Fasting on Only the Day of Arafat if it Falls on a Friday

Q:

I’ve heard that it’s not permissible to fast on Friday by itself without adding either a day before or after to it. If this is the case what do we do this year if Arafat falls on a Friday and someone wants to only fast the day of Arafat?

 

A:

It is true that one should avoid fasting on Friday by itself. There are hadith that indicate that the practice should be avoided. However, if one is accustomed to fasting on a certain day or a special day such as ‘Arafat or ‘Ashura were to fall on a Friday then one could fast that day by itself because they would be intending to fast on the special day and not Friday per say.

That being said, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are the best days of the year and one should strive to do as many good deeds as possible during that time. This could include fasting as many of the first nine days as possible (the tenth is the Day of Eid wherein it is impermissible to fast). This especially includes the day of Arafat about which the Prophet (pbuh) said that fasting on it expiates the sins of the previous year and the coming year.

 

For more on the importance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and what to do in them see here and here.

For more on fasting during the first days of Dhul Hijjah see here.

For more on the ruling of singling out Friday for fasting see here.

For more on observing a recommended fast on Friday see here.

Q&A: How Much is Fidya and What to do if Pregnant of Nursing?

Q:

How much is the fidya for a person who cannot fast? What do I do if I am pregnant and/or nursing and cannot fast? Do I make it up, pay fidya, or both?

 

A:

Fidya is an amount of money or food that is paid to the poor by the one who is not able to fast. It applies to those who have enduring medical conditions that make them unable to fast currently AND in the future. Such a person would pay fidya equivalent to feeding a poor person two meals for each day of fasting they have missed. The dollar amount of this will vary depending on where the person lives and what they are feeding the poor person but it is generally estimated at around 10-15 dollars per day of fasting missed. If their medical condition is not lasting or they can make up the days when the days are shorter then they would make up the days rather than paying the fidya.

For a pregnant or nursing woman there are some details to mention and there are many differences of opinion among the scholars as to how and when she should make up the fasts or pay the fidya. Basically, if she is expected to miss only one Ramadan of fasting then she would make up the days that she missed by simply fasting them when she is able to. If she is expected to miss more than one Ramadan in a row, either because of pregnancy and then nursing or back to back pregnancies then she can pay fidya for each day of fasting that she has missed and she does not need to make the days up later.

 

Shaykh Osman Umarji has written a small research about this which I am including here for the general benefit.

Fasting and Fidyah Regarding the Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mother by Osman Umarji
A common question and concern for Muslim women has been the rules regarding fasting and making up fasts or paying fidya during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are numerous classical answers amongst the major scholars and companions. It should be made clear that there is one primary cause for these differences that will help us understand the issue.
Should the pregnant and breastfeeding mother be compared with the temporarily sick, who has to make up his fasts after Ramadan, or should they be compared with the elderly or chronically sick who are incapable of fasting and pay fidyah (feeding a poor person) in place of their fasting, or should they be compared to both?
Some Major Opinions on the Issue:1. They should both make up their missed fasts and pay fidyah
2. They should only make up their missed fasts
3. They should only pay the fidya
4. Differentiate between the two: The pregnant woman has to make up her fasts, and the breastfeeding mom should make up her fasts and pay fidyah.My Preferred Opinion:
Generally, the fidya is considered to be the equivalent of fasting (badl) and it is not normal in Fiqh for one to have to perform the wajib and its equivalent (badl). Thus, it should be either fasting or fidyah, and not both.

The reason that women are allowed a concession to not fast in Ramadan is out of concern for their heatlh and well being. If a woman wants to fast during her pregnancy and breastfeeding, she should consult her doctor to see if fasting during pregnancy or breastfeeding would be ok for her and her child. If the doctor approves, the woman may fast Ramadan or even parts of it (as long as she has the energy and health). However, even if the doctor gives his ok, but the woman is still concerned and scared, she may skip fasting Ramadan.

