Days in Which Fasting is Prohibited

prohibited fasting
 

Days in Which Fasting is Prohibited

prohibited fasting : As much as fasting is one of the most important pillars of Al-
Islam, there are certain days during which the Lawgiver pro-
hibited the believer to fast.

1. The Two ‘Eids

There are two annual celebrations in Islam: y Eidul Fitr and
Eidul Adha. These y Eids symbolize the period of happiness
when Muslims all over the world commemorate the festivities
with the praise of Allah and public prayers after which they go
home to feast with family and friends. Obviously, fasting and
the Tiid do not mix. If it is ‘Eidul-Fitr, the fast-breaking feast,
how could one celebrate the ending of the annual fast period
with a fast? And if it is ‘Eidul Adha, Festivity of Sacrifice, how
could one sacrifice an animal and not eat it?

This is why the majority of Muslims agreed that fasting on the
days of “Eid is prohibited. If you have to make up a fast, it
should not be on these days. In a hadith related by Umar bin
Al-Khattab (raa), he said:

“The Messenger of Allah (saas) prohibited fasting on
these two days: on the day of fast-breaking, because you
have just broken your fast of Ramadan; and on the day
of sacrifice you are supposed to eat from your sacrifice.”

(Ahmed and others)

2. Three Days Following ‘Eidul Adha, the Days of Tashreeq.

The days of Tashreeq are the three days following Eidul Adha.
These three days are the most important days as far as the fes-

tivity of ‘Eid and public display of happiness are concerned.
Muslims usually take off work and visit other Muslims to share
this happiness with them. These are the days of giving gifts to
the family, relatives, and the needy.

Abu Hurairah (raa) reported the Prophet (saas) sent Abdullah
bin Huzaifah (raa) to go around Mina to announce to the pil-
grims,

“Do not fast these days (three days after ‘Arafah). These
are days of eating and drinking and remembrance of Al-
lah (SWT).” (Ahmed)

Although the hadith addressed the congregation of pilgrims, it’s
meaning and implication are general to every Muslim who is
being advised not to observe fast on these days. This is the un-
derstanding of the majority of scholars. The minority said if
one vowed to expiate, or make up his fast, he may fast during
these days. The majority responded that the minority opinion is
good but it has no proof that it would be okay to fast during
these days.

3. Singling Out Friday for Fasting

Friday, Jum’ah, is a weekly festival for Muslims. They cele-
brate with congregational prayer and meeting each other. The
Lawgiver, (Shaare’e) prohibited singling it out with the obser-
vance of fast. This is why the scholars said: This is an excep-
tion or undesired prohibition, Makruuh, not of the same
strength as the absolute prohibition of Haram; that is, one can
observe it, provided that the Friday fast is cushioned by fasting
the day before and the day after, or that Friday occurs on the
day of Arafah, or on the tenth of Muharram, as these are days
whose fast is highly encouraged.

The prohibition here rests on the hadith related by Abdullah
Ibn ‘Umar (raa), who said:

“The Prophet (saas) visited his wife Juwayrah bint
Harith and found her fasting on Friday. He asked her,
‘Did you fast yesterday?’ ‘No,’ she replied. He asked
again: ‘Do you plan to fast tomorrow?’ she replied,
‘No.’ He said: ‘Then, break your fast’ ” (Ahmed)

In another hadith reported by ‘Amir Al-Ashairee (raa):

“I heard the Prophet say ‘Friday is your day of feast, so
do not observe it in fasting unless you fast a day before
and a day after.’ ”

Jabir bin Abdullah (raa) related: The Prophet (saas) said:

“Do not single out Jum’ah night among the nights for
nightly prayer (Tahajjud), nor single out Friday for fast-
ing unless it happens to coincide with fasting that you
are accustomed to.” (Muslim)

These hadiths are proof that the prohibition is with the condi-
tion that a believer has set his mind to fast only Friday. The
desire to single out this otherwise important day with undue
emphasis is what the Lawgiver wants to prevent. A Muslim
does not live only for Jum’ah. One can see that in other relig-
ions, only certain days are accorded any religious significance
while the rest of the days are relegated for secular pursuits.

