Errors 01-10, Published Ramaḍān AH 1430 (2018)
Errors 11-20, Published Ramaḍān AH 1440 (2019)
Errors 21-29, Published Ramaḍān AH 1434 (2022)
1. Relying on Astronomical Calculations to Determine the Beginning of the Month
Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī (رحمه الله) said: “We [only] rely on the naked eye to sight the crescent. We do not rely on astronomical calculations.”1
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān (حفظه الله) said:2
Fixing the commencement of fasting in Ramaḍān based upon astronomical calculations is impermissible. Not only is it the work of man—which is prone to error—but it is also something impossible for everyone to perform.
Moreover, the Prophet (ﷺ) did not command us to fast based upon astrological calculations; rather, he (ﷺ) commanded us to fast based upon the sighting of the crescent.
Whether the crescent is seen with the naked eye or with the aid of binoculars, telescopes, or any other similar mechanisms, this is still considered a sighting. Therefore, utilising such mechanisms to sight the crescent is permissible, not obligatory.
2. Fasting without Establishing the Five Daily Prayers
Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī (رحمه الله) was asked: “What is the ruling on the individual who fasts, but does not pray?”
He (رحمه الله) said: “If he fasts, but does not pray, then I say: The fast of the one who does not pray is rejected. Therefore, if Allāh guided him, He has forgiven him. Tawbah erases whatever preceded it.”3
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said:4
I bear witness that the fast of the one who does not pray is invalid. This fast is rejected based upon my understanding of the Book, the Sunnah, and the statement of the Companions. According to the most correct opinion, the one who abandons the prayer is a disbeliever; therefore, he has exited the fold of Islām. Consequently, his fast, his charity, and his Ḥajj will not benefit him; in fact, nothing that he does will be of benefit to him. Allāh said:
وَقَدِمْنَآ إِلَىٰ مَا عَمِلُوا۟ مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَـٰهُ هَبَآءً مَّنثُورًا
“We will regard whatever deeds they [i.e. the disbelievers and the polytheists] have done, and We shall make their deeds as scattered floating particles of dust”
3. Providing a Diverse Assortment and Extravagant Quantity of Food for lftār
The following was said to Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله): “Noble Shaykh, some Muslims provide excessive quantities of food and drink in Ramaḍān.”
He (رحمه الله) responded saying:5
This is true. Some people provide excessive quantities of food and drink as though they have never read Allāh’s statement:
وَكُلُوا۟ وَٱشْرَبُوا۟ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوٓا۟
“Eat and drink, but do not waste”
Although Ramaḍān is the month of generosity and kindness, give what benefits. As for extravagance, then it is unbeneficial.
A similar statement was directed to Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān (حفظه الله): “Because some people provide food and drink extravagantly [in Ramaḍān], the tables are filled with different assortments of food.”
He (حفظه الله) stated: “This is contrary to the Sunnah. The month of Ramaḍān is not the month of eating, drinking, and repletion; it is the month of fasting.”6
4. Partaking of Dinner before the Performance of the Maghrib Prayer
Shaykh Muḥammad Amān ibn ʿAlī al-Jāmī (رحمه الله) stated: “Many people have dinner [immediately] after the Maghrib aẓān. They are discontented with having fresh dates or some water [for iftār]; rather, they have dinner, which leads to the delaying of the Maghrib prayer. Iftār should entail the consumption of either fresh or dry dates or a sip of water followed by the [Maghrib] prayer, then dinner.”7
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān (حفظه الله) said:8
There is a very important issue that requires highlighting. Some Muslims abandon the performance of the Maghrib prayer in congregation to have dinner. Therefore, not only do they commit a grave sin by abandoning the performance of the congregational prayer in the masjid, but they also deprive themselves of a great reward and expose themselves to a severe punishment. [Therefore,] the Muslim should break his fast first, then perform the [Maghrib] prayer, then partake of his dinner.
5. Diligently Worshiping Allāh on the 27th Night Alone
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) stated: “Humbling themselves and crying, some people attend the masjid to perform tarāwīḥ in congregation on the 27th night alone. They say: ‘We stood steadfast in prayer on Laylat al-Qadr, so we were forgiven.’ O ignorant, who informed you that Laylat al-Qadr is on the 27th night of this month?! Laylat al-Qadr may be on another night.”9
6. Lengthening the Qunūt in the Witr Prayer
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) stated: “Lengthening the qunūt until the performance of the witr prayer becomes tedious or burdensome upon the congregation is not recommended, since the Prophet (ﷺ) became angry with Muʿādh [ibn Jabal] after he lengthened the prayer. He (ﷺ) said to Muʿādh: ‘Are you a troublemaker, O Muʿādh?’”10
The Shaykh (رحمه الله) was also asked: “Should the duʿāʾ [i.e. the qunūt] be short or long? Some imāms lengthen it, while others shorten it. What is correct?”
