Fasting in Ramadan Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is an act of obedience and submission to Allahs commands through the highest degree of commitment, sincerity and faithfulness to seek Allahs mercy, to atone for sins, errors, and mistakes and to avoid condemnation to hell. Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory on every sane, adult and able Muslim.
What is fasting? Fasting involves abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn (one to two hours before sunrise) to sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan.
Who is exempt from fasting?
What is Niyyah or intention of fasting? The Ramadan fast and other acts of worship are not valid unless accompanied by the proper intention, because the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Actions are but by intentions, and everyone shall have but that which he intended…” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
The intention (niyyah) is an action of the heart. The Muslim should resolve in his/her heart that s/he is going to fast tomorrow. To observe the fast, the intention of fasting is essential (Wajib). For the month of Ramadan; the correct intention is when a person resolves in his heart that s/he is going to fast tomorrow. However, there is a difference of opinion on whether this should be announced.
What is Suhoor? Suhoor is a light, predawn meal, recommended before actually fasting. It is a blessing and hence, recommended to do so but is not essential. For fasting, any consumption of food or drink should cease before Fajr prayer. Thus, suhoor ends at fajr.
If a person eats past the Suhoor time by mistake, can s/he still continue to fast or do they have to make up for it another day? When fasting, if you eat something by mistake keep your fast, and you do not have to make up the fast for that day. However, if it is intentional then you need to do the Kaffarah.
Can anyone eat during Ramadan if they wake up late? If you are fasting in Ramadan, you cannot eat after Fajr azan (call for prayer).
What is Iftar? Iftar is an Arabic term meaning breaking the fast which is immediately after the sunset. Iftar is a light snack consisting of dates, and if there are no dates then water (this is the Sunnah) but if you do not have these food items then you may break your fast with the food you have.
What breaks the fast? Does smoking tobacco break your fast? These actions will break an individuals fast:
Does smoking tobacco break your fast? Yes, smoking does break your fast.
Does having a blood test break the fast? No, giving blood for testing does not break your fast.
What is Fidya? For those who cannot fast for any valid reason (such as elderly, sick or handicapped), a compensation must be given by feeding a poor person for every day of fasting not observed. The young and healthy people need to make up their missed fasts, should they be sick or travelling.
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and 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 and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be gratefulTranslation of Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:185
How to calculate the price for Fidya The price of Fidya for each day of missed fasts is either to feed a poor person two meals in a day, or to give whole wheat, which is enough to feed a poor person twice in a day (1/2 Saa per Hanafi school of thought, or 1 Saa per Shaafi and other schools of thought). (1 Sa = 3 Kilograms approx.). The ‘Fidya price for a person should be based and calculated on the local price of whole wheat where the person resides.
What is the price of Fidya in UK this year? The Fidya price in the UK is £4.00 per person per day.
What is Kaffarah? (Making up the fast) During the fasting period, if one deliberately breaks his or her fast s/he must fast continuously for sixty days to compensate. If they cannot do so (for a valid reason), then they should feed sixty poor or needy people, or spend in charity an amount equal to feeding sixty people.
What to do with the missed fasts of Ramadan? If the missed fasts were broken due to valid excuses such as sickness, travel, or the taking of medicine, then the one who had missed the fasts should make them up on a different day, when they are able to. If no excuse is available for missing the fasts in the first place, then they need to refer to the Kaffarah for breaking a fast.
Can a sick person fast? A sick person, should fast only if s/he is able to fast, otherwise, he is excused from fasting, on the condition that later, this person has to make up by fasting the same number of days missed. Sick does not refer to headache and small pains. There should be a medical condition that stops you from fasting.
When making up days after Ramadan, do they have to be consecutive? Making up days after Ramadan, does not have to be consecutive. Only the Kaffarah fasts have to be consecutive.
