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Niyyah of Qat' or Qati' while Fasting


Ibn al-Hussain

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:salam:

This term I have been engaging in an independent (i.e. not part of curriculum) study session on Kitab al-Sawm (Book of Fasting) where we try to analyze the reasoning and arguments of the various rulings and verdicts the jurists give. I am almost done with the section on niyyah (intention) for fasting - thus the previous post. This post will be regarding one of the rulings that appears in most practical law books today and a few simple observations. This is by no means an attempt to show which ruling makes more sense or not - please follow the rulings of your own Marj'a (in case I end up presenting a stronger case for a view that is against what one's own marj'a says). The ruling is as follow:

Ayatullah Sistani: 1579. If somebody is undecided in his niyyat whether to break or not an obligatory fixed fast, like that of Ramadhan, or decides to do so, immediately his fast becomes invalid even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention.

Ayatullah Khamenei: Q 754: During the month of Ramadan, A mukallaf decides to break his fast but he changes his mind before doing so. Is his fast valid? What about the fast other than that of Ramadan?

A: During the month of Ramadan if he ceases intending to fast, i.e. he does not have intention to continue his fast, it invalidates his fast and intending again to proceed with the fast is to no avail. However, if he just decides to perform or take anything that would invalidate the fast, the validity of his fast is problematic and there is an obligatory caution to complete the fast and later perform its qaḍā’ as well. The same rule is applied to any fast which is obligatory for a specific day like that of nadhr.

This topic is generally referred to as Niyyah of Qat' (قطع), and Niyyah of Qati' (قاطع). The former is an instance of a person merely deciding during the course of the day while fasting, that they will break their fast (either now or later), whereas the latter is someone who physically begins the process of breaking their fast (intentionally), but discontinues before the actual act (for example lifting a glass of water up to drink, but then puts it back down). The former is inclusive within the latter by nature.

This is one of those rulings where jurists (both Sunni and Shi'a) have had a lot of dispute over. To begin with, there are three different opinions on the matter:

  1. Niyyah of Qat' or Qati' does not invalidate the fast (this seems to be the view of many of the older jurists)
    • To name a few: Shaykh Tusi in his al-Mabsut and al-Khilaf, Muhaqqiq Hilli in al-Sharai' and al-Mu'tabar, and 'Allamah Hilli in his al-Muntaha
    • Shaykh Ansari and his student Ayatullah Ridha Hamadani (d. 1322 Hijri) held the same view
    • Some contemporary scholars like Ayatullah Mazaheri hold the same view and the now deceased Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani (d. 2007)
  2. Niyyah of Qat' or Qati' invalidate the fast
    • This is the opinion of some of the earlier jurists like Sayyid Murtadha and Abu al-Salah al-Halabi
    • Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi (d. 1919) in his al-'Urwah al-Wuthqa holds this view and many jurists of the 20th and 21st century hold this view, including Ayatullah Khoei, Ayatullah Sistani (as can be seen from the ruling above), Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi, Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani, Ayatullah Shubeyri Zanjani, Ayatullah Wahid Khorasani and Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal al-Haydari
  3. Niyyah of Qat' breaks the fast, but not the Niyyah of a Qati'
    • This is the opinion of Shaykh Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi (d. 1850) in his al-Jawahir, as well as Imam Khomeini
    • There are not too many adherents of this view

There are different ways to argue for each position, and I do not plan on doing justice to any one of them, rather provide a very simple summary of how jurists discuss this. In fact, different jurists may approach the subject in completely different manners to begin with. One such jurists addresses the issue as follow:

They ask, what is the reality of a fast? Is a fast one single constructed reality which begins at the time of Fajr and ends at the time of Maghrib, in which a person refrains from engaging in things like eating, drinking etc. with an intention? Meaning, not only does the intention give the fast its meaning, but rather it is a part and parcel of it. Thus, it has to be present there in every single instance of a person's fast - in order for them to be considered a person who is fasting. If this is the case, then by nature, breaking this intention even for a moment, whether one actually eats something or not, should technically break their fast. This is because the intention was part of what constituted the fast. In other words, once one does an intention - for example - such as: "I have decided to break my fast", or "I am lifting this glass of water to drink and subsequently break my fast with it", they are already in a state in which they are not considered a person who is fasting. In Usuli and Fiqhi jargon, this would be referred to as "Niyyah having Mawdhu'iyyah".

