Why is there such a huge reward when sharing your food with someone in the eyes of Allah. What is the ahkaam of fasting for a traveller? Join Sheikh Abbas Jaffer to find out!
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. May Allah SWT accept our a'mal in this Holy month of Ramadhan and give us the inspiration to take the best benefit from this month in the days to come, InshaAllah Ta'ala.
One of the things that we have been taught in this month is to actually facilitate Iftar. Iftar means the breaking of the fast and to feed mu'minin who are fasting, at the time that they break the fast. So, a Hadith from Imam Al-Sadiq, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh, says 'Ya ayyuha an-nas, man fattara minkum s'iman mu'minan fee hadha shahr.' Whoever from you gives food to a fasting mu'min to break their fast, 'kana lahu bi dhalika 'inda Allahi i'tqu nasamatin wa maghfiratun lima madha min dhunubi.' It is as if, in the Eyes of Allah, as if he freed a slave or Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in return, forgives that which is passed.
Remember we said that even if you have great sins, it is not greater than Allah's Mercy. Allah's Mercy is greater than your ma'siyah. So Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, in appreciation, forgives 'ma madha min dhunbih.'
And then Imam Al-Sadiq is quoting this episode from the life of Rasul Allah. As you know the Imams, when they give Hadith, it is usually always from things that have come to them from their forefathers, from Rasul Allah. Imam alayhi as-salam, said 'Qila Ya Rasul Allah, fa laysa kullunna bi yakdiru 'ala dhalik.' All of us cannot afford this, to feed mu'minin. ' Fa qala salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam,' that, 'ittaku an-nar wa law bi shikki thamratin, ittaku an-nar wa law bi sharbatin min al-ma'.' Why don't you be careful and save yourself from fire? This is a easy way to protect yourself, even if you give one date, even if you give one sip of water to somebody who is fasting and you say to him 'This is something for you to break your fast.' So it doesn't have to be a lavish meal. It doesn't have to be a lot. It just has to have that diya inside you.
Now, the thing I want to talk about briefly is why? You have given someone one date, you have shared with someone your food. Why is there so much thawab? Well, if we look at Sharia generally, we find that whenever there is something that brings the hearts of mu'mimin close to one another, that brings the mu'minin, you know feelings for each other to increase, then Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala rewards a lot. Like when the mu'minin pray together, there is great thawab, Salat-ul-Jama'ah. When two families, two people from two families get married to one another. We have that there is no institution more beloved to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala after Tawhid then Nikah. Why? Because two families are now becoming close to one another. Or for example, when two brothers who are not speaking, one of them tries to speak to the other one to mend their relationship, there is great thawab from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala for that. Or when you feed people. When you feed, why? Because it brings the hearts closer. This is very important to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. He has created us in societies.
On the other side, anything you do that breaks the people, Allah's anger is a lot more than what you think. For example, you break off with someone you are related to by blood, your brother, your father. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala reduces your life. You say 'Why such a big punishment for this?' Because you are breaking society. Or divorce. Divorce is something that Islam accepts, that it is allowed. But in Hadith, we have it is disliked. It is allowed but disliked by Allah, why? Because it moves the hearts. Or, for example, gheebah or slander, gossip and slander. Even if you are saying something true about someone behind his back, it is gheebah and if you are saying something false behind his back, that is even worse, Tohmah. All these things are hated by God. They are punished by God. Why? Because they break the community.
So whatever brings community together, giving this tamar, one date, one water, it brings your heart close to your, his heart. It brings you together. The Muslim Ummah, they have good feelings for one another. This is liked by Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.
And even this same principle is there in Ziyarah. So, for example, in one of the Ziyarah of Aba 'Abdillah Al-Husayn 'alayhi as-salam, as taught by Imam Al-Sadiq, we don't go to Imam Al-Husayn and tell him 'I love you.' We don't say that to him. We say 'I love the one who loves you.' There's a great lesson in this. There's a difference between I'm coming to you alone or I am telling you that this other one who loves you, I love him. This is what the Imams have asked for, that come to us together, with your hearts together. 'Inni silmun,' not lak, 'Inni silmun li man salamakum wa harbun liman harabakum.' If he is your enemy, he is my enemy. But if he is your friend, I am his friend.
This tells the Imam that we are coming to you as a society, together. And anything that brings, we should be careful in our lives that if we know by doing this, I will hurt the feelings of my brother, they will move away from me, they will be upset, we should be cautious about doing it. We should try not to do it. And anything that brings the hearts together, is something that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala rewards and it is something that we need to do. May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala guide us on this. It is not always easy, but it is something that is beloved to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.
In terms of the masa'il, today I want to look at the masa'il of travelling. One of the things that we have is a slightly different ruling for people who travel. You go to a different place that is not your home, then your Salt is reduced. The Salt that are four rakahs are reduced to two rakat, Salt ul-Musafir, unless you stay in this new place for ten days. But if you don't stay for ten days, less than ten days, then you are a Musafir and you will pray Qasr. Ten days means what? Is it from morning till evening? No, it means 240 hours. If you arrive in that country and you are going to be there 240 hours, ten days is that, then you will pray full. Otherwise, if it is less than that, you will pray Qasr.
Now, if that happens in the month of Ramadhan, then of course, the same rules apply. If it is less than ten days in a place, then you do not fast. But of course, there is Qadha afterwards and there is no fasting while you are there. Now, there is a difference for people who are frequent travellers, which is called Kathir as-Safir. Maybe there's a person whose job is travelling, maybe there's a person, for example, who is a taxi driver, a pilot, somebody who's always travelling. By always, generally we are told somebody who's travelling normally 10, 10 days every month. On average, in one year, they will be away, out of their home for 120 days in the year. Then that person is called Kathir as-Safir. And this Kathir as-Safir, he will fast even if he is in month of Ramadhan in a different place, less than ten days, and he will pray full, even if he is there for just one or two days in a foreign country, he will pray full. So this Kathir as-Safir is something that we need to keep in mind.
Now, one last thing I want to talk about is that people say 'Well, in this day and age, you know, we don't have the same hardships that people had back in the day that they were in a foreign place you know, and this is, that they couldn't pray, there wasn't that much time. Or fasting would be difficult for them and so on. But these days, everything is simple in the modern era. No, that's not the way to think about it.
Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala kept this ruling and this is a Rahmah from Him. This is a kind of gift from Him. And it is not for us to say that this is the reason why and that is the reason why. You are not in your home, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala reduces the burden on you, and that is it. And we should take it like that, InshaAllah wa Ta'ala.
May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala accept our a'mal, InshaAllah. Wa as-salamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh.