The Fast (Roza)
Why is the fast obligatory?
Allah ta’ala says in the holy Koran: « O you believers, we made fast compulsory (made farz) as we made it compulsory upon the people before you, so that you become pious ». [sourah 2, verse 183]
What there can be in the fast so that Allah ta’ala made it obligatory throughout times? The objective of Islam is that people become obedient towards their creator (rab). The humans have been created to be the servants of Allah and thus praying Allah is part of his nature. Allah, who provided human beings with food during a whole year now wants to test mankind to see whether the latter can « leave apart » food and drinks to please Allah, control his desires (nafss), during one month (during the day), It is for this reason that almighty Allah made it obligatory on people.
Insaan (human being) is the « Ashraf-ul-makhlooqaat », which means that he is superiour among all living beings, so the most highly graded among the creatures. He can distingush the good from the bad and can also control (be the master of) his passions (nafss).
But when he let his passions control himself, he then becomes lower than animals.
On the contrary, if he dominates his passions and desires, he can then attain the degree for which Allah created him, to become superior than angels (farishtas/malaaïkas).
The fast : sign of the firmness of our faith (imaan)
Apart from fast, all other forms of ibaadats (worship) have visible movements. For example, during namaz (swalaat) we make several postures which are visible, such as to curve (ruku’), to prostrate (sajdah) that people can see. During the pilgrimage at Meccah (hajj) we accomplish a long journey among thousands of people. Regarding alms (zakaat) there is a donor and a receiver. They are ibaadats that we can’t hide.
But fasting is an exception to this rule since it is an ibaadat that only Allah ta’ala and the faster who knows about it. Therefore if someone do the Sehri and the Iftwaar with the others and then hide to eat during the day, apart from Allah, nobody will know. But actually the rozadaar will never eat or drink even in hiding place because he fasts for the cause of Allah this is a sign of his faith (imaan). This faith in Allah give him force to resist against hunger and thirst during the day and moreover he will move away with bad deeds with the objective of protecting his fast.
In fact, the desobedience towards Allah ta’ala and sins, whatever the amount are haraam (prohibited) to muslims whenever. But during the Ramadwaan, these bad deeds become more serious.
The importance of fast
Now, let’s quote some hadiths where the beloved Prophet of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad Mustwafaa shows us the importance of roza (fast):
Hazrat Sahl Ibn Sa’ad (r.a) repports that the holy Prophet said: « The jannat (paradise) comprises 8 doors. Among these gates, there is one so called Ar-Rayyaan. It is through this door that Allah will make the rozadaars reach paradise and when these fasters will be in, this door will be closed ». (Bukhaari – Muslim – Tirmizi)
Hazrat Abu Huraÿrah (r.a) repports that the messenger of Allah said: « For each good deed that someone accomplish he obtain from ten (10) to seven hundred (700) thawaabs (reward units), except for roza, for which Allah says: « The fast is done for me and therefore it is ME that will give the reward ». For the faster, there are two (2) moments of joy: first, when he breaks the fast (iftwaar) and second when he will meet his creator. The odour that comes out of the mouth of the faster is more pleasant to Allah than the perfume of mushk (musc) » . (Bukhaari – Muslim – Mishkaat).
The fast is not a burden for the believer, but must be seen as an institution of discipline where human being obtain the power over his passions, learn to control and dominate his desires, by the same occasion dominate satan the maudit. I fh ehas been able to abstain from halaal (permitted) things in normal time, during his fast, so why won’t he make any effort to abstain himself from haraam (prohibited) deeds, this is the objective of the fast that Allah imposed on us.
Furthermore, the fast prevent the person from doing gheebah (to tell bad things about somebody behind his back), from lying, from telling bad words or from doing bad deeds. Moreover, when we experience hunger or thirst during the fast, we become aware of the misery which the poor have, those who have nothing to eat or drink. This must encourage us to make more charity and more often to pay assistance of the needy ones.
Hazrat Abu Huraÿrah (r.a) reports that the holy Prophet said that if somebody observes the fast but does not avoid to tell bad words, Allah won’t make him any consideration although this person would have deprived himself from eating and drinking. (Bukhaari – Muslim – Abu Daawood – Tirmizi)
In fact, desobedience towards Allah ta’ala and sins, whatever the quantity are haraam (prohibited) upon muslims whenever. But during Ramadwaan, these deeds become more serious.