The other possibility is when "Niyyah has Tareeqiyyah". Meaning intention isn't part of the reality of a fast, rather a fast is essentially the act of refraining from those limited things that have been mentioned in the sources that break the fast. Intention is only a means by which a fast is validated, but it isn't its reality.

If we are to go with the first opinion, we will generally conclude that Niyyah of Qat' or Qati' will indeed break one's fast, however if we go with the second opinion we will say that the fast isn't broken. Those who say the fast is broken, at times will also bring this narration from Tadheeb ul-Ahkam of Shaykh Tusi:

سَمَاعَةَ قَالَ: سَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ رَجُلٍ أَتَى أَهْلَهُ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ مُتَعَمِّداً فَقَالَ عَلَيْهِ عِتْقُ رَقَبَةٍ وَ إِطْعَامُ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِيناً وَ صِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ وَ قَضَاءُ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَ أَنَّى لَهُ مِثْلُ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ

 

Sama'ah said: I asked about a man who engages in intercourse with his spouse (lit. approaches his ahl) in the month of Ramadhan intentionally. He (s) said: Upon him is the freeing of a slave, and the feeding of 60 poor, and the fast of 2 consecutive months, and the Qadha of that specific day, and anna lahu dhalika al-yawm (not sure how to precisely translate this into English. It is a phrase referring to the person having lost the opportunity to fasting on that day and is deprive of its rewards despite all the penalties and Qadha he has to do).

This narration is generally used in the discussion of when on the day of doubt (if it is the 30th of Sha'ban or 1st of Ramadhan) a person wakes up without the intention to fast, and does an act that breaks a fast, but later in the day figures out it is the 1st of Ramadhan. His fast is definitely invalid, but does this person now also have to refrain from committing an act that breaks a fast generally, until Maghrib out of respect for the month of Ramadhan? How this narration is used for that discussion is outside the scope of this post, but nevertheless this narration is brought as an example of showing that what became necessary on this person was not just all 3 penalties, but also the Qadha. Some jurists say, the Qadha had become necessary simply by means of him having the intention to have intercourse since he had broken his fast, whereas the 3 penalties came upon him after he went ahead and actually performed the act. There is a lot of discussion on this narration itself, but will suffice with just this simple explanation.

Those who say the fast is not broken (which seem to be fewer in number today), bring two main arguments:

1) Some apply the principle of continuity (Istishab). Meaning, we were certain that our fast is valid, and now after doing a Niyyah of Qat' or Qati', we are unsure whether our fast is broken or not. We apply the principle and assume that our fast is correct. There are numerous problems with applying this principle in this specific case, but it will over-complicate this post.

2) The more common argument is that we actually have numerous narrations that explicitly tell us and list for us the things that invalidate one's fast. Things like, eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, etc. Not in one narration or verse, do we find anything about such an intention being one of those cases that invalidate one's fast. Furthermore, in accordance to the second perspective that one can take on what is the reality of a fast, they can argue that we have an example of a Mustahabb fast. In a Mustahabb fast, we know that one can not have an intention the whole day, and as long as they have not done an act that breaks a fast generally, they can do an intention even a few minutes before Maghrib and that day will count as a Mustahabb fast for them. This - these jurists argue - shows that the Niyyah does not have "Mawdhu'iyyah", rather "Tareeqiyyah".

Some other jurists argue that if the intention of Qat' or Qati' invalidates the fast, then we cannot say there are 7, or 8, or 9, or 12 etc. things (depending on the jurist) that invalidate a fast. Rather we should say only one thing breaks the fast, and that is the mere intention. Saying that eating, drinking etc. breaks the fast does not make sense since with the mere intention, there is no longer a fast existent which can be broken (i.e. it is already broken). They further argue that if the intention of Qat’ or Qati’ was such an important matter, we would have had some narrations on it listing it out as one of the things that invalidate a fast, or some questions and answers pertaining to it by the companions, but we see that our narrations are completely silent on the matter.

