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Saum (fasting) and Taraweeh

. Fasting in the month of RAMADHAAN is one of the five pillars of Islam. 
2. Fasting in the month of Ramadhaan is FARZ upon every Muslim, male and female who is sane and mature. 
3. Almighty Allah has promised great reward for those that Fast, whilst severe punishment is in store for those that do NOT fast in the month of Ramadhaan. 
4. Fasting has many physical, moral and social benefits. However, Allah has made fasting compulsory so that we become pious, God fearing and God conscious. 
5. Fasting in ISLAM means to stay away from EATING, DRINKING and COHABITATION from Subha Sadiq (early dawn) to sunset with a Niyyat of ROZAH (fasting). 

Types of Fast
There are EIGHT types of ROZAH as follows 
1. Farze Muaiyyan - Fasting for the whole month of Ramadhaan once a year. 
2. Farze Ghair Muaiyyan - The duty upon one to keep QAZAA of Rozah missed in the month of Ramadhaan with or without a valid reason. 
3. Wajib Muaiyyan - To vow to keep a fast on a specific day or date for the sake of Allah, upon the fulfilment of some wish or desire (NAZR). 
4. Wajib Ghair Muaiyyan - To vow or pledge to keep a fast without fixing any day or date, upon the fulfilment of a wish (Nazr). Those Rozahs which are kept for breaking one's Qasm (oath) also fall under this category. 
5. Sunnat - Those Rozahs which Rasulullah  kept and encouraged others to keep e.g. fasting on the 9th and l0th of Muharram, the 9th of Zil Hijjah, etc. 
6. Mustahab - All fasts besides Farz, Wajib and Sunnat are Mustahab e.g. fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. 
7. Makrooh - Fasting ONLY on the 9th or l0th Muharram or fasting ONLY on Saturdays. 
8. Haraam - It is Haraam to fast on FIVE days during the year. They are Eidul Fitr, Eidul Adha and three days after Eidul Adha. 

The Niyyat (intention)
1. The Niyyat (intention) of fasting is NECESSARY. If a person stays away from all those things that break one's fast without a Niyyah, the fast will NOT be valid. 
2. It is NOT necessary to express the Niyyat verbally as Niyyat means to intend. Thus, the intention at heart will suffice. However, it is better to express the Niyyat verbally also . 
3. The time for Niyyat lasts upto midday for Farze Muaiyyan, Wajib Muaiyyan, Sunnat or Mustahab fasts. The hours of a day are from Subha Saadiq to sunset. 
4. The Niyyat for Farze Ghair Muaiyyan and Wajib Ghair Muaiyyan should be made before Subha Saadiq. 

Dua at the time of breaking fast 
 
Mustahabs in fasting
1. To partake of SEHRI (the meal before Subha Sadiq) 
2. To delay the Sehri upto a little Subha Sadiq. 
3. To break one's fast immediately after the sunset. 
4. To break one's fast with dry or fresh dates if available. If dates are NOT available, then with water. 
5. To make Niyyat at night. 

Things Makrooh while fasting
1. To chew gum, rubber, plastic items or other such things. 
2. To taste any article of food or drink and spit it out. If a woman has a very ill-tempered husband, it is permissible for her to taste the food provided it does NOT go down the throat. 
3. To collect one's saliva in the mouth and then to swallow it trying to quench thirst. 
4. To delay a bath that has become FARZ knowingly until after Subha Sadiq. 
5. To use paste or tooth powder to clean one's teeth. It is permitted to clean with a miswaak of any fresh branch or (tooth stick). 
6. To complain of hunger and thirst. 
7. To take the water too much up the nostrils when cleaning the nose. 
8. To gargle more than necessary. 
9. To quarrel, argue, use filthy or indecent words. 
10. To backbite, tell a lie and swear etc. are sinful acts even when one is not fasting. Therefore they become even worse when fasting. 

Return to Contents of this page 
Things that break one's fast
Things that break one's fast are of two kinds. Some make only Qaza necessary whilst others make both QAZA and KAFFAARAH compulsory. 
1. Qaza:-  To keep one fast in place of the one that breaks, or is broken intentionally. 
2. Kaffarah:- To keep one fast after another for sixty days CONTINUOUSLY. 

However, if a person is unable to keep these 60 Rozas for some valid reason e.g. continuous sickness, then one has the option of choosing from one of the following four: 
1. Feed sixty poor people to their fill for two meals, or 
2. Feed one poor person two meals a day for sixty days; or 
3. Give 60 poor persons 3 1/2 Ibs. (approx. l.6kg of wheat or its value in cash or food grains) 
4. Give to one poor person not less than 3 1/2 Ibs. of wheat, rice or food grains, etc. to its value or cash for sixty days. 