Hazrat Abu Sa’eed (r.a) reports that the messenger of Allah said: « The one who observe one day of fast for the cause of Allah, Allah will get him away from hell to a distance of seventy (70) years ». (Bukhaari – Muslim – Tirmizi).
Hazrat Abdullah Ibne Umar (r.a) reports that the holy Prophet of Allah said that the fast and the holy Koran will intercede (shafa’at) for a servant. The fast will say: « I prevented him to eat food and accomplish sexual intercourse (janaabat) during the day, so please accept my intercession for him » and the holy Koran will say: « I prevented him to sleep at night, so please accept my intercession for him » and almighty Allah by his leniency will accept the intercession of these two speakers. (Tibraani – Baihiqi – Mishkaat).
Hazrat Abu Huraÿrah (r.a) reports that the messenger of Allah said: « When the month of Ramadwaan begins, the doors of jannat (paradise) open and the doors of jahannam (hell) are closed and the evils are chained ». (Bukhaari – Muslim – Mishkaat).
Regarding this hadith, a very great scholar and friend of Allah (wali-ullaah), Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlewi (r.a) commented on the meaning of « all the doors of the paradise are open » which means that Allah sends his blessings in abundance, the good deeds and du’as (requests) of the fasters are presented in front of Allah (baargaahe ilaahi) without any exception and are all accepted. Thus, the fasters obtain possibility to do more. The meaning of « all the doors of hell are closed » means that the desires which push the insaans (humans) to make sin are controlled. « The evil are chained » means that the way of bad thinkings is closed.
The mission of Satan is to push people in the wrong path. Since satan is chained during Ramadwan, then why people continue to make sin?
There are two categories of evil, as mentionned in the holy Koran [sourah 114, verse 6]
1- evil among the djinns (genius)
2- evil among the insaans (human beings)
A great saint and scholar, Imaam Al-Ghazzaali (r.a) did precise that the first category is chained but the second category remains free and influence the humans.
A saint (buzrug) once saw an evil resting at ease witout any concern and asked him: « You evil, your work is to sow discord among men (insaans) and make them step the wrong path and make them forget the ibaadats of their Lord, isn’t it? ».
The evil replied: « You said the truth but this work I am supposed to do, men are themselves making this job in my place! So I’m resting without any concern since men took my place (he is doing the job in my place) ».
Dear muslim brothers and sisters, we must benefit from this blessed month which is Ramadwaan we obtained. Each second (moment) which passes during its day and night, we must understand its value and benefit from it. We must make an effort as long as possible to remain far with the anger of Allah and to make our duty move us away from the sins and also prevent the others from making these sins.
Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (r.a) heard that the holy Prophet said: « The one who see someone making a bad deed, must prevent him with his hands. If he cannot, so he must prevent him with his mouth (words). And if he still don’t succeed, then he must fight it in his heart and this is the minimum that the faith (imaan) require ». (Muslim)
Muslim must act in the following way, as Allah says in the holy Koran: « The believers are friends to each other and they mutually help themselves. They order what is permissible and defend what is prohibited. Allah promissed to the believers the paradise… where they will live eternally ». (sourah 9 – verses 71-72).
We beseech Allah ta’ala to grant us the tawfeeq (good occasion) to appear among his good servants and to allow us to profit the maximum of the infinite benefits that he held for us during this great month.
According to some scholars, the five (5) letters of the word « Ramadwaan » have each a meaning:
1- the « Re » for « Rahmat-e-Ilaahi » - the Grace of Allah.
2- the « Meem » for « Maghfirat-e-Ilaahi » - the forgiveness of Allah.
3- the « Dwaad » for « Dwamaan-e-Ilaahi » - the Guarantee of Allah.
4- the « Alif » for « Aman-e-Ilaahi » - the Safeguard of Allah.
5- the « Noun » for « Ni’mat-e-Ilaahi » - Favours of Allah.
So it’s up to us to benefit from all these gifts from Allah the Merciful, during this sacred month of Ramadwaan.
The rules (masaaïls) of fast (roza)
Masla 1: Roza during the month of Ramadwan is strictly compulsory. It is one of the five pillars of Islam (imaan, namaz, roza, zakaat & hajj). The one who don’t accept it is a non-believer (kaafir). The one who neglect (abandon) the roza, without any valid reason, is a sinner (gunehgaar) and the punishment for this reject is the Hell.
