It is appropriate that every Muslim should receive the blessed month of Ramadan with repentance, sincerity, resoluteness and earnestness. He/she should make the intention to perform extra acts of devotion and worship therein, including the Night Prayer (qiyam), recitation of Qur'an, and abundant charity to the poor and needy. On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), used to say the following when the month of Rajab began. "Oh Allah! Bless us in Rajab and Sha`ban, and bring us, oh Allah, to Ramadan." [Narrated by Tabarani and Ahmad]
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, "Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all." [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]
In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says, "Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted." [Narrated by Tabarani]
The preceding hadiths bring attention to readiness and preparation for receiving Ramadan. This is achieved by having a clear understanding of this month in one's mind, and greeting Ramadan with love and yearning. Also, one should have the determination and intention to perform good deeds and worship, and one should lay down a program to accomplish this in the days of the blessed month.
It is communally obligatory upon the Muslims to seek the crescent at the time of sunset on the 29th day of Sha`ban, and the 29th day of Ramadan, in order to verify the status of the start and end of their fasting. When seeing the crescent, it is sunnah for the Muslim to supplicate with the following supplication, which has been reported from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
On the authority of Talhah ibn `Ubaydullah (may Allah be pleased with him): when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw the crescent, he used to say, "Oh Allah! Cause it to appear over us with prosperity, faith (Iman), security and Islam. (Then to the moon:) My Lord and your Lord is Allah." [Narrated by Tirmidhi, who said it is a good (hasan) hadith.] Qatadah said that he was informed that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say, when seeing the crescent, "A crescent of goodness and orientation, a crescent of goodness and orientation, a crescent of goodness and orientation. (To the moon:) I believe in Allah who created you." (Three times), and then he would say, "Praise be to Allah who has taken away such- and-such month and brought such-and-such month." [Narrated by Abu Dawud]
The month of Ramadan has excellences over the other months, as is testified to by the Qur'an and Sunnah, and out of these we will bring to attention the following virtues:
1. It is the month of the Qur'an, with regards to revelation and study. ("The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Qur'an." [Qur'an, 2:185]). On the authority of Ibn `Abbas: Angel Gabriel used to meet the Prophet every night in Ramadan and used to study Qur'an with him.
2. It is the month of seclusion. Ibn `Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to seclude himself for the last ten days of the month of Ramadan."
3. It is the month of generosity. Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to be at his most generous in Ramadan."
4. It is the month of standing (in voluntary night prayer). On the authority of Abu Hurayrah: The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "Whoever stands (in voluntary night prayer) during Ramadan, with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him."
5. It is the month of the compulsory fast, because of Allah's saying, (meaning) "So, whoever among you witnesses the month should fast." [Qur'an, 2:185] A terrible error prevalent among people is to talk about Ramadan just as they talk about the obligation of fasting, as if Ramadan and fasting are synonymous, each carrying the meaning of the other and not anything more nor less. Yet, fasting is one of many acts of worship in Ramadan.
Many reports have been narrated from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) explaining the distinction of Ramadan, of which we have selected the following.
"The month of Ramadan has come to you; a month of goodness and blessing." [Ibn Khuzaymah] "The Master of the Months is Ramadan, and the Master of the days is Friday." [Ibn Khuzaymah] "Whoever fasted Ramadan with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him." [Bukhari and Muslim] "When Ramadan comes, the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained." And in a narration from Nasa'i, the following words are added: "and a caller calls out every night: 'Oh seeker of Good, draw near! Oh seeker of Evil, desist!' "
183. O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.
184. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill or on a journey the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more of his own free will it is better for him and it is better for you that ye fast if ye only knew.
185. Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.
187. Permitted to you on the night of the fasts is the approach to your wives. They are your garments. And ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them and seek what Allah hath ordained for you and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are limits (set by) Allah; approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His signs to men that they may learn self-restraint.
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an. Allah's Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle. 2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly. 3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) . 4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca) 5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said: "Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven."
