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يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ 183
Oh those who believe in Allah and His messenger! Fasting has been made compulsory upon you, as it had been made compulsory on those before you from the nations (umam) past. Fasting (sawm) is to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse from dawn till sunset for the sake of Allah almighty by those able and of sound mind. This is so that you may become fearful from the sins you commit against Him and learn to control your desires.
أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ 184
The prescribed days are few. These are easy to attain and Almighty Allah has placed no compulsion beyond one’s capability. Those of you who are ill and as such incapable of fasting or on travel beyond a prescribed distance; they shall complete on another day. If that is not possible, then those who have the ability shall give fidyah to the poor. Thereafter, if Allah almighty returns their strength to fast, the fast must be done and the fidyah would become a charity. Those who give extra goodness, in the form of added fidyah, then that is good for them for Allah rewards all good deeds. And that you fast (in Ramadan whilst on travel) is better for you if you knew of the mercy and rewards Allah bestows in this month.
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُواْ الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ185
These days are in the Month of Ramadan. Allah almighty has chosen this month above others and placed within it many blessings. It is this month in which He revealed the Quran during laylat al-qadr from its resting place to the sky and thereafter to the final messenger intermittently. It is sent as guidance for mankind so that they may attain honour in both realms and as clear evidences for guidance against falsehood and distinction between right and wrong.
So those of you who witness (even for a short while) the month of Ramadan which is established through sighting of the moon on the twenty ninth or the passing of thirty days of Sha’ban1, they must fast within it all the days of that month. Those who are ill such that it completely debilitates them from fasting or on travel beyond the requisite distance, the number will be from other days after Ramadan to complete that which was missed. Allah intends for you ease, and grants leave in haydh, nifas, debilitating or progressive illness and whilst on travel. He does not intends for you hardship; He makes provision for our weaknesses and does not place a burden upon us which we cannot bear. Complete the number of fast missed; if it was broken unequivocally without just cause, complete the kaffarah in addition which is like that mentioned in zihar2. Exalt Allah at what He has granted you, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, there is none worthy of worship but him. And perhaps you may become thankful, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, for Allah is all praise.
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ 186
O prophet! When my slaves ask you about me as to the manner in which to supplicate; should they call out perceiving Allah far or confide thinking Him close, so answer them that indeed I am close, Allah almighty sees and hears all things and nothing is beyond His knowledge. So tell them that that, I answer the prayer of the caller when they call me, the believer is never left empty handed if what is asked is free of sin, ruin or haste; either it is given in this world or stored in the hereafter. So they should resort to me through obedience to Allah and His messenger and believe in me along with all the qualities always; in good times and bad, perhaps they may become perceptive so as to be granted guidance and salvation.
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ فَالآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّليْلِ وَلاَ تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ187
It has been made lawful for you in the night of fasting, whilst before it was forbidden to have sex with your women in your right after you eyes had shut in the night of this month. They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them, you see, smell, touch each other and you bodies are intertwined; so it is hard resist. Allah knows that (some of) you deceived yourselves and indulged in coitus in the dark of night despite knowing that the eyes had shut before and the prohibition thereof; indeed Allah is close. You felt remorse at your action, sought forgiveness and a redress to your weakness, so he accepted your repentance and pardoned you. Indeed Allah is close and true to His promise; he answers the call and is oft forgiving. So now you may copulate with them to whom you have right in the night of Ramadan, seek what Allah has deemed for you rightfully, eat and drink from these after sunset until the white thread that is the horizontal blue streak in the sky (subh sadiq) becomes distinct from the black thread that is the darkness from twilight as is seen at the crack of dawn. Thereafter, complete the fast to the night and so from dawn (subh sadiq) to sunset, stop for the sake of Allah from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and whatever puts to doubt in determining if these have occurred.
In sunnah or wajib I’tikaf one dedicates solely to Allah almighty and so fasting within is also necessary. Let alone coitus with your women, do not have sexual intimacy with them even if be in the night whilst you are in i’tikaf in which you stay in the masjid; spend your time in the remembrance of Allah and avoid all thing vain and vulgar.
These are the limits from Allah as set out in terms of compulsion, prohibition and allowance for fasting, I’tikaf and much more for the one who has a discerning eye and sound mind. It must not be transgressed and do not go close to it with anything which may lead to the transgression of these limits. This is how Allah clarifies his signs to the people regarding rulings so that they become god-fearing from the sins they commit against Him and fulfill the duty they owe Him.
Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
14 Rajab 1434
5 June 2013
Originally published in ijtima.org, issue 105, art. 83 (21 Ramadan 1434)