Shaikh al-Albaanee, may Allaah have mercy upon him said, "Allaah,
the Exalted and Most High, says in the Noble Quraan:
'O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was
prescribed for those before you, so that you may become people having Taqwaa.' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 183]
So in this aayah, as will not be hidden to all those who are
present, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, informs the Ummah of Muhammad (saws), through this aayah, that He has made Fasting
obligatory upon them just as He had made its like obligatory upon the nations before us. This is a matter that is well-known
to all of the Muslims who read this aayah, and clearly understand its meaning. But what I wish to speak about is something
else, a matter which very few of the general people notice - and this is the saying of Allaah, the Exalted and Most High,
at the end of this aayah:
'...So that you may become people having Taqwaa.'
So Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, when He commands His believing
servants, or obligates them with some Legislation, (then He) usually just mentions the command, without explaining the wisdom
behind it. This is because the general wisdom behind Allaah, the Mighty and Majesticıs, placing duties upon His servants is
that He should test them by it, so that it should become apparent (as to) those who will obey Him and those who will disobey
Him, the Exalted and Most High.
However in this aayah, He mentioned something that is not found
frequently in the Noble Quraan, which is that He mentioned the reason for the order to Fast, by His Saying:
'...So that you may become people having Taqwaa.'
So the wisdom behind the Believers' fasting is not just that
they should prevent themselves from enjoyable and permissible good things, even though this is an obligation upon the fasting
person - but this is not the only thing that is required and intended by this Fasting. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, concluded
His command to fast by saying:
'...So that you may become people having Taqwaa.'
Meaning: that the wisdom behind the prescription of Fasting
is that the Muslim should increase in obedience to Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, in the month of Fasting, and become
more obedient than he was before it.
Also the Prophet (saws) clearly stated and completely clarified this point of
divine wisdom, by his (saws) saying, as is reported in the Saheeh of al-Bukhaaree (no. 1903), that he (saws) said, "Whoever
does not abandon falsehood in speech and action, then Allaah has no need that he should leave his food and drink." Meaning:
that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, did not intend and desire, by the obligation of Fasting - which is to withhold for a
stated time, well known to you all - that they should only withhold from eating and drinking. Rather they should also withhold
from that which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has forbidden with regard to sins and acts of disobedience to Him; and from
that is falsehood in speech and action.
So the Messenger (saws) is emphasizing the aayah:
that you may become people having Taqwaa.'
i.e. that you should, as an act of worship to draw you closer
to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in addition to withholding from food and drink, also withhold from forbidden actions such
as backbiting, carrying tales to cause harm to people, false witness, lying and so on, with regard to those forbidden manners
that we are all aware of.
Therefore it is obligatory that all the Muslims should be aware
that actions, which disrupt the Fast, are not just the physical acts, which are generally known, which are eating, drinking
and sexual intercourse. The Fast is not just that you withhold from this. Therefore some of the scholars differentiate, and
divide those things which disrupt the Fast into two categories, and this is what I intend by this talk of mine at this time
that is blessed, if Allaah wills.
This is especially important since those who deliver Khutbahs
and admonish the people during Ramadaan, when they speak about those things which disrupt the Fast, then they only speak about
the material things, those things that we have just mentioned - eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. But what they should
do, as sincere advisers and people who give reminder to the Muslims in general, is to concentrate a great deal upon the second
category of things which disrupt the Fast. This is because the people have become used to thinking that Fasting is just to
refrain from the first category, to withhold from the material things. But there is another category of things, which disrupt
the Fast, which we are able to call the non-material things that disrupt the Fast.
So you have just heard his (saws) saying, "Whoever does not
abandon falsehood in speech and action, then Allaah has no need that he should leave his food and drink."
Therefore every fasting person should examine himself and see:
is he just withholding from the material things, or is he also withholding from those non-material things? Meaning: has he
made his manners and behavior good when the blessed month of Ramadaan comes? If that is the case, then he has fulfilled the
Saying of Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, at the end of the aayah:
'...So that you may become people having Taqwaa.'
But as for the one who restricts himself in his fasting to
just withholding from food and drink, but who continues and persists upon the evil manners which he was upon previously, before
Ramadaan, then this is not the Fasting that is desired and required from the wisdom behind the legislation of this noble month,
which our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic indicates in His Saying:
'...So that you may become people having Taqwaa.'
