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Correcting Some Errors Committed in the Blessed Month of Ramaḍān and on the Day of ʿĪd

   Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīnShaykh Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Najmī, Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān, Shaykh Muḥammad Amān al-Jāmī

The blessed month of Ramaḍān is a time of worship and righteous deeds. However, during this month, some  errors exist. The following is a compilation of errors corrected and clarified by Islamic scholars.

bismallah

  

  Although Ramaḍān is the month of generosity and kindness, give what benefits. As for extravagance, then it is unbeneficial.
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (raḥimahullāh) 

 

In 1437 (2016 CE) and 1438 (2017 CE), we presented an extensive Ramaḍān series entitled A Clarification of Some Common Doubts and Misconceptions Affiliated with the Month of Ramaḍān. Following on from this series, in 1439 (2018 CE), we wish to present the following  errors surrounding Ramaḍan and the day of ʿĪd.


The Errors: 

  1. Relying on Astronomical Calculations to Determine the Beginning of the Month
  2. Fasting without Establishing the Five Daily Prayers
  3. Providing a Diverse Assortment and Extravagant Quantity of Food for lftār
  4. Partaking of Dinner before the Performance of the Maghrib Prayer
  5. Diligently Worshiping Allāh on the 27th Night Alone
  6. Lengthening the Qunūt in the Witr Prayer
  7. Utilising Medication to Prevent the Onset of Menses
  8. Spending the Nights of Ramaḍān Engaged in Recreation
  9. The Sick Person Refusing to Break His Fast
  10. Announcing the Commencement of the ʿĪd and the Tarāwīḥ Prayer

 

Error 01: 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.

 

Error 02: 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”
[Sūrah al-Furqān, 25:23].

 

Error 03: 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”
[Sūrah al-‘Arāf, 7:31].

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

 

Error 04: 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.

Error 05: 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

Error 06: 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 du‘āʾ [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 du‘āʾ should be moderate in its length. Lengthening the du‘āʾ 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 du‘āʾ 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.]

Error 07: 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.  

Error 08: 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.

 

Error 09: 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  

 

Error 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

 

Compiled and translated by Musa Shaleem Mohammed
June, 2018

Endnotes:

[1] Min Aḥkām al-Siyām, pg 30.
[2] Al-Imdād Ṣharḥ ‘Alá Zād al-Mustaqni', vol. 2, pg 338.
[3] Fatāwá al-Ṣiyām, pg 46.

[4] Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 12, pg. 478.
[5] Al-liqāʾ al-Shaḥrī, Sitting no. 70, Question no. 16.
[6] الإسراف في الأكل والشراب في رمضان
[7] Al-Ta’līq ʿAlá Zād al-Ma’ād.
[8] Al-Mulakkhaṣ al-Fiqhī, vol. 1, pg. 381.
[9] Al-liqāʾ al-Shaḥrī, Sitting no. 41, Question no. 9.
[10] Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 14, pg. 135.
[11] Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 14, pg. 135-136. 
[12] Fatāwá al-Ṣiyām, pg 58.
[13] Jalasāt Ramaḍāniyyah, Sitting 9, Question 8. 
[14] Fatāwá al-Ṣiyām, pg 47.
[15] Al-liqāʾ al-Shahrī, Sitting no. 70, Question no. 16.
[16] Jalasāt Ramaḍāniyyah, Sitting 20, Question 5.
[17] Majmū‘ Fatāwá wa Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 15, pg. 403. 
[18]  قول: صلاة العيد أثابكم الله للتنبيه على ذلك


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