1. Actions that are to be Avoided While Fasting

Know that the fasting person is one whose limbs withhold from sins, his tongue from lies, foul speech and falsehood, his stomach from food and drink, and his private parts from sexual intercourse. So if he speaks he says that which will not harm his fast, and if he acts he does actions which will not spoil his fast – so his speech is good and his actions righteous.

This is the fasting that is prescribed; not merely withholding from food, drink, and desires. Just as food and drink render it invalid, similarly sins cut off its reward, spoil its fruit and make him the same as a person who has not fasted.

The prophet (peace be upon him) urged the fasting Muslim to display noble manners; to be far from foul speech and evil actions, and abstain from the rude and obscene talk. The Muslim is commanded to be far from these evil characteristics all the time, the forbiddance being even stronger whilst he is performing the obligation of fasting. So the Muslim who is fasting must avoid those actions which harm his fast, so that he can attain benefit from his fasting and attain Taqwaa which Allah mentioned: “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).”[3]

Talq ibn Habeeb (a Taabiee – a student of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) was asked to define Taqwaa, so he said, “Taqwaa is acting in obedience to Allah, hoping for His Mercy upon light from Him, and Taqwaa is leaving acts of disobedience to Allah, out of Fear of Him, upon light from Him.”[4]

Fasting is a means of attaining Taqwaa, since it prevents one from many sins that a person is prone to, Aboo Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: “Fasting is a shield.”[5]

1.1 Falsehood

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink.”[6] The meaning of “no need” being that such as fast is not acceptable to Allaah.[7]

Telling false statements and doing evil deeds are prohibited and must be avoided. The fasting person must refrain from telling lies and engaging in vain arguments. For example, a shopkeeper tries to tell lies to his customers or trap them by cheating and deceiving them. Unfortunately, most shopkeepers have such habits. Such behavior is always forbidden (even more during the fast). How astonishing and incredible it is that people commit such grave sins and deceitful deeds while fasting! This is a dangerous sign of their heedlessness and irresponsible behavior. Warning those people, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “How many fasting people will perhaps get nothing from their fast but hunger, and how many who get up for night prayer will get nothing from their standing except sleeplessness.”[8]

The reason for this is that one who does these things does not understand the reality of fasting that Allah has made obligatory upon us, so Allah punishes him by refusing him the reward. Because of this our Pious Predecessors (as – Salafus – Saalih) make a distinction between the forbiddance that is due to something directly related to the worship[9] – which render it futile, and those things not related to it directly[10], which do no render it futile.[11]

1.2 Ignorant and Indecent Speech

Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said, “Fasting is not just (abstaining from) eating and drinking, but fasting is also (refraining) from vain speech (Laghw) and foul (or obscene) language (Rafath). If one of you is being verbally abused or annoyed, he should say, ‘I am Fasting.’”[12]

Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have Mercy on him) said, “The one who is abused should say this (i.e. ‘I am Fasting) out loud, thereby clarifying the reason for his lack of response (to the abuse) and it will become a rebukement in itself for the one who started the trouble.”[13]

Laghw refers to anything that is irrational and unrealistic. Including (but not limited to) wasting time by listening and viewing Radio and TV programs. Playing card games and chess etc., romance novels and stories of sexual passion, magic, and dramas, etc., useless talking and conversations with friends; backbiting and slander; nonsensical jokes, mockeries and similar kinds of behavior. These all must be shunned.

Rafath implies every action and word expressing sexual desire or its connotations.

Both Laghw and Rafath are prohibited for the fasting person. Therefore, everyone must refrain from all of the above-mentioned deeds. Similarly, whoever attempts to quarrel, dispute, utter obscenities and foul words, or is harshly abusive, then a fasting person must show perseverance and patience towards such an evildoer. A fasting person must abstain from arguments, disputes and hostilities, and face those situations with a polite and moderate composure.

Among the things that can destroy one’s hasanaat (good deeds) and bring sayi’aat (bad deeds) is allowing oneself to be distracted by quiz-shows, soap operas, movies and sports matches, idle gatherings, hanging about in the streets with evil people and time-wasters, driving around for no purpose, and crowding the streets and sidewalks, so that the months of tahajjud, dhikr, and worship, for many people, becomes the month of sleeping in the day so as to avoid feeling hungry, thus missing their prayers and the opportunity to pray them in congregation, then spending their nights in entertainment and indulging their desires.

Some people even greet the month with feelings of annoyance, thinking only of the pleasures they will miss out on. In Ramadan, some people travel to Kaaffir lands to enjoy a holiday! Even the mosques are not free from such evils as the appearance of women wearing makeup and perfume, and even the Sacred House of Allah is not free of these ills. Some people make the month a season for begging, even though they are not in need. Some of them entertain themselves with dangerous fireworks and the like, and some of them waste their time in the markets, wandering around the shops, or sewing and following fashions. Some of them put new products and new styles in their stores during the last ten days of the month, to keep people away from earning rewards and hasanaat.[14]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “It may be that a person attains nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting.”[15]

And It is Only Allaah Who grants success. May Allah Exalt the mention of His slave and Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), and render him, his household and companion safe from Evil.



‘Fasting In Ramadaan’, by Sheikh Saleem al – Hilaalee and ‘Alee ‘Abdul Hameed, al – Hidaayah Publishers, 1999
‘Ramadaan: Rules and Related Issues’, by Hafiz Salah – ud – Din Yusuf, Darussalam publishers, 199
‘The Month of Ramadaan: Problems related to Fasting’, by Abu Eesa Niamatullah http://www.islaam.net/main/display.php?id=941&category=7
‘Matters Related to Fasting’, by Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al – Munajjid, IIPH publishers, 1999

[1] ‘Fasting in Ramadaan’, p. 43 – 45

[2] ‘Ramadaan: Rules and Related Issues’, p. 15 – 17

[3] The Noble Qur’an, Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:183

[4] Ibn Abee Shaybah, Kitaabul – Eemaan, Number 99; Declared Saheeh by Sheikh al – Albaanee; as quoted in Fasting in Ramadaan’, p. 43

[5] Saheeh Muslim, Book 006, Number 2565

[6] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 127

[7] As occurs in Fathul – Baaree, 4/117 and Faidul – Qadeer, 6/223 – 224.

[8] Ad – Darimee; Classed Hasan by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Mishkat, Vol. 1, p. 626; as quoted in ‘Ramadaan: Rules and Related Issues’, p. 17

[9] E.g. eating and drinking

[10] E.g. Falsehood

[11] Refer to Jaami’ ul – ‘Uloom was – Hikam, p. 58, of Ibn Rajab; as quoted in Fasting in Ramadaan’, p. 45

[12] Sunan al – Bayhaqi; Sahih ibn Khuzaymah; al-Hakim; Classed Saheeh by Sheikh al – Albaanee in Saheeh al – Jami’ As – Saghir, Number 5376; as quoted in ‘Ramadaan: Rules and Related Issues’, p. 16

[13] ‘The Month of Ramadaan: Problems related to Fasting’, by Abu Eesa Niamatullah http://www.islaam.net/main/display.php?id=941&category=7

[14] Matters Related to Fasting, p. 16 – 17

[15] Sunan Ibn Maajah, 1/539; ad – Daarimee, 2/211; Musnad Ahmad, 2/441; Sunan al – Bayhaqee, 4/270; Its Isnaad is Saheeh, as quoted in ‘Fasting in Ramadaan’, p. 45