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Islamic Laws – Fasting

Fasting means that a person must, in obedience to the commands of Allah, from the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers up to Maghrib, avoid nine things which will be mentioned later.

Niyyat for Fasting

Issue 1559: * It is not necessary for a person to pass the niyyat for fasting through his mind or to say that he would be fasting on the following day. In fact, it is sufficient for him to decide that in obedience to the command of Allah he will not perform from the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers up to Maghrib, any act which may invalidate the fast. And in order to ensure that he has been fasting throughout this time he should begin abstaining earlier than the Adhan for Fajr prayers, and continue to refrain for some time after sunset from acts which invalidate a fast.

Issue 1560: A person can make niyyat every night of the holy month of Ramadhan that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make niyyat on the first night of Ramadhan that he would fast throughout that month.

Issue 1561: * The last time for making niyyat to observe a fast of Ramadhan for a conscious person, is moments before Adhan of Fajr prayers. This means he must be intent upon fasting at that time, even if he later became heedless of his intention due to sleep etc.

Issue 1562: * As for Mustahab fast one can make its niyyat at any time in the day, even moments before Maghrib – provided he has not committed any such act which invalidates the fast.

Issue 1563: * If a person sleeps before Adhan for Fajr prayers in Ramadhan or any other day fixed for an obligatory fast without making a niyyat, and wakes up before Zuhr to make a niyyat of fast, his fast will be in order. But if he wakes up after Zuhr, as a precaution, he should continue with the abstinence with the niyyat of Qurbat and then give its qadha also.

Issue 1564: * If a person intends to keep a fast other than the fast of Ramadhan, he should specify that fast; for example, he should specify it as the qadha fast or a fast to fulfil a vow. On the other hand, it is not necessary that a person should specify in his niyyat that he is going to observe a fast of Ramadhan. If a person is not aware or forgets that it is the month of Ramadhan and makes a niyyat to observe some other fast it will be considered to be the fast of Ramadhan.

Issue 1565: * If a person knows that it is the month of Ramadhan, yet intentionally makes an intention of observing a fast other than the fast of the month of Ramadhan his fast will not be reckoned a fast of the month of Ramadhan nor the fast of which he made the niyyat.

Issue 1566: If a person observes fast with the niyyat of the first day of the month and understands later that it was the second or third of the month, his fast is in order.

Issue 1567: If a person makes an intention before Adhan for dawn prayers to observe a fast and then becomes unconscious and regains his senses during the day time, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast on that day, and if he does not complete it, he should observe its qadha.

Issue 1568: If a person makes niyyat before the Adhan for Fajr prayers to observe a fast and then gets intoxicated and comes to senses during the day he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast of that day and should also give its qadha.

Issue 1569: If a person makes a niyyat before the Adhan for Fajr prayers to observe a fast, and then goes to sleep, and wakes up after Maghrib his fast is in order.

Issue 1570: * If a person did not know or forgot that it was the month of Ramadhan, and takes notice of this before Zuhr and if he has performed some act which will invalidates a fast, his fast is void. But, he should not perform any act till Maghrib which invalidates a fast and should also observe qadha of that fast after Ramadhan. The same rule applies if he learns after Zuhr that it is the month of Ramadhan. But if he learns before Zuhr, and if he has not done anything which would invalidate his fast, his fast will be valid.

Issue 1571: * If a child reaches the age of puberty before the Adhan for Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan he/she should keep fast and if he/she reaches the age of puberty after the Fajr Adhan, the fast of that day is not obligatory for him/her except if he/she intended to observe a Mustahab fast on that day, then he/she should complete it as a precaution.

Issue 1572: * If a person who has been hired to observe the fasts of a dead person or has fasts of Kaffarah upon him as an obligation, observes Mustahab fasts, there is no harm in it. However, if a person has his own qadha of fasts, he cannot observe Mustahab fasts. If he forgets this and observes a Mustahab fast and remembers it before Zuhr his Mustahab fast will be void and he can convert his intention to the fast of qadha, and if he takes notice of the situation after Zuhr his fast is void as a precaution, and similarly if he remembers this after Maghrib, the validity of his fast is a matter if Ishkal.

Issue 1573: * If it is obligatory for a person to observe a specific fast other than the fast of the month of Ramadhan, for example , if he has vowed that he would observe fast on a particular day, and he does not make an intention purposely till the Adhan for Fajr prayers, his fast is void. And if he does not know that it is obligatory for him to fast on that day or forgets about it and remembers it before midday, and if he has not performed any act which invalidates the fast and makes an intention to fast, his fast is in order, and if he remembers after Zuhr, he should follow the precaution applied to the fast of Ramadhan.

Issue 1574: If a person does not make an intention till near Zuhr for an obligatory fast which has no fixed time, like a fast of Kaffarah, there is no harm in it. In fact, if he had decided before making a niyyat that he would not fast, or was undecided as to whether he should or should not fast, if he has not performed any act which invalidates a fast, and decides before Zuhr to fast, his fast will be in order.

Issue 1575: * If a non-Muslim embraces Islam in the month of Ramadhan before Zuhr, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, make an intention to fast, and complete it provided that he had not committed any act which would make a fast void. And if he does not observe fast on that day he should give its qadha.

Issue 1576: * If a patient recovers from his illness in the middle of a day in the month of Ramadhan, before Zuhr, and if he has not done anything to invalidate the fast, he should make niyyat and fast. But if he recovers after Zuhr, it will not be obligatory on him to fast on that day.

Issue 1577: * If one doubts whether it is the last day of Sha’ban or the first day of Ramadhan then the fast on that day is not obligatory. If however, somebody wants to observe fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the Ramadhan fast, but if he makes an intention that if it is Ramadhan then it is the Ramadhan fast and if it is not Ramadhan then it is qadha fast or some other fast like that, his fast will be valid. But it is better to observe the fast with the intention of qadha fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was Ramadhan then it will automatically be Ramadhan fast. And even if he makes a niyyat of a natural fast, and later it becomes known that it is Ramadhan, it will be sufficient (i.e. that fast will be counted as the Ramadhan fast).

Issue 1578: If it is doubtful whether it is the last day of Sha’ban or the first of Ramadhan, and a person observes a qadha or a Mustahab fast or some other fast on that day, and later comes to know the same day that it is the first of Ramadhan, then he should convert the intention to the Ramadhan fast.

Issue 1579: * If somebody is undecided in his niyyat whether to break or not an obligatory fixed fast, like that of Ramadhan, or decides to do so, immediately his fast becomes invalid even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention.

Issue 1580: * If, while observing a Mustahab fast or an obligatory fast the time of which is not fixed (e.g. a fast for Kaffarah) a person intends to break the fast or wavers whether or not he should do so, and if he does not break it, he should make a fresh niyyat before Zuhr in the case of an obligatory fast, and before Maghrib in the case of a Mustahab fast. That way his fast will be in order.

Things which make a Fast void

Issue 1581: * There are nine acts which invalidate fast:

(i) Eating and drinking

(ii) Sexual intercourse

(iii) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self abuse, resulting in ejaculation

(iv) Ascribing false things to Almighty Allah, or his Prophet or to the

successors of the Holy Prophet

(v) Swallowing thick dust

(vi) Immersing one’s complete head in water

(vii) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers

(viii) Enema with liquids

(ix) Vomiting

Details of these acts will be explained in the following articles:-

I. Eating and Drinking

Issue 1582: If a person eats or drinks something intentionally, while being conscious of fasting, his fast becomes void, irrespective of whether the thing which he ate or drank was usually eaten or drunk (for example bread with water) or not (for example earth or the juice of a tree) and whether it is more or less; even if a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.

Issue 1583: If while eating and drinking, a person realises that it is Fajr, he should throw the food out of his mouth, and if he swallows it intentionally, his fast is void, and according to the rules which will be mentioned later, it also becomes obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1584: If a person who is fasting eats or drinks something forgetfully, his fast does not become invalid.

Issue 1585: There is no objection to an injection which anaesthetises one’s limb or is used for some other purpose being given to a person, who is observing fast, but it is better that the injections which are given as medicine or food are avoided.

Issue 1586: If a person observing fast intentionally swallows something which remained in between his teeth, his fast is invalidated.

Issue 1587: * If a person wishes to observe a fast, it is not necessary for him to use a toothpick before the Adhan of Fajr prayers. However, if he knows that some particles of food which have remained in between his teeth, will go down into his stomach during the day, then he must clean his teeth with toothpick.

Issue 1588: Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast, although it may have collected in one’s mouth owing to thoughts about sour things etc.

Issue 1589: There is no harm in swallowing one’s phlegm or mucous from head and chest as long as it does not come upto one’s mouth. However, if it reaches one’s mouth, the obligatory precaution is that one should not swallow it.

Issue 1590: * If a person observing fast becomes so thirsty that he fears that he may die of thirst or sustain some harm or extreme hardship, he can drink as much water as would ensure that the fear is averted. However, his fast becomes invalid, and if it is the month of Ramadhan, as an obligatory precaution, he should not drink more than that, and then for the rest of the day, refrain from all acts which would invalidate the fast.

Issue 1591: Chewing food to feed a child or a bird and tasting food etc. which does not usually go down the throat, will not invalidate the fast, even if it happens to reach there inadvertently. However, if a person knows beforehand that it will reach the throat, his fast becomes void, and he should observe its qadha and it is also obligatory upon him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1592: A person cannot abandon fast on account of weakness. However, if his weakness is to such an extent that fasting becomes totally unbearable, there is no harm in breaking the fast.

II. Sexual Intercourse

Issue 1593: Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration is as little as the tip of the male organ, and even if there has been no ejaculation.

