Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book of Fasting: The Intention by Sheikh Abu Iyas

We are serialising some sections from the draft translation of  الجامع لأحكام الصيام ‘Al-Jami li Ahkam as-Siyam’ (A complete guide of the rules of fasting) by Sheikh Abu Iyas Mahmoud bin Abdul Latif al-Uweidathis Ramadhan, please note this is a draft translation so please overlook errors.  

The Intention of the Fast:

It was the opinion of ibn Umar and Jaabir bin Zaid (rah) from the Sahaabah and also the opinion of Maalik, Al Layth and Ibn Abi dh’ib that it was necessary to make the intention for the fast in the preceding night in any part of it (the night). There is no difference between the obligatory and recommended fasts so the fast of Ramadhaan, the fast of an Nadhr (oath/vow), the obligatory fast of Kafaarah and the recommended extra fasts are all the same in the respect of the intention according to this view. However Imam Abu Haneefah, Imaam ash Shaafi’ and Ahmad viewed the niyah of the preceding night to be obligatory only for the obligatory fasts and not the supplementary.

Is it obligatory to make the intention for every day of fasting of Ramadhaan as the majority have stated or can one intention cover the whole month of fasting like Maalik, Ahmad and Ishaaq have put forward? Also is it correct fasting in the month of Ramadhaan in the right of Al Muqeem as Saheeh without an intention like some of the Ahnaaf, Ataa, Mujaahid and az Zuhry stated? Is it allowed to make the intention in the daytime of a supplementary fast which was the opinion of Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Mas’ood, Hudhayfah, Abu Hurairah, Abu ad Dardaa, Abu Talha, Abu Ayoob (rah) and Ahmad and Ash Shaafi’? Is the intention obligatory before Zawaal – before Zhohr -  and there is no reward after that like has been reported from Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (ra) and from Abu Haneefah and one opinion attributed to Ash Shaafi’? Or is it acceptable to make the intention both before and after zhohr following the view of ibn Abbaas, Aa’isha and Hudhaifah (rah) and ash Shaafi’ in another view attributed to him?

In order to uncover the truth of these issues we need to examine the following texts:
1)      From Hafsah (rah) the wife of the Prophet (saw) that He (saw) said:
<< Whoever has not joined the fast before al Fajr then there is no fast for him>>. Narrated bu Khuzaimah (1993). He added that ‘ibn Abdil Hakam told him that Ibn Wahab told them the same thing, and he added: He told me that Maalik and al Layth said the same’. Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, Al Haakim and Ibn Hazm also narrated it and verified it as Marfoo’ where An Nisaa’i and at Tirmidhy verified it stopping at Hafsah. Abd Daawud mentioned that Ma’mar, az Zubaydy, Ibn ‘Ayyina and Younus al Ayly stopped the narration at Hafsah. Ibn Maajah, ad Daaramy also classified it as Marfou’. There is therefore a difference of opinion in relation to this Hadeeth where some have verified it as being Marfou’ and others have stopped it at Hafsah.

2)      On the authority of Aisha (ra) the Mother of Believers who said:
<< The Prophet (saw) entered one day and said: ‘Have you got anything (to eat)’? So we said ‘No’. He said ‘In that case I am going to fast’. He came to us another day and we said: ‘ O Messenger of Allah we have been given a Hays (food)  as a present’ So he said ‘Show it to me, I started the day fasting’ and then he ate. Narrated by Muslim (2715), Abu Daawud, An Nisaa’i’, At Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah. Al Hays: It is a food from butter, cottage cheese and dates. Flour can replace the cheese. An Nisaa’i (2330), al Bayhaqi and ad Daaraqutni in a chain that Al Bayhaqi verified as Saheeh in the following wording: From Aa’isha (rah) Ummul Mu’mineen who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) came one day and said, ‘Do you have any food?’ I said ‘No’ so he said ‘Then I will fast. She said: ‘He came another time’ and I said: ‘O Rasool Allah we have been given Hays’ so he said, ‘ In that case I will break my fast and I had been (furidtu) fasting’.

3)      On the authority of Anas bin Maalik (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said:
<< The fasting person has a choice between it and half of the day>>
Al Bayhaqi (277/4). He narrated similar to this from Abi Umaamah (ra).

4)      From Ikramah about Ibn Abbaas (rah) that:
<< He use to be awake until zhohr and would then say: By Allah I awoke and I did not want to fast and yet I haven’t eaten food or drank anything all day. I am therefore definitely going to fast this day!>>
Narrated by at Tahaawi in Sharh ma’aani al aathar (56/2).

5)      From Abi al Ahwas from Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (ra) who said:
When you wake up then you have one of two options if you haven’t eaten or drunk anything. If you wish you can fast and if you wish you can eat>>.
At Tahaawi (56/2) in Sharh al Ma’aani al Aathar and Al Bayhaqi similar to it (277/4).

6)      On the authority of Abi Abdir Rahman
{ That Hudhaifah began his fast as long as the sun was still present}
Narrated  by At Tahaawi in his Sharh Ma’aani al Aathar (56/2), Ibn Abi Shaybah and al Bayhaqi. Abdur Razzaaq (7780) and Sa’ad ibn Ubaidah said: {Hudhaifah said: Whoever feels like fasting after the zawaal of the Sun then he should/could do so}.

