the performance of Hajj and `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) at the time of Hajj? Please inform us, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: It is permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as the day one has to make up for, which replaces that day. However, by doing so, one will not receive the exclusive reward of observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as there is no evidence to substantiate it. As for combining the performance of Hajj `Umrah, it is approved of by the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement: `Umrah has been incorporated in Hajj until the Day of Resurrection... read more here.

The Day of `Arafah coinciding with a Saturday

Question: People here differed regarding observing Sawm (Fast) on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) this year as it coincides with Saturday. Some said they observed Sawm on the Day of `Arafah because it was the Day of `Arafah not because it was Saturday on which observance of Sawm is prohibited. Others did not observe Sawm because it was Saturday, the Jews’ day of worship, and they wanted to act in contradiction to the Jews. As for myself, I was of the latter opinion. I am confused as to what the Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling is on this issue. I researched it in many religious and Sharee`ah books; however, I did not reach a decisive ruling on observing Sawm on such a day. I hope that Your Honor will guide me to the Shar`ee ruling and send it me in a written document. May Allaah reward you for this in this life and the Hereafter and for the beneficial knowledge you give to all Muslims.

Answer: Observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah on its own, whether it coincides with Saturday or otherwise, is permissible. In fact, coincidence with any day of the week will make no difference in this regard, as observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah is an independent Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet). Moreover, the Hadeeth prohibiting observing Sawm on Saturday is Da`eef (a Hadeeth that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) as it is Hadeeth Mudtarib (a Hadeeth with disagreement over a transmitter or the text) that conflicts with authentic Hadeeth... read more here.

The Day of `Arafah coinciding with a Friday

Question: Controversy arose among the seekers of religious knowledge, not to mention the masses, regarding observing Sawm (fast) on Friday if it coincides with the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah). Is it permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah alone if it happens to be on a Friday? Or, should a person observe Sawm on a day preceding or succeeding it, bearing in mind that the former case conflicts with the Hadeeth prohibiting the observance of Sawm on Friday alone? We hope that Your Eminence will make this issue clear providing the sound Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling. May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: It is permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah alone if it happens to be on a Friday without observing Sawm on a day preceding or succeeding it as the Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have urged people to observe Sawm on this day highlighting its superiority and the great reward for observing Sawm on it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fasting the Day of `Arafah forgives the sins of two years: the previous and the following. As for the Day of `Aashoora’ i.e. the tenth of Muharram, it forgives the sins of the previous year. Related by Ahmad, Muslim and Aboo Daawood... read more here.

Fasting a day along with the Day of `Arafah

Question: May we, in our country, observe Sawm (fast) for two days as a precaution to be sure of observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah)? Radio broadcasts tell us that tomorrow is the Day of `Arafah, while it coincides with the 8th of Thul-Hijjah according to our calendar.

Answer: The Day of `Arafah is the day when pilgrims stand in `Arafah (performing one of the rituals of Hajj). Observing Sawm on this day is permissible except for a person who is actually performing Hajj. Thus, if you like, you may observe Sawm on this day... read more here.

Estimation of deeds is for Allaah alone

Question: If someone misses ten days of fasting in Ramadaan due to a Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) excuse, and then fasts the six days of Shawwaal after Ramadaan without making up for the missed days of Ramadaan, will they attain the Thawaab (reward from Allaah) promised for fasting the whole month of Ramadaan then following it with fasting the six days of Shawwaal? Will it be as if they have fasted for the whole year? Guide us, and may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: Determining the rewards of the deeds performed by a servant of Allaah is the special domain of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He). If a servant seeks the reward of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and exerts themselves in their obedience to Allaah, their reward will not be lost. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost. Anyone who still has missed days of Ramadaan which they need to make up for should first fast them, and then fast the six days of Shawwaal. Following the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan with six days of Shawwal will not be fulfilled unless one has first completed the Sawm of Ramadaan... read more here.

We hear that anyone who fasts regularly should not give up doing so, is it correct?

Question: If a person, who is used to fasting the six days of Shawwaal regularly, becomes sick, hindered, or feels lazy to fast them in one of the years, is this a sin? We hear that anyone who fasts them regularly should not give up doing so.

Answer: Fasting the Six Days of Shawwaal after the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) is an act of Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). It is not obligatory upon anyone who fasts them once or more to continually fast them. It is not a sin to abstain from fasting them... read more here.

Should the voluntary Sawm (Fast) of the six days of Shawwaal be observed directly after Ramadaan?

Question: Should the voluntary Sawm (Fast) of the six days of Shawwaal be observed directly after Ramadaan, following the day of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast), or is it permissible to start observing it several days after ‘Eed-ul-Fitr, during the month of Shawwaal?

