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Pillar of Islam

Fasting (Sawm)

Fasting (Sawm)

May Allah grant blessing and peace to Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who came after them. Peace be upon those who seek the Truth.

This article is about Fasting. In Arabic, it is Sawm صَوْم‎. This article will cover matters related to fastings, such as Ramadan and other obligatory fasting, voluntary fasting, what breaks the fast, what Muslims should do and do not during fasting, forbidden and disliked time to fast in, and lastly virtue of fasting.

Fasting and its meaning:

The Arabic word “Sawm” means “to abstain away from something”. An example is that if a person vowed to not talk to anyone for a day or more than that, then this is sawm. The Quran says regarding Hazrat Maryam

فَكُلِى وَٱشْرَبِى وَقَرِّى عَيْنًا ۖ فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ ٱلْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِىٓ إِنِّى نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَـٰنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ ٱلْيَوْمَ إِنسِيًّا

Surah Maryam (26th verse)

So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.'”

Saheeh International

The basic principle of fasting is that one should abstain from food and drink, having marital relation with spouse, when the true dawn has started until the sun has set, but there are much that must be avoided, such as speaking foul words, fighting with each other, and unnessecary arguements.

When was fasting legistated?

It was legistated when Prophet peace be upon him and his early followers made Hijrah to Madinah. Originally it was not Ramadan, which was revealed year later, but Ashura, as reported in ahadith:

حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا غُنْدَرٌ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ أَبِي بِشْرٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ قَدِمَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ وَالْيَهُودُ تَصُومُ عَاشُورَاءَ فَقَالُوا هَذَا يَوْمٌ ظَهَرَ فِيهِ مُوسَى عَلَى فِرْعَوْنَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم لأَصْحَابِهِ ‏ “‏ أَنْتُمْ أَحَقُّ بِمُوسَى مِنْهُمْ، فَصُومُوا ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

When the Prophet (ﷺ) arrived at Medina, the Jews were observing the fast on ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) and they said, “This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh,” On that, the Prophet (ﷺ) said to his companions, “You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses’ victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 4680

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَمَرَ بِصِيَامِ يَوْمِ عَاشُورَاءَ، فَلَمَّا فُرِضَ رَمَضَانُ كَانَ مَنْ شَاءَ صَامَ، وَمَنْ شَاءَ أَفْطَرَ‏.‏

Narrated `Aisha:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) ordered (the Muslims) to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’, and when fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed, it became optional for one to fast on that day (‘Ashura’) or not.

Sahih al-Bukhari 2001

Why did Allah legistate fasting?

Allah tells us in the Quran (Surah Baqarah: 184)

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

  O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)

The purpose of fasting is to attain the piety as mentioned in the verse. One should understand that it is not about abstaining from eating and drinking, and marital relation merely, but that they should try to do more good deeds such as speaking good words, helping the poor and orphans by donating to them as sadqa, being patient, and nafl prayers, while also abstaining from all sins, such as speaking foul words, fighting with each other, and arguing unnesscarily etc. if these are not done by the fasting person, then he would face nothing but hunger and thirst, earning no goodness, Prophet peace be upon him told us:

حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ رَافِعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ، عَنْ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ الْمَقْبُرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ رُبَّ صَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ صِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ الْجُوعُ. وَرُبَّ قَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ قِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ السَّهَرُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.”

Grade: Hasan (By Darussalam)

Sunan Ibn Majah 1690

Ramadan:

The word “Ramadan” is derived from “Ramidha” / “Ar Ramad” it means intense scorching heat. The word “Ramdha” means sun baked sand. As the sun evarporates water from the ground, likewise Ramadan also burns our sins and help us to be better Muslims if we take actions and follow Allah’s commands. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the pillar of Islam,

When does it become obligatory?

Fasting in the month of Ramadan becomes obligatory for all those who are Muslims, adult and sound mind, able to fast, and settled (not travelling), and there is no impediment, such as if one is suffering from an illness which could worsen if fasting, as advised by a trustworthy Muslim doctor, and the menstruation and bleeding following childbirth in case of women.

The person must be Muslim. Kafirs are not eligible, they are not required to fast, and if they revert to Islam, they do not have to make up the fasts.

The Muslim must also be adult in order for Ramadan to be obligatory. For the male, the sign of puburty starts when any of these signs occur:

  1. Wet dreams
  2. Pubic hair growth
  3. Reaching 15 years old.

In case of female, she also has 4th sign: starting of menstruction.

When any of these sign occurs, he / she becomes accountable for all of their deeds.

It is not obligatory on children, but in fact, this is recommended, yet unfortunately abandoned. Many parents due to their ignorance would feel pitful if their children wish to fast Ramadan. Rather than discouraging them, they should be encouraged, as reported in ahadith:

وَحَدَّثَنِي أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ نَافِعٍ الْعَبْدِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ الْمُفَضَّلِ بْنِ لاَحِقٍ، حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدُ، بْنُ ذَكْوَانَ عَنِ الرُّبَيِّعِ بِنْتِ مُعَوِّذِ بْنِ عَفْرَاءَ، قَالَتْ أَرْسَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم غَدَاةَ عَاشُورَاءَ إِلَى قُرَى الأَنْصَارِ الَّتِي حَوْلَ الْمَدِينَةِ ‏ “‏ مَنْ كَانَ أَصْبَحَ صَائِمًا فَلْيُتِمَّ صَوْمَهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ أَصْبَحَ مُفْطِرًا فَلْيُتِمَّ بَقِيَّةَ يَوْمِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَكُنَّا بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ نَصُومُهُ وَنُصَوِّمُ صِبْيَانَنَا الصِّغَارَ مِنْهُمْ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ وَنَذْهَبُ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ فَنَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ اللُّعْبَةَ مِنَ الْعِهْنِ فَإِذَا بَكَى أَحَدُهُمْ عَلَى الطَّعَامِ أَعْطَيْنَاهَا إِيَّاهُ عِنْدَ الإِفْطَارِ ‏.‏

