By
Jabeen Zain

(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Praise be to Allaah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Him from the evils of our own souls and deeds. Whosoever Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) guides no one can lead him astray, and whosoever He leaves astray non can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah alone who has no partner, and I bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) is his slave and Messenger. The best speech is that embodied in the Book of Allaah and the best guidance is the guidance given by Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).

Fasting (Sawm) in the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Islaam is based upon five pillars: The declaration that there is no God but Allaah and that Muhammad is his Prophet; the establishment of salaah; the payment of zakaah hajj and the sawm of Ramadaan.” (Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith 7 and Muslim). It is an important form of worship that Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala) has commanded us to perform:

“O you who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint.” (Qur’an, 2:184)

"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting... and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance you shall be grateful." (Qur’an, 2:185)

Fasting is a kind of worship devoted to Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala)
that brings great benefits to all those who practice it sincerely. Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala) says, ‘O, you believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those before you, so that you may obtain piety.’’ (Al-Baqarah 2:183)   Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala) has promised all deeds with a reward up to 700 times but the reward of fasting has no bounds. All deeds can be seen by others (e.g.) praying, performing umra or hajj but for fasting no one can knows except Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala). A person who says he is fasting can also eat or drink secretly, but he can not hide himself from Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala).

Excellence of Fasting in the Month of Ramadan

Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is a blessing from Allaah (subhanahu wata'ala) to all Muslims. It gives us the opportunity to purify our bodies and souls in preparation to the eternal world. When we spend time doing good deeds for the pleasure of Allah during the blessed month, we expect Allah's tremendous rewards. Let us remind ourselves, our families, relatives, friends and others of some of the benefits of fasting in the month of Ramadan:

1. The gates of Jannah (Paradise) are opened and the gates of Hell are closed. Abu Huraira (radi allaahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When Ramadan starts, the doors of Heaven are opened, and the doors of Hell are closed and the devils are chained up.” (In another narration it says:) “When Ramadan starts, the doors of mercy are opened.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

2. The breath of the person fasting is sweeter to Allaah than the smell of musk. Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, "Sawm (fasting) is a shield (or a screen or a shelter from the Hell-fire). So, the person observing sawm (fast) should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should say to him twice, “I am observing sawm (fast).” The Prophet added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a person observing sawm (fast) is better with Allah than the smell of musk.” (Allah says about the fasting person,) “He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The sawm (fast) is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith 118)

3. The reward for the performance of Umra in the month of Ramadaan is equivalent to the performance of Hajj along with the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). Ataa narrated that he heard from Ibn Abbas (radi allaahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) asked a women of Ansar (radi allaahu anha), "What has prevented you that you do not perform Hajj along with us?" She said: "We have only two camels for carrying water. One of the camels has been taken by my husband and my son for performing Hajj and one has been left for us for carrying water, whereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: "So when the month of Ramadan comes, perform Umra, for Umra in this (month) is equal to Hajj (in reward). In another hadith also narrated by Abdullah Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Convey my greetings, the mercy of Allah and His blessings to her and tell her that umrah during Ramadan is equivalent to performing hajj along with me.” (Abu Dawud 1985)

4. The one who fasts has two occasions of happiness and joy. Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except sawm (fasting) which is for Me, and I will give reward for it. There are two pleasures for the person observing sawm (fast), one at the time of iftar [breaking his sawm (fast)], and the other at the time when he will meet his Creator; then he will be pleased because of his sawm (fasting).” (Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith 128)

5. One night in the month of Ramadan is better in reward than one thousand months. Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “One night in this month (Ramadan) which has commenced is (from the point of dignity and honor) superior to one thousand months. Whoever deprives himself from attaining its auspiciousness is deprived of every felicity. He further stated: Only an unfortunate being is deprived of its felicity.” (Ibn Majah)

6. Our sins will be forgiven. Allah says: “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women for devout men and women for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s remembrance for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.” (Qur’an, 33:35) The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven. (Bukhari, 3/227)

7. The observer of the fast would be admitted through a special door in Jannah. Sahl b. Sad (radi allaahu anhu) reported Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: "In Paradise there is a gate which is called Rayyan through which only the observers of fast would enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: Where are the observers of fast that they should be admitted into it? And when the last of them would enter, it would be closed and no one would enter it. (Muslim 2569)

Who must fast?

Fasting is required on every sane Muslim who has reached puberty. The evidence of this is as follows:

“The Pen does not record (the deeds of) three persons: whoever is sleeping until waking up; the child until the age of adolescence; and the insane until he is cured.” (Abu Dawud)

Who are exempted?