He (رحمه الله) responded:11
The duʿāʾ should be moderate in its length. Lengthening the duʿāʾ until the performance of the witr prayer becomes tedious upon the congregation is prohibited as the Prophet (ﷺ) became extremely angry with Muʿādh ibn Jabal after he lengthened the prayer. He (ﷺ) admonished Muʿādh ibn Jabal saying: ‘Are you a troublemaker, O Muʿādh?’” Therefore, the imām should limit himself to the short supplications that the Prophet (ﷺ) would make.
[Additionally,] a lengthy duʿāʾ will not only cause fatigue and exhaustion to the feeble members in the congregation, but it will also make staying for the entire prayer difficult for some people, like workers. Therefore, I advise the imams to be moderate [in this affair.]
7. Utilising Medication to Prevent the Onset of Menses
Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī (رحمه الله) was asked: “What is the ruling on using medication solely in the month of Ramaḍān to prevent [the onset of] menses in order to fast the entire month?”
The Shaykh (رحمه الله) responded:12
Allāh has allowed women to break their fast during the days of their menses and postnatal bleeding, and indeed, the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” They asked: “What is deficient in her intelligence and religion?” He (ﷺ) said: “As for her deficiency in intelligence, then verily, Allāh has made the witness of two women equal to that of one man. As for her deficiency in her religion, then certainly, she remains for days without fasting or praying.” [Reported by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.]
Therefore, Allāh has allowed the woman to break her fast during the days of her menses and postnatal bleeding. Consequently, taking tablets in order to fast the entire month is unnecessary, bearing in mind that these tablets—which a lot of women take—have a negative effect upon the woman; hence, avoiding them is necessary.
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) stated:13
Do not strain yourself and your conscience. Menses is something ordained [by Allāh] upon women; therefore, do not fast if you experience your menses. As for preventing its onset—as some women do—then this is an error, since these pills have been proven to be harmful upon the woman herself, her womb, her blood, her nervous system, and her children. As a result, we see many deformed children today.
8. Spending the Nights of Ramaḍān Engaged in Recreation
Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī (رحمه الله) was asked: “What is the ruling on spending the latter part of the nights of Ramaḍān engaged in recreation?”
He (رحمه الله) said:14
This is wasting time. The latter part of the nights of Ramaḍān is an opportunity to perform acts of worship as the people are engaged in prayer, recitation of the Qurʾān, and the revision of knowledge during that time, yet some are spending it playing football and games. Thus, this is definitely wasting time. Furthermore, they sleep until just before Maghrib, possibly missing the Fajr, Ẓuhr, and ʿAṣr prayers; hence, this is a calamity, what a grave calamity!
Questioned about the youth engaging themselves in recreation during the nights of Ramaḍān, Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said:15
Recreation—such as running races and playing football if there is no dispute and the players’ ʿawrah are covered—is permissible; however, I do not recommend that they spend their nights doing this. This time is [extremely] virtuous, so they should either review the Qurʾān or sleep, so they can dedicate the day for worship.
9. The Sick Person Refusing to Break His Fast
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said:16
Some sick people who experience difficulty fasting take risks by fasting; we ask Allāh to guide them. A trustworthy doctor may say to them: “You must drink water every four hours,” yet they say: “No! I will endure. I will exhibit forbearance and fast.” This is an error as this fast may either be the reason for their death, or it may aid in their death. Therefore, whoever fears for his life must break his fast.
He (رحمه الله) also said: “If both the traveller and the sick individual experience difficulty fasting, yet they fast, then they have not only contradicted the Sunnah, but they have also done something displeasing to Allāh.”17
10. Announcing the Commencement of the ʿĪd and the Tarāwīḥ Prayer
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān (حفظه الله)—questioned about announcing the commencement of the ʿĪd prayer—said: “Announcing the commencement of the ʿĪd prayer by saying: ‘[Stand for] the ʿĪd prayer, and may Allāh have mercy upon you’—as is done in the Holy Mosque in Makkah—or announcing the commencement of the tarāwīḥ prayer by saying: ‘[Stand for] the tarāwīḥ prayer, and may Allāh have mercy upon you’ is an error which must be prevented.”18
11. The Pregnant Woman Refusing to Break Her Fast
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) stated: “The pregnant woman who experiences difficulty while fasting yet chooses to fast has made the wrong choice, since she has abandoned the concession Allāh granted her.”20
Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz (رحمه الله) said: “Once the pregnant and the breastfeeding woman experience difficulty fasting, then they must not fast. They, however, must make up the missed days, just like the sick person.”21
12. Fasting while Menstruating
Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz (رحمه الله) said: “Praying and fasting at this time is wrong. The menstruating woman should not pray or fast, so whoever did this must make tawbah. Ignorance is not an excuse to do this, since a women is able to ask [about this].”22
He (رحمه الله) also said:23
A menstruating woman should not fast in Ramaḍān, and if she did, her fast is invalid; in fact, she should not even make the intention to fast. If she fasts in such a state, then she must beseech Allāh’s forgiveness, regret this action, and never repeat it. She must also make up the days that she fasted while she was menstruating, since her fast during this period is invalid.
