The Holy Month of Ramadan I
30 Jul 2018
All Muslims around the world celebrate the start of the holy month of Ramadan as the time of fasting is declared. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam in which we not only abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual interactions but also from all the activities stated in Islam as immoral. It is one of the obligations set by Allah Almighty as Allah says, “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous,” [Al-Baqarah, 183]. Prophet Muhammad said, “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast,” [Sunan an-Nasa'I, 17].
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim Calendar and the month of fasting. Allah says, “So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it,” [Al-Baqarah, 185]. Fasting starts from daybreak until the sunset as mentioned in the Quran, “And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until sunset,” [Al-Baqarah, 187].
However, Allah makes fasting only obligatory for healthy people, so those who are ill or traveling may break their fast and make up other days as a permission from Allah, “whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship,” [Al-Baqarah, 185]. It was also narrated that Hamza ibn Amr al-Aslami once asked the Prophet while traveling if he could break the fast and the Prophet replied, “If you want you can fast, and if you want you can break the fast,” [Muwatta Malik, 24]. Therefore, a Muslim would decide whether to break the fast or not according to the situation and the position, and if this is among the reasons Allah set for breaking the fast. Menstruating women and women in the postnatal bleeding period, however, are prohibited from fasting, but they will have to make up for the days they did not fast later.
Those who are not mentally stable or unconscious, and patients with chronic diseases who will not be able to fast later on are excluded from both the obligations of fasting and making up lost days later, instead, they can feed a poor person for each day not fasted. “And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day],” [Al-Baqarah, 184].
Continue with Part II
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