So how do those who hold on to the opinion that it does not break the fast, deal with the notion of not having an intention in the middle of the day, albeit for a moment, yet the fast still being valid? They say, if the person changes their intention in the middle of the day and decide not to fast and persistently remain on this intention to such an extent that in the minds of the people - if they were to become aware of this person's intention - this person would be deemed someone who is not fasting, only then would their fast be considered invalid. Otherwise, it is the actual act (of eating, drinking etc.) that invalidates the fast. Having an intention of breaking one's fast, or physically lifting a glass up to drink water and then deciding otherwise, does not make one's original intent of fasting go away completely. 

It seems that in order to reach the conclusion that the fast is not invalidated, these jurists have taken a more 'Urfi (customary) approach to the matter, rather than a purely theoretical and abstract approach. This is also why they claim this issue is non-existent in our hadith works, because people do not generally consider someone who has one of the two aforementioned intentions and then goes back to his original intention to have broken their fast.

PS - I didn't reference this post too much as the point of it was to present the arguments - who makes the argument is not too necessary. But in general, I can say the 3 main sources looked into were the Behas al-Kharij of Ayatullah Shubeyri Zanjani, Ayatullah Mazaheri, and Ayatullah Nuri Hamadani.

Wasalam

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      It is clear that the narrations about the Irtidad of the Sahaba are not qualified by Diin. To understand that meaning from it would require further proof.
       
