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Manners and Commendable Practices of Fasting

 

Some of the manners and commendable practices of fasting are:

 

  1. To take pre-dawn refreshment [suhur]. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Eat something before dawn because it has got many blessings (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)). It is desirable to delay taking of suhur till before the break of dawn but not so much as the dawn breaks out and makes fasting doubtful. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: If you have doubt about one time leave it and choose another time which is beyond doubt (Bukhari). One should eat something even if it is a morsel. If one does not want to eat anything then he must drink some water.
  2. To hasten to break fast [Iftar] at sunset. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that the people will fare well so long as they hasten to break their fast (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)). It is desirable to break fast with rutab (wet dates) or with tamar (dry dates); if it is not available then with milk; if it is not available then with a simple water. If perchance nothing is available then simple will to break fast will do. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: If one of you keeps fasting he should break his fast with dates. If not available then with simple water as it is pure (Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah). One should mind to take the dates in odd numbers, i.e. three or five or seven. The Messenger of Allah used to take some wet or dry dates or drink some water before proceeding to perform salat (Abu Dawood, Ahmad).

 

  1. Supplication at the time of Iftar: According to a narration, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said the supplication of the one who fasts is never turned down at the time of Iftar (Ibn Majah). The prayer of this occasion as transmitted from the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is this:

الّلہمَّ لک صُمتُ وَ عَلی رِزقِکَ أَفطَرتُ (ابوداود)

[“O my Lord I have fasted for Thee and have broken my fast with Thy livelihood” (Abu Dawood). Another prayer of him as cited is:

ذَھَبَ الظَمَا وَابتَلَّتِ العُرُوق وَثَبَتَ الاَجرُ  اِن شَاءَ اللہ (ابو داود)

[“Thirst has gone; veins are satiated and the reward is established, God willing”] (Abu Dawood).

  1. To abstain from irrelevant talk and useless activities such as indulging in backbiting, lying, abusing, loitering, playing, etc. All such acts are undesirable and forbidden in general. While fasting one must take particular care to eschew them.
  1. Concern with Taraweeh and Tahajjud: the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has said: All the past sins of the one who stood in the nights of Ramadan faithfully and with a view to earning divine reward will be forgiven (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)).

The time for performance of the salat of Taraweeh begins from the end of the I’sha’ salat and lasts until the Fajr salat.

 

  1. To spend generously on the members of the household, to treat the kinsmen fairly and to distribute charity lavishly. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was a benevolent person. His generosity and benevolence increased manifold during Ramadan when Hadrat Jibril (Alaihis Salam) descended to visit him (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)).
  2. To engage in pursuit of knowledge, recitation of the holy Quran and all such good and charitable activities.
  3. I’tikaaf: It means confining oneself to a mosque for some time during Ramadan exclusively to devote oneself to worship. During the last ten days of Ramadan the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself kept awake in his mosque and made the members of his household keep awake (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)).

What is Obnoxious during Fasting?

  1. Consecutive fasting on two days without eating and drinking in-between (saum-i-wisaal).
  2. Engaging in foreplay with one’s partner like kissing, embracing, hugging and petting, even if it is done without an intention to engage in sexual intercourse.
  3. Excessive use of make up or scents, even if it is permissible.
  4. To taste food unnecessarily.

What is Permissible during Fasting?

  1. Taking bath or showers. Once in the hot weather the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) felt extremely thirsty. He then soaked his head with water (Abu Dawood, Ahmad).
  2. Applying kohl to eyes.
  3. Opening of a vein for blood-letting for medical purposes and not for injecting nourishment.
  4. Swallowing one’s saliva.
  5. Applying miswak or toothbrush.

 

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