Questioner: … how can we celebrate eed, for example? I remind you, inshaa Allaah, of the hadith of the Abysinnians and the hadith of Aaishah when the Prophet ﷺ entered the room where she was and there were two girls there who were singing …
Al-Albaani: Yes, the first thing is that this expression, ‘Celebrating Eed,’ is not an Islamic one, there is no celebration/festival, and [secondly] this is something which has been added to Islaam—there is only ‘Eed’ as he ﷺ said to Abu Bakr in the story which you alluded to [in your question], “Leave them, O Abu Bakr! For every nation has an Eed and this is our Eed.”
So before anything the Muslims concern themselves with performing the Eed prayer in the musalla if they are able to, and if not then in the mosque …
As for those things which are permissible, then they are [the same things which are] permissible in all times and places, only that out of His Extensive Wisdom our Lord عز وجل allowed the beating of the daff alone, nothing else, during weddings and on the day of eed.
But this doesn’t mean that we hold celebrations/festivals as the Europeans do and as we have seen in public squares and general gatherings, where they bring music and horns and the likes, dancing and singing and … and … etc., none of that is from Islaam.
This allowance which the Prophet ﷺ made is an individual allowance, as you saw or read in the hadith of the two girls the Prophet didn’t celebrate, Abu Bakr didn’t celebrate, Umar didn’t celebrate, if it is that you want to use this word ‘celebrate.’
It was only that when a young girl wanted to beat the daff, and the daff alone, nothing else, it was then not allowed for the elders to refuse that. That is what happened, and this is what is endorsed and it is not allowed to refuse that—as for us building lofty mansions and palaces based on that, and celebrations and music and so on, then this is taking it to a level which is not legislated, as agreed upon by the scholars.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 322.
Questioner: Is someone who dies suddenly regarded as a martyr or not?
Al-Albaani: A martyr? Inshaa Allaah such a death will not be one of regret.
Questioner: What do you mean by a death of regret?
Al-Albaani: The situation differs from person to person. A sudden death with regards to someone who was ready to meet Allaah عز وجل and who had carried out the rights that were obligatory on him, whether those are the rights of Allaah like praying and fasting, or the rights of Allaah’s servants like zakaah, giving in charity and so on—if he had carried out all of these obligatory duties and didn’t have any debt and then died suddenly then there is nothing on him [in terms of regret]. But if he was an open sinner, or a criminal or was someone who fell short and then died a sudden death, then that is a death of regret, because he didn’t prepare for a death like that.
For this reason it is obligatory for a Muslim to always be prepared for that hour which could surprise him, and that is why he ﷺ said, “Whoever loves to meet Allaah, Allaah loves to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allaah, Allaah hates to meet him.”
Any other questions?
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 322.
Al-Huwaini said, “And I won’t forget what happened to me with our Shaikh … Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah protect him and allow us to enjoy his presence, when as a gift I gave him [a book called], ‘Kitaab al-Ba’th’ by Ibn Abi Dawud. On its cover the publishers had printed, ‘Its hadiths have been checked by Shaikh al-Huwaini, as-Salafi.’
So he [i.e., al-Albaani] said to me, “What is this?’ as he pointed to the word, “Shaikh.”
So I excused myself telling him that it wasn’t of my doing, he criticised me for it …
… And it is enough that despite the testimony of famous scholars concurring to him [i.e., al-Albaani] being an Imaam in this field he only wrote his name on the cover of his books [without any titles such as Shaikh etc.], even though other people—whose statements alongside his are like the squeaking of a door or the buzzing of a fly—write on their books, “Written by the Imaam, the Haafidh, the Faqeeh, the One Versed in Usool, the Astute, the Mujtahid …” thinking that by doing so they are enumerating Allaah’s Blessings, but this is where one’s foot slips and delusions multiply.”
Badhlul-Ihsaan bi Taqreeb Sunan an-Nisaa’i, vol. 2, p. 11.
“Every time I met him [i.e., Shaikh al-Albaani] I would kiss his hand and he would refuse, when he did so a lot I said to him:
‘We learnt from you in some of your research in As-Saheehah that kissing the hand of a scholar is permissible.’
So he said to me, ‘Have you ever seen a scholar with your own eyes?’
