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  • 1. www.onlyislam.net Ramadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir Episode 3 Introduction to Ramadhaan (Duration – 46 minutes)Yusuf Chambers: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam and humanityAssalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh! May the peace,mercy and blessings of Allah be on all of you. I am your host YusufChambers and I welcome you to this series of programmes entitledRamadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir. Today we will be covering thetopic Ramadhaan – an introduction. Dr. Zakir, Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh!Dr. Zakir: Walaikum Assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!Yusuf: Dr. Zakir No introduction to such a topic would be completewithout you defining the terms so could you define the termRamadhaan?Dr. Zakir: Alhumdulillah, Was Salaatu Was Salaam Aala RasoolillahWa Ala Aalihi Wa Ashaabihi Wa Ajma’een, Amma Baad.The word Ramadhaan is derived from the Arabic word ‘Ramidah’ or‘Ar-Ramdh’ which means intense scotching heat and dryness. Itsalso derived from the Arabic word ‘Ramda’ which means sun bakedsand. In Islamic terminology, the word Ramadhaan, it signifies theintense heat in the stomach due to thirst. When a Muslim fasts, thethirst that is there, it produces heat in the stomach which is definedas Ramadhaan. Again Ramadhaan, it has another meaning, itmeans that that the good deeds they scotch the sins and the evil ofa Muslim. So Ramadhaan is a month in which the sins are scotchedaway by the good deeds like how a sun scotches the ground in thesame way. And heat normally it helps in forming, molding orreshaping virtually every matter in the same way Ramadhaan helpsin molding, shaping and reforming the spiritual and the moralaspects of the human being. That is the reason we term this wordas Ramadhaan.Yusuf Chambers: Second definition of terms if you like is ‘Saum’or fast as its sometimes or mostly translated in English. 1
  • 2. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netAmm…Could you shed some light on what are the implications ofthe term fast or Saum?Dr. Zakir: Saum is an Arabic word which is singular, Siyam isplural Saum or Siyam in Arabic is derived from the word ‘Sama’which means to abstain or to restrain from the normal thingswhether it be eating, drinking or talking and a person who observesSaum or abstains from these things is called as a ‘Sayim’. And thisword is used in the Quran in Surah Maryam ch. no. 19 verse no. 26when the angel speaks to Mary, may Allah be pleased with her, whois the mother of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and this word is used. And ifyou read this verse says that I have vowed to fast to Allah but herethe meaning of the word Saum, fast doesn’t mean refraining fromeating or drinking. It means refraining from speaking because whenyou go to the context,When you read one verse before in the Quran Surah Maryam ch.no. 19 verse no. 25 it says that Allah (swt) says to Mary, may Allahbe pleased with her, that shake the palm tree towards yourself andthe ripe dates will fall.And the next verse Surah Maryam ch. 19 verse 21 says that eat anddrink from them and then it says that when you meet any humanbeing tell them I vowed to fast for Allah. And I will not speak to anyhuman being.So because here it says about speaking the word Saum is used heremeans that to abstain from speaking but the word Saum in Islamicterminology, in the Islamic Shariah, it means a person who does anact of worship and with the intention he does it for the sake of Allahand he or she abstains from eating drinking or nourishment as wellas from sexual intercourse or from lustful semen ejaculation. Inshort the word Saum in Islam means a person who abstains fromthe fast-breakers.And the fast-breakers, the things that break the fast are foodwhether taking by mouth or by nose or drink any kind of drinkwhether it be water, milk, fruit juice, any drink taken from mouth ornose or any nourishment for the body taken from any source. Aswell as abstaining from a sexual intercourse. In short it meansabstaining the stomach and the private part. This is what it meansIslamically and this is the basic meaning but if you go ahead withthe broader meaning it does not mean only abstaining the stomach www.onlyislam.net 2
