26 Oct Getting ready for Ramadan: Part 6
The Islamic Ruling Regarding Those who Deliberately Break the Fast
The fast without a valid excuse is a grave sin which clearly testifies to its doer’s disobedience to Allah May He be glorified and exalted. Therefore, those who commit such a sin must sincerely repent to Allah in addition to making up for the fast days they have omitted. Those who engage in sexual intercourse during the day in Ramadan must, in addition to expressing sincere repentance and making up that day, expiate for doing so by freeing a Muslim slave, hence the importance Islam attaches to liberating people from the shackles of servitude. If they cannot find any slaves to set free, as is the case today, they must fast for two consecutive months; if they are unable do so, then they have to feed sixty poor people. Voluntary Fasting Muslims are required to observe a strict month-long fast once a year, that is, during the month of Ramadan. They are also recommended, as long as they are able to do so, to fast on other days in order to gain more rewards.
These days include the following:
1) The day of ‛Aashuraa’, as well as a day before it or after it: ‛Aashuraa’ is the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is the very day Allah May He be glorified and exalted saved Moses Peace be upon him and drowned Pharaoh and his army. A Muslim fasts it as an expression of gratitude to Allah for saving Moses and to follow in the footsteps of our Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him who not only fasted on this day but also asked his companions to fast a day before it or a day after it. (Musnad Ahmad: 2154). When he was asked about fasting on it, he replied, “It expiates [the sins committed in] the previous year. ”(Saheeh Muslim: 1162)
2) The Day of ‛Arafah: ‛Arafah is the ninth day of the lunar month of Dhul-Hjjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. On this day, pilgrims who perform the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage, gather in the wide open plain of ‛Arafah and engage in invoking Allah, praising Him and glorifying Him. ‛Arafah is the best day of the year, and those who are not performing the hajj may fast on it. When the Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him was asked about fasting on this day, he replied, “It atones for the sins committed the preceding year and the coming year.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1162)
3) Six days of Shawwaal: Shawwaal is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. The Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him said, “Whoever fasts in Ramadan then follows it up with six days of the month of Shawwaal will obtain the rewards of fasting for the entire year.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1164)