English Translation of Al-Quran
.Surah Al-Baqarah [The Cow]
Ayat 183. O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).
Ayat 184. [Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat & 184 “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint, – As it was prescribed: this does not mean that the Muslim fast is like the other fasts previously observed, in the number of days, in the time or manner of the fast, or in other incidents; it only means that the principle of self-denial by fasting is not a new one. 184. (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. This verse should be read with the following verses, 185-188, 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 restraint 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. For journeys, a minimum standard of three marches is prescribed by some Commentators; others make it more precise by naming a distance of 16 farsakhs, equivalent to 48 miles. A journey of 8 or 9 miles on foot is more tiring than a similar one by bullock cart. There are various degrees of fatigue in riding a given distance on horseback or by camel or in a comfortable train or by motor car or by steamer, airplane, or airship. In my opinion the standard must depend on the means of locomotion and on the relative resources of the travelers. It is better to determine it in each case according to circumstances. Those who can do it with hardship; such as aged people, or persons specially circumstanced. The Shafi’i school would include a woman expecting a child, or one who is nursing a baby, but on this point opinion is not unanimous, some holding that they ought to put in the fasts later, when they can.
English Translation of Hadith
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah [SAWW](PBUH) said, “Do not observe Saum (fasting) before the advent of Ramadan. Observe Saum at sighting of the crescent of Ramadan and terminate it at sighting the crescent (of Shawwal). If the sky is overcast, complete (the month as) thirty (days).” [At-Tirmidhi Hadith # 688].
Lesson : as mentioned above in Surah Baqarah Ayat 184. “[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days,)”. From this Hadith we learn “Before the advent of Ramadan” here signifies the second half of Shawwal. That is, one should not observe voluntary Saum after 15th of Shaban so that one’s vitality is maintained for the Saum of Ramadan approaching near. If the moon is not sighted due to clouds, then observing Saum should be started after completing thirty days of Sha`ban. Similarly, if the moon of the of Shawwal is not sighted, then thirty days of fasting Ramadan must be completed before celebrating `Eid-ul-Fitr.“