VOLUNTARY FAST IN ISLAM

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE SECOND KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF SHAWWAL, 8/SHAWWAL/1439AH (22/JUNE/2018CE)

VOLUNTARY FAST IN ISLAM

Praise be to Allah in an exceeding degree, He says: (وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ)

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous” (3: 133). Praise be to Him for His favours and comfort. Praise be to Allah exceedingly, Allah is the greatest. Glory be to Allah morning and evening. To Allah is due all praises as it is pleasing to Him for all His uncountable blessings. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone; He gives and takes life, He is able of all things. I bear witness that our leader, model, and master- Muhammad bn Abdullah is his chosen prophet and Messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him, his families, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness till the day of recompense. May Allah grant us the same and all righteousness servants of Allah.

Thereafter,

O Servant of Allah, I urge you to fear Allah in the secret and the public. Piety is the way out of every difficulty and a path to provision and abundance. Allah says:

وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا (2) وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ …” ” وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا “… وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِ وَيُعْظِمْ لَهُ أَجْرًا {الطلاق : 2-5}

“And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease. … and whoever fears Allah – He will remove for him his misdeeds and make great for him his reward. (65:2-5)

Dear Muslims, we discussed last week the importance of sustaining righteousness after Ramadan, therefore for today we shift our attention to voluntary fasts in Islam.

Voluntary worship: Voluntary acts of worship are non-obligatory acts for gaining closeness to Allah. Allah says:

(﴿ومن تطوع خيراً﴾ [البقرة:158/ 2]) (And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.” 2:158

(﴿ومن الليل فتهجد به نافلة لك﴾ [الإسراء:79/ 17]) “And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you …” (17:79)

Voluntary fasts: It represents one of the meritorious acts of worship to gain nearness to God and earn His love. Voluntary fasts come up on some days where in acts of worship are rewarded in manifolds and sins cleansed entirely.

Abu Sa’id al Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah would remove his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years’ distance. (Muslim)

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah, the Majestic and the Exalted, said: Every act of the son of Adam is for him except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it.” (Bukhari/Muslim)

Voluntary fasts are as follow:

1- OBSERVING FAST ON ALTERNATE DAYS: This is the most rewarding voluntary fast for the person who can observe it, that is to fast on every alternate days. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best fast is the fast of Dawud, he used to fast a day and break on the other” He also said: “There is nothing better than this” as reported in the hadith of Abdullah bn ‘Amr bn Al-‘As.

2- Virtues of the fasting three days of every month: It best to be the white days- these days are when the brightness of the moon is brightest- thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days of every month. It would be like fasting the whole month in reward. Abu Dharr reported the prophet (pbuh) said to him: “When you fast three days of every month, fast the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” (Tirmidhi). The Prophet does fast three days in every month (Sunan). Mu’adha al-‘Adawiyya reported that she asked ‘A’isha, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him), whether the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed fasts for three days during every month. She said: Yes I said to her: Which were (the particular) days of the month on which he observed fast? She said: He was not particular about the days of the month on which to observe fast. (Muslim)

3- Virtues of the fasting on Monday and Thursday: It is highly rewarding to fast on Monday and Thursday. The Prophet (pbuh) described it that: “The deeds of the servants of Allah are presented on Monday and Thursday.”

He also said that the deeds are presented to Allah, “and He will forgive every believer- on Monday and Thursday- except he who has a discord with his brother, and it will be said to the angels: “leave these two until they make amends.”

4- Virtues of the six days of shawwal: Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually. Reference to perpetualness in this hadith is rational from the angle that fasting for thirty days in Ramadan is in multiples of ten rewards and the six in Shawwal would give sixty rewards, thus a total of 360. This figure stands for a year reward, and then by perpetual adherence annually to this sunnah, it would be as if the person has fasted throughout his life.

It is in order to observe the six fasts immediately after the eid regardless of missing some days in Ramadan- either due to jouney, sickness or   menstruation, postpartum, pregnancy, and nursing. There is no proof that negates to start the six of shawwal due to uncompleted Ramadan. Though some scholars posit that the six fasting of shawwal is not relevant until missed days in Ramadan is observed clinging to the earlier stated hadith for evidence, however the opposing scholars to this view support their claim with the hadith of ‘Aisha where said: “I used to missed some fasts in Ramadan but I would not be able to complete them except in Sha’baan.” (Muslim)

It is equally permissible to observe the fast successively in a stretch or intermittently provided it is within the month of shawwal.

5- Virtues of the fasting on the day of ‘Arafat: Abu Qatada reported that a person came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and asked him about fasting on ‘Arafat day, and he said: “I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of ‘Arafa may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years.”

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of ‘Arafa. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want? (Muslim)

It is preferable for the pilgrim not to observe fast in ‘arafat on the day of ‘arafat so that he will be strong to withstand devotion in prayers and other sunnatic acts. Umm al-Fadl bint- al-Harith reported that some people argued about the fasting of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Arafa. Some of them said that he had been fasting, whereas the others said that he had not been fasting. I sent a cup of milk to him while he was riding his camel at ‘Arafa, and he drank it.” Abu Hanifa considers it permissible provided it will not weaken the Pilgrim.

6- Virtues of the first ten days in Dhul-Hijjah: In contrast to the heading here, the days are actually nine while the tenth day is the day of eid-ul-adha which is not for fasting as other days. One could observe the whole days or part of it which should include ‘arafat due to the merits as mentioned earlier. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).

