title: What Are the Requirements of Sincere Repentance?,
By Editorial Staff
Definition of Tawbah
Tawbah (repentance) is an Arabic word which means in language to return. In the technical usage of the term, it means to return from disobedience of Allah’s commands to His obedience.
The greatest and most important kind of repentance is to desist from disbelief and revert to belief in Islam. Allah says,
“Say to those who disbelieve that if they desist (from unbelief) what (they have done) in the past shall be forgiven them.” (Quran 8:38)
Then, repenting of major sins comes second in importance. Next is the third kind which is to repent of minor sins.
The legal ruling concerning tawbah
It’s obligatory to repent of all sins. There are many proofs from the Quran, the Sunnah and also the Consensus that indicate the obligation of tawbah (repentance). Allah says,
“Moreover, you shall (all) seek forgiveness from your Lord. Then repent to Him.” (Quran 11:3)
“But turn all together to God in repentance, O you believers, so that you may be successful.” Quran 24:31)
“O you who believe! Repent to God with a most sincere repentance.” (Quran 66:8)
Al-Agharr al-Muzani who was from amongst the Companions of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) reported that Ibn ‘Umar stated to him that Allah’s Messenger (may peace ‘be upon him) said:
O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day. (Muslim)
The stipulations concerning sincere repentance
The number of stipulations differs according to the kind of sin. If the sin committed is between the person and Allah, there will be three stipulations (2, 3 and 4 mentioned below). On the other hand, if the sin committed is related to other people’s rights, there will be four stipulations( 2, 3, 4 and 5 mentioned below). There are other scholars who mention more stipulations than these three or four. These are stipulations 1 and 6 mentioned below. However, the three or four are the most famous among scholars. Now, let us consider these stipulations!
1. Sincerity to Allah
Some scholars add this stipulation to the most famous ones discussed below while others think that it is implied in other stipulations.
Observing this stipulation here means the penitent person must intend to seek the Face of Allah. Moreover, he or she hopes that Allah will accept his or her repentance and forgive whatever acts of disobedience he or she has committed. If one’s intention is to make a show to deceive people, such repentance is invalid.
2. Feeling deep regret and sorrow for having committed acts of disobedience
Compunction is the feeling that shows the person’s repentance is truthful. The person who does not feel regret about the past sins he or she has committed but brags about committing them, his or her repentance will definitely not be accepted.
3. Giving up the sin
Sins include not fulfilling duties or obligatory acts of worship and/ or committing prohibited acts of disobedience. For instance, if a person does not perform obligatory prayer or does not give zakat (almsgiving), he or she must fulfill these pillars so that his or her repentance can be valid and accepted. On the other hand, if a person drinks alcohol or deals in usury, he or she must give up these sins immediately.
4. Firmly resolving not to commit such sins again
If a person repents with the intention to commit the same sin again when he or she has the chance, such repentance will not be accepted as the person is not truthful or sincere in his or her repentance.
However, if the penitent person duly fulfills this stipulation with a sincere intention and resolve not to commit such sins again but was later on overcome by his or her weaknesses, his or her repentance will still be sincere and valid. Such person should not despair or give up repenting to Allah because that’s exactly what the Satan wants. The Muslim person should always renew repentance every time he or she indulges in acts of disobedience. It doesn’t matter how many times a person is overcome by his or her weaknesses so long as he or she is truthful and sincere in repentance.
5. To give people their rights back
If the sin has to do with people’s rights, then this extra condition must be fulfilled. This stipulation includes preserving the right of other people whether they are Muslims or not. Repentance will not be valid so long as this stipulation is not fulfilled. Among the most important human rights is to protect people’s lives, honor or reputation and property.
a. Acts of disobedience related to people’s lives
These include homicide, which is one of the gravest and extremely major sins, suicide, acts of aggression, beating or any kind of harm directed towards others. To repent of such crimes or sins, the person must seek the offended people’s pardon. The offended person may choose to get retribution, accept blood money or to pardon. Allah says,
“For the recompense of a misdeed shall be a misdeed like it. Yet one who (instead) pardons (an offender) and sets things aright, his reward shall be with God. (For), indeed, He does not love the wrongdoers.” (Quran 42:40)
b. Acts of disobedience related to honor or reputation
These include backbiting, slander, libel and any action that involves defamation or using swear words.
In any of these cases or similar ones, the offender must seek the offended people’s pardon so that his or her repentance can be accepted.
c. Acts of disobedience related to other people’s property
These include stealing, usury, bribes, deception and any misappropriation of people’s wealth by using wrongful means.
For the repentance to be accepted, one must return other people’s properties to them. If the rightful owner of the stolen property has died, the perpetrator of such crime must return it to the heirs. If there are not any heirs, the perpetrator must give this money to charity.
6. Repentance must take place in a time when it can be valid
Any person can always repent to Allah at any time except in two cases:
a. At the time of death, repentance becomes invalid.
An example of this is the repentance of the pharaoh of Egypt who showed repentance while drowning in the middle of the sea. In general, the repentance of a person who has become certain of his or her near death is out of place. Allah says,
Yet there is (acceptance of) repentance with God only for those who do evil out of ignorance then repent soon after. It is to such as these whom God will grant repentance. And ever is God all-knowing, all-wise. But there is no repentance for those who (continue to) do (great) sins until, when death approaches one of them, he says: I do, indeed, repent now! Nor (is there repentance) for those who die while they are disbelievers. For such as these, We have made ready a most painful torment. (Quran 4:17-18)
b. When the sun rises from the west, Allah will no longer accept repentance.
