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Medieval Sourcebook:
Hadith on fasting, collected by al-Bukhari (d. 870 CE)


Volume 1, Book 2, Number 50:

Narrated Abu Jamra:
I used to sit with Ibn 'Abbas and he made me sit on his sitting place. He requested me to stay with him in order that he might give me a share from his property. So I stayed with him for two months. Once he told (me) that when the delegation of the tribe of 'Abdul Qais came to the Prophet, the Prophet asked them, "Who are the people (i.e. you)? (Or) who are the delegate?" They replied, "We are from the tribe of Rabi'a." Then the Prophet said to them, "Welcome! O people (or O delegation of 'Abdul Qais)! Neither will you have disgrace nor will you regret." They said, "O Allah's Apostle! We cannot come to you except in the sacred month and there is the infidel tribe of Mudar intervening between you and us. So please order us to do something good (religious deeds) so that we may inform our people whom we have left behind (at home), and that we may enter Paradise (by acting on them)." Then they asked about drinks (what is legal and what is illegal). The Prophet ordered them to do four things and forbade them from four things. He ordered them to believe in Allah Alone and asked them, "Do you know what is meant by believing in Allah Alone?" They replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." Thereupon the Prophet said, "It means:
 

  1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
  2. To offer prayers perfectly
  3. To pay the Zakat (obligatory charity)
  4. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
  5. And to pay Al-Khumus (one fifth of the booty to be given in Allah's Cause).

Then he forbade them four things, namely, Hantam, Dubba,' Naqir Ann Muzaffat or Muqaiyar; (These were the names of pots in which Alcoholic drinks were prepared) (The Prophet mentioned the container of wine and he meant the wine itself). The Prophet further said (to them): "Memorize them (these instructions) and convey them to the people whom you have left behind."


Volume 2, Book 21, Number 242:

Narrated Anas bin Malik
Sometimes Allah's Apostle would not fast (for so many days) that we thought that he would not fast that month and he sometimes used to fast (for so many days) that we thought he would not leave fasting through-out that month and (as regards his prayer and sleep at night), if you wanted to see him praying at night, you could see him praying and if you wanted to see him sleeping, you could see him sleeping.


Volume 2, Book 23, Number 480:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
A Bedouin came to the Prophet and said, "Tell me of such a deed as will make me enter Paradise, if I do it." The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakat, and fast the month of Ramadan." The Bedouin said, "By Him, in Whose Hands my life is, I will not do more than this." When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet said, "Whoever likes to see a man of Paradise, then he may look at this man."


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 118:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times."


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 145:

Narrated 'Abdullah:
The Prophet fasted for days continuously; the people also did the same but it was difficult for them. So, the Prophet forbade them (to fast continuously for more than one day). They slid, "But you fast without break (no food was taken in the evening or in the morning)." The Prophet replied, "I am not like you, for I am provided with food and drink (by Allah)."


From http://www.juniata.edu/~tuten/fasting.html

From the Hadith Database at USC 


This text is part of the Internet Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. Nopermission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, September 1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu