الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين، نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد
The month of Ramadhaan is a month of great virtues and a time when the Muslims strive in acts of worship and obedience to Allaah. In order for these acts of worship to be correct and accepted they must be in accordance to the teachings and guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), it is therefore a duty upon each of us to ensure that our acts of worship and efforts are free of errors and shortcomings and conform to the guidelines of the religion. It is unfortunate however that some of the Muslims fall into such errors, and may therefore be compromising their fasting and other acts of worship during this month. Listed below are some of these errors which we should seek to avoid, the varied types of errors range from those that hold the ruling of being disliked to those that are forbidden, and they are as follows:
1. Ignorance on the Part of Some People with Regard to the Rulings and Virtues of Ramadhaan
Fasting is an obligation and an act of worship which necessitates that the Muslim understands how to fulfill it correctly in accordance to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). In the issue of fasting, he should understand its virtues and its rulings and its conditions and obligations and etiquettes and its prohibitions and that which violates it – in order to worship Allaah, The Most High, upon clear knowledge, thereafter any issues which a person is unaware of should be referred to the people of knowledge in order to be upon insight and clarity and upon that which is correct.
Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “It is obligatory upon all of the Muslims – male and female – to have understanding of the religion and knowledge of the rulings of that which Allaah has made obligatory upon them from prayer and zakaat and fasting and Hajj and other than that. Since Allaah created mankind and jinn in order to worship Him, and there is no way of knowing it (the know-how of worship) except by way of learning and gaining understanding in the religion.”
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “The virtues of fasting cannot be attained until the fasting person fulfills its etiquettes. So strive hard in the perfection of your fasts and of guarding its boundaries, and repent to Allaah from your shortcomings in that.”
2. Complacency in Recitation of the Qur’aan or Leaving it off Altogether
On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said:
((The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was the most generous of all the people, and his generosity used to be more so in Ramadhaan when Jibreel would meet him. He used to meet him every night during Ramadhaan in order to revise the Qur’an with him. Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to be more generous in doing good than the fair wind sent forth.))
Regarding this hadeeth, Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “The hadeeth is a proof upon the desirability of studying the Qur’aan in Ramadhaan and gathering upon that, as well as presenting a reading of the Qur’aan to the one who is of more memorization of it. In it likewise is a proof of the desirability of increasing in the recitation of the Qur’aan during the month of Ramadhaan.”
The Salaf would pay great attention to reciting the Qur’aan during the month of Ramadhaan, and would give it precedence over other virtuous actions.
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “So strive O my brothers in being plentiful in reciting the Qur’aan, especially in this month in which it was revealed, for indeed due to reciting it plentifully during it there is an exclusive virtue. The pious predecessors (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum) would increase and be plentiful in the recitation of the Qur’aan in Ramadhaan in prayer and in other than it. Az-Zuhri (rahimahullaah) – once Ramadhaan would enter, he would say: ‘It is but for the recitation of the Qur’aan and feeding food (to others).’ Imaam Maalik who; when Ramadhaan would enter, he would leave off reading hadeeth and the gatherings of knowledge, and would embark upon reading the Qur’aan from the Mus-haf.”
3. Taking the Pre-Dawn Meal Early or Not Taking it at All – and Delaying the Breaking of the Fast
From the common mistakes which some of the people fall into in Ramadhaan is to take the suhoor either in the middle of the night or an hour or two before the time that Fajr begins, therefore taking it well before the commencement of Fajr, and this is in opposition to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his guidance.
Imaam ash-Shawkaani (rahimahullaah) stated from Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr: “The Ahaadeeth pertaining to the hastening of breaking the fast and delaying the pre-dawn meal are authentic, reported through numerous transmissions.”
Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “Hastening in breaking the fast when the setting of the sun is ascertained, and delaying the pre-dawn meal until that which comes before the ascertainment of the appearance of dawn is a Sunnah.”
Anas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) said from Zaid bin Thaabit that he said:
((We ate suhoor along with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), then he stood up for the prayer, I said: ‘How much time was there between the adhaan and the suhoor?’ He said: ‘An interval enough to recite fifty ayaat.’))