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said: “A menstruating woman must never fast, since the Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘Is it not that the menstruating woman is prohibited from praying and fasting?’ [Furthermore,] scholars agree that fasting while menstruating is ḥarām.”24
13. Preventing Children from Fasting
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said:25
There is an issue that I would like to highlight. Some parents prevent their children from fasting which contradicts the practice of the Companions (رضي الله عنهم). Parents claim that they are being merciful and compassionate towards their children; however, encouraging them to execute the Islāmic laws is truly showing them compassion, for this is from true parenting and guardianship as this is from neutering them upon good morals. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Verily, the man is the guardian of the house and is responsible for his house.”
He (رحمه الله) also said:26
I advise parents to fear Allāh and to allow their children to fast. The Scholars say that parents or guardians must order their child to fast once they are able to do so. The Companions (رضي الله عنهم) would make their children fast, and if their children cried [due to hunger or thirst], they would give them a toy to play with until dusk arrived. This was the Salaf’s condition.
Encouraging children to obey Allāh is being compassionate towards them. This is showing them true compassion, since the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Order your children to pray when they reach the age of seven; however, discipline them at the age of ten [if they fail to perform it].”
14. Utilising Money to Pay the Fidyah
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān (حفظه الله) mentioned:27
Utilising money to pay the fidyah [i.e. the recompense] and the Zakāt al-Fiṭr is impermissible since Allāh explicitly stated:
وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ
“As for those who find difficulty fasting, then they must feed a poor person”
Furthermore, Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz (رحمه الله) said: “If your sickness is permanent, then you must give a poor person a half of a ṣāʿ of either dry dates, rice, wheat, or any other staple food. This is approximately one and a half kilograms. Utilising money is unacceptable; rather, food must be given.”28
15. Rushing the Tarāwīḥ Prayer
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) stated: “Many imāms perform tarāwīḥ hastily which is an error, since the imām is not praying alone; rather, he is leading the entire congregation in prayer.”29
Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī (رحمه الله) added:30
Many Muslims who perform tarāwīḥ are deprived of khusūʿ because performing the twenty units of prayer ʿUmar [ibn al-Khaṭṭab] (رضي الله عنه) allegedly prayed is their only concern. They have no concern to perform tarāwīḥ with tranquility; rather, they perform it like the pecking of a rooster. They are like gears and automated machinery programmed to go up and down which hinders them from pondering Allāh’s speech and makes following them extremely difficult.
16. Singing or Reciting the Qunūt Melodically
Questioned about singing the qunūt, Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) responded:31
If the questioner means that the imām pauses after every sentence of the supplication so the congregation can comprehend him before they say āmīn, then this is acceptable; however, if the questioner means that the imām sings the supplication, then this is unacceptable. The congregation does not need to hear the imām sing; rather, the imām needs to supplicate sincerely to Allāh for them.
17. Failing to Identify the Recipients of Zakāt al-Fiṭr Well Before Its Distribution
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said: “Whoever has to give Zakāt al-Fiṭr must search for its recipient prior to the ʿĪd prayer, so on ʿĪd morning, he only has to give that person the Zakāt al-Fiṭr. Giving the Zakāt al-Fiṭr on ʿĪd morning before attending the ʿĪd prayer is better; therefore, searching for a valid recipient on ʿĪd morning is wrong.”32
18. Sending Your Zakāt al-Fiṭr to a Foreign Country while There Are Poor People Residing in Your Country
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said: “The recipient of your Zakāt al-Fiṭr must always be a resident of your country. The Scholars say giving the Zakāt al-Fiṭr to a non-resident is ḥarām. If, however, there are no poor people residing in your country, then send your Zakāt al-Fiṭr to a poor person residing in the closest country to you.”33
He (رحمه الله) added: “Sending your Zakāt al-Fiṭr to another country is impermissible. If, however, there are no valid recipients where you are residing currently, then sending it to another country is permissible.”34
19. Loudly Repeating the Extra Takbīrāt of the ʿĪd Prayer
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said:35
The congregation must remain silent. Some people say Allāh Akbar aloud when the imām makes the takbīr to start the prayer. Others say Allāh Akbar loudly during the janāzah. Others say Allāh Akbar loudly when the imām makes the extra takbīrāt for the ʿĪd prayer. This is wrong. Not only must the congregation recite the Qurʾān silently, but they must also supplicate silently and say Allāh Akbar and Subhān Allāh silently.
20. Listening to Music on ʿĪd Day
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said: “ʿĪd day is a day of joy and happiness, so enjoy yourself; however, if someone says to you: ‘I would like to listen to some music,’ then say: ‘Listening to music is ḥarām.’”36
21. Failing to Fast without Having a Legitimate Islamic Reason
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān (حفظه الله) said:
Failing to fast in Ramaḍān without a [legitimate] excuse is a grave error and a huge crime. Whoever does this must make sincere tawbah, regret what he has done, never do it again, and never miss another fast. He must also make up for the missed days.37