Ramadan in 2020 is something every Muslims eagerly anticipated – And finally, it’s here. In most of the countries, Ramadan 2020 started on 24th April, and in some countries, it began on 25th April, the reason being a delay of a day in sighting the new moon in that particular country or region. Usually, there will be one day delay from Middle Eastern countries to Asian countries.

If you wanted to know exactly how our beloved Prophet welcomed this bless month read this.

WHAT IS FASTING?

The Arabic word for fasting is As-Sawm which means “to abstain”. Thus Muslims during this blessed month should abstain from eating, drinking or taking in any other forms of nourishment from dawn (fajr) to dusk (maghrib).

However, the word “abstain” not only refers to eating/drinking etc, but also to abstain from unwanted talks, gossiping and any other undesirable act like fighting, hurting someone with their tongue, etc

THE OBJECTIVE OF FASTING

One of the main goal or objective of fasting is to attain Taqwa, which means God-consciousness, God-fearing, Piety. Allah in His glorious Quran says

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous

QURAN CHAPTER 2: VERSE 183

Muslims, generally during the month of Ramadan tends to be more righteous than the other months. You will see most of them during ramadan, offer prayer at the masjid in congregation. They recite more Quran than in usual days. People who have the means performing umrah. Most of the people become more generous in ramadan compared to other months.

Therefore, it is very evident that fasting will make you more righteous and thereby attaining the goal of Taqwa. And we sincerely hope and pray to Almighty Allah that Ramadan 2020 should be a very productive and a blessed month for all of us – Aameen.

IS FASTING OBLIGATORY?

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. And Allah has made it compulsory on Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan with a few exceptions. We will look at the people who are exempted from fast in brief under its category.

Allah in His glorious Quran mentions

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it;

Quran: Chapter 02 Verse 185

RULES OF FASTING

The rules are the guidelines of fasting, such as who should fast, how should one fast, exempted categories from fast, etc. Below we will see a brief description of the essential classes.

People Exempted From Fasting

  • All, without a sound mind are exempted from fasting
  • If he or she is a minor
  • A menstruating lady
  • If a woman has postnatal bleeding
  • A pregnant lady need not fast
  • A nursing or breastfeeding mother, need not fast
  • If a person is ill or sick, that person need not fast. However, when he recovers from the sickness, he or she should make it for missed fasts before the next Ramadan.
  • A disabled person.
  • If the person is very old and unable to fast
  • A traveller need not fast, however, he has the option either to fast or to cover it up on a later date.
  • If a person is taking part in Jihaad
  • Under compulsion – if someone forces the other person not to fast, in that circumstance, he or she is exempted from fasting

The Fasting Rules On The Exemption For The People Who Are Sick

As listed above, the people who are ill are exempted from fasting. Allah says in the Quran

and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days later on

Chapter 02 verse 185

However, this doesn’t mean if someone has a headache or a small illness that he can refrain from fasting. The only time a sick person need not fast is, if his disease will become more severe or the chances of him recovering reduces. Only under these circumstances, that person can refrain from fasting.

The point to be noted here is after that person recovers from the illness they have to cover up for the missed fasts before the next Ramadan.

Fasting Rules Related To Travellers

As mentioned above, travellers have the option to fast or not while travelling. It’s mentioned in a hadith of Sahih Bukhari

We used to travel with the Prophet (ﷺ) and neither did the fasting persons criticize those who were not fasting, nor did those who were not fasting criticize the fasting ones

Sahih al-Bukhari 1947

However, for someone to be considered as a traveller, the below pre-requisites should be met.

  • The person travelling should have left his home town
  • There are differences of opinion among scholars regarding the travel distance for someone to be recognized as a traveller; however, most of the scholars say it should be more than 48 miles or 80 kilometres. Some scholars say the distance should be minimum 84 kilometres
  • Even if a person has travelled more than 84 kilometres but not left his home town, in this case, that person is not a traveller and therefore not exempted from fasting

Acts Recommended During Ramadan

  • Having suhoor as late as possible before the break of dawn
  • Having an early iftar as early as possible after the sunset
  • Eating dates and drinking water when breaking the fast.
  • Reciting the recommended duas after breaking the fast
  • Inviting other people to iftar, especially poor people. 
  • Should be more generous in this month
  • When someone tries to provoke you, we should not be angry and try to control our anger.
  • We should use siwaak
  • Try to seek knowledge as much as possible.
  • If Allah has given the means, we should perform umrah.
  • Read the Glorious Quran in Arabic as well as in the translation we understand the best.
  • We also should read authentic sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
  • We should be very cheerful instead of staying dull.
  • Offer all our prayers in the masjid in congregation.
  • Do more supplication and ask for forgiveness.
  • We should offer Qiyam-Al-Lail.
  • We should try to do Ihthikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan.

The above list is not exhaustive, and we should try our best to improve ourself and our family during this blessed month. May Allah help us in acquiring authentic knowledge about Islam.

ACTIONS THAT INVALIDATE THE FAST IN RAMADAN

  • Eating, drinking or taking in nourishment in any other forms
  • Having sexual intercourse
  • Masturbation
  • Menstruation
  • Post-natal bleeding
  • Deliberate vomiting
  • Cupping or letting out blood deliberately

The above are brief points related to Ramadan, everything one should know. We have tried our best to put all the essential things in a straightforward way which will benefit most of us in this blessed month. We hope and sincerely pray to Allah that this Ramadan should be a fruitful one for all of us – Aameen.

Allah knows best.

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