What is the mustahab in islam? What is the mustahab act in fasting? What are the mustahabs of the fasting person?
Things That Are Mustahab For A Fasting Person
Although not directly related to the validation of fasting, the Prophet had some recommendations in order to facilitate fasting and increase the worldly and otherworldly benefits of fasting.
We can list the acts and behaviors considered mustaḥab for the person who is fasting as follows:
1) To wake up to have a saḥūr meal: The last one-sixth of the night is called saḥūr. This meal that is eaten at the time of dawn, before the time of imsāk, is called “saḥūr”. It is appropriate to have saḥūr, even if it is only a sip of water, and trying to take a saḥūr meal should as much as it is possible coincide with the last parts of the night. The purpose of getting up for saḥūr is to gain strength for the day of fasting and to benefit from the reward and virtue of the dawn. There are various hadiths of the Prophet (saw) that encourage and recommend people to get up for saḥūr. Some of them are, “Get up for saḥūr as there are blessings in the saḥūr meal.”, “Those who want to fast should eat something at saḥūr.”, and “Seek help by having saḥūr for fasting that day, and by taking a brief rest at midday (qaylūla) for tahajjud at night.”
It is also mustaḥab to delay the saḥūr close to dawn. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “My people will remain on goodness as long as they hurry the ifṭār and delay the saḥūr.”
2) To hasten ifṭār before the evening prayer: It is mustaḥab to rush to break the fast so that it does not occupy the heart. However, if the weather is cloudy, even if the call to prayer is recited, one should not rush to have ifṭār. A person who is in a high place cannot break his fast until he sees the sunset. It is mustaḥab to have ifṭār with a date or similar food or with water. Because this is how the Messenger of Allah (saw) used to break his fast. The hasty fasting of ifṭār is based on the following hadith, “The people will remain upon goodness as long as they hasten to break the fast.”
3) It is Sunnah to say prayers while breaking the fast and below is an example of a prayer compiled from the hadiths:
“Allahumma laka ṣumtu wa ʿalā riẓqika afṭartu wa ʿalayka tawakkaltu, fa taqabbal minnī, fa’ghfirlī, innaka anta’s-samīʿu’l-ʿalīm”
O Allah, for You I have fasted, and with Your provision, I have broken my fast and in You, I have put my trust, so accept from me, so forgive me, for You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
4) To offer ifṭār for a fasting person: It is mustaḥab for the wealthy Muslims to offer ifṭār to those who are fasting, especially those who are not well off. The most perfect one of such acts is to offer an ifṭār meal to fasting people. The following is stated in the hadith, “A person who gives ifṭār to a fasting person will receive as much reward as the fasting person will receive, and there will be no decrease in the reward of the fasting person.” The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of people in doing charity, he would increase his donations, even more, when the month of Ramadan commenced. The purpose of increasing the benevolence and treats in Ramadan is to meet the needs of those who fast and worship and to ease their hearts.
5) A person who is in the state of janābah, whose menstruation or post-partum bleeding period has ended, should perform ablution before dawn: In order to be clean at the beginning of the fast, it is recommended that these people perform major ablution before imsāk, if possible. That is the virtuous way to act. However, if it is not possible to perform ghusl or if there is no time left to perform ghusl, it is valid for these people to intend to fast. Accordingly, if a woman whose menstruation and post-partum bleeding ends before imsāk, intends to fast before she has an opportunity to perform major ablution, and if the person who is in the state of ceremonial impurity starts fasting without performing ghusl, these fasts will still be valid.
The following is stated in the Qur’an,
“Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knows what you used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah has ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while you are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus does Allah make clear His signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.”
The expression “night” in this verse covers the period from sunset to imsāk time in the month of Ramadan. Moreover, Aisha and Umm Salama (r. anhuma), the wives of the Prophet, said, “In the month of Ramadan, the Prophet would wake up in the morning in the state of janābah due to a wet dream without seminal discharge and then continue his fast.” In like manner, according to the narration from Aisha, one day a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I get up in the morning as junub, in a state of major ritual impurity, and want to fast,” and the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “I too get up in the morning as junub and want to fast, so I perform ghusl and fast.” The man said to him, “You are not the same as us. Allah has forgiven you all your wrong actions that have gone before and those that have come after.” The Messenger of Allah (saw) got upset and said, “By Allah, I hope that I am the most fearful of you with respect to Allah and the most knowledgeable of you in how I have taqwa.”