Rubayyi’ daughter of Mu’awwidh b. ‘Afra’ said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent (a person) on the morning of Ashura to the villages of Ansar around Medina (with this message): He who got up in the morning fasting (without eating anything) he should complete his fast, and he who had had his breakfast in the morning, he should complete the rest of the day (without food). The Companions said; We henceforth observed fast on it (on the day of ‘Ashura) and, God willing, made our children observe that. We went to the mosque and made toys out of wool for them and when anyone felt hungry and wept for the food we gave them these toys till it was time to break the fast.

Sahih Muslim 1136a

The Muslim must also be sane. Insane people are exempted from fasting.

Any person who is suffering from chronic illness which can not be cured, and have lost hope. should give kaffara for each days he has missed, but if he is not suffering from it, and is suffering from diseases that can be cured in sha Allah, then when he becomes healthy, he must make up the fasting.

The starting of Ramadan:

At the end of the Shaban. The moon must be sighted, and if it is too cloudy, then it should be calcutated, as per hadith.

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ زِيَادٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ يَقُولُ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَوْ قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ صُومُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ، وَأَفْطِرُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ، فَإِنْ غُبِّيَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَكْمِلُوا عِدَّةَ شَعْبَانَ ثَلاَثِينَ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) or Abul-Qasim said, “Start fasting on seeing the crescent (of Ramadan), and give up fasting on seeing the crescent (of Shawwal), and if the sky is overcast (and you cannot see it), complete thirty days of Sha’ban.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1909

The person must also then make the intention to start fast before dawn starts.

أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَاتِمٍ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا حِبَّانُ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، عَنْ سُفْيَانَ بْنِ عُيَيْنَةَ، وَمَعْمَرٍ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ حَمْزَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ حَفْصَةَ، قَالَتْ لاَ صِيَامَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يُجْمِعِ الصِّيَامَ قَبْلَ الْفَجْرِ ‏.‏

It was narrated that Hafsah that: “There is no fast for the one who does not intend to fast before dawn.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 2338

It is highly recommended to eat suhoor:

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ بْنُ أَبِي إِيَاسٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ صُهَيْبٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السَّحُورِ بَرَكَةً ‏”‏‏.

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Take Suhur as there is a blessing in it.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1923‏

Suhur is eaten before the true dawn appears. The reason why it is legislated is that it helps the fasting person to get more energy to go through until sunset, secondly, there is a blessing in it, and thirdly it is to be different from Jews and Christians, as reported in hadith:

‘ أَخْبَرَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ عُلَىٍّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي قَيْسٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ فَصْلَ مَا بَيْنَ صِيَامِنَا وَصِيَامِ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أَكْلَةُ السُّحُورِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated that ‘Amr bin Al-As said:”The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the people of the Book, is eating Sahur.”‘

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa’i 2166

Grade: Sahih (by Darussalam)

It is also recommended that it should be delayed to time before Fajr where it takes 50 ayats.

حَدَّثَنَا مُسْلِمُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامٌ، حَدَّثَنَا قَتَادَةُ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ تَسَحَّرْنَا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَامَ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ‏.‏ قُلْتُ كَمْ كَانَ بَيْنَ الأَذَانِ وَالسَّحُورِ قَالَ قَدْرُ خَمْسِينَ آيَةً‏.‏

Narrated Anas:

Zaid bin Thabit said, “We took the Suhur with the Prophet (ﷺ) . Then he stood for the prayer.” I asked, “What was the interval between the Suhur and the Adhan?” He replied, “The interval was sufficient to recite fifty verses of the Qur’an.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1921

What should the fasting Muslim avoid?

When the true dawn has arrived. There are certain halal things that become prohibited until sunsets, such as eating, and drinking, intercourse with his wife, besides these, he should not speak foolishly, fight or argue unnecessarily, he must also avoid wasting time while fasting, he should stay away from things that do not benefit him, such as amusements, (video games, movies, etc). But not only his stomach should fast, but his eyes must also fast (avoiding looking at what is prohibited, such as opposite gender who is not mahram), his hands must fast (avoid harming the Muslims physically), his ears must fast (refrain from listening to music and falsehood, idle and dirty talks), his tongue must fast (from saying foolish and evil words, sinful and disbelief words, backbiting).

If someone is trying to fight or insult, then he must not also return, but rather “I am fasting”

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ الْقَعْنَبِيُّ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ الصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ إِذَا كَانَ أَحَدُكُمْ صَائِمًا فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَجْهَلْ فَإِنِ امْرُؤٌ قَاتَلَهُ أَوْ شَاتَمَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah:The Prophet (ﷺ) as saying: Fast is a shield ; when one of you is fasting, he should neither behave in an obscene manner nor foolishly. If a man fights or abuses him, he should say: I am fasting, I am fasting.

(Grade: Sahih (by Al-Albani)

Sunan Abi Dawud 2363

He should avoid insulting or backbiting them, otherwise his reward for fasting will be reduced, if he keep continuing, then his fasting is not accepted.