7- Virtues of the fasting on the days of Taasuu’a and ‘Ashura (ninth and tenth days of Muharram): The ninth day should be observed along with the tenth day. The Prophet (pbuh) used to observe the ‘Ashura fast in Makkah, even the Quraish, before migrating to Madinah where he met the Jew doing same on the reason that it was the day Allah saved Prophet Musa (AS) and he told them: “We are more duty bound to Musa than you” ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her)reported that the Quraish used to fast on the day of ‘Ashura in the pre-Islamic days and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) also observed it. When he migrated to Medina, he himself observed this fast and commanded (others) to observe it. But when fasting during the month of Ramadan was made obligatory he said: He who wishes to observe this fast may do so, and he who wishes to abandon it may do so.” (Muslim) He (pbuh) was also asked about fasting on ‘Ashura day, he said: “It atones for the sins of the preceding years.”

8- Fasting of the four sacred months: These are Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. These are the best months for fasting after Ramadan, and Muharram is the best among the sacred months follow by Rajab.  Abu Hanifa believes it is better to fast three days in every of the sacred months including Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

9- Fasting in Sha’baan: Ummu Salamah reported that the Prophet (pbuh) does not complete fasting of any month in the year except Sha’baan linking it with Ramadan.” (Related by The Five Narrators). ‘Aishah reported the Prophet (pbuh) does not fast more in any month than Sha’baan, he do fast it complrtely.” (Bukhari/Muslim). Some group of scholars dislike fasting in the second half of Sha’baan owing the hadith that: “When Sha’baan is half, do not fast.”

Is it binding to continue voluntary fast after its commencement?

Scholars have two opinions, the first is that of Abu hanifah and Malik and the second is of Shafi’ and Ahmad bn Hambali.

1- The first is that it is mandatory to complete any voluntary act- fast or prayer, and in the event of vitiating it, it should be paid back.

2- He who begins any voluntary act different from hajj and umrah is not binding on him to complete it, if he breaks it, it is binding to make it up. Though it is preferred that he complete it.

Having said this, I seek forgive from Allah for me and you and all Muslims, do seek His forgiveness He is Oft-forgiving

THE SECOND SERMON

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the lord of the foremost and later generations. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness.

World Refugee Day:
Dear servants of Allah, each year on June 20, the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

In this respect, the case of refugees is essential for the Muslim nation because at this moment, most of the refugees in the world are Muslim. The world is experiencing an unprecedented refugee crisis as millions of people are forced from their homes and involuntarily displaced due to conflict, war, and poverty. In particular, there are an estimated four million refugees from Syria due to the civil war. One in three refugees world wide is Palestinian. There are about 7.2 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. More than 4.3 million Palestinian refugees and their descendents displaced in 1948 are registered for humanitarian assistance with the United Nations.. Many of these people do not have sufficient food, clothing, or shelter, and they are not receiving enough assistance from neighboring countries due to a lack of resources.

Every human being, regardless of their faith, has a natural right in Islam to food, clothing, and shelter.

Uthman ibn Affan reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَيْسَ لِابْنِ آدَمَ حَقٌّ فِي سِوَى هَذِهِ الْخِصَالِ بَيْتٌ يَسْكُنُهُ وَثَوْبٌ يُوَارِي عَوْرَتَهُ وَجِلْفُ الْخُبْزِ وَالْمَاءِ

There is no right for the son of Adam except in these things: a house in which he lives, a garment to cover his nakedness, a piece of bread and water. (At-Tirmidhi 2341)

It is our duty in Islam to help these refugees and asylum seekers to the extent of our capability, just as we would wish someone would help us if we were in their place.

The story of Islam is one of the triumph of faith and brotherhood in the face of persecution. When the Muslims of Mecca, known as the Muhajirun (the emigrants), were being tortured and killed for their faith, the Muslims of Medina, known as the Ansar (the supporters), brought them into their homes and cared for them as if they were members of their own family. Allah said:

يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوا وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

They love those who emigrated to them and find not any desire in their hearts of what the emigrants were given, but rather give them preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. Whoever is protected from the greediness of his own soul, then those will be successful. (Surat Al-Hashr 59:9)

The righteous companions did not consider the emigrants to be a nuisance, but rather they accepted them with open arms and loved them, even giving these refugees preference over their own selves although they were in poverty.

The parable of the believers in support of each other is that of the bricks of a building. Each brick is held up by the others bricks and all of them require each other’s support to remain standing.

Abu Musa reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ كَالْبُنْيَانِ يَشُدُّ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا

Verily, the believers are like a structure, each one strengthening the other. (Bukhari 467)

And the parable of the believers in their compassion for one another is that of a body. If one part of the body becomes ill or injured, the entire body responds to heal it. An-Nu’man ibn Basheer reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَثَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي تَوَادِّهِمْ وَتَرَاحُمِهِمْ وَتَعَاطُفِهِمْ مَثَلُ الْجَسَدِ إِذَا اشْتَكَى مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ تَدَاعَى لَهُ سَائِرُ الْجَسَدِ بِالسَّهَرِ وَالْحُمَّى

The example of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.

Secondly, the 2019 general elections is drawing near. As Muslims we have a major role to play as electorates. This role starts with knowledge and proper sensitization, and the need to get the PVC in adequate preparation for the elections.

Oh Allah accept our fast, prayers, bowing and prostration. O Allah ease for us Your remembrance, gratitude to You and sound worship. O Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.

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