Question: "Could the Shaikh give us some words of
benefit for the blessed month of Ramadaan, on this fine occasion"
Shaikh al-Albaanee, may Allaah have mercy upon him said,
"Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, says in the Noble Quraan:
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was
prescribed for those before you, so that you may become people having
Taqwaa. Soorah al-Baqarah (2):183
So in this aayah, as will not be hidden to all those who are
present, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, informs the Ummah of
Muhammad, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, through this aayah,
that He has made Fasting obligatory upon them just as He had made its
like obligatory upon the nations before us. This is a matter that
is well-known to all of the Muslims who read this aayah, and
clearly understand its meaning. But what I wish to speak about is
something else, a matter which very few of the general people notice-and
this is the saying of Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, at the end of
So that you may become people having Taqwaa.
So Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, when He commands His believing
servants, or obligates them with some Legislation, (then He) usually just
mentions the command, without explaining the wisdom for it. This
is because the general wisdom behind Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic¹s,
placing duties upon His servants is that He should test them by it, so
that it should become apparent (as to) those who will obey Him and
those who will disobey Him, the Exalted and Most High.
However in this aayah, He mentioned something that is not found
frequently in the Noble Quraan, which is that He mentioned the reason
for the order to Fast, by His Saying:
So that you may become people of Taqwaa.
So the wisdom behind the Believers to fast is not just that they should
prevent themselves from enjoyable and permissible and good things, even
though this is an obligation upon the fasting person - but this is not
the only thing that is required and intended by this Fasting. So
Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, concluded His command to fast by His
So that you may become people of Taqwaa.
Meaning: that the wisdom behind the prescription of Fasting is that the
Muslim should increase in obedience to Allaah, the Exalted and Most
High, in the month of Fasting, and become more obedient than he was before
Then the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, clearly stated
and completely clarified this point of divine wisdom, by his,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, saying, as is reported in the Saheeh
of al-Bukhaaree (no. 1903), that he sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallam, said, "Whoever does not abandon falsehood in speech and
action, then Allaah has no need that he should leave his food and
drink." Meaning: that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, did not
intend and desire, by the obligation of Fasting - which is to withhold for
a stated time, well known to you all - that they should only withhold
from eating and drinking. Rather they should also withhold from
that which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has forbidden with regard to
sins and acts of disobedience to Him; and from that is falsehood in
speech and action.
So the Messanger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, is emphasizing
So that you may become people of Taqwaa.
i.e. that you should, as an act of worship to draw you closer to
Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in addition to withholding from food and
drink, also withhold from forbidden actions such as backbiting, carrying
tales to cause harm to people, false witness, lying and so on, with
regard to those forbidden manners that we are all aware of.
Therefore it is obligatory that all the Muslims should be aware that
actions which disrupt the Fast are not just the physical acts, which are
generally known, which are eating, drinking and sexual intercourse.
The Fast is not just that you withhold from this. Therefore
some of the scholars differentiate, and divide those things which disrupt
the Fast into two categories, and this is what I intend by this talk of
mine at this time that is blessed, if Allaah wills.
This is especially important since those who deliver Khutbahs
and admonish the people during Ramadaan, when they speak about
those things which disrupt the Fast, then they only speak about the
material things, those things that we have just mentionedeating, drinking
and sexual intercourse. But what they should do, as sincere
advisers and people who give reminder to the Muslims in general, is to
concentrate a great deal upon the second category of things which disrupt the
Fast. This is because the people have become used to thinking
that Fasting is just to refrain from the first category, to withhold from
the material things. But there is another category of things
which disrupt the Fast, which we are able to call the non-material things
which disrupt the Fast.
So you have just heard his, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam,
saying, "Whoever does not abandon falsehood in speech and action,
then Allaah has no need that he should leave his food and
Therefore every fasting person should examine himself and see: is he
just withholding from the material things, or is he also withholding from
those non-material things? Meaning: has he made his manners and
behaviour good when the blessed month of Ramadaan comes? If
that is the case, then he has fulfilled the Saying of Allaah, the
Exalted and Most High, at the end of the aayah:
So that you may become people of Taqwaa.
But as for he one who restricts himself in his fasting to just
withholding from food and drink, but who continues and persists upon the evil
manners which he was upon previously, before Ramadaan, then this is not
the Fasting that is desired and required from the wisdom behind the
legislation of this noble month, which our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic
indicates in His Saying:
So that you may become people of Taqwaa.