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ بْنُ أَبِي إِيَاسٍ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي ذِئْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدٌ الْمَقْبُرِيُّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1903

He must avoid having intercourse with his wife, it is a serious thing to do while fasting, and if he committed it, then he has to make expiation which is to free a believing slave, if not possible, then fast for 2 consecutive lunar months, if not possible, then feed 60 poor people.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَحْبُوبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَاحِدِ، حَدَّثَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ حُمَيْدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ هَلَكْتُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ وَمَا ذَاكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ وَقَعْتُ بِأَهْلِي فِي رَمَضَانَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ تَجِدُ رَقَبَةً ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ هَلْ تَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تَصُومَ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَتَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تُطْعِمَ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَاءَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ بِعَرَقٍ ـ وَالْعَرَقُ الْمِكْتَلُ فِيهِ تَمْرٌ ـ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ اذْهَبْ بِهَذَا، فَتَصَدَّقْ بِهِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عَلَى أَحْوَجَ مِنَّا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ مَا بَيْنَ لاَبَتَيْهَا أَهْلُ بَيْتٍ أَحْوَجُ مِنَّا‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اذْهَبْ، فَأَطْعِمْهُ أَهْلَكَ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

A man came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “I am ruined!” The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, “What is the matter?” He said, “I have done a sexual relation with my wife (while fasting) in Ramadan.” The Prophet said to him?” “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.” Then an Ansari man came with an Irq (a big basket full of dates). The Prophet said (to the man), “Take this (basket) and give it in charity.” That man said, “To poorer people than we, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)? By Him Who has sent you with the Truth! There is no house in between the two mountains (of the city of Medina) poorer than we.” So the Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), “Go and feed it to your family.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6710

What should the fasting Muslim do?

He must strive to do more good deeds sincerely for sake of Allah only, guard his prayers, and as well perform nafl prayers such as Taraweeh (In Ramadan only), Tahajjud, Duha, and tahiyyat masjid, seek knowledge, and practice it, recite the Quran, and importantly, it should not be abandoned to being full of dust like many people do after Ramadan is over. learn the knowledge about Allah, through His Beautiful Names and Perfect Attributes, this is essential yet basic science, he must also start performing more Sunan and preach it to people.

He also should stop those who are backbiting or insulting.

He should keep making duas, because the supplication of fasting person is always accepted according to hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، عَنْ سَعْدَانَ الْجُهَنِيِّ، عَنْ سَعْدٍ أَبِي مُجَاهِدٍ الطَّائِيِّ، – وَكَانَ ثِقَةً – عَنْ أَبِي مُدِلَّةَ، – وَكَانَ ثِقَةً – عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمُ الإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ وَالصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ وَدَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ يَرْفَعُهَا اللَّهُ دُونَ الْغَمَامِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَتُفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَيَقُولُ بِعِزَّتِي لأَنْصُرَنَّكِ وَلَوْ بَعْدَ حِينٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:There are three whose supplications are not turned back: A just ruler, and a fasting person until he breaks his fast. And, the supplication of one who has been wronged is raised by Allah up to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and Allah says, ‘By My Might I will help you (against the wrongdoer) even if it is after a while.’”

Sunan Ibn Majah 1752

He should not forget to make duas, not only for himself but also for all Muslims who are facing calamities, mainly poverty, wars, and oppression. He should also start reciting dua that are from Quran and Sunnah, as they are best dua.

While feeling sense of hunger and thirst, he should remember his fellow who are suffering from food and drink shortage and are in need, he should be generous with them, and give sadaqa. Prophet peace be upon him used to be more generous than before in Ramadan.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، أَخْبَرَنَا يُونُسُ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَأَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ، حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ جِبْرِيلُ ـ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ـ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ‏.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) then used to be more generous than the fast wind.

Sahih al-Bukhari 3554

He should always seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy work on improving his Imaan. treat Ramadan as the month of changing to be a better Muslim, rather than merely a month that goes away, and then going back to his old lifestyle, this is not correct at all.

Iftar:

Iftar is meal eaten to break the fast when the sun has set. It is Sunnah to hasten to break it, according to hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Sahl bin Sa`d:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1957

Unfortunately, it has become common practice for iftar to be treated like feast. People have made it extravagant like a Thanksgiving feast. This is prohibited. Allah says in Quran:

۞ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ خُذُوا۟ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا۟ وَٱشْرَبُوا۟ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُسْرِفِينَ

 O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying1 and going round (the Tawâf of) the Ka‘bah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance).

Surah Al-A’raf: 31

Prophet peace be upon him said that no container is worse than the stomach of son of Adam, and that those who eat too much will be hungriest on Day of Resurrection

Miqdam bin Ma’dikarib said:”I heard the Messenger of Allah (S.a.w) saying: ‘The human does not fill any container that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and third for his breath.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2380

Salman reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the people who ate to their fill the most in this world will be the hungriest on the Day of Resurrection.”

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 3351

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Suyuti

This also applies to Sehur. The Iftar of Prophet peace be upon him was simple as opposed to today. He would eat fresh dates to break his fast, and if he did not have any, he would eat dried dates, if not, then he would drink water.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ، عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ ‏ “‏ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُفْطِرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ عَلَى رُطَبَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رُطَبَاتٌ فَتُمَيْرَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تُمَيْرَاتٌ حَسَا حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَرُوِيَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُفْطِرُ فِي الشِّتَاءِ عَلَى تَمَرَاتٍ وَفِي الصَّيْفِ عَلَى الْمَاءِ ‏.‏

Anas bin Malik narrated: “The Messenger of Allah would break the fast with fresh dates before performing Salat. If there were no fresh dates then (he would break the fast) with dried dates, and if there were no dried dates then he would take a few sips of water.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 696

Most women have also spent a lot of hours cooking, complaining of the heat and sweating instead of worshipping Allah by performing more good deeds which these time they have spent could have been used, this is not what Allah ordered from us, it is not the way of attaining piety as mentioned by Quran. May Allah forgive our sins and guide us to His path.

