Fasting for a certain number of days and its ransom
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verse – 184a of 286, Section – 23 of 40 (Part - 2)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
(Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number on other days;
‘Ayyaamam-ma’-duudaat. Faman- kaana minkum-mariizan ‘aw ‘alaa safarin- fa-‘iddatum-min ‘ayyaamin ‘ukhar.
‘Ayyaamam-ma’-duudaat – (a certain number of days), it has been described in this part of the verse that the Muslims would have Fast for a certain number of days, for example; the month of Ramadan during each year, which have sometimes 29 days and sometimes 30 days.
Fixation of this length of time was very necessary for organization of the nation so that nobody may change the quantity of the days for fasting or leaving the Fast according to his will. Moreover, the Fasting is prescribed for the entire Believers that they all should fast on the same particular time and for the same particular duration to perform this blessed duty. One advantage of the month of Ramadan is also that fasts come in different seasons and every individual gets chance of fasting in the summer and the winter.
One aspect comes out of it that number of prescribed fasts is not too much long. Neither it is that one should fast for the entire year and nor for half or one fourth of the year, but only one month is prescribed in a year.
Time and duration was determined. But some concession was given to the people, who cannot fulfill its limitations and conditions. Whenever these people get rid of their compulsions, they can fast, which were left during the month of Ramadan, during any other month.
First of all, those people have been exempted from fasting, who are ill and unable to Fast due to their illness. There are different kinds of illness. Moreover, besides this, the difference of seasons and age also effects. Here, it aims the illness, which creates problem to keep fasting and that illness would be too much severe that the individual cannot keep fasting. Divine’s law of religion didn’t tell the name of illness but it has been left on the sincerity and truthfulness of the Muslims and on the opinion of a skillful doctor.
Besides the patients, the travelers have been given concession also. These both kinds of the people i.e. the patient and the traveler will have to complete their number of fasts during any other time in the year. But they should try to complete the left over fasts as soon as possible. Nobody knows that when the life and the time will end.
And for those who can afford it there is a ransom; the feeding of a man in need. But whose doeth good of his own accord, it is better for him:
Wa ‘alal-laziina yutii-quunahuu fidya-tun ta-‘aamu miskiin. Faman- tatawwa-‘a khay-ran fahuwa khayrul-lah.
Yutii-quunahuu – it aims “the individuals, who have to spend extraordinary strength for Fasting and to bear the toil of Fast and it becomes very difficult for them, for example; the old people, the pregnant and the mothers, who suckle their infants, the weak and feeble persons etc.
Man- tatawwa-‘a – (that individual, who does good of his own accord, willingly)
It has been discussed in this part of the verse about concession for those people, who have to bear more difficulty and trouble for keeping the Fast. They have been commanded that due to giving up the fasting, they should feed bellyful any beggar or necessitous individual two times daily and the standard of the food should be the same as usually is of their own.
Then it is said that actual ransom of leaving one fast is to feed two times to any poor person for one day. But if any individual increases the quantity of the food, that is to say; if he feeds more than one poor individual or keeps the standard up of the food to a higher level, then it is much better for him. He will be rewarded surely for this goodness and kindness. His next world will also be dressed.
Islam emphasizes to alms-giving, charity, liberality, kind behavior and good conduct every time, everywhere and in every condition but during the month of Ramadaan, its importance increases. So before or at the end of this month, the Alms “Fitr” is paid. That is an important ring of this chain also, so that, none of the Muslims should remain hungry.
The Messenger of God Almighty Muhammad (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) was very much liberal and generous. But it has been known from His (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) Sayings that He (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) used to become too much generous and liberal like fast dust storm.
We should follow the foot-prints of our Great Leader and Guide, the Last Prophet of God Almighty (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) and take part in liberality and generosity surpassing one another. Perception of hunger of the hungry and poverty of the poor will increase if someone keeps fasting. So it is necessary that this perception should remain alive during prosperity and independence, and the poor deserving people should not be forfeited from the help and support of the prosperous people.