Friday, 28 February 2020

When is it obligatory to stop eating and drinking?

A selection of fatawa from Naseem al-Sham




Question:

I heard one of those people who come on television to answer questions (iftāʾ) say that if you have a cup of water in your hand and you are drinking it and you hear the adhān for fajr, there is no objection to you finishing your drink, and he mentioned the ḥadīth of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the meaning of which is {If one of you has a vessel in his hand, let him not put it down until he has fulfilled his need}, or however he said it, peace and blessings be upon him. What is the validity of this ruling?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

Those who give this fatwā are giving a fatwā that ruins a Muslim’s fast from the very beginning of the day, and they are relying on the realities of situations that are not used as evidence. The text of Allah the Exalted’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet obligate that one refrain from food and drink[1] when fajr has entered, not afterwards. This behaviour nullifies the fast.[2]
 

Question:

When we want to fast, we eat after the adhān has started until about half of it has been completed, based on the fact that the minarets[3] follow one another in close succession and that the Prophet commanded that suḥūr be delayed. Is this permissible?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

The person fasting must refrain from food and drink from the moment fajr enters until the sun has completely set. The adhān is connected to the entrance of fajr. Therefore, eating and drinking after the adhān of fajr (i.e. not the first adhān or the adhān that indicates that one should stop eating and drinking [4]) is impermissible. The one who is eager to have a valid fast does not put himself right on the edge of committing disobedience. 


Question:

When does one refrain from eating and drinking, upon hearing the first adhān or the second adhān? Thank you.

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

The first adhān is called adhān al-imsāk, and its purpose is to notify that fajr is approaching. The second adhān informs that fajr has entered, and that anything that breaks the fast must be abstained from. It is presumed that the person fasting, upon hearing the first adhān, has finished his suḥūr and is hastening to drink water or something similar in preparation for the entrance of fajr.



[1] Ar. al-imsāk
[2] In the book at-Taqrīrāt as-Sadīdah, Sheikh Ḥasan al-Kāf adds, ‘A gross error that many people fall into is that when they hear the adhān for fajr, they hasten to drink something, because they think that it is permissible to do so as long as the muʾadhdhin is calling the adhān. This is not permissible, and if someone does this, their fast is invalid, and they have to make it up if it is an obligatory fast. This is because the muʾadhdhin does not start calling the adhān until after fajr has entered. If someone drinks during the adhān, they are drinking after fajr has entered. All of this is because of ignorance. This position has not been stated by any esteemed imam.' (Tarīm: Dār al-Mīrāth an-Nabawī, p.458)
[3] Ar. mādhin, i.e. the places from which the adhān is given
[4] Ar. adhān al-imsāk, please see the next fatwā

More Fatawa on Ramadan and Fasting


Friday, 21 February 2020

The Person Fasting is His Own Master

A translation of this fatwa from Naseem al-Sham




Question:

Assalām ʿalaykum,

If I intend to fast some days (a supererogatory fast, like the six days of Shawwāl, for example) and then on the second day I don’t fast, do I owe an expiation (kaffārah)?

Answer (Imam Muḥammad Tawfīq Ramaḍān):

Kaffārah (which is to fast for two months straight) is only obligatory upon the one who breaks his fast in Ramaḍān deliberately by having sexual intercourse.

And one is not obligated to pay a fidyah[1] (which is one mudd[2] of the staple crop of one’s country) except for specific reasons that are also connected to the fast of Ramaḍān.

The one who fasts voluntarily – i.e. performs a supererogatory fast – is his own master; he can break his fast or he can complete it, even though it is disliked (makrūh) for him to break it according to us,[3] and Allah knows best.


_______________
[1] (tn): i.e. redemption, a person in this situation has not sinned and is thus merely looking to compensate for missing out on worship as opposed to expiating a sin they have committed
[2] (tn): i.e. half a litre of food, which should be the staple crop of the country. Please see Reliance, section i1.33, p.290. According to Muʿjam Lughat al-Fuqahāʾ (Beirut: Dār Al-Nafāʾis, 1431/2010), s.v. Mudd, one mudd is equivalent to 0.543 kg, to be precise.
[3] (tn): i.e. the Shāfiʿīs

More Fatawa on Ramadan and Fasting