Is it obligatory for a pregnant woman to fast in the month of Ramadhan? Breast feeding and pregnant woman are permitted to not fast, if she cannot deal with fasting during Ramadan then she may make up the fasts after she gives birth and becomes pure from nifaas or when she feels she is able to fast. She has to make up by fasting same number of days for the non-fasted days, or she has to pay ‘Fidya as charity to needy persons, and the amount of ‘Fidya should be the cost of feeding or paying what equals the cost of her food for a day for each non fasted day.
How long does a person have to make up fasts from the past Ramadan? Can a person fast on religious days if they havent made up their fasts from Ramadan?
There is nothing wrong in making up the missed fasts during any of the other days of the year; but not on these five prohibited days:
What is Itikaf? ‘Aitekaf ‘or ‘Itikaaf is seclusion in a mosque (or home for ladies) for worship for the last 10 days of Ramadan.
What is Laylatul Qadr? (The night of power) ‘Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months (Al-Qadr, 97:1-3).
Laylatul Qadr (the night of power) was reported to occur within the last 10 days of Ramadan. “Seek it in the Ramadan in the last ten nights. For verily, it is during the odd nights, the twenty-first, or the twenty-third, or the twenty-fifth, or the twenty-seventh, or the twenty-ninth, or during the last night.” (Ahmad)
Here are a few suggestions to help you during Ramadan and prepare you for Laylatul Qadr:
What is Fidya? For those who cannot fast for any valid reason (such as the elderly, sick or handicapped), compensation must be given by feeding a poor person for every day of fasting not observed. The young and healthy people need to make up their missed fasts, should they be sick or travelling.
How to calculate the price for Fidya? The price of Fidya for each day of missed fasts is either to feed a poor person two meals a day, or to give whole wheat, which is enough to feed a poor person twice in a day (1/2 Saa per Hanafi school of thought, or 1 Saa per Shaafi and other schools of thought). (1 Sa = 3 Kilograms approx.). The Fidya price for a person should be based and calculated on the local price of whole wheat where the person resides.
What is the price of ‘Fidya in UK this year? The Fidya price in the UK is £4.00 per person. Fidya is payable for a person who has become extremely weak due to old age or disease, has no hope of recovery and cannot fast. They must feed a deserving person twice a day or give the value of the meals.
The calculate price for Fidya is £4 each day. For whole month you need to pay £120
What is Tarawih? These are special Sunnah prayers in the month of Ramadan which are prayed following the Isha prayers. A minimum of eight and a maximum of twenty Rakat (units) are offered in pairs of two. Ibn ‘Abbas narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most generous person, and he would be at his most generous in Ramadan because Jibril would come to him every night and he would rehears the Quran with him.” (Bukhari)
What is Sadaqa? Sadaqa is an optional and extra charity that may be given at any time of the year and in any amount or number whereas its obligatory to pay Zakat. Muslims are encouraged to make these voluntary contributions to help the needy and the poor for other social and welfare purposes at any time of the year.
If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.Translation of Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:271
What is Zakat? Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakat will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:227).
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam, and the word means ‘that which purifies. Giving zakat is considered a means of purifying ones wealth and soul. Paying zakat is an obligatory act upon all Muslims who are sane and have the financial means (above the nisab threshold) to pay every lunar year. Nisab is the amount which savings or capital must exceed in order for the Muslim to be obliged to give zakat. The amount of zakat to be paid by an individual depends on the amount of wealth and the type of assets the individual possesses, so a 2.5% zakat is paid for capital assets such as cash, gold and silver. However, if their wealth amounts to less than the threshold figure (nisab) then no zakat is payable.
Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise [Al-Tawbah, 9:60].
To calculate your Zakat Click here
For payment of Zakat, there are three conditions that need to be followed:
The Rates of Zakat Zakat needs only to be paid on those assets that exceed a prescribed limit or minimum value. This minimum value is calculated based on the market price of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of pure silver. They must have owned them for one whole year and they must pay 2.5 % of the total possession.
Items on which Zakat is payable:
Who are the recipients of Zakat? ‘Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller - an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (9:60).
The Quran mentions eight categories in how the Zakat money can be spent. The Zakat money cannot be used for anything else apart for:
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