Tuesday, 12 May 2020

When Should I Offer My Condolences?

By Imam Yaḥyā an-Nawawī, may Allah have mercy on him

 457_It has been established in the Ṣaḥīḥ that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {…and Allah is in the assistance of the slave as long as the slave is in the assistance of his brother.}[1] [Muslim: 2699, Abū Dāwūd: 4646, at-Tirmidhī: 1425, as-Sunan al-Kubrā by an-Nasāʾī: 7244, Ibn Mājah: 225, the Musnad of Imam Aḥmad: 2:252.]

Know that offering condolences [at-taʿziyah] is recommended before the burial as well as afterwards. Our companions[2] have said that the time for at-taʿziyah is from when the person dies until three days after they have been buried, and three is understood to be approximate and not exact. This is what has been said by the Sheikh, the Imam, Abū Muḥammad al-Juwaynī, from amongst our companions.

Our companions have also said that at-taʿziyah is disliked after three days, because the objective of at-taʿziyah is to bring tranquillity to the heart of the one who is grieving. Normally, a person’s heart is calm and tranquil after three days, and thus one should not renew that person’s sorrow. This has been stated by vast majority of our companions.

Abū al-ʿAbbās ibn al-Qāṣ, one of our companions, has said, ‘There is nothing wrong with ­at-taʿziyah after three days. Rather, it remains perpetually, no matter how much times has elapsed.’ This has also been related by Imam al-Ḥaramayn from one of our companions. The chosen position is that it is not done after three days with the exception of two situations that our companions, or a group of them, have specified, and they are if either the one offering condolences or the one grieving is absent at the time of burial and they return after three days have elapsed.

Our companions have said that at-taʿziyah after the burial is better than before it, because the deceased’s family are busy with his tajhīz.[3] It is also because their sense of loneliness and separation will be greater after the person has been buried. This is the case if one does not see any intense sadness from them. If one does see such, one should not delay in offering condolences, so as to alleviate their sorrow, and Allah knows best.

[Translated from al-Adhkār min Kalām Sayyid al-Abrār (Jeddah: Dār-Minhāj, 1433/2012), p.259]

[1] (tn): This is part of the 36th ḥadīth of Imam an-Nawawī’s Forty, a translated commentary of which is forthcoming, if Allah so wills
[2] (tn): i.e. the Shāfiʿīs
[3] (tn): i.e. preparing him for burial by washing (taghsīl) him and shrouding (takfīn) him

Saturday, 2 May 2020

The Fruits of Patience, Relief from Distress, Hardship and Ease

An excerpt from the upcoming translation of al-Wāfī fī Sharḥ al-Arbaʿīn an-Nawawiyyah by Imams Muṣṭafā al-Bughā and Muḥyī ad-Dīn Mistū, p.145-147

 1. The Fruits of Patience

You can deduce from the aforementioned that that the fruits of patience include: contentment, tranquillity, feeling happy, realising might, honour and goodness, and being deserving of Allah’s support, Mighty and Majestic is He, as well as His victory and love. On top of all of that, there is the fruit of the Hereafter, which is embodied in that permanent blessing that they obtain in full without any reckoning: “The steadfast will be paid their wages in full without any reckoning.” [Az-Zumar 39:10] They will be in a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, adorned with reverent angels greeting them: “Gardens of Eden which they will enter, and all of their parents, wives and children who were righteous. Angels will enter in to welcome them from every gate: ‘Peace be upon you because of your steadfastness! How wonderful is the Ultimate Abode!’” [ar-Raʿd 13:25] The Lord of Might turns to it with forgiveness, victory and pleasure: “Today I have rewarded them for being steadfast. They are the ones who are victorious.” [al-Muʾminūn 23:111] “But give good news to the steadfast, those who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’ Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord.” [al-Baqarah 2:155-157] One should take note of the victory Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He, grants His believing slaves, the Day when neither wealth nor children will be of any benefit, except to those who come to Allah with sound hearts.[1] For everything mentioned above, patience is the best thing a person can be given. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, spoke the truth when he said, {No one has been given a greater and vaster gift than patience.} This is agreed upon.

2. Relief from Distress:

Man is constantly dealing with trials and afflictions and is exposed to various kinds of tribulation. Matters become unbearable and oppressive for him, such that he reaches a point in which grief and sorrow take over his soul, and he falls into distress. All of this is a test from Allah the Glorified, and until the believer carves his path towards Paradise with merit. If he succeeds in the test, and is thus patient and anticipates reward in the manner that has been described, does not become exasperated or despair, realises that all of this is according to Allah the Exalted’s decree and predestination and is thus content with it and his soul trusts in Him, Allah the Exalted’s solicitude seizes him, he is relieved of his grief, sorrow is removed from his soul, he is freed from every oppression and he is saved from every agony. That is the clear victory and the immense triumph in this life and the Hereafter. This is when it becomes clear to the believing slave who has taqwā that light bursts forth from within darkness, that abundant rain comes from dark clouds, that the distress he was in was only for some good that was willed for him, that relief will come from within this distress, and that this was for nothing other than that the sincere slave be cut off from everything besides Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He, that he attach his heart to his Creator alone, the heart that is certain that the entire affair is in His hand. Read these meanings in Allah’s words, Mighty and Majestic is He: “Or did you suppose that you would enter Paradise without facing the same as those who came before you? Poverty and illness afflicted them and they were shaken to the point that the Messenger and those who believed with him said, ‘When is Allah’s help coming?’ Be assured that Allah’s help is very near.” [al-Baqarah 2:214]

