19th Sha’aban 1442 A.H
(2nd April 2021 C.E)
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL BEING THE THIRD SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF SHA’ABAAN
DATED 19TH SHA’ABAAN 1442 AH (2ND APRIL, 2021 CE).
FASTING: ITS EXCELENCE AND RILUNGS
All Praises belong to Allah Who prescribed for us the correct religious laws and, made fasting one of the fastest and most honourable ways of drawing close to Him. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. Indisputable and rightful Authority and Dominion belong to Him. I bear witness too that our leader Muhammad is the servant of Allah and his messenger, and His friend and beloved among His creation. May Allah grant him Blessings and Peace, and his family and all his companions.
Thereafter, servants of Allah! Fear Allah Ta’alah, as piety is the best thing that you can prepare with to meet your Lord, and nothing is more beneficial on that Day like it. The good ending is attained by piety. The topic of our sermon today – as we will soon be welcoming Ramadan – is the excellence of fasting and its rulings. Ramadan is the month of obligatory fasting, and it has virtues and rulings that should be known. So here we discuss their explanations in preparation for Ramadan and the fasting in it.
Servants of Allah! Fasting is a great pillar of Islam and a great worship, such that if the servants of Allah know its excellence, they would not leave it for days. Allah Ta’alah has commanded us to fast like He commanded others before us. Allah Ta’alah said:
“Oh you who believe, fasting has been decreed for you as it was decreed those before you, so that you may be pious” (Al-Baqarah: 183)
From fasting, believers earn an increase from the bounties of Allah, rewards and good deeds, that cannot be achieved by any other act of worship. Allah Ta’alah attributed fasting to himself and tied the level of reward of fasting to Himself, Glory be to Him. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in explaining this: “Allah said: Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except for fasting. It is for Me and I will reward it.’ Fasting is a shield, so when one of you fasts, he may not be obscene or boisterous. If someone insults him or fights him, let him say: Indeed, I am fasting. By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath coming from the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the scent of musk. The fasting person has two moments of relief he enjoys: when he breaks his fast he is joyful, and when he meets his Lord he is joyful for his fasting.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1904) on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him –
Is there any honor and generosity to worshipers in fasting that is more than this? Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned in ‘Al-Jaami’: “Indeed, he singled out fasting that it is for Him, that is, for Allah Ta’alah, even though, all the acts of worship are for him, for two things, both of which distinguish fasting from all other acts of worship. One of them: Fasting prevents the cravings and the desires of the soul that other acts of worship do not prevent. The second: Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord, which is evident to only Him. Therefore, he became singled out specially for Him. Whichever other acts of worship are apparent, he (the doer) may have done to show off. So for this, fasting was distinguished from others.” (Al-Jami` al-Jami` al-Ahkam al-Qur’an, Part 1, p. 759)
One of the blessings of fasting is that people who used to fast will enter Al-Jannah, in-shaa Allah, through a special door from which no one else will enter, and this is an indication of a raised status amd increase in reward. On the authority of Sahl bin Saad al-Saadi, may Allah Ta’alah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah (may the Blessings and Peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Indeed there is a gate of Paradise called Ar-Rayyan. On the day of Resurrection those who fast will enter through it; no one enters it except for them, and when they have entered it is closed, and whoever enters it drinks, and whoever drinks never becomes thirsty." (Saheeh Al-Jaamiu)
Part of the excellence of fasting is that it saves from the punishment of the Fire, with the permission of our Lord, the Most Generous, the Most-Forgiving. And it also takes its torment far away from those who fast. It is narrated from Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudriy (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah, Allah moves away the Fire from his face by a distance of seventy years, because of that singular day of fast" (Sunan Ibn Majah 1717)
And whoever really fasts for Allah the way one should fast, it will make him attain the blessings of the divine bounties, in attaining tenderness of the heart and compassion for the poor and the needy. And there is no better way for achoeve that that can be stronger than the feeling of the torment of hunger. Our prophet Yusuf (‘alayhi salaam) was the custodian of the treasury in Egypt, and he did not eat in a day except once. So it was said to him concerning that: "Are you hungry while you sit on the Treasury of Egypt?" He said: "Yes. I am afraid I’ll be full and forget the hungry."
Our noble Messenger (may Allah’s Blessings and Peace be upon him) was hunger’s companion and patient on its pangs, because it strengthens the heart to be obedient and helps souls to preserve their piety and consciousness..
Among the benefits of fasting is what has to do with the general health of those who fast, as they rectify their state of health by fasting, which saves them from excessive fat, reduces the severity of diseases such as blood pressure, prevents clots, breaks down indigestion, stimulates blood circulation, and other many health benefits inherent in fasting. And it’s for this reason that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him): “Conquer and you acquire booty, fast, so you’ll be healthy, and travel so you’ll ne wealthy” (Al-Mundhri fi al-Targheeb and al-Tarheeb 2/106 on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, and he said: Its narrators are trustworthy, and al-Haythami in Majma ‘al-Zawad 3/182 and said: Its men are trustworthy).
