THERE ARE EIGHT KINDS OF FAST:
1 – The fasts that are fard. Fard fasts also have two kinds: the one which is performed at a certain time, fasting during Ramadâni-sherîf.
2 – The fast that is fard and yet which is not performed at a certain time. Examples of this are the fasts of qadâ and kaffârat. But the fast of kaffârat is fard-i-’amalî. That is, he who denies it does not become a disbeliever.
3 – The fast that is wâjib and which is performed at a certain time, too, such as vowing to fast on a certain day or on certain days.
4 – The fast which is performed at haphazard times.
5 – The fast that is sunna, e.g. fasting on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram.
6 – The fast that is mustahab, examples of which are fasting on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth days of every Arabic month, fasting only on Fridays, fasting on the day of ’Arafa, which is the day previous to the ’Iyd of Qurbân. It is also said (by some savants) that it is makrûh to fast only on Fridays. A person who wants to fast on Friday had better fast on Thursday or Saturday, too. For, it is better to avoid doing something which is said to be sunnat or makrûh.
7 – The fast that is harâm. It is harâm to fast on the first day of the ’Iyd of Fitra and on any of all four days of the ’Iyd of Qurbân.
8 – The fast that is makrûh: to fast only on the tenth day of Muharram, only on Saturdays, on the days of Nawruz and Mihrijan, [which are the twentieth days of March and September, respectively], to fast every day throughout the year, and to fast without talking at all. In a hadîth-i-sherîf quoted in Marâqil-falâh, it is declared: “When you see the Moon start fasting! When you see her again, stop fasting.” According to this command, the month of Ramadân begins when the waxing moon (the new crescent) is first sighted. In Ibni ’Âbidîn’s discussion of the qibla and in the books Ashî’at-ullama’ât and Ni’mat-i islâm, the authors ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ note that starting to fast by referring to a calendar prepared or by calculation before seeing the new crescent is not permissible. It is wâjib-i-kifâya for every Muslim to look
 It go es without sa ying that they should not be ti mes du ring which Is – lam proh i bits fas ting. the new crescent on the thirtieth of the month of Sha’bân at the time of sunset and to go to the Qâdî and inform him as soon as they see the new moon. Taqiy-y-ud-dîn Muhammad ibni Daqîq states that the new moon can never be sighted before one or two days after the ijtimâ’i neyyireyn = conjunction. [See the eleventh chapter.] Scholars of the four Madhhabs unanimously state that fasting starts at the beginning of whiteness at one point of the horizon, which is called fajr-i sâdiq. It is stated in the book Multaqâ: “Fasting is not to eat, drink or have sexual intercourse from dawn till sunset. It is fard also to intend with the heart, (any time) within the period from the previous day’s sunset until the time of dahwai-kubrâ on the day when you will fast for a fast in the month of Ramadân. So is the time of niyya for a fast which is vowed for a certain day and for a supererogatory fast. It is necessary to intend for each individual day. When intending to fast in Ramadân, it is also permissible to intend for a mere fast or for a supererogatory fast without mentioning the name Ramadân. The time of dahwa-ikubrâ is the middle of the duration of the fast, i.e., of the Islamic daytime; hence, it is before noon. The interval between these two times, (i.e. between the time of dahwa-i-kubrâ and time of noon,) is equal to half the time interval between the time of sunrise and the time of fajr, or imsâk, that is, as many minutes as half the time called Hissa-i-fajr. [Based on the time called Adhânî (or Azânî), Dahwa-i-kubrâ is Fajr+(24-Fajr)÷2=Fajr+12-Fajr÷2=12+Fajr÷2. In other words, half the Fajr time from 12 a.m. is Dahwa-i-kubrâ.] As one makes niyya before Fajr, i.e., before the time of Imsâk, one says, “I make niyya (intend) to fast tomorrow.” And if one makes niyya after the Imsâk, one says, “I make niyya to fast today.” Since fasting during Ramadân-i-sherîf is fard for every Muslim, it is fard for those who cannot fast then to make qadâ of it, (that is, to fast later.) The fast of qadâ or kaffârat and the fast which is vowed but not for a certain day cannot be intended for after dawn. For it to be Ramadân, the new moon must be observed and seen in the sky at the time of sunset on the twenty-ninth of Sha’bân or, if it cannot be seen, the thirtieth day of Sha’bân must be over. It is fasted until the time of the early afternoon prayer on the thirtieth day of Sha’bân, and then the fast is broken if the day is not announced to be Ramadân. It is makrûh tahrîmî not to break it and to go on fasting. If one begins fasting without observing the new moon indicating the beginning of Ramadân and then if the new moon is observed on the twenty-ninth night, which will mean
