Sawm (fasting) means to refrain from eating, drinking and cohabiting from subha sãdiq (early dawn) to sunset with a niyyah (intention) of observing fast.
Fasting in the month of Ramadhãn is one of the five pillars of Islãm and is fardh (compulsory) upon every Muslim who is sane and mature. Fasting has many physical, moral, and social benefits. However, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى has made fasting compulsory so that we become pious and God-fearing.
Fasting will not be valid without niyyah. It is not necessary to express the niyyah in words. However, it is preferable to recite:-
Allahumma asoomu laka ghadan
(O Allah tomorrow I shall be fasting for you only).
In the case of Ramadhãn, it is better to make niyyah in the night. However, should a person fail to do so, then it is permitted to make the niyyah during the day before zawãl (midday).
MUSTAHAB (DESIRABLE) ACTS IN FASTING
- To eat sehri (the meal before subha sãdiq).
- To delay the sehri up to a little before subha sãdiq (early dawn)
- To break the fast immediately after sunset.
- To break the fast with dates. If dates
- are not available then with water.
- To recite this du’ã at the time of breaking the fast :
Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika ãmantu wa‘ala rizqika aftartu
(O Allah! I fasted for You and in You do I believe and with Your provision (food) do I break my fast).
THINGS MAKROOH (DETESTABLE) WHILE FASTING
- To chew items such as rubber, plastic,etc.
- To taste food or drink and spit it out.
- To collect one’s saliva in the mouth and then swallow it.
- To clean teeth or mouth with toothpowder or toothpaste
- To complain of hunger or thirst.
- To quarrel, argue with filthy words.
THINGS THAT BREAK THE FAST
- To eat, drink or indulge in cohabitation intentionally.
- To burn agarbatti (incense) and inhale its smoke.
- If water goes down the throat while gargling.
- To vomit mouthful intentionally. To swallow vomit intentionally.
- To swallow something edible, equal to or bigger than a grain of gram, which was stuck between the teeth. However, if it is first taken out of the mouth and then swallowed, it will break the fast whether it is smaller or bigger than the size of the grain.
- To drop oil or medicine into ear or nose.
- To swallow the blood from gums with saliva. However, if the blood is less than the saliva and its taste is not felt then the fast will not break.
- To eat and drink forgetting one is fasting and thereafter, thinking that the fast is broken to eat and drink again
- To apply medicine to the anus
- For women to apply medicine to the urinary organs
- To swallow intentionally a pebble, piece of paper or any item that is not used as food or medicine
- In all the above circumstances, only a single fast will become qadhã except in the case of number one (1), where qadhã and kaffãrah both will become obligatory. (Consult a ‘Ãlim regarding the rules of kaffãrah).
THINGS THAT DO NOT BREAK THE FAST
- To eat, drink or indulge in cohabitation in forgetfulness.
- To vomit without intention.
- To vomit intentionally less than a mouthful.
- To have a wet dream.
- To oil the hair.
- To use Surma (collyrium) in the eyes
- To drop water or medicine in the eyes.
- To clean teeth with wet or dry miswãk (a stick used for cleaning teeth).
- To apply or smell attar (perfume).
- To swallow a fly, mosquito, smoke or dust unintentionally.
- To swallow one’s saliva or phlegm.
- To clean teeth with wet or dry miswãk (a stick used for cleaning teeth).To apply or smell attar (perfume).
- To swallow a ﬂy, mosquito, smoke or dust unintentionally.
- To swallow one’s saliva or phlegm.
- Water entering the ears.
- To take an injection.
SUNNAHS IN THE MONTH OF RAMADHÃ
- To observe taraweeh
- To increase recitation of the Glorious Holy Quran
- To observe itikaf during the last ten days of Ramadham
- Sawm (Fasting)
- Sawm is a shield, as long as he (the fasting person) does not tear it up. (Nasa’ee)
Fasting is a protection from Shaytãn or from Allah’s punishment in the Hereafter. One who indulges in sins whilst fasting such as lying, backbiting etc., they become the cause of the fast becoming wasted.
All good deeds are for the one who renders them, but Fasting. Fasting is exclusively for me (Allah). (Bukhãri)
Fasting is a shield and a powerful fortress. (Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
I swear by that being in whose possession is the life of Muhammad! The odour of the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk. (Bukhãri)
Fasting is exclusively for Allah, the reward of it (being limitless) no one knows besides Allah. (Tabrãni)
Verily, Allah and His angels send mercy upon those who eat suhoor. (Tabrãni)
Eat suhoor because in suhoor lies barakah. (Mishkãt)
Whosoever gives something to a fasting person in order to break the fast, for him there shall be forgiven for his sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam; and for him (the one who gives) shall be the same reward as for him (who he fed), without that person’s (the one who was fed) reward being diminished in the last. (Ibne Khuzaymah, Bayhaqi)
Whoever gave a person, who fasted, water to drink, Alla shall give him a drink from my fountain where after he shall never feel thirsty until he enters Jannah. (Ibne Khuzaymah)
The fasting person experiences two (occasions) of delight: at the time of iftãr and at the time he will meet his Rabb. (Bukhãri)
Not a single prayer made by a fasting person at the time of breaking fast is rejected. (Ibne Mãjah).