Fasting In Ramadan

Fasting In Ramadan

At least from a physical perspective, Fasting is perhaps the greatest form of worship. Because the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked us to fast as there is nothing equal to it. This is the high status that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave to fasting.


In this hadith, the Prophet, peace be upon him, singled out fasting when asked about a deed that leads its doer to the best of rewards, Paradise. This fact alone is sufficient for us to understand the greatness of fasting. Mere knowledge of the importance and superiority of fasting. However, is not enough for a Muslim to attain Allah’s pleasure and then, if Allah wills, His great reward. Indeed, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

“Perhaps a person fasting will receive nothing from his fasting except hunger and thirst.”

Ibn Majah, Ad-Darimi, Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqi. Sahih

This hadith should raise our concern about fasting and increase our desire to perform this act of worship with the best intention and in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet, upon whom be peace.

The first step for a Muslim to realise is the fact that fasting the month of Ramadan is obligatory and that Allah has prescribed it for us in His Book:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those who came before you; that you will perhaps be God-fearing.”

Al-Qur’an 2:183

Thus Allah, the Most High, teaches us that fasting is an obligation and a means to attain taqwa(to be God-fearing); that which increases believers in their ranks with Allah:

“The most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious.”

Al-Qur’an 49:13

Furthermore, we should realise the words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in which he tells us that Allah said:

“The most beloved deeds with which my slave comes closer to Me are the obligatory deeds.”

Sahih Al-Jami’


Certain Aspects and Rulings Related to Fasting

  • For the obligatory fast in the month of Ramadan, it is incumbent on everyone to have intention before the appearance of Fajr.
  • Fast is performed between the time of true Fajr (that which makes food forbidden for the fasting person, and makes Fajr prayer lawful, as explained by Ibn ‘Abbas) and the time as soon it is seen that the sun has set.
  • The interval between the end of suhur (the pre-dawn meal) and the start of the obligatory prayer is the interval sufficient to recite fifty ayat, as indicated by the Prophet and related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
  • Eating suhur contains many blessings and the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered us to do take it, forbade us from leaving it and told us to take suhur to make a distinction between our fast and the fast of the People of the Book. In spite of this, Ibn Hajr reports in Fath al-Bari that there is consensus that it is recommended. Allah knows best.
  • Falsehood, ignorant and indecent speech are to be avoided as they may render one’s fasting futile.
  • A fasting person can begin fasting while in the state of janabah (major state of impurity that requires bath due to a sexual intercourse).
  • Use of siwak (tooth-stick) is permitted. Likewise, washing the mouth and nose is permitted, but it should not be done strongly.
  • The Prophet forbade a youth to kiss while fasting, while he allowed an old man since he is able to control himself.
  • Giving blood and injections which do not provide nourishment does not break the fast. Also, there is no harm in tasting food, provided it does not reach the throat.
  • Pouring cold water over one’s head and taking a bath contain no harm to a fasting person.
  • It is from the Sunnah of the Prophet and the practice of his companions to break the fast as soon as the Sun sets even if some bright redness remains upon the horizon. Muslims are strongly encouraged to hasten breaking the fast. The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “The din will not cease to be uppermost as long as the people hasten to break the fast, since the Jews and the Christians delay it.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban. Hasan]
  • The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to break his fast before praying and he used to break it with fresh dates, if not then with older dates. And if not with dates, than with some mouthfuls of water.
  • The supplication of the fasting person when he breaks his fast is not rejected. The best du’a (supplication) is that reported from Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him. He used to say when breaking the fast, “The thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain, if Allah wills.” [Abu Dawud, al-Bayhaqi, al-Hakim and others. Hasan]
  • The Prophet said, “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban. Sahih]. Also, a fasting Muslim should not reject invitation of another Muslim to break fast.
  • Deliberate eating and drinking, making oneself vomit, menstruation, after-birth bleeding, injection containing nourishment and sexual intercourse all nullify the fast.
  • As for Laylatul-Qadr, the Night of Decree, it is better than a thousand months. The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us, “Seek it in the last ten, and if one of you is too weak or unable then let him not allow that to make him miss the final seven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. That which is the most specific states, ” … seek it on the (twenty) ninth and the (twenty) seventh and the (twenty) fifth.” [Al-Bukhari]
  • The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to exert himself greatly during Laylatul-Qadr. He would spend the nights in worship, detaching himself from women and ordering his family with this. So every Muslim should be eager to stand in prayer during Laylatul-Qadrout of iman and hoping for the great reward.
  • The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul-Qadr out of iman and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
  • The supplication that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, taught ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, to say when seeking the Night of Decree is, “O Allah you are the one who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.” [At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Sahih]
  • It is Sunnah to pray Tarawih in congregation and the one who knew the best the practice of the Prophet at night, ‘A’ishah said, “Allah’s Messenger did not increase upon eleven raka’at in Ramadan, or outside it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
  • All who are capable should take advantage of the month of Ramadan and perform i’tikaf, i.e. fully attach oneself to worshipping in the mosque. One should inquire how the Prophet performed i’tikaf.
  • Zakat ul-Fitr is prescribed by Allah as a purification for those who fasted from loose and indecent talk, and to feed the poor Muslims as a provision for ‘Eid ul-Fitr. One should inquire further about rulings related to it, especially upon whom it is obligatory and what is its quantity.
  • The last but not the least, we should strive to constantly improve our worship and obedience of Allah, the Most High, including once the month of Ramadan is over, if Allah wills.

Fasting is a Shield Against One’s Base Desires

“O youths, whoever amongst you is able to marry then let him do so, since it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts, and he who is unable, then let him fast because it is a shield for him.”

Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Stay fashionable in Fasting with Unitelly

Once we realise the greatness of fasting and what achievement it leads to, we must put all our efforts in performing fasting in the best manner possible. And since fasting is worship, it must be done solely for Allah’s sake, and no intention is accepted, other than pleasing Allah and seeking His Face with all one’s sincerity. Without a correct intention, no deed is of any value in the Hereafter. We Muslims must constantly verify our intentions and consider why we perform fasting. Do we do so merely because it is the practice of our parents and friends, or do we do so because it is part of our tradition, or perhaps because we simply want to conform to our environment in order to avoid any problems? A Muslim who realises that only that which is with Allah remains, and that He is the only One who grants and withholds, would not be of those to which the Prophet, upon whom be peace, alluded to in the hadith:

“On the Day of Judgement, a caller will cry out, ‘Whoever performed a deed for someone other than Allah may seek his reward from that for which he performed the deed.’ “

Sahih Al-Jami’























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