(that the following day is the beginning of the following month, Shawwâl, the first day of which is at the same time the first day of) ’Iyd, qadâ for one day is performed, (that is, one fasts one day again), after the ’Iyd, if the month of Sha’bân is known to have begun upon the observation of the new moon. On the other hand, it is written in (the celebrated books) Hindiyya and Qâdi-Khân that, if the month of Sha’bân is not known to have begun upon the observation of the new moon, one makes qadâ for two days, (that is, one fasts for two days with the intention of qadâ.) In cloudy weather when an ’âdil Muslim woman or man says she or he has seen the new moon, and in clear weather when a lot of people say that they have seen it, the Qâdî, that is, the judge who executes the ahkâm-i-islâmiyya, announces that it is Ramadân. At places without a Qâdî, Ramadân begins when an ’âdil person says he has seen the new moon. It is determined to be the ’Iyd when two ’âdil people say they have seen (the new moon). ’Âdil means (one) who does not commit grave sins and who has not made it a habit to commit venial sins. [It is a grave sin to give up namâz (salât). See chapter 23 in the fourth fascicle.] The word of a person of doubtful ’adâla is also acceptable. It is written in Fatâwâ-i-Hindiyya as well that it is not permissible to begin (fasting in) Ramadân or (to stop fasting in order to celebrate the) ’Iyd by (taking the) calendar or calculation (as a guide). [It is written in the hundred and thirty-ninth page of Hadîqa: “Holders of bid’at, that is, all the seventy-two groups who have deviated from the Ahl-as-sunna, are not ’âdil, even though they are Ahl-i-qibla and do all kinds of worship. For, either they have become mulhids and lost their îmân, or they are holders of bid’at, and they vituperate the (true Muslims who are called) the Ahl assunna(t), which is a grave sin, too.” The book Durr-ul-mukhtâr, in advising us on how to be a witness and how to give our testimony, says: “To speak ill of any Muslim is a sin. It destroys one’s ’adâla. (If a person perpetrates this grave sin,) his testimony is not to be accepted.” Therefore, when determining the times for Ramadân, ’Iyd, hajj, iftâr, and namâz, or when seeking any religious knowledge one should not accept the testimony of the lâmadhhabîs (people without a certain authorized Madhhab).] When the new moon is seen in a city on the thirtieth night of Sha’bân, it is necessary to begin the fast all over the world. The new moon seen during the day is the new moon of the following evening. [Also, a Muslim who goes to one of the poles or to the moon must fast there during the days in this month, unless he ha
intended to be safarî. On days longer than twenty-four hours he begins the fast by time and breaks it by time. He adapts himself to the time followed by the Muslims in a city where the days are not so long. If he does not fast he makes qadâ of it when he goes to a city where the days are not long.] The first day of Ramadân (determined and whereby the fast is) started upon seeing the new moon can be a day after that which is estimated by calculation. But it cannot be the day before. The case is the same with the day of ’Arafa, during which we stay for the waqfa at ’Arafât. It is said on the 283rd page of the book, Bahr: “If a captive who is in a disbelievers’ country does not know the correct time of Ramadân, he makes an enquiry and fasts for a month whenever he guesses it is the month of Ramadân. Later, when he is informed about the correct time, he will make qadâ of the days he fasted before Ramadân. If he started his fast after the correct day, yet made his intention before dawn (every day he fasted), all the days he fasted are counted as qadâ. If a day he fasted coincided with the first day of Iyd-i Fitr, he will make an additional qadâ for that day.” In places where the Ramadân or ’Iyd are started by relying upon calendars instead of by watching for the new moon in the sky, the fasting and ’Iyd may have started a day before or after the correct time. Even if the fast’s first and last days coincided with the correct time of Ramadân, it would be questionable whether they were Ramadân days or not. Ibni ’Âbidîn ’rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ says in the chapter discussing Ramadân: “Fasting is tahrîmâ makrûh on days that are not known for certain that they are the correct days of Ramadân. It is not an excuse to be unaware of worships in a country of Muslims.” Therefore, in places where Ramadân starts by relying upon a calendar or by imitating lâ-madhhabî countries, it will be necessary to fast two additional days of qadâ. [Disbelievers and the enemies of Islam are turning Muslim countries into blood all over, demolishing and extirpating mosques and other Islamic works of art, on the one hand; and finding unlearned, heretical and immoral people living in Muslim countries and through them uprooting
 See the fifteenth chapter in the fourth fas cic le of End less Bliss for sa – fa rî.  Thes e will be explained in the sub ject of Hajj.  Bahr-ur-râiq, by Zeyn-al-’âbidîn bin Ibrâhîm ibni Nujaym-i-Misrî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, (926 – 970 [1562 A.D.], Egypt,) is a commentary to the book Kenz, which had been written by Abdullah bin Ahmad Nesefî. Islamic teachings, writing their own heresies and lies in the name of Islam, and attacking the books written by the scholars of Ahl assunnna, on the other. These attacks against Islam are planned, only and always, by British plotters. They say, for instance, “Who invented that oddity of fasting for two days with the intention of qadâ after Ramadân? Nothing of this sort exists in any book.” It is wrong to says that it is not written in books. For, the month of Ramadân used to start upon the sighting of the new moon, everywhere and in every century. It would not be necessary, therefore, to fast for two additional days with the intention of making qadâ. Today, however, the month of Ramadân is being started at the time when the new moon is beforehand calculated to be sighted. Therefore, the beginning of Ramadân is out of keeping with the ahkâm-i-islâmiyya (rules of Islam). That this misapplication should be rectified by fasting for two days with the intention of qadâ after ’Iyd of Ramadân is written in Tahtâwî’s annotation to (Shernblâlî’s commentary to) Marâq-il-falâh.] It is written in the book Majmû’a-i Zuhdiyya: “A person who sees the new moon of the month of Shawwâl cannot break his fast. For, in cloudy weather, it is necessary for two men or one man and two women to give the testimony of having seen the new moon of Shawwâl. If the sky is clear, it is necessary for many people to witness the moons of Ramadân and Shawwâl.” It is stated in QâdîKhân: “If the new moon sets after the Shafaq, (night prayer,) it belongs to the second night (of the new month); if it sets before the Shafâq it belongs to the first night. To get ready for the fast of Ramadân-i-sherîf, it is necessary to stop fasting by the fifteenth of Sha’bân and to strengthen the body by eating nutritionally strong and delicious food, and thus to prepare it to do the fard. Workers, soldiers and students who have the habit of performing the fasts of sunna after the fifteenth of Sha’bân must perform them in their leisure time after Ramadân. It is also sunna to postpone the sunna in order to do the fard. It is sunna to make haste for the iftâr and to have the sahûr late providing that it is before the fajr dawns. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was very keen on observing these two sunnats. It is written in Durer: “The meal eaten at the time of seher is called sahûr. The time of seher is the final sixth of the night, [i.e., (of the
 It would be pertinent to remind at this point that the ‘second’ and ‘first’ nights mentioned here are the nights previous to the ‘second’ and ‘first’ days, respectively. time) from shar’î sunset to the time of imsâk.]” It has been made a sunna to make haste for the iftâr and to have the sahûr late perhaps because it shows that man is weak and needy. As a matter of fact, worships are intended for showing weakness and need. It is said in the book Riyâd-un-nasihîn: “An âyat-i-kerîma in the Baqara Sûra purports: ‘Eat and drink until you are able to distinguish a white thread from a black thread.’ Later, the word fajrin was revealed to indicate that these threads represent daylight and the darkness of night. Thus it was understood that fasting would begin when the whiteness of the day could be distinguished from the blackness of the night like threads.” It is said in the books Majmâ’ul Anhur and Hindiyya: “According to the majority of Hanafî savants, when the whiteness appears on any place on the horizon, imsâk time begins and fasting should begin.  minutes after imsâk time, when the whiteness has spread over the horizon like a thread, the time of morning prayer starts. It would be prudent to act accordingly. [That is, it would be better and more cautious.] The fasting and prayer of anyone who follows this policy will be valid according to all the savants. Yet if he starts fasting after the secondly-stated imsâk time, (i.e. fifteen minutes later,) it will be questionable. Imsâk time is being determined by astronomic calculation and written in calendars. But nowadays, in some calendars, the second time, nay, even later than that, when the redness of the sun is spread over the horizon, is being written as the beginning of the fast. If anyone acts up to these new calendars, their fast will be incorrect and invalid. Or, at best, the validity of their fasting will be questionable. The difference between these two times (the beginning of the fast and morning prayer) is about 10 minutes and is called “Precaution time.” It is not correct to describe that time as “tamkîn.” The author of the book, Bahr-ur-râiq informs us that it would be makrûh to delay the fasting time until the questionable time. In fact, the fastings that begin after the appearance of redness will not be valid at all. Please see the tenth chapter of the fourth fascicle of Endless Bliss. The first calendar in the Ottomon State was written in 987 [1528 A.D.]