By: Usataz: Maisuna, M, Yahya, The Founder of Al-Mustofiyyah Society of Nigeria.
Issues on Sahuur: Sahuur refers to dawn but technically, it is used in Ramathan terminology as pre-dawn meal. The meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims who fast either in Ramathan or outside Ramathan fast (BBC Schools-Religion-Islam).Taking Sahuur has three, out of many advantages, namely: it energises a fasting Muslim and as well prepares them for the task. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said take pre-dawn meal (Sahuur), because in it, there is Benediction (Barakah) of Allah (Bukhari 3, vol.31, No 146).Allah creates us differently. There are some human beings who cannot eat pre-dawn food (sahuur), else, they may start purging, or have running stomach; or stomach disorderliness; or gastritis. In that situation, the victim of this circumstance needs not force himself or herself to eat but can take water instead of beginning the day’s fast with empty stomach. Professor Madya, a gastroenterologist elucidates that Islam does not force you to fast if you are unable to, so explore the alternatives that suits your abilities. You know yourself better than any anyone else. This is applicable to the Muslims who have chronic diseases. Allah says:
Our Lord! Do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay those before us, Our Lord do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us (2:286).
Iftaar: Iftaar, is a terminology that refers to breaking of fast after the sun set of every Ramathan day. Iftaar is the evening meal, during Ramathan (BBC-schools-Religion). Most human beings love food and that gingers many to rush into breaking fast with heavy food varieties and body damaging sugary food, such as the popular soft drinks. Worst still is the consumption of sugary cold drinks and cold water or iced block that do some damages to the body, of which digestive system is likely to be a victim. The Prophet (SAW) advised that fruits or water should be taken first; and heavy food should be avoided at the initial break of fast. This is to prepare the already shrinking or relaxed intestines. Besides, cold drinks generally, coagulate food taken before or after cold water. Warm or temperature room water suffices. On this, please, consult your trusted physician.
What vitiates fast:
One’s fast can be vitiated due to many things. Intention for fasting must be made at the beginning of fast either for the period of twenty-nine or thirty days. Or, every night before dawn (Fajr).It is an intent matter, not necessarily to be pronounced or verbalised. Hafsah stated that the Prophet (SAW) said: There is no fast for the one who does not make the intention to fast, before dawn (Fajr) (al- Albani, No.6538).
Voluntary/Intentional vomiting: If a fasting Muslim deliberately regurgitates the already chewed and swallowed food for a moment of relief, or for any reason, certainly, his fast is vitiated. However, if one is overcome by nausea and vomits, then he does not make up the fast(Badawi 266)The Prophet (SAW) said: O ne is overcome and vomits does not make up for the day, one who intentionally makes himself vomit must make up for the day (al-Bani 6234).
Menstruation, birth blood and release of semen: A Muslim woman whose menstrual blood begins to gush, flow or drop while fasting, even towards the tail end of the break (Iftaar); or a woman, whose birth blood re-appears will have her fast made up after Ramathan. She has to count the number of the days missed and make them, any month from Sha’wwal, the month that follows Ramathan. Contrary to that is the deliberate ejaculation of sperm, perhaps via masturbation or deep thoughts on sexual moments; or deliberately having sexual intercourse in the day time of Ramathan period. Not only this, anyone, who intentionally breaks ‘one’ day of his or her Ramathan fast, will expiate for sixty-one days; this is a cardinal to the importance of Ramathan. This statement is explicitly explained in the Hadith of the Prophet below. Abu Hurayrah narrated: While we sitting with the Prophet (SAW), a man came and said: O Messenger of Allah. I have been destroyed. He asked him. What has happened to you? He replied, I had intercourse with my wife while I was fasting. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) told him. Do you have a slave that you can free? He replied, no. The Prophet (SAW) then said: Can you fast two months consecutively? He replied, no. The Prophet (SAW) then asked him, can you feed sixty poor people? He replied, no. The Prophet (SAW) then kept silent when a big basket full of dates was brought to him. He said where is the questioner? The man replied. It is I. The Messenger of Allah told him, take these dates and give them in charity….
Other acts that reduce the reward of a fasting Muslim: All evil, malicious and misconduct acts, such as: back-biting, hypocrisy, bad-mouthing, nagging, abusive and fowl languages ,relegation, disgracing others, revenge of scenarios, causing misfortunes and violence ,igniting grievances, making mockery of others, refusal to observe one’s prayers at the appointed times ,intentionally making sexual preliminaries or advances etc. The Glorious Qur’an states :Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer, surely prayer keeps(one)away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remeberace of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do.(Q29:45).
Permissible actions for a fasting Muslim:
- Cupping of blood. A fasting ill or sick Muslim who seeks the attention of a medical doctor, who needs to run blood test, can do so; though, Islam rejects this for a weak person. It is rejected by Islam because of the importance of blood in humans’ body and the essence of strength. Anas bn Malik was asked: Did you (companions) of the Prophet dislike the act of cupping for the fasting person? He replied, no, unless due to weakness….(al-Bukhari,947)
- Tasting of food: Women ,chefs and cooks are permitted by Islamic-law to taste their food while cooking, using the tip of their tongues in order to determine the taste of the food, spitting out the remnant of the taste, without swallowing .However, swallowing the taste deliberately spoils one’s fast. Others are use of non- alcoholic perfume, pomade or non-bleaching cream, and injection .All these items are not food Perce.
- Bathing, showers and swimming. They are all permitted, if even the intention is to cool the high body temperature. Abubakar bn Abdur –Rahman narrated: I saw the Messenger(SAW) in al-Arj, a village outside Madinah, pour water over his head while his head fasting due to thirst or due to the heat. In the same vein, brushing of one’s teeth or chewing of tasteless stick, rinsing of one’s mouth and nose without Deeping in water are all permissible acts. Kissing, hugging and minor caressing of one’s legal wife: Allah’s judgments is basically on intentions .If one’s wife delivers a baby, or a woman’s husband gets a new promotion letter, or the news of performing this year’s pilgrimage (Hajj) is broken; any, or all of these actions warrant praising Allah, and as well, deserve such actions listed in the sub- heading without going beyond the limit, in the mornings and afternoons Ramathan.
What are the benefits, importance or Significance of Ramathan?
…to be continued…