The Punishment for not fasting during Ramadan (without a valid excuse)
I’ve noticed that many people don’t like to talk about the “punishments”. They just like to talk about the rewards because that’s “being positive”.
I wonder what would happen if they read the Quran and saw that Allah speaks about both reward and punishment, many times in back to back ayaat?
And the way of Allah is the best way i.e. to mention both sides of the picture. So, when talking about any deed we should mention 1) the virtues of doing that deed in order to encourage the person to do it and 2) the punishment for leaving that deed (if it is an obligatory deed) so as to scare the person into continuing that deed.
As I’ve already put up articles on the virtues of fasting / Ramadan, I thought I’d now put up articles / lectures to show what happens to those who do not fast in Ramadan. It is one of the major sins not to fast in Ramadan (without a valid excuse).
Here’s a lecture explaining this issue:
The Major Sins Series: Not Fasting in Ramadan By Abu Usama Adh-Dhahabi
I do not fast. Will I be punished on the Day of Resurrection?
Praise be to Allaah.
Fasting in Ramadaan is one of the pillars on which Islam is built. Allaah tells us that He has prescribed it for the believers of this ummah [nation], as He prescribed it for those who came before them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious”
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”
Al-Bukhaari (8) and Muslim (16) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; Hajj; and fasting Ramadaan.”
Whoever does not fast has abandoned one of the pillars of Islam, and is committing a grave major sin. Indeed some of the salaf were of the view that he is a kaafir [disbeliever] and apostate – we seek refuge with Allaah from that.
Abu Ya’la narrated in his Musnad from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The bonds of Islam and the bases of religion are three, on which Islam was founded. Whoever gives up one of them becomes a kaafir thereby and it is permissible to shed his blood: the testimony that there is no god but Allaah, the prescribed prayers and fasting Ramadaan.”
This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Dhahabi, and as hasan by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 1/48, and by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, no. 805, 1486. Classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah, no. 94.
Al-Dhahabi said in al-Kabaa’ir, p. 64.
Whoever does not fast in Ramadaan without being sick or having any other excuse that allows him not to fast is more evil than the adulterer or drunkard, indeed they doubted his Islam and thought that this was heresy.
A saheeh report which warns against not fasting was narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah (1986) and Ibn Hibbaan (7491) from Abu Umaamah al-Baahili who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whilst I was sleeping two men came to me and took my by the arm and brought me to a cragged mountain. They said, ‘Climb up.’ I said, ‘I cannot.’ They said, ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until I was at the top of the mountain. Then I heard loud voices. I said, ‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘This is the howling of the people of Hell.” Then I was taken until I saw people hanging by their hamstrings, with the sides of their mouths torn and blood pouring from their mouths.’ I said, ‘Who are these?’ He said, ‘These are people who broke their fast before it was time.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Mawaarid al-Zam’aan, no. 1509.
Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This is the punishment of those who fasted then broke the fast deliberately before the time for breaking the fast came, so who about those who do not fast at all? We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter.
Our advice to the brother who asked this question is to fear Allaah and to beware of His wrath, vengeance and a painful punishment. He should hasten to repent to Allaah before the destroyer of pleasures that splits people apart [i.e., death] takes him unawares. Today there is action and no reckoning, but tomorrow there will be the reckoning and no action. Note that whoever repents, Allaah will accept his repentance, and whoever draws closer to Allaah one hand span, Allaah will draw closer to him one cubit. For Allaah is Most Generous, Forbearing and Most Merciful, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Know they not that Allaah accepts repentance from His slaves and takes the Sadaqaat (alms, charity), and that Allaah Alone is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful?”
If you try fasting and find out how easy it is and what comfort it brings and how close it brings you to Allaah, you will never give it up.
Think about what Allaah says at the end of the verses on fasting (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”
The phrase, “so that you may be grateful to Him” shows that fasting is a blessing for which we must give thanks. Hence some of the salaf used to wish that the whole year was Ramadaan.
We ask Allaah to help you and guide you, and to open your heart to that which will bring you happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.
And Allaah knows best.
Is a person who does not fast a kaafir, if he still prays, and he does not fast even though he is not sick and has no other excuse?
Praise be to Allaah.
Whoever does not fast because he denies that it is obligatory is a kaafir according to scholarly consensus. If a person does not fast because he is lazy or heedless, some scholars say that that makes him a kaafir, although the correct view is that it does not, but he is in serious danger because he has forsaken one of the pillars of Islam on which there is consensus that it is obligatory. And he deserves to be punished and disciplined by the ruler in such a manner as to deter him from this. He must also make up the fasts that he has missed and repent to Allaah.