Other obligatory fasting:

There are many kinds of obligatory fasting that occurs due to certain situations, such as making up missed Ramadan fasting, expiation, vows to fast, and fasting for 3 days during hajj and seven days after returning to one’s home for those performing hajj tamattu and unable to afford sacrificial animal

Making up missed Ramadan fasting:

With exception of people who are suffering from chronic illness and lost hope, in that case, he / she should pay fidyah for each day missed. The obligation of making up missed Ramadan fasting occurs when one broke his fasting before sunset, whether for valid reasons or no reasons. Allah says in Quran:

فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.

Surah Baqarah: 184

There are many valid reasons, such as if one is suffering from extreme thirst or hunger, and he fears that he may die, then he should break his fast, he should make them up later after Ramadan is over, If he is a traveler and have to go for long journey due to necessary reasons, and he fears that fasting may harm him, then he can break it. But if he has strength and does not have this fear, then he should not break and continue his fasting instead. For the woman, if her menstruation starts, then her fast has broken, and she should not make her missed fasts up until her period is over. It is reported that Hazrat Aisha said:

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُسْهِرٍ، عَنْ عُبَيْدَةَ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنِ الأَسْوَدِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كُنَّا نَحِيضُ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ نَطْهُرُ فَيَأْمُرُنَا بِقَضَاءِ الصِّيَامِ وَلاَ يَأْمُرُنَا بِقَضَاءِ الصَّلاَةِ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ عَنْ مُعَاذَةَ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أَيْضًا ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ لاَ نَعْلَمُ بَيْنَهُمُ اخْتِلاَفًا أَنَّ الْحَائِضَ تَقْضِي الصِّيَامَ وَلاَ تَقْضِي الصَّلاَةَ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَعُبَيْدَةُ هُوَ ابْنُ مُعَتِّبٍ الضَّبِّيُّ الْكُوفِيُّ يُكْنَى أَبَا عَبْدِ الْكَرِيمِ ‏.

Aishah narrated: “We would menstruate during the time of the Messenger of Allah, then when we became pure we were ordered to make up the fasts but we were not ordered to make up the Salat.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 787

Regarding pregnant woman

She is still like a normal person, she should fast, but if she fears that she will be harmed or her baby will be affected, then she can break the fast, but if she fears that she may die or will be harmed severely, then it becomes obligatory for her to break her fast, but she is not obligated to pay fidyah. If she only fears for her baby and not herself, some scholars say that it is permissible for her to break her fast, but she has to make her fast up and pay fidyah, because of the report by Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas

حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي عَدِيٍّ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ عَزْرَةَ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، ‏{‏ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ‏}‏ قَالَ كَانَتْ رُخْصَةً لِلشَّيْخِ الْكَبِيرِ وَالْمَرْأَةِ الْكَبِيرَةِ وَهُمَا يُطِيقَانِ الصِّيَامَ أَنْ يُفْطِرَا وَيُطْعِمَا مَكَانَ كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِسْكِينًا وَالْحُبْلَى وَالْمُرْضِعُ إِذَا خَافَتَا – قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ يَعْنِي عَلَى أَوْلاَدِهِمَا – أَفْطَرَتَا وَأَطْعَمَتَا ‏.‏

Explaining the verse; “For those who can do it (with hard-ship) is a ransom, the feeding of one, that is indigent,” he said: This was a concession granted to the aged man and woman who were able to keep fast; they were allowed to leave the fast and instead feed an indigent person for each fast; (and a concession) to pregnant and suckling woman when they apprehended harm (to themselves).

Abu Dawood 2317

People who break their fasts for no reason have committed a major sin, and they should repent back to Allah, regretting over what they have done and should never do it again, such if one intentionally eats or drink, then they should make the fast up.

People who break their fast out of ignorance or forgetfulness, such if he drink water forgetfully, and realized that he was fasting, his fast is not broken and he should contiune and does not have to make up fast. This is mercy from Allah

” حَدَّثَنِي يُوسُفُ بْنُ مُوسَى، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو أُسَامَةَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عَوْفٌ، عَنْ خِلاَسٍ، وَمُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ أَكَلَ نَاسِيًا وَهْوَ صَائِمٌ فَلْيُتِمَّ صَوْمَهُ، فَإِنَّمَا أَطْعَمَهُ اللَّهُ وَسَقَاهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If somebody eats something forgetfully while he is fasting, then he should complete his fast, for Allah has made him eat and drink.

Sahih al-Bukhari 6669

Expiation fasting:

There are many kind of expiation fasting, they are:

Fasting as expiation for having intercourse during Ramadan

Prophet peace be upon him said in hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ، عَنْ مَنْصُورٍ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ حُمَيْدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ إِنَّ الأَخِرَ وَقَعَ عَلَى امْرَأَتِهِ فِي رَمَضَانَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَتَجِدُ مَا تُحَرِّرُ رَقَبَةً ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَتَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تَصُومَ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَفَتَجِدُ مَا تُطْعِمُ بِهِ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِعَرَقٍ فِيهِ تَمْرٌ ـ وَهُوَ الزَّبِيلُ ـ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَطْعِمْ هَذَا عَنْكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عَلَى أَحْوَجَ مِنَّا مَا بَيْنَ لاَبَتَيْهَا أَهْلُ بَيْتٍ أَحْوَجُ مِنَّا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَأَطْعِمْهُ أَهْلَكَ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “I had sexual intercourse with my wife on Ramadan (while fasting).” The Prophet (ﷺ) asked him, “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet (ﷺ) asked him, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He replied in the negative. He asked him, “Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?” He replied in the negative. (Abu Huraira added): Then a basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet (ﷺ) and he said (to that man), “Feed (poor people) with this by way of atonement.” He said, “(Should I feed it) to poorer people than we? There is no poorer house than ours between its (Medina’s) mountains.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Then feed your family with it.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1937

Fasting as expiation for accidental killing (if other options are not possible).

