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Fasting / What is continuous fasting? Is it lawful?

What is continuous fasting? Is it lawful?

publish date : 2014-07-01 | Views : 2226
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. What is continuous fasting? Is it lawful?

ما هو صيام الوصال؟وهل هو مشروع؟

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.   Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.   As to what follows:   In response to your question, we say:     Continuous fasting is joining the fasting of one day to another. This means that the two days are not separated by the breaking of a fast. Thus when the person finishes the fast  of  a day he does not break it at sunset, rather, he continues fasting until he begins until the next day.  This is continuous fasting. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited this type of fasting. His companions said to him, as stated in an authentic hadith by Abu Hurairah, “O Messenger of Allah! but you observe continuous fasting. He said: “You are not like me in this matter, for I spend my night (in a state) that my Lord feeds me and provides me drink.” [al-Bukhari (1965)   and Muslim ( 1103)] This means that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was provided types of strength and kinds of support which suffice him and leave him with no need for food and drink. The intended meaning is not that he would eat and drink from the provisions of Paradise as has been stated by some commentators of hadith. If that was the case he would not have been fasting continuously.  However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant that Allah the Exalted inspired him with power and help which would suffice him the need for food and drink, and this was not for the Sahaba. That is why he said, “I am not like you”. That is, this matter is not an issue which they could follow him in. The Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them) thought that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited them from continuous fasting because of his mercy and compassion for them, so they fasted continuously. That was at the end of the month, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) fasted continuously with them for a day and the next day. Then he said, “If the crescent had delayed, I would have continued fasting (because of you),” as if he wanted to punish them (because they had refused to give up continuous fasting), [al-Bukhari (7299) and Muslim (1103), that is as punishment for them for not obeying what he had prohibited them from in engaging in continuous fasting when they asked him about.   Is it lawful? Continuous fasting is not lawful, and that is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited it. What is lawful is that a Muslim should hasten to break fast as stated in the hadith of Sahl ibn Sa’d that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.” [al-Bukhari (1957) and Muslim (1098)]. A Muslim should also partake the sahur meal as stated in the hadith of Anas which is in the Sahihayn that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Take sahur as there is a blessing in it.” [al-Bukhari (1923) and Muslim (1095). ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr narrated: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the people of the Book, is eating sahur.” [Muslim (1096)] That is why some scholars are of the view that it is permissible for people beside the Prophet (peace be upon him) to fast continuously but they should not fast until the next day, rather, they must break their fast at sahur. This is why the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr states, “The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the people of the Book, is eating sahur.” [Muslim (1096)]. If a Muslim wants to fast continuously he may do so, but he should not fast until the next day, rather his fast should end at sahur.

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