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Prophet Muhammad's behaviour regarding fasting


Obligatory fasting

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) fasted Ramadan and ordered his nation to fast it. Allah (Glorified is He) says,

{O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may [learn] to be fearful of Allah [and so ward off evil]}

[Surah Al-Baqarah: 183].

Allah (Glorified is He) made fasting a means of becoming more pious and becoming closer to Him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not start fasting Ramadan until he announced that the new moon (of the month of Ramadan) had arrived, or another person saw the new moon. If the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not see the new moon or if no one else saw the new moon, he would complete thirty days for the month of Shaban [before starting to fast Ramadan]. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to be quick in breaking his fast at Maghrib (sunset) and encouraged others to do the same. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«My nation will continue to adhere to good as long as they hasten to break the fast [at Maghrib]»

[related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to delay eating the pre-dawn meal or snack and encouraged others to do the same. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«Eat before Fajr [dawn] prayer, as there are blessings in the pre-dawn food»

[related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to delay eating this pre-dawn food, and encouraged others to do the same. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«My nation will still continue to adhere to good as long as they delay the pre-dawn meal/snack and are quick in breaking their fast [at Maghrib]»

[related by Ahmed].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to break his fast before he prayed Maghrib, breaking his fast with fresh dates if he had any, dry dates if there were no fresh dates, or three draughts of water if there were no dry dates

[Zaad Al-Maad (Provisions for the Hereafter)].

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) broke his fast, he used to say,

«Thirst has left me, my veins have become quenched, and the reward is assured, God willing»

[related by Abu Dawood].

What is the proof that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to fast although he had all his past and future sins forgiven?

Supererogatory fasts

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to perform voluntary fasts at other times of the year besides Ramadan. His habits concerning these fasts were the best type of habits, and the best way to accomplish what was intended from fasting in the easiest manner. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not fast all the time, some days he fasted and other days he did not fast.

Concerning the Messenger of Allah’s fasts, Aisha said,

«He used to fast to the extent that we used to say he was one who habitually fasts. And he used to eat during the day to the extent that we used to say he was one who habitually eats during the day. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not fast consecutively for a full month after he arrived at Medinah except in Ramadan»

[related by Muslim].

After Ramadan,

«He never stopped fasting the white days of the lunar month (13th, 14th and 15th of the month), whether he was travelling or resident in the city»

[related An-Nisa’i].

In fact, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to encourage others to fast these days, and pointed out to his nation the benefits of fasting six days in the month of Shawwal. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) explained these fasts in a way that made his followers want to perform them, saying,

«Whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it will be as though he fasted the whole year»

[related by Muslim].

It is like fasting the whole year as one good deed is accounted as ten good deeds; the month of Ramadan is like ten months and six days of Shawwal are like two months.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to fast Monday and Thursday every week as volunrary fasts. When he was asked why he fasted these days, he answered,

«The deeds are presented to the Lord of the worlds on these two days, and I like that my deeds be presented when I am fasting»

[related by Ahmed].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to also,

“Fast three days every month, and fast on the tenth of the month of Muharram”

[related by Abu Dawood].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not fast during any month (except Ramadan) more than he used to fast in the month of Shaban. Aisha said,

«I did not see him (the Messenger of Allah) fast more than he fasted in the month of Shaban»

[related by Al-Bukhari].

How can you make yourself become used to fasting supererogatory fasts?

Mention three benefits for man which are achieved through fasting.

Why did the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibit fasting continuously, two days in a row, without breaking the fast during the night?

Why did the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) become angry with the one who did not want to follow his ways and sunnah? What should we say to one who does not wants to follow his sunnah?

How can you make your fast a way of becoming more pious, and becoming closer to Allah (Glorified is He) and further from committing evil words and actions?

How can you follow Prophet Muhammed’s example?

1. Make you fast a way of becoming more pious, and becoming closer to Allah (Glorified is He) and further from committing evil words and actions. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

«If one does not eschew lies and bad conduct, Allah is of no need for him to abstain from eating and drinking»

[related by Al-Bukhari].

2. Be in the habit of fasting Mondays and Thursdays, as one’s deeds are raised to Allah on these days and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was in the habit of fasting them.

3. Fasting the white days (13th, 4th and 15th of the lunar month) is like fasting the whole year, so follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in fasting these days.

4. Be quick in breaking your fast at Maghrib (sunset) and delay the pre-dawn food, as has been reported about the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

5. Break your fast with fresh or dry dates, as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to do.

6. Be particular to fast six days in Shawwal as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to do.