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See the previous article

Types of Fasting, its Values, Wisdom, and Conditions.

The Third Issue: Types of Fasting:

There are two types of fasting:

1- Compulsory fast.

2- Voluntary fast.

The compulsory fast is also divided into three types:

1/ Ramadan fast.

2/ Expiation fast.

3/ Vows fast.

In this article we shall focus mainly on the Ramadan and voluntary fast, the remaining types of fasting will be discussed in their right topics, insha Allah.

The Fourth Issue: The Virtues of fasting the month of Ramadan and the wisdom of its prescription:

Firstly: The Virtues of fasting the month of Ramadan: Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

["مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ، وَمَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ ‏"‏‏].

["Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for his reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for his reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven”]. (Sahih al-Bukhari 1901, Muslim 670).

He also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

["‏الصلوات الخمس والجمعة إلى الجمعة، ورمضان إلى رمضان، مكفرات ما بينهن إذا اجتنبت الكبائر‏"‏].

["The five daily (prescribed) Salat, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as the major sins are avoided”]. (Muslim Book 9, Hadith 159).

These are some of the virtues of fasting the month of Ramadan, and there are many of them.

Secondly: The Wisdom of the prescription of Ramadan: Allah prescribed fasting for numerous wisdoms and lots of benefit, some of which are:

1/ Purification of the soul and cleansing it, purifying it from the bad mixtures and unhealthy conducts; because fasting tightens the passages of Satan in human body.

2/ Fasting helps to keep away from the world and its desires, and helps to arouse the love of the next world and its enjoinments.

3/ Fasting drives to have compassion on the needy and feel their pains; because the person fasting go through hunger and thirst.

And so on from the many wonderful wisdoms and numerous benefits.

The Fifth Issue: The Conditions that make fasting Ramadan becomes compulsory:

Ramadan is compulsory upon any one who fulfills the following conditions:

1/ Islam: Fasting is not compulsory on a disbeliever and will not be valid if he fasts; because fasting is a worship and the worship done by a disbeliever is invalid, and when he embraces Islam he will not be compelled to do that which have passed him.

2/ Attaining the age of puberty: Fasting is not compulsory on the one who has not attained the age of puberty; due to the saying of the prophet (peace be upon him) that:

[رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ].

[There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded] (Reported by Ahmad 6/100, And Abu Dawud 4/558). He mentioned among them the young boy until he is matured, but the fasting will be valid if a person who is not matured fasts if he is apprehensive. His parent or guardian is supposed to order him to fast so that he will get used to it.

3/ Mentality: Fasting is not compulsory on the insane and mad person; due to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

[رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ].

[There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded] (Reported by Ahmad 6/100, And Abu Dawud 4/558). He mentioned among them the insane until he comes back to his senses.

4/ Health: Fasting is not compulsory on the sick person who is not capable to fast, but if he fasts it will be valid; due to the sayings of Allah the Most High:

{وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ }.

{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} (Qur’an 2:185).

Then when the sick is cured it is compulsory on him to fast the days he did not fast during to the time of his sickness.

5/ State of Residence/Settlement: Fasting is not compulsory on the traveller; due to the sayings of Allah the Most High:

{وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ }.

{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} (Qur’an 2:185).

But if he fasts it becomes valid, and it is compulsory on him to fast the days he did not fast during the time of his journey.

6/ Must not be in Menstruation and postpartum period: Fasting is not compulsory on a woman experiencing her monthly period and one in after birth period, rather it is forbidden on them to fast at that time; due to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that:

["‏ أَلَيْسَ إِذَا حَاضَتْ لَمْ تُصَلِّ، وَلَمْ تَصُمْ فَذَلِكَ نُقْصَانُ دِينِهَا"].

["Isn't it true that a woman does not pray and does not fast on menstruating? And that is the defect (a loss) in her religion”] (Sahih al-Bukhari 1951).

And it is compulsory on them to make up for the days they did not fast after during that period; due to the saying of ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that:

[كَانَ يُصِيبُنَا ذَلِكَ فَنُؤْمَرُ بِقَضَاءِ الصَّوْمِ وَلاَ نُؤْمَرُ بِقَضَاءِ الصَّلاَةِ].

[We used to be in that state (period of menstruation), and we were ordered to make up for the fasts, but we were not ordered to make up for the prayers] (Sahih Muslim 335).


To be continued, insha Allah…

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