Rules of Fasting
• Allah said in sooratul Maa’idah, 27:
قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ
The verse means that Allah accepts the good deeds offered by Muslims who refrain from associating a partner with Allah. Those are the Muslims who fear Allah’s punishment by fulfilling the obligatory doings which Allah made incumbent upon them and refraining from the sinful doings which Allah ordered them to avoid. (Imamut Tabariyy)
• It is clear that those Muslims whose deeds –and fasting Ramadan in particular– are acceptable are the knowledgeable Muslims who learn and apply the rules of fasting and know how to fast correctly so that their fasting would be accepted by Allah.
• The ones whose fasting (or prayer) is incomplete or incompatible with Islamic Rules are not commended for fasting as Allah does not bless their invalid fasting. We cannot tell them may Allah accept your fasting.
• It is senseless for one to talk about benefiting from the hidden secrets of Ramadan or benefiting from its rapturous delight, while one’s fasting is invalid.
• Consequently, in the beginning of each Ramadan one needs to spend time with his teacher and family reviewing and learning the rules of fasting. The same rule applies also to Hajj and `Umrah when one intends to travel to perform either one.
• From where would the rapturous delight originate if the doing of worship is invalid? Of course, there will be no rapturous delight.
• Some delight and elation may occur because of psychological matters or because of factors occurring in the interim, but the actual deed is not rewardable by and not acceptable to Allah, unless it is done according to Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, as the above verse has indicated.
• Hence, before moving forward we have to ensure that our fasting is a valid fasting; this is done when one learns the Islamic rules of fasting (Fiqh) and performs fasting following these rules.
• It is extremely important to learn about the worship’s validity like fasting or prayer and how to perform it correctly before one could talk about reaping the benefits of its rapturous delight or acquiring Allah’s blessings for doing it.
• In this case, we instruct the person to make up the day or repeat the prayer because the fasting or prayer is invalid.
Learning and delight
• When our fasting is found to be invalid or incomplete, we have to correct it or mend it. This is the first obligation in doing fasting.
• It is not an excuse to focus on educational, intellectual and philosophical aspects of fasting or its favorable benefits, while one has ignored doing it correctly and did not learn its rules of validity. In other words, one cannot talk about the fasting rewardability while one did not learn or fulfill the fasting’s conditions of acceptability.
• Issues related to delight could be caused by a word which makes one cry, or feel passionate, pleasant and affected. People then run after these gusts of emotions and ignore the Islamic Fiqh for how to worship Allah. Others run after philosophical issues and ignore studying the rules. If you ask both categories about how to perform fasting, they cannot answer your question.
• When I am about to fast and/or pray I have to know the rules of fasting and/or prayer. It is important to learn the rules of what break the fast, what make the fast disliked, when I am permitted to break the fast in the evening, what are the causes and occurrences that permit me not to fast in Ramadan, when I have to pay expiation, when there is kaffaarah and the like.
• Most Muslims leave out learning the fiqh of worship and look for the delight, hype and euphoria. Why? The fiqh issues are more serious and need focus and people usually do not find them interesting. These issues need one to exert effort to learn, understand and memorize them. They are more traditional and disciplined and many look for things that are more entertaining, casual and unchartered as they are used to see these things in popular journals and magazines, not to mention the Internet. People became lazy and spend most a great deal of their time using their phones. Their Islamic Knowledge and thus their worship suffer from the bad consequences.