What Breaks the Fast

Every year we fast and every year we forget what breaks our fasts. Perhaps it is because we haven’t practiced fasting, and so lose touch. Or perhaps we are concerned about this month of fasting and hope to obtain full reward, so we revise what breaks the fast out of caution. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon those fasting to know what breaks the fast.

  • Eating or drinking deliberately: If one eats or drinks intentionally, and breaks his fast without a legitimate excuse, he is sinful. However, if one eats or drinks out of forgetfulness and later remembers, it does not nullify his fast, he can continue his fast and does not need to make it up.
  • Intercourse: Abu Hurayrah said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?” He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadaan.” He said, “Can you free a slave?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”…  (Bukhari, 1936; Muslim, 1111)

One has to repent, continue the fast of that day due to the sanctity of the month. Then he should also make it up later. One must also offer expiation for that day.

  • Masturbation: This is forbidden usually, and even more so in Ramadaan. One who does so must continue the fast and make up the day if he ejaculated. If he did not, then the fast is valid, and he does not have to make up the day. (see https://islamqa.info/en/2571)
  • What is similar to food and drink:
  1. receiving a blood transfusion, for blood is formed from food and drink. This includes dialysing for kidney patients.
  2. Receiving a needle with nourishing substances which take the place of food and drink
  3. Injections that do not take the place of food and drink, but are administered for medical purposes are permissible, however it is safer to take them after completing the fast
  • Donating blood and Cupping: donating blood comes under the same heading as cupping. If one does either of these he must make up the day later. the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” (Abu Dawood, saheeh by al-Albaani)
  • Vomiting intentionally: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” (-Tirmidhi, saheeh by al-Albaani)

 

All of the above-mentioned categories only break the fast if the following three conditions are met:

  1. The person was aware of the ruling
  2. The person performed the action voluntarily, and was not forced
  3. And they did the action knowingly and not out of forgetfulness

 

  • Menses or Post-partum blood: this is what Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam. It is better to remain with the normal cycle than to prevent it. However, if one does prevent it by medication or otherwise and chooses to fast, her fast is valid.

 

This is a basic outline of what nullifies the fast. For a more detailed explanation and ruling on specific cases please consult a person of knowledge.

Al-Fattah

The ongoing wars on Muslim lands are yet another tragedy on our Ummah.  And when we are sitting in front of our computer screens, reading the news, one of many thoughts that cross our minds is “are these the means in which the kuffar are going to take over us ?”, we delve into endless anxiety. Here, we are forgetting the ultimate solution that Allah has given to all of the mankind, and that is “And whoever has taqwa of Allah, He will make for him a way out, and will provide for him from where he does not expect” because one of the Beautiful Names of Allah is “Al-Fattah”. Let’s find out more on how Allah “Al-Fattah” gives hope, strength, and serenity to His believers.

Linguistically, “Fattah” means “to let loose any closed thing”, “to distance confusion”. To distance sorrow, anxiety, poverty, detailing, explaining, revealing are the explicit meaning of “Fattah”. It also means “to judge”, “command”, “open”, “unfold”, “permit”, and “giving victory”.

Allah “Al-Fattah” is the One who opens the door of Provisions and Mercy for His servants, and also discloses the sources of our provisions. He makes accessible to us the favors which we seek.

“Whatever Allah grants to people of mercy – none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds – none can release it thereafter. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”[1]

He (Praise be to Him) precipitates riches of this life and the hereafter for those whose hearts He has unlocked with care. Those riches include knowledge of faith, Asma and Sifaat of Allah, ways to gain His pleasure, and guidance towards the straight path. He unlocks the treasures of goodness and gratitude for His obedient servants and shuts those treasures for His enemies. This is His Grace and Justness.

Similarly, He (Glory be to Him) unlocks the goodness as a means of trials and Wisdom.

“So when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We opened to them the doors of every [good] thing until, when they rejoiced in that which they were given, We seized them suddenly, and they were [then] in despair.”[2]

Hasan Al-Basri said, “Whomever Allah gives provision and he thinks that Allah is not testing him, has no wisdom. Whomever has little provision and thinks that Allah will not look at (provide for) him, has no wisdom.” He then recited the Ayah, “So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.” He added, “By the Lord of the Ka`bah! Allah deceived these people, when He gave them what they wished, and then they were punished.” (Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement)

Furthermore, Allah al-Fattah is the best of the judges who is always Just in His judgment and never ever nonchalant while judging. On the Day of Resurrection, He will judge between His creations when every doer will receive according to deeds performed. He doesn’t need any witness as nothing is hidden from Him. Dear readers, now we know why this Names brings hope to the oppressed, isn’t it?