Issue 1594: * If the penetration is less than the tip of the male organ, so that it cannot be said that intercourse has taken place, also if no ejaculation takes place, the fast does not become invalid. This applies to both, circumcised and uncircumcised men.

Issue 1595: If a person commits sexual intercourse intentionally and then doubts whether penetration was upto the point of circumcision or not his fast, as an obligatory precaution, becomes invalid, and it is necessary for him to observe its qadha. It is not, however, obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1596: If a person forgets that he is observing fast and commits sexual intercourse or he is compelled to have sexual intercourse in a manner that makes him helpless, his fast does not become void. However, if he remembers (that he is observing fast) or ceases to be helpless during sexual intercourse, he should withdraw from the sexual intercourse at once, and if he does not, his fast becomes void.

III. Istimna (Masturbation)

Issue 1597: If a person, who is observing fast, performs masturbation (Istimna), his fast becomes void (The explanation of istimna has been given in rule 1581/iii).

Issue 1598: If semen is discharged from the body of a person involuntarily, his fast does not become void.

Issue 1599: Even if a person observing fast knows that if he sleeps during the day time he will become Mohtalim (i.e. semen will be discharged from his body during sleep) it is permissible for him to sleep, even if he may not be inconvenienced by not sleeping. And if he becomes Mohtalim, his fast does not become void.

Issue 1600: If a person who is observing fast, wakes up from sleep while ejaculation is taking place, it is not obligatory on him to stop it.

Issue 1601: A fasting person who has become Mohtalim can urinate even if he knows that by urinating the remaining semen will flow from his body.

Issue 1602: * If a fasting person who has become Mohtalim, knows that some semen has remained in his body and if he does not urinate before taking Ghusl, it will come out after Ghusl, he should on the basis of recommended precaution, urinate before taking Ghusl.

Issue 1603: * A person who indulges in courtship with an intention to allow semen to be discharged, will complete his fast and also observe its qadha, even if semen is not discharged.

Issue 1604: If a fasting person indulges in courtship without the intention of allowing the semen to be discharged, and also, if he is sure that semen will not be discharged, his fast is in order, even if semen may be discharged unexpectedly. However, if he is not sure about the discharge and it takes place, then his fast is void.

IV. Ascribing Lies to Allah and His Prophet

Issue 1605: * If a person who is observing fast, intentionally ascribes something false to Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his vicegerents (a.s.), verbally or in writing or by making a sign, his fast becomes void, even if he may at once retract and say that he has uttered a lie or may repent for it. And, as a recommended precaution, he should refrain from imputing lies to Bibi Fatema Zahra (a.s.) and all the Prophets and their successors.

Issue 1606: * If a person observing fast wishes to quote something about which he has no authority or he does not know whether it is true or false, he should, as an obligatory precaution, give a reference of the person who reported it, or of the book in which it is written.

Issue 1607: * If a person quotes something as the word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet with the belief that it is true, but realises later that it is false, his fast does not become void.

Issue 1608: If a person ascribes something to Almighty Allah or the Holy Prophet knowing it to be false and understands later that it was true, as an obligatory precaution, he should complete his fast and should also observe its qadha.

Issue 1609: * If a person intentionally ascribes to Allah or the Holy Prophet or the successors of the Holy Prophet a falsehood fabricated by some other person, his fast becomes void. However, if he quotes the person who has fabricated that falsehood, his fast will not be affected.

Issue 1610: * If a person who is observing fast, is asked whether the Holy Prophet said such and such thing and he intentionally says ‘No’ where he should say ‘Yes’ or intentionally says ‘Yes’ where he should say ‘No’, his fast becomes void, as an obligatory precaution.

Issue 1611: * If a person quotes a true word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet, and later says that he had uttered a lie, or if he ascribed something false to them at night, and says on the following day when he is observing fast, that what he said on the previous night was true, his fast becomes void, except when his intention is to convey his newly acquired information.

V. Letting Dust Reach One’s Throat

Issue 1612: * On the basis of obligatory precaution, allowing thick dust to reach one’s throat makes one’s fast void, whether the dust is of something which is halal to eat, like flour, or of something which is haraam to consume like dust or earth.

Issue 1613: * Allowing thin dust to reach one’s throat will not invalidate the fast.

Issue 1614: * If thick dust is whipped up by the wind and if a person does not take care in spite of taking notice of it, allowing the dust to reach his throat, his fast becomes void on the basis of obligatory precaution.

Issue 1615: * As an obligatory precaution, a person who is observing fasts, should not allow the smoke of cigarettes, tobacco, and other similar things to reach his throat.

Issue 1616: * If a person does not take care to prevent dust, smoke, etc. from entering his throat, and if he was quiet sure that these things would not reach his throat, his fast is in order; but if he only felt that they might not reach his throat, it is better that he should observe that fast again as qadha.

Issue 1617: If a person forgets that he is fasting and does not exercise care, or if dust or any other similar thing enters his throat involuntarily, his fast does not become void.

VI. Immersing One’s Head in Water

Issue 1618: * If a fasting person intentionally immerses his entire head in the water, his fast is known to be void, even if the rest of his body remains out of water. But this act does not invalidate the fast; it is a Makrooh act, and as a measure of precaution, should be avoided.

Issue 1619: * If a person immerses half of his head in the water once, and the other half the second time, his fast is not affected.

Issue 1620: * If the entire head is immersed under the water, leaving some hair out, the rule applied will be that mentioned above in 1618.

Issue 1621: * There is no harm in immersing one’s head in liquids other than water like, in milk. Similarly, fast is not affected by immersing one’s head in mixed water that is, Mudhaaf.

Issue 1622: * If a fasting person falls into the water involuntarily, and his entire head goes into the water, or if he forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, his fast is not affected.

Issue 1623: * If a person throws himself into the water thinking that his entire head will not go down into the water, and water covers his entire head, his fast remains in order.

Issue 1624: * If a person forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, and he remembers under the water that he is fasting, it is better that he takes his head out of water at once, but if he does not do so, his fast will not be void.

Issue 1625: * If a person is pushed into water and his head is immersed in water, the fast is not affected at all. But if the fellow who pushed him and forced his head under water releases him, it is better that he raises his head out of water immediately.

Issue 1626: * If a fasting person immerses his head under water with the Niyyat of Ghusl, both his fast and Ghusl will be in order.

Issue 1627: * If a person dives headlong in the water to save some one from drowning, although it may be obligatory to save that person, as a recommended precaution, he should give qadha for that fast.

VII. Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas Till Fajr Time

Issue 1628: * If a person in Janabat does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers, his/her fast becomes void. And if a person whose obligation is to do tayammum, wilfully does not do it, his/her fast will be also void. This rules apply to the qadha of the fasts of Ramadhan, also.

Issue 1629: If a person in Janabat does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers, for obligatory fasts other than those of the month of Ramadhan and their qadha, those fasts which have fixed days, like those of Ramadhan, his/her fast will be in order.

Issue 1630: * If a person enters the state of Janabat during a night in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time left before Adhan is short, he/she should perform tayammum and observe the fast. However, it is a recommended precaution that its qadha is also given.

Issue 1631: If a person in Janabat in the month of Ramadhan forgets to take Ghusl and remembers it after one day, he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he remembers it after a number of days he should observe the qadha of the fasts of all those days, during which he is certain to have been in Janabat. For example, if he is not sure whether he was in Janabat for three days or four, he should observe the qadha of three days.

Issue 1632: If a person who does not have time for Ghusl or performing tayammum in a night of Ramadhan gets into state of Janabat, his fast will be void and it will be obligatory upon him to give qadha of that fast, as well as Kaffarah.

Issue 1633: * If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for Ghusl, goes into state of Janabat and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs tayammum, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into Janabat and when he learns later that the time was short, keeps the fast with tayammum, he should, as a recommended precaution, observe the qadha of that fast.

Issue 1634: * If a person is in Janabat during a night in Ramadhan and knows that if he goes to sleep he will not wake up till Fajr, he should not sleep before Ghusl and if he sleeps before Ghusl and does not wake up till Fajr, his fast is void, and qadha and Kaffarah become obligatory on him.

Issue 1635: When a person in Janabat goes to sleep in a night of Ramadhan and then wakes up, the obligatory precaution is that if he is not sure about waking up again, he should not go to sleep before Ghusl, even if he has a faint hope that he might wake up before Fajr if he sleeps again.

Issue 1636: * If a person in Janabat in the night of Ramadhan feels certain that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, and is determined to do Ghusl upon waking up, and oversleeps with that determination till the time of Fajr prayers, his fast will be in order. And the same rule applies to a person who, though not absolutely certain, is hopeful about waking up before the time of Fajr prayers.

Issue 1637: If a person in Janabat in a night of Ramadhan is certain or reasonably hopeful that if he sleeps he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers but he is not heedful of the fact that after waking up he would do Ghusl , if he oversleeps till the time of Fajr prayers, the qadha of that fast will be obligatory on him as a precaution.

Issue 1638: * If a person in Janabat in a night of Ramadhan is sure or fairly hopeful that if he sleeps he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, but he does not intend to do Ghusl then, or is undecided about it , his fast is void.. And if he sleeps and does not wake up the qadha and Kaffarah will be obligatory on him.

Issue 1639: * If a person in Janabat sleeps and wakes up during a night of Ramadhan and is certain or fairly hopeful that if he sleeps again, he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, with full determination to do Ghusl after waking up, and oversleeps till the time of Fajr, he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he goes to sleep for the third time and does not wake up till the time of Fajr prayers, it is obligatory on him to observe the qadha as well as give the kaffarah, as a recommended precaution.