I said, ‘Yes. I’m looking at one right now.’
So he replied, ‘I am only a small student of knowledge. You and I are as that person said, ‘Indeed, in our land, the bugaath has become an eagle.’’” [In another post, the Shaikh used this same example and explained what it meant. Here is the quote, he said, “The reality which I feel from the depth of my soul is that when I hear such speech [i.e., praise] I remember the old proverb, well-known among writers, and it is, “Indeed, in our land, the bugaath has become an eagle,” “Indeed, in our land, the bugaath has become an eagle.”
Maybe the meaning of this speech or this proverb will be hidden from some people. The bugaath is a small bird of no value, so this small bird becomes an eagle in the eyes of the people due to their ignorance of the strength and hugeness of the [real] eagle. So this proverb applies to many of those who, [either] with truth and correctness, or with mistakes and falsehood, call to Islaam.” To see the complete post and more context go here.]
Kitaab Tanbeeh al-Haajid ilaa maa Waqa’a min an-Nadhr fee Kitaab al-Amaajid, p. 17.
And the Imaam said, “I am not the leader of a Jamaa’ah whatsoever—I am only a student of knowledge engaged in researching and verifying, the people of knowledge know the reality of what I’m saying.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 10.
The Imaam said, “… alhamdulillaah, but I will tell you something in addition to that too, the reality is that every beginner student of knowledge, and I used to be one—and maybe I still am—…”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 458.
The Imaam said, “… as will not be hidden from students of knowledge like us …”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 341.
He said, “So, my brother, if some brothers from the people of hadith or those who follow the Salaf oppose someone like me, or, for example, Ibn Baaz—then this is not the criterion/gauge [by which we measure], the criterion is knowledge, whoever knowledge has reached has had the proof established against him.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 799.
Shaikh Esaam Moosa Haadi said, “Some brothers said to him, ‘O Shaikh of ours! There is a man by us who regards you as an enemy and speaks ill of you—should we boycott him?’
So our Shaikh replied, ‘Does he oppose Al-Albaani as a person or does he oppose the ’aqeedah which Al-Albaani holds and calls to? The ’aqeedah of the Book and the Sunnah? If he is showing enmity to the ’aqeedah of the Book and the Sunnah then one is to discuss [such issues] with him and he is to be shown patience. Thereafter if you see that it is beneficial and more advantageous to boycott him, then he is boycotted.
But if he is opposing Al-Albaani as a person whilst he agrees with us on the path of the Book and the Sunnah—then no [he is not to be boycotted].’”
Muhaddithul-Asr, Imaam Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani Kamaa ’Araftuhu, p. 94, of Esaam Moosaa Haadi.
He said, “And if you see that I have strayed or made a mistake you must advise me …”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 82.
He said, “I am only a student of knowledge. Nothing else.”
And, “I am only, as I always and forever say, a student of knowledge.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 8.
Questioner: The supplication said upon completing the recitation of the Quraan, especially during taraawih, does it have any basis?
Al-Albaani: No, it has no basis.
Questioner: The supplication said when one finishes reciting the Quraan?
Al-Albaani: Upon completing the recitation of the Quraan … when a Muslim finishes [reciting all of it], it is a Sunnah for him to, or it is mustahab for him to supplicate and gather his family to do so.
As for when the Quraan is completed like this in the prayer, in the night prayer, then this long, extensive du’aa has no basis whatsoever.
Also see Shaikh Uthaimeen’s answer on the same topic here.
Questioner: About the Du’aa al-Qunoot in the witr prayer, sending salaah on the Prophet ﷺ is not authentically established, ya’ni, mentioning salaah?
Al-Albaani: The additional part of the narration which is in Sunan an-Nisaa’i is not authentic, but later it became clear to me that some of the Imaams did it in the time of ’Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, without any criticism from anyone, and so I say it is legitimate.
[But] I still say, [that] because it hasn’t been established in the hadith [specific] about the Qunoot [that] there is a difference between what is negated and what is established: what is negated is that a mention of sending salaah on the Prophet ﷺ is established in the hadith about the qunoot which the Prophet ﷺ taught al-Hasan ibn Abi Taalib. And what is established is that some of the Imaams who used to lead the people in the night prayer in Ramadaan during the time of Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, [used to say it], so we said that that alone [i.e., the addition of the salaah] was permissible.