 

In regards to atoning for the missed fasts, there are a few considerations.

If a breastfeeding mother is concerned for her or her child’s health (like her milk running dry, her feeling weak, the baby not getting enough nutrition), then she may elect to pay the fidya for each day she missed and that would be sufficient. She would NOT have to make up any fasts. This applies to days she missed during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
However, if after delivering, she does not breastfeed her child and her health is ok, then she should make up her fasts that she missed during pregnancy.  
Thus, the breastfeeding women is compared to someone with continuous hardship in fasting (since she may not have fasted for one year during pregnancy, and 1-2 years of breastfeeding, and if she gets pregnant again this process would continue longer), while the mother who does not breastfeed is more like someone who was temporarily sick (her pregnancy) and capable of making up her fasts later.

 

 

Using Toothpaste While Fasting

From islamtoday.net. The link can be found here: Using toothpaste while fasting

Question

I know that it is permissible to use siwâk toothsticks while fasting. However, can a person brush his teeth with toothpase, or would this break his fast?

Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee – chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî
It will not break your fast unless you swallow the toothpaste.

However, without going so far to say that it is makrûh to use toothpaste while fasting, Sheik Ibn al-`Uthaymîn discourages it. He says:

There is nothing wrong with a fasting person using toothpaste, as long as it does not go down his gullet. However, it would be better to refrain from using it, simply because it has a strong tendency to go down a person’s throat while he is unaware.

For this reason, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Exaggerate in inhaling water (while performing ablutions) except when you are fasting.”

Therefore, it is better for a fasting person to refrain from using toothpaste. The matter is easy. If he simply waits until after he breaks his fast to brush his teeth with toothpaste, he will have avoided what might possibly nullify his fast.

And Allah knows best.

Q: Fasting While Traveling

Q:

I will be traveling in Ramadan and I want to know if I need to fast?

 

A:

There are multiple scenarios for fasting while traveling. We’ll take them one at a time.

 

Scenario 1: Person starts traveling after maghrib and before fajr.

In this case it is permissible to not fast on that day because the day begins while the person is in a state of traveling.

 

Scenario 2: Person starts traveling after sunrise.

This is the more common scenario. Someone has a trip that starts in the morning or afternoon and they do not know if they should fast or not. There is a scholarly difference on this question.

Opinion 1: They must not break their fast. This is because they started fasting and then traveled afterwards. This is the opinion of the Hanafi, Maliki, and Shafi’i schools.

Opinion 2: They can break their fast. This is an opinion in the Hanbali school.

– Those who held this opinion differed as to when they break their fast. The Hanbali school holds that it must be only after they have started their journey and left the jurisdiction of their city. Some other early scholars, such as Hasan al-Basri, held that they may break their fast while still at home.

 

As a general principle when there is valid scholarly difference one can choose the opinion that is most reasonable for their situation as long as they are not trying to play with the deen.

If the person does decide to break their fast then they must make up that day after Ramadan.

 

Q: What to Do For Starting and Stopping if Traveling in Ramadan?

A:

 

You should start fasting with the community that you are in and end fasting with the community that you are in. It is possible that this means that you will fast 31 days. If that is the case then you fast 31 days. It is also possible that you will fast 28 days. If that is the case then you fast 28 days and make up an extra day later on. This is the opinion of the majority based on the hadith, “Your fast is the day the people fast and your breaking of fast is the day when the people break the fast.”

Different Masjids and Different Ramadan Dates? What to Do?

This is an article written by Imam Mustafa Umar for IIOC’s website. ICOI adopted the decision of the Fiqh Council of North America. For more info on their position and what it is based on see www.fiqhcouncil.org

 

Question:

Different masjids [mosques] in my area are using different methods to calculate when Ramadan will begin and end? Which one should I follow? What if my family is following a different one?

The Answer

There are certain things in Islam that have been left open to interpretation. The exact method used to determine the month of Ramadan is a matter of disagreement among scholars. There are two variables involved. First, whether the moon must be sighted in your locality or whether it may be sighted anywhere else where Muslims are present. Second, whether or not the moon must actually be observed or whether astronomical calculations can serve as a substitute for an actual sighting. It is our opinion that these methods all have some sound level of scholarship and therefore should not cause any unnecessary arguing in any Muslim community.
There may be two or more Islamic organizations which are using different criteria in your area. In that case, you would have to pick one to follow and stick to it. You may choose which one to follow by either:
  • following the most local Islamic organization
  • following the one you trust the most and believe that the scholarship at their center is more sound
  • follow the one your family is going with since you are living with them [hence, eating with them as well]
Whichever one you choose to go with, reflect on the ramifications it will have on both yourself and the people closest to you.
In closing, keep in mind that Allah will reward you for your intention and it is hoped that everyones fasting will be accepted, regardles of the scholarly differences of opinion that exist in this regard.

Fasting Six Days in Shawwal

Merit

The Prophet (pbuh) stated in an authentic hadith, “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days from Shawwāl then it will be as if they fasted the entire year.” There are many things that can be benefited from this hadith, a few of them are as follows:

–          It is the practice of the Prophet to fast at least six days in Shawwāl in order to acquire the benefit mentioned in the hadith.

–          Fasting is one of the greatest types of worship and the reward for it is with God, as mentioned in the hadith qudsi, “Fasting is for Me and I reward for it.” Therefore, Ramadan gives us a yearly chance to make fasting part of our regular routine of worship. It is well established that the Prophet (pbuh) used to regularly fast Mondays and Thursdays, as well as the three “white days,” (the middle days of the month when the moon is fullest) and that he would also encourage others to do so as well. If one fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows that with six days in the following month then they are well on their way to establishing fasting as part of their regular routine.

–          The reward of carrying out these fasts is equivalent to fasting the entire year. This is clarified in another tradition where the Prophet (pbuh) reminds us after stating the reward of fasting these days that the reward of good deeds is multiplied by ten. This is one of the secrets behind the reward of this action because in carrying out the fast of Ramadan and six days in Shawwāl the person would have fasted roughly 36 days, which, when multiplied by ten,  equates to 360 days.

 

Make up Missed Days of Ramadan First or Not?

There a couple of things to consider when thinking about this question.

The first is that it is not required to make up missed days of Ramadan immediately. It is necessary that one make them up before the next Ramadan but they may do that at any point throughout the year.

The second issue is that the hadith mentions that the person who fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month after, then it will be as if they fasted the whole year. This implies that one would have to finish the fasts of Ramadan before starting the six of Shawwāl. As such, a number of scholars required the completion of the missed days of Ramadan before the six of Shawwāl in order to receive the reward mentioned in the hadith. However, this is an area of disagreement amongst the scholars and if the person wants to fast the six days before making up their missed fasts of Ramadan in order to follow the sunnah then that is also okay.

The third issue is as to whether or not one can combine intentions between making up their fasts from Ramadan and fasting the six days of Shawwāl. Some scholars have held that it is permissible to subsume the intention of a voluntary deed under an obligatory one and as such this would be acceptable. However, they also noted that the one who did this for these days would receive the reward of following the sunnah of fasting six days in Shawwāl, but their overall reward would be less than the one who makes up their missed fasts and then fasts the six days.

 

Conclusion

Fasting the six days of Shawwāl is a meritorious sunnah which should be followed as much as possible. The best case scenario is to make up any missed days from Ramadan first and then fast the six days. However, if this is not possible or very difficult upon the person then they can either fast the six days first and then make up their missed days later or combine intentions between making those days up and completing the six days of Shawwāl.

One should also remember that in voluntary fasts the intention is not required from the night before and as long as the intention to fast is made before midday and the person has not done anything up to that point that would invalidate the fast then it is acceptable.

And God knows best.