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Home Practices Fasting Fasting - Summary

Fasting - Summary

Fasting is of six kinds:

  1. Fardu
  2. Wajib
  3. Sunnat
  4. Nafi
  5. Makruh
  6. Haram

1. Fard - The whole month of Ramadan

“He who witnesses the month of Ramadan (being of age and in good health) must fast" (Al-Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah verse 185)

The fasting of the month of Ramadan cleanses them from their sins, brings them closer to their Lord and pushes the fires of hell away from them. Those who fast the month of Ramadan with love and sincerity will be permitted to enter Paradise through the gate of Fasting.

Hazrat Au Sa’eed Khudri (r.a.) reports that the Holy prophet has said: "When a person fasts for a day for the sake of Allah, then Allah drives hell away from him to a distance of seventy years travelling." Sahih Bukhari and Muslim

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (r.a.) said that the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s) said: "A person who fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and self scrutiny, will have his past sins remitted." Bukhari and Muslim

Hazrat Sahl ibn Sa’d tells us that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) said: "There is a gate in Paradise known as Ar-Riyan through which only a fasting person will pass on the Day of Judgement and no one else. It will be said: 'Where are the fasting people?' They will come forward and no one will enter through it save them. After they have entered the gate will be closed and no one will enter through it thereafter." Bukhari and Muslim


2. Wajib

These fasts are performed to fulfil a vow or hajat and should be performed as soon as possible.

3. Sunnat : observed by the Prophet (s.a.w.s) but optional:

These are the fasts that the Holy prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) always observed and which he urged his companions (the sahabah) to do likewise. However they are not compulsory but highly recommended.

They are:

Ashura fasts of the 9th and 10th of Muharram

Hazrat Ibn Abbas r.a says that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) himself observed the fast on the day of Ashoora (the 10th day of Muharram) and he exhorted others to fast on that day. Bukhari and Muslim

The Day of Arafah on the 9th Zulhajj

Hazrat Abu Qatadah (r.a.) relates (once) the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) was asked about observing the fast on the day of Arafa (hajj). He ( replied: "It makes amends for the sins (committed) during the past year and the subsequent year." Muslim

The White days

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (r.a.) reports that the Holy prophet (s.a.w.s) never missed observing fasts on the white days (i.e. during the three nights of the full moon) whether at home or on a journey Nasai

Hazrat Qatadah ibn Milhan (r.a.) relates the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) ordained us to fast on the three shining days (of every month), that is the 13th, 14th and 15th of the Lunar month. Abu Daud

4. Nafl

Voluntary fasts which carry great rewards.

Six days in Shawwal

Hazrat Abu Ayyub (r.a.) states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) said: "One who observes the fasting through out the month of Ramadan then followed by fasting the six days of Shawwal, is as good as if he observed the fast throughout the year." Muslim

The fast of every Monday and Thursday

Hazrat Abu Qatadah (r.a.) relates that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) was asked about fasting on Monday. He (s.a.w.s) said “This (Monday) is the day on which I was  born and the day on which I was commissioned for Prophethood", or he (s.a.w.s) said: "the day on which I received the first call.” Muslim

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (r.a.) relates that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) said “On Monday and Thursday a report on a man’s action is presented and as such I wish that when my deeds are reported I should be fasting" Tirmizi

The fast of the 15th of Shaaban

See Shaaban

The fast of the first ten days of Zilhajj

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (r.a.) relates that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) said “There are no other days during which virtuous actions are so pleasing to Allah as the first ten days of Zilhajj.” The companions submitted: "Not even fighting in the cause of Allah (jihad)?" He (s.a.w.s) answered: “Yes, not even fighting in the cause of Allah except in the case of a person who goes on jihad along with his life and his property and does not come back with either (i.e. he is martyred in the Jihad)."

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) has said about the fasting of the day of Arafah (9th Zil_Hajj): “I hope from Allah S.W.T that He will accept as the fasts of the day of Arafah as expiation (for the sins) of both the past and the coming year". Hadith Tirmizi

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also said “The reward of fasting the day of Arafah is equal to the reward of fasting a thousand other days". Al-Targhib

The fasting of Rajab, Shabaan and Ramadan

From Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik no. 36 page 144: Yahya related to me from Malik that he used to hear the people of knowledge say: ”There is no harm in fasting continuously as long as one breaks the fasts on the on the days on which the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s) forbade fasting namely the days of Mina, the day of Adha and the day of Fitr."

5. Makruh: Undesirable fasts

Fasts observed only on a Saturday or Sunday

It is however permissible to fast Friday and Saturday together and Saturday and Sunday or Sunday and Monday. It is also permissible to fast these days separately if one is fasting the fasts of Prophet Daud (a.s.), i.e. one day fasting and one day not fasting.

Fasting on 10th Muharram

A fast observed only on the 10th of muharram.

A woman’s fast without her husband's permission

(This of course does not included the fasting of Ramadan or the paying back of days not fasted as these are compulsory on all of mankind)

Saum wisal – fasting without a break

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s) forbade the fasting of two days or more without breaking the fast in between. They said “But Messenger of Allah, you practise Wisal". He (s.a.w.s) replied “I am not the same as you. My Lord feeds me and gives me to drink." From Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik no 38 and 39 page 144.

6. Haram: forbidden fasts

  • On the day of Id al-Fitr.
  • On the day of Id al-Adha.
  • During the days of Tasriq (The days of Mina).



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