Fasting for two consective months for accidental killing

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ أَن يَقْتُلَ مُؤْمِنًا إِلَّا خَطَـًٔا ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤْمِنًا خَطَـًٔا فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهِۦٓ إِلَّآ أَن يَصَّدَّقُوا۟ ۚ فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَّكُمْ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ ۖ وَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍۭ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَـٰقٌ فَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهِۦ وَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ تَوْبَةً مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

It is not for a believer to kill a believer except (that it be) by mistake; and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, (it is ordained that) he must set free a believing slave and a compensation (blood-money, i.e. Diya) be given to the deceased’s family unless they remit it. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed); and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation (blood-money – Diya) must be paid to his family, and a believing slave must be freed. And whoso finds this (the penance of freeing a slave) beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months in order to seek repentance from Allâh. And Allâh is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.

Fasting as expiation for Zihaar (type of divorce practiced during Days of Ignorance)

Zihaar was a form of divorce that was practiced during Days of Ignorance. The husband if he wanted to separate himself from his wife, would say to her “You are like my mother’s back”. Allah prohibited this practice, and set its expiation for those who have committed it, a believing slave was to be freed, if no slaves, then fast two consecutive months, if not then feed 60 poor people

وَٱلَّذِينَ يُظَـٰهِرُونَ مِن نِّسَآئِهِمْ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُوا۟ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

  And those who make unlawful to them their wives by Zihâr and wish to free themselves from what they uttered, (the penalty) in that case is the freeing of a slave before they touch each other. That is an admonition to you (so that you may not repeat such an ill thing). And Allâh is All-Aware of what you do.

فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَإِطْعَامُ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِتُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ۚ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَلِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

  And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty Miskîns (poor). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allâh and His Messenger. These are the limits set by Allâh. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.

Surah Al Mujadila: 3-4

Expiation for breaking oath:

This is the only obligation when one is unable to afford to feed 10 poor people or family members or clothe them, and does not have a slave. then he must fast for 3 days

لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِٱللَّغْوِ فِىٓ أَيْمَـٰنِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ ٱلْأَيْمَـٰنَ ۖ فَكَفَّـٰرَتُهُۥٓ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَـٰكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـٰثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّـٰرَةُ أَيْمَـٰنِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ۚ وَٱحْفَظُوٓا۟ أَيْمَـٰنَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] – then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses [i.e., revealed law] that you may be grateful.

Surah Al-Ma’idah: 89

Vow to fast:

Vows (Nadhr) is when one obligates himself to do acts that is not obligatory, which then becomes obligatory for him. This includes fasting. Vows if it is not disobedience against Allah, must be fulfilled. Likewise as long as one did not vow to fast on forbidden time, then it must be fulfilled.

Narrated `Aisha:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَاصِمٍ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ طَلْحَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ، عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يُطِيعَ اللَّهَ فَلْيُطِعْهُ، وَمَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يَعْصِيَهُ فَلاَ يَعْصِهِ ‏”‏‏.‏

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever vowed to be obedient to Allah, must be obedient to Him; and whoever vowed to be disobedient to Allah, should not be disobedient to Him.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6700

This also includes mustahabb fasting such as Thursday and Monday, 13 14 15 of each lunar month. However, if he tries to fulfill the vow of fasting in Ramadan, this is not acceptable.

It is not allowed to make vows on forbidden times to fast, such as two Eids, 3 days of Day of Tashreeq, etc.

Voluntary fasting:

There are many voluntary fastings compared to obligatory fasting. They are:

Monday and Thursday:

Prophet peace be upon him used to fast on Mondays and Thursday as per ahadith. According to another hadith, the deeds are presented to Allah on Monday and Thursday

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو حَفْصٍ، عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ الْفَلاَّسُ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ دَاوُدَ، عَنْ ثَوْرِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ مَعْدَانَ، عَنْ رَبِيعَةَ الْجُرَشِيِّ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَتَحَرَّى صَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَالْخَمِيسِ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ حَفْصَةَ وَأَبِي قَتَادَةَ وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَأُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدِيثُ عَائِشَةَ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ ‏.‏

Aishah narrated:”The Prophet used to try to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 745

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ أَبِي الْحَكَمِ بْنِ ثَوْبَانَ، عَنْ مَوْلَى، قُدَامَةَ بْنِ مَظْعُونٍ عَنْ مَوْلَى، أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ أَنَّهُ انْطَلَقَ مَعَ أُسَامَةَ إِلَى وَادِي الْقُرَى فِي طَلَبِ مَالٍ لَهُ فَكَانَ يَصُومُ يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ فَقَالَ لَهُ مَوْلاَهُ لِمَ تَصُومُ يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ وَأَنْتَ شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ فَقَالَ إِنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَصُومُ يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ وَسُئِلَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ أَعْمَالَ الْعِبَادِ تُعْرَضُ يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ كَذَا قَالَ هِشَامٌ الدَّسْتَوَائِيُّ عَنْ يَحْيَى عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ أَبِي الْحَكَمِ ‏.‏

Narrated Usamah ibn Zayd:

The client of Usamah ibn Zayd said that he went along with Usamah to Wadi al-Qura in pursuit of his camels. He would fast on Monday and Thursday. His client said to him: Why do you fast on Monday and Thursday, while you are an old man? He said: The Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) used to fast on Monday and Thursday. When he was asked about it, he said: The works of the servants (of Allah) are presented (to Allah) on Monday and Thursday.

