Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rulings relating to the month of Ramadan


Here are the notes from the first CD in Sh. Waleed Basyouni's lecture series "186 Rules for Ramadan." The Shaykh covered about 27 rules/points and here, I have only listed 20. Somewhere along the line I lost count, my apologies. I am not the best note-taker. That being said, please refere to lecture so that you may get a clearer understanding. I have not listed all of the Hadith and/or proofs that they shaykh gave, if you would like those, please listen to the lecture. Also, if I have made any mistakes or have misquoted anything, please do not hesitate to point it out to me as I am only human. Jazak'Allahu Khairan.

Here are the notes:

"Ramadan"comes from the word Ramada - Strong heat of the sun. The Arabs named the months based on conditions and situations, so when they came to name Ramadan it was at a time when the heat of the sun was strong.

1) The month of Ramadan according to shariah is either 29 days long or 30 days long.

2) The month starts with the sighting of the new moon or with the completion of Shabaan's 30 days.
  • Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said "Fast after you have see the new moon, and end the fast at the end of the month when you see it. If it is hidden from you, then wait until the 30 days of Shaban have passed." Related in Bukhari and Muslim
3) Can a person use binoculars or a telescope to sight the moon?
  • Shaykh Uthaymeen was asked this and his reply was that it is permissible an that it was common for people to use similar practices in the early days from the minarets of the mosques.
4) The sighting of the moon is only accepted by ONE trustworthy MUSLIM person who knows the moon and its phases (majority opinion).
  • Imam Malik: It has to be sighted by two Men
  • Imam Abu Haneefa: There has to be two male witnesses if it is cloudy or if there is a doubt about the person who sighted the moon (a total of 3 people).
5) The end of the month of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid-ul-fitr is determined by the sighting of the moon of Shawal or the completion of 30 days of Ramadan.
  • The witness of sighting has to be two trustworthy Muslim men (majority opinion of the scholars of fiqh).
  • Few scholars such as Mohammed Ash-Shawkani had a different opinion in that he believed that the sighting of the moon by one trustworthy Muslim man was sufficient and that there was no difference between the sighting of the moon in the beginning of the month of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawal.
6) It is not permissible to determine the month of Ramadan by using astronomical calculations.
  • The Prophet (SAW) said "We are an illiterate Ummah, we don't write or calculate, so fast after you have seen the new moon. And end the fast at the end of the month, when you see it." Related in Bukhari and Muslim
  • The use of calculation in regards to prayer times is different as the above hadith clearly states that the start of the month of Ramadan is to be determined by the sighting of the moon.
  • Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah said "Depending on calculations in sighting the moon, as it is a deviance and innovation in religion. And it is also considered wrong by logic."
  • Imam Shaafi mentioned in Ahkam al Quran: "The starting of the month is determined by the moon and not by calculation. Calculation is wrong, for it is the way of the Persians and the Romans."
7) Is the sighting of the moon in one country sufficient enough for all other countries in the world? In other words if one country sights the moon does that mean the entire world can start fasting?
  • There is a difference in opinion (listen to the lecture for details as I do not want to mis-quote) some say a single sighting in any country is good enough, some say each country has their own sighting and others say that close countries can go by a single sighting.
  • According to the Hanafi Madhab, for each country is their own sighting.
8) If you do not live in a city where there is an Islamic Center, you try and sight the moon on your own, and if you feel that you cannot then follow the closest Islamic Center.

9) It is not permissible to fast on the Day of Doubt which is the last day of Shaban.
  • The prophet Muhammed (SAW) said: "Do not precede Ramadan by fasting a day or two before it unless it is a day on which the person usually fasts." Related by Muslim
10) If a person had some days to make up and he fasts on the Day of Doubt, there is no sin on him.

11) If a person starts Ramadan in one country and then travels to another country, he has to celebrate Eid with the country that he is currently in.

12) If in the above mentioned situation the total number of fasts add up to only 28, the person still celebrates Eid with the country he is currently in and then makes up the additional fast later on.

13) What if the country that the above mentioned person is in started fasting a day before the previous country, does he still fast with the country he is currently in? In other words instead of fasting 30 days with the previous country would he have to fast 31?
  • In this situation, this person must break his fast thus fasting only 30 days.
  • In this situation the person secretly does not fast the 31st day and then celebrates Eid the following day with the country that he is in.
14) For those individuals who have an excuse to not fast during the month of Ramadan (a woman who is menstruating, breast feeding, pregnant, or someone in the situation mentioned above) they should be sure to eat and drink privately out of respect for the month of Ramadan as it is known as the month of fasting.

15) The Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) is equal to a thousand months. Any act of worship done in that night, it is as if the worshiper did this act for a thousand months.

16) What night in Ramadan is Laylatul Qadr? There is a difference in opinion among the scholars:
  • Some say it is one of the nights of Ramadan
  • Some say it is the 27th night of Ramadan
  • Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the prophet (SAW) said: "He who would like to seek the night of Laylatul Qadr should do so on the 27th." Hadith related by Ahmed and Muslim.
  • Some opinions say it is on the 23rd, 25th, 28th all these opinions are adopted by the companions of the prophet (SAW).
  • The difference in opinion can be understood in that Laylatul Qadr varies from year to year according to a majority of scholars.
  • In a report by Bukhari, the prophet (SAW) said: "Seek the night of Al-Qadr in the last 10 nights.'
17) The wisdom behind hiding when the Night of Power is is in order to keep Muslims from neglecting the rest of the month of Ramadan as we see them doing today.

  • Now a days we see that Muslims around the world take the for granted that the Night of Power is on the 27th night of Ramadan and this is the night that they insist on staying up all night making zhikr.
18) Are there any signs of the Night of Power?

  • It has been related by Muslim that the sign of the night of power is that in the morning the sunrise is white without any rays.
  • It is said to be a clear and calm night that will be followed by a shower at fajr time.
19) Is it Mustahab (recommended) to do a certain thing on that night?

  • It has been related in Bukhari and Muslim that the prophet (SAW) said: "Whoever prays during the night of al-Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven."
  • It was also related that Aishah (RA) said: "I asked the Prophet (SAW): 'Oh, Messenger of Allah if I know what night the night of Qadr is, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say, Allahuma inaka afu' tuhibul afwa fa'fuanni"
  • Translation: Oh, Allah you are forgiving and you love to forgive, so forgive me.
  • It is also recommended to do I'tikaaf and do more worship, give more charity and engage in more supplications during this time.
20) Ramadan has many virtues and blessings among them are

  • The Quran was revealed to the prophet (SAW) in this month
  • The Prophet (SAW) was sent to mankind and jinn to spread the teachings of Islam in this month.
  • Laylatul Qadr is in the month of Ramadan
  • Our rewards are multiplied in Ramadan
  • In every night of Ramadan Allah (SWT) saves a number of people from the hell fire

1 comment:

Salaam said...

Salaam alaikum sister,
I have a new post up at my blog on the rising health problem of anorexia nervosa among Muslim children and teenagers, and the importance of parents monitoring the fasting behaviors of their children.

Hope your studies are going well,