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Nature of Things That Break The Fast (1/2)

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah

Praise be to Allah. We praise Him, seek His Help, and ask His Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls and the evil of our deeds. Whomever Allah guides, there is no one to mislead him. And whomever He misleads, there will be no guide for him.

We testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, ascribing no partners to Him. And we testify that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

What breaks one's fast is of two kinds: One type will break the fast according to the texts and consensus of the scholars. This includes: Eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse. Allah, the Almighty, said:

''So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of the dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall.''

Thus, Allah permitted sexual relations (during the night of the fast), so, it is inferred from that fasting it to abstain from: Sexual intercourse, eating and drinking. Since Allah the Almighty, said before this: ''Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you.''

Then it is understood that fasting was known to them as abstaining from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse, and that the word (fast) was known to them before Islam and they acted according to it with this meaning, as recorded in the Two Sahihs from ‘A'ishah (radyAllahu'anha): ''The Quraysh used to fast the day of ‘Ashura' in the pre-Islamic era.'' (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

It has been narrated through many routes [of narration] that before prescribing the fast in the month of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered fasting on the day of ‘Ashura' and he sent a herald to proclaim that. Thus, it is inferred that the word (Fasting) was known to them.

It is also established by the texts and the consensus of the Muslims that the menstruation blood invalidates the fast, hence, the menstruating woman does not fast, but she makes it up.

It is textually established from the narration of Luqayt bin Saburah that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him: ''Exaggerate in inhaling and exhaling of water (in your nose) unless you are fasting.'' (Reported by Abu Dawud And At-Tirmidhi)

It is inferred from this, that water reaching the stomach through the nose breaks one's fast. And this is the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

There are two Hadiths in the Sunan, one of them is narrated by Hisham bin Hasan, from Muhammad bin Sirin, from Abu Hurayrah (radyAllahu'anhu) who said: ''The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

''Whoever is overpowered by vomit while fasting, he does not have to make it up. But if he vomits (intentionally), then he makes it up.'' (Reported by Abu Dawud And At-Tirmidhi)

This Hadith is not confirmed according to a group of the scholars. They say: ''It is the words of Abu Hurayrah.'' Abu Dawud said: ''I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal saying: ‘It is not of any worth.''

Al-Khattabi said, ''Meaning it is not preserved. At Tirmidhi said: ‘I asked Muhammad bin Isma'il [Al Bukhari] about this Hadith and he said that he did know it except through ‘Isa bin Yunus, and he [Muhammad] added: ''I do not think it is preserved.'' He also narrated that Yahya bin Kathir narrated on the authority of 'Umar bin Al-Hakam that Abu Hurayrah's opinion was that vomit does not break fast.''

Al-Khattabi said: ''Abu Dawud mentioned that Hafs bin Ghiyath narrated it from Hisham just as it was narrated by ‘Isa bin Yunus.'' He [Al-Khattabi] said, ''I do not know that there is any difference between the scholars over the question that whoever was overpowered by vomit does not have to make it up, nor that who intentionally vomits, then he has to make it up. They only differed over the atonement. The majority of them said: ‘He has only to make it up.' But ‘Ata' said: ‘He has to make it up and to do the atonement.' This was quoted from Al-Awza'i, and it is the saying of Abu Thawr.''

I (Ibn Taymiyyah) say: This is implied also by one of the two narrations form Ahmad answering about the atonement for cupping. Since if it was necessary for the cupped, then even more so for intentional vomiting. But what is apparent from his school is that atonement is not obligatory except in the case of sexual intercourse as stated by Ash Shafi'i.

Those who do not affirm the Hadith in question do so because it has not reached them through a dependable route. They indicate that it has a deficiency, in that it was narrated exclusively by ‘Isa bin Yunus. But as is clear, he is not alone with it, rather it was also narrated by Hafs bin Ghiyath, and the other Hadith supports it.

That is the Hadith recorded by Ahmad and the Sunan compilers, like At-Tirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Ad-Darda' that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) vomited and broke his fast (Ahmad and Abu Dawud) That was mentioned to Thawban who said: ''He (Abu Ad-Darda') has told the truth. I, myself, poured the water for his ablution.'' But the wording of Ahmad is: ''The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) vomited and performed ablution.'' Recorded by Ahmad on the authority of Husayn Al-Mu'alim. (Reported by Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi).

Al-Athram said: ''I said to Ahmad, ''They have contradicted each other with this Hadith.'' Ahmad said: ''But Husayn Al-Mu'alim's narration is good.'' At Tirmidhi said: ''This Hadith of Husayn is the most correct thing on this topic.''

Accordingly, the obligation of ablution for vomiting was inferred from it. Yet it does not support this. For he may have intended that ablution is legislated for that, since it says nothing but that he performed ablution, and merely performing it does not prove that it is obligatory. Instead, it only proves that ablution in such case is legitimate. If it is said: ''It is desirable,'' then such would be applicable from the Hadith.