      The Chosen Interpretation
      The Irtidad in the narrations should be understood [in light of other narrations] as people turning away, after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, from what they had made incumbent on themselves in his صلى الله عليه وآله lifetime, when they gave the Bay`a to Ali b. Abi Talib as the leader of the believers i.e. Irtidad from Wilaya not apostasy from Islam. 
      Instead, they decided to give the Bay`a to someone else because of expediency and other reasons. This was a betrayal of epic proportions that opened up the door of misguidance and innovation in the Diin, however, they had not exited the apparent Islam, nor were all on the same level of liability for this.
      This interpretation is aided by the following texts:
      أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: كان الناس أهل ردة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله إلا ثلاثة. فقلت: ومن الثلاثة؟ فقال: المقداد بن الأسود، وأبو ذر الغفاري، وسلمان الفارسي، رحمة الله وبركاته عليهم، ثم عرَف أناسٌ بعدَ يسير. وقال: هؤلاء الذين دارت عليهم الرحا وأبوا أن يبايعوا، حتى جاؤوا بأمير المؤمنين مكرَهاً فبايع، وذلك قوله تعالى: وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ
      (i) [al-Kafi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people were the people of Ridda after the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله except three. I said: who are the three? He said: al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad, Abu Dhar al-Ghiffari and Salman al-Farsi, may Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon them, then the people came to know after a while [the truth], these [three] are those around whom the banner revolved and they refused to give Bay`a [to Abu Bakr], until when they brought the commander of the faithful عليه السلام by coercion and he gave the pledge of allegiance, and that is His words the Elevated - “Muhammad is not but a messenger, messengers have come and gone before him, if he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels, and whoever turns back on his heels then he will not harm Allah a thing and Allah will recompense those who are grateful” (3:144).
      The narration indicates that the uniqueness of the three was that they did not give the Bay`a to the usurper because of knowing the true status of Ali, it was only when Ali was forced to give the Bay`a, and he did [for the Masliha which Allah willed], that the three also agreed to do it. The meaning of 'then the people came to know after a while ...' is that some people recognized their fault, and acknowledged that the commander of the faithful was the most rightful person to assume leadership. That all the others apart from the three were paralyzed by fear is shown in the narration below:
      أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: جاء المهاجرون والأنصار وغيرهم بعد ذلك إلى علي عليه السلام فقالوا له: أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت والله أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فوالله لنموتن قدامك! فقال علي عليه السلام: ان كنتم صادقين فاغدوا غدا علي محلقين فحلق علي عليه السلام وحلق سلمان وحلق مقداد وحلق أبو ذر ولم يحلق غيرهم؛ ثم انصرفوا فجاؤوا مرة أخرى بعد ذلك، فقالوا له أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فحلفوا فقال: إن كنتم صادقين فاغدوا علي محلقين فما حلق إلا هؤلاء الثلاثة قلت: فما كان فيهم عمار؟ فقال: لا؛ قلت: فعمار من أهل الردة؟ فقال: إنّ عمارا قد قاتل مع علي عليه السلام بعد ذلك
      (ii) [al-Kashshi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the Muhajirun and Ansar and others came after that [the coup at Saqifa] to Ali عليه السلام and said to him: you are by Allah the commander of the faithful, and you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, for by Allah we are going to die in front of you [in your defense], Ali said: if you are truthful then come to me tomorrow having shaved your head [which would visually identify the ‘rebels’ to the authorities], so Ali shaved, so did Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dhar, and no one else did, then they came a second time after the first and said: you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, and they swore an oath, he said: come to me tomorrow having shaved your head if you are truthful, so no one shaved except three. I said: Ammar was not among them? He said: No, I said: Ammar is from the people of Ridda? He said: Ammar fought together with Ali after that.
      This reaffirms that the uniqueness of the three is related to them not giving in and remaining with Ali to the end as far as his right is concerned. Note also how Ammar is not included among the Ahl al-Ridda, even in a historical sense, because of his later support for Ali. In fact, one of the reasons behind Ali accepting to give Bay`a after his show of dissent was so that the masses do not renounce the faith totally. Recall that the Islamic polity was still unstable and there were a lot of Arab tribes whose allegiance had been personally to the prophet and not the Diin per se, the Jahiliyya was not far from their psyche.
      أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: إن الناس لما صنعوا ما صنعوا إذ بايعوا أبا بكر لم يمنع أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام من أن يدعو إلى نفسه إلا نظرا للناس و تخوفا عليهم أن يرتدوا عن الاسلام فيعبدوا الاوثان ولا يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وكان الاحب إليه أن يقرهم على ما صنعوا من أن يرتدوا عن جميع الاسلام وإنما هلك الذين ركبوا ما ركبوا فأما من لم يصنع ذلك ودخل فيما دخل فيه الناس على غير علم ولا عداوة لامير المؤمنين عليه السلام فإن ذلك لا يكفره ولا يخرجه من الاسلام ولذلك كتم علي عليه السلام أمره وبايع مكرها حيث لم يجد أعوانا
      (iii) [al-Kafi] Abu Ja'farعليه السلام  said: When the people did what they did - when they gave allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented the commander of the faithful عليه السلام from calling to himself (i.e. gather support to rival them publicly) except his fear for the people - that they would apostate from Islam, and begin worshiping the idols anew, and reject witnessing that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger; and it was more beloved to him to acquiesce to what they had done rather than them apostatizing from the whole of Islam. Verily, those who clambered upon this (opposing Ali for rulership) have been destroyed. As for the one who did not contribute anything to that (opposing Ali for rulership) and entered into what the people entered into without knowledge (about his status) nor enmity towards him then this act of his does not make him a disbeliever, and it does not remove him from Islam, and this is why Ali kept quiet about his matter (status), and gave allegiance while displeased, when he could not find any supporters.