1. Non-Muslims

2. Children are not required to fast until they reach the age of puberty. However, parents may encourage their young children to fast if there is no fear of harm to their health as this will train and accustom them to fasting.

3. Aged incapable persons but they have to pay Fidyah -- feeding of one poor person everyday all through the days of Ramadan.

4. Persons who are mentally ill are not required to fast. Nor is there any compensation required of them.

5. Sick people, if it will cause them harm or difficulty. Those who have no hope of recovery are to compensate by paying Fidyah -- the feeding of needy persons as compensations for the number of fasting days they missed. But those who are sick and able to fast must do so.

6. Those who have menstruation and postpartum bleeding are forbidden to fast and are to make up the missed days later.

7. Pregnant or nursing women who fear for themselves or for their child may leave the fast and compensate by making it up another time.

8. Travelers who face difficulty in fasting but they have to make up or fast for the number of days they missed in Ramadan.

Intention

1. Intention is the basis of the reward for all forms of worship, including fasting. Our purpose for doing any form of worship (and other good deeds), which includes fasting must be to seek Allah's pleasure Allah alone so that He will accept our deeds and reward us:

Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi allaahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Actions are but by intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.” (Bukhari 1/1, 3/706 and Muslim 3/4692)

2. Fasting for show is an act of polytheism. Allah says: So, call you (O Muhammad and the believers) upon (or invoke) Allah making (your) worship pure for Him (Alone) (by worshipping none but Him and by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah's sake only and not to show off and not to set up rivals with Him in worship).” (Qur’an, 39: 14; 40:14) In an authentic Hadith, Shaddad bin Awas (radi allaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Whoever prays for show commits polytheism. Whoever fasts for show commits polytheism, and whoever gives charity for show commits polytheism.” (Ahmed)

3. The intention to fast (just like praying) is formed in the mind (or heart) and not by the tongue. 

4. The intention for obligatory fast should be formed before dawn. Hafsa (radi allaahu anha) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Whoever does not form the intention before dawn his fast is null and void. (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi)

Taking meal before dawn

There is a blessing in taking meal before dawn. One should not intentionally avoid taking meal before dawn when one wakes from sleep. Anas (radi allaahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Take your meal before dawn as there is a blessing in it.” (Bukhari and Muslim) 

It is Sunnah to proclaim the call for taking meal before dawn, before the call to Fajr Prayer is proclaimed. Ayesha (radi allaahu anha) narrated that Bilal (radi allaahu anhu) used to proclaim the call in the night even before taking meal before dawn. Consequently, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Eat until Ibn Umme Maktoom (radi allaahu anhu) proclaims call to prayer because Ibn Umme Maktoom (radi allahu anhu) never proclaims call to prayer before dawn.” (Bukhari )

If during meal Fajr (dawn) prayer is proclaimed one should not immediately stop eating the food but should finish it quickly. Abu Huraira (radi allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When a person hears the call to prayer and the glass of water is in his hand, he should not stop drinking it but should satisfy his necessity.” (Abu Dawood)

Breaking the Fast

One should hasten in breaking the fast as it is the Prophet's sunnah. Sahl Bin Sa’d (radi allaahu anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the Iftar (breaking of fast).” (Bukhari)

It is Sunnah to break the fast by eating fresh or dried dates or by drinking water. Anas (radi allahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi Wasallam) broke the fast before the evening (Maghrib) prayer by eating fresh dates. If they are not available, by eating dried dates then by drinking few sips of water. (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi)

Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When one of you breaks the fast, he should do so with dates, because it is blessed. If he couldn’t get dates, then (break your fast with) water, because it purifies.” (Tirmidhi)

It is Sunnah to recite either or both supplications before breaking the fast.

"Dahab thama'u wabtallati al-'arooqu wa thabatal-ajru insha Allah. Meaning: "The thirst has gone and the veins are quenched and reward is confirmed if Allaah wills.

"Allahuma inniy as-aluka bi-Rahmatika alatiy waasi'at kuli shay'in an taghfira liy.

Meaning: "O Allaah, I ask You by Your mercy which encompasses all things, that You forgive me."

Things which Break the Fast 

1. Sexual intercourse while fasting breaks the fast. The atonement for it is to make up for the fast and also free a slave. If this is not possible, he has to fast two months consecutively. If this is not possible then, he has to feed 60 needy persons.