. Shernblâlî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, states in the book Nûrul-îdhâh: “It is mustahab to have the iftâr early on cloudless nights.” In his commentary to the same book, he states: “On cloudy nights one must be careful in order to protect one’s fast from being broken, [that is, one must delay the iftâr a little]. A person who eats the iftâr before the stars are seen has done it early enough.” Tahtâwî says in his annotation to the book: “It is
mustahab to break fast before performing the evening prayer. As is written in the book Bahr [and also in Ibni ’Âbidîn], to make haste for the iftâr means to have the iftâr before the stars are seen.” Also it is mustahab to perform the evening prayer at that time; that is, to perform it early. When it is well understood that the sun has set, first (the (prayers termed) ‘A’ûdhu’ and ‘Besmela’ are said and immediately thereafter the following prayer is said: “Allâhumma yâ wâsi’al maghfireh ighfirlî wa li-wâlideyya wa liustâziyya wa li-l-mu’minîna wa-l-mu’minât yawma yekûm-ulhisâb.” Next, a few morsels are eaten for iftâr. Then the following prayer is said: “Dhehebezzama’ wabtelletil urûk wa thaba-t-al ejr inshâ Allâhu ta’âlâ.” (The meaning of this prayer has been provided in a footnote a few pages earlier.) Then the iftâr is made by eating dates, water, olives or salt. That is, the fast is broken. Then the evening prayer is performed in jamâ’at in a mosque or at home. Then the supper is had. Because it will take a long time to eat the food at the table, especially during Ramadân, the iftâr must be made with a little food and the supper must be had after the evening prayer so that the evening prayer will be performed early and the meal will be eaten with ease and without haste. Thus, the fast will be broken early and the prayer will be performed early. Where the terrain is level, such as seas and plains, or at any point where there is no barrier such as hills and buildings in between, sunset occurs when the sun’s upper limb disappears below the visible horizon [not true horizon]. At that time the sun will still illuminate the hills on the eastern side. For someone who is not able to see the sunset on the visible horizon line, the sunset time is shar’î sunset, which is the sun’s disappearing below the shar’î horizon, at which time the sun no longer illuminates the mountains and clouds on the east side. Its lights withdraw and the east side becomes darker. On hilly or mountainous terrain, it is not sufficient for the sun to disappear behind the hills and buildings, but it is also necessary for the light to go dim everywhere, and for a darkening of the sky on the east side to occur. Since times of shar’î sunset are written on calendars, it is necessary for those who cannot see the visible horizon to perform iftâr in accordance with the calendar. Ibni ’Âbidîn, while discussing the mustahabs of fasting, says: “People living in low areas should have iftâr when they see the sunset. Those who live in higher elevations cannot have the iftâr at the same time as the former do, since they do not see sunset at that time.” He informs us that the hadîth-i-sherîf that reads, “Iftâr is started when the night starts from there,” which he quotes during the course of his expatiation on fast, means to have the iftâr when
it starts to become dark on the east side. [The beginning of the dark means the disappearing of light even in the highest areas.] It is mustahab to have the iftâr before performing the evening prayer. However, the mustahab must be done without in order to save an act of worship from the danger of coming to naught. One should first perform the evening prayer and then have the iftâr. Thus, the iftâr will still be had before the stars are seen. That is, one will have made haste and one’s fast will be safe from the danger of becoming null and void. It is possible to perform the maghrîb salât (evening prayer) again before its time is over. The mistake’s being on the part of the calendar, clock, candles, gun or adhân does not save one’s fast from being ruined. Ibni ’Âbidîn says in the section about prayer times: “Starting the iftâr requires two ’âdil Muslims’ reporting that the sun has set. Even one Muslim will do.” [As is seen above, the person who prepares the calendar, the person who fires the iftâr cannon and the person who calls the adhân should all be ’âdil Muslims.]
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