      The narration makes it clear that had the Imam fought for his leadership i.e. a civil war it would cause irreparable damage, this is because of the tenuous position that Islam had, even the outward Islam (the Islam of the Shahadatyn) would have been wiped out. There were a lot of external and internal enemies waiting for this infighting to make sure that the whole foundation of Islam crumbles.  
      Conclusion
      The Umma became, for the most part, misguided after their prophet. This is something that had also happened to the communities of past prophets. But this misguidance should not be understood to have taken all of them out of Islam as a whole, rather, by ignoring a central commandment of the prophet they have done a great sin which struck a blow to the pristine Islam.
      Furthermore, the protagonists differ relative to their role in the fiasco. Some were quite unaware of the whole thing and lacked full knowledge of the Haqq of Ali and his Ma`rifa, this could be because they were blind to the order of the prophet (total ignorance); had some doubts; did not have the ability to influence the outcome because of some constraints [swept away by the wave of events]; or because they showed cowardice and faltered in coming to Ali’s aid. Others later acknowledged their mistake and made up for it in the following years. All these in their different categories can be said to be the majority. Their fate in the next world of “realities” is left to Allah
      On the other hand, there were those who administered the whole thing. They had full knowledge of what the prophet had ordered them and what the divine commandment required them to do. They also knew the position of Ali. Despite this, they fought against this explicitly. These are those who should be treated as apparent Muslims in the daily life in this world [according to most scholars]. This is, after all, how Ali himself treated them, praying in their mosques, visiting them in sickness, helping them out when they faced challenges, eating with them etc. part of which is Taqiyya and safeguarding the greater principles of Islam, but they are undoubtedly people of the fire in the next world.
      Note that this interpretation is dependent on the position of differentiating between the Dharuriyat of the Diin and that of the Madhhab and considering the Shahdatayn alone to be enough in making someone a Muslim [unless taken out for some other reason]. Whilst this is a popular position among scholars today, it has had its detractors among the scholars of the past, one of them being someone like Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani, who considered the rejectors of the Wilaya as Kafirs with the fullest implication this has [even in this world].  
    • By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul Bayt
         1
      An orphan is the name of a child who lost his mother,
       But what is the name of a mother who loses a child? 
       Crushed between the door and the wall along with the souls of Hassanain,
       Robbed of her child, her right, her husband's, she fights through the pain.
       Her name is Fatima. The one whose essence mankind will never reach, 
       For God Himself has shielded her with a protection that none can breach,
       Mistress of my soul and the women of the worlds,
       With her name and her hand the secret of this life unfurls,
       The strength of my heart and the strength of Haidar,
       The strength of the lion who conquered Khaybar, 
       For who else can converse with such beauty and power,
       Fight the usurpers after the loss of Mohsen, the wilted flower? 
       Her name is az-Zahra, the radiant light, illuminating a path,
       For those who want to see and be away from God's wrath,
       For he who angers az-Zahra has evoked the Messenger's displeasure,
       And no doubt, God's own wrath which follows is that beyond any measure,
       For who is so aligned with the will of her Creator,
       Which woman did He create, that other than her there is no greater? 
       Her name is al-Batool, unsurpassed in every way,
       Be it the chastity, the virtue, or the worship she did display,
       No man equalled her strength the day she fought her right,
       Look around you now- see the destruction of Fatima's might.
       For which woman could have such eloquence and knowledge of the Book? 
       Fadak was hers then and now, no matter what they took. 
       Quoting the verses to them that were revealed to her very door,
       Every lie, every plot of theirs and tactic, into shreds she tore. 
       For she is as-Siddiqa, the truthful, no matter who calls himself this too,
       A name is just a name but the truth lies in what we do,
       Ali is with the truth, truly this is no lie,
       And the truth is with Ali, but she will shortly die,
       Leaving behind a house that is both so full and bare,
       Full of Ali's grief, but of a mother's warmth, left bare,
       A homely nest no more, for its mother is no longer,
       A house that used to buzz with life, now remains mourning and sombre.
       Hassan holds her feet and Hussain cries on her chest, 
       An imagine after which the heart of Ali will never find rest,
       Zainab and Kulthum sob as they await the darkness of night,
       One final farewell they crave before facing a new plight.
       And Ali...? A broken man, half a human, dealt his biggest blow,
       He sits with his head in his hands, and tears of anguish now freely flow. 
       The lion, the warrior, the hero that roared with such might,
       Now quietly sobs for her pain and her loss, a flame of grief now alight.
       Two souls intertwined...now world's apart,
       A long journey of loneliness Ali has to start,
       Her orphans, her prayer mat, the memories of her days,
       With these he will survive, and he now says...
       'A flower, nipped in the bud. From paradise it came, and to paradise it went, but has left its fragrance in my mind'. 
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