Sunan Abi Dawud 2436

The virtue of Monday is that Prophet peace be upon him was born on the day and it is also when the Revelation started.

وَحَدَّثَنِي زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ مَهْدِيٍّ، حَدَّثَنَا مَهْدِيُّ بْنُ مَيْمُونٍ، عَنْ غَيْلاَنَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَعْبَدٍ الزِّمَّانِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، رضى الله عنه أَنَّرَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم سُئِلَ عَنْ صَوْمِ الاِثْنَيْنِ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ فِيهِ وُلِدْتُ وَفِيهِ أُنْزِلَ عَلَىَّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Abu Qatada Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was sent down to me.

Sahih Muslim 1162e

The fasting of Prophet Dawud peace be upon him

Prophet Dawud peace be upon him used to fast on a day and then not fast on second. According to ahadith, it is most virtuous and beloved fasting to Allah.

Abdullah bin Amr narrated that:

The Messenger of Allah said: “The most virtuous fast is the fast of my brother Dawud. He would fast a day, and not fast (the next) day. He would not flee at the time of engagement (with the enemy).”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 770

3 days of each Lunar month (13, 14, 15)

Abu Dharr (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to fast for three days of every month; that is on the days of the full moon; the 13th , 14th , and 15th (of the lunar month).’ Related by An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmidhi and rendered authentic by Ibn Hibban.

Bulugh-al-Maram

Fasting in the month of Shaban until halfway

This is for those who do not have habit of fasting. It is allowed for those who have habit of fasting to fast in the month except the Day of Doubt (when the moon for Ramadan has not been sighted due to clouds or less visibility)

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ مَهْدِيٍّ، عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ صَالِحٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي قَيْسٍ، سَمِعَ عَائِشَةَ، تَقُولُ كَانَ أَحَبَّ الشُّهُورِ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ يَصُومَهُ شَعْبَانُ ثُمَّ يَصِلُهُ بِرَمَضَانَ ‏.‏

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:

The month most liked by the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) for fasting was Sha’ban. He then joined it with Ramadan.

Sunan Abi Dawud 2431

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنِ الْعَلاَءِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِذَا بَقِيَ نِصْفٌ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَلاَ تَصُومُوا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدِيثُ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ عَلَى هَذَا اللَّفْظِ ‏.‏ وَمَعْنَى هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ عِنْدَ بَعْضِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ أَنْ يَكُونَ الرَّجُلُ مُفْطِرًا فَإِذَا بَقِيَ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ شَيْءٌ أَخَذَ فِي الصَّوْمِ لِحَالِ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا يُشْبِهُ قَوْلَهُمْ حَيْثُ قَالَ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لاَ تَقَدَّمُوا شَهْرَ رَمَضَانَ بِصِيَامٍ إِلاَّ أَنْ يُوَافِقَ ذَلِكَ صَوْمًا كَانَ يَصُومُهُ أَحَدُكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ دَلَّ فِي هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَنَّمَا الْكَرَاهِيَةُ عَلَى مَنْ يَتَعَمَّدُ الصِّيَامَ لِحَالِ رَمَضَانَ ‏.‏

Abu Hurairah narrated that:

the Messenger of Allah said: “When a half of Sha’ban remains then do not fast.”

Tirmidhi 738

6 days of Shawwal:

This is to be done after one has completed the fasts of Ramadan. As for those with missed fasts, they have to complete them first before making intention for fasting 6 days of Shawwal, according to the scholars

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ نُمَيْرٍ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ بِسِتٍّ مِنْ شَوَّالٍ، كَانَ كَصَوْمِ الدَّهْرِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Ayyub that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.”

Sunan Ibn Majah 1716

Fasting on day of Arafah for those who are not performing Hajj

It is recommended for those who are not performing Hajj, to fast on day of Arafah. Prophet peace be upon him said

I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of ‘Arafa may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years

Sahih Muslim 1162a

This is only for minor sins. Major sins require repentance.

Day of Ashora

Originally it was obligatory until in 2nd year of Hijrah, Ramadan was revealed, it is great sunnah.

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَعَمْرٌو النَّاقِدُ، جَمِيعًا عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، – قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، – عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي يَزِيدَ، سَمِعَ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ، – رضى الله عنهما – وَسُئِلَ عَنْ صِيَامِ، يَوْمِ عَاشُورَاءَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ مَا عَلِمْتُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَامَ يَوْمًا يَطْلُبُ فَضْلَهُ عَلَى الأَيَّامِ إِلاَّ هَذَا الْيَوْمَ وَلاَ شَهْرًا إِلاَّ هَذَا الشَّهْرَ يَعْنِي رَمَضَانَ ‏.‏

Ibn Abbas was asked about observing of fast on the day of Ashura, whereupon he said:I do not know Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) singling out any day’s fast and considering it more excellent than another, except this day (the day of Ashura) and this month, meaning the month of Ramadan

Sahih Muslim 1132a

It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope, will expiate for the sins of the previous year.”