So therefore we advise and remind our brother Muslims that
they should remember this other category of things, those that are non-material, which disrupt the Fast, and it is something
which the admonishers and those who seek to direct the people to the correct way rarely speak about, not to mention the general
people, who are not aware of this category of things which disrupt the fast, i.e., the non-material things.
This is what I wanted to remind our brothers who are present
in this fine gathering about, if Allaah wills, so that it may be a cause for their increasing in acts of worship, seeking
to draw closer to Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, in this blessed month, the month of Fasting, which is such that we hope
that Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, will guide and grant us all the success of fulfilling the due right of this blessed
month, which is that we withhold from both the material and the non-material things that disrupt the Fast.
Furthermore in addition to this, I hope that you will pay attention
to some affairs, which have been neglected by a majority of the general Muslims, not to mention those having knowledge.
There is a hadeeth that is very often neglected due to another
hadeeth, because the majority of people are unable to reconcile in practice and application between them. This hadeeth is
his (saws) saying, "My Ummah will continue to be upon good for as long as they hasten to break the fast and delay the pre-dawn
So here two matters were mentioned, and they are neglected by most of the people, and they are: hastening to
break the fast, and delaying the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor).
As for neglect of the first matter, which is hastening to
break the Fast, then in the view of some people it contradicts another hadeeth, which is his (saws) saying, "My Ummah will
continue to be upon good for as long as they hasten to pray the Maghrib Prayer."
So here we have two commands, to hasten with two matters. So
it appears to some people that we cannot hasten to perform both of them together.
But reconciling between the command to hasten with breaking
the Fast and the command to hasten to pray the Maghrib Prayer is a very easy matter. So it is something that our Prophet (saws)
made clear to us by his action and practice. He (saws) used to break the Fast with three dates. He would eat three dates.
Then he would pray the Maghrib Prayer, then he would eat again if he found that he needed to eat the evening meal.
But today we fall into two offences:
(i) Firstly we delay the Adhaan from its legislated
time. Then after this delay comes another delay, which is that we sit down for a meal - except for a few people who are eager
and pray the Maghrib Prayer in the mosque. But the majority of the people wait until they hear the Adhaan, and then
they sit down to eat as if they are having a dinner, or their evening meal, and not just breaking their fast.
So the Adhaan these days - in most of the lands of Islaam,
is, unfortunately, I have to say, and not just in Jordan, and I have known this from investigation, in most of the lands of
Islaam - the Adhaan for Maghrib is given after the time it becomes due. And the reason for this is that we have abandoned
adhering to and applying the Islamic rulings, and instead we have come to depend upon astronomical calculations. We depend
upon the timetable.
But these time-tables are based upon astronomical calculations
which count the land as being a single flat plane. So they give a time for this flat plane, whereas the reality is that the
land, particularly in this land of ours varies, varying between the depression of valleys and the elevation of mountains.
So it is not correct that a single time be given which covers the shore, the planes and the mountains. No, each part of the
land has its own time. So therefore whoever is able in his place of residence, in his city or his village, to see the sun
set with his own eye, then whatever time it sets at, that is the hastening that we have been commanded with in his (saws)
saying, which we just mentioned: 'My Ummah will continue to be upon good as long as they hasten to break the fast.' So the
Prophet (saws) was careful to implement this Sunnah by teaching it, and by putting it into practice.
As for his teaching, then he (saws) said, in the hadeeth reported
by al-Bukharee in his Saheeh (no. 1954), "If the night appears from this side," and he pointed towards the east, "and the
day has departed from here," and he pointed towards the west, "and the sun has set, then the fasting person's fast is broken"
What does 'the fasting person's fast is broken' mean? It means
he has entered under the ruling that he should break his fast. So then comes the previous ruling where the Messenger (saws)
encouraged hastening to break the Fast, and the Messenger (saws) used to implement this, even when he was riding on a journey.
So it is reported in the Saheeh of al-Bukharee (no.1955) that
the Prophet (saws) ordered one of his Companions to prepare the Iftaar for him. So he replied, 'O Messenger of Allaah it is
still daytime before us.' Meaning: the light of the sun, so even though it had set, yet its light was still clear in the west.
