OF THE FASTING,
NIGHT PRAYER &
I‘TIKAF OF THE
es: 77 pO44
adrasah Al-Ansar Online
A Description of the Fasting,
Night Prayer & I‘tikaf of the Prophet
Shaykh Abdul-‘Aziz ibn Marzuq at-Tarifi
THE RULING OF SAWM (FASTING)
Sawm is the fourth pillar of Islam and whoever abandons
fasting without an excuse, has committed a major sin. It
is prohibited to precede Ramadan by fasting a day or two
before (its commence), except for someone who is in the
habit of fasting particular days, or the one who has to
make Kaffarah (compensation), or the one who is making
Qada’ (making up for a missed fast).
THE START OF RAMADAN
The beginning and the end of Ramadan is only considered
by the sighting of the moon, not by calculations or by the
(lunar) phases of the moon. There is a general agreement
amongst the scholars that the sighting of the crescent
must come from at least one trustworthy witness at the
event of sighting the crescent.
No specific Dhikr has been established from the
Messenger of Allah at the event of sighting the crescent.
It is compulsory to make an intention the night prior to
the performance of the obligatory fasts. Whereas with
optional fasts, if the intention is made at any time of the
day, then the correct opinion is that a person has the
reward of the whole day.
If a person intends the Iftar (breaking the fast), then their
fast is broken, even if they have not eaten (or drank).
REFRAINING FROM THOSE THINGS THAT BREAK A
It is obligatory to refrain from all things that nullify the
fast from the start of Fajr until sunset, such as eating
food, drinking and having sexual relations.
According to the general agreement of the scholars,
if a person eats or drinks deliberately and knowingly,
then their fast is broken, even if they have consumed
something small. Taking normal or nutritional injections
has the same ruling as eating and drinking.
ACTIONS WHICH ARE PERMISSIBLE FOR THE
The following are permissible:
¢ ‘To taste food without swallowing,
¢ Touse an oxygen mask for breathing,
¢ To use Kohl and
¢ Eye and ear drops.
However, it is not allowed to use nose drops; if the nose
drop reaches the throat and then the stomach, the fast
is broken, but if it doesn’t reach the stomach then the
fast is valid, as the principle is that nothing should be
THE FOLLOWING DO NOT BREAK THE FAST
¢ Vomiting intentionally or unintentionally does
not break the fast according to the most correct
¢ ~ Hijamah (cupping),
¢ . Blood transfer, but it is best to delay it and
Hijamah until the night so that the body does not
« Nose bleeds,
¢ Bleeding wounds do not break the fast,
¢ Injecting into other than the vein does not break
IFTAR (BREAKING THE FAST)
As for making supplications generally, it is prescribed at
the moment of breaking the fast whether or not it is done
facing the Qiblah or by raising the hands.
It is prescribed to break the fast by eating before drinking
and choosing the ripe date over the dry date, but if these
items are unavailable, water should be drunk in sips.
The continual fast where the Iftar is delayed until just
before the beginning of Fajr or the continuation of a fast
into the second or third day is prohibited according to an
agreement of the scholars. Providing food for the fasting
person with which to break his fast is recommended
according to a consensus (of the scholars), although the
hadith in regard to its virtue is not authentic.
HASTENING THE IFTAR
It is an emphasized Sunnah to hasten the Iftar. Hastening
the Iftar means; to break the fast after being sure that the
sun has set, and not whilst in doubt of the setting of the
sun. If someone hastened and broke his fast and realised
thereafter that they had eaten before sunset due to it
being overcast, then their fast is still valid according to
the most correct opinion.
SUHUR (PRE-DAWN MEAL)
It is a Sunnah to delay the Suhur to the last portion of the
night and in it is a blessing, meaning receiving assistance
in performing good deeds, for it gives energy to the
person; therefore, if a servant of Allah takes Suhur, that
will assist him in reciting the Qur’an, being obedient,
connecting the ties of kinship and other good deeds, and
by this the blessing is attained.
FASTING OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE A VALID
The traveller has the option to either fast or not, according
to his condition.
An Old Person and Those Who are Permanently Ill and
Are Not Expected to Recover
An old person does not need to fast, but instead they
should feed a Miskin (poor person) as a substitute for
each day missed (based upon this, the person who has
an illness and is not expected to recover is given the
THOSE WHO MUST MAKE UP THEIR MISSED FASTS
The Sick and the Traveller
The sick and the traveller make up for their missed fasts
without having to feed a Miskin.
Menstruating or Bleeding Following Childbirth
The scholars are unanimously in agreement that it is not
permissible for women who are menstruating or bleeding
following childbirth to fast, and that they should not fast
in Ramadan but should make up the missed fasts.
Breastfeeding and Pregnant women
It is obligatory on the breastfeeding and pregnant women
to make up the fasts missed, and it is safer and more
precautious for them to feed a Miskin as a substitute for
each day missed in addition to making up for it (after
breastfeeding or their pregnancy).
The one who has sexual intercourse during the daylight
hours of Ramadan must make up for it and must expiate
for it. This is the case for both the man and the woman if
she did not protest.
I'TIKAF (SECLUSION IN THE MASJID)
I‘tikaf may be done at the beginning, middle and end of
Ramadan and it is a Sunnah according to a consensus
(of the scholars). It is best to perform I'tikaf at the end of
Ramadan (last ten nights).
Limit for I'tikat
There is no limit to the maximum number of days for
I‘tikaf, but the minimum time for I‘tikafis an hour. [‘tikaf
begins before the sunset of the 21st night of Ramadan
and finishes on the night of ‘Id (the night proceeding the
day of ‘Id).
What to Do in.I'tikaf
During I‘tikaf, the Mu'‘takif (person performing I'tikaf)
should busy himself in the remembrance of Allah,
His worship, His obedience and in seeking beneficial
The Muttakif is not allowed to have intimate physical
contact with his wife. However, the Muttakif is allowed to
touch his wife. Sexual intercourse renders the I ‘tikaf null
and void. I‘tikaf may be done outside of Ramadan and
may be done without fasting.
The Muttakif is allowed to exit the place of I‘tikaf due toa
necessity without prolonging his leave.
QIYAM (UL-LAYL) (THE NIGHT PRAYER)
The Night Prayer should be prayed in units of two. There
is no limit to the maximum number of units, but it is best
to pray eleven units of prayer. It is best to perform the
Night Prayer during Ramadan in congregation, and it
is best for the Qunut (supplication) to be the length of
Surah al-Buruj or a little longer.
The Night Prayer may be performed in the beginning,
middle or the last portion of the night. The Witr prayer
(the odd-numbered prayer) should be prayed as one unit
of prayer and if a person prefers, he can pray in three
There is no problem in reciting from the Mushaf (copy
of the Qur’an) whilst standing in the Night Prayer.
The supplications in the Qunut should be made with
comprehensive invocations but without excessiveness.
Translated from the book Al-Majaz fi Sifat Salat an-Nabi
wa Siyamuhu wa Qiyamuhu wa I‘tikafuhu - A Summarised
Description of the Prayer, Fasting, Night Prayer and I ‘tikaf of The
Prophet of Allah by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn Marziq at-Tarifi.
If you would like to help in further publications or free
distribution, please email: email@example.com
MADRASAH AL-ANSAR ONLINE