The Prophet's Sunnah Regarding Fasting

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Dr. Ahmad ibn 'Uthman Al Mazid

10- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding fasting

A- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding the fasting of Ramadan:[1]

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 Ramadan.

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 meal.

B- The Prophet's Sunnah regarding what is lawful and prohibited during fasting:

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 the enemy.

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 near Makkah).

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:[2]

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 Shawwal.

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 seclude therein.

5- When he wanted to observe I'tikaf, he would offer the Dawn Salah then began his I'tikaf.

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 I'tikaf.

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.

[1] Zad Al Ma'ad (30/2)
[2] Zad Al Ma'ad (2/82)


EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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