Fasting – Chapters from Riyaadh-us-Saaliheen

This is an excellent series of lectures on the topic of fasting during Ramadaan and at other times. From Abu Talhah’s rahimahullaah explanation of Riyaadh-us-Saaliheen by Imaam an-Nawawi rahimahullaah:


Sh Uthaymeen on Aashooraa

And from those days on which it is legislated in the Sunnah to fast is the day of ‘Arafah and the tenth day of the month of Muharram – as per the hadeeth of Aboo Qataadah radi Allaahu ‘anhu that the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was asked about fasting the Day of ‘Arafah. He said:

It expiates for the past year and the coming one.

The past one – meaning that which has finished, because the Day of ‘Arafah is in the last month of the year. And (it expiates for) the coming one. So it expiates for two years.

And he was asked about fasting on the Day of ‘Aashooraa (the tenth of Muharram) – he said:

It expiates for the past year.

So it is lesser in reward than fasting the Day of ‘Arafah. And along with that it is befitting that (the person) fast the ninth along with the tenth because the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

If I were to remain (alive) until the coming year, I would certainly fast the ninth. [1]

Meaning – along with the tenth.

And because he commanded that a day before it or a day after it be fasted, to be different to the Jews – because the Day of ‘Aashooraa- – the tenth of Muharram – is the day on which Allaah saved Moosaa and his people. And He drowned Fir’awn and his people. So the Jews used to fast it, out of gratitude to Allaah for this tremendous blessing , that Allaah saved His army and vanquished the army of Shaytaan. He saved Moosaa and his people and destroyed Fir’awn and his people. So it was a tremendous blessing.

And therefore when the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam arrived in al Madeenah, he found the Jews fasting the Day of ‘Aashooraa-, so he asked them about that. They said, “This is the day Allaah saved Moosaa and his people, and Fir’awn and his people were destroyed. So we fast it, out of gratitude to Allaah.”

So he said:

We have more right to Moosaa than you do. [2]

Why was this? Because the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and those with him had the best claim out of the people to the previous prophets.

Indeed those from the people who have the best claim to Ibraaheem are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who believed. And Allaah is the Protector and Helper of the Believers.
[Soorah aale ‘Imraan (3) aayah 68]

So Allaah Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam had more right to Moosaa than the Jews did because the Jews disbelieved in him and disbelieved in ‘Eesaa and disbelieved in Muhammad.

So he fasted it and commanded the people to fast it, except that he commanded that they differ from the Jews – those who only fasted the tenth day – such that we fast the ninth, or the eleventh, along with the tenth – or (all) three.

Therefore some of the people of knowledge, such as ibn ul Qayyim and other than him,
mentioned that the fasting of ‘Aashooraa is of three categories:

1) that (the person) fast ‘Aashooraa and the ninth – and this is the best of the types

2) that he fast ‘Aashooraa and the eleventh – and this is less (virtuous) than the first

3) that he fast ‘Aashooraa alone. And some of the scholars disliked this because the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam commanded being different from the Jews. And some of the scholars allowed this as a concession.


[1] Reported by Muslim (1134) and ibn Maajah and Ahmad in his Musnad.
[2] Reported by al Bukhaaree (3943) and Muslim and Aboo Daawud.

(Sharh Riyaad us Saaliheen (3/464) (Dar ul Kutub il ‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut) of Shaykh al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah; translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

The joy of the fasting person

فرحة الصائم

The prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

( وللصائم فرحتان: فرحة عند فطره، و فرحة عند لقاء ربه ).

And the fasting person has two joys, joy when he breaks his fast and joy when he meets his Lord.

(Bukhari & Muslim)

As for his joy upon breaking his fast, then the soul is inclined to incline to that which pleasures it from food, drink and sexual relations. So if the soul is prevented from any if these at any time then allowed to perform them at another time, he is joyful in being able to perform that which he was prevented from especially if he has a dying need for it. Naturally the soul is happy with this so if this is loved by Allaah then it’s legislatively loved also.

As Allaah has made it unlawful for the one fasting to carry out these desires during the day, he has allowed him to perform them during the night. Rather it is loved by Him (Allaah) that he hastens to perform them ( eating and drinking ) at Dawn until the end of the night. The most beloved servants to Him are those who are the most hasty in breaking their fasts and Allaah and His angels send salutations upon those observing the pre morning meal.

The fasting person abstains from his desires for Allaah’s sake during the day in order to draw close to Allaah and in obedience to Him, likewise he rushes to perform them during the night in order to draw close to Allaah and in obedience to Him.
He does not abstain from it except  by his Lord’s command and likewise he doesn’t return to it except by his Lord’s command. So he is obedient in both cases and because of this he is prohibited from lengthening his fast.

So if the fasting person hastens to break his fast out of seeking to please his Lord, and he eats, drinks and praises Allaah then it is hoped that he will attain Allaah’s forgiveness and pleasure because of that. The prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

( إن الله ليرضى عن عبده أن يأكل الأكلة فيحمده عليها و يشرب الشربة فيحمده عليها )

Allaah is pleased with his servant when he eats and praises Him for it, and when he drinks he praises Him for it.

Maybe his supplication is answered because due to what the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم، said,

( إن للصائم عند فطره دعوة ما ترد )

The fasting person’s supplication is not rejected upon breaking his fast.

If he also intends by his eating and drinking to strengthen his body to be capable of fasting again then he is rewarded, just as if he was to sleep in the night and day to give him strength to perform good deeds then his sleep is considered to be worship.

The prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

( نوم الصائم عبادة )

The sleep of a fasting person is worship.[1]

Hafsa bint seereen said that Abu al-Aaliyah said, the fasting person is always in a state of worship as long as he doesn’t indulge in backbiting even if he is asleep on his bed.
Hafsa used to say, I love the fact that I’m in a state of worship while I’m asleep in my bed.

