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TG12345
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Quote TG12345 Replybullet Topic: Questions about Ramadan fast
    Posted: 01 June 2014 at 8:13pm
Salaam Alaikum.

I have some questions to the Muslim posters here about the Ramadan fast.

According to the Quran and hadiths,

1) When are people supposed to fast?
2) Who is supposed to fast?
3) How many days are they supposed to fast for?
4) How does a person determine when during the day he or she is supposed to fast from food and drink? How does a person determine when in the day he or she is allowed to break the fast?
5) Who, if anyone, is exempt from fasting?

Thanks so much.


To be completely honeest, these questions may lead to further debate.

Edited by TG12345 - 01 June 2014 at 8:15pm
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Abu Loren
 
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Quote Abu Loren Replybullet Posted: 02 June 2014 at 11:16am
In that case I'm not going to answer your questions. :P
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TG12345
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Quote TG12345 Replybullet Posted: 02 June 2014 at 12:41pm
Originally posted by Abu Loren

In that case I'm not going to answer your questions. :P



Fair enough, you are certainly under no obligation to.

I realize they are pretty hard ones. :P

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Quote Abu Loren Replybullet Posted: 06 June 2014 at 12:49pm
http://sunnah.com/bukhari/30

Enjoy!
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Quote TG12345 Replybullet Posted: 06 June 2014 at 8:14pm
Originally posted by Abu Loren

http://sunnah.com/bukhari/30

Enjoy!

Thanks, I read the site.

In regards to the length of the fast, and who is and who is not to observe it, I came to some understandings. Please let me know if I have understood correctly, or if I misinterpreted or missed something.

 I will post my comments in normal font, and the hadiths and Quran verses in italic. All hadiths are from the site you sent me, and all verses are from www.quran.com.

I will then sum up my understanding in red at the bottom of the page. Please tell me if I understood correctly, especially points 1 and 3.

If I have missed anything, please let me know.


If I understand correctly, every Muslim is obligated to fast during the month of Ramadan. I base my understanding based on the ayat and hadiths below.

2:140

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

If I understand correctly, Ramadan starts when the crescent of the moon can be seen, and ends when it is seen again. If the moon can't be seen, fasting should last for thirty days. I base my understanding based on the ayat and hadiths below.

Narrated Ibn `Umar:

I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can't see it) then regard the month of Ramadan as of 30 days."

Narrated Talha bin 'Ubaidullah:

A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers." He replied: "You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting." He replied, "You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me." Thus, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, "By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise).


If I understand correctly, fasting starts when the sun rises, and ends when it sets. During this time, people are to abstain from food, drink, and sexual relations with their wives. I base my understanding based on the ayat and hadiths below.


Narrated `Adi bin Hatim:

When the above verses were revealed: 'Until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread,' I took two (hair) strings, one black and the other white, and kept them under my pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night but could not make anything out of it. So, the next morning I went to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and told him the whole story. He explained to me, "That verse means the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the dawn."

2:187

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah , so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.

If if I understand correctly, at a certain time, people who could fast but with difficulty were exempt, they could just feed the poor. The verse was abrogated, and now everyone is obligated to fast- with the exception of the elderly, sick, travelers, and pregnant women. I found mention of the elderly, sick and pregnant women in hadiths posted on the site "Islam basics".

I base my understanding based on the ayat and hadiths below.
2:184

[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

Narrated Nafi`:

Ibn `Umar recited the verse: "They had a choice either to fast or to feed a poor person for every day, and said that the order of this Verse was canceled.

2:184

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; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was on a journey and saw a crowd of people, and a man was being shaded (by them). He asked, "What is the matter?" They said, "He (the man) is fasting." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "It is not righteousness that you fast on a journey."

  • A bleeding woman shall fast a number of days equal to those she missed because of bleeding. `Aisha said :"In the Prophet's time we were ordered to compensate for fasting days missed in bleeding but were not ordered to perform restitution for our missed prayers"
  • According to a hadith related by Anas Ibn Malik al Kabi, the Prophet said "God has relieved a traveller from part of the prayers and relieved him along with pregnant and nursing women from fasting."

    Others said that an old person was free not to observe the fast without fidyah) on the strength of the Quranic verse "On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear."

    http://www.islambasics.com/view.php?bkID=94&chapter=4


    To sum up, this is what I understood from the Quran and hadiths I have read.

    1. In regards to fasting, every Muslim is obligated to fast- except the elderly, sick, travelers, nursing, menstruating, and pregnant women.

    2. Fasting for the month of Ramadan starts when the crescent is sighted, and ends when it is sighted again. If the crescent cannot be sighted, 30 days are counted.

    3. Fasting begins when the sun comes up, and ends when it goes down.

    Is this a correct understanding?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Abu Loren Replybullet Posted: 07 June 2014 at 3:45am
    1. Correct.

    2. Correct.

    3. Fasting starts before the sun comes up and ends when it sets.
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    Quote TG12345 Replybullet Posted: 07 June 2014 at 5:58am
    Originally posted by Abu Loren

    1. Correct.

    2. Correct.

    3. Fasting starts before the sun comes up and ends when it sets.


    Fantastic, thank you for answering, and thank you for correcting on point three.

    Given that all Muslims who are not sick, elderly, traveling, pregnant, menstruating or nursing are supposed to fast from when they see day become distinct from night- or in other words, from before the sun comes up to when it sets during the month of Ramadan- what is to be done next year by Muslims living in Inuvik, northern Canada?

    Last year in Inuvik, the sun was up all day from July 9 up to and including July 18- the first 9 days of Ramadan.
    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=1145&month=7&year=2013&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1

    This year, the sun will be up from June 29 up to and including July 19- the first 20 days of Ramadan.
    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=1145&month=7&year=2014&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1

    In 2015, it will be up from June 18 up to and including July 17- in other words, all of Ramadan.
    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=1145&month=7&year=2015&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1
     

    According to the Quran's author and Muhammad, what are these Muslims to do?

    They are instructed to eat, drink and have sexual relations with their wives "until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the dark thread of night"- or, as Muhammad said, until day becomes distinct to them from night. Then they are to complete the fast until sunset.


    This Ramadan, Muslims in Inuvik and other parts of the Arctic circle will have 20 days of continuous daylight.

    According to the Quran and hadiths, they are to start the fast when they see the day become distinct to them from the night, and break the fast when the sun sets. However, if they abstain from food and drink for that long, they will not survive.

    Also, another obvious problem would with the Quran's instruction to eat and drink the night before the fast, until the sun can be seen. There will be no night before Ramadan starts in Inuvik this year. The last night there this year was on May 24th. The sun has been up for the past 2 weeks, and will be up until July 20th.
     
    Why did the Quran's author (who allegedly inspired Muhammad) not give exemptions or special instructions to Muslims living up north?

    Was he unaware that in some parts of the word, the sun does not set for weeks at a time? Or that Muslims will one day be living in Inuvik?

    Surely he didn't intend for them to die of dehydration. The Quran and hadiths teach that suicide is illegal. Yet if Muslims living far up north were to follow what the Quran teaches, they would be committing suicide.



    Edited by TG12345 - 07 June 2014 at 6:21am
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    abuayisha
     
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    Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 07 June 2014 at 8:04am
    I think all such gish gallop - gotcha games are more appropriately addressed, debated and debunked under the interfaith dialogue section.
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