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven."
Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (an evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief)." Narrated 'Ubada bin As-Samit: "Allah's Apostle went out to inform the people about the (date of the) night of decree (Al-Qadr) but there happened a quarrel between two Muslim men. The Prophet said, "I came out to inform you about (the date of) the night of Al-Qadr (Power), but as so and so and so and so quarreled, its knowledge was taken away (I forgot it) and maybe it was better for you. Now look for it in the 7th, the 9th and the 5th (of the last 10 nights of the month of Ramadan)."
Narrated Abu Jamra: I was an interpreter between the people and Ibn 'Abbas. Once Ibn 'Abbas said that a delegation of the tribe of 'Abdul Qais came to the Prophet who asked them, "Who are the people (i.e. you)? (Or) who are the delegates?" They replied, "We are from the tribe of Rabi'a." Then the Prophet said to them, "Welcome, O people (or said, "O delegation (of 'Abdul Qais).") Neither will you have disgrace nor will you regret." They said, "We have come to you from a distant place and there is the tribe of the infidels of Mudar intervening between you and us and we cannot come to you except in the sacred month. So please order us to do something good (religious deeds) and that we may also inform our people whom we have left behind (at home) and that we may enter Paradise (by acting on them.)" The Prophet ordered them to do four things, and forbade them from four things. He ordered them to believe in Allah Alone, the Honorable the Majestic and said to them, "Do you know what is meant by believing in Allah Alone?" They replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." Thereupon the Prophet said, "(That means to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His Apostle, to offer prayers perfectly, to pay Zakat, to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan, (and) to pay Al-Khumus (one fifth of the booty to be given in Allah's cause)." Then he forbade them four things, namely Ad-Dubba.' Hantam, Muzaffat (and) An-Naqir or Muqaiyar (These were the names of pots in which alcoholic drinks used to be prepared). The Prophet further said, "Memorize them (these instructions) and tell them to the people whom you have left behind."
Narrated Anas: Zaid bin Thabit said, "We took the "Suhur" (the meal taken before dawn while fasting is observed) with the Prophet and then stood up for the (morning) prayer." I asked him how long the interval between the two (Suhur and prayer) was. He replied, 'The interval between the two was just sufficient to recite fifty to Sixth 'Ayat."
Narrated Abu Salama: Once I went to Abu- Sa'id Al-Khudri and asked him, "Won't you come with us to the date-palm trees to have a talk?" So Abu Said went out and I asked him, "Tell me what you heard from the Prophet about the Night of Qadr." Abu Said replied, "Once Allah's Apostle performed Itikaf (seclusion) on the first ten days of the month of Ramadan and we did the same with him. Gabriel came to him and said, 'The night you are looking for is ahead of you.' So the Prophet performed the Itikaf in the middle (second) ten days of the month of Ramadan and we too performed Itikaf with him. Gabriel came to him and said, 'The night which you are looking for is ahead of you.' In the morning of the 20th of Ramadan the Prophet delivered a sermon saying, 'Whoever has performed Itikaf with me should continue it. I have been shown the Night of "Qadr", but have forgotten its date, but it is in the odd nights of the last ten nights. I saw in my dream that I was prostrating in mud and water.' In those days the roof of the mosque was made of branches of date-palm trees. At that time the sky was clear and no cloud was visible, but suddenly a cloud came and it rained. The Prophet led us in the prayer and I saw the traces of mud on the forehead and on the nose of Allah's Apostle. So it was the confirmation of that dream."
Narrated 'Aisha, the mother of the faithful believers: One night Allah's Apostle offered the prayer in the Mosque and the people followed him. The next night he also offered the prayer and too many people gathered. On the third and the fourth nights more people gathered, but Allah's Apostle did not come out to them. In the morning he said, "I saw what you were doing and nothing but the fear that it (i.e. the prayer) might be enjoined on you, stopped me from coming to you." And that happened in the month of Ramadan.