Questioner: Ya’ni, for example when a person says, “اللهم إني أسألك” (O Allaah! I ask You …)
Al-Albaani: “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت، وعافني فيمن …” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided, and pardon me among those whom …)
Questioner: “اللهم إني أسألك خير ما سألك منه عبدك ونبيك محمد ﷺ، وأعوذ بك من اشر ما استعاذ بك منه عبدك ونبيك محمد ﷺ” (O Allaah! I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for, and I seek refuge with You from the evil which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge.), if a person says that in the qunoot, and supplicates with a lot of du’aas is that permissible for him or …
Al-Albaani: Such things have not been mentioned in the qunoot, the du’aa al-qunoot is only, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.) this is the qunoot of witr. [See the footnote at the end for the full du’aa al-qunoot the Shaikh is referring to, here he only quotes the first line for the sake of brevity].
Questioner: For example, [in] Ramadaan they read lots of du’aas.
Al-Albaani: Yes, and that has no basis unless a calamity has befallen the Muslims … as for what is to be read as a set routine then the du’aa al-qunoot is, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.), and it is not legislated to …
Questioner: Ya’ni, me, for example, at home after rukoo’ can’t I supplicate … after saying, “Sami’Allaahu liman hamidah,” for example, I say, “اللهم إني أسألك خير ما سألك منه محمد ﷺ” or for example I say, “اللهم صل على محمد وآل محمد” at the end of the qunoot, or I make a du’aa saying, “اللهم اجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي” (O Allaah! Make the Quraan the spring of my heart.) or something like that?
Al-Albaani: Nothing is legislated in the [du’aa] al-qunoot of witr except the du’aa al-qunoot which the Prophet ﷺ taught al-Hasan, in this du’aa it is permitted to send salaah on the Prophet ﷺ in accordance with some of the Salaf who were just mentioned, as for adding to this supplication by way of a desire to increase in making du’aa, then this is not legislated … saying unrestricted du’aas, we do not add to the teaching of the Prophet ﷺ.
Questioner: Ya’ni, is this a bid’ah or something of the sort?
Al-Albaani: Of course. Everything which is an addition to the teaching of the Prophet which doesn’t have an extenuating circumstance which permits us to make a supplication like we said concerning [the exception about] calamities, then it is an addition, and additions in matters of worship are innovations.
Questioner: Ya’ni, as you know, for example, in Ramadaan, all the mosques …
Al-Albaani: How can I not know? The Masjid al-Haraam spread this bid’ah in all countries, I know this. So it is not allowed to add anything except due to an extenuating circumstance.
Questioner: There are people whose supplication goes up to half an hour.
Al-Albaani: Yes, there is no doubt or uncertainty that that is an innovation, there is no doubt about it. And people follow what they become accustomed to, so we must return to the Sunnah.
Questioner: What, O Shaikh, what is the form [of the salaah that is said] after, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.), ya’ni, we want the complete form …
Al-Albaani: After the well-known qunoot1 [you can say]: “وصلى الله على محمد النبي الأمي وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم”, only.
Fataawaa Raabigh, 6.
1 Which is:
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ، وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ، وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعطَيْتَ، وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلَا يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ، إِنَّهُ لَا يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ، [وَلَا يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ]، تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
“O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided, and strengthen me with those whom You have given strength. Take me to Your care with those whom You have taken to Your care. Bless me in what You have given me. Protect me from the evil You have ordained. Surely, You command and are not commanded, and none whom You have committed to Your care shall be humiliated [and none whom You have taken as an enemy shall taste glory]. You are Blessed, Our Lord, and Exalted.”
Al-Albaani: There is an issue which occurs frequently every Ramadaan, i.e., that when many mosque Imaams stand to lead the people in prayer they read from a mushaf directly. This must happen where you are as it does here?
Okay, so I say: is this legislated? As for me, then my answer is no. There are some noble scholars who permit it, saying that it is allowed, and their proof in that is an authentic narration which states that Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to have a servant who would lead her in prayer in Ramadaan who would recite from the mushaf, this is an authentic narration.
