From the Mandatory Etiquettes of Fasting
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Bin ‘Uthaymeen
My brothers: Know that there are many manners that are important for the completion of the fast. There are two categories of manners for the fast with the first of them being mandatory to know and memorize and to practice. The second type is recommended to know memorize and practice.
From the mandatory manners is to maintain the obligations that Allah has prescribed for us both what we must say and what we must do. With the most important being the five daily prayers which are of the pillars of Islam, after the Shahada. So it a must to make sure the prayer is preformed with its pillars, obligations, and conditions. It should be performed at its appointed time and with the congregation. For indeed this is from piety. Not praying is from the absence of piety, and is a means for punishment as Allah (SWT) says, “But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts soon, then, will they face Destruction, Excepted, however, shall be those who repent and attain to faith and do righteous deeds: for it is they who will enter paradise and will not be wronged in any way”
There are some of the fasting people that neglect the congregational prayers in the masjid. Allah orders us in one verse by saying, “When thou (O Messenger art with them, and standest to lead them in prayer, Let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with thee, Taking their arms with them: When they finish their prostrations, let them Take their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which hath not yet prayed – and let them pray with thee, Taking all precaution, and bearing arms” Allah orders us to pray in congregation at the time of fighting and fear. So in the time of safety and security, it should be even more of a priority. A blind man once said to the Prophet , “O Messenger of Allah, I have no guide to lead me to the mosque (to attend the congregational prayer).” He asked the Prophet (SAW) for permission to pray in his house and the Prophet permitted him. Then, when he turned to go, the Prophet (SAW) called him and said: ‘Do you hear the call to prayer?’ The blind man said ‘yes.’ The Prophet then said: “Then respond to it [by coming to the mosque].” (Muslim) The Prophet (SAW) didn’t give him a clearance to pray at home. The person who leaves the prayer has missed out on many rewards, for indeed the prayer in congregation is multiplied. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Indeed the prayer in congregation is rewarded by seventy times more than the prayer alone.” (Saheehayn)
When someone leaves the congregational prayer they are subjected themselves to punishment as well as being similar to the hypocrites. As the Prophet (SAW) said, “Indeed the hardest prayers for the hypocrites are the ‘Isha and Fajr prayers, and if they knew what was in them in terms of reward then they would come to it even if they had to crawl, I was almost going to leave the prayer and ask someone else to lead the people, then leave with some people and take wood to those who do not come to the prayer and burn their homes with fire.” (Saheehayn) Ibn Mas’ood (RA) said, “who ever would be pleased to meet Allah as a Muslim, then let him take care of those salat which are called to because they are of the ways of huda (guidance), and Allah has given to your Prophet the ways of huda. And if you were to establish salat in your homes, like that person staying behind in his home, you would be abandoning the sunnah of your Prophet, and if you were to abandon the sunnah of your prophet you would surely go astray. And there is not a man amongst you that purifies himself (yatatahhar), and does so properly, then directs himself to one of these mosques except that Allah will write for him with each step he takes a hasanah (merit), and raises him a grade, and drops from him a sayyi’ah (demerit). And I have seen us, where not one of us would stay behind from prayer in congregation except for a hypocrite whose hypocrisy is known. And one that could not come on his own would be carried between two men until he is stood in the row.” One of the worst ways to miss the prayer is to be heedless and sleep through the time, and the scholars say about this, “Whoever delays a prayer past its time without an excuse from the shariah, it would not be accepted even if they prayed 100 times.”
From the ettiquites that are mandatory: The fasting one must leave off all haram things whether it be an action or a saying. They should leave off lying, and lying is any news that is not known. The worst of lying is that which is against Allah and his Messenger , this is done by making that which is haram hallal and vice versa. Allah (SWT) says, “But say not – for any false thing that your tongues may put forth,- “This is lawful, and this is forbidden,” so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper. A brief enjoyment [may be theirs in this world] -but grievous suffering awaits them [in the life to come]” In the Saheehayn it is related that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever lies about me intentionally, then let them prepare their abode in the fire.” The Prophet (SAW) warned us against lying as he said, “beware of falsehood, for indeed falsehood leads to sinning, and indeed sinning leads to the Fire. A man continues to tell lies and strives upon falsehood until he is written as a liar with God.” (Agreed upon)
The fasting person should also leave the backbiting, which is talking about your brother in their absence something they would hate; regardless if this thing they hate is something to do with the way they were created. For example being blind, or something to do with their actions, like being foolish or an evildoer. Regardless if they actually have this trait or not. Because the Prophet (SAW) was asked about backbiting and he said, “It saying something about your brother which they would hate.” Then he was asked, “What if they really do have this trait?” He said, “If he has this trait then it is backbiting, if he doesn’t, then it is slander.” (Muslim) Allah has prohibited backbiting in the Qur’an and given us a very distinct picture to imagine, As Allah says, “And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it.”
The fasting person should also avoid nameemah, which is the spreading of evil talk between people in order to separate between them. This evil act is from the major sins. The Prophet (SAW) said that this type of person would not enter Paradise. One time the Prophet walked past two graves and said, “This two people are being tortured even though what they did was not that great, one of them did not used to wash himself after using the bathroom, and the other one used to spread nameemah.” (Agreed Upon) This act causes divisions amongst the Ummah as well as causes hatred between the Muslims. And know that if someone is saying nammemah to you, then they are also saying it about you.
They should also avoid ripping people off when it comes to business transactions. This is also a major sin. The Prophet declared being free, or disassociation from these people as he said, “Whoever rips people off is not from us.” (Muslim) This is an act which brings mistrust, and dishonesty between people. Whoever gains money from this is only gaining haram, it will not increase a person except in distance from Allah.
Also, the fasting person should avoid music in all of its types. As Allah (SWT) said, “But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a Humiliating Penalty.” Ibn Mas’ood was asked about this verse and said, “I swear by the one that there is no one other than that it is music.” Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Jabir, Ukraamah, Saeid bin Jubair, Al hassin, and Mujahid all said the same for this verse. The Prophet warned us about music by saying, “There will appear people in my Ummah, who will hold adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments to be lawful.” (Bukhari) Holding it lawful means that they will perform this act without even feeling bad. We can see today many Muslims listening to music as if it is something lawful. This is a result of what the enemies of Islam have devised for the Muslims so that they will not concentrate on the remembrance of Allah, as well as the religion. There has emerged many people who listen to music more than they do to Qur’an, or hadeeth, or people of knowledge. So be very careful to avoid this oh you Muslims. And refrain from falsehood both in sayings and in actions. As the Prophet said, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action then Allah the Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and his drink.” Jabir (RA) said, “When you fast, you should also fast your ears, eyes, and tongue from lying and unlawful deeds, do not harm your neighbor, you should have a peaceful calmness, and your fasting day and non-fasting day should not be the same.”