Hadith on Ramadan: Advice to the Fasting Offender

📖Sahih al-Bukhari 1936
Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were sitting with the Prophet (ﷺ) a man came and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! I have been ruined.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked what was the matter with him. He replied “I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked him, “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” He replied in the negative. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked him, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet (ﷺ) asked him, “Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet (ﷺ) kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet (ﷺ) . He asked, “Where is the questioner?” He replied, “I (am here).” The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), “Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity.” The man said, “Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah; there is no family between its (i.e. Medina’s) two mountains who are poorer than I.” The Prophet (ﷺ) smiled till his premolar teeth became visible and then said, ‘Feed your family with it.”

  • The meaning of this hadith highlights several important aspects of Islamic teachings and the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) compassionate nature. It emphasizes the seriousness of violating the fast during Ramadan through engaging in sexual intercourse, which is considered invalidating the fast. The man approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) seeking guidance and was presented with various options to make amends for his action. However, due to his financial constraints, the Prophet (peace be upon him) directed him towards acts of charity within his means. Furthermore, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) response to the man’s hesitance demonstrates his consideration for the welfare of the man’s own family, as providing for one’s immediate family takes precedence over helping others in need. This hadith serves as a reminder of the importance of fulfilling our obligations, seeking forgiveness for our mistakes, and taking care of our own families while also showing compassion and charity towards others.