  • 3. www.onlyislam.netand the sexual part from the things that break the fast, it evenmeans that along with the fasting of the stomach and the sexualparts there is fasting of the tongue, of the eyes, of the ears and theother limbs of the body. That’s the reason when we use the wordSaum.Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said,It’s mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1903, ourbeloved Prophet said that“A person who does not abstain, does not leave false action andfalse speech, obscenity etc. Allah does not require of him to abstainfrom food and drink.”That means beside abstaining from food and drink you also have toabstain from false speech, false action etc. and this message isfurther repeated by beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws),Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said in a Sahih Hadith ofSahih Targheeb Vol. no. 1 Hadith no. 1068, our beloved Prophetsaid that“A person while fasting, when he abstains from food and drink, heshould also abstain from false speech, from obscene language and ifa person gets angry and if he argues with him or fights with him, heshould say “I am fasting, I am fasting”So if we look at it when a person fasts there are basically 3 thingsthat you should abstain from.No. 1 is the stomach and the private parts; they should abstainfrom things that break fast i.e. food, drink, and sexual act.The second is that the other parts of the body the tongue, the eyes,the ears, the limbs even they should fast. Fasting of the tonguemeans a person should abstain from backbiting, should abstain fromslandering, from telling a lie, should abstain from gossiping, abstainfrom rumor mongering, abstain from vulgarity. Fasting of the eyesmeans he should abstain from looking at things which are unlawfullike when he sees a na-mehram, he should lower his gaze, heshould not watch unislamic movies or unislamic things. 3
  • 4. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netFasting of the ears means you should abstain from hearing thingswhich are Haraam, which are prohibited like abstaining fromlistening to music, abstain from listening to songs which areunislamic. So this is the way how the other parts of the body alsofast. And the third thing is the fasting of the heart and the mind.They should abstain from things which take away person from theworship of Allah, from the Dhikr of Allah. So this overall is themeaning of the word Saum.Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah! It certainly has a lot more in itthan I was expecting. Thank you. Dr. Zakir, are there any othercompulsory fasts other than the month of Ramadhaan that a Muslimmust observe.Dr. Zakir: The fast can be broadly categorized into Fard fast thatare obligatory and other is the ‘tatau’ fast i.e. the voluntary fast orthe non-obligatory fast which InshaAllah we’ll be dealing may be onthe episode 31.As far as the obligatory fast are concerned you can classify it under4 types.The first as we are discussing the obligatory fast during the monthof Ramadhaan.The second is if a person misses the fast of Ramadhaan for anyreason, cover up the fast missed, its known as Qadha fast.The third is fasting fro expiation of the sins. If you have committeda sin and you have to fast give a Kaffara. That is the third type. Andthe fourth is fasting if you are vowed to fast. So these are basicallythe 4 types of Fard fasting which are there in Islam.Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair! Dr. Zakir, another question ofgreat importance regarding the fast in Ramadhaan. Unfortunatelythere are many brothers and sisters who neglect the obligation offasting during the month of Ramadhaan. Can you give us somewords of advice and indeed from the Quran and the Sunnah, give usthe proofs of the fact that it is an obligation upon the Muslims tofast in Ramadhaan?Dr. Zakir: There are many verses in the Quran as well as manySahih Hadith which very well clarify that it is Fard for the Muslimswho are supposed to fast that they should fast, it’s a Fard. We shalldeal with the details for whom it is a Fard, InshaAllah, tomorrow. www.onlyislam.net 4
  • 5. Iwww.onlyislam.netf you read the Quran, Allah says in the Quran in Surah Baqarah ch.no. 2 verse no. 183 “Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo” O you who believe “kutibaAAalaykumu alssiyamu kama kutiba AAala allatheena minqablikum laAAallakum tattaqoon”Which means “O you who believe fasting has been prescribed uponyou as it was prescribed to people who came before you so that youmay learn self restraint.”Here the Arabic word used is ‘kutiba’. Kutiba means prescribed, itis written amongst the other things which are compulsory it hasbeen prescribed, It has been made compulsory for you also fastingas it was made compulsory for people who came before you, thatmeans it was compulsory even for people who came before, theJews, the Christians etc. but its also made compulsory for theMuslims. “Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo” for the believers andfurther it says point no. 1 its compulsory for you, point no. 2 is itscompulsory for the people who came before you, point no. 3“laAAallakum tattaqoon” So that you may learn self restraint.The Arabic word ‘tattaqoon’ is derived from the word ‘Waqa’ sameas the root word for Taqwa which means you have to fear yourselffrom you know wrath of Allah in short the meaning of the wordTaqwa it is somewhat like God Consciousness, piety meansrighteousness. So here Allah is telling fasting has been prescribed toyou so that you may learn self restraint so that you learn Taqwa,you increase yourself in Taqwa in God Consciousness, inrighteousness, in piety and when a person fasts what happens thathe feels hungry and normally when a person is well fed that giveshim more energy to many a times to things which are alsoprohibited and you commit sins. The moment you fast, your actionstowards things which are prohibited goes down and your barometerof Taqwa goes high. That’s the reason fasting helps you to improveyour self restraint and increase your Taqwa level.Further more it’s mentioned in the Quran in Surah Baqarah ch. no.2 verse no. 185, Allah says “Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alqur-anu hudanlilnnas”That “Ramadhaan was the month in which the Qu’ran was revealedas a guidance to humankind” 5