“On a Day when some (of the awesome) signs of your Lord shall come (at the end of time, sudden) belief will not benefit a soul that has not believed before, nor (a soul that has not) earned any good from its belief Say (to them): Wait! Indeed, we too are waiting.” (Quran 6:158)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the West: and when the people see it, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth will have faith, and that is (the time) when
No good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before.” (Quran 6:158) (Al-Bukhari)
So, repentance must take place in a time when it can be valid and accepted so that the penitent can benefit from it.
title: Egypt’s 2019 AFCON: Here Are Teams with Key Muslim Players,
The 2019 continental Africa Cup of Nations will start in few days, precisely on June 21, in Egypt.
The 32nd edition of the biennial competition will be the first enlarged version to be contested between 24 teams.
Because of the massive number of Muslim players and countries participating in the tournament, it was moved from its original dates of 15 June – 13 July because of Ramadan as hundreds of religiously devoted players were fasting during the holy month.
Half of the teams come from Muslim countries in different regions of Africa. Here are some facts on some prominent Muslim players in some of the participating teams.
Egypt, the Host Nation
The host nation Egypt, where Muslims represent 90% of its population, is the most successful country in the cup’s history, winning the tournament a record of seven times. Egyptian winger and forward Mohamed Salah is considered by experts to be one of the best players in the world.
Another Muslim country participating in the competition is Tunisia where Muslim form 98% of its population. The Tunisian team won one African Cup of Nations in 2004 and it has been runner-up twice in 1965 and 1996.
Wahbi Khazri, who plays for French Ligue 1 side Saint-Étienne, is one of the most prominent players in the Tunisia national team.
Senegal is a country where Muslims constitute 92% of its total population.
Established in the early 1960s, the Senegalese national football team has been a regular competitor in the Africa Cup of Nations, where their best performance was being a runner-up in 2002.
Sadio Mané, 27, is the captain of the Muslim West African country of Senegal. Mané has earned 60 caps for Senegal since his debut in 2012 and represented the national team at the 2012 Olympics, 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A few days ago, Mané won the 2019 Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals.
The most populous African country, Nigeria, where Muslims form the majority by 55%, has also qualified for the Nations cup. Nigeria is three-time winners. In 1994, it was ranked 5th as the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African team.
Ahmed Musa is one of the best players in the Nigerian national team. Born in Nigeria in October 1992, the Muslim player was among the key players who played for Nigeria in the World Cup 2014. The forward player currently plays for Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr.
Hailing from the Muslim country of Mali where 90% of its population adhere to Islam, the Malian team was the runner-up of the 1972 edition. It has qualified for the cup eleven times, finishing as 3rd twice, and 4th three times.
19-Year-old Sékou Koïta is one of the most important players in the Malian national team. He plays for forward for Austrian Football Bundesliga club Wolfsberger AC and the Mali national team. He is on loan from FC Liefering.
Morocco has also qualified to the awaited tournament. In fact, about 99% of Moroccans are Muslim. As one of Africa’s most prestigious football teams, Morocco is the winner of the 1976 African Nations Cup. The team was also the runner-up of 2004 edition.
Hakim Ziyech, who plays as an attacking midfielder for Ajax and for the Morocco national team, is known for his finishing, dribbling, speed, technique and free kick ability.
About 85% of Guinea’s population believes in Islam. Their Guinea national football team was the runner-up of the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations. It reached the quarter-finals in four editions 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2015.
Naby Laye Keïta, 24, is a Guinean professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool and captains the Guinea national team.
Another participant team is Algeria where 99% of the country’s population adheres to Islam. The Algerian football national team won the African Cup of Nations once in 1990 when they were the hosts.
Algerian team puts hopes on many starts including Islam Slimani who plays as a striker for Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe on loan from Leicester City.
As a newcomer in the cup, Mauritania made history on November 18, 2018, when they succeeded in qualifying to their first ever African Cup of Nations. About 99% of Mauritanians adhere to Islam.
Cheikh El Khalil Moulaye Ahmed, more commonly known as Bessam, who currently plays for Ligue 1 Mauritania club FC Nouadhibou, is one of the Mauritanian team stars.
Countries with Predominantly Muslim Population
The national football team of Côte d’Ivoire which qualified to the cup has previously won two editions in 1992 and 2015. It achieved the 2nd place twice and the 3rd place four times. Islam is the most followed religion in Côte d’Ivoire as Muslims form the plurality religious group by 43%.
Guinea Bissau succeeded in returning to the cup after their first participation in the previous 2017 edition. Islam is the most followed religion in Guinea Bissau as Muslims form the plurality religious group by 45%.
After 39 years from their debut in the 1980 edition, Tanzania succeeded on March 24, 2019, to qualify to the cup. About 50% of Tanzania’s total population adheres to Islam.
As a newcomer in the cup, Mauritania made history on November 18, 2018, when they succeeded in qualifying to their first ever African Cup of Nations. About 99% of Mauritanians adhere to Islam.
Moreover, several Muslim players can also be found in the other 12 participating teams.
title: The Intention and Its Relation to Acceptance of Deeds,
By Editorial Staff
For actions to be accepted and rewarded by Allah there are two crucial prerequisites:
(1) Sincerity or having a valid intention
(2) Performing the action properly, namely, performing it according to the way the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did it.
This article will mainly discuss the first prerequisite.
It is obligatory for every Muslim before observing an act of worship to make sure that the intention is purely sincere for the sake of Allah. Sincerity is the criterion that is used here to evaluate and judge one’s internal actions i.e. actions of the heart. Allah says,
“Though they were not commanded but to worship (One) God making the (practice of their) religion (pure and) sincere to Him (alone), being ever upright (of heart)” (Quran 98:5)
The difference between the two prerequisites:
The place of the intention is the heart, so it is only Allah Who knows what is in the hearts. Moreover, no one can tell whether an action is valid or invalid provided that the other external prerequisites are met. It is the external elements of an action that allow a certain person to judge a certain act. So, Scholars can judge people’s actions according to only prerequisite two mentioned above. The person may perform a deed that is apparently good or valid, but in reality it misses the good intention. That’s why it is not acceptable.