Allah the Exalted has also said, “It is He who sends down abundant rain, after they have lost all hope, and unfolds His Mercy.” [ash-Shūrā 42:28] Maybe you can see this meaning clearly in the story of Kaʿb ibn Mālik and his two companions, may Allah be pleased with them, when they stayed back from the battle of Tabūk and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded people to disassociate from them. Then they were afflicted with the distress that they were afflicted with, until: “the earth became narrow for them, and their own selves became constricted for them and they realised that there was no refuge from Allah except in Him”. Then there was relief and there was mercy: “He turned to them so that they might turn to Him. Allah is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful.” [at-Tawbah 9:118] You can see the same in the stories that the Qurʾān relates to us, stories of His prophets and saints being relieved of their distresses, and how Allah the Exalted honoured His prophet Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, in these kinds of situations. This makes us trust in Allah’s mercy, Mighty and Majestic is He, and desire His magnanimity, whenever calamities intensify, adversity surrounds us and distress becomes ingrained.

3. Hardship and Ease:

You will notices that the meanings of the ḥadīth are closely tied together, some of them taking from others. Hardship causes distress, and ease is one of the doors of relief. Everyone needs patience and durability, and behind that, there is triumph and victory. All of that is from Allah the Exalted’s bounty and mercy towards His slaves, for He has established the norm that hardship be followed by ease or connected to it. He the Glorified says, “Allah will appoint after difficulty, ease.” [at-Ṭalāq 65:7] and He has said, “For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease.” [ash-Sharḥ 94:5-6] This is why He the Glorified has only legislated for His slaves that which contains ease: “Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you.” [al-Baqarah 2:185] and He has and lifted them that which contains adversity, difficulty and hardship: “…and He has not placed any constraint upon you in the religion.” [al-Ḥajj 22:78]

Al-Bazzār has related in his Musnad from the ḥadīth of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {If hardship were to come and enter this hole, ease would come so that it could enter and remove it.} Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He, then revealed, “For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease.” His words, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, are emphasising that hardship and difficulty are never prolonged for a person, as long as he is content with what Allah the Glorified has predestined for him, he adheres to what Allah has commanded and forbidden, seeks refuge in Him alone and trusts Him to turn his hardship into ease: “Whoever puts his trust in Allah – He will be enough for him.” [at-Ṭalāq 65:3]

[Translated from p.145-147 (Damascus: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 1428/2007) ]
[1] (tn): this is a paraphrase of Sūrat ash-Shuʿarāʾ 26:88-89

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

When is Fidyah Obligatory Upon Someone Who Did Not Fast Due To An Excuse And How Much Is It?

A translation of this fatwa from Naseem al-Sham



Sheikh Muḥammad Tawfīq, may Allah grant you success. What is the ruling in the Revealed Law regarding a woman who paid 3000 lira as expiation (kaffārah) for not fasting the Ramaḍān before last? Does she still have to fast those days or not?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

If she was not fasting because of an excuse, meaning that she did not fast because she feared for herself, then she has to make up those days and she does not have to pay a fidyah. She only has to make them up as long as a year does not elapse without her making up the fasts and she does not have an excuse. This is because if someone delays making up the fasts for one year and they do not have an excuse, they still have to make up the fasts and they have to pay a fidyah for each day, which is a mudd of food (half a kilogram of rice, for example).

If she did not fast for fear of a child she was nursing or a child she was carrying, and not for fear of herself, then she must make up those days and pay the fidyah for each day, which is half a kilogram of food.

Further Reading:
Not Fasting Due To Illness
Fidyah, Qaḍāʾ and Breaking One's Fast
More Fatawa on Ramadan and Fasting

Monday, 20 April 2020

Injections, Hypodermic Needles, Suppositories, Drops, Intravenous (IV) Drips and Dialysis while Fasting

A selection of fatawa from Naseem al-Sham


What is the ruling on taking suppositories and likewise eardrops and intravenous (IV) drips?

Answer (Imam ʿAbdur Raḥmān ash-Shāmī):

Suppositories break the fast. As for eardrops, they break the fast if they reach the oesophagus. As for an IV drip, if there is a necessity then you can take the opinion of the Shāfiʿīs and the two companions of Abū Ḥanīfah, which states that it does not break the fast. If the patient is able to delay using the drip until after maghrib, that would be better, out of regard for the difference of opinion.


