Category Archives: English



The Prophet softens the rigor of the fast somewhat by proclaiming that �eating and drinking in forgetfulness does not break the fast� (2575).  Kissing and embracing too are permissible (2436-2450).  �Aisha, Hafsa, and Salama, Muhammad�s wives, all report that the Prophet used to kiss them and embrace them while fasting.  �Aisha narrates: �The Messenger of Allah kissed one of his wives while he was fasting, and then she [�Aisha] smiled� (2436).

The translator elucidates: �It is one of the great favours of Allah upon humanity that He has guided us in every sector of our life through his Prophet Muhammad.  Prior to Islam, the man observing fast separated himself completely from his wives.  Islam did not approve this practice� (note 1502).

Sexual intercourse is also permitted during the night of the fast.  It has a divine sanction.  �It is made lawful for you to go to your wives on the night of the fast,� says the QurAn (2:187).  In fact, even if one gets up in a state of seminal emission and the dawn overtakes him without giving him time for the ordained bath, he should still go on with his fast.  The state of janabah (in which one is �unclean� and cannot perform a religious act or join in religious assemblies) does not break the fast.  �Aisha and Salama, Muhammad�s wives, report: �The Messenger of Allah at times got up in the morning in a state of Junub on account of having a sexual intercourse . . . in the month of RamzAn, and would observe fast� (2454).  There are other ahAdIs on the same subject (2451-2456).

This hadIs was checked and rechecked by AbU Bakr himself.  At first AbU Huraira thought differently, but when the matter was clarified by �Aisha and Salama, he said, �They have better knowledge,� and retracted his previous position (2451).

Sexual intercourse during the daytime in the month of RamzAn could be atoned for either by freeing a slave or, failing that, by observing a two-month fast or, failing that, by feeding sixty poor men-but during the Prophet�s lifetime, a poor man who violated this prohibition got his expiation at no cost to himself.  Muhammad gave him a basket of dates and told him: �Go and give it to your family to eat� (2457).

Missed fasts could be completed later on at any time of the year.  Women do not fast during the days of menses but are required to complete the fast the following year before the commencement of the next RamzAn (in the month of Sha�bAn).

author : ram swarup

hadees : FASTS


There are many kinds of fasts in Islam, but the fast during the month of RamzAn (Ramadan) is considered the most important.  Enjoined in the QurAn, it is compulsory.  �When there comes the month of RamzAn, the gates of mercy are opened, and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained� (2361).

Fasting in the Muslim tradition is rather different from fasting in many other religious traditions.  In Islam, there is no uninterrupted fasting (saum wisal), because Muhammad forbade this practice (2426-2435) �out of mercy� for his Companions (2435).  During fasts eating is prohibited in the daytime but permitted at night.  This has its disciplinary role, but nonetheless there is an attempt to make things easy.  One is advised to eat as late as possible before sunrise, and to break the fast as soon as possible after sunset.  �Take meal a little before dawn, for there is a blessing in taking meal at that time� (2412); and �the people will continue to prosper as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast� (2417).

This approach distinguished the Muslims from the Jews and the Christians, who ate early and broke their fasts late, waiting for the stars to appear.  �The difference between our fasting and that of the People of the Book is eating shortly before dawn,� says Muhammad (2413).  The translator explains the advantages that accrued to the ummah from maintaining this difference.  It �distinguishes the Ummah of the Islam from other Ummahs,� and �hammers� into its consciousness the sense of �its separate entity which is the first step towards prosperity of any nation.� In addition, �taking a meal late in the dawn and breaking fast early at the sunset indicate the fact that one feels the pangs of hunger. . . . This feeling inculcates in one a spirit of humility rather than of stoic pride� (note 1491).

author : ram swarup

hadees : THE KHWARIJ


�AlI sent some gold alloyed with dust from Yemen to Muhammad.  In its distribution, Muhammad showed favoritism.  When some people complained, Muhammad demanded: �Will you not trust me, whereas I am a trustee of Him Who is in the heaven?  The news comes to me from the heaven morning and evening.� This silenced the men, but one of them, a man with deep-sunken eyes, prominent cheekbones, thick beard, and shaven head, stood up, and said: �Messenger of Allah, fear Allah and do justice.� This angered Muhammad, and he replied: �Woe be upon thee, who would do justice if I do not do justice?� �Umar, who was present, said to Muhammad: �Messenger of Allah, permit me to kill this hypocrite.� Though the man was spared, he and his posterity were denounced.  Muhammad said: �From this very person�s posterity there would arise people who would recite the QurAn, but it would not go beyond their throat; they would kill the followers of Islam but would spare the idol-worshippers. . . . If I were to find them I would kill them like �Ad [a people who were exterminated root and branch]� (2316-2327).