My answer to this is that this narration does not represent the general manhaj of the Salaf, it represents the opinion of the Mother of the Believers, the [noble] lady Aa’ishah—and she is one for whom it was not obligatory to go to the mosque to pray the obligatory prayers in congregation, let alone the night prayer which is supererogatory. Not only was it not obligatory for her, it was in fact more desirable for her to pray at home. So firstly, this, as I said, does not represent the salafi understanding in this issue in terms of the Salaf comprehensively, men, scholars, students of knowledge and so on. Secondly, this case was specific to Aa’ishah and her servant. So if someone were to say that, “In situations like this it is permitted,” we say that, “It is allowed in compliance with the Mother of the Believers.” As for it to be made a general sunnah for mosque Imaams who lead men in prayer in the mosques, then this is in opposition to what the Salaf were on … …
So the rule is that the Imaams of the mosques lead the people in prayer from what they have memorised, from memory … and in addition to that I say that opening the door to allow mosque Imaams to read from mushafs in the night prayer in Ramadaan leads to the cancellation of an established, legislated Sunnah from the Prophet ﷺ, which is his saying ﷺ, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan and make your voice melodious in reciting it, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”
“Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan,” means devote your attention to memorising and studying it, because if you don’t it will be lost and go.
So if it is said to mosque Imaams, “There is no need for you to memorise the Quraan … just open the mushaf and put it on a high table and read from it and turn its pages as you pray,” this is a practical dissuasion for them to refresh their knowledge of the Quraan which they had been ordered to do by the Prophet ﷺ.
Thus, this would be from the innovations [bid’ah] which oppose the Sunnah—not only an innovation—but rather an innovation which opposes the Sunnah, and opinion is united in battling against innovations which oppose the Sunnah, if only they knew.
For this reason I do not hold this situation which has now become widespread to be permissible, especially in the Masjid al-Haraam and other mosques around it, [i.e.,] where the Quraan is read from directly, from the noble mushaf.
Questioner: Sometimes a qaari will stand behind them [i.e., behind the Imaam] holding a mushaf so that if the Imaam makes a mistake [he can correct him], so does this have the same ruling?
Al-Albaani: Naturally it has the same ruling. In fact, this is one of the bad results of that practice.
Yes, one time I prayed, I think it was in Taaif, Allaah knows best, behind an Imaam who was reading from the Mushaf—look subhaanallaah, every time when talking about innovations I remember the narration [which says], “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out,”—what would this Imaam do? When he’d finish [reciting] and wanted to bow, he would put the mushaf under his armpit, picture that, how do you think his rukoo’ would be, his prostration? Like that of a woman according to some madhhabs. What led him to oppose this sunnah or sunnahs? It is the introduction of this innovation, “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 544.
Questioner: During the night prayer is it allowed to read the Quraan from a copy of the mushaf?
And all good is in following those who preceded us
All evil in the innovations of those who came after
Imagine yourselves right now praying the night prayer in the time of ’Umar, who would be leading you? Ubaiy ibn Ka’b.
Questioner: We don’t have an Ubaiy with us.
Al-Albaani: That’s why we must produce an Ubaiy.
Questioner: Until we do, what should we do?
Al-Albaani: Such a method [of holding and reading from the mushaf] will not bring about an Ubaiy or even half an Ubaiy, for this reason, I remind you of the famous hadith, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape than a camel from its rope,” keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan.
Those people who lead the prayers in the mosque [while reading] from a mushaf, and [I mean] no offense [here] and with respect for any Imaam who leads the people in prayer from a mushaf—I don’t say that these people are lazy [but] I say that at the very least they didn’t carry out this Prophetic order, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan.” What does, “keep refreshing,” mean? It is explained in the remainder of the hadith.
If a haafidh does not repeat what he has memorized from the Quraan day and night, it will escape from him just as a runaway camel does from its rope. It is well known amongst camel herders that parallels are coined about a camel’s disposition, such that you have sayings such as, ‘[So and so] is more spiteful than a camel,’ for camels are extremely spiteful, [likewise they are] greatly prone to escaping, even cutting their ropes no matter how strong they may be. That is why addressing the Arabs, camel herders, he ﷺ said, “it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”
So if Muslims don’t give due care [to memorising the Quraan]—and this is a communal obligation, if some people carry it out others don’t need to—[if they don’t give due care] then they will be forced to read from the mushaf.