Issue 1640: When a person becomes Mohtalim during sleep, the first, second and third sleep means the sleep after waking up; and the sleep in which he became Mohtalim will not be reckoned to be the first sleep.

Issue 1641: If a person observing fast becomes Mohtalim during day time, it is not obligatory on him to do Ghusl at once.

Issue 1642: When a person wakes up in the month of Ramadhan after the Fajr prayers and finds that he has become Mohtalim his fast is in order, even if he knows that he became Mohtalim before the Fajr prayers.

Issue 1643: * When a person who wants to observe the qadha of Ramadhan, remains in Janabat intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers, he cannot fast on that day. And if it was not intentional, he can fast, but as a precaution, it should be avoided.

Issue 1644: * If a person wants to observe the qadha of Ramadhan and wakes up after the time of Fajr prayers finding himself Mohtalim, and knows that he became Mohtalim before the time Fajr prayers, he can fast on that day with the niyyat of qadha.

Issue 1645: If a person remains in Janabat intentionally till the time of Fajr prayers in an obligatory fast which does not have fixed days, like, the fast of Kaffarah, apparently his fast is in order, but it is better that he should observe fast on some other day.

Issue 1646: * If a woman becomes Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidth or Nifas before the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan or, as a precaution, on a day she wants to give qadha of Ramadhan, and does not do Ghusl – or in the case of time being short, tayammum – intentionally, her fast will be void. And if it is not the fast of Ramadhan or its qadha, her fast will be in order, but as a precaution, she should do Ghusl. And if the obligation of a woman is tayammum instead of Ghusl for Haidth or Nifas and she does not do it intentionally, in the month of Ramadhan or for its qadha, before the time of Fajr prayers, her fast is void.

Issue 1647: * If a woman becomes Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidh or Nifas before the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan and she has no time to do Ghusl, she should perform tayammum. But it is not necessary for her to remain awake till the time of Fajr prayers. The same rule applies to a person whose obligation is tayammum after getting into the state of Janabat.

Issue 1648: If a woman gets Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidh or Nifas just near the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan, and has no time left for Ghusl or tayammum, her fast is valid.

Issue 1649: If a woman gets Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidh or Nifas after the Fajr or if Haidh or Nifas begins during the day though just near the Maghrib time, her fast is void.

Issue 1650: If a woman forgets to do Ghusl for Haidh or Nifas and remembers it after a day or more, the fasts that she has observed will be valid.

Issue 1651: * If a woman gets Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidh or Nifas before the time of Fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan but neglects her obligation and does not do Ghusl before Fajr, nor does she resort to tayammum as time becomes short, her fast will be void. But if she is not negligent, like when she waits for her turn in a public bath, then even if she sleeps three times without doing Ghusl till Fajr, her fast will be valid if she does not ignore tayammum.

Issue 1652: * If a woman is in a state of excessive Istihadha, her fast will be valid even if she does not carry out the rules of Ghusls as explained in rule no. 402. Similarly, her fast will be in order if she does not do the Ghusls prescribed for medium Istihadha.

Issue 1653: A person who has touched a dead body (i.e. has brought any part of his own body in contact with it) can observe fast without having done Ghusl for touching a dead body, and his fast does not become void even if he touches the dead body during the fast.

VIII. Enema

Issue 1654: If liquid enema is taken by a fasting person, his fast becomes void even if he is obliged to take it for the sake of treatment.

IX. Vomiting

Issue 1655: If a fasting person vomits intentionally his fast becomes void, though he may have been obliged to do so on account of sickness. However, the fast does not become void, if one vomits forgetfully or involuntarily.

Issue 1656: * If a person eats something at night knowing that it will cause vomiting during the day time, the recommended precaution is that he should give the qadha of that fast.

Issue 1657: * If a fasting person can stop vomiting without causing any harm or inconvenience to himself, he should exercise restraint.

Issue 1658: * If a fly enters the throat of a fasting person, it will not be necessary to throw it out if it has gone deep down the gullet, and his fast will be valid. But if it has not descended deep down, it must be coughed out, even by vomiting, if it is not harmful to do so. If one does not do so, fast will be void.

Issue 1659: If a person swallows something by mistake and remembers before it reaches the stomach that he is fasting, it is not necessary for him to throw it out, and his fast is in order.

Issue 1660: If a fasting person is certain that if he belches, something will come out from the throat, he should not, as a precaution, belch intentionally, but there is no harm in his belching if he is not certain about it.

Issue 1661: If a fasting person belches and something comes from his throat or into the mouth, he should throw it out, and if it is swallowed unintentionally, his fast is in order.

Rules Regarding Things which Invalidate a Fast

Issue 1662: * If a person intentionally and voluntarily commits an act which invalidates fast, his fast becomes void, but if he does not commit such an act intentionally, there is no harm in it (i.e. his fast is valid). However, if a person in Janabat sleeps and does not do Ghusl till the time of Fajr prayers, as detailed in rule no. 1639, his fast is void. Similarly, if a person due to utter ignorance of the rule that a certain act will invalidate the fast, or due to reliance upon some authority which he thought was genuine, unhesitatingly commits an act which invalidates the fast, his fast will not be void, except in the cases of eating, drinking and sexual intercourse.

Issue 1663: * If a fasting person forgetfully commits an act which invalidates fast and thinking that since his fast has become void, commits intentionally another act which invalidates fast, his fast will be void.

Issue 1664: * If something is dropped forcibly down the throat of a fasting person, his fast does not become void. But, if he is compelled to break his fast by intimidation, like, if he is warned that his life or wealth would be at stake, and he willingly breaks the fast to ward off the danger, his fast will be void.

Issue 1665: * A fasting person should not go to a place where he knows that something will be put down his throat or that he will be compelled to break his fast by his own hands. And if he goes there and he is compelled to commit an act by his own hands which invalidates a fast, his fast will be void. The same will apply, as an obligatory precaution, if something is forcibly put down his throat.




Things which are Makrooh for a Person Observing Fast

Issue 1666: * Certain things are Makrooh for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below :

(i) Using eyedrops and applying Surma if its taste or smell reaches the throat.

(ii) Performing an act, which causes weakness, like blood-letting (extracting the blood from the body) or going for hot bath.

(iii) Inhaling a snuff if one is not aware that it might reach the throat; and if one is aware that it will reach the throat its use is not permissible.

(iv) Smelling fragrant herbs.

(v) For women, to sit in the water.

(vi) Using suppository, that is, letting into rectum a stimulant for bowels.

(vii) Wetting the dress which one is wearing.

(viii) Getting a tooth extracted or doing something as a result of which there is bleeding in the mouth.

(ix) Cleaning the teeth with a wet toothbrush.

(x) Putting water or any other liquid in the mouth without a good cause.

It is also Makrooh for a fasting person to court or woo his wife without the intention of ejaculation; or to do something which excites him sexually. And if he does it with the intention of ejaculation, and no ejaculation takes place, his fast, as an obligatory precaution, will be deemed void.

Obligatory Qadha Fast and Kaffarah

Issue 1667: * In the following situations, both qadha and Kaffarah become obligatory, provided these acts are committed intentionally, voluntarily and without any force or pressure, during the fasts of Ramadhan:

(i) Eating

(ii) Drinking

(iii) Sexual Intercourse

(iv) Masturbation

(v) Staying in the state of Janabat till the time of Fajr prayers

And as a recommended precaution, invalidating the fast due to reasons other than those mentioned above, should also be recompensed with Kaffarah, besides the obligatory qadha.

Issue 1668: * If a person commits any of the foregoing acts with an absolute certitude that it does not invalidate fast, Kaffarah will not be obligatory on him.

Kaffarah for Fast

Issue 1669: * The Kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Ramadhan is to:

(a) free a slave, or (b) fast for two months or (c) feed sixty poor to their fill or give one mudd (= 3/4 kg.) of food-stuff, like, wheat or barley or bread etc. to each of them. And if it is not possible for him to fulfil any of these, he should give Sadaqa according to his means and seek Divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he should give Kaffarah as and when he is capable to do so.

Issue 1670: A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.

Issue 1671: * A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should not commence fasting at such time when he knows that within a month and one day, days like Eid-ul-Azha will fall when it would be haraam to fast.

Issue 1672: If a person who must fast continuously, fails to fast on any day in the period without any just excuse, he should commence fasting all over again.

Issue 1673: * If a person who must fast continuously, is unable to maintain the continuity due to an excuse beyond control, like, Haidh or Nifas or a journey, which one is obliged to undertake, it will not be obligatory on him/her after the excuse is removed, to commence fasting again from the beginning. He/she should proceed to observe the remaining fasts.

Issue 1674: * If a person breaks his fast with something haraam, whether it is haraam in itself, like, wine or adultery or has become haraam due to some reason like, any food which is normally permissible but it is injurious to his health, or if he has sexual intercourse with his wife during Haidth, he will have to observe all the three Kaffarah, as a recommended precaution. It means that he should set free a slave, fast for two months and also feed sixty poor to their fill, or give one mudd of wheat, barley, bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to give all the three Kaffarah, he should perform any one Kaffarah which he can possibly give.

Issue 1675: * If a fasting person intentionally imputes lies to Allah or the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the recommended precaution is that he should give all the three Kaffarah as detailed above.

Issue 1676: * If a fasting person engages in sexual intercourse several times a day during Ramadhan or commits masturbation, one Kaffarah becomes obligatory on him. But, as a recommended precaution, he should give a Kaffarah each time he engages in sexual intercourse.