Narrated Nafi: Ibn 'Umar said, "In the lifetime of the Prophet I dreamt that a piece of silk cloth was in my hand and it flew with me to whichever part of Paradise I wanted. I also saw as if two persons (i.e. angels) came to me and wanted to take me to Hell. Then an angel met us and told me not to be afraid. He then told them to leave me. Hafsa narrated one of my dreams to the Prophet and the Prophet said, "Abdullah is a good man. Would that he offer the night prayer (Tahajjud)!" So after that day 'Abdullah (bin 'Umar) started offering Tahajjud. The companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to tell him their dreams that (Laila-tul-Qadr) was on the 27th of the month of Ramadan. The Prophet said, "I see that your dreams agree on the last ten nights of Ramadan and so whoever is in search of it should seek it in the last ten nights of Ramadan."
Narrated Nafi': Ibn 'Umar said, "The Prophet made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one Sa' of dates or barley as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or said Sadaqa-Ramadan)." The people then substituted half Sa' of wheat for that. Ibn 'Umar used to give dates (as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Medina and Ibn 'Umar gave barley. 'And Ibn 'Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr for every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn 'Umar used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (even) a day or two before the 'Id.
Narrated Qaza'a Maula: (freed slave of) Ziyad: I heard Abu Said Al-khudri narrating four things from the Prophet and I appreciated them very much. He said, conveying the words of the Prophet. (1) "A woman should not go on a two day journey except with her husband or a Dhi-Mahram. (2) No fasting is permissible on two days: 'Id-ul-Fitr and 'Id-ul-Adha. (3) No prayer after two prayers, i.e. after the Fajr prayer till the sunrises and after the 'Asr prayer till the sun sets. (4) Do not prepare yourself for a journey except to three Mosques, i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram, the Mosque of Aqsa (Jerusalem) and my Mosque."
Narrated 'Aisha: The people used to fast on 'Ashura (the tenth day of the month of Muharram) before the fasting of Ramadan was made obligatory. And on that day the Ka'ba used to be covered with a cover. When Allah made the fasting of the month of Ramadan compulsory, Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of 'Ashura') may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so."
Narrated Ata: I heard Ibn 'Abbas saying, "Allah's Apostle asked an Ansari woman (Ibn 'Abbas named her but 'Ata' forgot her name), 'What prevented you from performing Hajj with us?' She replied, 'We have a camel and the father of so-and-so and his son (i.e. her husband and her son) rode it and left one camel for us to use for irrigation.' He said (to her), 'Perform 'Umra when Ramadan comes, for 'Umra in Ramadan is equal to Hajj (in reward),' or said something similar."
Narrated Talha bin 'Ubaidullah: A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers." He replied: "You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting." He replied, "You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me." Thus, Allah's Apostle informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, "By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah's Apostle said, "If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise)."
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet observed the fast on the 10th of Muharram ('Ashura), and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day, but when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, the fasting of the 'Ashura' was abandoned. 'Abdullah did not use to fast on that day unless it coincided with his routine fasting by chance.
Narrated 'Aisha: (The tribe of) Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura' in the Pre-Islamic period, and then Allah's Apostle ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet said, "He who wants to fast (on 'Ashura') may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast."
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times."
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened."
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained."
Narrated Ibn Umar: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can't see it) then regard the month of Ramadan as of 30 days."
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur'an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare).
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)"
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.' Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.' By Him in Whose Hands my soul is' The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting."
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: Allah's Apostle mentioned Ramadan and said, "Do not fast unless you see the crescent (of Ramadan), and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent (of Shawwal), but if the sky is overcast (if you cannot see it), then act on estimation (i.e. count Sha'ban as 30 days)." Sahih Bukhari Hadith 3.133 Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet or Abul-Qasim said, "Start fasting on seeing the crescent (of Ramadan), and give up fasting on seeing the crescent (of Shawwal), and if the sky is overcast (and you cannot see it), complete thirty days of Sha'ban."