In the Hereafter, Allah will reward or punish people according to what they harbor in their hearts. Allah says,
“on a Day (Hereafter) when (all man’s) inner secrets shall be examined!” (Quran 86:9)
“Does he not, then, know that when all that is in the graves is unearthed, and all that is (harbored) within the breast (of people) is collected” (Quran 100:9-10)
The greatest hadith related to intention or sincerity:
Indeed, it is not appropriate to write about sincerity or intention without referring to the following hadith:
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say:
“Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
This is one of the greatest hadiths to the extent that some scholars consider it to be one third of the knowledge of Islam. One explanation for this is that people use three things to perform an act of worship: the heart, the tongue and the limbs. In addition, this hadith is related to all the rulings of Islam and fiqh (jurisprudence) and the principles of the Sunnah. “If anyone wants to write a book (related to hadith or Islamic sciences), he or she should start with the hadith that is related to intentions”, the great scholar of hadith, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi said. This highlights the importance of this hadith as all acts of worship require a good intention.
As for the meaning of this vital principle (“Actions are judged by intentions”), it is as follows. Whether an action is accepted, valid and rewarded or not depends on the validity of the intention. Another meaning is that it is the intention that drives a person to perform a certain act. However, the first meaning is the preferred one.
How to observe the niyyah (intention):
1. To intend to do a certain act of worship
The meaning of “intention” here requires a person to specify whether a certain act is compulsory or recommended or for example to specify whether one is going to perform the Dhuhr (the noon prayer) or ‘Asr (the afternoon prayer). This sometimes helps to differentiate between acts of worship and habits. Thus, anyone wants to take a bath, he or she has to specify whether this is a ritual bath for removing major ritual impurity or a usual bath taken for just personal hygiene. This is the most common meaning used among jurists.
2. To intend to do a certain act for the sake of Allah
Here one must specify whether he or she is going to perform a certain act of worship for the sake of Allah or not. This is the most common meaning used by early scholars. Allah says,
“Among you being those who desire this world, and among you being those who desire the Hereafter.” (Quran 3: 152)
3. To intend to do a certain act out of obedience to Allah
It is absolutely perfect if one observes those three elements of intention before all acts of worship.
Areas where the above mentioned hadith can be applied:
It is known that intention is compulsory before performing an act of worship. Permissible deeds can be included in the application of that hadith. If one for example eats with the intention of having more energy or being more active to observe the rites of worship, he or she will be rewarded for that. Allah says,
“Say (to them): Indeed, my Prayer and my rites (of worship) and my life and my death are for God (alone), Lord of (All) the Worlds. No partner is there for Him. And to this I have been commanded. Moreover, I am the foremost of those who are Muslims, in willing submission to God (alone).” (Quran 6:162-163)
Actions of hearts are another area where intention can be observed. For instance, being patient should be solely for the sake of Allah. Allah says,
“These (are the ones who) endure (distress and duties) with patience, seeking (only) the Face of their Lord.” (Quran 13:22)
Upright testimonies also should be administered for the sake of Allah. In addition, giving to charity, spending on one’s family, loving, hating, giving, withholding, etc. should be for the sake of Allah.
Is it correct to utter the niyyah (intention) verbally?
The preferred opinion is that it is not obligatory to utter the niyyah verbally as there is no proof from the Quran or the Sunnah that denotes that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do this.
title: Ramadan Is Not the End! It’s a New Start!,
By Editorial Staff
Kinds of people after Ramadan
1. The successful ones
The Blessed month of Ramadan during which Muslims have performed many acts of worship is now over. It acts as a witness for or against people.
Those who spared no effort to observe as many acts of worship as they could must be ecstatic with happiness. This is because they have successfully completed their fasting. They hope that the month is not only a witness but that it is also their intercessor on the Day of Judgment. Moreover, they have got rid of their past sins.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The same reward is granted to those who also performed the tarawih (night prayer). Every Muslim who observed fasting and tarawih prays to Allah to accept their good deeds.
2. The Most successful ones
Out of precaution, good people fear that their actions are not accepted because of likely shortcomings that may be there in their worship. That’s why they ask Allah to accept their fasting, tarawih, recitation of the Quran, giving in charity and the other good deeds they have performed.
It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah,
“And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear.” (Quran 23:60)
Is this the one who commits adultery, steals and drinks alcohol?’
He said: ‘No, O daughter of Abu Bakr’ – O daughter of Siddiq – rather it is a man who fasts and gives charity and prays, but he fears that those will not be accepted from him.’” (Ibn Majah and Al-Tirmidhi)
Ibn kathir and Al-Albany declared this Hadith as authentic.
3. The unsuccessful ones
On the other hand, there are others who are happy because Ramadan is over. They do not like it to perform fasting and other acts of worship. Those lazy people often neglect performing the compulsory acts of worship. That’s why one can find the number of Muslims observing prayer in mosques decreases after Ramadan.
Such people should ask themselves whether their deeds are accepted. They should be truthful if they really seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.
Signs of acceptance
There are signs that denote that one’s good deeds are accepted. One of these signs is that one finds themselves more steadfast and unwavering in abiding by the rituals of Islam. The progress in worship and behavior Muslims make by the end of Ramadan denotes their success in benefitting from Ramadan.
On the contrary, there are people who have not made any progress. They are still lazy to do acts of worship. Thus, their condition after Ramadan is the same as or even worse than before it. This denotes non-acceptance of their worship.
In fact, they have not seized the opportunity to gain the great rewards of the blessed month. They may not have the chance to live until the next Ramadan. We ask Allah, Almighty, to guide such people to repentance and to shower them with His mercy.
