On whom fasting is obligatory and not obligatory

Number 01

Those people who are Muslim, mature, sound minded, settled, capable and free from hindrances.

Fasting Ramadan on time is obligatory on such people. Evidences of Quran, Sunnah and Ijma are proof on this.

Allah says,

شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِيٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ هُدٗى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡفُرۡقَانِۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُۖ

“The month of Ramadan, in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for people and clear signs of guidance and distinguishing between truth and falsehood. So in the month that comes among you, let him fast in it “

Al Qur’an 02:185

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “Observe fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break (fast) on sighting it (the new moon), but if the sky is cloudy for you, then complete the number (of thirty).”

Muslim 1081

And all the Muslims of the world have held Ijma or consensus about fasting in Ramadan being obligatory.Fasting is not obligatory on a disbelievers and the fast of a disbeliever will not be pure. Because he is not worthy of worship. So if he is a Muslim in the middle of Ramadan, then it is not obligatory on him to fast the previous days.Because Allah says:

قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ إِن يَنتَهُواْ يُغۡفَرۡ لَهُم مَّا قَدۡ سَلَفَ

“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they desist, then what happened in the past will be forgiven them.”

Al Quran 08:38

But if a disbeliever becomes a Muslim in the middle of any day of Ramadan, then it is obligatory for him to fast the rest of that day. Because he is obliged to obey the rules of abstinence after receiving the time of abstinence.

Number 02

Minor child, Fasting will not be obligatory on him; Until he reaches puberty.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, an idiot till he is restored to reason, and a boy till he reaches puberty.

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But following the example of the Salaf Saleheen, parents should teach their minor children to fast, so that worship becomes easier after they become adults.

Note that a male child’s maturity will be proved through any one of three factors:

One : Dreaming or otherwise ejaculating.

Because Allah says,

وَإِذَا بَلَغَ ٱلۡأَطۡفَٰلُ مِنكُمُ ٱلۡحُلُمَ فَلۡيَسۡتَ‍ٔۡذِنُواْ كَمَا ٱسۡتَ‍ٔۡذَنَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡۚ

“And when your children reach the age of puberty, let them seek permission ˹to come in˺, as their seniors do. This is how Allah makes His revelations clear to you, for Allah is All-Knowing, All Wise.”

Al Qur’an 24:59

Two : Growing hair below the navel.

It was narrated that ‘Abdul-Malik bin `Umair said:“I heard ‘Atiyyah Al-Quradhi say: ‘We were presented to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on the Day of Quraidhah. Those whose pubic hair had grown were killed, and those whose pubic hair had not yet grown were let go. I was one of those whose pubic hair had not yet grown, so I was let go.”

Ibne Majah 2541

Three : Attaining the age of fifteen years.

It was narrated that Ibn`Umar said:“I was presented to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on the day of Uhud, when I was fourteen years old, but he did not permit me (to fight). I was presented to him on the Day of Khandaq when I was fifteen years old, and he permitted me (to fight).’ ”

Ibn Majah 2543

And girls (adults) will be the same as men when they become adults, but their situation is a little different. And that is menstruation or menstruation.Therefore, when women menstruate, it is necessary to observe all the instructions of the Shariah on her. Although the age is not 10 years.

Number 03

Crazy or sane person.So fasting is not obligatory on the insane, unconscious and drunk.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)said:”The pen has been lifted from three: From the sleeper until he wakes up, from the minor until he grows up, and from the insane until he comes back to his senses or recovers.”

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If a lunatic fasts, it will not be valid. Because a madman does not have the conscience by which he can understand worship and understand his intention. And worship is not pure without intention. Because the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said: The (reward of) deeds, depend upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.

Bukhari 6689

Number 04

An elderly person with memory loss and sense of right and wrong.

It is not necessary for such persons to fast or to eat miskeen. Because he is not in a state of Shari’i mukallaf (obligation) due to lack of knowledge to judge good and bad. Such a person would be regarded as a child who cannot distinguish between right and wrong.If it is the case that he sometimes has the knowledge to differentiate and sometimes does not have the knowledge to differentiate, then the fast will be obligatory when he has the knowledge to differentiate.It is not obligatory in the state of ignorance. And Salat is like fasting. It is not necessary to offer Salat in the state of ignorance, it is obligatory to offer Salat in the state of knowledge.

Number 05

A person who is persistently unable to observe the fast whose disability is unlikely to be removed.

Such as very elderly person or patients whose disease is not expected to be cured. Examples are cancer or similar diseases. Therefore fasting is not obligatory for such a person. Because he is incapable of it. Allah says,

فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ

“So be mindful of Allah to the best of your ability.”

Al Qur’an 64:16

لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۚ

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.”

Al Qur’an 02:286

But for that disabled person it is necessary to feed one poor person every day instead of every fast. This is because Allah Ta’ala considered eating food to be equivalent to fasting during the initial period of obligatory fasting, when it was permissible to do either. So it became prescribed for a person who is unable to fast to have food in lieu of every fast; Because eating food is an alternative to fasting.

And with regard to feeding, there is an opportunity to take either of the two,

Food can be distributed separately to each poor person. For each one a measure of improved wheat, which is one-fourth of the Prophet’s sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Another item is the amount of “half a kilo and 10 grams” of heavy good wheat.After finalizing the meal arrangements, all the poor can be invited and fed according to the schedule of the day.

Imam Bukhari says, When an elderly person is unable to fast, he follows in the footsteps of Anas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu. Anas used to feed bread and meat to a poor person every day for a year or two after he became old and broke his fast.

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said about old men and women, if they are unable to fast, they should feed a poor person in place of every fast.

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My brothers! Shariah is wisdom and mercy from Almighty Allah. Allah has favored His servants through this. Because the foundation of this Shariah is simplicity and wisdom and good form and wisdom. Allah Ta’ala has made fasting obligatory for every person according to his status, so that everyone can perform his duties and thereby find peace in his heart and contentment in his mind. So that everyone can be satisfied with Allah as Lord, Islam as religion and Muhammad as Prophet.

So, O believers, praise and thank Allah for this precious Deen and for the endless blessings He has bestowed upon you through your guidance.Because many people in the world have gone astray and lost their way. And pray to Allah that He may keep you firm and steadfast on the Deen forever.

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