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Introduction to Fasting.

The First Issue: Definition of fasting, and explanation of its pillars:

1 - Its definition: It is defined in Arabic language as: Abstaining from something. And In shari'ah it is defined as: Abstaining from eating, drinking, and all other nullifiers with the intention (of worshipping Allah), from the true dawn until sunset.

2 - Its pillars: Through the definition of fasting in the Islamic terminology, it is clear that it has two basic pillars, namely:

1 - To refrain from the nullifiers of fasting from dawn to sunset.

And the evidence of this pillar is the saying of Allah:

{فالآن باشروهن وابتغوا ما كتب الله لكم وكلوا واشربوا حتى يتبين لكم الخيط الأبيض من الخيط الأسود من الفجر ثم أتموا الصيام إلى الليل...}.

{...So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of the night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset...}. (Qur'an2: 187).

The meaning of the white thread and the black thread is the brightness of the day and the darkness of the night.

2 - The intention: The person fasting should intend by doing this act of restraint from the nullifiers (of fasting) worshipping Allah, the exalted. It is by the intention that the acts intended for worshipping of Allah are distinguished from other acts. So, the person fasting intends with this fasting either fasting of Ramadan or other types of fasting.

And the evidence of this pillar is the saying of the prophet (peace be upon him):

[إنما الأعمال بالنيات، وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى].

[Actions are to be judged only by the intentions and a man will have only what he intended]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:1, and Muslim, No:1907).

The second Issue: The ruling of Fasting the month of Ramadan, and its evidence.

Allah has enjoined fasting the month of Ramadan and made it one of the five pillars of Islam.

And that has been proven in the sayings of Allah, the exalted:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ}.

{ O you who have believed, It has been decreed upon you fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous}. (Quran 2: 183).

And His saying, the Almighty:

{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الهدى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ...}.

{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}. (Qur'an2: 185).

And for the Hadith that was narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

 [بُنِيَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامُ الصَّلاَةِ وَإِيتَاءُ الزَّكَاةِ وَصَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ وَحَجُّ الْبَيْتِ ‏من استطاع إليه سبيلاً].

[Islam is built on five (pillars): testifying that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger, and the establishment of prayer, payment of Zakat, the fast of Ramadan, Pilgrimage to the House (Ka'ba) for someone who has the capabitity to do so]. (Saheeh Muslim, No:16).

And for the Hadith narrated by Talha bin Ubaidullah(may Allah be pleased with him) that:

[أَنَّ أَعْرَابِيًّا، جَاءَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثَائِرَ الرَّأْسِ فَقَالَ أَخْبِرْنِي مَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ مِنَ الصِّيَامِ فَقَالَ: ‏"‏ شَهْرَ رَمَضَانَ، إِلاَّ أَنْ تَطَّوَّعَ شَيْئًا"].

[A Bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and said: O Allah's Messenger! Tell me what Allah has enjoined upon me as regards fasting?. He said: Fasting the month of Ramadan, unless you do any more voluntarily...]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:1891).

The Ummah unanimously agreed on the obligatory of Fasting of Ramadan, and that it is one of the pillars of Islam that is necessarily known in the religion, and that who denies it is an unbeliever, apostate from Islam.

So it has been proven by the above, the obligation of fasting by the Qur'an and Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars, and the Muslims unanimously on the disbelieving of who denies its obligatory.

 

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