And Allaah knows best.
See Fataawa al-Lajnah, 10/143.
Breaking one’s fast in Ramadaan deliberately, with no excuse
A woman did not fast in Ramadaan for three days, with no excuse, rather she did that out of heedlessness. What is the ruling on that, and what does she have to do?
Praise be to Allaah.
If the situation is as described, and this lady did not fast three days of Ramadaan out of heedlessness and not because she believed it was permissible to do so, then she has committed a serious major sin by violating the sanctity of Ramadaan. Fasting Ramadaan is one of the pillars of Islam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).
[Observing Sawm (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know.
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month”
So she must fast three days to make up for those days when she did not fast. If she had intercourse during the day on those three days when she did not fast, she must also offer expiation (kafaarah) for that day as well as making up the fast. If she had intercourse on two days then she must offer two expiations, as well as making up two days. The expiation is to free a slave; if that is not possible then she must fast for two consecutive months; if she is unable to do that then she must feed sixty poor persons from the local staple food. She must also seek the forgiveness of Allaah and repent to Him; she must observe the fasts that Allaah has enjoined on her and sincerely resolve not to break her fast in Ramadaan again. She must also feed one poor person for each of the three days because of her delay in making up the fasts until after the following Ramadaan.
And Allaah knows best.
How can he give da’wah to Muslims who do not fast in Ramadaan?
How should we deal with Muslims who do not fast in Ramadaan? What is the best way to call them to fast?
Praise be to Allaah.
What should be done is to call these Muslims to fast and encourage them to do so, and warn them against being heedless and negligent. This may be done in the following ways:
1 – Informing them that it is obligatory to fast, and telling them of its great importance in Islam, for it is one of the great pillars upon which Islam is built.
2 – Reminding them of the immense reward which comes from fasting, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 38; Muslim, 760.
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and His Messenger, and establishes regular prayer and fasts Ramadaan, it will be his due that Allaah will admit him to Paradise, whether he strives in jihad for the sake of Allaah or stays in the land in which he was born.” They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we not give these glad tidings to the people?” He said: “In Paradise there are one hundred levels which Allaah has prepared for those who strive in jihad for the sake of Allaah, and the distance between each two levels is like the distance between the heaven and the earth. When you ask of Allaah, ask him for al-Firdaws, for it is in the middle of Paradise, the highest part of Paradise. Above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful and from it spring forth the rivers of Paradise.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7423.
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah says: ‘Fasting is for Me and I shall reward for it. He gives up his desire and his food and drink for My sake. Fasting is a shield, and the fasting person has two moments of joy, one when he breaks his fast and one when he meets his Lord. And the odour that comes from the mouth of a fasting person is better before Allaah than the fragrance of musk.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7492; Muslim, 1151.
3 – Warning the one who does not fast, and explaining that this is a major sin. Ibn Khuzaymah (1986) and Ibn Hibbaan (7491) narrated that Abu Umaamah al-Baahili (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whilst I was sleeping, two men came to me and took hold of my upper arm, and brought me to a rugged mountain. They said: ‘Climb up.’ I said: ‘I cannot do it.’ They said: ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until I was at the top of the mountain. There I heard loud voices. I said: ‘What are these voices?’ They said: ‘This is the screaming of the people of Hell.’ Then I was taken and I saw people suspended by their ankles, with the corners of their mouths torn and pouring with blood. I said: ‘Who are these?’ They said: ‘These are the people who broke their fast before it was time to do so.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Mawaarid al-Zam’aan, 1509.
Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) commented: I say: This is the punishment of the one who fasted then deliberately broke his fast before the time for iftaar had come. So how about one who does not fast at all? We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter.
See also question no. 38747.
5 – Explaining how easy and straightforward fasting is, and the joy and contentment that there is in it, and how it brings peace of mind, as well as the joy and delight in worship during the days and nights of the fast, by reading Qur’aan and praying qiyaam.
6 – Inviting them to listen to some lectures and read some books that speak of the fast and its importance and discuss various issues of fasting.
7 – Not getting bored or tired of calling them and reminding them, speaking in a kind and gentle manner, as well as praying sincerely for them to be guided and forgiven.
We ask Allaah to make us and you steadfast.
And Allaah knows best.