Q: Assalamu aleikun, I hope that you and your family are in the best way.
I have a question that is regarding ramadan. I want to know how does a muslim man, that went to prison yesterday and will be released at the end of next month (due to lack of documentation or paying some fees) deal in order that can fast during the right month. This answer in really important, as I will try to send it to the person even if was not requested by him, because I’m really worried about that.
Djazallah raizhan for this site, it is really useful to me, as surely it is for many other muslim persons. Since I found it, every day I come here in order that can learn new things.
A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
I feel your pain. Alhamdulillah, Allah (SWT) has made matters easy for the rest of us. We must remain thankful to Allah for the ease He has awarded the rest of us, Ameen.
- The person in prison must merely contact the closest musjid to the prison, inquire as to the last day of Shaban and ‘if tomorrow would be the first of ramadaan.’ If this is impossible, he must try and call you the last day of shabaan (evening) and ask you ‘if tomorrow’ would be the first of ramadaan. By default, if it is not on the 1st of August (this year), then he need not call again, for it would mean that Ramadhaan would start on the 2nd of August.
- If neither of the above is possible, he would estimate the day Ramadaan starts. However, since he is in prison and has no choice, in the process if he fasts one day extra, it would count as nafl (extra). If he fasted a day less, he must make it after the Ramadaan. The counting method is being used by him purely so he can start ramadaan, or else, he would wait and wait!
- The time of opening and closing (breaking) the fast must be calculated for his given area. You can type in the zip code for his area and inform him as to the fasting and salah schedule that is applicable for him. Have his schedule sent prior to the start of Ramadaan.
May Allah (SWT) make matters easy for all, Ameen.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.
p.s. The above answer is based on our current prison system. Here the guards are ignorant of Islamic timings, moon-sighting, etc.