The third Hadeeth from Anas (ra) contains in the chain ‘Awn bin ‘imaarah al ‘Anbari and the Riwaayah (report) of Abi Umaamah (ra) also includes him and he is weak as al Bayhaqi mentioned. The hadeeth is therefore rejected in these two chains/reports. The hadeeth of the mother of believers Hafsah (ra) is Marfou’ and Mawqoof and some people (Ulamaa) have accepted the Marfou’ and others have accepted the Mawqoof. I say: the increase of trust makes it acceptable, in this case the Hadeeth is Marfou’ to the Messenger (saw) and it (this narration) has been accepted by many Muhadditheen. This Hadeeth is clear in its meaning that it is obligatory to have made the intention before Fajr in the preceding night. The expression and wording is ‘Aam (general) for fasting so it applies in its generality except if ahaadeeth come to specify it. In this case the two reports from Aisha (ra) mention that the Messenger of Allah (saw) had made intention for fasting in the day time when he did not find any food at her house. Another time when he found food with her and he was in a state of fasting he b roke his fast and ate of the food. All of this indicates the permission (jawaaz) of making the intention to fast during the day for those fasts that are Tattawu’ (recommended/extra) because this was the reality behind the hadeeth. These Hadeeth are therefore sufficient to focus the Hadeeth of Hafsah (ra) to the obligatory fasts.

So we say that the obligatory fast requires an intention in the night before and that it is allowed to make an intention to fast the Tattawu’ (extra) fasts during the day. Therefore the first statement/opinion reported from Abdullah ibn Umar (ra), Jaabir (ra), Maalik, Al Layth and ibn Abi dh’ib that the Mandoob also requires an intention in the night is rejected by the Hadeeth of Aisha (ra). In contrast the opinion of Imaam Abi Haneefah, Ash Shaafi’ and Ahmad to make the intention in the preceding night only for the obligatory fasts is affirmed. 

As for the remaining reports 4,5 and 6 then I say the following: They all statements of the As Sahaabah (rah) and the statements of the Sahaabah and their actions are not a sharee’ah evidence or proof. They are Ahkaam Sharee’ah which are allowed to be adopted and imitated and especially if there has not been anything reported from another Sahaabi that contradicts it. Here I am not aware of any narration that contradicts with these statements/opinions.

The first Athar (report) explains how Ibn Abbaas (ra) had decided to fast in the day without having made an intention preceding that and he hadn’t yet eaten food in that day. The second from Ibn Mas’ood (ra) states the same as Ibn Abbaas with different wording. He explains the permission/allowance to make the intention of fasting in the day time as long as nothing has been eaten or drunk. The third report mentions that Hudhaifah (ra) fasting after the zawaal of the sun in the day meaning that he made his intention to fast after Zhohr and he announced this to the people. These three are of the prominent Sahaabah and they have permitted the intention and convening of the fast in the day time and two of them restricted this to the person who had not eaten or drunk. Hudhaifah (ra) allowed it after Zhohr but this report has been rejected by those who have viewed it obligatory to convene the fast before Zhohr and not allowed it after. As for the statement and action of Hudhaifah (ra) its meaning is clear. The two Hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood (rah) have come in an absolute (Mutlaq) form without restriction of time. There is no restriction (taqyeed) except for the consumption of food/drink before the niyah and the Mutlaq (unrestricted) continues as such unless there is something to restrict it. In this case there is no such restriction (i.e. before Zhohr or after it). The Hadeeth of Aisha (rah) in its two narrations also does not contain any time restriction so the first statement (The Prophet (saw) entered my quarters one day...) and in the second (The Prophet (saw) came one day) both do not contain any indication if it was the beginning, middle or end of day be referred to and as such the Mutlaq remains in its unrestricted form in the case.

Therefore I say that the intention of the Tattawu’ (non-obligatory) fast is permissible in the day, in any part of it, even if it is only one hour before the sun goes down because it is not allowed to restrict this except with a sound evidence which does not exist here. The mistake of those who made it obligatory before Zhohr has become apparent and the opinion of those who say that it is correct before and after Zhohr has been affirmed as correct. They are Abdullah Ibn Abbaas, Aisha, Hudhaifah (rah) and Ash Shaafi’ in one of his statements.

As for the question: Is it obligatory to make an intention for every night of Ramadhaan or can it be made once for the whole month? The correct view is that it is necessary to make the intention every night as fasting every day is an independent act of Ibaadah from what was before or after it. The Iftaar separates every fast from the other at night and as long as every day is an independent act of Ibaadah then it is necessary to have an intention for each act to make it legitimate. This understanding is by way of understanding the reality (min baab tahqeeq al manaat).

What remains are the views of Zufar, Ataa, Mujaahid and az Zuhri: Fasting is correct in Ramadhaan in the right of the Muqeem as Saheeh (resident) without an intention. The opinion of az Zuhri is found in the Sharh Fathul Qadeer of Ibn al Himaam al Hanafi [the sawm of Ramadhaan is performed without an intention is the right of al Muqeem as Saheeh because Al Imsaak (abstention from eating) is on him. From many angle performing it means the intention falls from him]. May Allah’s (swt) forgiveness be on Zufar and whoever said what he said. It is as if they did not know that every act of Ibaadah requires an intention. Did they not hear the speech of the Prophet (saw) when He said narrated by Umar (ra) (Verily the actions are only by their intention) Al Bukhaari, (1/6689) and Muslim? So how can they say from any angle that by performing the action the intention falls from him? Meaning for instance that if he refrained from food with the intention of losing weight (dieting) that his action would be considered a legitimate act of Ibaadah? And what is the reasoning for adding the constraint ( the haqq (right) of the Muqeem as Saheeh (resident))? Does that mean that the traveller and sick person require an intention whilst the resident does not? This opinion has reached such a level of weakness that it does not require any further regard.

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