“And [you will obtain] another [favor] that you love – victory from Allah and an imminent conquest; and give good tidings to the believers.”[3]

He judges with equity and truth by which He grants them victory in:

  • this life i.e., knowledge Islam,
  • rewarding them,
  • and decree i.e., send down their fate (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) with Wisdom.

Allah al-Fattah gives victory to those who help the truth and are truthful to themselves and others. He unveils between truth and falsehood. He makes the truth apparent and describes it; erases the falsehood and make it known falsehood. Likewise, He (Praise be to Him) disgraces the people of falsehood and those who spread such falsehood.

“If you [disbelievers] seek the victory – the defeat has come to you. And if you desist [from hostilities], it is best for you; but if you return [to war], We will return, and never will you be availed by your [large] company at all, even if it should increase; and [that is] because Allah is with the believers.”[4]

Undoubtedly, in every story of the Prophets there are lessons for us. When Prophet Noah pleaded Allah al-Fattah as stated in the Qur’an:

““Then judge between me and them with decisive judgment and save me and those with me of the believers.” So We (Allah) saved him and those with him in the laden ship.””[5]

Indeed, greatest of this Name is such that His (Praise be to Him) chosen servants­ amongst the messengers, Prophets, and believers approach the enemies of Islam and become victorious in both the lives. Subhan Allah!

Having learnt of this beautiful Name, a believer’s heart has the following positive effects:

  1. He allows every good to enter in his heart, family, and surroundings and restricts every evil likewise. His every opening is for good and every closing is for evil.
  2. He returns towards Allah al-Fattah in every state he is in for which he is rewarded with beneficial knowledge, faith, guidance, provisions, and immense Mercy.

“…Our Lord, decide between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who give decision.”[6]

Maliha Rahmat

__________________________________________________________________________

 

[1] Surah Fatir: 2

[2] Surah al-An’am: 44

[3] Surah Saf: 13

[4] Surah al-Anfal: 19

[5] Surah ash-Shu’rah: 118

[6] Surah al-A’raf:89

Filter your Speech

Backbiting, slandering, gossiping, maligning, insulting, swearing…are just a few of the many sins of the tongue. Our Creator, and Sustainer, the One who Knows the past, present and future knew that these sins would exist, and would be easy for us to fall into. Hence, with His great Wisdom, He gave us counsel, in the form of a reminder.

One of the purpose of the Qur’an is to serve as a reminder. Hence, it contains encouragements, admonishments, warnings, threats and motivations. One amazing Surah that contains a combination of these, and which possesses something distinct, is Surah Hujurat, Surah number 49. Surah Hujarat contains filters to assist us in purifying ourselves, particularly our tongues.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the filters of Surah Hujurat:

  • فتبينوا – To investigate

This filter is found in Ayah 6, which reads,

“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.”

All too easily we act hastily, giving verdicts, and making accusations before we verify the information that comes to us.

  • وأقسطوا – Act Justly

“And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Verse 9)

  • فأصلحوا – To make settlement

The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (Verse 10)

Three filters may be derived from the following ayah,

“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (Verse 11)

  • لا يسخر – Do not ridicule

To ridicule is a form of arrogance, for the Prophet said, “”He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people.” [Muslim]

To ridicule and make mockery is not the characteristics taught by Islam. It was not found in our Messenger, nor in the salaf. Rather it was a trait found in the hypocrites. Hence we should be weary of possessing such an attribute.

  • ولا تلمزوا – Do not insult

Insulting is not limited to derogative statements, or passing rude comments. It includes all forms of maligning, including actions other than speech.

However, our topic for today is passing speech through the filters of Surah Hujurat, hence we will limit our discussion to this matter.

The command to refrain from insulting includes cursing, swearing etc…

On this account the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The believer is not a slanderer, one who curses a great deal, one who indulges in obscenity or who in engages in foul talk.” (Tirmidhi classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)

To further illustrate the severity of insulting a believer, the messenger said, “Fighting a believer is Kufr and defaming him is evildoing.” (An-Nisa’i, Saheeh)

  • ولا تنابزوا – Do call each other with offensive names

Offensive names are a form of insulting, and hurtful to the person. Before you address someone with a name or nickname, think about it, would you like to be called by such a name?