Things that break one's fast but make only Qaza wajib
1. Anything put by force into the mouth of fasting persons. 
2. Water goes down the throat whilst gargling, conscious of one's fasting. 
3. To vomit mouthful intentionally or to return vomit down the throat. 
4. Swallowing intentionally a pebble, piece of paper or any item that is not used as food or medicine. 
5. Swallowing something edible, equal to or bigger than a grain of gram which was stuck between the teeth. However if it is first taken out of the mouth and swallowed, it will break the fast whether it is smaller or bigger than the size of a gram. 
6. Putting oil into the ear. 
7. Inhaling snuff into the nostrils. 
8. Swallowing the blood from the if the colour of the blood is more than saliva with which it is mixed. 
9. To eat and drink forgetting that one is fasting and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to eat and drink again. 
10. To eat and drink after Subha Sadiq or to break the fast before sunset due to a cloudy sky or a faulty watch etc. and then realising one's fault. 

N.B. Any other fast other than a Ramadhaan one whether broken intentionally or with a good and valid reason, makes ONLY Qaza WAJIB. There is NO Kaffarah for breaking any fast besides that of Ramadhaan. 
Things that make both Qaza and Kaffarah wajib
1. Eating, drinking or breaking the fast in any other manner e.g. smoking, etc. without a valid reason, will make both Qaza and Kaffarah necessary. 
2. Applying SURMA into the eye or rubbing oil on the head and then thinking that the fast is broken, to eat and drink intentionally. 
3. To drink any kind of medicine intentionally. (Note: INJECTION is permitted.) 

Things that do not break the fast
1. To eat or drink something unintentionally. 
2. A mosquito, fly or any other object going down the throat unintentionally. 
3. Water entering the ears. 
4. Dust or dirt going down the throat. 
5. Swallowing one's OWN saliva. 
6. Taking an injection. 
7. Applying of Surma (kohl) into the eyes. 
8. Taking a bath to keep cool. 
9. Rubbing oil onto the body or hair. 
10. To vomit unintentionally. 
11. Applying Itr or perfume. It is NOT permitted to inhale the smoke of Lobaan or Agarbatti whilst fasting. It is also NOT permitted to smoke cigarettes or inhale its smoke. 
12. Brushing the teeth without tooth paste or powder e.g. using a Miswaak, etc. 
13. A dream which makes Ghusl WAAJIB (necessary) does NOT break the Rozah. 

People exempted from fasting in Ramadaan
1. Sick people when their health is likely to be badly affected by fasting. They should make up the loss, a day for a day, when they recover after Ramadhaan. 
2. A Musafir (one who is undertaking d journey of more than 77 kms and does NOT intend staying more than 14 days at his destination). However, it is better for him to fast in Ramadhaan than keep Qaza later, provided the journey is NOT a tiresome one. 
3. If it is feared that hunger or thirst will lead to death, it is permitted to break one's fast. 
4. It is WAJIB to keep Qaza of a NAFL fast that was broken before completing it. 

Return to Contents of this page 
Fidya for fast
FIDYA (COMPENSATION) 
1. A very old person who does NOT have the strength to fast or a very sickly or diseased person who has NO hope of recovering after Ramadhaan should give FIDYA for each fast he fast missed in Ramadhaan. 
2. The Fidya for a fast is similar to that of a missed Farz or Wajib Salaat i.e. 
To give 3 1/2 Ibs = approx 1.6kg of wheat 
OR 7 lbs = approx 3.2kg of barley 
OR the equivalent of the above in cash or kind. 
If, however, an old or sick person gains strength or recovers after Ramadhaan, he must keep the missed number of fasts and whatever was given as Fidya will be a reward for him from Allah Ta'ala. 
No one is allowed to fast for another (sick or fit ) person. 
Children should be encouraged to fast, but should not be forced to complete the fast upto sunset if they are unable to bear the hunger. 

Iítikaaf
I'TIKAAF means to enter the Masjid with the Niyyat of residing therein. 
(MU'TAKIF: One who makes I'TIKAAF). 

Types of I'tikaaf
1. Wajib - To Vow or pledge to make I'TIKAAF (on a fixed day) for the sake of Allah upon the fulfilment of some wish or desire. The least duration of a WAJIB I'tikaaf is one day and night and it must be accompanied by a fast. 
2. Sunnat-e-Muakkeda - To reside the last ten nights and days of Ramadhaan in the Masjid is SUNNATE MUAKKADAH ALAL KIFAYAH i.e. If a person from the community fulfils the obligation of I'tikaaf the entire community will be absolved of this sacred duty. Otherwise all the residents will be sinful of neglecting this SUNNAT of our NABI . 
3. Mustahab or Nafil - This 1'tikaaf can be for any amount of time, even for a few minutes. No fast (Roza) is conditional for MUSTAHAB or NAFL I'tikaaf. 

Conditions of I'tikaaf
1. Islam. 
2. Sane i.e. a person should not be mad. 
3. Taharat. To be free from HADASE AKBAR. 
4. Niyyat. Intention. 

