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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Mannerisms of Fasting by Shaykh al-'Izz ibn 'Abdis-Salâm translated by Abû Rumaysah

They are six:

1. Restraining the tongue and limbs from all that opposes the Divine Law (Sharî'ah).

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever does not leave false speech and acting upon it, Allâh has no need of his leaving food and drink." [Bukhârî]

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said, "It is possible that one standing [in prayer] only attain weariness from his standing and the one fasting only attain hunger and thirst from his fasting." [Ahmad, al-'Irâqî said the isnâd was hasan.]

2. If one is invited to eat while he is fasting, let him say, "I am fasting".

The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "If one of you is invited to eat while fasting, let him say, 'I am fasting' " [Muslim]

3. What should be said when one breaks the fast.

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say upon breaking fast, "The thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain if Allâh wills." [Abû Dâwûd and ad-Dâruqutnî said its isnâd was hasan].

Dhahaba adh-Dhama'u wa-btallati-l-'uruq wa thabata al-ajru inshaAllâh

It is also reported that he said, "O Allâh! It is for you that I have fasted, and it is with your provision that I have broken fast." [Abû Dâwûd with a weak isnâd, however A. al-Arna'ut, Jami' al-Usul, said that it has witnesses that strengthen it.]

In another hadîth, it is reported that he said, "All praise and thanks are due to Allâh who gave me the strength to fast and who gave me the provisions with which to break fast." [al-Bayhaqî with a weak isnâd but it has witnesses that strengthen it.]

4. What the fast should be broken with.

The fast should be broken with fresh dates, or slightly older, drier, dates, or water. It is reported that he (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would break fast with, "Fresh dates before praying; and if not then with older, drier, dates; and if not with dates then with some mouthfuls of water." [Abû Dawûd with a hasan isnâd]

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "If one of you is fasting then let him break fast with dates, if he does not find any, then with water for it is pure and purifying." [Abû Dâwûd with a sahîh isnâd]

5. Hastening the iftâr (breaking of fast)

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "The people will not cease to be upon good so long as they hasten in breaking the fast." [Bukhârî and Muslim]

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allâh, Mighty and Magnificent, says, 'The most beloved of My servants are those who are quickest in breaking fast.' " [Ahmad with a weak isnâd but it has witnesses that strengthen in, Jami' al-Usûl]

He (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "This religion will remain good and pure so long as the
people hasten in breaking the fast for the Jews and Christians would delay it." [Abû Dâwûd with a sahîh isnâd]

'Amr bin Maymûn said, "The Companions of the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would be the quickest of people in breaking the fast and the slowest of them in taking the pre-dawn meal." [al-Bayhaqî]

The iftâr was hastened because it is possible that some physical harm arise from hunger and thirst, hence there is no need to put the soul through such difficulty in a time [after the time of breaking fast] in which hunger and thirst is no longer an action that would draw one closer to Allâh. One of the wealthier people amongst the Salaf was seen eating in the market place and when asked why he replied [by quoting the hadîth], "The delay of the rich is oppression." [Bukhârî and Muslim]

6. Delaying the suhûr (pre-dawn meal)

The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Take the meal of suhûr for indeed in the suhûr lies blessings." [Bukhârî and Muslim]

The suhûr is delayed so as to strengthen one more while he is fasting so that he can perform more actions of obedience, the gap between the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam) taking the suhûr and his prayer would be an interval allowing fifty verses of the Qur'ân to be recited. [Bukhârî and Muslim]


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