So the Messenger (saws) did not respond to what he had said, rather he re-emphasized the command to him to prepare the Iftaar.
So the narrator of the hadeeth who said, We could see daylight in front of us,ı meaning: the light of day, the light of the
sun, When we broke our fast,ı said, "If one of us had climbed onto his camel he would have seen the sun." The sun had set
from here, and the Messenger (saws) ordered one of the Companions to prepare the Iftaar - Why? To hasten upon good "My Ummah
will continue upon good for as long as they hasten to break the Fast."
So what is important is that we notice that the Iftaar, which
is legislated to be hastened must be done with a few dates. Then we must hasten to perform the Prayer. Then after this the
people can sit and eat as they need.
This is the first matter, which I wanted to remind you of, and it is how to reconcile
the two things that the Prophet (saws) commanded we should hasten to perform. The first being the command to hasten the breaking
of the Fast, and the second being the command to hasten the Maghrib Prayer. So the Iftaar should be done with some dates,
as occurs in the Sunnah, and if dates are not available, then with some gulps of water. Then the Prayer should be prayed in
congregation in the mosque.
The other matter which I want to remind you of is what occurs
in the previous hadeeth, "And they delay the pre-dawn meal" meaning: what is required here is the opposite to the case of
the Iftaar. So he (saws) commanded us to hasten to perform the Iftaar. But as for the Suhoor, then it should be delayed. But
what happens today is totally contrary to this, since many people eat their Suhoor before the appearance of Fajr by perhaps
an hour. This is not befitting. This is contrary to the Sunnah shown by the saying of the Prophet (saws) and by his practice.
So the Companions of the Prophet (saws) used to leave the Suhoor so late, that one of them would almost hear the Adhaan and
he would still be eating because he had delayed the Suhoor.
Indeed there is an authentic hadeeth reported from the Prophet
(saws) which shows the ease afforded by Islaam, to be counted as one of the principles of Islaam, which the Muslims are proud
of, especially with regard to the matter of Fasting, since Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, concluded the aayahs concerning
Fasting with His Saying:
'Allaah desires ease for you, and He does not desire to make
things difficult for you.
So from this ease is his (saws) saying, "If one of you hears
the call to Prayer and the vessel is in the hand of one of you, then let him not put it down until he fulfils his need from
" If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel" the
vessel containing food, whether it be milk, some drink, water, anything which a person may take as Suhoor, and he hears the
Adhaan, then he should not say, Now the food is forbidden due to the Adhaan being heard. The person who has
had enough, it is not allowed for him to then have any more, whether it be a drink, or some fruit, when he has had his fill
of whatever he was eating.
But as for the one who hears the Adhaan and he has not
yet taken what he needs from the food and the drink, then the Messenger (saws) made that lawful for him. So he clearly said,
in the clear and eloquent Arabic language, "If one of you hears the call to Prayer, and the vessel is in his hand, then let
him not put it down until he fulfils his need from it."
And what is meant here by the call is the second call, the
second Adhaan. It is not the first Adhaan, which they wrongly call the Adhaan of Imsaak (i.e. withholding).
We must know that there is no basis for calling the first Adhaan the Adhaan for withholding (imsaak).
The second Adhaan is when we are to withhold, and this
is clearly stated in the Quraan, since Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:
'And eat and drink until the white thread
of dawn becomes clear to you from the black thread of the night.'
So eating becomes forbidden at the start of the time of the
Fajr Prayer. There is no separation between these two things. There is no withholding from food and drink for a quarter of
an hour, or less than that, or more than that, before the start of the time for the Fajr Prayer. Not at all.
Because the Prayer becomes due when the true dawn appears,
and food becomes forbidden for the fasting person when the true dawn appears. So there is no separation between these two
matters at all.
So therefore there occurs in the hadeeth agreed upon by al-Bukharee
and Muslim, from the hadeeth of ıAbdullaah Ibn ıUmar Ibn al-Khattaab (raa), that the Prophet (saws) said, "Let not the Adhaan
of Bilaal deceive you..." meaning, the first Adhaan, "...because he gives the Adhaan in order to awaken the person
who is sleeping, and so that the person who wishes to eat the pre-dawn meal can do so. So eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktoon
gives the Adhaan."