Masla 2: There are three (3) types of Roza :
1- « Aam » (Roza of everybody). It means to abstain oneself from eating, drinking and having sexuel intercourse (janaabat).
2- « Khaas » (Complete Roza). to abstain oneself from eating, drinking and having sexuel intercourse and to move away eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet and entire body from sins.
3- « Khaas-ul-khaas » (Complete of complete Roza). To give up all and to dedicate oneself completely to Allah ta’ala. Thus to be plunged in permanent ibaadat.
Masla 3: The rozas of the entire month of Ramadwaan (the 29 or 30 days of the month) are obligatory (faraz).
Masla 4: the meaning of roza according to shariah is to stay without eating, drinking and abstain from sexual intercourse from dawn (soubha-saadik) to sunset (maghrib) with the intention to do the ibaadats of Allah ta’ala.
Masla 5: Thee roza becomes obligatory as from the age of puberty (baaligh). Regarding children who did not yet attain puberty but are physically capable of observing roza, we must make them accomplish roza even to « force » them so that they may get the habit.
Masla 6: To do roza, ladies must be paak (clean/pure) which means that they must be out of their menstruation period (hayz) and childbirth (nifaas). They thus have not the right to do roza during these periods and must replace the number of missed rozas after these periods.
Masla 7: It is not obligatory to read the niyyat of roza (declaration of intention) with his mouth, but it is better and recommanded (mustahab) to do it thus, that is to pronounce it with his mouth.
Masla 8: If someone eat at night and do his niyyat right at night, it won’t be necessary for him to read the niyyat again if he happen to eat before the last time of sehri.
Masla 9: It is imperative (necessary) to do the niyyat of roza before the zenith (zawwaal). If one do the niyyat after the zawwaal time, the roza won’t be valid.
Masla 10: It is necessary to formulate a niyyat for each roza of Ramadwaan observed. If someone make a niyyat on the first day only for the whole month of Ramadwaan, only the first day will be counted.
Masla 11: If a lady who is still in her period of hayz or nifaas make the niyyat at night to observe roza on the following day, her roza will be valid if she becomes pure (clean/paak) before the subha-saadik (dawn). If she becomes paak after the dawn, the roza won’t be valid.
Masla 12: If a lady becomes paak during the day (even without intention of roza) it will be necessary for her (waajib) to spend the rest of the day as being roza and it will be obligatory (farz) on her to replace this « missed » roza.
Masla 13: The 5 forbidden days for fasting are: the day of Eid-ul-Fitr (1st Shawwaal), the day of Eid-ul-adha (10th Zil-hajj) and the 11th, 12th et 13th of the month of Zil-hajj.
Masla 14: If someone made a promise (mannat) to observe a roza, the « promised » roza will become (waajib) onto him if he succeed in his mannat, which means that he obtains a positive result of his promise.
Masla 15: If someone cancel a nafil (overtime) roza, it will be necessary (waajib) for him to replace it.
Things which cancel the roza (fast)
Hadith: Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (r.a) reports that the holy messenger of Allah said:
« If someone voluntarily cancel (break) a roza of Ramadwaan without any valid reason, then, even if he observe roza daily for the rest of his life, he will never be able to compensate this lost roza ». (Abu Daawood, Ibn Maaja, Tirmizi, Mishkaat).
Masla 1: The fact to eat, to drink, or having sexual intercourse with knowledge, this cancel the roza. But if they are done by lapse of memory (to forget), the roza is not cancelled.
Masla 2: Smoking cancel the roza.
Masla 3: Something that melts in the mouth such as sugar, salt etc…, if we put it in mout hand swallow the saliva, the roza is cancelled.
Masla 4: If a drip of tears gets in the mouth an dis swallowed, the roza is not cancelled. But if we swallow more than that and we get the salted taste, the roza is cancelled. Same thing for the perspiration.
Masla 5: If food of the size of a gram seed or more is retained in the teeth and is swallowed, the roza is cancelled.
If this food is less than the size of a gram seed, and is taken out of the mouth and then swallowed again, the roza is cancelled.
Masla 6: If someone has a tooth bleeding or having an oral bleeding (from the mouth) and this blood got through the throat, if the quantity of blood is more than saliva, the roza is cancelled. But if the blood is less than saliva an dit gives the taste of blood, the roza is cancelled too.