Issue 1677: * If a fasting person repeats an act which invalidates fast of Ramadhan other than sexual intercourse and masturbation, one Kaffarah will be sufficient for all.

Issue 1678: * If a fasting person commits an act which invalidates a fast other than sexual intercourse, and then has sexual intercourse with his wife, one Kaffarah will suffice for both the acts.

Issue 1679: * If a fasting person commits a halal act to invalidate a fast, like, if he drinks water and thereafter commits another act which is haraam and invalidates a fast, like, if he eats haraam food, one Kaffarah will suffice.

Issue 1680: * If a fasting person belches and swallows intentionally that which comes in his mouth, his fast becomes void, and he should give its qadha and Kaffarah also. And if the thing which comes to his mouth is haraam to consume, like, blood or some food which no more looks like food, and he swallows it intentionally, he will give the qadha of that fast, and as a recommended precaution, give all the three Kaffarah.

Issue 1681: If a person takes a vow that he would fast on a particular day, and if he invalidates his fast intentionally on that day, he should give Kaffarah, the one for which one becomes liable upon breaking a vow. The details will come in the relevant Chapter.

Issue 1682: If a fasting person breaks his fast when someone unreliable informs him that Maghrib has set in, and he later learns that Maghrib had not set in, or doubts whether it had set in or not, it is obligatory on him to give qadha and Kaffarah.

Issue 1683: If a person who has intentionally invalidated his fast travels after Zuhr or before Zuhr to escape the Kaffarah, he will not be exempted from the Kaffarah. In fact, if he has to proceed unexpectedly on a journey before Zuhr, even then it is obligatory for him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1684: If a person invalidates the fast intentionally and then an excuse like Haidth, Nifas or sickness arises, the recommended precaution is that he/she should give a Kaffarah.

Issue 1685: If a person was certain that it was the first day of Ramadhan and invalidated his fast intentionally, and it transpired later that it was the last day of Sha’ban it would not be obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1686: If a person doubts whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first day of Shawwal and invalidates his fast intentionally, and it transpires later that it is the first day of Shawwal, it will not be obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1687: * If a man who is fasting in the month of Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his wife who is also fasting and if he has compelled her for that, he should give Kaffarah for his own fast and as a precaution, also for his wife’s. And if she had wilfully consented to the sexual intercourse, a Kaffarah becomes obligatory on each of them.

Issue 1688: If a woman compels her fasting husband to have sexual intercourse with her, it is not obligatory on her to give Kaffarah for her husband’s fast.

Issue 1689: If a man who is fasting in Ramadhan compels his wife for sexual intercourse, and if the woman expresses her agreement during the intercourse, the man should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give two Kaffarah and the woman should give one Kaffarah.

Issue 1690: If a man who is observing fast in Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his fasting wife who is asleep, one Kaffarah becomes obligatory on him. But the wife’s fast is in order and she will not give any Kaffarah.

Issue 1691: If a man compels his wife or a woman compels her husband to commit an act which makes the fast void, other than the sexual intercourse, it will not be obligatory upon any of them to give any Kaffarah.

Issue 1692: A man who does not observe fast due to travelling or illness, cannot compel his fasting wife to have sexual intercourse. But, if he compels her, Kaffarah will not be obligatory on him either.

Issue 1693: One should not be negligent about giving Kaffarah. But, it is not necessary to give it immediately.

Issue 1694: If Kaffarah has become obligatory on a person and if he fails to fulfil it for some years, no increase in the Kaffarah takes place.

Issue 1695: * When a person is required to feed sixty poor by way of Kaffarah for one fast, and if he has access to all of them, he cannot give to any one of them more than one mudd of food, or feed a poor man more than once, calculating it as feeding more than one person. However, he can give to a poor person one mudd of food for each member of his family, even if they may be minors.

Issue 1696: * If a person offering qadha of a fast of Ramadhan intentionally breaks his fast after Zuhr, he should give food to ten poor persons, one mudd to each, and if he cannot do this, he should observe fast for three days.

Occasions on which it is Obligatory to Observe the Qadha Only

Issue 1697: * In the following cases it is obligatory on a person to observe a qadha fast only and it is not obligatory on him to give a Kaffarah:

(i) If a person is in Janabat during a night of Ramadhan and as detailed in rule no. 1639 does not wake up from his second sleep till the time of Fajr prayers.

(ii) If he does not commit an act which invalidates a fast but did not make Niyyat to observe fast, or fasts to show off intends not to fast at all, or decides to commit an act which invalidates a fast, then as an obligatory precaution, he must give its qadha.

(iii) If he forgets to do Ghusl of Janabat during the month of Ramadhan and fasts for one or more days in the state of Janabat.

(iv) If in the month of Ramadhan, a man without investigating as to whether Fajr has set in or not commits an act, which invalidates a fast, and it becomes known later that it was Fajr, he should as a precaution and with the Niyyat of Qurbat, refrain from committing any further acts which invalidate the fast, and give its qadha also.

(v) If someone else informs that it is not Fajr yet, and on the basis of his statement one commits an act which invalidates a fast and it is later found out that it was Fajr.

(vi) If someone informs that it is Fajr and not believing his word or thinking that the fellow is joking, he commits, without investigating, an act which invalidates a fast and it becomes known later that it was Fajr.

(vii) If a blind person, or any one like him, breaks his fast relying on the statement of another person, and it is known later that Maghrib had not set in.

(viii) When a person is certain that Maghrib has set in, and breaks his feet accordingly, and later he learns that it was not Maghrib, he must give qadha. But if he believed that Maghrib had set in because of cloudy weather, and broke his fast, and later it became evident that Maghrib had not set in, he will observe qadha of that fast as a precautionary measure.

(ix) When one rinses his mouth with water because it has dried due to thirst and the water uncontrollably goes down one’s throat, qadha has to be given. Similarly, as a recommended precaution, one should give a qadha if the mouthwash was for a wudhu for Mustahab prayers, and the water went down the throat. But if he forgets that he has kept a fast, or if he does the mouthwash, not because of thirst, but for a wudhu for an obligatory prayers and water is uncontrollably swallowed, there will be no qadha.

(x) If a person breaks his fast due to duress, helplessness or taqayyah, he will observe qadha of the fast, but it is not obligatory on him to give a Kaffarah.

Issue 1698: If a fasting person puts something other than water in his mouth and it goes down the throat involuntarily, or puts water in his nose and it goes down involuntarily, it will not be obligatory on him to observe qadha of the fast.

Issue 1699: It is Makrooh to do excessive mouth washing for a fasting person, and after the mouthwash if he wishes to swallow saliva, it is better that he spits it out three times before doing so.

Issue 1700: * If a person knows or feels that if he does a mouthwash water will seep down his throat involuntarily, he should avoid it. And as an obligatory precaution, he should avoid the mouthwash if he knows or feels that water may trickle down his throat due to his own forgetfulness.

Issue 1701: * If in the month of Ramadhan, a person becomes sure after investigation that it is not Fajr and commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it is later known that it was Fajr already, it will not be necessary for him to offer qadha of that fast.

Issue 1702: If a person doubts whether or not Maghrib has set in, he cannot break his fast. But if he doubts whether or not it is Fajr he can commit, even before investigation, an act which invalidates a fast.

Rules Regarding the Qadha Fasts

Issue 1703: If an insane recovers and becomes sane, it will not be obligatory on him to offer qadha for the fasts which he did not observe when he was insane.

Issue 1704: If an unbeliever becomes a Muslim, it is not obligatory on him to offer qadha for the fasts of the period during which he was an unbeliever. However, if a Muslim apostatises and becomes Muslim again, he must observe qadha for the fasts of the period during which he remained an apostate.

Issue 1705: A person must offer qadha for the fasts left out due to being intoxicated, even if the intoxicant was taken by him for the purpose of medical treatment.

Issue 1706: If a person did not fast on certain days because of some excuse and later doubts about the exact date on which the excuse was over, it will not be obligatory on him to offer qadha basing his calculation on the higher number. For example, if a person travelled before the commencement of the month of Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he returned on the 5th of Ramadhan or on the 6th, or if he travelled in the last days of the month of Ramadhan and returned after Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he travelled on the 25th of Ramadhan or on the 26th, in both the cases, he can observe qadha based on the lesser number of days, that is, five days. However, the recommended precaution is that he should offer qadha for the higher number of days, that is, six days.

Issue 1707: If a person has to give qadha for Ramadhan fasts of several years, he can begin with the qadha of Ramadhan of any year as he likes. But, if the time for qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan is short, like, if he has to observe five qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan and only five days are left before the commencement of approaching Ramadhan, it is better to observe qadha fasts of last Ramadhan.

Issue 1708: If a person has qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for several years, and while making Niyyat he does not specify to which year the fasts belong, they will not be reckoned to be the qadha of the last year.

Issue 1709: A person who observes a qadha for the fast of Ramadhan can break his fast before Zuhr. However, if the time for qadha fast is short, it is better not to break it.

Issue 1710: If a person observes qadha fast of a dead person, it is better not to break the fast after Zuhr.

Issue 1711: * If a person does not observe the fasts of the month of Ramadhan due to illness, Haidh or Nifas and dies before he/she can give qadha in time, he/she will not have any qadha liability.

Issue 1712: * If a person does not fast in the month of Ramadhan due to illness and his illness continues till next Ramadhan, it is not obligatory on him to observe qadha of the fasts which he had not observed, but for each fast he should give one mudd of food like, wheat, barley, bread etc. to poor. And if he did not observe fast owing to some other excuse, like, if he did not fast because of travelling and his excuse continued till next Ramadhan, he should observe its qadha fasts, and the obligatory precaution is that for each day he should give one mudd of food to poor.