So the fasting person night and day is in the state of worship and his supplications are answered while fasting and upon breaking his fast. In the day he is fasting and patient and at night he eats and is thankful.

The prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

( الطاعم الشاكر بمنزلة الصائم الصابر )

The one who eats and is thankful is like one who fasts and is patient.

And whoever understands that which we have mentioned earlier, he will gain more than just the joy of breaking his fast when breaking his fast, for his breaking his fast is upon the way which we mentioned from Allaah’s blessings and mercy, then he enters into the saying of Allaah.

<< قل بفضل الله و برحمته فبذلك فليفرحوا هو خير مما يجمعون >>

Say, by the blessings and mercy of Allaah, so let them rejoice. That is better than what they amass. 

[Soorah Yoonus 10:58]

But all of this is on the condition that his breaking of his fast ( the food ) is halal. If his breaking of the fast is done with haram he is from those who did not fast upon that which Allaah made lawful and broke his fast with that which Allaah made unlawful, his supplication is not answered as the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said about the one who is on a long journey and stretches his hands out to the sky saying ‘O my Lord! O my Lord! While his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and his provisions are unlawful, how will his supplication be answered?!



Please note that this hadeeth is weak – as pointed out by Sh al-Albaanee rahimahullaah in Silsilat-ul-ahadeeth-udDa’eefah:

<<نومُ الصائمِ عبادةٌ، وسكوتُه تسبيحٌ، ودعاؤُهُ مُستَجابٌ، وعملُه مُتَقَبَّلٌ>>
الراوي:عبدالله بن أبي أوفى المحدث:الألباني – المصدر: السلسلة الضعيفة – الصفحة أو الرقم: 4696
خلاصة حكم المحدث: ضعيف

Taken from taa’iful Ma’aarif by Ibn Rajab

Translated by Abu Salmaan Talha ibn William

Hadeeth on Ramadaan 13

From ‘Umar ibn al Khattaab  radi Allaahu ‘anhu who said.
The Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

“When the night approaches from here,
and the day goes away from here,
then let the fasting person break his fast.”


The Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah commented:

The Ameer ul Mu’mineen (Chief of the Believers) ‘Umar ibn al Khattaab radi Allaahu ‘anhu informs that the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam clarified the signs of the time at which the fasting person breaks his fast.

And they are three signs which are inseparable from each other:
•         The approach of the night from the east
•         The departure of the day from the west
•         The setting of the sun.

And the foundation of these signs is the setting of the sun because with it enters the night, which Allaah the Most High has made the limit for completion of the fast.

However the night appearing clearly from the east and the departing of the day from the west are (also) a proof for it, and follow on from it.


(taken from Sh Uthaymeen’s explanation of ‘Umdat-ul-Ahkaam
translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

Hadeeth on Ramadaan 12

From ‘Aaishah  radi Allaahu ‘anhaa who said:

There were some fasts from Ramadaan which I had to make up, so I was not able to make them until Sha’baan[1].


The Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah commented:

‘Aaishah radi Allaahu ‘anhaa informs that there were some fasts from Ramadaan which were upon her; she had refrained from fasting (during those days) due to an excuse, by way of her menstrual periods or other than that.

So she delayed them until Sha’baan, then she fasted them before the next Ramadaan.

And she clarified her excuse for that – that she was unable to make them up easily and conveniently until Sha’baan, when it became essential to make them up.

[1] The month before Ramadaan the following year


(taken from Sh Uthaymeen’s explanation of ‘Umdat-ul-Ahkaam
translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

Hadeeth on Ramadaan 11

From Sahl ibn Sa’d as Saa’idee radi Allaahu ‘anhu who said that the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:

“The people will not cease to be upon goodness as long as they hasten to break the fast.”


The Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah commented:

All goodness is contained in following the Islamic Legislation and in restricting oneself to it, without going to excess or falling short.

And in this hadeeth, Sahl ibn Sa’d radi Allaahu ‘anhu informs that the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam told (us) that the people will continue upon goodness and righteousness in their religion if they restrict themselves to (staying within) the Islamically legislated limits for their fasting and their breaking the fast.

So be prompt with breaking the fast after the setting of the sun – which is the (legislated) limit for the fasting – just as Allaah, the Most High, said:

Then complete your fasting till the nightfall…
Soorah al Baqarah (2) aayah 187

And the night enters with the setting of the sun.


(taken from Sh Uthaymeen’s explanation of ‘Umdat-ul-Ahkaam
translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

Hadeeth on Ramadaan 9

From Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillaah  radi Allaahu ‘anhu who said:

The Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was upon a journey. Then he saw a crowd  and (he saw) a man who was being shaded.

So he said, “What is this?”

They said, “A fasting person.”

He said, “Fasting upon a journey is not from righteousness.”


The Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah commented:

Jaabir radi Allaahu ‘anhu informed that the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was upon his journey in the year of the Conquest, inRamadaan.

So he saw a group crowding around, in order to take a look at a person  – as though he were affected by heat and thirst and he was being shaded.

And he was lying down, as occurs in the narration of ibn Jareer.

So the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam asked (about him), so they said, “He is a man who is fasting.”

And because the fasting had caused him to reach this degree (of discomfort), the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said that fasting upon a journey was not from righteousness when it caused the fasting person to reach that level (of discomfort).

And the Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abdir Rahmaan aale Bassaam rahimahullaah commented:

And He (Allaah) did not wish from you that worship of Him would be torturing yourselves.


(taken from Sh Uthaymeen’s and Sh Bassaam’s explanations of ‘Umdat-ul-Ahkaam
translated by Nasser ibn Najam)