Worship is not over after Ramadan
If the month of Ramadan is over, this does not mean the time of worship is over. Allah says,
“And worship your Lord (thus) – until the certainty (of death) comes to you.” (Quran 15:99)
We can understand from this aya that one should continue to worship Allah as long as he is alive because no one knows the specific time of his or her death. It’s everyone’s hope to die while they are in the best state of maintaining the rituals of Islam and closeness to Allah. To achieve this goal, one should consider the following aya. Allah says,
“O you who believe! Be ever God-fearing, with a fear justly due Him. And do not die, except while you are muslims, in willing submission to God (alone).” (Quran 3:102)
When interpreting this Aya, Imam Ibn Kathir, the great commentator of the Quran, said, “Preserve your Islam while you are well and safe, so that you die as a Muslim. The Most Generous Allah has made it His decision that whatever state one lives in, that is what he dies upon and is resurrected upon. We seek refuge from dying on other than Islam.”
In fact, good deeds should still be observed all the year round. Fasting, performing night prayer, reciting the Gracious Quran, giving in charity, making du’aa (supplication) and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil are just a few examples. Let us look at one or two of these kinds of worship!
Although fasting is compulsory in Ramadan, it is still recommended in the other months. In Shawwal, it is recommended to fast six days.
Abu Ayyub (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who observes Al-Sawm (the fasts) in the month of Ramadan, and also observes Al-Sawm for six days in the month of Shawwal, it is as if he has observed Al-Sawm for the whole year.” (Muslim)
One can start to perform those six days from Shawwal 2 because it is prohibited to fast the first day of Shawwal. They may be observed consecutively or separately during the month.
The other supererogatory fasts
The other recommended fasts during the year include fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and for three days every month, the 13th, the 14th and the 15th.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would also encourage Muslims to do more acts of worship on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month in the lunar calendar. This includes fasting on those days. Moreover, the reward for fasting on the Day of Arafat, the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, is the forgiveness of the sins of two years, one before and one after that day. It should be noted that it is not recommended for the pilgrim to fast the Day of Arafat. The reward of the pilgrim for standing on Arafat and doing other acts of worship is the forgiveness of all past sins. So, the pilgrim does not fast on that day to be better able to do more acts of worship.
It is also highly recommended to fast a lot of days of Al-Muharram, the first month in the lunar calendar. Fasting the 10th day of Al-Muharram forgives the sins of the previous year. Also, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast most days of Sha’ban.
The night prayer
The night prayer is not exclusively recommended in Ramadan. It can still be performed at every night of the year.
Narrated Abu Hurairah:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is Allah’s month al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after the prescribed prayer is the prayer during night. (Muslim)
The night prayer is one of the best acts of worship that brings the Muslim closer to Allah. In addition, it is a symbol of goodness and excellence. Allah says,
“Little of the night did they lie down. For at night’s end they were seeking (God’s) forgiveness.” (Quran 51: 17-18)
Reciting the Gracious Quran
Reciting the Gracious Quran should be part and parcel of the Muslim’s everyday life. There are several ayat (verses) from the Quran and many hadiths that encourage Muslims to read the Quran, study its meanings and reflect upon its admonitions. The Muslim should spend some time to do this even if it is ten minutes. Allah says,
“Indeed, those who recite the Book of God, and who (duly) establish the Prayer, and who spend (charitably) from what We have provided them, secretly and openly- they have hope in a (blessed) transaction that shall never come to ruin- that He may give them their rewards (in full) and increase them evermore from His bounty. Indeed, He is all-forgiving, ever-thankful.” (Quran 35: 29-30)
There are a lot of other acts of worship which every Muslim should do a share of it. May Allah accept our and your good deeds! Ameen!
title: Etiquette and Legal Rulings of the `Eid Day,
‘Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) are the only two main festivals in Islam.
There are certain acts of worship and etiquette Muslims should observe on those days to express their gratitude to Allah. Among these acts of worship is the ‘Eid prayer. Allah says,
“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)
The legal ruling regarding the `Eid prayer
Scholars hold different opinions concerning performing the ‘Eid prayer. There are three rulings as follows:
1. Individually obligatory
This means that every Muslim must perform it. This is the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah and Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah. They quoted the following Hadith to support their opinion:
Umm ‘Atiyya reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to bring out on ‘Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) young women, menstruating women and purdah-observing ladies, menstruating women kept back from prayer, but participated in goodness and supplication of the Muslims. I said: Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have an outer garment (to cover her face and body). He said: Let her sister cover her with her outer garment. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
They interpret the commandment in the hadith to mean obligation. Although it is not obligatory for women to perform the prayer in congregation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered them to witness the ‘Eid prayer. This, in turn, means that it is obligatory for men.
2. Collectively obligatory
This means that the ‘Eid prayer must be performed. Here, not every single person falls under the obligation. A group can perform the obligation on behalf of others.
This opinion is, however, not that strong. If the ‘Eid prayer is collectively obligatory, women won’t fall under the obligation which is in contradiction with the above mentioned Hadith.
3. Sunnah or recommended
If we take the following Hadith into consideration, we can understand the commandment in the above mentioned hadith to mean recommendation. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars.
A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours).” The man asked, “Is there any more (praying)?” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) replied, “No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil (voluntary) prayers (you can).” … And then that man retreated saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The time of ‘Eid prayer
The ‘Eid prayer has the same time as Duha prayer. Duha means the morning sunshine. In the technical usage it refers to a specific time that starts about 10 or 15 minutes after the sunrise and finishes 10 or 15 minutes before the Dhuhr (noon) prayer or before it’s high noon i.e. when the sun starts to move from its highest point in the sky towards the direction of the sunset.
The place of its performance
It is recommended that the ‘Eid prayer be performed in the open, namely, outside mosques in a wide place. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to perform it in the desert. However, the place should be near so that it can be easy for people to attend.