Sunan Ibn Majah 1738

Fasting a great deal in month of Muharram

Abu Haraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God’s month. al-Muharram

Sahih Muslim 1163a

Forbidden time to fast:

the two Eids

It is forbidden to fast on these days, as Prophet peace be upon him made it clear. Even to vow to fast on it will not be accepted, as there should be no disobedience to Allah

حَدَّثَنَا سَهْلُ بْنُ أَبِي سَهْلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدٍ، قَالَ شَهِدْتُ الْعِيدَ مَعَ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ فَبَدَأَ بِالصَّلاَةِ قَبْلَ الْخُطْبَةِ فَقَالَ: إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ نَهَى عَنْ صِيَامِ هَذَيْنِ الْيَوْمَيْنِ، يَوْمِ الْفِطْرِ وَيَوْمِ الأَضْحَى. أَمَّا يَوْمُ الْفِطْرِ، فَيَوْمُ فِطْرِكُمْ مِنْ صِيَامِكُمْ. وَيَوْمُ الأَضْحَى تَأْكُلُونَ فِيهِ مِنْ لَحْمِ نُسُكِكُمْ ‏.‏

It was narrated that Abu ‘Ubaid said:

“I was present for ‘Eid with ‘Umar bin Khattab. He started with the prayer before the sermon, and said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade fasting on these two days, the Day of Fitr and the Day of Adha. As for the Day of Fitr, it is the day when you break your fast, and on the Day of Adha you eat the meat of your sacrifices.’”

Sunan Ibn Majah 1722

Fasting 6 days of Shawwal can be done on the second day of Shawwal. Eid fitr is only 1 day.

Day of Tashreeq:

These are after Eid al Adha, they are 3 days. 11, 12 and 13 of Dhul-Hijjah. the only concession given for fasting is for pilgrims who are performing Hajj Tamattu or Qiran, and could not find sacrificial animals

وَحَدَّثَنَا سُرَيْجُ بْنُ يُونُسَ، حَدَّثَنَا هُشَيْمٌ، أَخْبَرَنَا خَالِدٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الْمَلِيحِ، عَنْ نُبَيْشَةَ، الْهُذَلِيِّ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ أَيَّامُ التَّشْرِيقِ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Nubaisha al-Hudhali reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The days of Tashriq are the days of eating and drinking.

Muslim 1141

Day of Doubt:

These occur at end of Shaban, when the moon could not be sighted due to cloudy sky, but if it is clear, then there is no doubt. Prophet peace be upon him said

“Fast when you see the new moon and break your fast when you see the new moon, and if you are not sure, then complete the number of Sha’baan as thirty days.”

al-Bukhaari, 1909

Menstruation period and bleeding following childbirth.

Women are not allowed to fast when their period starts and when they bleed following childbirth.

Makrooh time for fasting:

Fasting on Friday or Saturday

Prophet peace be upon him said

“None of you should fast on Friday unless he fasts before it, or he fasts after it.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 743 and Bukhari

Abdullah bin Busr narrated from his sister that :the Messenger of Allah said: “Do not fast on Saturday except for what has been made obligatory upon you (by Allah). If one of you does not find but a grape peal or a tree’s twig, then let him chew it.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 744

Al-Tirmidhi said: What is meant by its being makrooh is that a man should not single out Saturday for fasting because the Jews venerate Saturday.

What breaks the fast?

Before they are discussed, with exception of menstruation and nifaas there are three conditions that have to be met: that the person was aware of the ruling and not ignorant of it; that he did it knowingly and not out of forgetfulness; and that he did it by choice and was not forced to do it.

There are many actions that lead to breaking of fast. They are:

Anything that reaches the stomach if let intentionally (foods drink, and reaching from the nose):

This is at least a basic ruling. Once the true dawn has arrived, it becomes prohibited to eat and drink until sunset. If one forgetfully eat or drink, his fast is not broken, as already discussed above. This ruling also applies to the injection of nutrients which falls under food and drink that breaks the fast, as for other injections that do not contain nutrients but administered for purpose of medical treatment, they don’t break the fast. Anything that reaches the stomach through the nose, if done intentionally, also breaks the fast.

Prophet peace be upon him said regarding the nose:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْحَكَمِ الْبَغْدَادِيُّ الْوَرَّاقُ، وَأَبُو عَمَّارٍ الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ حُرَيْثٍ قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سُلَيْمٍ، حَدَّثَنِي إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عَاصِمَ بْنَ لَقِيطِ بْنِ صَبْرَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْوُضُوءِ، ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ “‏ أَسْبِغِ الْوُضُوءَ وَخَلِّلْ بَيْنَ الأَصَابِعِ وَبَالِغْ فِي الاِسْتِنْشَاقِ إِلاَّ أَنْ تَكُونَ صَائِمًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ كَرِهَ أَهْلُ الْعِلْمِ السَّعُوطَ لِلصَّائِمِ وَرَأَوْا أَنَّ ذَلِكَ يُفْطِرُهُ وَفِي الْحَدِيثِ مَا يُقَوِّي قَوْلَهُمْ ‏.‏

the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Snuff up water deeply into the nose (when doing wudu), except when you are fasting.”

al-Tirmidhi, 788

Blood transfusion and kidney dialysis also fall under invalidating the fast.

Smoking also breaks the fasting. It is haram whether one is fasting or not, and must be stopped.

Intercourse and ejaculation:

It is a serious and grave thing to break fast. The person who has committed intercourse during Ramadan faces severe expiations. It does not matter if he did not ejaculate. As long as the tip of his private part reaches into the female private part, then the fasting has broken. If the ejaculation of semen occurs with pleasure, then his fasting is also broken, masturbation which is actually haram also breaks the fast if the ejaculation takes place, but there is no expiation for masturbating while fasting, rather he has to repent to Allah, and make up the fast.

