Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Ramadan 1424 H
November 2003
Volume 16-11 No : 203
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The Prophet's (Pbuh) Sermon on the Advent of Ramadan
The Saum of Ramadan
Kaffarah of Ramadan
Qadha Saum

The Prophet's (Pbuh) Sermon on the Advent of Ramadan

O people !, you have made your conscience the slave of your desires. Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness

        O People! The month of Allah (Ramadan) has come with its mercies, blessings and forgiveness. Allah has decreed this month the best of all months. The days of this month are the best among the days and the nights are the best among the nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among the hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Him (to fast and pray). Allah has honoured you in it. In every breath you take is a reward of Allah, your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered. Therefore, you must invoke your Lord in all earnestness with hearts free from sin and evil, and pray that Allah may help you to keep fast, and to recite the Holy Qur'an. Indeed !, miserable is the one who is deprived of Allah's forgiveness in this great month. While fasting, remember the hunger and thirst on the Day of Judgement. Give alms to the poor and needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind towards your relatives and kinsmen. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing (forbidden) and your ears from sounds that should not be heard. Be kind to orphans so that if your children may become orphans they will also be treated with kindness. Do repent to Allah for your sins and supplicate with raised hands at the times of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Al-Mighty looks at His servants with mercy. Allah answers if they supplicate, Responds if they call, Grants if He is asked, and Accepts if they entreat. O people !, you have made your conscience the slave of your desires. Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate yourself before Allah, for long intervals, and make this load lighter. Understand fully that Allah has promised in His Honour and Majesty that, people who perform Salat and Sajda (prostration) will be guarded from Hell-fire on the Day of Judgement. O people!, if anyone amongst you arranges for iftar (meal at sunset) for any believer, Allah will reward him as if he had freed a slave, and Allah will forgive him his sins. A companion asked: "but not all of us have the means to do so". The Prophet (Pbuh) replied: Keep yourself away from Hell- fire though it may consist of half a date or even some water if you have nothing else. O people!, anyone who during this month cultivates good manners, will walk over the Sirat (bridge to Paradise) on the day when feet will tend to slip. For anyone who during this month eases the workload of his servants, Allah will make easy his accounting, and for anyone who doesn't hurt others during this month, Allah will safeguard him from His Wrath on the Day of Judgement. Anyone who respects and treats orphans with kindness during this month, Allah shall look at him with kindness on that Day. Anyone who treats his kinsmen well during this month, Allah will bestow His Mercy on him on that Day, while anyone who ill-treats his kinsmen during this month, Allah will keep away from His Mercy. Whoever offers the recommended prayers during this month, Allah will save him from Hell, and whoever observes his obligations during this month, his reward will be seventy times the reward during other months. Whoever repeatedly invokes Allah's blessings on himself, Allah will keep his scale of good deeds heav. Whoever recites during this month an ayat (verse) of the Holy Qur'an, will get the reward of reciting the whole Qur'an in other months. O people !, the gates of Paradise remain open during this month. Pray to your Lord that they may not be closed for you. While the gates of Hell are closed, pray to your Lord that they never open for you. Satan has been chained, invoke your Lord not to let him dominate you.' Ali ibn Talib (RAA) said: "I asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, what are the best deeds during this month ?' He replied: 'O Abu-Hassan, the best of deeds during this month is to be far from what Allah has forbidden'.

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The Saum of Ramadan

The Saum of Ramadan is Fardh. It is enjoined on all Muslim men and women.

*The Saum of Ramadan commences when the sighting of the Ramadan Hilal (crescent moon) has been confirmed in accordance with the rules of the Shariah. Niyyat (Intention) for the Saum of Ramadan should be renewed each day. A single Niyyat at the beginning of Ramadan will not suffice for the Saum of the entire month.

