Conditions regarding Fasting and Restraining
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verse – 187b of 286, Section – 23 of 40 (Part - 2)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall.
Wa kuluu wash-rabuu hattaa yata-bayyana lakumul-khaytul-‘abyazu minal-khaytil-‘aswadi minal-Fajr. Summa ‘atimmus-Siyaama ‘ilal-layl.
Al-Fajr – (the dawn) it does not mean the false dawn but that is the light of early in the morning which can be seen some time later than just before daybreak, while the light begins to spread towards east and the west, that is called ‘dawn of the day’. Till that time food may be taken for fasting. Taking meals has been much appreciated in the Sayings of Messenger (Grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) during the last time. The Messenger of Allah Almighty (peace be upon Him) commanded that Bilaal (May Allah be pleased on him) calls very early (during false dawn) for preparing the people for prayer, so don’t stop eating on his call (Azaan) or looking only light in the north and south. Moreover consider reliable spreading of the light.
Once Omar (May Allah be pleased on him) instructed that care to eat and drink at the time of fasting is necessary when morning light becomes clear on the paths and peaks of the hills.
‘Al-layl – (the nightfall), night in Arabia begins immediately at the end of the day and sunset, so the next date of Islamic Calendar begins immediately after the sunset. On the contrary, the date of solar year is changed after passing the midnight. ‘ilal-layl (till nightfall) means “break the fast as soon as the night enters”. It does not mean to keep the fast till spreading the darkness of the night.
Before this order the Muslims used to sleep after breaking the fast. Then they did not use to eat anything till next evening. They have been permitted to eat, drink and sleep with their wives after breaking the fast till the light of early in the morning.
It is another concession and facility which was bestowed afterward that it is permitted to eat and drink till the time the white thread becomes distinct from the black thread of the dawn and then the fast will be observed the entire day after finishing the time of taking meals for fasting till the sun sets and the darkness begins to spread.
It is found also from this command that without taking meals for fasting and breaking it continuously is odious. Islam teaches us the path of temperance, does not like severity and strictness. So we should follow the manner which has been established by Allah strictly and which concessions have been given we should reap advantage from them.
And touch them not, but be at your devotions in the mosques.
Wa laa tubaashi-ruuhunna wa ‘an-tum ‘aakifuuna, fil-masaajid.
Laa tubaashi-ruuhunna – (touch the wives not) here the word ‘to go in unto the wives’ has been used in the spacious meanings, that is to say, not only to stop committing a sexual intercourse but kissing and bugging is also forbidden during curbing one’s passion from religious motives continuing in the mosque (Restraining in the mosque and thinking of God Almighty) particularly during the third Ashrah of the month of Ramadan.
‘Aakifuuna – (to be at devotions) its literal meanings are “to keep oneself preventing from the use of anything or make something necessary over oneself. Technically it means ‘endowing oneself for worship, Restraining in the mosque’
Another command has been revealed regarding the fasting: Don’t go in unto your wives while you are being at your devotions in mosque. Some more necessary commands regarding “e’tikaaf” (being at devotions in mosque) are stated below:
It is necessary for the people who have to be at devotions, that they should remain in the mosques every time during that period, also eat, drink, sleep and wake there. They may come out from the mosque only at the time of bodily and lawful needs. The minimum period for the devotions is one day and there is no limit for excessive period. It is declared from the word fil-masaajid that the Restraining should always be in the mosques. However it can be observed by the women in any corner of the home instead of the mosques.
Conversation is lawful during the Restraining on the condition that it should not be against the reverence of the mosque and the respect of the devotions.
It was the habit of the Messenger of God Almighty (peace be upon Him) that He used to be at His devotions in the mosque complete ten days during the last Ashrah of the month of Ramadan and broke His entire relation from the worldly matters. So Restraining in the mosque is reasonable practice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him), which means that if anyone individual out of a ward observes this practice then this responsibility ends from others.
Restraining has many advantages – there is no other method to become fresh for the purpose of belief and to achieve the spiritual strength, because during that period the mankind passes his time continuously in worship and obedience. He remains in solitude and loneliness.
We should follow this practice of the Messenger of God Almighty (Grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him), get the light of faith, achieve the vicinity of God Almighty, be entitled of pleasure of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon Him) and purify ourselves completely at the very least a few days, break the relation with worldly matters for some time and attend to the Real Worshiped.