Issue 1713: If a person did not fast in Ramadhan due to illness, and his illness ended after Ramadhan, but there emerged another excuse due to which he could not observe the qadha fasts till next Ramadhan, he should offer qadha for the fasts which he did not observe. Also, if he had an excuse other than illness during Ramadhan, and that excuse ended after Ramadhan, but he then fell ill and could not give qadha till next Ramadhan because of that illness, he will offer the qadha for the fasts he did not observe and, on the basis of obligatory precaution, he will give one mudd of food to poor for each day.

Issue 1714: If a person does not observe fasts in the month of Ramadhan owing to some excuse and his excuse is removed after Ramadhan, yet he does not observe the qadha fasts intentionally till next Ramadhan, he has to give qadha of the fasts and should also give one mudd of food to poor for each fast.

Issue 1715: * If a person deliberately ignores observing qadha till the time left is short, and during that short time he develops an excuse, he has to give qadha and as a precaution, give one mudd of food to poor for each day. Similarly, if after the excuse is over, he firmly decides to give qadha, but is unable to do so because of some fresh excuse during that short time, he will follow the above rule.

Issue 1716: If the illness of a person continues for very long, protracted over many years, he should, after being cured, observe the qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan, and for each day of the earlier years he should give one mudd of food to poor.

Issue 1717: A person who has to give one mudd of food to poor for each day, can give food of Kaffarah of a few days to one poor person.

Issue 1718: If a person delays observing qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for a few years, he should give the qadha and should on account of delay in the first year, give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day. As for the delay in the subsequent years, nothing is obligatory on him.

Issue 1719: * If a person does not observe fasts of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, he should give their qadha and for each day left out, he should observe fast for two months or feed sixty poor persons or set a slave free, and if he does not observe the qadha till next Ramadhan, he should also give one mudd of food for each day as a Kaffarah.

Issue 1720: * If a person does not observe fast of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, and commits sexual intercourse or masturbation several times during the day, the Kaffarah does not multiply together with it. Similarly, if he performs other acts which invalidate the fast, like eating several times, one Kaffarah will suffice.

Issue 1721: * After the death of a person his eldest son, as an obligatory precaution, should observe his qadha fasts as explained in connection with the prayers earlier.

Issue 1722: * If a father had not observed obligatory fasts other than the fasts of the month of Ramadhan, like, a fast of Nadhr, the recommended precaution is that his eldest son should observe its qadha. However, if the father was hired for observing fasts on behalf of a dead person, but he did not observe them, it is not obligatory for the eldest son to offer them.

Fasting by a Traveller

Issue 1723: A traveller for whom it is obligatory to shorten a four Rak’ats prayers to two Rak’ats, should not fast. However, a traveller who offers full prayers, like, a person who is a traveller by profession or who goes on a journey for a haraam purpose, should fast while travelling.

Issue 1724: There is no harm in travelling during the month of Ramadhan, but it is Makrooh to travel during the month to evade fasting. And similarly, it is Makrooh to travel before the 24th of Ramadhan unless travelling is undertaken for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah or for some important work.

Issue 1725: * If it is obligatory on a person to observe a particular fast other than the fasts of Ramadhan, like, if he has undertaken to fast on behalf of someone against payment, or if it is the fast of the third day of I’tekaf, he cannot travel on that day, and if he is already on journey then he should make a Niyyat to stay there for ten days, if possible, and keep the fast. And if it is an obligatory fast of Nadhr, travelling on that day is permissible, and it is not necessary to make an intention of staying there for ten days. Though, it is better not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary, and if he is already on a journey, he should have the Niyyat to stay there for 10 days.

Issue 1726: If a person makes a vow to observe a Mustahab fast and does not specify any day for it, he cannot keep the fast while travelling. However, if he makes a vow that he will observe fast on a particular day during a journey, he should observe that fast during the journey. Also, if he makes a vow that he will observe a fast on a particular day, whether he is journeying on that day or not, he should observe the fasts on that day even if he travels.

Issue 1727: A traveller can observe Mustahab fasts in Madinah for three days with the Niyyat of praying for the fulfilment of his wish, and as a precaution, those three days be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Issue 1728: If a person does not know that the fast of a traveller is invalid and observes fast while journeying, and learns about the rule during the day, his fast becomes void, but if he does not learn about the rule till Maghrib, his fast is valid.

Issue 1729: If a person forgets that he is a traveller or forgets that the fast of a traveller is void, and observes fast while journeying, is fast is invalid.

Issue 1730: * If a fasting person travels after Zuhr, he should, as a precaution, complete his fast. If he travels before Zuhr and had an intention from the previous night to do so, he cannot fast on that day. As a precaution, he cannot fast on that day even if he had no intention to travel from the previous night. In both the cases, he cannot break the fast till he has reached the limit of Tarakkhus. If he does, he will be liable to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1731: If a traveller in the month of Ramadhan, regardless of whether he was travelling before Fajr, or was fasting and then undertook the journey, reaches his hometown before Zuhr or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, and if has not committed an act which invalidates a fast, he should fast on that day. But if he has committed such an act, it is not obligatory on him to fast on that day.

Issue 1732: * If a traveller reaches his hometown after Zuhr, or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, he cannot fast on that day.

Issue 1733: It is Makrooh for a traveller and for a person who cannot fast owing to some excuse, to have sexual intercourse or to eat or drink to his fill, during the day time in Ramadhan.

People on Whom Fasting is Not Obligatory

Issue 1734: Fasting is not obligatory on a person who cannot fast because of old age, or for whom fasting causes extreme hardship. But in latter case, he should give one mudd food to a poor person for every fast.

Issue 1735: If a person who did not fast during the month of Ramadhan owing to old age, becomes capable of fasting later, he should, on the basis of recommended precaution, give the qadha.

Issue 1736: * Fasting is not obligatory on a person who suffers from a disease which causes excessive thirst, making it unbearable, or full of hardship. But in the latter case, that is, of hardship, he should give one mudd of food to poor, for every fast. At the same time, as a recommended precaution, such a person may not drink water in a quantity more than essential. If he recovers later, enabling him to fast, then as a recommended precaution, he should give qadha for the fast.

Issue 1737: * Fasting is not obligatory on a woman in advanced stage of pregnancy, for whom fasting is harmful or for the child she carries. For every day, however, she should give one mudd of food to poor. In both the cases, she has to give qadha for the fasts which are left out.

Issue 1738: * If a woman is suckling a child, whether she is the mother or a nurse, or suckles it free, and the quantity of her milk is small, and if fasting is harmful to her or to the child, it will not be obligatory on her to fast. And she should give one mudd of food per day to poor. In both the cases, she will later give qadha for the fasts left out. But this rule is specifically applicable in a circumstance where this is the only way of feeding milk to the child – (as an obligatory precaution). But if there is an alternative, like, when more than one woman offer to suckle the child, then establishing this rule is a matter of Ishkal.

Method of Ascertaining the First Day of a Month

Issue 1739: * The 1st day of a month is established in the following four ways:

(i) If a person himself sights the moon.

(ii) If a number of persons confirm to have sighted the moon and their words assure or satisfy a person. Similarly, every other thing which assures or satisfies him about moon having being sighted.

(iii) If two just (Adil) persons say that they have sighted the moon at night. The first day of the month will not be established if they differ about the details of the new moon. This difference can be either explicit or even implied. For example, when a group of people goes out in search of a new moon and none but two Adils claim to have seen the new moon, though, among those who did not see, there were other Adils equally capable and knowledgeable, then the testimony by the first two Adils will not prove the advent of a new month.

(iv) If 30 days pass from the first of Sha’ban , the 1st of Ramadhan will be established, and if 30 days pass from the 1st of Ramadhan the 1st of Shawwal will be established.

Issue 1740: The 1st day of any month will not be proved by the verdict of a Mujtahed and it is better to observe precaution.

Issue 1741: The first day of a month will not be proved by the prediction made by the astronomers. However, if a person derives full satisfaction and certitude from their findings, he should act accordingly.

Issue 1742: * If the moon is high up in the sky, or sets late, it is not an indication that the previous night was the first night of the month. Similarly, if there is a halo round it, it is not a proof that the new moon appeared in the previous night.

Issue 1743: If the first day of the month of Ramadhan is not proved for a person and he does not observe fast, and if it is proved later that the preceding night was infact the night of Ramadhan, he should observe qadha of that day.

Issue 1744: * If the first day of a month is proved in a city, it is also proved in other cities if they are united in their horizon. And the meaning of having a common horizon in this matter is that if new moon was sighted in a city, there would be a distinct possibility of sighting it in the other cities, if there were no impediments, like, the clouds etc.

Issue 1745: The first day of a month is not proved by a telegram except when one is sure that the telegram is based on the testimony of two Adils, or on a source which is reliable in the eyes of Shariah.

Issue 1746: If a person does not know whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first of Shawwal, he should observe fast on that day, and if he comes to know during the day that it is the first of Shawwal, he should break the fast.

Issue 1747: * If a prisoner cannot ascertain the advent of Ramadhan, he should act on probability and he should act on a probability which in his estimation is stronger. But if even that is not possible, he may consider a month which he strongly feels to be Ramadhan and fast; however, he should keep that month in view so that if it later transpires that he kept fasts before Ramadhan, he will give the qadha. And if it transpired that it was Ramadhan or after it, he does not have any liability of qadha.

Haraam and Makrooh Fasts

Issue 1748: It is haraam to fast on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. It is also haraam to fast with the Niyyat of first fast of Ramadhan on a day about which he is not sure whether it is the last day of Sha’ban or the first of Ramadhan.