*A fast of Ramadan broken deliberately without valid reason, after having made the Niyyat for fasting during the night, brings about the penalty of Kaffarah. A traveller is permitted to refrain from Saum, although it is meritorious for him/her to fast, if the journey is not a difficult one. The traveller shall make Qadha of all Saum omitted during the journey.

* If a woman starts menstruating during the course of the fasting day, the fast is not valid. It is not incumbent to abstain from eating during the remaining part of the day. Preferably, it is better to avoid eating in the presence of those who are fasting. She can compensate for her missed fasts later after Ramadan.

* When a pregnant woman has a genuine fear for either her own life or the life of the child she is bearing, it will be permissible for her to refrain from Saum. She will have to make Qadha of the Saum she misses as a result.

* A very old person who is truly unable to fast, is permitted to refrain from Saum. He has to offer compensation by means of paying the Fidyah.

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Kaffarah of Ramadan

*Kaffarah (compensation) is the penalty which is imposed by Shariah for the deliberate and flagrant nullification of the Saum of Ramadan.

* Kaffarah applies to only the Saum of Ramadan.

* Kaffarah comes into force only if the Niyyat for fasting was made at night, i.e. before Subah Sadiq. Thus, if Niyyat was made during the night to fast the following day, and then the fast is broken without valid reason, the Kaffarah penalty comes into effect.

* Kaffarah for flagrantly breaking a fast of Ramadan is to fast 60 consecutive days- sixty days, one after the other, without missing any day in between.

* The Kaffarah will be rendered invalid if for any reason- be it a valid reason, even a single day is omitted during the 60 day-Kaffarah course. Thus if a person fasted for 59 days and failed to fast on the 60th day due to illness, he will have to start the Kaffarah all over again. The only interruption which will not invalidate the Kaffarah is Haydh (the monthly menses of women).

* A person who is unable to discharge the Kaffarah because of ill-health or very old age, will have to feed 60 poor persons. Each miskeen (poor) should be given two full meals for the day or the amount in cash which is given as Sadaqah Fitr. This amount is the price of approximately 2 kilograms bread flour. Instead of the cash, the flour may also be given.

* A single Ramadan, makes Wajib only one Kaffarah irrespective of the number of fasts flagrantly broken during that Ramadan.

* If fasts were flagrantly nullified in more than one Ramadan, the number of Kaffarah will be equal to the number of Ramadan. So if fasts were flagrantly broken in three different Ramadans, three different Kaffarah will be obligatory.

* When the Kaffarah is commenced on the 1st day of the Islamic month, then fasting two full Islamic months will suffice for the Kaffarah even if the total number of days in the two months are 58 days (29 day months). If, however, the Kaffarah is started during the course of the month, then it will be necessary to fast full 60 days.

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Qadha Saum

* Qadha means to fulfill or to compensate for fasts which are not executed when they were due.

* It is necessary to make Qadha of Saum as soon as possible since one does not know when death will overtake one. While it is not Wajib to make the Qadha immediately after Ramadan or on any other specific day, Qadha should not be unnecessarily delayed.

* Qadha Saum belongs to the second class of Wajib fasting. For the validity of Qadha Saum, it is essential to make Niyyat during the night, i.e. before Subah Sadiq.

* Saum omitted on account of Haydh has to be made Qadha.

* It is not obligatory to keep the Qadha Saum all at once (consecutively). The Qadha Saum may be spread over a period or they may be kept consecutively.

* If by the time death approaches, the Qadha has not yet been discharged, it will then be obligatory to make a wasiyyat (bequest) for payment of Fidyah.

* Similarly, if due to old age or sickness one is unable to fast and the Qadha has not yet been executed, wasiyyat to pay Fidyah will be wajib(obligatory).

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News Community Roundup Blessings of Ramadan Editorial Readers Comments History Opinion From Here and There Book Review Community Initiative Path to Paradise Zakir Naik Article Question Hour Journey To Islam Children's Corner Our Dialogue Quran Speaks to You Hadith Matrimonial
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