Our Prophet truly was a mercy for mankind. Aishah narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) would change offensive names. (Tirmidhi, Saheeh)This was his concern, and level of kindness!

Another three may be derived from verse 12,

“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.”

  • اجتنبو كثيرا من الظن – Avoid negative assumptions

Assume the best in other, give them the benefit of the doubt. Make excuses for others, perhaps Allah will make excuses for you and forgive you.

  • ولا تجسسوا – Don’t spy

Spying includes eavesdropping on people who do not want to be heard. It is sufficient for us to know, that the Prophet said, “the eavesdropper will not enter paradise.” (Bukhari)

  •  ولا يغتب بعضكم بعضا – Don’t backbite

The Prophet defined backbiting for us when he asked, “Do you know what is backbiting? They (the Companions) said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner which he does not like. It was said to him: What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of? He said: If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbit him, and if that is not in him it is a slander. (Muslim)

Whether you can say it to the person’s face or not, if what you intend to say is true, and it is not nice to say, then better to withhold your tongue, for it is backbiting. Backbiting is a severe sin as described in the ayah, for none of us would like to be carnivorous of his brother/sister. Yet how often do we gladly partake of such a meal?!

Perhaps the following hadith will make us renounce this horrible crime.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When my Lord took me up into heaven, I passed by some people who had nails of copper with which they were scratching their faces and chests. I said: ‘Who are these, O Jibreel?’ He said: ‘These are the ones who used to eat the flesh of the people and impugn their honour.’” [Abu Dawood]

My brothers and sisters, is the temporary joy of conversation worth the punishment of the hereafter and the loss of deeds? Is the charm of gossip better than the everlasting bliss of the mercy of Allah and His paradise?

Hold on to this simple principle, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim].

If you find yourself present in a gathering where any of the above-mentioned sins occur, then advise your fellow brothers and sisters against it. Do you not wish that they are saved from the punishment? Prevent them from using their tongues in the displeasure of Allah, and if they refuse your advice, then leave their company. And if they heed your advice then be friends for the sake of Allah, advising each other to good.

May Allah make it easy for us.

A Double-Edged Sword

If we compare our weak bodies to those of the animal kingdom, we will find that we have neither been gifted with the strength of lions, nor the speed of cheetahs, nor the muscular build of rhinos, or the huge size of elephants, and neither the teeth of crocs. No, none of these natural characteristics used for defence or devouring, are found in our weak frames. However, we possess something, seemingly less threatening, seemingly mild in comparison to those in the animal kingdom; it is our tongues. Yes, our tongues are a weapon we possess, and the damage it can do, can tear down lives.

Our tongues are a double-edged sword, and hence it is no wonder that the Prophet defined a muslim as one “from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe.” (Muslim)

Little do we consider the words that bounce off our tongues! How often have we injured another with just a small word we uttered?

This article is not to lecture you on the evils of the tongue, no. Rather, its intended purpose is to bring to light the evils of a specific sin of the tongue, and that is cursing or swearing.

Albeit, the tongue is connected to our God-given intelligence. Hence the manner in which we use it is a reflection of our thoughts and our inner-selves. Hence one who curses often, indicates that that he has a corrupt mind. One can only think such a person to be evil and wicked, for who would wish bad for other people, except an evil person, or one who lacks intelligence?

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “It does not befit a Siddiq (righteous Muslim) to frequently curse others.” (Muslim)

 

Cursing is not limited to human beings. One in anger may easily curse time, objects animals etc.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: A man cursed the wind. The narrator Muslim’s version has: The wind snatched away a man’s cloak during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) and he cursed it. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Do not curse it, for it is under command, and if anyone curses a thing undeservedly, the curse returns upon him. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)

 

Do not those who curse fear that it will return to them, and they will be doomed for what they have uttered?! May Allah rectify our condition! Moreover, cursing may be an indication of dissatisfaction with the Qadr (decree) of Allah. As muslims we should be satisfied with what comes our way, and thank Allah in every condition.

 

In many Ahadith, the Prophet warned against cursing. An expression, heard often and overlooked in regards to cursing is, “damn,” which is defined as ‘being condemned by God to suffer eternal punishment in hell, or criticising strongly.’  Refrain from using this word my brothers and sisters.

 

It is also narrated that the Prophet said, “whoever curses a believer, it is as if he killed him.” (Bukhari)

Imagine carrying the weight of the sin of killing a believer on the Day of Judgement! Contemplate on the severity of this sin. How many people will come to take your good deeds on the Day of Judgement because of what you said in cursing them. We seek Allah’s forgiveness.

