Editor’s note: Many Muslims are oblivious of the fact that if a fasting Muslim eats or drinks out of forgetfulness his or her fast still remains valid.
In this Ramadan lecture, Legit.ng examines what Islam says about eating or drinking out of forgetfulness while fasting.
In the name of Allah, The most beneficent, the most merciful, whoever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray and whoever Allah sends astray, no one can guide him.
Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the best guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah give him peace and bless him), and the most evil matters are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hell fire. May Allah save us from the torment of Hell fire, (Aameen).
Eating out of forgetfulness while fasting does not invalidate Muslims’ fast. Whoever eats out of forgetfulness still has his/her fast valid, this is because Allaah says at the end of Soorat al-Baqarah (interpretation of the meaning): “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286).
It was narrated in a saheeh Al-Bukhaari (6669) and Muslim (1155) that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever forgets he is fasting and eats or drinks, let him complete his fast for it is Allaah Who has fed him and given him to drink.”
Ibn Khuzaymah (1999) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever breaks his fast in Ramadan by mistake does not have to make up that day or offer expiation.”
Al-Daaraqutni narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever eats in the month of Ramadan by mistake does not have to make up that day."
Forgetfulness is not something which is earned by the heart. This hadeeth tells of the kindness of Allaah to His slaves and how He makes things easier for them and alleviates hardship.
The majority of scholars quote these ahaadeeth as evidence that whoever forgets that he is fasting and breaks the fast, his fast is still valid, and he should complete his fast, and he does not have to make it up or offer any expiation. The general meaning of the hadeeth covers both obligatory and voluntary fasts; there is no difference between the two.
Al-Nawawi said: "This is evidence to support the view of the majority: if the fasting person eats or drinks or has intercourse because of forgetfulness, then he does not break his fast. Among those who were of this view are al-Shaafa’i, Abu Haneefah, Dawood and others."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously examined why listening to music is forbidden for Muslims whether during Ramadan or in other eleven months of the lunar calendar according to Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad bn Abdullah.
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