It is reprehensible to perform the ‘Eid prayer in mosques without any legal excuse.
The recommended acts of the Day of ‘Eid
1. Eating before ‘Eid prayer on ‘Eid al-Fitr and after it on ‘Eid al Ad-ha
On ‘Eid al-Fitr, it is recommended to eat dates or something else if there is not any before going out to perform the prayer. This shows how obedient Muslims are in hastening to fulfill Allah’s commands by breaking the fast.
On ‘Eid al-Ad-ha, it is recommended to eat after the ‘Eid prayer. If a person offers a sacrifice on this day, it is recommended to eat from what they offered.
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of ‘Eid al-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to eat odd number of dates.
2. Going out for the ‘Eid prayer in the early hours of the morning
One can go out after performing the fajr (Dawn) prayer. Only the Imam can come on the time of the prayer.
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to proceed to the Musalla (the place of the prayer) on the days of ‘Eid al-Fitr and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer… (Al-Bukhari)
3. Going to the place of the prayer on foot
Legal excuses such as sickness, the place for prayer is far, etc. allow the person to ride.
4. Taking a ritual bath and to putting on perfume
Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to take a ritual bath before proceeding to perform the ‘Eid prayer.
5. Wearing clean and nice clothes
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Buy this cloak and adorn yourself with it on the ‘Eid festivals and on meeting the delegations.” (Al-Bukhari)
6. Going through one route and returning through another one
Scholars say the wisdom behind that is to emulate Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). There are other opinions regarding this, however, this is the preferred one.
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
On the occasion of the ‘Eid, the Prophet (ﷺ) would proceed to the prayer place taking one route and returning from another. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
7. Reciting Takbir in a loud voice
“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)
‘Extol God’ means to say takbir. One starts to recite takbir when he comes out of his house and after he reaches the place of the prayer. This continues till the time of the prayer.
The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the time for takbir on ‘Eid al-Fitr starts from after the dawn prayer until the time for performing the ‘Eid prayer. Others say that it starts immediately after seeing the new moon of the month of Shawwal.
On ‘Eid al-Ad-ha, there are two kinds of takbir with regard to the time of saying it: The first kind, which is recited at any time, starts from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah until the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah. Moreover, the second kind, which is recited after every obligatory prayer, starts from the Fajr (dawn) prayer on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah until the ‘Asr (afternoon) prayer on the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah.
There are many forms of takbir. The following is one of the most famous:
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, and for Allah is all praise).
8. Offering congratulations
Different expressions can be used here such as ‘may Allah accept our and your good deeds’ or ‘Eid Mubarak’ (I wish you a blessed ‘Eid), etc.
title: Excellence and Rulings of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan,
Ramadan is the best of all the months because of the many blessings, favours, mercies, forgiveness and protection from the Hell-fire bestowed upon worshippers during it. One of the best favours ever bestowed upon people is, however, the revelation of the Gracious Quran.
The best book, the Gracious Quran, was revealed to the best of all messengers, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through the best of all angels, Gabriel (peace be upon him) in the best of all the months, Ramadan. Hence, Prophet Muhammad’s Ummah (Community) is the best of all people. Allah says,
“You (believers) are the best Community ever brought forth for (the good of) humankind: You enjoin what is right. And you forbid what is wrong. And you believe in God.” (Quran 3:110)
Having known that Ramadan is the best of all months, you should know that the last ten days and nights of it are the best of these days and nights of the month. On the other hand, there are the first ten days of the last month in the lunar calendar, the month of Dhul-hijjah. The virtues of these days are very well-known in the Gracious Quran and The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Which is better, the last ten days of Ramadan or the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah?
In reply to this question, Shaikh al-Islam, Ibn Taimiyah said,
“The daylight time is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah than the last ten days of Ramadan. However, the nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan than those of Dhul-hijjah.”
The nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan because there is Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree). On the other hand, the daylight is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah because of the 9th day, the Day of Arafat, and the 10th day, Eid Al-Ad-ha. On these two days, Muslims perform most rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage).
The last ten nights of Ramadan
It is highly recommended that people spare no effort in worship during these nights so that they can be among those who worship Allah at the Lailat al-Qadr. The worship of Allah during this night is better than the worship during a thousand months without that night. Also, it is a sunnah of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to increase worship during those nights.
‘A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to strive more in worship during Ramadan than he strove in any other time of the year; and he would devote himself more (in the worship of Allah) in the last ten nights of Ramadan than he strove in earlier part of the month. (Muslim)
It is also recommended that family members encourage each other to spend most of the night worshipping Allah.
‘A’isha (RAA) narrated, ‘With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. keep away from his wives) and used to stay up praying all night, and he would also wake his wives (to pray and recite Qur’an etc..).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree)
Lailat al-Qadr is one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. It’s not known which specific night it is. Allah concealed it to test people so that it can become clear who is keen on seeking its virtues and blessings. To pass the test, Muslims strive to do more acts of worship during these nights. These acts of worship include performing the night prayer, reciting the gracious Quran, making du’a (supplication), etc.
Moreover, Allah concealed it to shower His servants with His Mercy. This means that if people increase their worship during these blessed nights, this will bring them closer to Allah besides the greater reward they shall get. The reward for worship and the virtues of this night is the greatest of all the year. Allah says,
“I swear by the Quran, the clear Book! Indeed, it is We (alone) who have sent it down in a blessed night. For, indeed, it is We (alone) who are giving (humanity) forewarning (of a nearing Judgment). In that (blessed night) every wise affair is determined.” (Quran 44:2-4)
The Quran describes Lailat al-Qadr as a blessed night because of the many virtues and blessings bestowed upon the believers on this night. Moreover, the revelation of the gracious Quran is one of the blessings of this night.