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would delay the suhoor until there wasn’t between his suhoor and the Iqaamah for prayer except around (time to recite) fifty ayaat.”
As for not taking the pre-dawn meal then Shaikh al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “The Suhoor is the food that the fasting person eats at the end of the night in preparation for receiving the fast, and it is desired and it is a blessed nourishment as was stated by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Since the fasting person intends by that Taqwaa upon obedience to Allaah, The Glorified, and Most High. So it is desired for the Muslim that he takes the pre-dawn meal however that is possible for him – even if it be a little – in accordance to his ability, in order that he attains the virtue and in order to aid himself upon worship, thus he should not leave off the Suhoor if he is able to obtain it.”
Hastening in breaking the fast is evident in the hadeeth of Sahl bin Sa’ad (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
((The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they hasten in breaking the fast.))
Imaam an-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said in his explanation of this hadeeth: “In it is an encouragement of hastening (breaking) it after the setting of the sun is ascertained, and its meaning is; that the affair of the Ummah will not cease to be orderly and that they will upon good as long as they remain safeguarding this Sunnah. Yet if they delay it, then that is a sign of the corruption they have fallen into.”
Point of note: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “That which is to be regarded (taken into consideration) is the setting of the sun, not the adhaan, especially in the present time where the people rely upon calendars of estimation, then they determine the calendars of estimation by way of their watches – and their watches may differ in earliness or delay. So if the sun has set, and you witness it, and the people have not yet called the adhaan, then it is for you that you break your fast, and if they call the adhaan – and you witness that it has not set, then it is not for you to break your fast.
4. Wasting Time During the Month of Ramadhaan in That Which is of no Benefit or Even Sinful
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “It is necessary for the fasting person that he increases and is plentiful in the acts of obedience and avoids all of the things that are prohibited, and it is obligatory upon him that he safeguards the obligatory acts and is distant from the forbidden acts. So he prays the five daily prayers in their times with the congregation, and leaves off lying and backbiting and deceit and usury transactions and every statement or action that is forbidden.”
Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmee (rahimahullaah) said: “It is a requisite for the Muslim that he takes advantage of the days of Ramadhaan, for indeed they are days of profit, and in them are immense virtues and vast reward, and it is the reward of fasting and the reward of standing (in prayer) and the reward of giving in charity, and the reward of teaching, and the reward of enjoining the good and forbidding evil. All of these are from the affairs that are multiplied in increase for the servant in this month.”
Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “Indeed, whoever reaches the month of Ramadhaan, and Allaah enables him to benefit from it, then Allaah has bestowed upon him a tremendous blessing – there is nothing that is equal to it.”
Avoidance of misdeeds and sinfulness is an obligation that one should adhere to, since engaging in such prohibitions diminishes a persons’ fast, Al-Ameer as-San’aanee (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever does not purify his intention or does not avoid false speech and lying and slander and backbiting and its like from the prohibitions, then there emanates hunger and thirst for him, and reward does not emanate for him.”
5. Observing a Sense of Religious Duty During the Month of Ramadhaan – Only to Relapse After it
From the errors that some people fall into is in observing and engaging in a sense of religious duty during the month of Ramadhaan, and once it passes, they fall short and lapse into a sense of unconcern with regard to dutifulness to Allaah, The Most High. Rather the believer is constant in dutifulness and obedience and in fulfilling the obligations set upon him throughout his life, as the Prophet ‘Eesaa (alaihis-salaam) said:
وَأَوصاني بِالصَّلاةِ وَالزَّكاةِ ما دُمتُ حَيًّا
((And [He] has enjoined upon me prayer and zakaat as long as I live.)) (Maryam: 31)
He, The Most High, said:
وَاعبُد رَبَّكَ حَتّىٰ يَأتِيَكَ اليَقينُ
((And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [of death])) (Al-Hijr: 99)
Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi (hafidhahullaah) said:
“We do not remember in the month of Ramadhaan, then forget and abandon the acts of obedience in the other months. We continue – may Allaah bless you – in proceeding upon the worship of Allaah and in performing the night prayer and dedicating ourselves to Allaah and to the rest of the acts of obedience through which we draw close (to Him) in Ramadhaan – we do not become forgetful. Some people proceed upon obedience during this month, so when this month passes by, they fall short and become lazy and feign forgetfulness in regard to many of the acts of obedience. No, this month no doubt we pay attention to it more than other than it, however for the duration of the year and the duration of life it is necessary for one that he remembers Allaah – always;
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اذكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكرًا كَثيرًا * وَسَبِّحوهُ بُكرَةً وَأَصيلًا
((O you who believe! Remember Allaah with much remembrance. And glorify Him morning and afternoon.)) (Al-Ahzaab: 41-42)
So the believer always remembers Allaah, The Blessed and Most High, and obeys Him and fears Him and has reverential fear of Him and attentively regards Him in all of the moments of his life.”
6. Observing the Obligatory Prayers During Ramadhaan – Contrary to Other Than it
The permanent committee of scholars stated: “The prayer is a pillar from the pillars of Islaam, and it is the most emphasized of the pillars after the two testimonies of faith, and it is from the most eminent of obligations, whoever abandons it out of denying its obligation or abandons it out of neglect and laziness then he has disbelieved. As for those who fast during Ramadhaan and pray in Ramadhaan only, then such an individual is one who is deceitful to Allaah. So what a bad people who do not know Allaah except in Ramadhaan, so fasting is not correct for them together with their abandonment of the prayer in other than Ramadhaan.”
In response to a question regarding a person who does not pray except in Ramadhaan – as to whether his fasting is correct, Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “This individual who does not pray except during the day in Ramadhaan, if his prayer during the day in Ramadhaan is to return back to Allaah and to repent from his abandonment of the prayer during the year, and he is determined upon continuation of performing the prayer in that which remains of his life – then his fast is correct. Even if we say that the one who abandons the prayer disbelieves due to his abandonment of a single obligation as was said by some of the Salaf, then his repentance indeed eradicates (wipes away) what came before it.
As for if he prays during Ramadhaan and he is persistent in that he will not pray when Ramadhaan ceases, then if he believes that the prayer is not obligatory in other than Ramadhaan, then he is a disbeliever and his fast is rejected upon him and his prayer during Ramadhaan is not accepted from him. Yet if he believes in the obligatory nature (of the prayer) however he is persistent upon abandonment out of sinfulness to Allaah and iniquity, then the fasting is accepted from him, however it is feared if he abandons the prayer after Ramadhaan, that he will die upon this state, and his demise will be very dangerous in relation to his condition as to whether he is a Muslim or a disbeliever.”
7. Sleeping For a Major Portion of the Day
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said in response to a question regarding the ruling of sleeping throughout the hours of the day, and of a person who fasts yet sleeps and arises to pray the obligatory prayer and then sleeps again: “This question is inclusive of two situations; the first situation, is of a man who sleeps throughout the day and does not wake up, and no doubt this individual is a wrongdoer over himself, and disobedient to Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, by his leaving off the prayer in its times.
As for the second situation, then it is the situation of the one who gets up and prays the obligatory prayer in its time and with the congregation, then this one is not sinful. However he has relinquished from himself a great deal of good, because the fasting person should be preoccupied with prayer and dhikr and supplication and reciting the Noble Qur’aan – such that he gathers in his fast a number of acts of worship.”
Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “One should be prohibited from an excessiveness of sleep during this month; I mean sleep during the day, because he becomes lazy from carrying out obedience and he may miss the congregational prayer or it may be the cause of taking the prayer outside of its time. So that which is required from the Muslim is activeness in obedience, and that sleep should be at night, especially in its early part in order for one to be active during the day in carrying out action and partaking in acts of obedience.”
8. Neglectfulness in Making Supplication Before Breaking the Fast
Making supplication at the time of breaking the fast is established in the authentic Sunnah as a supplication which is answered, the fasting person therefore should not be negligent of this time but rather take advantage of it by supplicating whilst being mindful of implementing the factors which are a cause of one’s supplication being answered.
It has been reported in the hadeeth of Abee Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
((Three supplications are answered; the supplication of the fasting person, and the supplication of the oppressed, and the supplication of the traveler.))
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed the time of breaking the fast is a right time for the supplication being answered, because it is at the end of the worship, and because the person is severest that he can be in most cases from weakness in desire at the time of breaking the fast. So every time the person is weakest in desire; and of tender heart, then he is closer to turning repentantly (to Allaah) and humility to Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic.”
There occurs in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would say when he would break his fast:
ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتْ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الْأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ
((The thirst has gone, and the veins are moistened, and the reward is certain, if Allaah wills.))
9. The Person Who is Ill and so Compels Himself to Fast Despite Meeting the Conditions of Not Having to Fast – and Thus Imposing Hardship Upon Himself
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “With this we come to recognize the error of some of those that strive from the sick folk upon whom fasting creates difficulty and could possibly harm them. However they refuse to eat – so we say; these people have erred in that they have not accepted the Nobility and Generosity of Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic and have not accepted His exemption. Instead harming themselves, and Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic says:
وَلا تَقتُلوا أَنفُسَكُم
((And do not kill yourselves…)) (An-Nisaa: 29)”
The one who is ill – as stated by Shaikh Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) has the following circumstances:
“The First: That he is not affected by the fast, such as having a light fever or a light headache or toothache and the like of that. This does not make it allowable for him to eat, even if it be that some of the scholars have said that it is permissible for him due to the generality of the aayah:
وَمَن كانَ مَريضًا
((…and whoever is ill…)) (Al-Baqarah: 185)
However we say, this ruling is warranted with a reason and that is that taking food is more compassionate for him in which case we say to him to eat.
As for if he were not to be affected then it is impermissible for him to eat and instead obligatory upon him to fast.
The Second: If the fast becomes difficult upon him yet does not harm him, then in this case it is disliked for him to fast, and it is allowed for him to eat.
The Third: If the fast becomes difficult upon him and proves to be of harm to him. Such as a man who is afflicted with kidney disease/problems or with diabetes and the like of that then fasting is forbidden for him.”
10. Criticism of the One Who is Upon a Journey for Breaking his Fast or For Not Fasting
Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, has granted an exception from fasting for the traveler upon a journey; He, The Most High, said:
وَمَن كانَ مَريضًا أَو عَلىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِن أَيّامٍ أُخَرَ
((And whoever is ill or upon a journey; then a [like] number [should be made up] from other days.)) (Al-Baqarah: 185)
The circumstances of the traveler in regard to whether he is to fast or not is explained by Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) who said: “The traveler is of two types:
The First of them: is the one who intends trickery by way of his journey in order to eat, then it is not permissible for him to eat, because conducting trickery upon the obligations of Allaah does not cause them to fall away.
The Second: is the one who does not intend that, so he has three circumstances:
The First Circumstance: That the fast is difficult upon him – a great hardship, thus it is prohibited upon him that he fasts, because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was fasting during the expedition of al-Fath (the conquest of Makkah), so it reached him that the fast had become difficult upon the people, and that they were looking to see what he would do. So he called for a cup of water after ‘Asr and drank it, and the people were looking. So it was said to him: ‘some of the people are still fasting.’ So he said:
((Those are the disobedient, those are the disobedient.))
The Second Circumstance: That the fast is difficult upon him – with a hardship that is not severe, so it is disliked for him to fast due to that which is in it from desistance from the allowance of Allaah, The Most High, (of not having to fast) along with the difficulty upon himself.
