Shaikh al-Ubailaan said, “… and this methodology which the scholars, may Allaah have mercy on them, have determined [concerning hadith] and [also] which the people of knowledge are upon concerning hadith is what the Ameerul-Mu’mineen in hadith of this age [i.e., al-Albaani] is upon, for he is the reviver of [both] the Science of Hadith and the Sunnah in this time—as the scholars of this age have stated openly—yet he did not bring anything new [i.e., unfounded], additionally he didn’t accept being a blind follower of anyone else in a field of knowledge to which he had devoted the majority of his life, and Allaah granted him things in that field which He didn’t grant others, and his goal in it was to aid the Sunnah, he didn’t busy himself with it in order to make a particular madhhab triumph, or to seek the dunyaa, in fact, he split with his father when his father gave him the choice to agree with him in something he was opposing the Sunnah in or to part ways, so he chose to part ways, saying to his father, ‘Give me three days in which I can seek Allaah’s Guidance in this matter [istikhaarah],’—and at that time he had no worldly possessions, Shaikh [al-Albaani] told me this himself, may Allaah grant him a place in the highest Firdous and raise his rank among the rightly guided.
So the Shaikh spent his entire life in this struggle, he didn’t seek knowledge in order to live in the lap of luxury, or to gain fame and the people’s praise—rather his concern was to spread the Sunnah, whoever was pleased with that then so be it and whoever raged against it, then so be it.
And our Shaikh, the Abstemious, the ’Allaamah, the Haafidh, Abdullah ibn Muhammad ad-Daweesh, may Allaah have mercy on him, spoke the truth when he said about Shaikh al-Albaani, ‘For centuries no one has come forth in the Science of Hadith like Shaikh Naasir in the copiousness of his works, and his precision in checking.’
And no-one recognises the merit of the people of excellence apart from [other] people of excellence, yet despite that we do not claim that the Shaikh couldn’t make a mistake when declaring something to be authentic or weak, this wasn’t the case and nor will it be with others.
At the same time we do not accept and nor are we pleased with his reputation being tarnished, for attacking him and others like him is to attack the Sunnah, and the claim that his methodology opposes that of the earlier hadith scholars is a disparagement of the Shaikh, no-one who can grasp the results of making such a statement on the Sunnah and its people in this time and after it would say such a thing.”
Raddul-Jameel fidh-Dhabb ‘an Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, pp. 67-68.
The Imaam said, “You should be aware that seeking refuge with Allaah [al-isti’aadhah] for reciting the Quraan is to be done before [actual] recitation, as for seeking refuge with Him [تعالى] when [just] quoting an aayah then it is an innovation which is in opposition to the Sunnah. Note when you read the hadiths in which the Prophet ﷺ quoted an aayah as proof you won’t find him ﷺ saying, ‘A’uthu billaahi minash-Shaitaanir-Rajeem.’”
Silsilatul-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 26.
[See here for the first part.]
Before I begin listing the story’s narrations, I feel I must make a [brief] remark in order to complete the benefits to be gained from this book, so I say:
This story has been mentioned by the scholars of tafsir for The Most High’s Statement:
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٖ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ إِلَّآ إِذَا تَمَنَّىٰٓ أَلۡقَى ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ فِيٓ أُمۡنِيَّتِهِۦ فَيَنسَخُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يُلۡقِي ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ ثُمَّ يُحۡكِمُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَٰتِهِۦۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٞ ٥٢ لِّيَجۡعَلَ مَا يُلۡقِي ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ فِتۡنَةٗ لِّلَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٞ وَٱلۡقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمۡۗ وَإِنَّ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ لَفِي شِقَاقِۢ بَعِيدٖ ٥٣ وَلِيَعۡلَمَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ أَنَّهُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَيُؤۡمِنُواْ بِهِۦ فَتُخۡبِتَ لَهُۥ قُلُوبُهُمۡۗ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ
