Yasin Aljiburi

There are certain occasions when fast becomes unlawful; these are:

  1. Fasting the first day of the month of Shawwal (Eidul-Fitr).
  2. Fasting the tenth day of the month of Thul-Hijjah (Eidul-Adha).
  3. Fasting the eleventh and twelfth of Thul-Hijjh by anyone, pilgrim or non-pilgrim, who is then present at Mina.
  4. Fast which is not required, such as that of the sick, the woman during her menstrual or post-natal (after having delivered) period, or fasting for a transgression committed (such as fasting to thank Allah for having been able to kill another Muslim), and the fast of one on a journey except if such person seeks the fulfillment of a dear and lawful worldly wish and goes to visit the Prophet’s shrine in Medina.
  5. Fasting with the intention to prolong his fast till beyond sunset.
  6. Fast of silence with the intention of hoping to seek nearness to Allah. Such fast was granted to a few holy men and women after the latter sought and obtained permission from the Almighty such as the case of Zakariyya (as) and Maryam mother of Jesus (as).
  7. The fast of doubt: if one is not sure whether the day he is fasting is part of the month of Sha`ban or that of the month of Ramadhan .
  8. The fast of a wife who deliberately goes against her husband’s wish not to fast.

Some Muslims, particularly Shi`as, may disagree with some of these eight items depending on who they follow as their marji` taqlid. When in doubt, ask your marji` or his representative, and Allah knows best.

The month of Ramadhan is sacred because it is the month when the Holy Quran was revealed, and because it is the month containing Lailatul-Qadr. It is, therefore, appropriate to know a little about this Book, the greatest of all divine revelations, the best revelation the descendants of Adam (as) have ever received from their Lord.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is quoted on p. 261, Vol. 2, of al-Zamakhshari’s Rabee` al-Abrar as saying,

“The hearts rust just as iron rusts.” He (pbuh) was asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What removes their rust?”

He (pbuh) replied, “The recitation of the Quran and the remembrance of death.”

In one Qudsi hadith, the Almighty has said, “I shall give one who is too preoccupied with his recitation of the Quran to plead to Me the very best of what I give those who are grateful to Me.”

Imam Ali (as) has said, “One who recites the Quran while standing during the prayers will receive a hundred good deeds for each verse he recites; if he recites it sitting during his prayers, he will receive fifty good deeds for each verse, and whoever recites it after having made his wudu will receive twenty-five good deeds for each verse, and one who recites it without wudu will receive ten good deeds for each verse he recites.”

One day, as al-Zamakhshari tells us on p. 264, Vol. 2, of his Rabee` al-Abrar, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was late in going back home. “What kept you so long from coming home?” Ayesha asked him. He (pbuh) answered,

“It is the recitation of a man whose voice is better (when reciting the Holy Quran) than anyone else I have heard.” Then he (pbuh) stood and listened to him for a good while then said, “He is Salim, the slave of Abu Hudhayfah. Praise to Allah for the presence of people like him in my nation.”

During the month of Ramadhan , Sufyan al-Thawri used to devote his time to the recitation of the Holy Quran, and Malik ibn Anas used to stop studying and abandon the company of scholars, and concentrate on reciting the Holy Quran instead, as we are told on pp. 257-258 of Vol. 2 of al-Zamakhshari’s Rabi` al-Abrar.

In one of his sermons, Imam Ali (as) said the following about the Holy Quran:
Besides the Holy Quran, nobody should complain of needing anything else. One who is deprived of it cannot be described as having anything at all; so, seek in it the healing of your ailments, and solicit its assistance when you encounter a hardship, for it contains a cure for the worst of ailments: disbelief, hypocrisy, and misguidance.

Plead to Allah through it instead of pleading to any of His creation. Nobody can seek Allah through anything better than it, and be admonished that it is an intercessor that will intercede on your behalf, and a speaker that speaks the truth. For whomsoever the Holy Quran intercedes on the Day of Judgment, he will surely achieve intercession, and whoever seeks it to testify to his truthfulness will surely be regarded as a man of truth, for someone shall call on the Day of Judgment:

“Everyone who cultivates is tried by what he cultivates except those who cultivate the Quran;” so be among those who cultivate and follow it, and make it the means to reach your Lord. Seek its advice regarding your souls, and compare your views with those of its own, and seek its help against yielding to your desires.

The Imam (as) has also said, “One who recites the Quran then dies and enters the fire is among those who took Allah’s signs lightly.”