So therefore we advise and remind our brother Muslims that they should
remind this other category of things, those that are non-material,
which disrupt the Fast, and it is something which the admonishers and those
who seek to direct the people to the correct way rarely speak about,
not to mention the general people, who are not aware of this category of
things which disrupt the fast, i.e., the non-material things.
This is what I wanted to remind our brothers who are present in this
fine gathering about, if Allaah wills, so that it may be cause of their
increasing in acts of worship seeking to draw closer to Allaah, the
Exalted and Most High, in this blessed month, the month of Fasting, which
is such that we hope that Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, will guide
and grant us all the success of fulfilling the due right of this
blessed month, which is that we withhold from both the material and the
non-material things which disrupt the Fast.
Then in addition to this word, I hope that you will pay attention to
some affairs which have been neglected by the majority of the general
Muslims, indeed and also by those having knowledge.
There is a hadeeth which is very often neglected because of
another hadeeth, because the majority of people are unable to
reconcile in practice and application between them. So this
hadeeth is his, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, saying, "My
Ummah will continue to be upon good for as long as they hasten to break
the fast and delay the pre-dawn meal."
So here two matters were mentioned, and they are neglected by most of
the people, and they are: hastening to break the fast, and delaying the
pre-dawn meal (Suhoor).
As for neglect of the first matter, which is hastening to break the
Fast, then in the view of some people it contradicts another
hadeeth, which is his, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, saying,
"My Ummah will continue to be upon good for as long as they hasten to
pray the Maghrib Prayer."
So here we have two commands, to hasten with two matters. So it
appears to some people that we cannot hasten to perform both of them
But reconciling between the command to hasten with breaking the Fast
and the command to hasten to pray the Maghrib Prayer is a very
easy matter. So it is something which our Prophet, sallallaahu
alaihi wa sallam, made clear to us by his action and practice.
So he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, used to break the Fast with
three dates. He would eat three dates. Then he would pray
the Maghrib Prayer, then he would eat again if he found that he
needed to eat the evening meal.
But today we fall into two offences:
(i) Firstly we delay the Adhaan from its legislated time.
Then after this delay comes another delay, which is that we sit down
for a meal - except for a few people who are eager and pray the
Maghrib Prayer in the mosque. But the majority of the people wait
until they hear the Adhaan, and then they sit down to eat as if
they are having a dinner, or their evening meal, and not just breaking
So the Adhaan these days - in most of the lands of Islaam, is,
unfortunately, I have to say, and not just in Jordan, and I have known
this from investigation, in most of the lands of Islaam - the
Adhaan for Maghrib is given after the time it becomes due.
And the reason for this is that we have abandoned adhering to and
applying the Islamic rulings, and instead we have come to depend upon
astronomical calculations. We depend upon the timetable.
But these time-tables are based upon astronomical calculations which
count the land as being a single flat plane. So they give a time
for this flat plane, whereas the reality is that the land, particularly
in this land of ours varies, varying between the depression of valleys
and the elevation of mountains. So it is not correct that a single
time be given which covers the shore, the planes and the mountains.
No, each part of the land has its own time. So therefore
whoever is able in his place of residence, in his city or his village, to
see the sun set with his own eye, then whatever time it sets at, then
that is the hastening that we have been commanded with in his,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, saying, which we just mentioned, "My
Ummah will continue to be upon good as long as they hasten to break the
fast." So the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallam, was careful to implement this Sunnah by teaching it, and by
putting it into practice.
As for his teaching, then he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam,
said, in the hadeeth reported by al-Bukharee in his Saheeh
(no. 1954), "If the night appears from this side," and
he pointed towards the east ,"and the day has departed from
here," and he pointed towards the west , "and the sun
has setthen the fasting persons fast is broken"
What does, 'the fasting persons fast is broken' mean?
It means he has entered under the ruling that he should break his fast.
So then comes the previous ruling where the Messenger,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, encouraged hastening to break the Fast, and
the Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, used to implement
this, even when he was riding on a journey.
So it is reported in the Saheeh of al-Bukharee (no.1955)
that the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, ordered one of
his Companions to prepare the Iftaar for him. So he replied,
O Messenger of Allaah it is still daytime before us.¹ Meaning:
the light of the sun, so even though it had set, yet its light was still
clear in the west. So the Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallam, did not respond to what he had said, rather he re-emphasised
the command to him to prepare the Iftaar. So the narrator
of the hadeeth who said, We could see daylight in front of us,¹
meaning: the light of day, the light of the sun, When we broke our
fast,¹ said, "If one of us had climbed onto his camel he would have
seen the sun." The sun had set from here, and the Messenger,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, ordered one of the Companions to
prepare the Iftaar . Why? To hasten upon
good "My Ummah will continue upon good for as long as they hasten to break
So what is important is that we notice that the Iftaar which is
legislated to be hastened must be done with a few dates. Then we
must hasten to perform the Prayer. Then after this the people can
sit and eat as they need.
This is the first matter which I wanted to remind of, and it is how to
reconcile the two matters which the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallam, commanded we should hasten to perform. The first being the
command to hasten the breaking of the Fast, and the second being the
command to hasten to perform the Maghrib Prayer. So the
Iftaar should be done with some dates, as occurs in the
Sunnah, and if dates are not available, then with some gulps of water.
Then the Prayer should pray in congregation in the mosque.
Then the other matter which I want to remind of is what occurs in the
previous hadeeth, "And they delay the pre-dawn
meal" Meaning: what is required here is the opposite to the case
of the Iftaar. So he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam,
commanded us to hasten to perform the Iftaar. But as for
the Suhoor, then it should be delayed. But what happens
today is totally contrary to this, since many people eat their
Suhoor before the appearance of Fajr by perhaps an hour. This
is not befitting. This is contrary to the Sunnah shown by
the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, and by
his practice. So the Companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu
alaihi wa sallam, used to leave the Suhoor so late, that one
of them would almost hear the Adhaan and he would still be
eating. He delayed the Suhoor.
Indeed there is an authentic hadeeth reported from the Prophet,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, which shows the ease afforded by
Islaam, which is to be counted as one of the principles of Islaam, which
the Muslims are proud of, especially with regard to the matter of
Fasting, since Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, concluded the aayahs
concerning Fasting with His Saying:
Allaah desires ease for you, and He does not desire to make things
difficult for you.
So from this ease is his, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam,
saying, "If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel is
in the hand of one of you, then let him not put it down until he fulfils
his need from it."
" If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel"
the vessel containing food, whether it be milk, some drink, water,
anything which a person may take as Suhoor, and he hears the
Adhaan, then he should not say, Now the food is forbidden by the
Adhaan being heard for the person who has had enough of it.
It is not allowed for him to then have any more, whether it be a
drink, or some fruit, when he has had his fill of whatever he was
But as for the one who hears the Adhaan and he has not yet taken
what he needs from the food and the drink, then the Messenger,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, made that lawful for him. So he clearly
said, in the clear and eloquent Arabic language, "If one of you
hears the call to Prayer, and the vessel is in his hand, then let him
not put it down until he fulfils his need from it."
And what is meant here by the call is the second call, the second
Adhaan. It is not the first Adhaan, which they wrongly
call the Adhaan for withholding (al-Imsaak). We must
know that there is no basis for calling the first Adhaan the
Adhaan for withholding (imsaak).
The second Adhaan is when we are to withhold, and this is
clearly stated in the Quraan, since Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic,
And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes clear to
you from the black thread of the night.
So eating becomes forbidden at the start of the time of the Fajr
Prayer. There is no separation between these two things.
There is no withholding from food and drink for a quarter of an hour, or
less than that, or more than that, before the start of the time for the
Fajr Prayer. Not at all.
Because the Prayer becomes due when the true dawn appears, and food
becomes forbidden for the fasting person when the true dawn appears.
So there is no separation between these two matters at all.
So therefore there occurs in the hadeeth agreed upon by
al-Bukharee and Muslim, from the hadeeth of ¹Abdullaah ibn ¹Umar ibn
al-Khattaab, radiyallaahu ¹anhumaa, that the Prophet,
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, said, "Let not the Adhaan of Bilaal
deceive you " meaning, the first Adhaan, "
because he gives the Adhaan in order to awaken the person who is sleeping,
and so that the person who wishes to eat the pre-dawn meal can do so. So
eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktoon gives the Adhaan."
