Fasting During the Long Hot Summer Days

الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين، نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد


Fasting on hot days is an indication of the strength of the Eemaan of an individual, and due to the hardship one may encounter as a consequence then the reward likewise will be in accordance to that. Observing the fast on such days is something that those before us encountered and adhered to, even during the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) after the obligation of fasting had been prescribed in the second year of the Hijrah, the majority of the months of Ramadhaan from this time until the end of the era of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) occurred during the summer.

Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “As for the fasting in the month of Ramadhaan, then it was only obligated in the second year after the Hijrah and the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) reached nine Ramadhaans.”[1]

He also said: “The majority of the months of Ramadhaan during the era of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) were in the summer.”[2]


Fasting on the Days of Intense Heat


Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “From that which multiplies one’s reward in the intense heat from the acts of obedience is: fasting – due to that which is in it from thirst of the midday heat.”[3]

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said regarding the saying of Allaah, The Most High:

كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ

((Just as it was prescribed upon those before you)) (Al-Baqarah: 183)


“A consolation for this Ummah, in that it has not been assigned with anything that the nations of the past were not assigned with. Since it is known that in fasting there is a form of hardship, especially in the long hot summer days. However; Allaah affords solace for this Ummah with the fact that fasting was indeed prescribed upon those before them.”[4]

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “When the fasting people remained patient for the sake of Allaah in the heat upon the severity of thirst and of thirstiness, He designated for them a gate from the gates of Paradise – and it is the gate of Ar-Rayyaan. Whoever enters (from it) takes a drink, and whoever drinks will not be thirsty ever again after that. So when they have entered, it will be closed upon those after them, so no one other than them shall enter from it.”[5]


Encountering Hardship in Acts of Worship and its Understanding


Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Often the reward will increase according to the hardship and fatigue. Not because fatigue and hardship is what is intended by the action, but because the action has the inevitable consequence of hardship and fatigue. This is in our prescribed legislation which has removed from us the burdens and fetters within it, and has not imposed upon us any difficulty in it, nor does it intend any hardship towards us in regard to it.”[6]

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “So Eemaan is not by way of wishfulness nor by way of self adornment, and yet the commodity of Allaah is dear, and the commodity of Allaah is: Paradise. Therefore it is a must to strive in attainment of it through performance of acts of obedience and avoidance of the things that are forbidden. He, The Most High, said:

وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الْآخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا

((And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it with the effort due for it while he is a believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated [by Allaah].)) (Al-Israa: 19)


The acts of worship and obedience – their performance isn’t detached from a form of constraint and hardship, and were it not for that, then trial and succession upon the earth would not come to pass, nevertheless it is an accustomed hardship and not outside of the capability of the servants, as He, The Most High, said:

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

((Allaah does not burden a soul except [in accordance] to its capacity.)) (Al-Baqarah: 286)”[7]


Fasting in the Heat – the Perseverance of Those Who Came Before Us From This Ummah


From Abee Dardaa (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said:

خَرَجْنَا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ فِي حَرٍّ شَدِيدٍ، حَتَّى إِنْ كَانَ أَحَدُنَا لَيَضَعُ يَدَهُ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْحَرِّ، وَمَا فِينَا صَائِمٌ إِلَّا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ رَوَاحَةَ

((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.))[8]


Ibn Rajab mentioned: “It has been reported from Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) that he would fast during the summer and would eat and drink during the winter.

Likewise ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) at the time of his death enjoined (some advice) upon his son ‘Abdullaah, so he said to him: ‘upon you are the qualities of Eemaan’ and he designated the first of them as: fasting in the severe heat during the summer.”[9]

Al-Aswad bin Yazeed would fast until his tongue would blacken due to the heat.[10]

Qataadah reported that when ‘Aamir bin ‘Abd Qais was on his death bed, he cried, so it was said: “What makes you cry?” he said: “I do not cry out of anxiousness of death, nor out of aspiration over worldliness, but I cry on the basis of the thirst of the midday heat and of standing in the night (for prayer).”[11]

Ibn Rajab said: “Some of the righteous women would strive for the most severe days of heat and so fast within them, so it was mentioned to them concerning that so one of them said: ‘indeed the price – when it becomes inexpensive then everyone purchases it’ – indicating that she does not prefer except the action that cannot be managed except by a few from amongst the people due to its severity upon them – and this is from high-aspiration.”[12]


The Journey to The Lord


Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “When Moosaa travelled to Al-Khadhr, he found along his way the feeling of hunger and fatigue, he therefore said to his boy-servant:

آتِنَا غَدَاءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَٰذَا نَصَبًا

((Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered fatigue in this, our journey.)) (Al-Kahf: 62)


For it was a journey to a created being.

When His Lord appointed thirty nights for him and completed them with an additional ten, he did not eat within them – he did not encounter the feeling of hunger nor of fatigue, for it was a journey to His Lord, The Most High. Such is the journey of the heart and its traversal to its Lord. It does not find in it the toil and fatigue which it would otherwise encounter in its journey to some of the created beings.”[13]


The Heat of the Sun – a Point to Contemplate Upon


Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “It appropriate for the one who is in the heat of the sun that he bears in mind its heat in the place of standing (on the Day of Resurrection). Verily; the sun shall draw close to the heads of the servants on the Day of Resurrection, and will become greater in its heat.

It is likewise appropriate for the one who cannot have patience upon the heat of the sun in the life of this world – that he keeps away from the actions that necessitate for its companion by way of them the entry into the Fire. For indeed; no one has the fortitude against it – nor the patience.”[14]




[1] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 7 p.606

[2] Sharh al-‘Umdah vol 3 p.111

[3] Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.429

[4] Jalasaat Ramadhaaniyah le-‘aam 1411H 1/2

[5] Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.431

[6] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 10 p.622

[7] Fiqh Al-Mufaadhalah bayn at-Ta’aat p.72, for the original reference see: ‘Uddatus Saabireen p.83.

[8] Reported by Muslim no.2625

[9] Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.429

[10] Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa vol 4 p.53

[11] Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa vol 4 p.19

[12] Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.430

[13] Badaa-i’ al-Fawaa-id vol 3 p.1163-1164

[14] Lataa-if al-Ma’aarif p.429

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