“And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allaah abolishes that which Satan throws in, then Allaah makes precise His verses, and Allaah is Knowing and Wise. [That is] so He may make what Satan throws in [i.e., asserts] a trial for those within whose hearts is a disease and those hard of heart, and indeed, the wrongdoers are in extreme dissension. And so that those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allaah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.” [Al-Hajj 22:52-54]
And they have differed concerning the explanation of His Saying, “تَمَنَّىٰٓ” and “أُمۡنِيَّتِهِۦ”, and the best that has been said regarding them is that “تَمَنَّىٰٓ” is from [the word] “الأمنية” which means recitation, as the poet said about Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, when he was killed:
تمنى كتاب الله أول ليلة وآخرها لاقى حِمام المقادر
He recited the Book of Allaah at the beginning of the night
And at its end did meet the appointed fate of death
Most of the scholars of Quranic exegesis and verifiers are of this opinion, and Ibn Kathir reported it from most of the scholars of tafsir. In fact, Ibn al-Qayyim attributed it to the Salaf without exception saying in Ighaathatul-Lahfaan1 (1/93), “And the Salaf, all of them, hold that the meaning is: when he recited, the Devil threw [some misunderstanding/things not from it] into [في] his recitation.” And al-Qurtubi explained it in his tafsir, saying, (12/83), “And Sulaimaan ibn Harb said, ‘Indeed [the preposition] ‘in/في’ means ‘at the time of/when,’ i.e.: the Devil threw [misunderstanding/things not from it] into the hearts of the disbelievers at the time of the Prophet’s recitation ﷺ; this is similar to [the use of the preposition ‘in/في’] in His Statement, the Mighty and Majestic:
“… and you remained among us …” [Shu’araa 26:18]
i.e., [the preposition ‘in/في’ in the above verse means] ‘‘among’ us,’ and this is the meaning of what Ibn Atiyyah related from his father from the scholars of the East and al-Qaadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi indicated it too.”
Abu Bakr’s statements shall be mentioned in their due place, if Allaah the Most High wills, and what we have stated in terms of the explanation of the verse is what Imaam Ibn Jarir chose, who said, after what he reported from a group of the Salaf, (17/121), “And this statement is the most correct explanation of the verse, shown by the Most High’s Saying:
فَيَنسَخُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يُلۡقِي ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ ثُمَّ يُحۡكِمُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَٰتِهِۦۗ
“But Allaah abolishes that which Satan throws in, then Allaah makes precise His verses …” [Al-Hajj 22:52]
because there is no doubt that the verses which Allaah جل ثناؤه makes precise are those of His Revelation, based upon this it is known that what Shaitaan threw into them is what He تعالى ذكره said He abolished and nullified, and by annulling them He made them [i.e., His verses] precise.
So the explanation is:
“And We did not send any messenger or prophet before you except that when he recited and read the Book of Allaah or narrated and spoke, the Devil threw [things not from it in] amongst the Book of Allaah which he [i.e., the Prophet] was reciting and reading, or into his speech which he was narrating and uttering, and so Allaah would, with His Speech, abolish whatever the Devil threw: [i.e.,] Allaah would eliminate whatever it was the Devil threw [doing so] upon the tongue of His Prophet and would nullify it.”
This is the noble verse’s intended meaning and it contains, as you can see, nothing except the fact that at the time of the Prophet’s recital ﷺ the Devil throws forward that which causes those in whose hearts is a disease to be put to trial.
But nothing satisfies the enemies of the religion who sit in wait at every path and lurk in the shadows at each and every place of ambush against it, except to thrust into it things that aren’t from it, and which His Messenger did not say. And as you will soon see in the forthcoming narrations, they mentioned that which is not becoming of the rank of Prophethood and Messengership—and that is their habit of old.
Just as they did with more than one verse concerning other Prophets apart from him ﷺ like Dawud, Sulaimaan and Yusuf عليهم الصلاة والسلام, where when explaining the verses about them they reported Israiliyaat narrations which it is not even permissible to attribute to a [regular] Muslim let alone a revered Prophet, and this can be seen in the relevant parts in the books of tafsir and stories.
So beware, O Muslim, of being deceived by any of that and as a result ending up amongst those destroyed, and, “Leave that which causes you to doubt for that which does not cause you to doubt,” as your Prophet ﷺ said.
وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ
“And indeed is Allaah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.” [Al-Hajj 22:53]
1 See the Al-Maktab al-Islami and Daar al-Khaani prints, checked by Dr. Muhammad Afifi, 2nd edition, 1/150.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
All praise is due to Allaah Who chose our Prophet over all of mankind and protected him from the Devil ever inspiring evil to him; He, the Most High, addressing the accursed Iblees, said:
إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيۡسَ لَكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ سُلۡطَٰنٌ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَاوِينَ
“Indeed, My servants—no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators.” [Al-Hijr 15:42]
In fact He, the Most High, gave him ﷺ control over his devil-companion [Al-Qareen], so what is the case with those who are far removed from Him? As the saying of His noble Messenger ﷺ indicated, “There is not one among you except that Allaah has appointed a companion for him from the Jinn.” They said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Even me, but Allaah helped me with him, and he became a Muslim, so he only tells me to do good.”1
And may Allaah send praise upon Muhammad, who Allaah the Most High gave power to over Iblees such that he was almost about to strangle him to death, and he had intended to tie him to one of the pillars of Medina’s Mosque2, and [may He also send prayers] upon his family, Companions and whoever seeks guidance by following him up until the Day of Judgement.
A scholar from our dear brothers in Pakistan who was sent there for some academic purpose wrote to me on 14/7/1952 asking for my opinion concerning the hadith of the cranes [Gharaaneeq] about which two great Haafidhs, Ibn Kathir the Damascene and Ibn Hajr the Egyptian, differed, the first rejected it and the second declared it to be a strong hadith; and he requested that I not refrain from giving him an answer. So I spent some months waiting for the opportunity to be able to respond to his request.
After the Eed al-Adhaa prayer this year, 1371 AH, a beloved brother met me and then also asked me about the hadith of the Gharaaneeq, thus I answered him telling him that it was not authentic but rather false and fabricated. He then mentioned a youth to me, someone in whose heart is a disease, who used that hadith to show that the Prophet ﷺ used to—and far be it from him—say things to please the polytheists to draw them to himself, because according to this youth’s false assumption he was not a true Prophet but only pretending to be one in order to take a position of authority over them, a point some of the infidels of times past and present used to praise excessively without reason.
So that led me to make good the opportunity of the aforementioned Eed and I began, whilst trusting in Allaah the Most Ghafoor, to gather the paths of narration of that story from the books of Quranic exegesis [tafsir] and hadith, clarifying their hidden defects both in the text and the chains of narration. I then made mention of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar’s statement strengthening those hadiths and followed that up with what clarifies the invalidity of the result he came to, and then commented on that with a mention of pieces of research and reports from some of the eminent Imaams, those of great scrutiny in subsidiary issues and the fundamentals, which support the conclusion I came to concerning the dubiousness of the story and its futility and the obligation of rejecting it and not accepting it, believing in the Most High’s Statement:
لِّتُؤۡمِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُۚ وَتُسَبِّحُوهُ بُكۡرَةٗ وَأَصِيلًا
“That you [people] may believe in Allaah and His Messenger and honor him and respect him [i.e., the Messenger] and exalt Him [i.e., Allaah] morning and afternoon.” [Al-Fath 48:9]
And so came about a treatise unique in its field, strong in its subject matter, removing the confusion of the believing brother and destroying the doubt of the harebrained apostate, and I have called it:
‘Mounting the Ballista to Decimate the Story of the Cranes.’
I ask Allaah the Most High, to make it sincerely for Him and that He accepts it from me as a defense of His Prophet, and that He stores its reward for me for the day when we will be in the utmost need of his intercession:
يَوۡمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٞ وَلَا بَنُونَ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَتَى ٱللَّهَ بِقَلۡبٖ سَلِيمٖ
“The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children.
But only one who comes to Allaah with a sound heart.” [Ash-Shu’araa 26:88-89]
Indeed He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Damascus, on 2/1/1372 AH, 21/9/1952.
Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.
1 Reported by Ahmad, nos. 3647, 3778, 3801 and 4393 of the Maktab al-Islami print, and Muslim 8/139, by way of Ibn Mas’ood. [Sahih Muslim, Darussalam Print, vol. 7, p. 215, no. 7108]
2 This has been reported in Sahih al-Bukhari, 3/62 in Ibn Hajar’s Sharh, Muslim 2/72 and others.
See here for the second part.
The Imaam said, “And so here I am, having spent my youth’s vigour, the vitality of my middle age, whatever remaining strength I have in my old age, and the greater portion of my free time in the service of this [most] noble knowledge, with an acute craving for examining manuscripts and photocopies [of books], let alone actual printed ones—hardly anything preoccupying me from that as it does other students of knowledge, except for what I have no choice over.