Narrated Abu Bakra: The Prophet said, "The two months of 'Id i.e. Ramadan and Dhul-Hijja, do not decrease (in superiority)."
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "None of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting (Nawafil) (and if his fasting coincides with that day) then he can fast that day."
Narrated Al-Bara: It was the custom among the companions of Muhammad that if any of them was fasting and the food was presented (for breaking his fast), but he slept before eating, he would not eat that night and the following day till sunset. Qais bin Sirma-al-Ansari was fasting and came to his wife at the time of Iftar (breaking one's fast) and asked her whether she had anything to eat. She replied, "No, but I would go and bring some for you." He used to do hard work during the day, so he was overwhelmed by sleep and slept. When his wife came and saw him, she said, "Disappointment for you." When it was midday on the following day, he fainted and the Prophet was informed about the whole matter and the following verses were revealed: "You are permitted To go to your wives (for sexual relation) At the night of fasting." So, they were overjoyed by it. And then Allah also revealed: "And eat and drink Until the white thread Of dawn appears to you Distinct from the black thread (of the night)." (2.187)
Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet used to kiss and embrace (his wives) while he was fasting, and he had more power to control his desires than any of you. Said Jabir, "The person who gets discharge after casting a look (on his wife) should complete his fast."
Narrated 'Aisha: (At times) in Ramadan the Prophet used to take a bath in the morning not because of a wet dream and would continue his fast.
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by Allah." Narrated 'Amir bin Rabi'a, "I saw the Prophet cleaning his teeth with Siwak while he was fasting so many times as I can't count." And narrated Abu Huraira, "The Prophet said, 'But for my fear that it would be hard for my followers, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak on every performance of ablution." The same is narrated by Jabir and Zaid bin Khalid from the Prophet who did not differentiate between a fasting and a nonfasting person in this respect (using Siwak). Aisha said, "The Prophet said, "It (i.e. Siwak) is a purification for the mouth and it is a way of seeking Allah's pleasures." Ata' and Qatada said, "There is no harm in swallowing the resultant saliva."
Narrated 'Aisha: A man came to the Prophet and said that he had been burnt (ruined). The Prophet asked him what was the matter. He replied, "I had sexual intercourse with my wife in Ramadan (while I was fasting)." Then a basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet and he asked, "Where is the burnt (ruined) man?" He replied, "I am present." The Prophet told him to give that basket in charity (as expiation).
Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to the Prophet and said, "I had sexual intercourse with my wife on Ramadan (while fasting)." The Prophet asked him, "Can you afford to manumit a slave?" He replied in the negative. The Prophet asked him, "Can you fast for two successive months?" He replied in the negative. He asked him, "Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?" He replied in the negative. (Abu Huraira added): Then a basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet and he said (to that man), "Feed (poor people) with this by way of atonement." He said, "(Should I feed it) to poorer people than we? There is no poorer house than ours between its (Medina's) mountains." The Prophet said, "Then feed your family with it."
Narrated Ibn Abi Aufa: We were in the company of Allah's Apostle on a journey. He said to a man, "Get down and mix Sawiq (powdered barley) with water for me." The man said, "The sun (has not set yet), O Allah's Apostle." The Prophet again said to him, "Get down and mix Sawiq with water for me." The man again said, "O Allah's Apostle! The sun!" The Prophet said to him (for the third time) "Get down and mix Sawiq with water for me." The man dismounted and mixed Sawiq with water for him. The Prophet drank it and then beckoned with his hand (towards the East) and said, "When you see the night falling from this side, then a fasting person should break his fast."
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle set out for Mecca in Ramadan and he fasted, and when he reached Al-Kadid, he broke his fast and the people (with him) broke their fast too. (Abu 'Abdullah said, "Al-Kadid is a land covered with water between Usfan and Qudaid.")
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle was on a journey and saw a crowd of people, and a man was being shaded (by them). He asked, "What is the matter?" They said, "He (the man) is fasting." The Prophet said, "It is not righteousness that you fast on a journey."