Answer: It is not necessary to observe this Sawm directly after ‘Eed-ul-Fitr. It is permissible to start observing it one or more days afterwards. The six days can be observed either consecutively or separately during the month of Shawwaal, whichever is easier. This matter is open to choice, as this Sawm is Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship), not Fareedah (obligatory act)... read more here.

Fasting six days in Shawwaal after the end of Ramadaan

Question: What is your legal opinion on fasting six days in Shawwaal after the end of Ramadaan? I read in Muwatta’ Imam Malik that Imaam Maalik ibn Anas said, regarding the fasting of the six days of Shawwaal, that he never saw one of the scholars or jurists fasting on these days. He was also never informed that any of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) did this. The scholars also regarded it as Makrooh (disliked) and feared that it might be an act of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion), and that these days might be wrongly considered as part of Ramadaan. This was stated in the Muwatta’, vol. 1, no. 228.

Answer: It was authentically reported on the authority of Aboo Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who fasts Ramadaan and then follows it with six days of Shawwaal it is as if they fasted the whole year. (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Aboo Daawood, and Al-Tirmithee) This Hadeeth Saheeh (authentic Hadeeth) is evidence that fasting six days of Shawwaal is an act of Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet), which was acted upon by Al-Shaafi‘ee, Ahmad,and a group of other eminent scholars... read more here.

Permissibility of fasting the 13th, 14th and 15th, Mondays and Thursdays of lunar months

Question: My paternal grandmother observes Sawm (fast) three days a month plus every Monday and Thursday intending to do good deeds. However, she wasinformed that observing Sawm on these days is impermissible. We wish that Your Eminence will give us a fatwaa’ in this regard. May Allaah show mercy to you and reward you well!

Answer: Observing Sawm on Monday and Thursday is permissible. It is related by Aboo Daawood on the authority of Usaamah ibn Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with both of them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied to the question of why he always observed Sawm on Monday and Thursday saying: The works of the people are presented (to Allaah) on Monday and Thursday. In another narration: I would like my deeds to be shown (to Allaah) while I am fasting. This Hadeeth clearly indicates that observing Sawm on Monday and Thursday is permissible and is a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet). Moreover, observing Sawm for three days of every month is also a Sunnah as stated in the Hadeeth authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him)... read more here.

What is the ruling on breaking voluntary Sawm (fast); is it a sin?

Question: What is the ruling on breaking voluntary Sawm (fast); is it a sin?

Answer: A person observing voluntary Sawm may break it and will not have to make up for it. In fact, a person observing voluntary fast is given free rein regarding voluntary Sawm whether before or after commencing it... read more here.

Drinking water thinking it is still night while offering voluntary Sawm

Question: Today, Tuesday, is the fourth day of my fasting for the Six Days of Shawwaal. This morning, I woke up annoyed and looked at the clock; it was 04:15 A.M. The Athaan (call to Prayer) of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer is announced at 04:35 A.M. So I smoked a cigarette and drank some water and then went to the Masjid (mosque). I found someone sleeping there, so I woke him up to illuminate the Masjid in preparation for Fajr Prayer. The man told me that they had offered Fajr Prayer at its due time, i.e. at 4:55 A.M. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 5:30 A.M. And not 4:30 A.M. As I had first thought. However, I continued my Sawm (Fast). Can you tell me the ruling on this? May Allaah forgive you and me!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, your Sawm on that day is not counted as valid by Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law). Your Sawm was spoiled because you drank some water after Fajr Prayer in error, neglecting to find out the exact time... read more here.

Discontinuing a habit of voluntary Sawm

Question: I am accustomed to observing voluntary Sawm (fast) for three days of every month. However, I sometimes get so tired that I cannot observe such a Sawm. Am I sinful for not observing it? Is the reward of the previous observance of Sawm recorded for me or does abandoning this Sawm decrease the reward? Is it obligatory on every person who observes Sawm for three days of every month to do so regularly?

Answer: You will receive the reward of the previous Sawm you observed. Moreover, you are not sinful for abandoning voluntary Sawm... read more here.

Fasting three days each month as a substitution for fasting Mondays and Thursdays

Question: Is observing Sawm (Fast) on the White Days sufficient for the Sawm of Monday and Thursday as well?

Answer: The Sawm of the White Days i.e. (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree month) and the weekly Sawm of Mondays and Thursdays is an independent legitimate form of `Ibaadah (worship). Whichever sort of Sawm someone intends, they are rewarded for it... read more here.

The best days for voluntary Sawm and the best months for paying Zakaah

Question: Which days are most recommendable to observe voluntary Sawm (Fast) and which months are most recommendable to pay Zakaah (obligatory charity)?

Answer: The most recommendable days to observe voluntary Sawm are Mondays, Thursdays, the White Days (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree [lunar] month), the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah, especially the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah), the 10th of Muharram along with one day before or after it, and the six days of Shawwaal... read more here.