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Clarification on a Hadith in Sahih Muslim regarding fasting

In the following narration recorded in Sahih Muslim, did Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) break his fast after commencing it or was he not fasting from the beginning?

  ‘دعا بقدح من ماء فرفعه حتى نظر الناس إليه ثم شرب’

‘Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) called for a glass of water, lifted it so the people would see him and then drank it’


This was during The Conquest of Makkah. Both explanations are found in the commentaries.

1. ‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) has preferred the explanation that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not fast on these days at all, not that started fasting but broke the fast during the day.

2. ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani (rahimahullah) states, ‘It is apparent that the context of the Hadith demands that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) started the day fasting and broke the fast later on during the day.

(Refer: Al Minhaj of ‘Allamah Nawawi, Hadith: 2599, Fathul Mulhim, Hadith: 2583)

Imam Tahawi (rahimahullah) has recorded a few narrations which imply that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did indeed break his fast. Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also cited one of these narrations.

(Sharhu Ma’anil Athar, vol. 2 pg. 65, Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1944)

Based on these different explanations, there is a difference of opinion in the Fiqh ruling. Kindly refer to a Mufti/Darul Ifta for further clarification.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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