Is it permissible for a Non Muslim to fast?
Dr Zakir Naik: That’s right! it is compulsory only for a Muslim to fast. It is not a requirement for a non-Muslim or unbeliever to fast and the reason is that Allah says in the Quran,
Allah says in Surah Noor ch. no. 24 verse no. 39 that
“The deeds of a non-believer, a person who is a non-Muslim, the deeds of an unbeliever is like a mirage in a desert and the thirsty person thinks that there is water but when he reaches there, he does not find anything else but he finds Allah and Allah will pay him for his deeds and Allah is swift in taking of accounts”
That means in the hereafter the unbeliever for his deeds, he’ll get nothing. And Allah is swift in taking accounts. So for an unbeliever all the deeds, they are useless in the hereafter because all the deeds have to be accompanied with the intention. And as we discussed yesterday that one of the criteria, an important criteria for a person’s fast to be accepted is the Neeya, it is the intention and intention is that the fast should only be for Allah (swt) and no one else. So if a non-Muslim, if an unbeliever who does not believe in Allah (swt) where is the question of him doing the Neeya, of doing the intention for fasting for Allah (swt). So that’s the reason it is not required for an unbeliever to fast. If he fasts without the intention, it will be just like anything else, it will not be an act of worship. It will not be a fast as it’s considered in Islam so therefore the Neeya, the intention is very important. So for unbeliever any act of worship until he has faith, until he believes, until he believes that there is only one Allah (swt), unless he says Kalmaa ‘la ilaha illAllah Muhammadur rasulullah’ that there is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of Allah. all the acts of worship, they are useless for the hereafter.
But the moment a non-believer, a person who is not a Muslim, he accepts Islam for him it becomes obligatory. If he accepts Islam in the middle month of Ramadhaan from that moment onwards fasting becomes compulsory for him. But the past, Allah will not take into account.
Allah says in the Quran, Allah says in Surah Anfal cjh. no. 8 verse no. 38 that
“Say to the unbelievers that if they start believing, the past will be forgiven”
That means the moment a non-Muslim accepts Islam, all his past sins will be forgiven. But the moment he accepts Islam from that time it becomes obligatory on him to fast.
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