Ibn Umm Maktoon, whose name was 'Amr, was a blind man, and
he was the one about whom the Saying of Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, came down:
'He frowned and turned away, that a blind man had come to him'
to the end of the Ayaat.
So he used to give the second Adhaan, the Adhaan
which means that eating becomes prohibited and that it is now time for the Fajr Prayer.
How did he used to give the
Adhaan when he was blind? This is a question, which naturally occurs to some people. 'Amr Ibn Umm Maktoom used to climb
on the roof of the mosque, but he could not see the dawn, so he would wait until someone passing by saw the dawn. So when
someone saw that the dawn had appeared and spread across the horizon, they would say to him, It is morning. It is morning.
Then he would give the Adhaan.
So you will notice here that the Adhaan of 'Amr ibn
Umm Maktoom was after the Fajr had appeared, and had been seen by the people whilst they were walking in the streets. So when
it was said to him, "It is morning. It is morning," he would give the Adhaan.
So therefore there is latitude
in the affair, since the muadhdhin would be delayed in giving the Adhaan until he heard the people telling him, "It
is morning, it is morning." And then Allaahıs Messenger (saws) said: "If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel
is in his hand, then let him not put it down until he has fulfilled his need from it."
So Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, spoke truly when He said
at the end of those Aayahs related to Fasting:
'Allaah desires to make things easy for you, and He does not desire
to make things difficult for you.'
and '...that you should complete the number of days, and that you should glorify
Allaah by mentioning takbeer for His having guided you, and that you should be thankful. '
So therefore from the Fiqh that is to be criticized, and which
runs contrary to this Sunnah, is that a person says, "If someone hears the Adhaan and has some food in his mouth, then
he must spit it out." So this is over strictness, and (ghuluww) exceeding the limits in the Religion, and the Lord
of all of the creation admonished us, and reminded us, in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet (saws) that we should
not exceed the due limits in our Religion. So He said, in the Noble Quraan:
'O People of the Book! Do not exceed the limits in your religion,
and do not say anything about Allaah except the truth.'
And our Messenger (saws) said to us, or he (saws) said, "Beware
of (ghuluww) exceeding the limits in the Religion. Because those who came before you were destroyed by their exceeding
the limits in their Religion."
So Allaahıs Messenger (saws) has made it clear to us that there
is latitude and a margin of ease in the matter of a person's taking suhoor, to the extent that he said: "If one of you hears
the call to Prayer whilst the vessel is in his hand, then let him not put it down until he has completed his need from it."
So it is opposition to Allaah and to the Messenger that a person
says that one who hears the Adhaan whilst he has food in his mouth must spit it out onto the ground. This is not from
the Sunnah. Rather this is contrary to the Sunnah, and is contrary to the clear command of the Messenger (saws).
And I have been asked many times, so I will not leave open
the need for such a question, but rather I will precede you in (answering) it, by stating that this hadeeth is to be found
in some of the most famous books of the Sunnah. From them being the Sunan of Aboo Daawood, and it is the third book from the
well-known six books. The first of which is Saheehul-Bukhaaree, the second being Saheeh Muslim, and the third being the Sunan
of Aboo Daawood.
This hadeeth is to be found in it, and it is likewise reported
by Aboo 'Abdillaah al-Haakim in his Mustadrak, and it is likewise reported by the Imaam of the Sunnah, Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal,
rahimahullaah, in his tremendous book known as the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad.
So the hadeth is not a strange hadeeth, rather it is a well-known
hadeeth, and was reported by the Imaams of the Sunnah in the early times, and with an authentic chain of narration.
So here I say, to conclude this talk, since perhaps some of
you have questions, which we will answer if Allaah wills, so I will conclude it with his (saws) saying "Allaah loves that
His allowances be acted upon just as He loves that His prescribed duties be carried out," and in one narration, "Just as He
hates that disobedience to Him be committed."
So there are two narrations, "Allaah loves that His allowances
be acted upon just as He loves that His prescribed duties be carried out", and the second narration is, " as He hates that
disobedience to Him be committed."
So therefore the Muslim should not practice false piety, and
(as a result) refrain from obeying the Prophet (saws) in that which he encouraged us upon and clarified to us.
And what has been said is sufficient, and all praise is for
Allaah, the Lord of all of the creation."