Abu Hurayrah  (Radhiyallaho anho) relates that Prophet Mohammad  (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) said, "Whosoever eats on one day of Ramadan without a valid reason or excuse or genuine illness (acceptable in Shari-ah), shall never be able to compensate for that day every by fasting the rest of his life. " (Tirmizi Abu Dawood & Ibn Majah)

COMMENTARY: The view of some 'ulama is that if anybody has without any valid excuse failed to fast any day of Ramadan and dishonored it by eating etc., such a person can never compensate (duly fulfill the Qadhaa) for this violation. Even by fasting for the rest of one's life that person cannot compensate for this one day. Ali (Radhiyallaho anho) and others held the same view. However the vast majority of 'ulama maintain that where one die not fast one day of Ramadan, then only one fast will suffice as compensation. On the other hand, when a person has started to fast in Ramadan and then breaks it during the day without any valid excuse, then according to the Shari-ah, this person shall have to fast continuously for two months without a break in between. No matter what happens, the true virtue and blessings of Ramadan will never be attained. This is the meaning of the above Hadith ie. that where a day of Ramadan has been lost without excuse, any number of fasts by way of compensation will not bring back the true blessings of even one day of Ramadan.

This all is for those who keep the qadhaa fast. How unfortunate and misguided are those who deny the fast and do not observe it at all ? Fasting is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. Prophet Mohammad  (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) has mentioned five priciples of Islam. First and foremost is the oneness of Allah and Prophet Mohammad  (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) being a Rasul (Messenger of Allah) and thereafter the four famous pillars: Namaaz, Fast, Zakaat and Hajj.

How many Muslims do we find who are counted amongst the Muslims, yet do not uphold even one of these five. In official papers and census they will be recorded as Muslims, whereas in Allah's sight they cannot be counted as such. Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallaho anho) relates in a Hadith stating, "Islam is based on three principles :- a. The Sahahaadah, b. 'Salaah, C. Fasting. Whoever fails to uphold any of these is a disbeliever and it is permissible to give him capital punishment." As regard to the latter portion of this Hadith, the 'ulama have said that they only become disbelievers when together with failing to uphold any principle, they also deny its necessity, or its being a principle. No matter what interpretation is given, the fact remain that Prophet Mohammad  (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) spoke against such people with utmost vehemence. Hence, those who fail to keep up the faraa'idah of the Deen  should indeed fear Allah's wrath. No one can escape death, and the pleasure and comforts of this life are short lived.

Only obedience to His commands can save us. There are those ignorant ones who do not fast at all. So much worse is the position of those who do not only refuse to fast, but speak such words whereby they scoff and jeer at the month of fasting in sarcastic manner. This is something dangerous, brining one to the brink of kufr. You may have heard them say, "Fasting is for those who have no food in their homes not for me." Or "What does Allah gain by having us suffer hunger ?" Such words should never be uttered. It should be remembered that to scoff and jeer at, or poke fun at even the smallest part of our Deen becomes the cause of kufr (apostasy). Should any person not perform a single 'salaah in his life, not fast one single day, or fail to perform any fardh obligations in Islam, then that person does not become a kaafir, as long as one does not deny their being necessary. However one will certainly be punished for any fardh that has been neglected. But to scoff and jeer at any tiniest aspect of the Deen is kufr (apostasy), and can result in all good actions being invalidated. From this it can be seen how delicate this affair is. Such irresponsible utterances should never be made about fasting.

Author: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kaandhlawi