Were the Salaf as-Saalih like that? Of course not.
So, we must produce students who memorise the Quraan and recite it well, and who subsequently lead the people in prayer even if they are young children and those who pray behind them are old men, because priority is given to the one who has memorized it and not the scholar.
For this reason, many times I—and you can see that I am in my eighties now—will pray behind the youth, because they have memorized more of the Quraan than me, doing so as an implementation of his saying ﷺ, “The people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah. If they are equal in recitation, then they should be led by the one who is most knowledgeable of the Sunnah. If they are equal in their knowledge of the Sunnah, then they should be led by the eldest.” Where was I [in this ranking]? In third place [i.e., the eldest]. “If they are equal in age, then they should be led by the one who emigrated first.”
So, the people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah. So during taraaweeh the people must be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah.
And when I say this I know that there could be young children who have memorised more than grown men, but these young children might not pray properly, [but] following this path and implementing this hadith is a legislated way to teach some of these children who have memorised the Quraan the [correct] method of praying, such that they pray it in congregation and lead the people in it, doing so proficiently as ordered by the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ.
In conclusion I remind you of the hadith of a young boy from the Companions whose name was ’Amr ibn Abi Salamah, his father Abu Salamah was one of the earliest people of the Ansaar to believe in Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ before he ﷺ migrated to Medinah. These Ansaar used to go to Makkah on ’Umrah in order to meet the Prophet ﷺ and to learn what new legislated rulings had been revealed to him. So one time his father travelled and then he and some of the elders from the Ansaar came back with a new ruling which the Prophet had taught them, which was to pray in congregation. Prior to that they would pray individually, so they came back with this new ruling, to pray in congregation, the Prophet having taught them this hadith, “The people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah …”
[This young boy] ’Amr said, “So they looked around Medinah and didn’t find anyone more well-versed in the recitation of the Quraan than me, nor anyone who had memorised more than me,” and ’Amr’s age was between seven and nine, that’s what is mentioned in the narrations, i.e., at the most he was nine years old, so he said they put him forward to lead them in prayer—elderly, grown men with beards praying behind a young boy of nine years at the most.
And as is mentioned in the hadith he was wearing a mantle, i.e., a loincloth made out of a heavy, velvety material. When he would prostrate it would raise up above him, and the women were praying behind the men as is the Sunnah, and some of his ’awrah would show. And so this boy had barely given salaam from the prayer when a woman called out from behind the men, “Won’t you cover the buttocks of your reciter from us?” The boy went on to say, “So they bought a thawb for me, and I had never been so happy with anything before as I was with that thawb.”
Thus, we must give due care to memorizing the Quraan and copying our Salaf as-Saalih.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 694.
Questioner: Is it allowed for someone who is following the Imaam in prayer, especially in taraweeh, standing behind the Imaam obviously, [is it allowed for him] to hold the mushaf [while praying] behind the Imaam so that he can look at it?
Al-Albaani: No, no that is not from the Sunnah.
Questioner: If he does it, is his prayer valid [though]?
Al-Albaani: His prayer is valid.
Questioner: But in opposition to the Sunnah?
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 679.
Questioner: Okay, is it allowed for the du’aa al-qunoot … because in the sunnah it is reported as being before the rukoo’, if we do it after the rukoo’ that would be …
Al-Albaani: … that would be following ’Umar etc., but the sunnah is dearer to us.
Questioner: Yes, doing it before the rukoo’ is better?
Questioner: Okay, if we added an [additional] supplication to the du’aa al-qunoot which has been reported [in the Sunnah], is it allowed? The du’aa al-qunoot well-known as, ‘Allaahummahdini fi man hadaita …,’ if I add other supplications to that of my own accord?
Al-Albaani: No, it’s not allowed, except rarely.
Questioner: Only rarely.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 326.
Also see here.
Questioner: What happens these days, O Shaikh, during the last ten days of Ramadaan, where they split the prayer, the night prayer [tarawih], into two, [praying ten rak’ahs] at the start of the night [after ishaa] and [then ten more a few hours later] at the end [‘qiyaam al-lail’], this having become something permanent?