This is it, and may Allah bless me and you, and make us among His servants who fast and whose fasts are accepted.
THE SECOND KHUTBAH
All praises belong to Allah, the One Who confers Favours and Blessings, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad, his servant and Messenger, is the best of those who prayed and fasted, may Allah bless him and his family and his righteous and honorable companions, and grant them lots of peace.
Servants of Allah!, fear Allah and know that fasting has rulings that must be known so that it can be performed in the recommended manner, and among its rulings is that it is necessary to have the intention, in accordance with the saying of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: "Actions are only by intentions, but every person has what he intends". So whoever leaves the things that breaks the fast without the intention of fasting is not fasting legally. And the intention is the intent and determination in the heart. It’s held in the heart and it is not permissible to pronounce it. There must be an intention for obligatory fasting, it must be made from the night before early morning meal or at the time of the meal, in accordance with the saying of the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): "There is no fasting for the one who did not have the intention from the night. As for the person with excuse who breaks the fast for a legitimate reason and then the reason is ceases in the course of the day, such as a sick person who has recovered, or a traveler who ends his journey, or a young person who reaches puberty, or a menstruating or postpartum woman whose menstruation or postpartum blood ends during the day, or an unbeliever who accepts Islaam in the course of the day, or the evidence that the month of Ramadhaan has begun is not established until during the day, then these categories of people should abstain for the rest of the day out of respect for the season and the make the day up after Ramadhaan, because some time has passed during the day and they did not make the intention to fast.
Part of the provisions of fasting is for the fasting person to avoid whatever could vitiate his fast such as eating and drinking and sexual cohabitation, in accordance with the saying of Allah Ta’alah: "So now you can have sexual intimacy with them and seek what Allah has destined for you and eat and drink until the white thread of the dawn becomes distinct from the black thread; then complete the fast up to the night".
The beginning of fast is from the second dawn to sunset. The Muslim avoids during his fasting during this period from dawn to sunset, all other things that could break the fast, and protects his fast from anything that can vitiate it. Eating intentionally whether little or much vitiates the fast, but if he eats or drinks forgetfully, then there is no blame on him and his fasting is not vitiates, in accordance with the saying of the messenger of Allah (may Allah grant him Blessings and Peace): "Whoever forgets while he is fasting and eats or drinks, let him complete his fast. It is indeed Allah that has fed and given him water." And so are other things that are similar to eating and drinking, that take the place of both such as nutritious and intravenous injections that are taken into a vein. It translates to eating and drinking because it moves in the blood and stimulates and nourishes the body. Thus, they translate to eating and drinking.
Likewise, one of the things that break the fast is if the fasting person deliberately vomits and pukes by extracting what is in his stomach through the mouth, then this invalidates the fast, but if he vomits involuntarily, this does not affect his fast, due to the hadith that if a person deliberately vomits then he breaks his fast, but if he did not deliberately do so, his fast would not be vitiated, because this is not by his choice. One of the things that break the fast is to draw a lot of blood from the body, either by cupping or by the medical means, whether drawing it for treatment such as cupping or drawing it to donate or to help a sick person, this invalidates his fast because he has removed from his body what gives him strength. But if the fasting person is injured, and blood is let out bleeding, this does not affect his fast because it is not by his choice, as well as little blood that is taken for analysis, this does not mean cupping and does not affect the fast.
Among the nullifiers of the fast which is contained in the revealed text and consensus is the sexual intercourse during the days in Ramadan. If a man have intercourse with his wife, the fast of both become nullified provided she accepted, it invalidates fasting on both by consensus, because Allah said: (So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset.” (Al-baqarah: 187) which is forbidden, but does not require penance because it is not intercourse.
So making intercourse like eating and drinking intentionally during the day invalidates the fast, and what is meant by intercourse is intercourse in the vagina even if he does not ejaculate, if it penetrates, the fast is invalidated even if he does not ejaculate. In the same way is emptying the semen by other than through intercourse, such as emptying it with the secret habit, which is masturbation, it invalidates the fast and necessitates making it up. It is forbidden but there is no atonement is required because it is not copulation or intercourse.
These are some of the things that break the fast of the fasting person that he must avoid, and to keep his fast from all means that could lead him to it. Some people, especially the youth and those newly married do approach their wives and romance them, and got their desire aroused, they must move away from such. As for the person who does not get aroused and is not afraid of anything from that, then there is no objection to touching his wife and intimating with her because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to kiss his wives while he was fasting because he was able to control his desire.
This is it, and may Allah bless me and you, and make us among His servants who fast and whose fasts are accepted.