Issue 1749: It is haraam for a wife to keep a Mustahab fast if by so doing she would not be able to attend to her duties to her husband. And the obligatory precaution is that even if she can attend to her duties towards her husband, she should not observe a Mustahab fast without his permission.

Issue 1750: * It is haraam for the children to observe a Mustahab fast if it causes emotional suffering to their parents.

Issue 1751: * If a son observes a Mustahab fast without the permission of his father, and his father prohibits him from it during the day time, the son should break the fast if his disobedience would hurt the feeling of his father.

Issue 1752: * If a person knows that fasting is not harmful to him, he should fast even if his doctor advises that it is harmful. And if a person is certain or has a feeling that fasting is harmful to him, he should not fast even if the doctor advises for it, and if he fasts in these circumstances, his fast will not be valid if it turns out that the fast was actually harmful, or if it was not kept with the Niiyyat of Qurbat.

Issue 1753: * If a person has a strong feeling that it is harmful for him to fast, and owing to that feeling, fear is created in his mind, and if that feeling is commonly acceptable, he should not observe fast, and if he does, it will not be valid in the way described in the foregoing rule.

Issue 1754: If a person who believes that fasting is not harmful to him, observes fast and realises after Maghrib that it was considerably harmful to him, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give the qadha of that day.

Issue 1755: Besides the fasts mentioned herein, there are other haraam fasts also, the details of which are found in relevant books.

Issue 1756: It is Makrooh to fast on ‘Ashura (10th of Muharram). It is also Makrooh to fast on the day about which one is not sure whether it is the day of ‘Arafa or Eid-ul-Azha.

Mustahab Fasts

Issue 1757:* Fasting is Mustahab on every day of a year except those on which it is haraam or Makrooh to observe a fast. Some of them which have been strongly recommended, are mentioned here:

(i) The first and last Thursday of every month and the first Wednesday after the 10th of a month. If a person does not observe these fasts it is Mustahab that he gives their qadha. And if he is incapable of fasting, it is Mustahab for him to give one mudd of food or prescribed coined silver to poor.

(ii) 13th, 14th and 15th day of every month.

(iii) On all days of Rajab and Shaban or on as many days as it is possible to fast, even though it may be one day only.

(iv) The day of Eid Nawroz.

(v) From the 4th up to the 9th of the month of Shawwal.

(vi) The 25th and 29th day of the month of Zi qa’da.

(vii) From the 1st day to the 9th day (i.e. ‘Arafa day) of the month of Zil hajj. But if, it is not possible for one to recite the Duas of ‘Arafa due to weakness caused by fasting, it is Makrooh to fast on that day.

(viii) The auspicious day of Ghadir (18th Zil hajj).

(ix) The auspicious day of Mubahala (24th Zil hajj).

(x) The 1st, 3rd and 7th day of Muharram.

(xi) The birthday of the Holy Prophet (17th Rabi’ul awwal).

(xii) 15th day of Jumadi’ul oola.

Fasting is also recommended on 27th of Rajab – the day the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared his Prophethood.

If a person observes a Mustahab fast, it is not obligatory on him to complete it. In fact, if one of his brethren-in-faith invites him to a meal, it is Mustahab that he accepts the invitation and breaks the fast during the day time even if it may be after Zuhr.

Mustahab Precautions

Issue 1758: It is Mustahab for the following persons that even if they may not be fasting, they should refrain from those acts in the month of Ramadhan which invalidate a fast:

(i) A traveller who has committed an act during his journey which makes a fast void and reaches his hometown before Zuhr, or the place where he intends to stay for ten days.

(ii) A traveller who reaches home after Zuhr or at a place where he intends to stay for ten days. The same rule applies if he reaches such places before Zuhr and if he has already broken his fast while journeying.

(iii) A patient who recovers after Zuhr or even if he recovers before noon, though he may have committed acts which invalidate fast. And if he has not committed any such act, then his obligation has been explained in rule no. 1576.

(iv) A woman who becomes Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidh or Nifas during day time.

Issue 1759: It is Mustahab that a person breaks his fast after offering Maghrib and Isha prayers. However, if he feels terribly inclined to eat, so much that he cannot concentrate on the prayers, or if someone is waiting for him, it is better that he should break his fast first and offer the prayers later. However, as far as possible, he should try to offer the prayers during the prime time (Fadheelat).




Things which are Makrooh for a Person Observing Fast

Issue 1666: * Certain things are Makrooh for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below :

(i) Using eyedrops and applying Surma if its taste or smell reaches the throat.

(ii) Performing an act, which causes weakness, like blood-letting (extracting the blood from the body) or going for hot bath.

(iii) Inhaling a snuff if one is not aware that it might reach the throat; and if one is aware that it will reach the throat its use is not permissible.

(iv) Smelling fragrant herbs.

(v) For women, to sit in the water.

(vi) Using suppository, that is, letting into rectum a stimulant for bowels.

(vii) Wetting the dress which one is wearing.

(viii) Getting a tooth extracted or doing something as a result of which there is bleeding in the mouth.

(ix) Cleaning the teeth with a wet toothbrush.

(x) Putting water or any other liquid in the mouth without a good cause.

It is also Makrooh for a fasting person to court or woo his wife without the intention of ejaculation; or to do something which excites him sexually. And if he does it with the intention of ejaculation, and no ejaculation takes place, his fast, as an obligatory precaution, will be deemed void.

Obligatory Qadha Fast and Kaffarah

Issue 1667: * In the following situations, both qadha and Kaffarah become obligatory, provided these acts are committed intentionally, voluntarily and without any force or pressure, during the fasts of Ramadhan:

(i) Eating

(ii) Drinking

(iii) Sexual Intercourse

(iv) Masturbation

(v) Staying in the state of Janabat till the time of Fajr prayers

And as a recommended precaution, invalidating the fast due to reasons other than those mentioned above, should also be recompensed with Kaffarah, besides the obligatory qadha.

Issue 1668: * If a person commits any of the foregoing acts with an absolute certitude that it does not invalidate fast, Kaffarah will not be obligatory on him.

Kaffarah for Fast

Issue 1669: * The Kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Ramadhan is to:

(a) free a slave, or (b) fast for two months or (c) feed sixty poor to their fill or give one mudd (= 3/4 kg.) of food-stuff, like, wheat or barley or bread etc. to each of them. And if it is not possible for him to fulfil any of these, he should give Sadaqa according to his means and seek Divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he should give Kaffarah as and when he is capable to do so.

Issue 1670: A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.

Issue 1671: * A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should not commence fasting at such time when he knows that within a month and one day, days like Eid-ul-Azha will fall when it would be haraam to fast.

Issue 1672: If a person who must fast continuously, fails to fast on any day in the period without any just excuse, he should commence fasting all over again.

Issue 1673: * If a person who must fast continuously, is unable to maintain the continuity due to an excuse beyond control, like, Haidh or Nifas or a journey, which one is obliged to undertake, it will not be obligatory on him/her after the excuse is removed, to commence fasting again from the beginning. He/she should proceed to observe the remaining fasts.

Issue 1674: * If a person breaks his fast with something haraam, whether it is haraam in itself, like, wine or adultery or has become haraam due to some reason like, any food which is normally permissible but it is injurious to his health, or if he has sexual intercourse with his wife during Haidth, he will have to observe all the three Kaffarah, as a recommended precaution. It means that he should set free a slave, fast for two months and also feed sixty poor to their fill, or give one mudd of wheat, barley, bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to give all the three Kaffarah, he should perform any one Kaffarah which he can possibly give.

Issue 1675: * If a fasting person intentionally imputes lies to Allah or the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the recommended precaution is that he should give all the three Kaffarah as detailed above.

Issue 1676: * If a fasting person engages in sexual intercourse several times a day during Ramadhan or commits masturbation, one Kaffarah becomes obligatory on him. But, as a recommended precaution, he should give a Kaffarah each time he engages in sexual intercourse.

Issue 1677: * If a fasting person repeats an act which invalidates fast of Ramadhan other than sexual intercourse and masturbation, one Kaffarah will be sufficient for all.

Issue 1678: * If a fasting person commits an act which invalidates a fast other than sexual intercourse, and then has sexual intercourse with his wife, one Kaffarah will suffice for both the acts.

Issue 1679: * If a fasting person commits a halal act to invalidate a fast, like, if he drinks water and thereafter commits another act which is haraam and invalidates a fast, like, if he eats haraam food, one Kaffarah will suffice.

Issue 1680: * If a fasting person belches and swallows intentionally that which comes in his mouth, his fast becomes void, and he should give its qadha and Kaffarah also. And if the thing which comes to his mouth is haraam to consume, like, blood or some food which no more looks like food, and he swallows it intentionally, he will give the qadha of that fast, and as a recommended precaution, give all the three Kaffarah.

Issue 1681: If a person takes a vow that he would fast on a particular day, and if he invalidates his fast intentionally on that day, he should give Kaffarah, the one for which one becomes liable upon breaking a vow. The details will come in the relevant Chapter.

Issue 1682: If a fasting person breaks his fast when someone unreliable informs him that Maghrib has set in, and he later learns that Maghrib had not set in, or doubts whether it had set in or not, it is obligatory on him to give qadha and Kaffarah.

Issue 1683: If a person who has intentionally invalidated his fast travels after Zuhr or before Zuhr to escape the Kaffarah, he will not be exempted from the Kaffarah. In fact, if he has to proceed unexpectedly on a journey before Zuhr, even then it is obligatory for him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1684: If a person invalidates the fast intentionally and then an excuse like Haidth, Nifas or sickness arises, the recommended precaution is that he/she should give a Kaffarah.