The Third Circumstance: That the fast is not difficult upon him, so he does that which is easier for him by way of fasting or eating, due to His saying, The Most High:
يُريدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ اليُسرَ وَلا يُريدُ بِكُمُ العُسرَ
((Allaah desires ease for you and does not desire hardship for you)) (Al-Baqarah: 185))
Desire here means love, so if they are equal; then fasting is better because it is the action of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as occurs in Saheeh Muslim from Abee Dardaa (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said:
((We set out [on a journey] with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during Ramadhaan in intense heat – such that one of us would place his hand over his head due to the intensity of the heat, and no one amongst us was fasting except for the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and ‘Abdullaah bin Rawaahah.))”
11. Eating a Full Meal Upon Breaking the Fast Instead of Sufficing with Dates and so Delaying the Maghrib Prayer in the Process
Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaami (rahimahullaah) said: “It is likewise noticed with many of the people that after the adhaan they take the evening meal, and do not limit themselves at the time of breaking the fast upon taking dates or water, but they take the full evening meal which leads to a delay of the Maghrib prayer.
The Iftaar (breaking of the fast) should be an Iftaar in which one takes that which is facilitated by way of fresh/ripe dates or dry dates or a drink of water and after that comes the prayer, and the evening meal comes after the prayer. As for preceding the evening meal along with breaking the fast at the expense of the Maghrib prayer – then this is an error.”
Shaikh Muhammad Naasir ud Deen al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said: “It is important that we take note that the breaking of the fast is to be hastened by way of the legislation, it is obligatory that it be done so with dates, then to hasten for the prayer, then after that the people should sit and eat of what is sufficient for them.”
To conclude, may Allaah, The Most High, safeguard us and our families from error and shortcoming during this month, and enable us to worship Him in accordance to the teachings laid down in the Prophetic Sunnah.
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
 Al-Majmu’ ath-Thameen p.128
 Majaalis Shahr Ramadhaan p.17
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.6) and Muslim with similar wording (no.5964) and others.
 Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.234
 Majaalis Shahr Ramadhaan p.38 (Abridged)
 Nayl al-Awtaar vol 8 p.337
 Al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa vol 5 p.113
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.1921) and Muslim (no.2547)
 Sharh al-Mumti’ vol 6 p.434
 Tuhfatul Ikhwaan be-Fiqh as-Siyaam wa Duroos Ramadhaan lil-Fawzaan p.262
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.1957) and Muslim (no.2549)
 Sharh Saheeh Muslim vol 7 p.208-209
 Sharh al-Mumti vol 6 p.435
 Majmu’ Fataawa vol 19 p.361
 Fadl as-Siyaam p.45
 Majaalis Shahr Ramadhaan al-Mubaarak p.7
 At-Tanweer Sharh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer vol 6 p.224
 An audio lecture entitled: Izaalah al-Ilbaas ‘amma Ishtabah fee Adh-haan an-Naas, an answer to a question entitled: Haal as-Salaf fee Ramadhaan.
 Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa-imah vol 10 p.140
 Silsilah Fataawa Noor ‘alaa ad-Darb (tape no.26)
 Majmu’ Fataawa vol 19 p.170
 Al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa vol 5 p.111
 Reported by Al-Baihaqee (vol 3 p.345) and ‘Uqailee in Kitaab ad-Du’afaa (vol 1 p.85) and others. It was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (no.3030). Refer also to the Shaikh’s discussion in as-Saheehah vol 4 p.406.
 Majmu’ Fataawa vol 19 p.362-363
 Reported by Abu Dawood (no.2357) and An-Nasaa-i in As-Sunan al-Kubraa (1/66) and Ad-Daraqutnee (no.240) and others, it was declared Hasan (sound) by Shaikh al-Albaanee in Irwaa al-Ghaleel (no.920).
 As occurs in Sharh al-Mumti’ vol 6 page 342
 Sharh al-Mumti’ vol 6 page 341
 As occurs in Majmu’ Fataawa vol 20 p.106-107
 Reported by Muslim (no.2605)
 As hadeeth number 2625
 Fasl fee Asbaab Sharh as-Sudoor wa Fasl fee Had-yihi (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) fis-Siyaam min Zaad al-Ma’aad p.73
 Audio lecture entitled: As-Sunan Mahjurah fee Ramadhaan