The Prophet's Sunnah Regarding Fasting
Dr. Ahmad ibn 'Uthman Al Mazid
10- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding fasting
A- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding the fasting of Ramadan:
1- It was part of the Prophet's Sunnah not to begin a fast without
ascertaining moon sighting by naked eye or eye witness, otherwise, he would
complete the fast of Sha'ban 30 days.
2- When the sky was cloudy and he could not see the crescent, he would
complete the fast of Sha'ban 30 days. Moreover, he did not fast the day where
moon sighting was not clear nor he commanded the people to fast it.
3- It was part of his Sunnah to end the fast when two witnesses confirm the
vision of the new crescent.
4- When two witnesses confirm that they saw the crescent after Muslims had not
ascertained it, he would break the fast, command Muslims to break the fast,
and offered Salatul-'Eid in the following day.
5- He used to haste to break the fast, exhort the people to it, take the
pre-dawn meal, exhort Muslims to have it and delay it, and exhort the people
to delay it.
6- He used to break the fast before offering Al Maghrib Salah, and began his
food by having fresh ripe dates, if found. However, if he could not find any,
he would break his fast on dried dates and if he could not find, he would
drink few sips.
7- When he broke his fast, he used to say: "The thirst has gone, the veins are
quenched, and reward was received with Allah Willing."
8- It was part of the Prophet's Sunnah during the month of Ramadan to increase
the acts of worship as Gabriel did when he taught him the Qur'an during
9- He used to pay charity frequently, recite the Qur'an, perform Salah, say
Dhikr (Frequent mentioning of Allah), and observe I'tikaf (retiring to the
mosque for worship).
10- He used to single out Ramadan with special acts of worship to the extent
that he used to continue fasting, but prohibited his Companions to continue
fasting and only permitted Muslims to continue fasting until the pre-dawn
B- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding what is lawful and prohibited during
1- A person who observes fasting is prohibited to commit obscenities,
clamorousness, insult others, or respond to abusers. However, he commanded the
observer of fasting to respond to abusers by saying: I am fasting.
2- He traveled during Ramadan and sometimes he would observe fasting and
sometimes not and gave choice to his Companions to do both matters.
3- He used to command the Companions with breaking the fast when approaching
4- It was not part of his Sunnah to estimate the distance after which an
observer of fasting may break his fast.
5- The Companions used to break their fast when they intend to travel without
abiding by the condition of leaving their homes. They used to tell the people
that was the Prophet's Sunnah.
6- Sometimes the dawn broke while he was in the state of major ritual
impurity, then he would take a bath after dawn and resume fasting.
7- He used to kiss some of his wives while fasting during Ramadan.
8- He used to use a Miswak, rinse (his month), inhale water, and pour water on
his head while fasting.
9- It was part of his Sunnah to drop making up for the day in which a person
eats or drinks by mistake.
10- He granted a concession for the sick and travelers to break their fast
then make up for that day, likewise pregnant and breastfeeding women if they
fear for themselves.
C- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding voluntary fasting:
1- His Sunnah was the best and the easiest to oneself where he used to fast
until it was said: He used not to break the fast. And used to break the fast
to the extent that it was said: He does not observe the fast. In addition, he
did not complete the fast of a month other than Ramadan. He used not to fast
in a month as he used to do during Sha'ban, and he never left a month passes
without fasting few days of it.
2- It was not part of his Sunnah to single out Friday with fasting, whereas he
used to fast on Monday and Thursday.
3- He used to fast the 13th, 14th, 15th of each month whether in residence or
in journey, and used to exhort Muslims to fast these days.
4- He used to fast three days starting from the beginning of each month.
5- He said regarding the Six days of Shawwal: "Observing the fast during these
days after the fast of Ramadan equals the fasting of a life time." He used to
observe the fast of 'Ashura' (the tenth day of Muharam) and informed Muslims
that fasting of that day expiates the previous year.
6- He said regarding the Day of 'Arafah: "Observing the fast during that day
expiates the previous and the current year." It was part of his Sunnah to
break the fast on the Day of 'Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah) in 'Arafah (a mount
7- It was not part of his Sunnah to fast all the time but he said: "Whoever
observes fast forever neither fasts nor breaks the fast."
8- Sometimes, he intended to fast voluntarily then broke the fast. He used to
enter his houses and say: "Do you have anything to be eaten?" If they said:
No, he would say: then I shall observe fasting."
9- He said: "When someone is invited to food while he is fasting, he should
say: I am fasting."
D- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding I'tikaf:
1- The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe I'tikaf during the last ten
days of Ramadan until he passed away. Once, he left it then he made it up in
2- Once, he observed I'tikaf during the first ten days, then the middle ten,
then the last ten nights of Ramadan seeking Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of
Decree). When it was shown to him that Laylatul-Qadr was in the last ten days
of Ramadan, he observed I'tikaf until he passed away.
3- He never observed I'tikaf but during Ramadan.
4- He commanded the Companions to set up a tent for him inside the masjid to
5- When he wanted to observe I'tikaf, he would offer the Dawn Salah then began
6- When he observed I'tikaf, he used to place a mattress and a bed in his tent
and used to enter his tent alone.
7- He did not enter his house during I'tikaf but to relieve himself.
8- He used to place his head inside the room of 'A'ishah to comb it for him
while she was in her menses.
9- Some of his wives used to visit him during his I'tikaf, and upon their
leaving, he used to accompany them at night.
10- He never had sexual intercourse or a foreplay with his wives during his
11- He used to observe I'tikaf for ten days of each year and when it was the
year in which he passed away, he observed I'tikaf for twenty days.
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 Zad Al Ma'ad (2/82)