4. Singling Out Saturday for Fast

For the very reason why we are forbidden to single our Friday
for fasting, we are also prohibited to fast only on Saturdays or,
in that case, only on Sundays. But there is also another reason.
Saturday is the weekly festival for the Jews as Sunday is for the
Christians. Islam has encouraged and instructed the believers to
stay away and not lend any religious significance to these two
days. We do not fast on our day of feast. We can fast on the
day of their feast but without singling it out. This is why the

statement prohibiting the customs of Saturday fasting is very
strong. The Prophet (saas) said:

“Do not fast on Saturday, unless it is part of what Allah
has prescribed for you. If you could not find anything to
eat but a grape skin or a piece of wood, you should chew
it.” (Ahmed)

The Prophet’s wife Umm Salmah (raa) stated:

“The Prophet used to observe Saturday and Sunday
with fasting (along with other days), and would say,
‘These are the Eids of polytheists and I like to differ
with them.’ ”

This hadith implies that a believer should not lend spiritual sig-
nificance to the religious festivities of non-Muslims.

5. No Fasting on the Day of Doubt (Yawmush-Shakk)

I mentioned earlier that intention (niyyah), is one of the two
important elements of fasting. It implies certainty or an effort
to ascertain the day of fast. There is no such thing as saying
that T will fast if it happens to be Ramadan.’ That shaky as-
sumption is not accepted in starting the Fast, and it is known as
sawm yawmush-shakk. In a athar reported from ‘Amaar bin
Yaasir (raa) he said:

“Whoever fasts the day he is doubtful (whether it is the
first day or not or the last day of Ramadan or not), he
has disobeyed the Messenger of Allah (Aba Qasim).”

(Tirmidhi)

Fasting in this manner, even if the day is correct, is not valid.
Abu-Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) said:

“Do not fast a day or two before Ramadan, unless that
fast coincides with a fast the person usually observes. In
that case, he may fast that day.” (Muslim/ Bukhari)

On the authority of this hadith, many scholars forbid a man or
woman to decide in doubt. No matter what is the outcome, that
day would have to be redeemed.

6. No Fasting for Life (Sawmud-Dahr)

The essence of Islam and its noble teachings always take into
account the general interests and welfare, al-maslahah, of Mus-
lims. Thus, the prohibition of fasting for a whole year or for
life, for the simple reason that it may lead to one’s physical ruin
or religious asceticism. Both are vehemently rejected by Islam;
and to relegate Islam to such ascetic, rigid abstinence would
undoubtedly infringe on the believer’s other religious and social
obligations. The Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported
as saying:

“No fast for whoever fasts forever.” (Muslim and Buk-
hari)

Inferring from this hadith, the scholars say that if the fast is in-
terrupted during the days of the ‘Eids and three days following
them there is no prohibition. They cited another Hadith in
which the Prophet (saas) advised Hamzah Al Aslami (raa) to
continue his fast, when he said to him:

“Fast, if you so desire, and break.”

The preference for anyone who would like to fast that much is
to fast the fast of Prophet David, who has been reported as fast-
ing one day and breaking the next.

7. No Married Woman Should Fast without the Consent of Her Husband

If a wife decides to fast a voluntary fast, it is incumbent upon
her to inform her husband and seek his permission, because he
may be desiring her during his fast and cannot fulfil his desire,

because she is fasting. In addition, he may be tempted to com-
mit a sin. This prohibition rests on the hadith reported by Abu
Hurairah (raa) that the Prophet (saas) said:

“Women should not fast one day while her husband is
present, without his permission, except in Ramadan.”

(Muslim, Bukhari and others)

Deducing from this hadith, if the husband travels or he is ab-
sent, she may fast, or if he is sick or he is unable to consum-
mate there is no need to seek his permission.

8. Continuous Fast of Days and Nights without Break is Prohibited (Wisaal)

Wisaal is to fast days and nights non-stop, without break, and
continuing yet with another day and night and so on. This kind
of fasting is prohibited. In a hadith reported by the Messenger
of Allah (saas), he said:

“Beware of wisaal, fasting nights and days uninter-
rupted.”

He repeated the warning three times. When the companions
inquired,

“O Messenger of Allah, don’t you practice Wisaal some-
times?”

The Prophet (saas) explained,

“That is true but you are not like me. My Lord nour-
ishes me with food and drink. So, observe of the deeds
what you are capable of.” (Bukhari/Muslim)

However, the Islamic jurists, while analyzing the whole case of
wisaal, concluded that the restriction may be lifted if the fast is
broken by the time of the last meal, sahuur. In a Hadith related
by Abi Sa’eed Al-Khudari, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said:

“Do not practice wisaal, however, whoever wants to con-
tinue, may do so up to the time of the last meal, sahuur,
and then eat” (Bukhari)

Essentials of Ramadan The Month of Fasting