Narrated Tawus: Ibn 'Abbas said, "Allah's Apostle set out from Medina to Mecca and he fasted till he reached 'Usfan, where he asked for water and raised his hand to let the people see him, and then broke the fast, and did not fast after that till he reached Mecca, and that happened in Ramadan." Ibn 'Abbas used to say, "Allah's Apostle (sometimes) fasted and (sometimes) did not fast during the journeys so whoever wished to fast could fast, and whoever wished not to fast, could do so."
Narrated 'Aisha: Sometimes I missed some days of Ramadan, but could not fast in lieu of them except in the month of Sha'ban." Said Yahya, a sub-narrator, "She used to be busy serving the Prophet ."
Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever died and he ought to have fasted (the missed days of Ramadan) then his guardians must fast on his behalf."
Narrated Ibn Abbas: A man came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! My mother died and she ought to have fasted one month (for her missed Ramadan). Shall I fast on her behalf?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative and said, "Allah's debts have more right to be paid." In another narration a woman is reported to have said, "My sister died..." Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: A woman said to the Prophet "My mother died and she had vowed to fast but she didn't fast." In another narration Ibn 'Abbas is reported to have said, "A woman said to the Prophet, "My mother died while she ought to have fasted for fifteen days."
Narrated Umar bin Al-Khattab: Allah's Apostle said, "When night falls from this side and the day vanishes from this side and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast."
Narrated Abdullah bin Abi Aufa: We were in the company of the Prophet on a journey and he was fasting, and when the sun set, he addressed somebody, "O so-and-so, get up and mix Sawiq with water for us." He replied, "O Allah's Apostle! (Will you wait) till it is evening?" The Prophet said, "Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us." He replied, "O Allah's Apostle! (If you wait) till it is evening." The Prophet said again, "Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us." He replied, "It is still daytime."(1) The Prophet said again, "Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us." He got down and mixed Sawiq for them. The Prophet drank it and then said, "When you see night falling from this side, the fasting person should break his fast."
Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle used to fast till one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting till one would say that he would never fast. I never saw Allah's Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha'ban.
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet never fasted a full month except the month of Ramadan, and he used to fast till one could say, "By Allah, he will never stop fasting," and he would abandon fasting till one would say, "By Allah, he will never fast."
Narrated Mutarrif from 'Imran Ibn Husain: That the Prophet asked him (Imran) or asked a man and Imran was listening, "O Abu so-and-so! Have you fasted the last days of this month?" (The narrator thought that he said, "the month of Ramadan"). The man replied, "No, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said to him, "When you finish your fasting (of Ramadan) fast two days (in Shawwal)." Through another series of narrators 'Imran said, "The Prophet said, '(Have you fasted) the last days of Sha'ban?"
Narrated Abu 'Ubaid: (the slave of Ibn Azhar) I witnessed the 'Id with 'Umar bin Al-Khattab who said, Allah's Apostle has forbidden people to fast on the day on which you break fasting (the fasts of Ramadan) and the day on which you eat the meat of your sacrifices (the first day of 'Id ul Fitr and 'Id ul-Adha).
Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle ordered (the Muslims) to fast on the day of 'Ashura', and when fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed, it became optional for one to fast on that day ('Ashura') or not.
Narrated Aisha: Quraish used to fast on the day of 'Ashura' in the Pre-Islamic period, and Allah's Apostle too, used to fast on that day. When he came to Medina, he fasted on that day and ordered others to fast, too. Later when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, he gave up fasting on the day of 'Ashura' and it became optional for one to fast on it or not.
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: I never saw the Prophet seeking to fast on a day more (preferable
to him) than this day, the day of 'Ashura', or this month, i.e. the month of Ramadan.
Fasting is Mine and it I who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy whin he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah's estimation than the smell of musk.
Source:compiled by Tariq Jangda, University of Northumbria at Newcastle. Islamic Society.