Measures while Fasting

The Basics of Fasting – Recommended Measures while Fasting

The Basics of Fasting – Recommended Measures while Fasting

Measures while Fasting

The Basics of Fasting according to the Shafi’i School

(An abridged and edited version of a pamphlet written in Arabic by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.)

  1. The Ruling of Fasting Ramadan
  2. Integrals
  3. Recommended Measures
  4. Excuses that permit one not to fast
  5. Making up Missed Fasts
  6. Payment
  7. Expiation

Measures while Fasting

Allah is praised, Lord of the Worlds.  Blessings and peace on our master Muhammad and his folk and companions, one and all.


The following rulings about the fast should be known, applied, and taught to one’s family and whoever does not know them.


  1. The Ruling of Fasting Ramadan


Fasting Ramadan is personally obligatory for every Muslim who has reached puberty is sane and can fast.  It is not obligatory for a non-Muslim, a child, an insane person, or someone unable to fast (such as someone of advanced years or someone who is continuously [muzmin] sick).


  1. Integrals of the fast


Fasting has only two integrals: (1) the intention and (2) abstention from the nullifiers of the fast.


Recommended Measures while Fasting


  1. To hasten to break the fast once it has been established that the sun has set.  If one doubts whether or not it has set, one should not hasten to break the fast.
  2. To break the fast with three or more moist dates [rutab].  If one is unable to do so, then with dry dates [tamr] and if one is unable to do even that, then with water.  If one cannot break it with water, then it is recommended to do so with something sweet like raisins.
  3. To eat the predawn meal.  It has a great blessing in it.  It is sunna to delay it until just before dawn as long as delaying it does not result in doubt regarding the entrance of dawn.
  4. To abandon vulgar speech such as lying, backbiting, and tale-bearing.  These things are unlawful even if not fasting but they become even more so when fasting.  If someone abuses one, one should say three times, “I am fasting” (either with the tongue or in the heart).
  5. To give much charity.
  6. To break others’ fasts even if only with a sip of water.
  7. To perform much worship such as praying, learning sacred knowledge, reciting the Qur’an, making remembrance of Allah, and performing the spiritual retreat [i‘tikaf].
  8. To keep good relations with kinfolk and visit others for the sake of Allah Most High.
  9. To take a bath [ghusl] every night of Ramadan, especially if one attends the group prayer.

Measures while Fasting

Warning:  Let the fasting Muslim who is avid for his religion and the pleasure of his Master beware lest he concludes his day of fasting by breaking it with smoking, having finished off his good work with an unlawful act that Allah is not pleased with.  Whoever prefers Allah, Allah will prefer him.



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