We at Islamic Vibe have listed the most common misconceptions among Muslims about Ramadan. We have tried our best to summarize and present it in an easy to understand manner.

1. Not Using Siwaak or Toothbrush While Fasting

Most of the Muslims avoid brushing or using siwaak in the month of Ramadan while fasting. This is based on a hadeeth where our Prophet PBUH said

“….The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1904

Based on the above hadith, people think, if they brush the bad breath will not be present and therefore avoid it. The point to be noted here is while fasting bad breath comes out from the stomach due to thirst and not because of brushing. Also, there’s another hadith, in which our Prophet mentioned

“If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwaak for every prayer.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 887

Ok, if we can brush can we use toothpaste?

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about using toothpaste while fasting. He said: there is nothing wrong with that as long as one is careful to avoid swallowing any of it

2. Eating While Fajr Azan

Usually, most of the Muslims around the world, think that they can eat until the fajr azan and keep eating till the end of it. However, this is wrong, and they should stop eating immediately as soon as the dawn breaks or the day starts. Allah mentions, in His Glorious Quran

“and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)”

Surah Baqarah 2 Verse 187

In some areas, different masjids will call the fajr azan at different times; however, one must stop eating and drinking the moment the dawn breaks. If you are unsure the exact time the dawn breaks, it is better to stop eating and drinking as soon as one hears the first Fajr Azan

3. Thinking Applying Perfume Will Invalidate the Fast

Applying perfume does not invalidate one’s fast; however, he should not inhale the fragrances. This is because it might cause some particles to reach the stomach through the nose according to the Fatwas of the standing committee.

4. Reciting Unauthentic Dua While Breaking Fast

Most people while breaking fast recites a false dua that is “Allaahumma laka sumtu wa ‘ala rizqika aftartu (O Allaah, for You have I fasted and by Your provision I have broken my fast)”which is narrated by Abu Dawood, 2358 but this is classified da’eef (weak) by Al-Albaani.

The most authentic dua to be recited is “Dhahaba al-zama’ wa abtalat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr in sha Allaah (Thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain if Allaah wills)” which is considered Sahih in – Sunan Abi Dawud 2357

5. Believing 27th Night of Ramadan is Laylathul Qadr

Most of the people believe that Laylathul Qadr is on the 27th night of Ramadan. However, our beloved Prophet nowhere, mentioned that Laylathul Qadr is on 27th night. Instead, the Prophet said, that Laylatul qadr is one of the last ten odd days that is either 21st,23rd,25th,27th or the 29th night in the month of Ramadan. There’s another hadeeth, where the Prophet mentioned,

“Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1912

6. Assuming if one baths the fast gets invalidated

This is a false assumption, taking a bath during fasting doesn’t invalidate your fast. Its narrated in Abu Dawood (2365) that one of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) pouring water over his head when he was fasting, because of thirst or heat. Thus it’s clear we can take a bath while fasting and it will not nullify the fast.

7. Not Keeping the Niyaah (Intention to Fast)

It was narrated by Ibn ‘Umar from Hafsah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not have the intention of fasting before Fajr, there is no fast for him.”

According to this hadith, it is a must that the intention should be kept before salatul fajr during the month of Ramadan.

8. Taraweeh – Is It 8 Rakaah or 20 Rakaah

Taraweeh or Qiyam Al Lail is one of the highly recommended Sunnah of our Prophet.

Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.

Sahih al-Bukhari 37

Regarding the number of Rakaaths one should pray, Prophet mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari 472 that, While the Prophet (ﷺ) was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ‘Pray two rak`at at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one rak`a and that will be the witr for all the rak`at which you have offered.” Ibn `Umar said, “The last rak`at of the night prayer should be odd, for the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered it to be so.

In the above hadeeth, our Prophet has given permission to pray any number of rakaaths for night prayer (Qiyam Al Lail) and when the dawn approaches to pray one rakaath, so all the rakaaths becomes Witr (odd number).

As far as the practice of our Prophet, it’s mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari 1147 – that, when asked “How is the prayer of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) during the month of Ramadan.” She said, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never exceeded eleven rak`at in Ramadan or in other months”

Therefore, praying 8 or 20 rakaaths both are acceptable based on the above hadeeths.

9. Omitting Other Recommended Sunnahs

  • Not taking Suhoor (the meal consumed during Sahr)
  • Having an early Suhoor – It is a sunnah to delay the suhoor
  • Delaying Ifthar – We should break fast as soon as the sunsets, delaying is not recommended.
  • Prolonging Zakathul Fitra (a compulsory charity, that should be given before the eid prayers)
  • Socializing during Ihthikaaf defeating its purpose.

Allah Knows Best

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