In light of the recent publishing of Shaykh al-Qaradawi’s legal verdict related to fasting (which contravenes the ruling of the four Sunni schools of law) by our respected brother Shaykh Suhaib Webb, it was thought that the following brief extract would be of benefit. It was chosen primarily for its succinctly outlining the position of the Sunni schools without delving too deeply into the subject matter. The article is taken from Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi’s commentary on the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad named ‘Taliq al-Mumajjad’. (Thanks to Turath publishing for allowing the use of their translation of the hadith).
Presented below is the narration from the Muwatta followed by Shaykh al-Luknawi’s comments.
باب الرجل يفطر قبل المساء ويظن أنه قد أمسى
A Man who Breaks the Fast before Evening, Thinking that Evening has Come
أخبرنا مالك أخبرنا زيد بن أسلم : أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أفطر في يوم رمضان في يوم غيم ورأى أنه قد أمسى أو غابت الشمس فجاءه رجل فقال : يا أمير المؤمنين قد طلعت الشمس قال : الخطب يسير وقد اجتهدنا
قال محمد : من أفطر وهو يرى أن الشمس قد غابت ثم علم أنها لم تغب لم يأكل بقية يومه ولم يشرب وعليه قضاؤه وهو قول أبي حنيفة – رحمه الله
365. Malik informed us: “Zayd ibn Aslam informed us that Umar ibn al-Khattab broke the fast on a day of Ramadan, an overcast day, thinking evening had come, the sun having disappeared. A man came to him and said, ‘Amir al-Muminin, the sun has appeared. He said, ‘It is simple; we had tried our best.’”
Muhammad said: “Whoever breaks the fast thinking that the sun has set, and then learns that it has not set, should not eat for the rest of that day, nor drink, and he must make up that day. That is the verdict of Abu Hanıfah, may Allah have mercy on him.”
Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi commenting on this said:
And this is the view of the other Imams and the majority (jamhur) due its being clearly stated in the story of the breaking of the fast (iftar) of Umar. Ibn Abi Shaibah narrates from Hanzalah that he said:
“I saw Umar in Ramadan and a drink was placed near him. Some of the people drank thinking that the sun had set. When the Muadhin climbed up he said: O Commander of the believers, by Allah the sun is still present and has not set. Umar said: Whoever broke their fast then let them fast a day in its place, and he who did not break their fast then let them complete their fast until the sun set…”
It is supported by that which is in Sahih al-Bukhari from Muammar from Hisham bin Urwah from his father from Asma that she said:
“We broke our fast during the time of the Messenger of Allah on an overcast day, the sun then appeared. It was said to Hisham: Were they ordered to make it up? He replied: It had to be made up for.”
A group were of the view that it was not necessary to make up in a scenario such as this basing it on that which is related in some of the versions of the story of Umars breaking the fast that he said: “We do not make up”.
However Ibn Abd al-Barr and others said: This is a weak transmission and that which is correct is the transmission of the trustworthy narrators.