2. Intentional seminal emission

3. Eating, drinking or smoking

4. Taking any product that could be classified as a nourishment such as intravenous feedings

5. Intentional vomiting

6. Menstrual or postpartum bleeding
Even if few minutes before the end of the fast blood is seen the fast is considered broken and she must make it up. Similarly, if the period of bleeding ends during the daylight hours, she should continue to fast the remainder of the day. She still must make up for that day. Insha Allaah, she will be rewarded for both.

Things which Do Not Break the Fast

1. Eating or drinking by mistake, forgetting that one is fasting

The Prophet said, “When one of you breaks the fast, he should do so with dates, because it is blessed. If he couldn’t get dates, then (break your fast with) water, because it purifies.” (Tirmidhi)

2. Eating or drinking assuming that dawn has not yet broken or that the sun has set

3. Discharge of semen or whitish fluid while sleeping

4. Using the tooth stick (siwaak) -- This is a Sunnah act while fasting. 

5. Bathing, swimming, showering, rinsing the mouth, wetting one’s lips, and similar acts which may make the fast easier

6. Swallowing one's spit or a fly entering the mouth. Ataa (rahmatulla alaihi) and Qatada (radi allaahu anhu) said that a person who is fasting can swallow his spittle.

7. Oiling the hair or applying Surma (colyrium) to the eyelids. Ibn Mas’ood (radi allaahu anhu) said: "If any one of you is fasting he should apply oil to his hair and comb them." In another hadith, Hasan (radi allaahu anhu) said: "There is no harm if a person, who is fasting, puts medicine in his nose, so long as it does not reach the throat. Further, a person who is fasting can apply surma (colyrium) to his eyelids."

8. Tasting the food (without swallowing it)
Ibn Abbas (radi allaahu anhu) said, "There is no harm if a person who is fasting tastes curry or any other kind of food."

9. Involuntary vomiting does not invalidate fasting.

Unlawful Acts While Fasting

1. Backbiting, telling lies, using abusive language, quarrelling and fighting. Abu Huraira (radi allaahu anhu) transmits that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu Alaihi wasallam) said: "Any person (while fasting) speaks lies and does not desist from them, then Allaah is not in need of that person not eating or drinking." (Bukhari)

2. It is not lawful for a person who is fasting and who has no control over his passions to embrace his wife or kiss her. Ayesha (radi allaahu anha) said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) used to embrace and kiss (her or his wives) in the state of fasting; but he could control his passions more than anyone. (Bukhari)

3. It is prohibited to speak obscene language or act immorally or in an absurd manner in the state of fasting. Abu Huraira (radi allaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu Alaihi wasallam) said: "Do not use abusive language while fasting. If another person abuses you, then say: I am fasting. If you are standing, sit down."


Taraawih Prayer 

Taraawih or evening prayer during Ramadan is a sunnah that is recommended for Muslims to perform. It is a means of forgiveness of past minor sins. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) used to pray not more than eleven rak'aats (including the three rak'aats for the witr prayer). 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was asked about how he prayed in Ramadhaan. She said, "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never prayed more than eleven rak'aats (of qiyaam), whether during Ramadhaan or any other time. He would pray four, and don't ask me how beautiful or how long they were. Then he would pray four, and don't ask me how beautiful or how long they were. Then he would pray three." (Bukhaari, Muslim and others). The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) performed the taraawih prayers in congregation for three days and left it fearing that it might be made obligatory, and his Ummaah would not be able to perform it. During the period of Umar bin Khattab (radi allaahu anhu) people prayed 23 rakaats. It is Sunnah to pray eight rakaat; but there is no limit as to the number of rakaats. 'Aa'ishah (radi allaahu anha) was asked how many rak'aats the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to pray in witr? She said, "He used to pray four and three, or six and three, or ten and three. He never used to pray less than seven, or more than thirteen.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, Ahmad and others). The number of rak'aats that one may pray depends on the person's ability to extend the length of his prayer. One may recite long suraahs if he is able to stand or recite short suraahs and exceed the number of rak'aats. As Ramadan comes once in a year one should try to pray as much as possible. The time of taraawih prayer is after Ishaa up to before dawn. Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: "Allaah has added one more prayer for you, which is witr, so pray it between Salaat al-'Isha' and Salaat al-Fajr.

It is excellent to perform Taraawih prayers in two rakaats consecutively. It is Sunnaah to complete the entire prayer by performing one witr. With regard to the number of witr, the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Witr is true, so whoever wishes can pray five, and whoever wishes can pray three, and whoever wishes can pray one.