Prostatic fluid do not break the fast

Letting blood out by means

One of these means is cupping. Prophet peace be upon him said:

حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنْ هِشَامٍ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا حَسَنُ بْنُ مُوسَى، حَدَّثَنَا شَيْبَانُ، – جَمِيعًا – عَنْ يَحْيَى، عَنْ أَبِي قِلاَبَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي أَسْمَاءَ، – يَعْنِي الرَّحَبِيَّ – عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ أَفْطَرَ الْحَاجِمُ وَالْمَحْجُومُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ شَيْبَانُ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو قِلاَبَةَ أَنَّ أَبَا أَسْمَاءَ الرَّحَبِيَّ حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ ثَوْبَانَ مَوْلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏

“The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.”

Abu Dawood, 2367

This also applies to donating blood. As for those who suffer from nosebleed, it does not break his fast.

Vomiting intentionally

To vomit, breaks the fast, no matter how much it is, whether small amount or large. as long as one has done it willingly. Prophet peace be upon him said

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ يُونُسَ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ حَسَّانَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِيرِينَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ ذَرَعَهُ الْقَىْءُ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ قَضَاءٌ وَمَنِ اسْتَقَاءَ عَمْدًا فَلْيَقْضِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ وَثَوْبَانَ وَفَضَالَةَ بْنِ عُبَيْدٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدِيثُ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ مِنْ حَدِيثِ هِشَامٍ عَنِ ابْنِ سِيرِينَ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلاَّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عِيسَى بْنِ يُونُسَ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ لاَ أَرَاهُ مَحْفُوظًا ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَقَدْ رُوِيَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ مِنْ غَيْرِ وَجْهٍ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلاَ يَصِحُّ إِسْنَادُهُ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ وَثَوْبَانَ وَفَضَالَةَ بْنِ عُبَيْدٍ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَاءَ فَأَفْطَرَ ‏.‏ وَإِنَّمَا مَعْنَى هَذَا أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ صَائِمًا مُتَطَوِّعًا فَقَاءَ فَضَعُفَ فَأَفْطَرَ لِذَلِكَ ‏.‏ هَكَذَا رُوِيَ فِي بَعْضِ الْحَدِيثِ مُفَسَّرًا ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ عَلَى حَدِيثِ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّ الصَّائِمَ إِذَا ذَرَعَهُ الْقَىْءُ فَلاَ قَضَاءَ عَلَيْهِ وَإِذَا اسْتَقَاءَ عَمْدًا فَلْيَقْضِ ‏.‏ وَبِهِ يَقُولُ سُفْيَانُ الثَّوْرِيُّ وَالشَّافِعِيُّ وَأَحْمَدُ وَإِسْحَاقُ ‏.‏

“Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.”

al-Tirmidhi, 720 (It is graded as sahih by Al-Albani)

Menstruation bleeding and nifaas

If her period starts while she is fasting, her fasting has broken, even if it is moment before the sun has set and she is not allowed to fast or make them up until her period is over. Prophet peace be upon him said:

Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?

Sahih Bukhari 304

Virtue of fasting

It is way of attaining piety as mentioned in Quran

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

  O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – See V.2: 2).

Fasting helps one to be better at self control. Certain halal things become haram until sunset, then that person can control himself from haram actions as well. thus it is a way to be righteous.

It is a loved deed by Allah

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: الصَّوْمُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ، يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَأَكْلَهُ وَشُرْبَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي، وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ(1)، وَلِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ حِينَ يُفْطِرُ، وَفَرْحَةٌ حِينَ يَلْقَى رَبَّهُ، وَلَخُلُوفُ(2) فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ”.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (ﷺ), who said:Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: Fasting is Mine and it is I who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah’s estimation than the smell of musk. It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, Malik, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah).

This is because all other deeds are visible, but fasting is hidden deed. It is impossible to know whether one is fasting or not, therefore it is loved by Allah.

There is a door of Paradise for those fasting, known as ar-Rayyan

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدُ بْنُ مَخْلَدٍ، – وَهُوَ الْقَطَوَانِيُّ – عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ، بْنِ بِلاَلٍ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ بَابًا يُقَالُ لَهُ الرَّيَّانُ يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ الصَّائِمُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لاَ يَدْخُلُ مَعَهُمْ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُهُمْ يُقَالُ أَيْنَ الصَّائِمُونَ فَيَدْخُلُونَ مِنْهُ فَإِذَا دَخَلَ آخِرُهُمْ أُغْلِقَ فَلَمْ يَدْخُلْ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahl b. Sa’d (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:In Paradise there is a gate which is called Rayyan through which only the people who fast would enter on the Day on Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: Where are the people who fast that they should be admitted into it? And when the last of them would enter, it would be closed and no one would enter it.

Sahih Muslim 1152

It keeps the fasting person away from Hellfire, if they are engaged in jihad

وَحَدَّثَنِي إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، وَعَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ بِشْرٍ الْعَبْدِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، وَسُهَيْلِ بْنِ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، أَنَّهُمَا سَمِعَا النُّعْمَانَ بْنَ، أَبِي عَيَّاشٍ الزُّرَقِيَّ يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ صَامَ يَوْمًا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بَاعَدَ اللَّهُ وَجْهَهُ عَنِ النَّارِ سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: He who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah He would remove his face from the Hell to the extent of seventy years’ distance.

Sahih Muslim 1153c

Minor sins are forgiven if certain voluntary fasting are performed.

For example, those who fasted on the day of Arafah will have his minor sins forgiven from past years and next years.

Voluntary fasting are way to earn love of Allah

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَالَ: مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا، فَقَدْ آذَنْتُهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ، كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ، وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ عَنْ شَيْءٍ أَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي عَنْ نَفْسِ عَبْدِي الْمُؤْمِنِ، يَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ وَأَنَا أَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ”

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. It was related by al-Bukhari.

Hadith Qudsi

Alhamdulillah

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