And yet despite that, indeed I, whenever time advances and I grow older, increase in my faith in Allaah’s Statement, “… and of knowledge, you have been given but a little,” [17:85] and in the fact that over time whenever a person gains more knowledge he increases in his awareness of his own ignorance, and that is why, as a lesson for us, Allaah ordered His Prophet ﷺ to say, “And say, ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge!’” [20:114] and for that reason one of his supplications ﷺ was, “Oh Allaah! Cause me to benefit from what you have taught me, and teach me what will benefit me, and increase me in knowledge!” [Hasan: Saheehah, 3151]
Al-Kalimut-Tayyib, p. 7-8.
Questioner: A man who was disobeying Allaah, very rich, then some years later he repents to Allaah, does he have to pay the zakaah of the previous years?
Al-Albaani: He must.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 23.
Questioner: Okay, regarding zakaah, maybe the answer will become clear with this question, a man never gave zakaah for many years, then he repented and turned back to Allaah and wanted to give zakaah, so naturally, it is waajib for him to give the zakaah [for those years]?
Al-Albaani: He must.
Questioner: But he had agricultural land, and he doesn’t know how much it yielded, he’s forgotten, so how much zakaah is he to give?
Al-Albaani: According to the best estimate [he can make], as is the case with all matters that are unclear like this, he makes the best estimate he can, he calculates an amount, he strives, ya’ni, [to come to the best estimate he can], there is no specific amount that has been set.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 31.
Questioner: A man stayed seven years, his wife has a lot of valuable gold, this ornamental gold, he doesn’t know what the ruling is, for seven years he didn’t pay the zakaah?
Al-Albaani: He pays the zakaah for those seven years even if [in the process] he were to lose all his house.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 41.
Questioner: Is the hadith, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’ authentic? If it isn’t how so?
Al-Albaani: This hadith differs totally from the one we mentioned before it, that last hadith about which we said that its chain of narration was weak and [along with that] the text itself was untrue [as well].
This hadith [however] is weak in terms of its chain of narration but correct in its meaning, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’ as a hadith reported from the Prophet ﷺ according to the scholars of hadith its chain of narration is not authentic, but the state of affairs shows, and, before that, general hadith like his saying ﷺ, ‘It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few small bites that strengthens his spine. If he must have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing,’ … so hadiths like this confirm, and as occurs in another hadith which has no basis whatsoever but which does contain fine wisdom, ‘Prevention is the best cure, and the stomach is the home of disease,’ for this reason, this hadith, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’—its attribution to the Prophet ﷺ is not correct but, due to what we mentioned, its meaning is.
And what I mean when I say, ‘Its attribution to the Prophet ﷺ is incorrect,’ is that it is not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’’ as you may have heard on some radio stations, this is not allowed. Why? Because the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Whoever attributes to me something that I have not said, let him take his place in Hell.’
So it is not allowed for a Muslim to say a sentence, even if in and of itself it is a piece of wisdom and is acceptable in the view of other general, legislated proofs, [yet] it is [still] not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said,’ unless it has, according to the scholars of hadith, been confirmed through the ways which establish the hadiths of the Prophet ﷺ.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 692.
The Imaam said, “And the scholars have differed about fasting while on a journey in Ramadaan, there being a number of opinions, and there is no doubt that not fasting during a journey is allowed, and doing that is the preferred option in our opinion if the person not keeping it doesn’t find it difficult to make it up [later], otherwise [i.e., if he does find it difficult to make up later] we prefer that he fasts, and Allaah knows best. And whoever wants to delve further into this topic should refer to Nailul-Awtaar or other books of the people of knowledge.”
Ad-Da’eefah, vol. 2, pp. 336-337.
Commenting on al-Mundhiri’s statement on whether or not to fast when on a journey, the Imaam said, “And he, may Allaah have mercy on him, spoke the truth [when he said], ‘And the better of the two options is the one that is easier.’ People’s strength and circumstances differ, let each one do what is easier for him, and that is why it has been authentically reported that the Prophet ﷺ, when asked about fasting on a journey, said, ‘Fast if you want, or break it if you want.’ (Reported by Muslim 3/145). And from another authentic path [of narration] with the wording, ‘Whichever is easier for you, do it,’ and it has been checked in As-Saheehah, 2884.”
At-Ta’leeq alat-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, 1/456.
Al-Albaani: Another Ramadaan has come round and you haven’t made up for the [Ramadaan] fasts you missed from the previous year?
There is no harm in that, [but] you should begin making them up at the first opportunity that arises, even if many Ramadaans have passed you by.