These men, who later on were called the khwArij, took some of the slogans of Islam seriously.  It was about them, according to �AlI, that Muhammad said: �When you meet them, kill them, for in their killing you would get a reward with Allah on the Day of Judgment� (2328).  These were the anarchists and purists of the early days of Islam.  The injunction about them was: �Pursue them as they are routed and kill their prisoners and destroy their property.�

author : ram swarup



According to another tradition, Muhammad gave a hundred camels each to AbU SufyAn, SafwAn, �Uyaina, and Aqra, but less than his share to �AbbAs b. MirdAs.  �AbbAs told Muhammad: �I am in no way inferior to anyone of these persons.  And he who is let down today would not be elevated.� Then Muhammad �completed one hundred camels for him� (2310).

In other cases when similar complaints were made, Muhammad could not always keep his temper.  One man complained that �this is a distribution in which the pleasure of Allah has not been sought.� On hearing this, Muhammad �was deeply angry . . . and his face became red�; he found comfort in the fact that �Moses was tormented more than this, but he showed patience� (2315).

author : ram swarup



But this course was not without its problems.  It created quite a lot of dissatisfaction among some of his old supporters, and Muhammad had to use all his powers of diplomacy and flattery to pacify them.  �Don�t you feel delighted that [other] people should go with riches, and you should go back with the Apostle of Allah,� he told the ansArs with great success when, after the conquest of Mecca, they complained about the unjust distribution of the spoils.  They had grumbled: �It is strange that our swords are dripping with their blood, whereas our spoils have been given to them [the Quraish]� (2307).

Muhammad added other words of flattery and told the ansArs that they were his �inner garments� (i.e., were closer to him), while the Quraish, who had received the spoils, were merely his �outer garments.� To cajolery, he added theology, telling them that they �should show patience till they meet him at Hauz Kausar, � a canal in heaven (2313).  The ansArs were happy.

author : ram swarup



The principle of distribution was not always based on need, justice, or merit.  Muhammad had other considerations as well.  �I give [at times material gifts] to persons who were quite recently in the state of unbelief, so that I may incline them to truth,� says Muhammad (2303).

To gain hearts (mullafa qulUbhum) for Islam with the help of gifts is considered impeccable behavior, in perfect accord with QurAnic teaching (9:60).  Muhammad made effective use of gifts as a means of winning people over to Islam.  He would reward new converts generously but overlook the claims of Muslims of long standing.  Sa�d reports that �the Messenger of Allah bestowed gifts upon a group of people. . . . He however left a person and did not give him anything and he seemed to me the most excellent among them.� Sa�d drew the Prophet�s attention to this believing Muslim, but Muhammad replied: �He may be a Muslim.  I often bestow something on a person, whereas someone else is dearer to me than he, because of the fear that he [the former] may fall headlong into the fire� (2300), that is, he may give up Islam and go back to his old religion.  The translator and commentator makes the point very clear by saying that it was �with a view to bringing him nearer and making him feel at home in the Muslim society that material gifts were conferred upon him by the Holy Prophet� (note 1421).

There are other instances of the same type.  �Abdullah b. Zaid reports that �when the Messenger of Allah conquered Hunain he distributed the booty, and he bestowed upon those whose hearts it was intended to win� (2313).  He bestowed costly gifts on the Quraish and Bedouin chiefs, many of them his enemies only a few weeks before.  Traditions have preserved the names of some of these elite beneficiaries, like AbU SufyAn b. Harb, SafwAn b. Umayya, �Uyaina b. Hisn, Aqra� b. HAbis, and �Alqama b. Ulasa (2303-2314).  They received a hundred camels each from the booty.

Muhammad did the same with the booty of some gold sent by �AlI b. AbU TAlib from Yemen.  He distributed it among four men: �Uyaina, Aqra, Zaid al-Khail, �and the fourth one was either �Alqama b. �UlAsa or Amir b. Tufail� (2319).

author : ram swarup