Masla 7: If someone goes to extract a tooth (dentist) and blood passed through his throat (even if the person is asleep), the roza is cancelled.
Masla 8: If someone washes his mouth (to do the kulli) and let water pass the throat or if someone washes his nostrils and water goes ahead, with the knowledge of roza, the roza is cancelled. Thus, in state of roza, take all precautions whilst washing the mouth and nostrils, also during wazou, avoid gargling the mouth.
Masla 10: To put medicine in nostrills or oil in the ears, the roza is cancelled. If someone washes his ears and that water get into the ears, the rozais not cancelled. If during sleep, someone eats or drinks something, the roza is cancelled. Medical injections also cancel the roza.
Masla 11: If someone keep a sewing thread in the mouth and the saliva changed in colour, if this saliva is swallowed, the roza is cancelled.
Masla 12: If someone voluntarily vomits full mouth, his roza is cancelled. But if he involuntarily vomits full mouth, his roza is not cancelled. If he vomits voluntarily small mouth, the roza is not cancelled. These vomitings are concerning food, bile or blood. In case of spitting (phlegm) or glaire, the roza is not cancelled whatever the quantity.
Things which do not cancel the roza (fast)
Hadith : Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (r.a) reports that the beloved Prophet said: « If a rozedaar did eat or drink by lapse of memory (forgot), he must carry on his roza (which is not cancelled) because Allah ta’ala made him eat or drink ». (Bukhaari – Muslim – Mishkaat)
Masla 1: If someone did eat, drink or had sexual intercourse by lapse of memory, the roza is not cancelled.
Masla 2: If a small volatile or smoke or dust get through our throat, the roza is not cancelled. But if we do it purposely, the roza is cancelled for example, if we voluntarily put “agarbatti” or “lobann” under the nose to breathe, the roza is cancelled.
Masla 3: To put oil on the head or the “surma” to the eyes or “attar” (parfume), the roza is not cancelled.
Masla 4: Swallow the saliva or glaire or spittings (phlegm) whatever the quantity does not cancel the roza. But it is makrouh (disadvised, almost forbidden) to accumulate them in the mout hand then swallow them into great quantities.
Masla 5: In case of tooth or muth bleeding, if the blood is not swallowed, the roza is not cancelled.
Masla 6: A rozedaar who forgot and was eating and happened to recall his roza, and spit at once to free his mouth, his roza is not cancelled. But if he voluntarily swallow what he had in his mouth after having recalled, his roza is cancelled.
Masla 7: On doing a “wet-dream” (ehtelaam) the roza is not cancelled. But in this case the Ghusal (grand bath) becomes obligatory and quick!
Masla 8: If someone has a sexual intercourse just before the sehri and begins the roza without ghussal, his roza will be valid at that very moment. But it is prohibited (haraam) to stay without glussal as much time that namaz becomes qaza (that is he misses his namaz).
In a hadith, it is said that the angels of blessings do not enter a house where people stay without ghussal after a sexual intercourse.
Masla 9: A rozedaar who does “gheebah” (talking bad about somebody during his absence), his roza is not cancelled. But the “gheebah” diminish the the value (the light) of roza.
Things which are disadvised (makrooh) during roza
Hadith: Hazrat Abu Hurayra (r.a) repports that the chief of the prophètes, Hazrat Muhammad said: « The roza does not only means to abstain from eating and/or drinking, but also to saty far away of useless or bad talkings ». (Horakim, Ibn Khazima)
A “makrooh” thing in the context of roza means a bad thing for the roza, thus a blâmable thing. Even though it does not cancel the roza, it makes it lose its value, its light, thus the blessings of Allah the roza contain.
Conclusion: The “Makroohaats” (plural of makrooh) are strongly disadvised, thus almost prohibited.
Masla 1: In normal time, deeds such as to lie, to do gheebah, to swear (swearwords), to tell bad words, to give difficulties or pain to somebody, are haraams (prohibited). During the Ramadwan, these are more serious and make the roza makrooh.
Masla 2: If a rozedaar washes the mouth with more water than necessary (than usual) same thing for the nostrills, this make roza makrooh.
Masla 3: To cumulate saliva (or spittings or galaire) in the mouth to swallow it afterwards make the roza makrooh.