The meanings of “al-Qadr“
First, al-Qadr means decree. So, on Lailat al-Qadr, every wise affair or decree is transferred from the Preserved Tablet of Heaven- the timeless record of all things- to the angelic scribes who write down the decrees of the coming year including life span, provision, and what will happen until the end of the year.
Second, it also means very valuable. Hence, the reward for worship on that night is better and has more value than any other night of the year. It is even much better than the worship during over 83 years.
The reward for performing night prayer on lailat al-Qadr
Muslims spend more time praying on the last ten nights. They perform night prayers after Salat al-‘isha’ (the evening prayer). Because it usually takes a long time, they take a break before they continue to perform Salat Al-Tahjjud (another name for night prayer) usually after midnight.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whosoever performs Qiyam (night prayer) during Lailat al-Qadr (Night of Decree), with Faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his former sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
“Indeed, (it is) We (who) have sent this (Quran) down (from on high) on the Night of (Empowering) Decree. And do you realize what the Night of (Empowering) Decree is. The Night of (Empowering) Decree is better than a thousand months! Therein do the angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) descend, by the permission of their Lord, with every (divine) commandment. Peace it is till the rise of dawn!” (Quran 97)
This is the 97th chapter of the Gracious Quran which also stresses that the Quran was first revealed on that night. The angels descend on this night with goodness, blessings and mercies. Lailat al-Qadr is a night of peace to the believers as a great number of them are freed from the punishment in the Hell-fire. This continues till dawn.
The best du’a (supplication) made during those nights
Du’a is one of the best acts of worship made especially during those nights. Everyone can make his own du’a or plea. However, the following du’a should be made often:
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate:
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [Al-Tirmidhi].
Going on a ritual retreat in a mosque (I’tikaf)
I’tikaf is one of the recommended acts of worship observed for the last ten days of Ramadan. People remain in the mosque to worship Allah. They do not go out of the mosque except for necessary needs. It starts when the sun sets on the 20th day of Ramadan till the end of the month.
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to seclude himself (in the mosque) during the last ten nights of Ramadan. He would say, “Search for Lailat al-Qadr (Night of Decree) in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
If a person cannot observe I’tikaf, they should spend as much time as they can in the mosque especially during the night.
title: Legal Excuses for Breaking the Fast,
If fasting causes any harm to the person or he or she is unable to observe it, this can be a legal excuse that allows him or her to break the fast. There are a lot of excuses; however, this article will discuss the most common issues, i.e. illness, old age, pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Illnesses are temporary or chronic. Temporary illnesses may cause a person to break their fast. In this case, they must make up the missed days after they recuperate. As for chronic illnesses, there will be no chance to make up the missed days. This raises the following questions:
What is the legal ruling regarding an old man or woman who cannot fast or make up the missed days?
What if the person suffers from a chronic disease such as diabetes or kidney failure?
To answer these questions, let us first look at the interpretations of the following ʾaya (verse of the Qurʾan): Allah says:
“It is for a specified number of days. But one among you who is sick or is on a journey shall then fast the same number of other days. Yet for those who are (yuṭīqūnahu) (hardly) able to endure it, and do not fast, the redemption for each day, is feeding an indigent person “instead”.” (Quran 2:184)
Ibn ʿAbbas’s opinion
Ibn ʿAbbās (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) holds the opinion that the word yuṭiqunahu means that if a person finds it very difficult to fast or cannot fast, they should break their fast and feed an indigent person instead.
The majority of the Companions’ Opinion
However, the majority of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them) say that the above mentioned ʾaya is abrogated.
In fact, the obligation of fasting was gradual. At first, it was optional for a person to fast or to feed an indigent person. Then, fasting became obligatory and the option of feeding was abrogated.
Thus, in the majority’s opinion, the word yuṭīqūnahu means if a person who can fast but chooses not to fast, they must feed an indigent person.
In short, Ibn ʿAbbās (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) disagrees with the other Companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them) in the following two points:
1. Ibn ʿAbbās interprets the word (yuṭīqūnahu) ‘those who are able to endure it’ as ‘those who are hardly able to endure it.
2. He uses the verse as a proof while it is abrogated.
The Majority of scholars hold the opinion that the abrogating verse is the following:
“So whoever among you bears witness to the month shall then fast it. Yet if one among you is sick or is on a journey (such a person shall then fast,) the same number of other days.” (Qurʾan 2:185)
Another proof that supports Ibn ʿAbbās’s opinion:
Some scholars also hold the opinion that old age and sickness are legal excuses for breaking one’s fast but the person must feed in indigent person instead.
This is the proof for that:
In a Mu’allaq Hadith (Suspended Hadith) related in Saḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī, Al-Bukhārī said,
“After growing old, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) (was not able to fast and he) used to feed an indigent person bread and meat every day”
In short, there are two opinions regarding the answer to the two questions mentioned above:
1. Feeding an indigent person is a substitute for fasting in case of long-lasting inability. This opinion is more popular as it is better to avoid disagreement.
2. There is no substitute for fasting in case of inability. Feeding is only recommended if a person wants to emulate Anas (may Allah be pleased with him).
Breast-feeding and pregnant women
If pregnant women and those who breast-feed fear that fasting may cause harm to them or to the fetus or baby, they should break their fast.
What should breast-feeding and pregnant women do if they break their fast?
There are here a number of opinions:
First, Some scholars treat pregnancy as illness. Allah says,
“One’s mother bore one in feebleness upon feebleness” (Qurʾan 31:14)
In this case, they are treated as sick people who break their fast and make up the missed days later.
Second, scholars who adopt the opinion of Ibn ʿAbbās mentioned above say that they should break their fast and feed an indigent person for every day.
Third, other scholars like Ibn Ḥazm al-Ẓahirī say that they should break their fast without making up the missed days later or feeding an indigent person for every day.