Al-Albaani: There is no harm in that but it is better for a person to be quick to make up missed fasting days, whether a man or a woman, due to the Most High’s Statement, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden [i.e., Paradise] as wide as the heavens and the earth.” [Aali-Imraan 3:133]
But if he isn’t quick, then, firstly, that doesn’t take that obligation away from him, so he must [still] make them up, and [secondly], he doesn’t have to do anything more than simply making them up.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor: 81.
The Imaam said, “It has been related from the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “There are three people who will not be called to account regarding what they eat, as long as it is halal: a fasting person, and the person eating the suhoor meal and the one guarding the frontier in the way of Allaah.” [Hadith grading:] Fabricated.
The Imaam said, “And maybe one of the bad effects of this [fabricated] hadith is the [resultant] state of the Muslims today—for when they sit to break their fast in Ramadan, a person won’t know to get up [and step away] from the food except just before Ishaa due to how many various types of food, drink, fruit and desserts he devours! And how can this not be the case when the hadith says that such a person is one of those who will not be called to account over what he eats!
So due to that they combined the excessiveness which one has been prohibited from in the Book and the Sunnah with the delaying of Maghrib which has [also] been prohibited in his saying, “My nation will remain in good …” or he said, “… upon the Fitrah, as long as they do not delay Maghrib until the stars appear.” (Al-Haakim declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him and it is as they both said, for it has other paths and supporting proofs which I pointed to in Saheeh Sunan Abi Daawood, no. 444).
An encouragement to hasten in opening the fast has also been reported in many hadiths, like, “The people will continue to be fine as long as they hasten the opening of the fast.” So both hadiths must be implemented in a manner where one doesn’t negate the other, and that is done by starting iftaar with a few small bites of food by which one’s hunger is calmed down, and then he gets up to pray and then, if he wants, he can come back to the food until he fulfils his need therefrom.
Some of this has been demonstrated in the practical Sunnah, for Anas said, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates, but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water.” (Reported by Abu Daawood and at-Tirmidhi and he said it was hasan, and it is in Saheeh Abi Daawood, no. 2040, and the one before it is agreed upon and it has been checked in Al-Irwaa, 899).”
Questioner: A fasting person is rinsing his mouth out and accidentally drinks some of the water, what is the ruling on his fast?
Al-Albaani: His fast is correct, and in that [mistake of his] is aafiyah [for him]—it is but Allaah who has fed him and given him something to drink.
Questioner: Isn’t that about a person who forgot?
Al-Albaani: I know, and what’s the difference between someone who forgets … “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we forget or make a mistake …” [Baqarah 2:186]
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 321.
Questioner: Does [extra] optional fasting help someone who has broken his [obligatory] fast intentionally, since there is no proof that breaking an obligatory fast can [actually] be made up for?
Al-Albaani: There is no doubt that it will help him, just like someone who missed lots of [other] obligatory duties, compensating for what he missed by performing supererogatory prayers will help him.
There is no way for a person who breaks his [obligatory] fast on purpose to make up for it, and he is extremely sinful [for doing that] until he truly repents to Allaah عزو جل. He should [try and] offset the good deeds that he has missed out on because of breaking the fast on purpose by performing lots of supererogatory prayers until he make amends for some of what he has missed.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 19.
The Imaam said, “I start by opening with something appropriate to the time and place we’re in, in that we all know the Statement of Allaah تبارك و تعالى, “… decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous,” [Baqarah 2:183] you’ve heard commentary and beneficial comments concerning this verse and things connected to it many times, but I believe that you will have seldom heard commentary on its last part, “… that you may become righteous.”
Why was this fasting decreed? “That you may become righteous.” This is one of the rare verses, in fact one of the rare legislated provisions that links the legislated order with an explanation of the intended goal and the reason it was legislated.
There is a declaration here of the obligation of fasting Ramadan, and Muslims should apply themselves to adopting and implementing this order without asking why or how and so on, something which is common now in terms of questioning the legislated orders, [such that] you will often hear some people [saying], “Why this? Why that? Why this?”—we don’t approve of exhaustively searching for the wisdom behind legislation, except what has been expounded on [itself] in it, like what we’re discussing now [i.e., fasting].
“Decreed upon you is fasting,” why? He تعالى said, “… that you may become righteous,” i.e., the point of fasting is for it to be a means for the fasting person to increase his taqwa of Allaah عز وجل and for him to get closer to Him.
If he fasts but does not improve compared to how he was before, i.e., before Ramadan, then it means that this person has not accomplished the desired goal wanted from the implementation of fasting.