  • 6. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.net“wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqan”And “in it are signs for guidance and judgment between right andwrong.”Immediately after that Allah says the people who witness thismonth, they should fast. Here again it becomes a Fard for theMuslims that if you are in this month of Ramadhaan, you shouldfast. And gives exceptions like, if you are ill or if you are travelingthen the period can be made later on etc. etc. but here this versesays it is compulsory for every Muslim to fast in the month ofRamadhaan and the exceptions are there.Furthermore there are several Sahih Ahadith which make itcompulsory for a Muslim to fast. I will just quote one which is themost important one.Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws), he said, its mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 1 in the Book of Eemaan Hadith no. 8, ourbeloved Prophet said that“Islam is based on 5 pillars.The 1st is La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasool Allah, there is no Godbut Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saws) is the messenger of Allah.The 2nd is establishing prayers, Aqimus Salaah.The 3rd is giving Zakaat i.e. obligatory charity.The 4th is performing Hajj that’s the pilgrimage to the holy city ofMakkah.And the 5th is observing Saum i.e. fasting”So from this Hadith of Muhammad (saws) of Sahih Bukhari Vol. no.1 in the book of Eemaan Hadith no. 8 it says that fasting is one ofthe pillars of Islam not only is it Fard, it is one of the principals, oneof the pillars of Islam. Amongst the 5 most important things for aMuslim one of them is fasting. So from these evidences we come toknow that fasting is Fard for Every Muslim.Yusuf Chambers: Well I don’t think it can be put in a much of aclear way, to be honest and I think that people should take adviceand fast this Ramadhaan.Dr. Zakir: InshaAllah. 6
  • 7. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netYusuf Chambers: The next question regards the history of fastingactually… amm… was the time period for the observing of a fast andabstaining from things which break the fast which you’ve alreadymentioned always the same since the beginning of time or for theMuslims?Dr. Zakir: As far as the Muslims are concerned, when the first timeit was mentioned in the Quran in Surah Baqarah ch. 2 verse 183which I mentioned earlier that fasting was Fard, at that time theMuslims used to fast 3 days in a Month. Later on when the verse ofthe Quran was reveled of Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no 185which I quoted the second time that Ramadhaan is the month inwhich Quran was reveled and in it is guidance for humankind and init are signs for guidance and judgment, right and wrong. So theMuslims when they witness this month, they should fast. So then itbecame Fard for the Muslims to fast the complete Month ofRamadhaan. First it was only 3 days every month then it becameone full month in the month of Ramadhaan.As far as the things that break the fast are concerned, one of thething that break the fast, it is sexual intercourse even with yourwife. So previously when this verse of Surah Baqarah Ch. 2 verseno. 185 was reveled, it was not mentioned in detail. So the Muslimsat that time, they used to abstain from sexual intercourse,approaching their wife for the full month of Ramadhaan even duringthe day and night. And it was very difficult for many of the Muslims,many of the Sahabas.And that reminds me of a quotation or an incidence which ismentioned in one of the commentaries of the Quran. If you read thecommentary of the Quran by Qurtubi Vol. no. 2 page no. 210 itmentions there that“Umar bin Khattab, (may Allah be pleased with him), once afterspeaking to the Prophet, late in the night, he comes back home.And he has the urge to sleep with his wife and he spends the timewith his wife and he has sexual intercourse with his wife. In themorning when he gets up he feels very bad, he is ashamed.Immediately he goes to the Prophet and he says that “I ask pardonfrom Allah and His Messenger for what I have done and my soulwas attracted towards my wife and I had relationship with my wifein the night. Is there any way that I can be pardoned or is there anyway that I can escape?” So the Prophet said “Is it true that youactually did this?” He said “yes Prophet” the Prophet was shocked 7
  • 8. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.nethow could Hazrat Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, do a thingat that time it was prohibited. So he said “Yes Allah’s messenger. Idid it. Is there any way I can be pardoned?”So the Prophet said no one besides Allah can give the command andAlhamdulillah, Suma Alhamdulillah immediately after this the verseof Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 187 was revealed it says that“Permitted to you during the nights of the fast is approaching yourwives.”And then it says “hunna libasun lakum waantum libasunlahunna” that they are your garments and you are their garments.That means your wives are your garments and you are thegarments of your wife.And Allah says that “We know what you do secretly in the night butAllah forgave you and from now onwards you can approach yourwives during the nights of the fast and you can eat and drink till thewhite thread of dawn is differentiated from the black thread.”So when this verse was reveled later on Surah Baqarah ch. 2 verseno. 187 then the rules were bit more relaxed that they could havesexual relationships with their wives in the nights but during theday, they have to abstain.Furthermore as far as eating was concerned previously before SurahBaqarah ch. 2 verse no. 187 was reveled, the Muslims could eat anddrink after the sunsets but the moment they sleep after that theycan’t eat. Then they can eat only the next day after sunset. Sothere is an incident where one of the Sahabas Qais, may Allah bepleased with him, he worked very hard and he was fasting andwhen it was time to break the fast he comes home and tells his wifethat I want to have some food so the wife says that there is no foodin the house, I’ll just get it from outside. And she goes out to getfood now because he was tired working the full day by the time thewife comes back he goes to sleep. When the wife comes back to thehouse she sees that husband has gone to sleep so now she saysfinish, once he’s gone to sleep, he can’t eat so that night he couldnot eat the next day he had to fast and by evening the next day hefaints and the people go to the prophet that this is what happenedbecause once you sleep you can’t eat. Later on this verse wasreveled which I said earlier Surah Baqarah ch. 2 verse 187 whichsays besides approaching your wives at night, you can eat and drinktill the white thread of dawn is differentiated from the black thread. 8
  • 9. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netSo then the rules that we follow today that fasting means that youhave to abstain from food and drink and nourishment as well asfrom sexual intercourse right from dawn unto sunset and having theintention that we have to please Allah (swt). So this is the historyhow we finally got this.Yusuf Chambers: That was very interesting and I think we havegot it easy as compared to Sahaba, Alhumdulillah. Previously asaccording to what you’ve already said regarding the history offasting, Muslims were commanded to fast for 3 days and then onemonth. Is this an indication of a contradiction in the Quran?Dr. Zakir: Actually there is no contradiction in the Quran. Allahsays in the Qur’an in Surah Nisa ch. no. 4 verse no. 82“Afala yatadabbaroona alqur-ana walaw kana min AAindighayri Allahi lawajadoo feehi ikhtilafan katheera”“Do they not consider the Quran with care, do they not ponder overthe Quran with care? Had it been from anyone besides Allah therewould have been many contradiction. So no 2 verses of the Quranwill ever contradict. But there is something like abrogation whichpeople differ. According to me abrogation doesn’t meancontradiction. Abrogation means the verses that were reveled laterAs Allah says in Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 106“We do not cause any of the verse or ayats of Allah (swt)to beforgotten but We replace it with something similar or better.”So many a times when things that were prohibited or things whichwere made compulsory they came in stages. Not that it was difficultwas made easy. Sometimes things difficult were made easy,sometimes things initially were made easy so people get used toand then difficult.For example regarding prohibition of alcohol, the first verse to bereveled was Surah Baqarah ch. 2 verse no. 219 which says that“In alcohol, in intoxicants there is profit and loss. Loss is more thanprofit. It didn’t say it was Haraam, only gave a guidance that loss ismore than profit.” 9