Ibn Ḥazm used the following Hadith as a legal proof to support his opinion:
Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
A man from Banū ʿAbdullahh ibn Kaʿb brethren of Banū Qushayr (not Anas ibn Malik, the well-known Companion), said:
A contingent from the cavalry of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) raided us. I reached (for he said went) to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) who was taking his meals.
He said: Sit down, and take some from this meal of ours. I said: I am fasting, he said: Sit down, I shall tell you about prayer and fasting.
Allah has remitted half the prayer to a traveller, and fasting to the traveller, the woman who is suckling an infant and the woman who is pregnant, I swear by Allah, he mentioned both (i.e. suckling and pregnant women) or one of them. I was grieved for not taking the food of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).
(Related by Al-Tirmidhī, Abū Dāwūd and Ibn Mājah)
Other scholars say that this hadith allows the pregnant and breast-feeding women to break their fast. However, it did not disallow them to make up the missed days. Thus, it is a weak opinion.
The preferred opinion is the first one as it is in agreement with the explicit meaning of the verses related to fasting.
title: The Fiqh of Fasting: Prohibited Fasts – Part 5,
The true meaning of worship is achieved through the true submission and obedience to Allah’s commands. This is very obvious here, but how?؟
When it is obligatory to fast, Muslims hasten to obey Allah through observing it. Also, when it is forbidden to fast, they do not. This article highlights those days on which fasting is prohibited.
What are the days on which fasting is prohibited?
1. Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking)
This festival marks the end of Ramadan and based on proofs from the Sunnah, it lasts only for the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month in the lunar calendar. Traditionally, it can last for up to three days.
2. Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice)
This is the Muslims’ second festival that marks the end of the most important pillar of the pilgrimage to Makka (mecca), namely, standing on Arafat. It lasts only for the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month in the lunar calendar. Usually, it can last for up to four days. The three days that follow the first day of the festival will be discussed below.
Scholars unanimously agree on the prohibition of fasting on those two days, that is, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Ad-ha. Moreover, celebrating on these two days is an act of worship as long as acts of disobedience are avoided. This is supported by the proof from the Sunnah:
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (RAA) narrated. ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has prohibited fasting on two days; the Day of Fitr (breaking the fast of Ramadan) and on the Day of sacrifice (‘Eid al-Ad-ha).’ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
3. The days of Tashriq
These are the 11th, 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah. It is also prohibited to fast on these days except for the pilgrim who cannot offer a sacrifice.
‘A’isha and lbn ‘Umar (RAA) narrated, ‘Nobody was allowed to fast on the days of Tashriq except for those, who could not afford the Hadi (sacrifice).’ (Al-Bukhari)
Nubaishah Al-Hudhali (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The days of Tashriq (the three days following ‘Idul Ad-ha, i.e. 11th , 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah) are days of eating, drinking and remembering (dhikr) of Allah, the Most Great and Glorious.” (Sahih Muslim)
4. The day of doubt
This is the 30th day of Sha’ban, the 8th month in the lunar calendar.
On the 29th night of Sha’ban, it is sometimes impossible or to see the new moon. This makes people doubt the beginning of Ramadan and whether the following day is the 30th of Sha’ban or the first day of Ramadan. That’s why it is called “the day of doubt”.
According to the opinion of the majority of scholars, Muslims are allowed to fast only if the sight of the new moon is proven.
Scholars differ on whether fasting on this day is reprehensible or prohibited. The preferred opinion is that it is prohibited to fast on the day of doubt. This is in agreement with the meaning of the following hadith:
‘Ammar ibn Yasir said: “Whoever fasts on the day concerning which there is doubt has disobeyed Abul-Qasim (Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” Al-Bukhary related this Hadith as Mu’allaq1 (Suspended).
However, fasting on this day is only allowed if it happens to be on the usual days a person usually fasts. For example, the person observing fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is allowed to fast on the day of doubt if it happens to be on Monday or Thursday.
1: Mu’allaq Hadith is a hadith in which one or more narrators is removed from the beginning of the isnad i.e the chain of narration. Scholars consider Mu’allaq hadiths found in Sahih Al-Bukhary to be authentic.
title: The Fiqh of Fasting: Recommended Acts – Part 4,
The recommended acts of worship are those acts whose performance is rewarded by Allah. However, there is no punishment if they are not performed.
The recommended acts of fasting:
Although there are many recommended acts concerning fasting, we will discuss here those ones related to fiqh. These are as follows:
1. Hastening to break one’s fast at sunset
When one feels sure it is sunset and the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer) announces, it is recommended for one to hasten to break the fast in both obligatory and supererogatory fasting.
Sahl bin Sa’d (RAA) narrated That the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “People will always be fine (on the right path, or following the Sunnah) as long as they hasten to break their fast.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
2. Starting with fresh dates, dried dates or water
It is recommended to break the fast with fresh dates. If there are no fresh dates, then one should break the fast with dried dates. If there are not any, then one should break his or her fast with water.
After that, one can have the main meal of the day called iftar (the breaking of the fast).
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to break his fast before praying (the sunset prayer) with some fresh dates; but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water. (Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi)
3. Supplicating Allah when one breaks the fast
Supplication (du’aa) to Allah is always recommended. However, there are certain times on which du’aa is far more recommended. One of these times for the fasting person is at sunset. In addition, du’aa at this time is never rejected as long as the etiquette and prerequisites for making du’aa are observed.
Ibn Umar said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said when he broke his fast: Thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if Allah wills. (Abu Dawud)
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.” (Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)
4. Having Suhur direclty before dawn
In addition to the blessing in it, suhur gives the person observing fasting the energy to better perform the other acts of worship. It is recommended to eat suhur and to finish eating it 10 or 15 minutes before the time of dawn.