What do you say about injections while fasting? Do injections break the fast or not?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

Enemas breaks the fast, because something is being inserted into one of the body’s orifices. As for intramuscular and intravenous injections, they do not break the fast.[1]

Does an IV drip, which a patient takes intravenously instead of eating and drinking, break the fast or is breaking the fast confined to orifices? May Allah reward you with every goodness.

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān al-Būṭī):

IV drips do not break or nullify a person’s fast, even if they are satiating. The same ruling applies to injections that are given to a patient (intravenous, intramuscular or under the skin); as long as they do not enter the body through an orifice, they do not break the fast.


What is the ruling on dialysis while fasting? Does someone break their fast by going on dialysis?

Answer (Imam Rushdī Salīm al-Qalam):

If the physician has decided that the kidney patient, as is known, needs fluids throughout the day then he is obligated not to fast, in order to save himself from destruction.[2] As for the mere process of cleansing, this does not break the fast because it is the insertion of substances into the blood, and this does not fall under the matters that break the fast.

[1] (tn): There is a difference of opinion amongst the Shāfiʿīs. In at-Taqrīrāt as-Sadīdah: Qism al-ʿIbādāt, Sheikh Ḥasan al-Kāf says, ‘The ruling on needles: they are permissible in the case of necessity, but there are three different opinions as to whether they break someone’s fast:
1) They nullify the fast without exception, because they reach one’s interior.
2) They absolutely do not nullify the fast, because they reach one’s interior but not via an orifice.
3) This one contains some detail, and it is the most correct: If they are nourishing, they break the fast. If they are not nourishing, it depends:
- It they are intravenous, they nullify the fast.
- If they are intramuscular, they do not nullify the fast.’ (Tarīm: Dār al-Mīrāth an-Nabawī, p.452)
[2] (tn): Please see Sūrat al-Baqarah 2:195

More Fatawa on Ramadan and Fasting

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Using Mouthwash While Fasting

A translation of this fatwa from Naseem al-Sham

مخرج حرف الحاء


What is the ruling on using mouthwash before ifṭār when it is known that it is only used for swilling one’s mouth out?

Answer (Imam Rushdī Salīm al-Qalam):

Praise be to Allah and He suffices, and blessings and peace be upon the Chosen One. Any substance that goes in one’s mouth does not break the fast unless it reaches the place of exit of the letter ḥāʾ (الحاء). If it enters and does reach the throat [i.e. the aforementioned point], it does break the fast.

More Fatawa on Ramadan and Fasting

Friday, 17 April 2020

Does Delaying One’s Ghusl of Janābah Until After the Adhān of Fajr Affect the Validity of the Fast?

A selection of fatawa from Naseem al-Sham


If a reason to perform ghusl occurs during the night, is it true that I have to go to the bathroom and purify myself before the adhān for fajr in order to complete my fast or is it permissible for me to bathe at any time?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

Janābah[1] before fajr, even it is the result of sexual intercourse, does not hinder the validity of the fast. Rather, causing janābah while fasting by way of intercourse or anything else does nullify the fast. The person who is junub[2] must perform ghusl before the time for the fajr prayer has elapsed.[3]

A man has intercourse with his wife and does not perform ghusl until after Fajr has come in.

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Shuqayr):

There is no harm in that. Rather, he has only left that which is preferable.[4]

Is it true that janābah invalidates the fast?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

If someone becomes junub, for whatever reason, before dawn has entered, the validity of his fast is not affected. Rather, it is disliked for him to delay his ghusl until after fajr has entered, as it is better to start one’s fast while being pure.

However, if he becomes junub after dawn has entered and the cause is from him, i.e. he masturbated, for example, or he was playing around with his wife and that led to ejaculation, his fast is nullified. If he has intercourse, the fast is broken and he is obligated to expiate his sin by fasting two months consecutively.

As for someone who becomes junub because of something else, such as someone who has a wet dream, the validity of his fast is not affected. He performs ghusl and keeps fasting.

[1] (tn): i.e. a state of major ritual impurity, which requires that one wash one’s entire body, i.e. ghusl
[2] (tn): i.e. in a state of janābah
[3] (tn): i.e. in order to pray fajr
[4] (tn): “On the night of the fast, it is lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives.” [al-Baqarah 2:187] ‘This statement is evidence that the fast of the person who wakes up while being junub is valid, even though it is not the main purport of the statement itself, because being junub while fasting is an inevitable consequence of having intercourse until the last moment of the night. In other words, it is permissible for a person to have intercourse with his wife until the last moment of the night, which leaves insufficient time to perform ghusl. The person will therefore complete some of his fast before performing ghusl. If his fast were not valid, Allah would have commanded him to refrain from intercourse some time before fajr such that there would be enough time to perform ghusl. Since Allah has not commanded such, this is evidence that it is permissible to wake up while being junub and that one’s vast is valid in the Revealed Law. [Al-Wajīz fī Uṣūl at-Tashrīʿ al-Islāmī by Imam Muḥammad Ḥasan al-Hītū (Beirut: Muʾassasah ar-Risālah, 1436/2015), p.122-123.]

More Fatawa on Ramadan and Fasting