There are some authentic hadiths, from the Prophet ﷺ of course, which explain and confirm this objective which the verse has stated, for example, the hadith qudsi which the Prophet ﷺ relates from his Lord عز وجل, in which He said, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink,” this is a very great hadith, and goes completely with the end of the verse, “… that you may become righteous.”
So, when we look at both the verse and the hadith, the aim is not—the only aim is not, and I [purposefully say] ‘the only aim’ so that some people don’t misunderstand me—the only aim for the fasting person is not to refrain from eating, drinking and intercourse based upon the fact that they are listed as things which break the fast in the Quraan and the Sunnah, (leaving aside [for now, mention of] the other things which also break it concerning which there is a big difference of opinion amongst the scholars of fiqh), the aim is not to only refrain from these things which break the fast, but rather [to be aware] that there are other obligatory things which a Muslim must stop himself from too just like he did with these things.
In light of the explanation mentioned in the verse and the clear, authentic hadith just now, I can say something to you which might be new in terms of how it’s expressed but is not new in the ahkaam because it is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, this new phrasing is [concerning the fact] that the books of fiqh, without exception mention the things which break the fast, and this is something that must be done, but, to explain and clarify what was previously mentioned in the verse and the hadith, I say: those things which break the fast are of two types, and this correct division [which I am about to mention] must be rooted in everyone’s mind, because of how important it is.
The first type: the material things which break the fast, and they are the things listed in the books of fiqh as was mentioned just now.
The second type: let’s call them the abstract things which break the fast, these are the things that the verse referred to, “… that you may become righteous,” and his ﷺ statement from His Lord تبارك و تعالى clarified that, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink.”
Thus, along with leaving his food, drink and intercourse, to that he must also add refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has forbidden and what He has ordered every Muslim to be far from.
From the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “Fasting is not leaving food and drink but rather fasting is refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has prohibited,” or as he ﷺ said in words of a similar meaning, and whoever wants to read these hadiths and those like it where the Prophet ﷺ warned the fasting person from committing sins and [where it shows] that this forbiddance comes under the generality of His Statement تبارك و تعالى, “… that you may become righteous,” whoever wants to read these types of hadiths should refer to At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri, may Allaah have mercy on him.
To conclude I say, fasting, in terms of how it was legislated in order for a Muslim to get closer to Allaah and increase his taqwa of Him, is just like the prayer, prayer whose only purpose is also not that a Muslim just performs its conditions, pillars and requirements, but that he should also pay heed to the purpose and wisdom due to which Allaah عز وجل legislated five of them, day and night, on His believing servants, that is what Our Lord عز وجل alluded to in His Statement, “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing …” [Al-Ankabut 29:45], so a Muslim’s prayer is accepted by Allaah عز وجل in accordance with how much it prevents him from immorality and wrongdoing.
The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this fact connected to prayer in an authentic hadith, where he ﷺ said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him …” i.e., completely, but rather it is written as deficient according to how discrepant it is, he ﷺ explained that in the rest of the hadith where he said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a quarter, a third or half of it,”—and he stopped here, indicating that a complete prayer is very, very rare, a Muslim is not able to perform it, the best of them is the one for whom half is written and so on until a tenth, and [even then] a tenth is only if the prayer is [actually] accepted by Allaah عز وجل, otherwise many of a person’s prayers are those which he will have his face struck with on the Day of Judgement, and refuge is sought with Allaah, and that is because the Prophet ﷺ pointed to two realities.
The first is what we have spoken about connected to fasting, and the other is connected to prayer, for he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who has nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting,” why? Because he never stopped doing what Allaah عز وجل forbade him from, he [i.e.,, this fasting person] only restricted himself to what we [earlier] called the material things which break the fast—yet he thinks he is fasting—about such a person we say, “He fasted but didn’t fast,” he fasted in terms of refraining himself from the material things which break the fast but he didn’t [really] fast because he didn’t withhold from the abstract things which break the fast, that is why he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who gets nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast, and how many a praying person there is who gets nothing but a sleepless night and fatigue from his standing in prayer.”
So, we hope that Allaah تبارك و تعالى inspires us to refrain from both types of thing which break the fast, the material and the abstract, and that He inspires us [to perform] prayers that are accepted by Him تبارك و تعالى, prayers which prevent one from immorality and wrongdoing.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 692.