Al-Albaani: It’s an innovation.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 719.
See part one here.
Questioner: Fasting in countries where the day is long, more than twenty or twenty-two hours, some people say that it is permissible to fast according to the closest country to them.
Al-Albaani: Why do they say that?
Questioner: They’re going according to the hadith of Dajjaal …
Al-Albaani: And does that hadith …
Questioner: They are performing qiyaas …
Al-Albaani: Qiyaas of what to what?
What is better than that is for you to ask, ‘What is the correct opinion on this issue?’ [And] in order to facilitate the correct opinion which I will soon mention, [I ask]: is it possible for someone whose fast is twenty hours to do it, is it possible or not? This is the first thing.
Secondly, the sun rises where they are and sets, does it not? …
If the question were: what is the ruling [concerning people for whom] it is [constant] daylight for six months, as is the case in a certain country, and where after these six months, what takes its place? Night for six months—it is here that what you alluded to earlier in terms of the qiyaas of forty days as in the time of Dajjaal [comes in to play], a day which will be like a year, another like a month, and the rest of his days will be like your [normal] days.
Okay, but your question was, [and] I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, … … if it wasn’t unintentional then [I say to you that] using the hadith of Dajjaal here is not possible because [in the case of those people who have a long day and have to fast long hours] the sun does [actually] rise and set—the most that can be said in this circumstance is [to ask] whether those who are required to fast [those] twenty hours can actually do it?
The answer, in my opinion, is that they can, and this is a general answer, maybe some of them can’t—for now we’re talking about those who can, it’s not allowed for these people to be given a fatwa that they are to fast in accordance with the hours of the country closest to them, bearing in mind the fact that this issue [of the hours] will differ from country to country and does not have a set yardstick by which to go … but [in contrast is] His Saying, “Fear Allah as much as you are able,” [Taghaabun 64:16] which is a precise, unabrogated principle.
So if the fast is sixteen hours long in some countries and shorter in others, the ruling doesn’t vary as regards the obligation of fasting due to the number of [such] hours being long or short—thus the regulating principle is that: if they see daybreak [fajr] they stop eating, and when they see the sun setting, they eat, this is what is obligatory on them.
And what may come to one’s mind is not said here, i.e., ‘That this is akin to oppression,’ far be it, because in response we will say that they will get their due in days to come, where instead of fasting twenty hours they might be fasting for ten, as is the [cyclical] nature of seasons.
Thus, the ruling is that whoever is able to is obligated to fast.
It is not allowed for them to align themselves to another country for the rising and setting of the sun.
And I believe, through personal experience, that a person has the strength and power, if he responds favourably to legislated rulings, to fast day and night—not only to fast for twenty hours and eat during four, no, rather that he fasts day and night continuously [without eating at all], indeed some of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ wanted to fast continuously without a break so the Prophet ﷺ forbade them from doing so, to which they responded, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! You fast continuously without a break.’ So he said, ‘I spend the night while my Lord provides me with food and drink.’
So if there are people who are able to carry out an unlegislated fast, which is to fast continuously night and day without a break, then it is more fitting that they are able to do this [normal] fast if their country according to the legislation obligates them to refrain from eating at daybreak and to eat at sunset, this is possible.
And I myself, since some of you may have read in my books, fasted for forty days not having any food or drink except a few sips of water. You all know through everyone’s experience that whoever eats a lot drinks a lot, and that whoever stays hungry and doesn’t eat doesn’t long for water except for only a very little which will keep him alive—and this is how I was for forty days, nothing entered my stomach except for very, very little water, so how can I not fast … [a normal fast which is long] … especially with the kinds of iftaar which we have been tested with nowadays, i.e., what we lost in the day we have there in the iftaar.
For this reason, I hold it to be a glaring error in such an instance where the sun can be seen rising and setting that we turn to [the timings of] another country.
As for the other situation where there is no day or night … and this is present in the North Pole a lot, then for this circumstance we say that they fast according to the nearest possible country to them, it is possible to say this [in such a situation]. And it is possible here that we take the hadith [of Dajjaal] concerning the prayer times, “You must make an estimate of its extent,” … because they [at the poles] have a day which is very, very long at half a year, and a long, long night for the other half, so it is possible to say that they make a moderate estimate, for example, and fast for twelve hours only … as for where the sun rises and sets, then it is not allowed.
