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Illness and concension for breaking fast

By Ishola Haroon Balogun

A minor headache for example with no other conditions may not in many instances constitute a situation where a person can use the flexibility of the injunction of illness to skip Ramadan fast.  Scholars agree that sickness that doesn’t cause any hardship cannot be used as an excuse for not fasting.

Some of the conditions for breaking fast during Ramadan are as follows:

Intense illness that will further aggravate the illness if he or she were to fast, or that recovery will be delayed because of fasting.

Illness that causes great pain in fasting  or it becomes unbearable with fasting.

“The person who is unable to fast because of a sickness which he hopes will go away is not obliged to fast. This applies if he encounters obvious difficulty in fasting and is not subject to the condition that he reaches a point when he is unable to fast. Rather, our companions said: The permission not to fast is subject to the condition that fasting causes him difficulties that it is hard for him to bear.”  —– [Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’, 6/261]

Again, consider  this: “With regard to the person who is slightly sick and who does not suffer any obvious hardship, it is not permissible for him to break his fast, and there is no difference of opinion among us concerning that. —– [Al-Nawawi – Al-Majmoo’, 6/261]

This means the sick person who is not affected by fasting, such as one who has a slight cold or headache, or a slight toothache and the like, is not permitted to break his fast. The injuction in Quran 2 verse 185 is refering to cronic illness that causes great pain and difficulty or that is unbearable.  You cannot say because you want to keep the fast and cause great harm to yourself,  it depends on thenindividual and the nature of illness.  Almighty allah loves His concessions to be accepted just as He hates the disobedience of His commandments.

‘A’ishah (r.t.a) said: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was never given the choice between two things but he would choose the easier of them, unless it was a sin. If it was a sin, he would be the furthest away from it. —– [al-Bukhari (6786) and Muslim (2327)]

Again, Islam provides concessions to the aged or people who neither can fast nor can make up for the missed fasts later.  Any of these people will have to feed one poor person a day as equivalent to one day fasting.  The Quran states: “And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)” —– [Surah al-Baqarah 2:184]

The concession on pregnant  and nursing mothers is slightly different, if they can’t bear the rigours of fasting, they should not fast but they have to pay back after delivery or when it is convineint for them before the next Ramadan.  Most wome mix up these issues and go on to feed the poor to replace their fast.

No sound Muslim is exempted from fasting unless the aged and the terminally sick persons.  The pregnant woman or nursing mother still have the opportunity to fast at a later date.  Ibn ‘Abbas (r.t) said:  Concession to feed the poor refers to old men and old women who cannot fast, so they should feed one poor person for each day. —– Narrated by al-Bukhari, 4505.  May Allah accept it and reward us abundantly.

Etiquette of sahuur
By Harun Razaq

Sahuur is early morning meal taken by a fasting Muslim before fajr. And Iftar is meal taken to break the fast at sunset. Both the Sahuur and Iftar must be in conformity with the rule guiding table manner in Islam in order to achieve the full reward.

Sahuur should be taken in line with the instruction of the Prophet (s.a.w) that states: “Eat Sahuur, for in it, there is barakah”. (al-Bukhari) It is a blessed meal, which is not in sync with the action of People of the Book (the Jews and Christians). And while taking the Sahuur, the Sunnah is to delay it till the third part of the night and should be a light food. On this the Prophet (s.a.w) says: “the best Sahuur for believer is dates”. Although, it is allowed to take other types of food in moderate quantum and not in excess.

The Iftar is to be hastened. Break your fast before Salat Maghrib, breaking it with an odd number of ripe dates or dried dates or water according to the practice of the Prophet (s.a.w) as recorded in Hadith that: “the Prophet (s.a.w) breaks his fast before he pray (Salat Maghrib) with ripe dates. If there were none, he would use dried ones and if there were none, he would have a few rips of water”. (Tirmidhi 3/79)

The fasting Muslim should say the following while breaking the fast: “Dhahabaz zama’u wabtallatil ‘uruuqu, wathabatal ajru insha-a Allahhu -Thirst is gone, vein are moistened and the reward is certain, insha Allah” (Abu Dawud 2/760, Darul Qutni 21/185); “Allahumah laka sumtu wa ala riskika aftartum – O Allah, I ask of You, by Your mercy that encompasses everything, to forgive me”.

Relationship with a Christian wife in Ramadan

How can a Muslim relate with his wives especially when one of them is a Christian?

If I understand the import of the question, it is about relationship with your Christian wife during Ramadan.  If that is the case, there is no special way of  relating with her as a Christian in Ramadan.  What is important is the legality of the marriage as far as Islam is concerned. In this type of case, payment of dowry is considered as the major factor that confers legitimacy.  If her dowry was fully settled,  that confers legitimacy to your relationship as far as Islam is concerned.  So, you must treat her the way you treat your other Muslim wife.  She is fit to prepare your food for your sahur and Iftar, she is permitted to carry out all duties expected of a Muslim wife.

And at this point, you must ensure to do what is right for both, never discriminate on the basis of religion; be fair and strive to do justice at all times and work harder to revert her. It may be difficult but not impossible.  In fact, you need to work harder to show her good  precepts of Mumeen.   Islam advocates a good and happy family, and encourages a Muslim to marry another Muslim.  But you can only continue to convince her not only through the words of God but also and essentially by your attitude. Thanks. May Allah guide us aright since He knows best.




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