Things permitted during Iítikaaf
1. Eating. 
2. Sleeping. 
3. Discussing matters of Deen or necessary talk. 
It is MAKROOH to observe complete silence as a form of IBADAT (worship). 

One is permitted to leave the Musjid
1. For WAJIB Ghusl. 
2. For Wudhu. 
3. To answer the call of nature (toilet). 
LEAVING THE MUSJID without a valid Shar'ee reason will nullify the I'tikaaf. 

Things to do during I'tikaaf
1. A Mu'takif should engage himself in Ibaadat. 
2. Recital of the Holy Quraan. NAFL Salaat and Zikr. 
3. Durood Sharif and Istighfaar. 
4. Remembrance of Allah Ta'ala. 
5. Learn or teach the knowledge of deen. 

Return to Contents of this page 
I'tikaaf for Women
A woman should perform I'tikaaf in her home at the place where she performs her daily Salaat or any suitable place. 
Niyyah for Nafl Iítikaaf 
 
I intend making Iítikaaf for Allah till the I remain in the Musjid 
Tarawih
Tarawih Salaat is SUNNATE MUíAKKADAH for both men and women. 
To perform Tarawih with Jamaíat is SUNNATE MUíAKKADAH for men. 
If a person performs Tarawih at home whilst Tarawih is being performed at the Masjid, he will NOT be sinful. However, if all the neighbours perform their Tarawih alone at home, then all will be sinful because of neglecting the Jama'at. 

The time for Tarawih is from after Esha Salaat to a little before Subha Sadiq. It can be performed before and after the Witr Salaat also.
If one has missed a few Rak'aats of Tarawih and the Imam has commenced the Witr then this Muqtadi may join for the Witr and complete the remainder of his Tarawih thereafter.
20 Rak'aats with 10 Salaams are MASNOON i.e. one should have a Niyyat for 2 Rak'aats of Tarawih each time. After every four Rak'aats it is Mustahab to sit a while and take a rest.
One may remain silent or recite the Quran Sharif or Tasbih in a low voice or say Nafl Salaat separately during the period of rest after every four Rak'aats.
lt is MAKROOH to perform Tarawih sitting if one has the strength of Qiyam (standing).
While performing Tarawih some do not join the Jama'at from the beginning but join the Imam when he prepares to go into Ruku. This is MAKROOH. They should join at the beginning.
If one does NOT get the Jama'at for Farz, he should perform his Farz alone and then join the Jama'at for Tarawih.
Virtues of Fasting
1. Hazrat Abu Hurairah  reported that the Apostle of Allah  said, "When Ramadhaan comes, the doors of Heaven are opened and the doors of Hell are closed and the devils are put in chains and the doors of Mercy are opened." 
2. The Prophet Muhammad  said, "The fragrance of the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the smell of musk." 
3. Hazrat Sahl bin Saad  reported that Rasulullah  said, "In Paradise there are eight doors of which there is a door named RAYYAAN. None but those that fast will enter it." 
4. Hazrat Abu Hurairah  reported that Rasulullah  said, "Whoever breaks fast on one day of Ramadhaan without excuse or illness, his fasting of his whole age will not compensate it." 
5. Hazrat Anas  reported that the Messenger of Allah  said, "Partake of Sehri before dawn because in this Sehri there is Barakat (blessing)." 
6. Hazrat Abu Hurairah  reported that the Messenger of Allah  said, ďWhoever fasts during Ramadhaan with faith and is hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven and whoever stands up in Namaaz with faith and is hopeful of reward all his past sins will be forgiven and whoever stands up in Namaaz during the blessed night with faith and is hopeful of reward all his past sins will be forgiven.Ē 

Return to Contents of this page 
There are six duties in fast known as Sunnats
1. To partake of Sehri or predawn meals. 
2. To break fast immediately after sunset. 
3. Te read Tarawih Salaat at night. 
4. To feed the poor and hungry. 
5. To increase the reading of the Holy Quraan. 
6. To observe Iítikaaf within the Musjid during the last ten days of Ramadhaan. 

Fasting teaches sympathy for the hungry
Fasting is the only method whereby the pangs of hunger, the ever present companion of the poor, are experienced by the rich. Thus this experience kindles a spirit of kindness to the poor and distressed. It also gives rise to the thought of how people will fare on the Day of Resurrection, when the greatest urge of hunger and thirst will be felt. 
Doníts of Ramadhaan and at all times
1. Donít speak without purpose. 
2. Donít be vulgar or rude. 
3. Donít be irritable. 
4. Donít tell lies. 
5. Donít backbite. 
6. Donít argue or fight. 
7. Donít be boastful and arrogant. 
8. Donít swear. 
9. Donít eat doubtful food at Iftar. 
10. Donít look at undesirable things. 
11. Donít listen to objectionable speech. 
12. Donít gossip. 
13. Donít commit any sins

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