  • 10. Then Surah Nisa ch. 4 verse 43 says that when you are intoxicateddon’t offer Salaah. It didn’t say that if you are not offering Salaah www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netyou can have intoxicants. If that’s what was mentioned then thereis a problem. It only said do not be intoxicated while offeringSalaah. And since the Muslims have to offer 5 times Salaah thatmeans having alcohol, intoxicants in the morning was out of thequestion. May be in the evening if you had by the time you get upin the morning you become sober.The final prohibition came in Surah Maidah ch. 5 verse no. 90 “Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo” O you who have believed“innama alkhamru waalmaysiru” Most certainly intoxicants andgambling“waal-ansabu waal-azlamu” dedication of stones, divination ofarrows“rijsun min AAamali alshshaytan” These are Satan’s handiwork“faijtaniboohu laAAallakum tuflihoon” abstain from thishandiwork that you may prosper.So here we come to know that the ban, the prohibition on havingintoxicants i.e. alcohol came in stages. It was easy first, only gave aguidance that it’s more evil than good, then while praying you don’thave intoxicants then final ban came.So similarly for fasting no 2 verses of the Quran contradict. Thoughthere are dome people who say O you know the Quran, not that lawneed not be followed. I disagree with that. Abrogation doesn’t meanit’s a contradiction; abrogation means the last verse of the SurahMaidah Ch. 5 verse no. 90 includes the first 2 verses, if it’s bannedoverall it is even banned while offering Salaah.So same way here if you read Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no.183 when it was said fasting is compulsory it did not specify thetime 3 days. That we get from other sources, the Quran doesn’tspecify. It only says fasting is Fard then it says in Surah Baqarah ch2 verse 185 that you have to fast for the full month of Ramadhaan.So what was mentioned about 3 days every month fasting wasactually from other sources. If it was mentioned in the Quran thatyou have to fast for 3 days and then it says after that fast for fullmonth then there is a contradiction.Further more previously it was said again in Surah Baqarah ch. 2verse 184 that we have to fast but those who cannot fast, thosewho can fast with difficulties they have 2 option either fast or feed aperson who is poor, who is indigent. 10
  • 11. So that time it was not Fard, if it is difficult for you to fast yet you www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netcan fast or you can feed a poor person but fasting is better but notFard. Now this verse was general but afterwards when the verse ofSurah Baqarah Ch. 2 verse 185 was reveled then it became Fard foreveryone. Now this verse refers to those people who are ill,terminally ill or they are very elderly people. That means mentallythey are fine but physically they cannot fast in their life. So if youare ill, terminally ill meaning means ill for a long period and yourhealth may not get fine or if you are so elderly which you cannotfast and every year you will keep on getting more and more old sohere it says if you can fast with difficulty its fine otherwise feedsomeone indigent or poor person.Similarly as far as having sexual intercourse previously the rule wasyou should not have sexual intercourse in the full month ofRamadhaan whether day or night but this is not mentioned in theQuran. The Quran only says fast in the month of Ramadhaan, thisyou get from the other sources. The Quran is not contradicting, it isactually first fasting 3 days was infact easier then fast if its difficult..if you don’t want to fast don’t fast feed a poor person so it waseasier initially then later on it became difficult as far as theapproaching your wife initially it was difficult that you cannotapproach the full month and then Allah made it easier. So no 2verses of the Quran contradict but because the Quran was reveledin a span of 22½ years so many things that were prohibited till oneshot immediately or it came in stages. Many things which were Fardcame immediately or came in stages. So fasting because initially itwill be difficult on the people so it came in stages. But Alhamdulillahwith all these things no 2 verses of the Quran ever contradictAlhamdulillah.Yusuf Chambers: Alhamdulillah. It seems though this is anindication of Allah’s mercy…Dr. Zakir: AlhamdulillahYusuf Chambers: … that has been given to mankind.Dr. Zakir: Alhamdulillah..Yusuf Chambers: So many opportunities to implement Hiswonderful way, Alhamdulillah. Now the next question of greatimportance is when it comes to the fast, is it simply the doing awayof food, drink and sexual relationships or other implications. 11
  • 12. Dr. Zakir: The things which are Fard for a person who fasts as I www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netmentioned earlier one of them is to abstain from things that breakthe fast i.e. food, drink and having sexual relationship but besidesthis one another important factor is, is the intention, is the Neeya.Any deed without the neeya for the Aakhira it is useless. The neeyashould be the, the intention is very important because intention isto intend to fast to please Allah (swt), it’s an act of worship. If theintention is not there then there is various types of fast for examplea person may fast for political reason, a person may fast as apassive resistance, a person may fast as a hunger strike, I amstarving, I’m hunger strike to get whatever he wants, you knowthere are people fasting non-muslims fasting. A person may fast forhealth reasons may be for dieting, he may fast may