6) It is mustaḥab for the fasting person to protect his tongue from unnecessary and useless talks. Moreover, he should also avoid behaviors such as gossip, carrying tales, and lying even more at this time than at other times of the year.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.” In another hadith, the following is stated, “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and there are those who pray at night and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.”
On a day of Ramadan, if someone taunts, abuses, or tries to fight a fasting person, it is sunnah for the fasting person to remind that person that he is fasting. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah said, “None of you should say bad words or shout while fasting. Even to someone who says harsh words to him, he should only say “I am fasting.” A person who is fasting in times other than Ramadan should say this in his heart and calm himself. For it is more virtuous to hide a supererogatory worship in order to protect oneself from hypocrisy.
7) To benefit more from the spiritual atmosphere of the month of Ramadan, it is mustaḥab to read the Qur’an during this month, try to learn the knowledge that one feels is lacking, and increase prayer and remembrance of Allah. In the meantime, in order to reach the knowledge contained in the Qur’an, its translation should be read along with its original text and one should also benefit from scholarly circles. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah “would meet Gabriel (as) every night in the month of Ramadan, and would discuss and learn the Qur’an from him.” Furthermore, it is stated in another hadith that allocating an hour a night for knowledge is better than reviving that whole night with supererogatory worship.
8) It is mustaḥab for a fasting person to retreat in seclusion (iʿtikāf), especially in the last ten days of Ramadan. This is because entering iʿtikāf protects the lower self from prohibitions, and increases the possibility and hope of encountering the night of power. Aisha said, “When the Messenger of Allah (saw) entered the last ten days of Ramadan, he would revive the whole night with acts of worship, wake up his family and stay away from women.”
During the month of Ramadan, one should avoid the deeds that make the body excessively weak to perform fasting. If possible, one should work until noon and then rest. If possible, someone else should be hired to do some work for a comparable fee.
 Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 20; Muslim, Ṣiyām, 45, al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 17; al-Nasā’ī, Ṣiyām, 18, 19. Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, III, 367, 379. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 45; Muslim, Ṣiyām, 48; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 13. Al-Shawkanī, Nayl al-Awṭār, IV, 220 Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 45; Muslim, Ṣiyām, 48; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 13. See Abū Dawūd, Ṣawm, 22; Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 48. Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 82; Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 45; al-Darimī, Ṣawm, 13; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, IV, 114, 116, V, 192. Al-Bukhari, Bad’ al-waḥy, 5, Ṣawm, 7, Bad’ al-khalq, 6, Faḍā’il al-Qur’ān, 7; Muslim, Faḍā’il, 50. Al-Baqara, 2: 187. For various narrations see Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, VI, 34, 36, 38, 67; Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 27; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣiyām, 10, 12. Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣiyām, 9. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 8, Adab, 51; Abū Dawūd, Ṣawm, 25; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 16: Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām; 21. Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 21. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 2; Muslim, Ṣiyām, 160; Abū Dawūd, Ṣawm, 29; al-Nasā’ī, Ṣiyām, 42; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣiyām, 57. Al-Bukhari, Bad’ al-Waḥy, 5, Bad’ al-khalq, 6, Manaqib, 23; al-Nasā’ī, Ṣiyām, 2; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, I, 288, 367, 373, VI, 130. Al-Darimī, Muqaddimah, 27. Muslim, Iʿtiqād, 8; Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 72; Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 57; al-Darimī, Ṣawm, 52; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, VI, 82, 123, 256, V, 40. For the mustaḥab acts see al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, 105-108; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 157 ff.; al-Shurunbulālī, ibid, p. 115; Al-Shirbinī, ibid, I, 434-436; Ibn Qudāmah, Mughnī, III, 103, 169 ff.; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 631 ff.
Source: Basic Islamic Principles (ilmiḥal) According to the Four Sunni Schools With Evidence From The Sources of Islamic Law, Prof. Hamdi Döndüren, Erkam Publications