Similarly, in the case of what was narrated from some companions about ablution in the case of bleeding, there is nothing in such narrations to prove doing so is obligatory. But it shows only that it is desirable. There is nothing among the Shari'ah proofs to support requiring that.

Rather, Ad-Daraqutni and others recorded from Humayd that Anas said: ''The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was cupped, and did not perform ablution. He washed only the location of the cupping.''

Ibn Al-Jawzi recorded it in his book entitled: Hujjatul-Mukhalaf, and he did not weaken it, although his habit is to act upon the disparaging remarks reported wherever possible.

As for the narrated Hadith which says: ''Three (things) do not break the fast: Vomiting, cupping, and wet dreams.'' (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

In another wording:''They have not broken [their fast]: Not the one who vomits, nor the one who has a wet dream, nor the one cupped.'' (Reported by Abu Dawud)

Its chain is confirmed. What is narrated by Ath-Thawri and others, from Zayd bin Aslam, from a man among his companions, from a man among the companions of the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: ''The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)...'' this was recorded by Abu Dawud, and this man is not known. ‘Abdur Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam reported it from his father from ‘Ata' from Abu Sa'id from the Prophet; but ‘Abdur-Rahman is weak according to the scholars of ‘Ilm Ar-Rijal. (Knowledge of the men of Hadith)

I say: His two Marfu' narrations from Zayd do not contradict his Mursal narration, rather it supports them. So the Hadith is confirmed from Zayd bin Aslam, but contains the wording: ''When one is overpowered with vomiting.''

And others have reported it from Zayd bin Aslam in Mursal form.

Yahya bin Ma'in said: ''The Hadith of Zayd bin Aslam is nothing.'' And if it were correct, it would mean: ''Whoever was overpowered by vomit.'' Because he connected it with having a wet dream, and one does not have a wet dream by choice, since he is asleep, so it does not break ones fast according to the consensus.

As for the Hadith about cupping, it is either abrogated or abrogating; due to the Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas which says that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was cupped while fasting and in a state of Ihram, (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi).

And perhaps vomiting, if it is included under the meaning of intentional vomiting, then it may also be abrogated. This supports the view that the prohibition of cupping came later. It is known that if there are two contradicting texts, one changing the rule and other remaining upon it, the one changing is given preference since it is abrogating the other, and the earlier is more likely to be the abrogated.

As to him who masturbates then ejaculates, he breaks his fast. The wet dream only applies to the one who ejaculates while asleep.

By analogy, a group of scholars thought that no emission breaks the fast, and that the one who intentionally vomits only breaks his fast since it is likely that some of the vomit will return (to the stomach). Others say that the mere fact that menstruation breaks the fast contradicts such analogy.

As we have explained about the fundamentals, there is nothing in the Shari'ah that contradicts sound analogy.

If it is said: ''You have said that the one who intentionally breaks his fast, his doing so is one of the major sins, and the one who intentionally delays the day prayer until the night without any excuse, his deed is considered one of the major sins, and that it would not after that be acceptable from him according to the most apparent of the two sayings of the scholars.

But the one who missed the Friday prayer or throwing the pebbles (During Hajj) or other cases of acts of worship whose time is limited. For such things he has been ordered to make up.

It is also narrated in the Hadith about the one who has sexual intercourse in the day of Ramadan that the Messenger of Allah commanded him to make it up?''

Then the response to this is that he commanded him (the one overpowered by vomit) to make it up since man only vomits uncontrollably, like the patient who gets better by vomiting, or the one intentionally vomiting after eat some doubtful food, as was done by Abu Bakr when he knew that the food he had eaten was earned by a soothsayer.

So if one who vomits has an excuse for doing so, then what he has done is permissible, and thus, he entered the category of the sick who are entitled to making it up. He is not one of those who broke their fast without excuse.

As for his command to the one that had sexual intercourse (in the day of the month of Ramadan) of making it up, it is a weak Hadith. More than one of the major scholars of Hadith classify it as weak.

This Hadith is confirmed by many routes in the Two Sahihs via the narration of Abu Hurayrah and ‘A'ishah (radyAllahu'anha), and none of them mentioned the command to make it up. Had the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded him to make it up, they would not have neglected to mention it; since it is a legislative ruling that must be clarified. Since the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not command him to make it up, it follows that making it up would not have been acceptable from him. This is a proof that he intentionally broke his fast, hence he was neither forgetful nor ignorant.

As for the one who has sexual intercourse during the days of Ramadan out of forgetfulness, there are three views from the Madhhab of Ahmad and others, and there are three narrations mentioned about it.

1. Neither making it up nor atonement are required. This is the view of Ash-Shafi'i, Abu Hanifah, and most of the others.
2. He must make it up, without atonement. This is the view of Malik.
3. He must do both. This is the popular position of Ahmad.

The first is more obvious as has been properly explained in its appropriate place.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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