Issue 1685: If a person was certain that it was the first day of Ramadhan and invalidated his fast intentionally, and it transpired later that it was the last day of Sha’ban it would not be obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1686: If a person doubts whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first day of Shawwal and invalidates his fast intentionally, and it transpires later that it is the first day of Shawwal, it will not be obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1687: * If a man who is fasting in the month of Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his wife who is also fasting and if he has compelled her for that, he should give Kaffarah for his own fast and as a precaution, also for his wife’s. And if she had wilfully consented to the sexual intercourse, a Kaffarah becomes obligatory on each of them.

Issue 1688: If a woman compels her fasting husband to have sexual intercourse with her, it is not obligatory on her to give Kaffarah for her husband’s fast.

Issue 1689: If a man who is fasting in Ramadhan compels his wife for sexual intercourse, and if the woman expresses her agreement during the intercourse, the man should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give two Kaffarah and the woman should give one Kaffarah.

Issue 1690: If a man who is observing fast in Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his fasting wife who is asleep, one Kaffarah becomes obligatory on him. But the wife’s fast is in order and she will not give any Kaffarah.

Issue 1691: If a man compels his wife or a woman compels her husband to commit an act which makes the fast void, other than the sexual intercourse, it will not be obligatory upon any of them to give any Kaffarah.

Issue 1692: A man who does not observe fast due to travelling or illness, cannot compel his fasting wife to have sexual intercourse. But, if he compels her, Kaffarah will not be obligatory on him either.

Issue 1693: One should not be negligent about giving Kaffarah. But, it is not necessary to give it immediately.

Issue 1694: If Kaffarah has become obligatory on a person and if he fails to fulfil it for some years, no increase in the Kaffarah takes place.

Issue 1695: * When a person is required to feed sixty poor by way of Kaffarah for one fast, and if he has access to all of them, he cannot give to any one of them more than one mudd of food, or feed a poor man more than once, calculating it as feeding more than one person. However, he can give to a poor person one mudd of food for each member of his family, even if they may be minors.

Issue 1696: * If a person offering qadha of a fast of Ramadhan intentionally breaks his fast after Zuhr, he should give food to ten poor persons, one mudd to each, and if he cannot do this, he should observe fast for three days.

Occasions on which it is Obligatory to Observe the Qadha Only

Issue 1697: * In the following cases it is obligatory on a person to observe a qadha fast only and it is not obligatory on him to give a Kaffarah:

(i) If a person is in Janabat during a night of Ramadhan and as detailed in rule no. 1639 does not wake up from his second sleep till the time of Fajr prayers.

(ii) If he does not commit an act which invalidates a fast but did not make Niyyat to observe fast, or fasts to show off intends not to fast at all, or decides to commit an act which invalidates a fast, then as an obligatory precaution, he must give its qadha.

(iii) If he forgets to do Ghusl of Janabat during the month of Ramadhan and fasts for one or more days in the state of Janabat.

(iv) If in the month of Ramadhan, a man without investigating as to whether Fajr has set in or not commits an act, which invalidates a fast, and it becomes known later that it was Fajr, he should as a precaution and with the Niyyat of Qurbat, refrain from committing any further acts which invalidate the fast, and give its qadha also.

(v) If someone else informs that it is not Fajr yet, and on the basis of his statement one commits an act which invalidates a fast and it is later found out that it was Fajr.

(vi) If someone informs that it is Fajr and not believing his word or thinking that the fellow is joking, he commits, without investigating, an act which invalidates a fast and it becomes known later that it was Fajr.

(vii) If a blind person, or any one like him, breaks his fast relying on the statement of another person, and it is known later that Maghrib had not set in.

(viii) When a person is certain that Maghrib has set in, and breaks his feet accordingly, and later he learns that it was not Maghrib, he must give qadha. But if he believed that Maghrib had set in because of cloudy weather, and broke his fast, and later it became evident that Maghrib had not set in, he will observe qadha of that fast as a precautionary measure.

(ix) When one rinses his mouth with water because it has dried due to thirst and the water uncontrollably goes down one’s throat, qadha has to be given. Similarly, as a recommended precaution, one should give a qadha if the mouthwash was for a wudhu for Mustahab prayers, and the water went down the throat. But if he forgets that he has kept a fast, or if he does the mouthwash, not because of thirst, but for a wudhu for an obligatory prayers and water is uncontrollably swallowed, there will be no qadha.

(x) If a person breaks his fast due to duress, helplessness or taqayyah, he will observe qadha of the fast, but it is not obligatory on him to give a Kaffarah.

Issue 1698: If a fasting person puts something other than water in his mouth and it goes down the throat involuntarily, or puts water in his nose and it goes down involuntarily, it will not be obligatory on him to observe qadha of the fast.

Issue 1699: It is Makrooh to do excessive mouth washing for a fasting person, and after the mouthwash if he wishes to swallow saliva, it is better that he spits it out three times before doing so.

Issue 1700: * If a person knows or feels that if he does a mouthwash water will seep down his throat involuntarily, he should avoid it. And as an obligatory precaution, he should avoid the mouthwash if he knows or feels that water may trickle down his throat due to his own forgetfulness.

Issue 1701: * If in the month of Ramadhan, a person becomes sure after investigation that it is not Fajr and commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it is later known that it was Fajr already, it will not be necessary for him to offer qadha of that fast.

Issue 1702: If a person doubts whether or not Maghrib has set in, he cannot break his fast. But if he doubts whether or not it is Fajr he can commit, even before investigation, an act which invalidates a fast.

Rules Regarding the Qadha Fasts

Issue 1703: If an insane recovers and becomes sane, it will not be obligatory on him to offer qadha for the fasts which he did not observe when he was insane.

Issue 1704: If an unbeliever becomes a Muslim, it is not obligatory on him to offer qadha for the fasts of the period during which he was an unbeliever. However, if a Muslim apostatises and becomes Muslim again, he must observe qadha for the fasts of the period during which he remained an apostate.

Issue 1705: A person must offer qadha for the fasts left out due to being intoxicated, even if the intoxicant was taken by him for the purpose of medical treatment.

Issue 1706: If a person did not fast on certain days because of some excuse and later doubts about the exact date on which the excuse was over, it will not be obligatory on him to offer qadha basing his calculation on the higher number. For example, if a person travelled before the commencement of the month of Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he returned on the 5th of Ramadhan or on the 6th, or if he travelled in the last days of the month of Ramadhan and returned after Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he travelled on the 25th of Ramadhan or on the 26th, in both the cases, he can observe qadha based on the lesser number of days, that is, five days. However, the recommended precaution is that he should offer qadha for the higher number of days, that is, six days.

Issue 1707: If a person has to give qadha for Ramadhan fasts of several years, he can begin with the qadha of Ramadhan of any year as he likes. But, if the time for qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan is short, like, if he has to observe five qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan and only five days are left before the commencement of approaching Ramadhan, it is better to observe qadha fasts of last Ramadhan.

Issue 1708: If a person has qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for several years, and while making Niyyat he does not specify to which year the fasts belong, they will not be reckoned to be the qadha of the last year.

Issue 1709: A person who observes a qadha for the fast of Ramadhan can break his fast before Zuhr. However, if the time for qadha fast is short, it is better not to break it.

Issue 1710: If a person observes qadha fast of a dead person, it is better not to break the fast after Zuhr.

Issue 1711: * If a person does not observe the fasts of the month of Ramadhan due to illness, Haidh or Nifas and dies before he/she can give qadha in time, he/she will not have any qadha liability.

Issue 1712: * If a person does not fast in the month of Ramadhan due to illness and his illness continues till next Ramadhan, it is not obligatory on him to observe qadha of the fasts which he had not observed, but for each fast he should give one mudd of food like, wheat, barley, bread etc. to poor. And if he did not observe fast owing to some other excuse, like, if he did not fast because of travelling and his excuse continued till next Ramadhan, he should observe its qadha fasts, and the obligatory precaution is that for each day he should give one mudd of food to poor.

Issue 1713: If a person did not fast in Ramadhan due to illness, and his illness ended after Ramadhan, but there emerged another excuse due to which he could not observe the qadha fasts till next Ramadhan, he should offer qadha for the fasts which he did not observe. Also, if he had an excuse other than illness during Ramadhan, and that excuse ended after Ramadhan, but he then fell ill and could not give qadha till next Ramadhan because of that illness, he will offer the qadha for the fasts he did not observe and, on the basis of obligatory precaution, he will give one mudd of food to poor for each day.

Issue 1714: If a person does not observe fasts in the month of Ramadhan owing to some excuse and his excuse is removed after Ramadhan, yet he does not observe the qadha fasts intentionally till next Ramadhan, he has to give qadha of the fasts and should also give one mudd of food to poor for each fast.

Issue 1715: * If a person deliberately ignores observing qadha till the time left is short, and during that short time he develops an excuse, he has to give qadha and as a precaution, give one mudd of food to poor for each day. Similarly, if after the excuse is over, he firmly decides to give qadha, but is unable to do so because of some fresh excuse during that short time, he will follow the above rule.

Issue 1716: If the illness of a person continues for very long, protracted over many years, he should, after being cured, observe the qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan, and for each day of the earlier years he should give one mudd of food to poor.

Issue 1717: A person who has to give one mudd of food to poor for each day, can give food of Kaffarah of a few days to one poor person.

Issue 1718: If a person delays observing qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for a few years, he should give the qadha and should on account of delay in the first year, give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day. As for the delay in the subsequent years, nothing is obligatory on him.