Ibn Umm Maktoon, and his name was ¹Amr, he was a blind man, and he was
the one about whom the Saying of Allaah, the Exalted and Most High,
He frowned and turned away, that the blind man came to him
to the end of the Aayahs.
So he used to give the second Adhaan, the Adhaan which
means that eating becomes prohibited, and that it is now time for the
How had he used to give the adhaan when he was blind? This is a
question which naturally occurs to some people. So ¹mr ibn Umm
Maktoom used to climb upon the roof of the mosque, and he could not see
the dawn, but he would wait until someone passing by saw the dawn. So
when someone saw that the dawn had appeared and spread across the
horizon, then they would say to him, It is morning. It is morning. Then he
would give the Adhaan.
So you will notice here that the Adhaan of 'Amr ibn Umm Maktoom
was after the Fajr had appeared, and had been seen by the people
whilst they were walking in the streets. So the when it was said
to him, "It is morning. It is morning," he would give the
So therefore there is latitude in the affair, since the
muadhdhin would be delayed in giving the Adhaan until he heard the
people telling him, "It is morning, it is morning." And then
Allaah¹s Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, said,
"If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel is in his hand,
then let him not put it down until he has fulfilled his need from
So Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, spoke truly when He said at the end
of those Aayahs relating to Fasting:
Allaah desires to make things easy for you, and He does not desire
to make things difficult for you.
And that you should complete the number of days, and that you
should glorify Allaah by mentioningtakbeer for His having guided
you, and that you should be thankful.
So therefore from the Fiqh that is to be criticised, and
which runs contrary to this Sunnah, is that a person says, "If
someone hears the Adhaan and has some food in his mouth, then he
must spit it out." So this is over strictness, and
(ghuluww) exceeding the limits in the Religion, and the Lord of all of
the creation admonished us, and reminded us, in His Book and in the
Sunnah of His Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, that we
should not exceed the due limits in our Religion. So He said, in the
O people of the Book! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and
do not say anything about Allaah except the truth.
And our Messenger sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, said to us,
or he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, said, "Beware of
(ghuluww) exceeding the limits in the Religion. Because those who came
before you were destroyed by their exceeding the limits in their
So when Allaah¹s Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam,
has made it clear to us that there is in the matter of a persons taking
suhoor, latitude and a margin of ease, to the extent that he
said, "If one of you hears the call to Prayer whilst the vessel is
in his hand, then let him not put it down until he has completed his
need from it."
So it is opposition to Allaah and to the Messenger that a person
says that one who hears the adhaan whilst he has food in his mouth
must spit it out upon the ground. This is not from the Sunnah.
Rather this is contrary to the Sunnah, and is contrary to the
clear command of the Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam,.
And I have been asked many times, so I will not leave the need for such
a question, but rather I will precede you in it, by stating that this
hadeeth is to be found in some of the most famous books of the
Sunnah. From them being the Sunan of Aboo Daawood, and
it is the third book from the well-known six books. The first of
which is Saheehul-Bukhaaree, the second being Saheeh
Muslim, and the third being the Sunan of Aboo Daawood.
This hadeeth is to be found in it, and it is likewise reported
by Aboo Abdullaah al-Haakim in his Mustadrak, and it is likewise
reported by the Imaam, the Imaam of the Sunnah Ahmad ibn Hanbal,
rahimahullaah, in his tremendous book known as the Musnad
of Imaam Ahmad.
So the hadeth is not a strange hadeeth, rather it is a
well-known hadeeth, and was reported by the Imaams of the
sunnah in the early times, and with an authentic chain of narration.
So here I say, to conclude this talk, since perhaps some of you have
questions, which we will answer if Allaah wills, so I conclude it with
his, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, saying "Allaah loves
that His allowances be acted upon just as He loves that His prescribed
duties be carried out," and in one narration, "Just as
He hates that disobedience to Him be committed."
So there are two narrations, "Allaah loves that His allowances
be acted upon just as He loves that His prescribed duties be carried
out", and the second narration is, " as He hates that
disobedience to Him be committed."
So therefore the Muslim should not practice false piety, and (as a
result) refrain from obeying the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallam, in that which he encouraged us upon and clarified to us.
And what has been said is sufficient, and all praise is for Allaah, the
Lord of all of the creation."