 

Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “The believer does not insult the honour of others, nor curse, nor commit Fahishah, nor is he foul.” (Tirmithi, Hasan)

 

The true believer withholds his tongue, in anger and in ease. Such a person does not wish bad for anyone or anything. Be careful, and do not exclude yourself or others from the mercy of Allah by cursing.

 

To conclude, Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Indeed Allah detests the excessive among men, who slaps his tongue around like the cow slaps his tongue.” (Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Hasan) The sins of the tongue are indeed many, and it is easy to forget. Hence, benefit from every reminder, and tackle each sin one by one to rectify the character. Allah’s mercy is All-Encompassing, and He is the Most Generous, seek His forgiveness and His mercy. May Allah aid us in purifying our characters.

Let’s prepare for Ramadaan, and give up this habit before its arrival.

 

How To Give Up Sin

We are constantly told to drop our bad habits, and give up our sins. But sometimes putting the words into action can be harder than it appears. In this article, we have put together some simple tips to help you abandon those actions displeasing to Allah.

  • Recognise it’s a sin and problem: identifying the problem is key to finding the solution.
  • Admit it’s your fault: No one likes to bear blame. It’s humiliating and defeating to the human ego. But sometimes we must rise above, and take that blame in order to be able to change. Acknowledge the fault is within.
  • You have to make the change: Guidance and change will only happen if you want it. If you don’t want it, then things will not change.
  • Research: find out the consequences, and punishments of the sin. Find out why it is such a grave matter. This will help you regret your error, and want to give it up.
  • Bigger than you can bear? The problem seems like it’s so difficult, but know Allah has only given you what is within your capacity. He knows how far you can go, and He knows how to get the best out of you.
  • Make Duaa: seek the help of Allah, without His help, everything is impossible. With His aid, on the other hand, miracles happen!
  • Drop it like it’s a hot Potato! Leave it, abandon it, and give it up completely
  • Monitor Your Progress: Check how far you’ve come, and how much you have left. This will help motivate you Inshallah.
  • Make more Duaa: thank Allah for His blessings in helping you give up the sin, and make duaa He keeps you firm on His obedience, and never returns you to your previous state of indulgence in the sin
  • All is not lost: for those who continue to struggle giving up a sin, have faith and trust in Allah. Perhaps He is keeping you in your current state, waiting for a sincere repentance on your part, or perhaps He loves your constant repentance, or He loves to hear your voice when you plea for His aid, or maybe He is purifying you through this trial, and is raising your ranks…who knows?! The Plan of Allah is indeed great. Just repeat the process every time you fall into it.

Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Were you not to commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them”. (Muslim)

So do not give up hope. But strive for the forgiveness of Allah and His pleasure.

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.” (Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah)

Never forget Allah is Merciful, Forgiving. He is Al-Ghaffar, Al-Ghafoor, and Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.

  

Preparation

Every year, we hear the same thing, year in, year out. Perhaps it’s tiring or annoying to have the same monotonous advice repeated so often.

Yep, it’s “Ramadaan reminders time.” But the truth is, we all know the specialty of the coming month. We all know its virtues; the opportunities for rewards and the yummy recipes to accompany it all.

The question is, despite these constant reminders, have we made the change? Have we attained the perfection we seek so earnestly? Have we earned the paradise? Or has all the reminders filled one ear, only to be emptied on the other side, without staying a moment for our brains to grasp and understand them? And do we continue in our erroneous ways, without paradise in sight?

Dreary, right?

Our situation is indeed pitiable.

The only way we can change, is if we follow the footsteps of those who came before us. Those who made u-turns in their lives, who made enormous sacrifices, and who changed for the better, such that their names are remembered until today.

But the problem is, we may not even know these great men and women who made such admirable changes. Their names are a blur in distant histories. Other things preoccupy our thoughts. To us, those men and women died years ago; what benefit could they possibly bring in today’s world?

The truth is, they changed, and the effects of their change are still visible today, hence Islam thrives. Moreover, they changed at a time, where culture ruled and barbaric practices where rife and firmly rooted. If they could do it, then, why can’t we, in our times of flexibility, and ease?!

Change was not a last-minute decision in their lives. It was pondered over and analysed. They prepared in advance.

Let us do the same this year. Let us be like them. Begin early. Begin now.