be to loseweight. He may fast may be a medical treatment but all these faststhey don’t have an intention, the neeya to please Allah (swt) sothat’s the reason in the Islamic Shariah when we abstain fromthings that break the fast it should be accompanied by the neeya.Without the neeya, the fast is useless. Its very important, neeya iscompulsory for every act of worship including fastingAnd our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said, its mentioned inSahih Muslim Vo no. 2 in the Book of Zakaat ch. no. 370 Hadith no.2198, our beloved Prophet said that“When you have intention to approach your wife, to haverelationship with your wife the moment you have intention eventhat becomes charity. The Sahabas asked: “Having relationship withyour wife is also charity! How come our beloved Prophet?” theProphet said that “If you have sexual relationship with people whoare not your wives if its unlawful isn’t it a sin?” They said “YaRasoolullah, yes it is a sin.”So that is if you have sexual relationship with a person you aresuppose to have with the Neeya, that’s an act of charity. Thatmeans Neeya is very important, the moment you have neeya youhave sawab for that.And Allah says in the Quran in Surah Bayyinah ch. no. 98 verse no.5 its mentioned“And He commanded that you worship Him alone and in sinceredevotion, true in faith. Here the word used is ‘liya’budoo’ whichmeans to worship but actually ‘A’budhu’ it means to humble but 12
  • 13. the word ‘‘liya’budoo’ in Arabic is normally used for worship, itactually means to humble. The other Arabic word used is www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.net‘mukhlisoon’ which means to serve with piety and with dedication.So here we should serve only for Allah and your worship should beto Him alone that should be our Neeya that is our intention.And Allah says in the Quran in Surah Baqarah ch. No. 2 verse no.29 that“We have created for you everything on this earth”When Allah has created everything on this earth for us, not 1/10th,not 1/5th, not 1/4th, not half but everything for the human beings inthis earth so but natural our servitude should only be to Him and noone else. If while you are worshipping Him, we worship somebodyelse then it is useless. We have to only worship Him and no oneelse. We can’t say that I am praying 2 Rakaat for Allah and 2Rakaat for somebody else, we can’t say that I am sacrificing 1 goatfor Allah and the 2nd goat for a king or a ruler. All our worshipshould be to Him alone and no one else and that reminds me of aHadith,The first Hadith in Sahih Bukhari where Umar, may Allah be pleasedwith him, he says that the beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said“Innamal A’malu bin neeya”“Your deeds are based in your intention, your actions are judged onyour intention. And anyone who has migrated with the intention forAllah and His Rasool, he has migrated for Allah and His Rasool. Butif someone has migrated for the wealth in this world or formarriage, he has migrated for the wealth and marriage.”Your intention is important is important, why did you do it. Youknow, why did you migrate, why did you do Jihaad. So intention isvery important for any act of worship including Saum i.e. fasting.Yusuf Chambers: Thank you very much. Furthermore regardingthe intention, still on the intentions issue. Does one always have tomake intentions regarding when you’re about to fast and secondlythe timing of the intentions can you just say something a little bitabout that? 13
  • 14. Dr. Zakir: As far as the intentions is concerned as I mentionedearlier that intention is a Fard and our beloved Prophet Muhammad(saws) said, www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netIts mentioned in Sunan Nasai in the Book of Fasting Hadith no.2331 our beloved Prophet said“A person’s fast is not accepted if he does not make an intention inthe previous night.”That means for all the Fard fasting compulsory fasting makingintention the previous night is compulsory, it can be any part of theprevious night; it can even be till as late as just before the Fajrtime. Anytime of the night you can make the intention. A personcan make an intention ion the beginning of Ramadhaan and it canbe valid for the full month of Ramadhaan unless it he breaks it if heis sick or if he is traveling then he has to again make an intentionbut one intention is also sufficient and many people think they havea misconception that verbally saying it aloud is a must which is nota requirement. I don’t have to say verbally that I intend to fastbecause my intention, neeya is from the heart.For example if I get up late in the night much before Fajr time forfasting suppose my son when we have got up to do our Suhoor latein the night and my son asks me that why have you got up? I willtell him because we have to fast! It’s already understood. Theneeya is there, I don’t have to say that I have got up to fast. Theneeya is there so aeeya is important, neeya is in the heart. Youdon’t have to say it with your tongue that’s what most of the peoplethink and I don’t know of any Hadith which says that the Prophet orthe Sahabas they ever said loudly that I intend to fast. Intention isin the heart and one intention is sufficient for the full month ofRamadhaan unless as I said its broken but this in only for the Fardfast.For a voluntary fast, fast which is not a Fard fast intention is not aFard because there is a Hadith again mentioned inSunan Nasai, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith no. 2323“Once the Prophet, he tells his wife that I want food to eat, the wifesaid there is no food to eat. So he said okay I am fasting”That means his intention was not there before, in the previousnight, he made it on the stop. He abstained from before dawn but 14