Fataawa Jeddah, 3.
Questioner: The Muslims in Sweden, a European country, in Ramadaan they have only three hours to eat after opening their fast, i.e., the sun sets at ten o’clock and rises at one.
Questioner: In Sweden.
Al-Albaani: In Sweden, yes.
Questioner: Yes there are Muslims …
Al-Albaani: Yes … yes ma’roof.
Questioner: They only have three hours during which to eat, and they fast for twenty-one, so they find it difficult. One brother told me that some people gave them a fatwa that they can start and break the fast according to the time in Makkah, so this fatwa ya’ni …
Al-Albaani: I don’t hold … I don’t hold this fatwa to be correct. Since we can flip the situation and say that a season will come where the situation will be the opposite, where they will fast for three hours or thereabouts and they will be able to eat for the remainder of those twenty four hours, clear?
Questioner: I don’t think …
Al-Albaani: Have you studied any geography?
Questioner: No, only a little.
Al-Abaani: Do you know that the sun, ya’ni, is hidden in the North Pole for half the year such that they don’t see it, and in the other half it’s the opposite of that totally, are you aware of that or not?
Questioner: My hold on geography [is weak], O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: So you don’t know that, it is something well-known.
Al-Albaani: And [then] between this and that [i.e., between the North and South poles] you have seasons in those countries, ya’ni, in the two poles you have night for half the year and day for half, [it is] in such a situation [that] the question as to what should be done is posed.
But those who are closer to us, [closer] to the equator, the closer they get to us the more uniform time becomes for them, you know that at the equator day and night are totally equal?
Al-Albaani: Yes, but it changes totally the higher or lower you go, so that you get a period in those countries where instead of the twenty or twenty-one hours they fast and the three hours they can eat, about half a year later it’s the total opposite of that.
That’s why I say to them your account is being accumulated in terms of what is coming [i.e., a time will come when your fast will be very short], and I do not give them a fatwa that they should fast according to [the timings of] their neighbouring countries, because the [following] aayahs apply to them: “And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night],” [Baqarah 2:187] in contrast to those we told you about in the North Pole who do not see the sun at all, there is no morning, no ’ishaa, nothing, [it is] these people [who] estimate the value as has been clearly stated in the authentic hadith about the Dajjaal in which the Prophet ﷺ upon informing his Companions that the Dajjaal would be there for how many days? Thirty or forty?
Someone else: Forty days.
Al-Albaani: Forty days. One of his days will equal a year, the next a month, the third a week and the rest will be like these days of yours. The question arose as to how they should pray [during that time]? He said, “You must make an estimate of its extent.”
So, making an estimate in that long year, what will the Muslims want to base that estimate on? On what they were accustomed to.
Now with the presence of watches it is very easy for them to estimate … if we supposed that the Muslims had a year-long dark night such that day and night were combined [into one], which happens at the two poles as we mentioned, in such an instance they have to make an estimate.
As for every country in which the sun can be seen setting and rising, and what that results in in terms of fajr—then these people have to fast even if the duration of the fast seems long to them, and our Lord عز وجل says in the Noble Quran: “And if Allaah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty,” [Baqarah: 2:220] [but] He didn’t will difficulty for us, alhamdulillaah.
If such a situation does occur in some countries then soon enough they will get copious amounts of ease in place of that increased discomfort [when the day becomes short and their fasting becomes easier].
This is my answer and it is correct, inshaa Allaah.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 237.
See part two here.
The Imaam said, “[What is meant by] exhorting a dying person to say Laa ilaaha illallaah at the time of death [i.e., the talqeen] is not that the shahaadah be mentioned in his presence and that he [just] be made to hear it—rather it is that he be directed to say it—in opposition to what some people think, and the proof is the hadith of Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, ‘That Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ visited a man from the Ansaar, and said, ‘O maternal uncle! Say, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah!’ So he said, ‘[Am I] a maternal or paternal uncle?’ So he said, ‘A maternal one.’ He said, ‘Is it better for me to say, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah?’’ So the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Yes.’”
Ahkaamul-Janaaiz, p. 20.