When the Imam is reciting/reading the Qur'an, one must not recite or open the Qur'aan to read along with him unless the Imam asks him to do so in order to assist him, incase he forgets. If a person is praying alone during the night prayer, he/she can read the mushaf or copy of the Qur'an but not if he/she is with an Imam. As Allah says: “When the Qur'an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that you may receive Mercy.” (Qur'an, 7:204) Another reason is to prevent him/her from doing unnecessary movements (like turning the pages of the Qur'an, trying to find which surah and ayah the Imam is reciting). By listening to the Imam's recitation of the Qur'an one attains khusoo and tama’neenah (reverence or humility and tranquility while praying). Let us refrain from doing acts that may destruct our khusoo and tama’neenah during prayers as Allah and His Messenger enjoin us to have solemnity and calmness during salaah:

"...those who offer their salaah with all solemnity and full submissiveness." (Al-Qur’aan 23:2)

“Be calm (i.e., pay attention) while praying.” (Muslim)

Praying in the house is best for woman than going to the mosque. A woman in her house can pray, rest then pray again and vice versa. In a mosque it is only for an hour or so but in the house a woman can pray according to her ability. No mosque is better than the Prophet's mosque apart from the Kaaba and no Imaam is better than the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) still he said, "It is more excellent to pray in her house than in her courtyard and more excellent for her to pray in her private chamber than in her house." (Abu Dawood)

If a woman goes out to pray she should observe the hijaab strictly and she should not perfume herself or do anything which might attract the attention of men. Allâh’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“Do not prevent Allâh’s female slaves from going to Allâh’s mosques. Yet, they should go out without wearing perfume.” (Ahmad and Abu Dâwûd)

“Any woman who used bakhur (something which has a good scent) should not attend ‘Isha prayer with us.” (Muslim) 

“Any woman who wears perfume and then goes to the mosque, will not have her prayer accepted until she takes a bath.” (Ibn Mâjah)

Furthermore, during witr prayer, it is Sunnah to recite Sura Al Aa’la in the first rakaah, Sura Al Kafiroon in the second rakaah and Sura Al- Ikhlaas in the third rakaah. In the last rakaah, it is lawful to recite the Qunoot either before or after the ruku position. The supplication for qunoot which was taught by the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) to Hasan bin Ali (radi allaahu anhum) to be recited in the witr prayer are as follows:

"Allaahumma'hdinee fiman hadayta wa 'aafinee fiman 'aafayta wa tawallanee fiman tawallayta wa baarik lee fimaa a'tayta wa qinee sharra maa qadayt, fa innaka taqdee wa laa yuqdaa 'alayk. Wa innahu laa yadhillu man waalayta wa laa ya'izzu man 'aadayt. Tabaarakta Rabbanaa wa ta'aalayt. Laa majaa minka illa ilayk wa ssalaa Allahu 'alaa sayidina Muhammad." Meaning: "Oh Allaah Grant me guidance along those on whom You have bestowed guidance. Grant me guidance along with those on whom You have bestowed safety. Keep me as a friend along with those on whom You have bestowed friendship. Grant me abundance in the blessings, which You have bestowed upon me. Save me from the mischief destined for me. You alone decide matters and none can influence You. Whoever You have considered as a friend no one can degrade him; and whoever You have degraded he can never acquire honour. Oh Cherisher of ours Your Being is Bountiful and Supreme. And send peace and blessings to Muhammad."

There is nothing wrong with adding other du'aas (supplications) that are known from the Sunnah. We can also supplicate to Allah to punish those who disbelieve in Him and those who prevent Muslims from practicing Islam as shown in the Hadith narrated by 'Abd al-Rahmaan ibn 'Ubayd al-Qaari that… They used to curse the kuffaar in the middle, saying, 'Allaahumma qaatil al- kafarata alladheena yasuddoona 'an sabeelik wa yukadhdhiboona rusulak wa laa yu'minoona bi wa'dik. Wa khaalif bayna kalimatihim wa alqi fi quloobihim al-ru'b wa alqi 'alayhim rijzaka wa 'adhaabak ilaah al-haqq (O Allaah, destroy the kuffaar who are trying to prevent people from following Your path, who deny Your Messengers and who do not believe in Your promise (the Day of Judgment). Make them disunited, fill their hearts with terror and send Your wrath and punishment against them, O God of Truth )."

Excellence of ‘Lailath-Ul-Qadr’

Ibaadah (worship) in Lailath ul Qadr is a means of forgiveness of past sins. The word lail means night and the word qadr means measure. It is so called because it is in this very night that the destiny is determined. It also means the night of Grandeur and Majesty. It is mentioned thrice in the Quraan.

Verily ! We have sent this Qur'aan down in the night of Al-Qadr And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months (Worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the ‘Ruh’’ (Gabriel) by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees. Peace! (all that night , there is Peace and Goodness from Allaah to his believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn! (Surat Al Qadr)

Abu Huraira (radi allaahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever with faith and intention to earn the reward worshipped in the Night of Qadr, all his previous sins are forgiven."  (Bukhari and Muslim)  

One should search for it in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan. Ayesha (radi allaahu anha) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) stated: Search for Lailath-ul-Qadr in the odd nights of the ten nights of Ramadaan. ( Bukhari)

It is Sunnah to devote more time in praying and encourage family members also to pray more during the last ten days of Ramadaan. One should recite the following supplication in Lailath-ul-Qadr as to do so is a sunnah:

"Allahuma innaka 'afuwn tuhibol 'afwa faa 'afuaniy." Meaning: "Oh Allaah! You are oft forgiving. You like forgiveness. Forgive me also."

Some Good Deeds During Ramadaan

1. Showing obedience to Allaah (subhanahu wa taala) through performance of prayers

2. Giving charity

Ibn Abbas (radi allaahu anhuma ) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) was always generous in doing favours to others, but in Ramadaan, his generosity was immense. During Ramadaan, Gabriel (alaihis salaam) visited the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallaahu alaihi wasallam) every night and the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallaahu alaihi wasallam) recited the Quraan before him. When Gabriel (alaihis salaam) visited him his generosity increased tremendously. (Bukhari , Muslim)
Even giving food what people like is also charity. Giving food even to persons who are not poor will also be rewarded. 

3. Reciting/reading the Qur'aan in every three days or seven days or according to one’s ability -- Every Muslim should complete reading the Quraan at least once. 

4. It is Sunnah to observe Itikaaf (retirement into the mosque) on the last ten days. 

5. Performing Umra 

6. Repenting for the past sins

7. Remembrance of Allaah (Dhikr)

Fitra Charity  

1. Fitra charity is obligatory.
2.
The purpose behind Fitra charity is to purify the sins committed in the state of fasting.
3.
Fitra charity should be distributed before Eid Prayer; otherwise it will be considered as ordinary charity.
4.
  The quantity or measure of Fitra charity is one Saa which is equivalent to 2.5 kilograms.
5.
  It is excellent and should be distributed in the shape of grains. Ibn Umar (radi allahu anhu) transmits that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu allaaihi wasllam) Has fixed the measure of Fitra Charity as one Saa of dates, or one Saa of maize, as obligatory on every slave, free person, male or female, minor or major Muslim. (Bukhari, Muslim)  

Eid Prayer

During 'Eid Prayer, it is Sunnah to:

1. Eat odd number of dates before proceeding to the mosque for Eid-ul-Fitr prayer;
2. Walk to the place of Prayer;
3. Change the route while proceeding to and returning from the place of Prayer;
4.
Perform Eid Prayer in the open; and
5.
Recite takbeer extensively while proceeding to the place of Prayer:

"Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar laa ilah ilaa Allahu wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar wa Allahu alhamd." Meaning: "Allaah is great, Allaah is great. There is no one worthy of worship but Allaah, for Allaah is great, and all praise be to Him."

Women should also attend the place of Prayer to pray. Umme athiya (radi allaahu anha) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallaahu alaihi wa sallam) commanded that on the days of two Eid, all women including the ones in menstrual condition should be brought to the place of prayer so that they would join the Muslims in Prayer and supplication. However, women in menstrual condition are not supposed to join the 'Eid Prayer. (Bukhari and Muslim) It must be noted that there is neither any supererogatory or Sunnah prayer before or after the 'Eid prayer. 

The culmination of fasting though 'Eid prayer is a duty that we Muslims must perform as a way to express our thanks and gratitude to Allah, Who Alone is our Creator and Sustainer. Indeed, fasting is a blessing from Allah. Performing all the recommended acts according to the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallaallaahu alaihi wa sallam) during the month of Ramadan with sincere devotion brings us not only happiness and joy; but also great hope for Allah's forgiveness of our sins and hence, peaceful entrance and eternal abode in Paradise.

I humbly ask Allaah (subhanahu wa taala) to make this work purely for His sake. May He accept it from me, and may He protect me, my family, my parents, my brothers and fellow sisters in Islaam from the punishments of the grave and hell-fire and bestow upon us the blessings of the grave and Jannah. We ask the good things of this world and the next. Verily, Allah is able to do all things.

Last modified: Tuesday, 10 January 2012, 10:20 PM
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