  • 15. his intention was afterwards, in the morning so for the voluntaryfast it’s not compulsory to be made early the previous night exceptthat it is a very important voluntary fast like Shura, the 10 th ofMuharram, Ash-Sura or it can be the day of Arafat. It’s preferable to www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netmake the intention before berceuse it’s a very important fast.For all the other voluntary fast, it’s not compulsory to be madebefore previous night. For the neeya there are other 3 things whichare very important one thing, if its by force, and if something isbroken then it can be forgiven or by error or by forgetfulness.As Allah says in the Quran in Surah Nahl ch. no. 16 verse no. 106that after a person has believed then if he does something ofunbelief, does something of Kufr except by force that means if hedoes something by force even Kufr or Shirk, Allah will forgive. So if someone forces a person to break the fast, his Neeya wasn’tthere, he can be forgiven.And Allah says in Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 286 that“O Lord please do not catch us, please do not hold us responsiblewhen we err, when we make a mistake or when we forget”So if a person in his forgetfulness breaks his fast like have water,Allah will forgive him or if because of a mistake, Allah will forgivehim which we shall deal later InshaAllah.Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah! It is lot of very importantinformation there regarding which I am sure going to be massivebenefit to everyone who is listening and watching.Dr. Zakir: InshaAllah.Yusuf Chambers: Another thing which is being bothering me forsometime is that fact that fasting is one of the pillars of Islam,correct? Now, but is there anything which..ah… differentiates theact of worship, fasting, the pillar from the other 4 pillars, perhaps?Dr. Zakir: As I mentioned earlier that there are 5 pillars of Islamand all of them are important but the differentiation between Saum,fasting as compared to other pillars is that the other pillars of Islamwhether it be Salaah whether it be Zakaat whether it be Hajj it canbe done by a person to show to the others for Riya, to be seen or tobe heard. You know, may be I want to show myself that I am a verypious person so I am offering Salaah to show to the people, you 15
  • 16. know, I am going for Hajj to make a show of it can be possible, canbe possible I give charity so that people will say I am a charitableperson for show but fasting cannot be done for Riya, cannot bedone to show other people, why? A person can easily fast and when www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netno one is watching he can have food, he can have drink. If a personwho truly fasts and abstains from things that break the fast, he isdoing it only for Allah and no one else. So that’s the differencebetween Saum and the other pillars of Islam. And our belovedProphet Muhammad (saws) said, its mentioned in Sahih BukhariVol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1904, our belovedProphet Muhammad (saws) said;“Allah says that all the deeds done by the sons of Adam, they arefor themselves only. He does it for himself but fasting is for Me. AndI will reward him and fasting is a shield, a person fasting, heabstains from obscene things, he abstains from lying and abstainsfrom yelling and If a person gets angry with him and abuses him,he says “I’m fasting, I’m fasting”And then the Hadith further goes on Muhammad (saws) says that“ I swear by Allah (swt) in whose hand is the soul of Muhammadthat a breath of a person who fasts is sweeter to Allah than thescent of musk and a person who fasts, he feels happy twice. Oncewhile breaking the fast and once when he meets his Creator, hisLord”So in this Hadith there are various aspects mentioned first is thatfasting is only one for Allah (swt) and on one else, not for Riya.Secondly fasting is a shield, it’s a protection, it keeps you awayfrom wrong things, from obscenity, from vulgarity and if someone isangry it says that you have to calm him down by saying“I’m fasting, I’m fasting”because there’s a Hadith where Muhammad (saws) says inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 Hadith no. 2038 that“The Satan runs in the circulatory system of the human beings likethe blood”So when we fast, we feel hungry, when we are hungry, you know,the energy level goes down and the things which required for doingthings away from Allah (swt) so Taqwa level goes up because whenwe eat food, it goes into the blood, when we restrict food the 16
  • 17. restriction of the pathway of the Satan is there. So that’s the reasonwhen we fast, our Taqwa level increases.Yusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir, Ramadhaan is truly a wonderful www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netmonth and I have felt it, always felt it myself but brothers and sisters come together and seems to be a wonderful bond in thatmonth between us all. Is there any special message aboutRamadhaan and brotherhood?Dr. Zakir: Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said that theMuslim is one body. All the Muslims, they are one body and if weanalyze and we look around, all the Muslims we are different, weare diversified as far as language is concerned, as far as color isconcerned, as far as the race is concerned, as far as the countrywhere we come from, we are diversified, different but we are unitedunder one statement ‘La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasool Allah’that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and ProphetMuhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of Allah. So based only on thisKalma the Muslims throughout the world are united.And Allah says in the Quran in Surah Hujuraat ch. no. 49 verse no.13“Ya ayyuha alnnasu inna khalaqnakum min thakarin waonthawajaAAalnakum shuAAooban waqaba-ila litaAAarafoo innaakramakum AAinda Allahi atqakum inna Allaha AAaleemunkhabeer”which means“O humankind We have created you from a single pair of male andfemale and have divided you into nations and tribes so that youshall recognize each other not that you shall despise each other.And the most honored in the sight of Allah (Swt) is the person whohas Taqwa.”The criteria for judgment in the sight of Allah (swt) is not cast, isnot color, is not race, is not sex, is not wealth, it is Taqwa, it is Godconsciousness, it is piety. And this month of Ramadhaan,Allah say in Surah Baqrah ch.. 2 verse 183“la allakum tattaqoon”So that you may learn self restraint, so that your Taqwa mayincrease. So more your Taqwa increases, all the Muslims in theworld, they are united. Because we are like one brotherhood cast, 17
  • 18. color, creed cannot differentiate us, we are one and in the month ofRamadhaan our Taqwa increases and the brotherhood increases.And the best example of brotherhood was given at the time of theProphet. The Sahabas came from different countries, different www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netcolors, different races; we have the example of Abu Bakr, may Allahbe pleased with him, he was a Quraish. We have the example ofBilal, may Allah be pleases with him, he was from Ethiopia, he wasEthiopian. We have the example of Shuaib, may Allah be pleaseswith him, he was a Roman. We have the example of Salman Pharsi,may Allah be pleased with him, he was from Persia.So we are from different-different countries, different-different race,different-different colors and we go down the line of the history ofIslam further we have the same thing we have Imam Bukhari, hewas a great scholar, he was from Bukhara, he was not an Arab, wehave Mohammad, the conqueror, he was from Turkey, he was aTurk. We have the example of Salman Ayyubi, he was a Curd, thenwe have the example of Allama Iqbal, he was from India so whatwe know that we have Muslims from different parts of the world andthis brotherhood we learn more in the month of Ramadhaanbecause our Taqwa level increases in the month of Ramadhaan.And our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said, it’s a Hadith ofBukhari Vol. no. 1 Hadith no. 468, our beloved Prophet Muhammad(saws) said that“One faithful believer, one Muslim to another Muslim is like a brickof a wall and he clasped his hand like that.”And the beloved Prophet also said, it’s a Hadith ofSahih Muslim Vol. no. 4 Hadith no. 6219 that the beloved Prophetsaid“One Muslim should never oppress the other Muslim, he should notfail him, he should not lie to him, should always be truthful and oneMuslim cannot go against another Muslim”So that is the brotherhood which our beloved Prophet taught us andthe best we learn is in this month of Ramadhaan.Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair.. ah.. Dr. Zakir Naik. Thank youfor this informing and very-very interesting ..ah.. set of answersyou have given us today on ‘An Introduction to Ramadhaan’. 18
  • 19. Brothers and sisters I hope that you have derived as much benefitas I have myself from the answers that Dr. Zakir Naik has given us. www.onlyislam.net www.onlyislam.netJazakAllah Khair for Dr. Zakir Naik giving us answers. Alhamdulillah,brothers and sisters join us again the same time tomorrow when wewill be discussing “when is fasting obligatory and exempted”Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh! 19
  • 20. www.onlyislam.net 20