Masla 4: It is “Mustahab” (recommanded) to accomplish the sehri at ease. But to take too much time with the doubt the limit time of sehri is over, make the roza makrooh.
Masla 5: To suck the lips or the tongue make roza makrooh.
Masla 6: It is mahrooh for a rozedaar (man or woman) to kiss somebody (man or woman) or to interlace or to hold the neck or to touch the body in a way of waking up sexual desire.
Masla 7: It is makrooh to brush the teeth with toothpaste or charcoal or any other products because if we happen to swallow a bit, the roza will be cancelled. But it is allowed to use “miswaak” (daatwaan) green or dried to brush one’s teeth even if we get the bitter taste in the mouth, since it is a sunnah (principle) of the holy Prophet thus very recommended. (Ramadwan or not).
Reasons permitted not to observe the roza (exemption)
Allah ta’ala precise us in the holy Koran: « If among you there are people who are sick or travelling, they can replace the fast in other days (later on). Allah wants facility for you and not difficulty ». [sourah 2, verse 185]
Hadith: Hazrat Aysha Siddeeqa (r.a) reports that Hazrat Hamza-bin-Amar-Al-Aslaami (r.a) was an accustomed of roza and he asked the holy Messenger if he could observe the roza during a journey and the Prophet replied to him: « I fyou absolutely want to do roza you can observe it but otherwise if you don’t want to, you may not do it ». [Bukhaari, Muslim]
To be a traveller (Musaafir) according to the shari’at, means someone who, from his residence, accomplish a journey of 92 kms or more (57 ½ mile or more) and decide not to stay 15 days or more in a single place. But if he has the firm intention to stay in a place for at least 15 days or more, he then is not considered as a (Musaafir) whatever the distance covered. If he goes to 2 places or more, for example, stays 10 days in a place and 5 days in another place, he will be considered as a Musaafir (traveller).
The Shariah (islamic law based on Koran and hadith) allow not to observe roza in some cases. And in these cases only, it is not a sin (gunaah).
Masla 1: Travel, pregnancy, sickness, old age are valid reasons not to observe roza and for these reasons, we are not sinners (gunehgaar), but as soon as these problems (or cases) disappear or end, we must replace the number of missed rozas as qazaa.
Masla 2: Someone who leaves the country or town of his residence to go to work (deen or dunya work) is considered as a traveller and will have to do the qaza (replacement) upon his return.
Masla 3: If a musaafir travels 57 ½ miles or more (more than 92 kms) and decide to stay less than 15 days, he will have the choice to observe roza or not. But in absence of travel difficulties, it is preferable (better) that he observes roza. On the contrary, he will have to do the qazaa.
Masla 4: The sick person who run the risk of seeing his sickness become more serious or get longer, will have the permission not to do roza but will have to do the qazaa later on.
Masla 5: Someone who is too old and becomes weaker day after day, and who cannot observe the roza, and furthermore has no hope to gain courage afterwards to observe roza, will be allowed not to observe roza but will have to pay fidyas for the number of rozas concerned.
Masla 6: The fidya for a roza is to offer to a poor, food for one day (minimum of 2 meals) or give him an amount of money equivalent to the quantity of food for one day.
Masla 7: If because of the hotness of summer, a person cannot observe roza, but can do it in winter, he will be able to do it in winter.
Masla 8: If an old person can observe roza but has a weakness of not being able to do the namaz in the standing position, will then be allowed to observe roza and thus do his namaz in the sitting posture.
Masla 9: It is allowed for those offering the Fidyah, to give it either for Ramadwaan entirely or day by day. It is also allowed to give the fidyah to several miskeens (poor/needy) or to give several fidyahs to only one miskeen.
Masla 10: If after having given the fidyah, a person get sufficient force to observe the roza. He must replace these rozas (qazaa), his fidyah thus offered will be considered as sadqah nafil.
Masla 11: if a pregnant lady who fears roza for her health and/or the health of her baby or a lady who gives her milk to her baby, having the same fear, will be allowed not to observe roza in these cases and will have to do the qaza after these periods. Otherwise, that is in the absence of this fear, she will have to observe the roza.
Masla 12: A lady, during her period of hayzz (menstruation) or nifaas (bleeding after childbirth) is prohibited of roza but will have to do the qaza out of these periods.
For further details on masaail (rules) [plural of masla], always consult ‘aalims
Source : http://chezdeen.com/eng/