those Fasting in Ramadaan (Q&A)
Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih
48 Su'aalan fis-Siyaam (binothaimeen.org)
Selected excerpts from
the recently released Al-Ibaanah Book publication "Lessons on Fasting,
Taraaweeh & Zakaat + 48 Questions & Answers on Fasting"
many people in Ramadaan, their main focus is only that of basking in
food and sleep. So Ramadaan becomes a month of laziness and inactivity.
Likewise, some people play all night and then sleep during day. What is
your advice to these kinds of people?
Answer: I believe that this in reality
consists of a waste of time and a waste of money. If people do not have
any other objective than to vary their meals, sleep during the day and
spend the night doing things that are of no benefit to them, then this
is without doubt a waste of a valuable opportunity, which may not
repeat itself again for some people in their lifetimes.
Therefore, the determined one is he who goes through Ramadaan the way
it should it be done, which is sleeping in the first part of the night,
performing the Taraaweeh Prayer, and then standing in prayer during the
last part of the night if one is able to. And one should not go to
extremes in eating and drinking.
Those who have the ability should strive to feed those who are fasting
(when its time to break the fast) either in the masaajid or in other
places. This is since whoever feeds a fasting person, he will receive
the same reward as the one fasting. So if a person feeds his brothers
who are fasting, he will receive the same reward as them. Therefore,
those whom Allaah has granted wealth should taken advantage of this
opportunity to obtain a great reward.
Question: What is the ruling on fasting in
Ramadaan when one does not pray?
one who fasts but does not pray, his fasting is of no use to him, nor
will it be accepted from him, nor will it free him from his
indebtedness (of prayer). In fact, fasting is not required on him so
long as he does not pray.
This is since one who does not pray is like a Jew and a Christian. So
what do you think about a Jew or a Christian that fasts but yet remains
upon his religion – is it accepted from him? No. Therefore, we say to
this individual: “Repent to Allaah by praying, and (then) fast.” And
whoever turns to Allaah in repentance, Allaah will accept his
Question: Should children below the age of
fifteen be ordered to fast as in the case with prayer?
Answer: Yes, children who have not yet
reached the age of puberty should be ordered to fast if they are able
to do it. This is what the Companions would do with their children.
The scholars have stated that a guardian should order whichever youth
he possesses guardianship over to fast so that they could practice it
and become attached to it, and so that the foundations of Islaam could
become instilled in their souls to the point that it becomes like
second-nature to them.
However, they are not required to fast if doing so will be difficult on
them or bring harm to them. I would like to point out here an issue
that some fathers or mothers do, and that is preventing their children
from fasting, in direct opposition to what the Companions used to do.
They claim that they are preventing their children from fasting out of
mercy and compassion for them. But the reality is that mercy for one’s
children is in ordering them to practice the rites of Islaam and to
grow accustomed and attached to them. This without a doubt is from the
best and most complete forms of raising and cultivating one’s children.
It is authentically reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu
‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Verily a man is a guardian for the members of his
household and he will be questioned as to his flock.” 
That which is required for guardians with respect to those whom Allaah
has given them authority over, such as family members and youth, is
that they fear Allaah with regard to them and order them with what they
were commanded to order them, such as implementing the rites of Islaam.
Question: What is your opinion concerning
people who sleep throughout the day in Ramadaan? Some of them pray in
congregation while others do not. Is their fast valid?
Answer: The fast of these types of people is
valid and they have fulfilled their responsibility. However, it is very
deficient and in opposition to what Allaah’s objective is behind
fasting. Allaah says:
“O you who believe. Fasting is prescribed for you as it
was prescribed for those before you in order that you may gain Taqwaa
(fear and dutifulness to Allaah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 183]
And the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever does not abandon false speech, acting upon that
(falsehood) and ignorance, then Allaah has no need of him abandoning
his food and drink.”
It is well known that missing the prayer and not showing any concern
for it is not from Taqwaa (dutifulness to Allaah) nor is it from
abandoning acting on falsehood. So it contradicts what Allaah and His
Messenger intended by the obligation of fasting.
It is strange that these people sleep the entire day and then spend the
whole night awake. Perhaps they may even spend the night engaged in
vain pastimes that have no benefit or in doing something unlawful by
which they would be acquiring sin.
So my advice to these individuals and their likes is that they fear
Allaah and ask Him to help them observe the fast in the manner that He
is pleased with, which is spending the fast engrossed in dhikr
(remembrance) of Allaah, recitation of the Qur’aan, praying and showing
kindness to the creation as well as doing other things mandated in the
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the
most generous of people, and the most generous that he would be was in
the month of Ramadaan when Jibreel would meet him and teach him the
Qur’aan. So during this time, the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu
‘alayhi wa sallam) would be more generous in spreading good
than a pleasant breeze. 
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.
2409) and Muslim (no. 1829)
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 1902) and Muslim (no. 2308)
Published on: September