Fasting and Breaking Fast

Breaking Fast
 

Fasting and Breaking Fast

Some devoted believers may wish to fast forever, oblivious to
hardship in their life, not to mention the fact that this type of
fasting is not in harmony with the spirit of Al-Islam. When re-
ports of Abdullah Bin ‘Amru’s continuous fasting reached the
Messenger of Allah (saas), Abdullah related later:

“The Messenger told me, ‘I have been informed that you
observe night prayer and a daily fast.’ Ibn Amru answered,
Yes! O Messenger of Allah.’ The Messenger advised, him:
‘Fast a day and break a day. Pray at night and sleep. For
your body has rights over you, your wife has rights over
you, and your guest has rights over you. Indeed, it will per-
fectly suffice you to fast three days in every month.’ Amru
strongly pointed out that he was capable of observing the
fast in the fashion he was doing. But the Messenger advised
against it. Ibn ‘Amru said, ‘Then I explained to him that I
have the strength to do it.’ The Messenger of Allah (saas)
then said: ‘Observe three days fasting starting from Friday
(and then break).’ Ibn ‘Amru said: ‘I strongly stressed to
him that I could, and he vigorously said I should not.’ The
Messenger of Allah then instructed, ‘Observe your fast as
the Prophet of Allah, Dawud, (David, as), used to observe
and do not exceed it.’ ‘How did he fast?’ ‘Amru asked. The
Prophet (saas) said: ‘Prophet Dawud (as) used to fast a day
and break the next’ ” (Ahmad)

This hadith is instructing and revealing that the objectives in
the command to fast are not to unduly injure, or deny the body
the natural way of living. It also indicates the caring side of this
Messenger of mercy as he tried to convince Amru that his deci-
sion to spend the rest of his life in fasting was not in harmony
with Islam. With continuous fasts one loses the physical and
spiritual benefits. Physically, because it becomes a routine and

the body loses the benefits of the way the fast is structured.
Spiritually, one feels the numbness, and boredom of the heart.
The spouses’ right to marital association is denied as the con-
tinuous fasting decreases the sexual desire.

The soul is affected only by what intrudes upon it, not by what
it is accustomed to. Do you not see that the doctors will advise
a person not to take a drug, as a matter of routine, unless the
body needs it, lest the same drug will be ineffective when the
person gets sick.

The hadith indicates that no one has the right to use his or her
body exclusively in the way they desire. In every undertaking,
one should bear in mind the other legal rights. The responsibili-
ties of a person are multiple. For while you may think you are
worshipping Allah, you may well be violating Allah’s rules,
because you lose the balance in worship by infringing on the
rights of your body when you overly deny it the element of
survival.

If you fail to fulfill the marital covenant towards your wife or
husband, you may be making her or him vulnerable and sus-
ceptible to unlawful, immoral acts. The Hadith also reveals and
indicates the beautiful relationship between the teacher and the
student, and how the Messenger was very patient with a com-
panion who had unlimited energy, and did not mind spending it
in fasting. It reveals how the Prophet (saas) encouraged the be-
lievers to express their opinions and ask questions while ob-
serving the etiquette of respect to the Messenger of Allah (saas)
who said:

“The best (voluntary fast in the sight of Allah) is the fast
of Prophet Dawud, and the best nightly voluntary
prayer is the prayer of Prophet Dawud.”

The Messenger explained,

“He used to sleep half of the night then pray one-third
of the night, then sleep one sixth of the night. In fasting,
he used to fast a day and break the next.” (Ahmed)

It is a mercy from Allah (SWT) that our Prophet Muhammad
(saas) is in tune with all the previous revelations’ as we see in
Al-Qur’an and the Sunnah. It is rich spiritual information made
available through him (saas) to this Ummah.

Essentials of Ramadan The Month of Fasting