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(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.

  1. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days;
    C189. This verse should be read with the following
    verses, 185-88, in order that the incidents of the
    physical fast may be fully understood with reference to
    its spiritual meaning.
    The Muslim fast is not meant for self-torture. Although it
    is stricter than other fasts, it also provides alleviations
    for special circumstances. If it were merely a temporary
    abstention from food and drink, it would be salutary, to
    many people, who habitually eat and drink to excess.
    The instincts for food, drink, and sex are strong in the
    animal nature, and temporary restraints from all these
    enables the attention to be directed to higher things.
    This is necessary through prayer, contemplation and acts
    of charity, not of the showy kind, but by seeking out
    those really in need.
    Certain standards are prescribed, but much higher
    standards are recommended.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Qur’an carefully together. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel.


Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 3220
In-book reference : Book 59, Hadith 31
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 4, Book 54, Hadith 443
  (deprecated numbering scheme)

Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. (Surah 2 verse 183). Microsoft Word – 002 Baqarah.doc (

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