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Eat Suhur (predawn meal). Surely, there is a blessing in Suhur.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
title: The Fiqh of Fasting: Things That Invalidate Fasting – Part 3,
The things that invalidate Fasting
Fasting becomes invalid if any of the following occurs. However, there are actions that break the fast unanimously and there are other cases on which there is a difference of opinions regarding them. Here is the discussion of that!
1. Anything that reaches the stomach intentionally
If a person swallows anything intentionally even if it is as little as a seed and whether it is taken through the mouth, the nose, etc., the fast is invalid. However, if a person eats or drinks while forgetting that he or she is fasting, their fast is valid.
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If somebody eats something forgetfully while he is fasting, then he should complete his fast, for Allah has made him eat and drink.” [Al-Bukhari]
2. Injection and enema
There are three opinions regarding having injections:
First, they invalidate the fast because they enter the body.
Second, they do not invalidate the fast because they are not put into the body through the mouth. Moreover, they are not used to satisfy hunger or thirst and they are not food or drink.
Third, some scholars differentiate between nutrient injections and other injections. They say that only nutrient injections invalidate the fast.
The preferred opinion is the third one. However, it is better to have injections at night if possible.
As for enemas, Islam Question & Answer website discusses this matter as follows:
Concerning enemas which are given to sick people to counteract constipation, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. Some say that it does break the fast, based on the fact that everything that reaches inside the digestive tract breaks the fast. And some of them said that it does not break the fast. Among those who said that was Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, who said that this is not food or drink, and it is not like food or drink.
What I think is that we should look at the doctors’ opinions concerning that; if they say that this is like food or drink then it should be classified as such and thus it breaks the fast. If they say that this does not give the body what food and drink give it, then it does not break the fast.
3. Cupping, blood donation and biopsies
There are different opinions regarding cupping and whether it invalidates fasting. Let us look at the most famous proofs related to this issue:
1. ”The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done, both their fasting is broken.”(Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad, Al-Nasa’i’s Al-Sunan Al-Kubra) This is an authentic hadith related through several chains of narrations tracing back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
2. Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) was cupped while he was in the state of lhram, and also while he was observing a fast. [Al-Bukhari]
3. Narrated Thabit Al-Bunani: Anas bin Malik was asked whether they disliked the cupping for a fasting person. He replied in the negative and said, “Only if it causes weakness.” [Al-Bukhari]
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal is of the opinion that cupping invalidates fasting. He used hadith 1 above to support his opinion. In addition, he says that there is a defect in the narration of hadith 2 above and the sound version the following:
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) was cupped while he was fasting. [Al-Bukhari]
On the other hand, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that cupping does not invalidate fasting for hadith 2 and 3 mentioned above. As for hadith 1, the majority’s opinion is that it is abrogated.
There are other interpretations to hadith 1 which help support the majority’s opinion. One interpretation is that it is a specific issue where the persons involved were backbiting people. Thus, they will not be rewarded for their fasting due to backbiting. Cupping has nothing to do with this.
The preferred opinion is that of the majority of scholars. However, it is better to do cupping at night.
Blood donation and biopsies take the same ruling mentioned above.
4. Intentional vomiting
Scholars differentiate between intentional and unintentional vomiting. The opinion of the majority of scholars is that only intentional vomiting invalidates the fast.
The issue is discussed in detail in a previous article (click here).
5. Sexual intercourse
Scholars unanimously agreed that sexual intercourse invalidates the fast. The proofs from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Consensus of scholars are mentioned in the previous article (click here).
There are some issues related to sexual intercourse:
– Kissing, fondling or embracing one’s spouse
It is allowed for the person observing fasting to kiss, embrace and fondle his or her spouse as long as the spouses are able to control their desires. If the spouses fear that this may lead to having sexual intercourse, then, it is not allowed to continue. In this case, blocking the means to unallowable matter is better because it prevents one from committing an act of disobedience.
There are a number of hadith that support this legal ruling. Here is one of them.
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to kiss (his wives) while fasting and embraced (them) while fasting; but he had the greatest mastery over his desire among you. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) differentiate between the old and the young.
Abdullah ibn Abbas was asked about people kissing while fasting and he said that he allowed it for old men but disapproved of it for young men. (Muwatta’ Malik)
6. Intentional ejaculation or ejaculation while the person is awake
The majority of scholars are of the opinion that intentional ejaculation due to masturbation, fondling, etc. invalidates the fast. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah says: ‘(The person observing fasting) has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I will bestow its reward. Every good deed has ten times its reward’. [Al-Bukhari]
However, if the person observing fasting has a wet dream during the day, the fast is valid. There is a consensus of opinion regarding this issue.
On the other hand, if a person has sexual intercourse anytime during the night and they do not have a ritual bath till the time of dawn, the fast is valid. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) (at times) got up in the morning in a state of major ritual impurity, not because of sexual dreams (but on account of intercourse at night), and then observed fast. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
7. Menses, childbirth and postnatal bleeding
There is a consensus of opinion among the scholars that menses or postnatal bleeding invalidates the fast. If any of them occurs during the time of fasting, the fast is invalid.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Isn’t it true that a woman does not pray and does not fast on menstruating?” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Mu’adha said: I asked ‘A’isha: What is the reason that a menstruating woman makes up the fasts (that she abandons during her monthly course). but she does not make up the prayers? She (‘A’isha) said: Are you a Haruriya? I said: I am not a Haruriya, but I simply want to inquire. She said: We passed through this (period of menstruation), and we were ordered to make up the fasts, but were not ordered to make up the prayers. (Muslim)
Scholars unanimously agree that apostasy, abandonment of Islam, invalidates the fast. Allah says,
“Yet truly it has been revealed to you, O Prophet, and to those of the prophets before you: If ever you were to associate any gods with God, then utterly futile would be all your good works. And, most surely, you yourself would have become among the losers, of an everlasting Paradise.” (Quran 39:65)