Fasting is obligatory upon every Muslim:

  • that has reached puberty.
  • is sane.
  • is pure.
  • is capable.
  • is a resident.

Regarding the statement, “Muslim excludes the disbeliever”, An Nawawi رحمه الله said, “Our companions said the disbeliever is not commanded to fast while he is a disbeliever without any differing. If he accepts Islam, it is not obligatory upon him to make it up without any differing. If he fasted while being in the state of disbelief, his fast is not correct without any differing, whether he accepted Islam after that or not.” End quote.

He also said, “The intent is not that it is not obligatory [upon him] while he is a disbeliever, for the correct stance is that the disbeliever is addressed with the subdivisions of the legislation while they are in the state of disbelief. Meaning that they increase in their punishment in the hereafter due to that [leaving off that which is obligatory]. But they are not commanded to do that act while in the state of disbelief.” End quote.

Regarding the statement “Reaching the age of puberty excludes the child”, then it is upon the guardian that he commands the child to fast if he is capable of that so that he gets accustomed to it.

Regarding his [Imaam Nawawi’s] statement “Sane excludes the insane.”, the proof for this and the one before is the narration

of Ali رضي الله عنه reported by Abu Dawood 4399 with an authentic chain that the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, an insane till he is restored to reason, and a boy till he reaches puberty.

Regarding his statement “Pure excludes the woman in menstruation and post partum”, the intent is that there is no fasting upon them during this condition, but the fast is still generally obligatory upon them. So, they delay it and then make it up. Speech surrounding this matter will come if Allah wills.

Regarding his statement “Capable”, then it excludes the elderly and similar to him, and he is the sick one whose sickness has no hope of recovery.

Regarding his  statement “Is a resident”, this excludes the traveller. The speech surrounding this and the one before it will come if Allah wills.

Look at Al Bayaan 3/461 and al Majmoo 6/253

[Miskul khitaam by Ash Shaykh Zaayid Al Wusaabee: 2/398-399]

Translated by

Majid Jawed Al-Afghanee
Abu Layl