FASTING, ITS MANNERS AND RULINGS BY ABDULLAH SAALIH
InnalhamdaLillaahinahmaduhuwanasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhubillaahi min shuroorianfusinaa wa min sayi’aatia’maalinaa. Man yahdihIllaahufalaamudillalahuwa man yudlilfalaahaadiyalahu. Waashhadu an laailaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la sharikalahu wa ashhaduannaMuhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhusallalahualayhi wa alaalihiwasallam.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
(Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُون[
O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islaam. Soorat-ul-Aal-i-'Imran ayah 102
]يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمِ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا[
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. Sooratun- Nisaa' ayah 1
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا]
O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.Soorat-ul-Ahzaabayaat 70-71 
Praise be to Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Well-Known by His Ultimate Generosity, Great Favor and All-Encompassing Benevolence. I praise Him, glorified is He, for His great, abundant and good favors. I testify that there is no god but Allah, with Whom there are no partners, Who has made fasting inRamadan one of the pillars of Islam, and doubled the reward for those who observe Fasting and perform the optional night prayer - Tarawih.
I testify that Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is His slave and Messenger, the example to be followed by all believers and the leader of the righteous. He(Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was the most generous of all people, especially in Ramadan when he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) met Gabriel and reviewedThe Holy Qur’an with him. During those days, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) became more generous, giving good things - like the winds sent to bring rain.
May Allah show mercy on him (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and to his Companions, who were like the lamps that lit the darkness and the leaders of guidance. They used to hasten to do good deeds and competed in acts of obedience and deeds that brought them nearer to Allah. They were the keenest of people to attain goodness, exerting praiseworthy efforts in doing good. They kept on reciting The Holy Qur’an, and were very attentive in avoiding acts that would nullify their fasting. To achieve that, they used to free themselves from many worldly affairs, and occasionally stayed in mosques, studying of The Holy Qur’an and avoiding any act that might blemish their fasting. They used to say: “We should preserve our fast and avoid harming people.”
O People! Fear Allah and obey Him, glorify His Graces and give thanks to Him. Strive to be obedient and know that Allah’s Favors are innumerable.
Allah says which translates as: “And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” (An-Nur: 31). “It is such as obey Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah and do right, that will win (in the end)” (An-Nur: 52).
O Believers! Soon you will receive an honorable guest and a great season i.e., the blessed month of Ramadan. May Allah extend our lives until it comes and guide us to seek nearness to Him with things that He likes and is pleased with, and gather us with the earlier company of the leading pious people. Verily, He is the Most Generous, All-Kind and Most Merciful.
O Believers! It was reported that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Whoever observes fasting in Ramadan, out of faith and in anticipation of Allah’s Reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven”, also “whoever prays the nights of Ramadan, out of faith and in anticipation of Allah’s reward will have all previous sins forgiven”.Sahih Al-BukhariVol 1:38 and Vol 3:125
In addition he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Whoever stands in Prayer on the night of Lailat Al-Qadr [the Night of Revelation], all his previous sins will be forgiven”.Sahih al-Bukhari 2014
He (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) also said: “Fasting is like a shield. On the day one of you is fasting, he should avoid obscenity and clamor. If anyone insults him or abuses him, he should say: I am fasting”.Sahih Muslim 1151
The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) stressed striving to keep fasting free from anything that may render it null, saying: “Whoever does not give up falsehood and its application and foolish behavior, Allah will be in no need that he gives up food and drink”. Sahih al-Bukhari 1903
Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “If you fast, let your hearing, sight and tongue observe fasting from lying and sins. You should desist from harming your neighbor, and be distinguished by solemnity and calmness on the day you observe fasting and do not make the day on which you break your fasting and the day you fast the same (in behavior).
O Believers! The above-mentioned statements describe the desirable behavior of Muslims in Ramadan, which can be elaborated as follows:
First: To have the pre-dawn meal (Suhur) to support fasting during the day. It is preferable to have it shortly before the dawn. It is also preferable to break the fast immediately after sunset, for people will continue to be good as long as they break their fast immediately after sunset, and delay their Suhur to the time just before Fajr.
Second: To avoid all words and deeds or acts leading to that which may breach or invalidate one’s fasting.
Third: To perform supererogatory night Prayer, especially Tarawih to the best of ones’ ability until the Iman concludes and offer any number of Rak’at at the latter part of the night. One may take a nap during the day to be physically able to perform supererogatory night prayer vigorously and enthusiastically.
Fourth: To avoid staying awake until late at night spending time doing things other than devotion, for this eliminates the blessings of this special time and deprives man from many good aspects of using this time well and leads to committing sins.
Fifth: To spend time in doing great acts of devotion, such as reciting The Holy Qur’an, asking Allah’s forgiveness, remembering Allah, making supplication, inviting people to do good deeds, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, as well as giving support in word and deed to others to do all these things. Thus, man can be a good example and obtain a reward equal to the reward of all those who follow him.
Sixth: To be keen to provide food for the fasting people both at the time of breaking fast and for the pre-dawn meal, to encourage them, to support them in doing good, and to patiently bear their bad behavior, to abstain from directing harm to others, and to be benevolent to people, seeking Allah’s Pleasure and anticipating His abundant forgiveness and great Benevolence, Blessing and Generosity.
Fear Allah, O slaves of Allah. Guard against acts that result in misery and deprivation of Allah’s Mercy, and those that lead to the Hellfire. Try hard to achieve the requirements of Allah’s Unlimited Mercy in the month of Ramadan, in which Allah gives so many rewards for small deeds and remits many slips and errors for whoever is sincere and hastens to repentance. Ramadan is a month in which the reward of good deeds is doubled. Congratulations to the pious fasting Muslims for the profitable trade with Allah and the great forgiveness, remittance of sins and pardon he receives.
So be well-prepared to fast in Ramadan and to perform supererogatory night prayer (Tarawih) during it and to compete in righteous deeds. Open yourselves to the gifts of the Generous Lord during the days of Ramadan. Perhaps an hour spent in pleasing Allah raises man to the status of the close servants of Allah. Allah says which translates as: “That is the bounty of Allah, which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” (Al-Juma’ah :4).
May Allah benefit us by the Qur’anic aayaath recited in the month of Ramadan. I seek Allah’s Forgiveness, so seek His forgiveness that He may forgive you, for He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.