5. Conditions that make Fasting Obligatory
Everyone is not obligated to fast during Ramadaan. It is only when a person falls under or attains certain conditions that make fasting in Ramadaan obligatory upon him. So the Shuroot (conditions) that make fasting in Ramadaan obligatory for a person are four Islam, Maturity, Sanity, and Ability. They will be explained as follows:
a. Islaam – Islaam is a requirement for all good deeds and all acts of worship to be accepted by Allah.
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing, but he finds Allâh with him, Who will pay him his due (Hell). And Allâh is Swift in taking account. [Surat An Noor (24) V. 39]
The good deeds of a non Muslim are not accepted by Allah because he does not do them for the sake of Allah and the reward for the good deeds that he does is only in this life and not in the hereafter. Good deeds are of no avail in the hereafter if one is not upon the belief of tawheed and Islaam.
b. Age of buloogh (Maturity) – One has to have reached the age of maturity in order for fasting to be obligatory upon him. It is the age of physical puberty, this is adulthood. The age of maturity is usually 14 for boys and 12 for girls. Upon attaining this age and fulfilling other conditions fasting becomes obligatory on each and every muslim. There is no excuse for him not to fast except those exceptions that will be mentioned later on. He/she will be held accountable for this if he/she does not fast and the parents as well if they did not teach them to fast.
c. Sanity – the person has to be mentally sane and this is the requirement for all acts of worship, as well as all transactions in Islam. And we get this from the hadith of The Prophet (sall Allâhu’ alayhi wa sallam) – “The Pen has been lifted from three: from the child until he reaches puberty, from the sleeper until he wakes up, and from the one who has lost his mind until he recovers.” [Sunan Abee Dawood #4402] The pen had been lifted meaning that he/she will not be accountable for his deeds if they fall into the three categories mentioned above.
d. Ability – Allah said in the Quraan:
……لاَ تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا ……
“…No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear…” [Surat Al Baqarah (2) V. 233]
The person has to have the physical ability to fast. If one has a physical problem or a health risk that can intensify due to fasting, or it avoids him from taking medications then he is not required to fast during the month of Ramadhaan. If he is under coma or unconscious then he cannot fast as well because he does not have the ability to do so. And the rule to be followed regarding this if fasting is a burden that a person cannot bear then he should avoid fasting.
Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam
2. Obligation of Fasting
3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan
4. One reliable witness’ presence is sufficient
5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual
6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness
7. Requirements of a valid fast
8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting
9. Recommended acts of fasting
Chapter 2: Conditions in which breaking fast is Permissible, Impermissible, or Recommended
Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast
Chapter 4: Repayment of Missed or Broken Fasts
Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
(Chapter 4 & 5 – Insha’Allah comming soon around Eid al Fitr)