Issue 1719: * If a person does not observe fasts of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, he should give their qadha and for each day left out, he should observe fast for two months or feed sixty poor persons or set a slave free, and if he does not observe the qadha till next Ramadhan, he should also give one mudd of food for each day as a Kaffarah.

Issue 1720: * If a person does not observe fast of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, and commits sexual intercourse or masturbation several times during the day, the Kaffarah does not multiply together with it. Similarly, if he performs other acts which invalidate the fast, like eating several times, one Kaffarah will suffice.

Issue 1721: * After the death of a person his eldest son, as an obligatory precaution, should observe his qadha fasts as explained in connection with the prayers earlier.

Issue 1722: * If a father had not observed obligatory fasts other than the fasts of the month of Ramadhan, like, a fast of Nadhr, the recommended precaution is that his eldest son should observe its qadha. However, if the father was hired for observing fasts on behalf of a dead person, but he did not observe them, it is not obligatory for the eldest son to offer them.

Fasting by a Traveller

Issue 1723: A traveller for whom it is obligatory to shorten a four Rak’ats prayers to two Rak’ats, should not fast. However, a traveller who offers full prayers, like, a person who is a traveller by profession or who goes on a journey for a haraam purpose, should fast while travelling.

Issue 1724: There is no harm in travelling during the month of Ramadhan, but it is Makrooh to travel during the month to evade fasting. And similarly, it is Makrooh to travel before the 24th of Ramadhan unless travelling is undertaken for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah or for some important work.

Issue 1725: * If it is obligatory on a person to observe a particular fast other than the fasts of Ramadhan, like, if he has undertaken to fast on behalf of someone against payment, or if it is the fast of the third day of I’tekaf, he cannot travel on that day, and if he is already on journey then he should make a Niyyat to stay there for ten days, if possible, and keep the fast. And if it is an obligatory fast of Nadhr, travelling on that day is permissible, and it is not necessary to make an intention of staying there for ten days. Though, it is better not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary, and if he is already on a journey, he should have the Niyyat to stay there for 10 days.

Issue 1726: If a person makes a vow to observe a Mustahab fast and does not specify any day for it, he cannot keep the fast while travelling. However, if he makes a vow that he will observe fast on a particular day during a journey, he should observe that fast during the journey. Also, if he makes a vow that he will observe a fast on a particular day, whether he is journeying on that day or not, he should observe the fasts on that day even if he travels.

Issue 1727: A traveller can observe Mustahab fasts in Madinah for three days with the Niyyat of praying for the fulfilment of his wish, and as a precaution, those three days be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Issue 1728: If a person does not know that the fast of a traveller is invalid and observes fast while journeying, and learns about the rule during the day, his fast becomes void, but if he does not learn about the rule till Maghrib, his fast is valid.

Issue 1729: If a person forgets that he is a traveller or forgets that the fast of a traveller is void, and observes fast while journeying, is fast is invalid.

Issue 1730: * If a fasting person travels after Zuhr, he should, as a precaution, complete his fast. If he travels before Zuhr and had an intention from the previous night to do so, he cannot fast on that day. As a precaution, he cannot fast on that day even if he had no intention to travel from the previous night. In both the cases, he cannot break the fast till he has reached the limit of Tarakkhus. If he does, he will be liable to give Kaffarah.

Issue 1731: If a traveller in the month of Ramadhan, regardless of whether he was travelling before Fajr, or was fasting and then undertook the journey, reaches his hometown before Zuhr or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, and if has not committed an act which invalidates a fast, he should fast on that day. But if he has committed such an act, it is not obligatory on him to fast on that day.

Issue 1732: * If a traveller reaches his hometown after Zuhr, or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, he cannot fast on that day.

Issue 1733: It is Makrooh for a traveller and for a person who cannot fast owing to some excuse, to have sexual intercourse or to eat or drink to his fill, during the day time in Ramadhan.

People on Whom Fasting is Not Obligatory

Issue 1734: Fasting is not obligatory on a person who cannot fast because of old age, or for whom fasting causes extreme hardship. But in latter case, he should give one mudd food to a poor person for every fast.

Issue 1735: If a person who did not fast during the month of Ramadhan owing to old age, becomes capable of fasting later, he should, on the basis of recommended precaution, give the qadha.

Issue 1736: * Fasting is not obligatory on a person who suffers from a disease which causes excessive thirst, making it unbearable, or full of hardship. But in the latter case, that is, of hardship, he should give one mudd of food to poor, for every fast. At the same time, as a recommended precaution, such a person may not drink water in a quantity more than essential. If he recovers later, enabling him to fast, then as a recommended precaution, he should give qadha for the fast.

Issue 1737: * Fasting is not obligatory on a woman in advanced stage of pregnancy, for whom fasting is harmful or for the child she carries. For every day, however, she should give one mudd of food to poor. In both the cases, she has to give qadha for the fasts which are left out.

Issue 1738: * If a woman is suckling a child, whether she is the mother or a nurse, or suckles it free, and the quantity of her milk is small, and if fasting is harmful to her or to the child, it will not be obligatory on her to fast. And she should give one mudd of food per day to poor. In both the cases, she will later give qadha for the fasts left out. But this rule is specifically applicable in a circumstance where this is the only way of feeding milk to the child – (as an obligatory precaution). But if there is an alternative, like, when more than one woman offer to suckle the child, then establishing this rule is a matter of Ishkal.

Method of Ascertaining the First Day of a Month

Issue 1739: * The 1st day of a month is established in the following four ways:

(i) If a person himself sights the moon.

(ii) If a number of persons confirm to have sighted the moon and their words assure or satisfy a person. Similarly, every other thing which assures or satisfies him about moon having being sighted.

(iii) If two just (Adil) persons say that they have sighted the moon at night. The first day of the month will not be established if they differ about the details of the new moon. This difference can be either explicit or even implied. For example, when a group of people goes out in search of a new moon and none but two Adils claim to have seen the new moon, though, among those who did not see, there were other Adils equally capable and knowledgeable, then the testimony by the first two Adils will not prove the advent of a new month.

(iv) If 30 days pass from the first of Sha’ban , the 1st of Ramadhan will be established, and if 30 days pass from the 1st of Ramadhan the 1st of Shawwal will be established.

Issue 1740: The 1st day of any month will not be proved by the verdict of a Mujtahed and it is better to observe precaution.

Issue 1741: The first day of a month will not be proved by the prediction made by the astronomers. However, if a person derives full satisfaction and certitude from their findings, he should act accordingly.

Issue 1742: * If the moon is high up in the sky, or sets late, it is not an indication that the previous night was the first night of the month. Similarly, if there is a halo round it, it is not a proof that the new moon appeared in the previous night.

Issue 1743: If the first day of the month of Ramadhan is not proved for a person and he does not observe fast, and if it is proved later that the preceding night was infact the night of Ramadhan, he should observe qadha of that day.

Issue 1744: * If the first day of a month is proved in a city, it is also proved in other cities if they are united in their horizon. And the meaning of having a common horizon in this matter is that if new moon was sighted in a city, there would be a distinct possibility of sighting it in the other cities, if there were no impediments, like, the clouds etc.

Issue 1745: The first day of a month is not proved by a telegram except when one is sure that the telegram is based on the testimony of two Adils, or on a source which is reliable in the eyes of Shariah.

Issue 1746: If a person does not know whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first of Shawwal, he should observe fast on that day, and if he comes to know during the day that it is the first of Shawwal, he should break the fast.

Issue 1747: * If a prisoner cannot ascertain the advent of Ramadhan, he should act on probability and he should act on a probability which in his estimation is stronger. But if even that is not possible, he may consider a month which he strongly feels to be Ramadhan and fast; however, he should keep that month in view so that if it later transpires that he kept fasts before Ramadhan, he will give the qadha. And if it transpired that it was Ramadhan or after it, he does not have any liability of qadha.

Haraam and Makrooh Fasts

Issue 1748: It is haraam to fast on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. It is also haraam to fast with the Niyyat of first fast of Ramadhan on a day about which he is not sure whether it is the last day of Sha’ban or the first of Ramadhan.

Issue 1749: It is haraam for a wife to keep a Mustahab fast if by so doing she would not be able to attend to her duties to her husband. And the obligatory precaution is that even if she can attend to her duties towards her husband, she should not observe a Mustahab fast without his permission.

Issue 1750: * It is haraam for the children to observe a Mustahab fast if it causes emotional suffering to their parents.

Issue 1751: * If a son observes a Mustahab fast without the permission of his father, and his father prohibits him from it during the day time, the son should break the fast if his disobedience would hurt the feeling of his father.

Issue 1752: * If a person knows that fasting is not harmful to him, he should fast even if his doctor advises that it is harmful. And if a person is certain or has a feeling that fasting is harmful to him, he should not fast even if the doctor advises for it, and if he fasts in these circumstances, his fast will not be valid if it turns out that the fast was actually harmful, or if it was not kept with the Niiyyat of Qurbat.

Issue 1753: * If a person has a strong feeling that it is harmful for him to fast, and owing to that feeling, fear is created in his mind, and if that feeling is commonly acceptable, he should not observe fast, and if he does, it will not be valid in the way described in the foregoing rule.

Issue 1754: If a person who believes that fasting is not harmful to him, observes fast and realises after Maghrib that it was considerably harmful to him, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give the qadha of that day.

Issue 1755: Besides the fasts mentioned herein, there are other haraam fasts also, the details of which are found in relevant books.

Issue 1756: It is Makrooh to fast on ‘Ashura (10th of Muharram). It is also Makrooh to fast on the day about which one is not sure whether it is the day of ‘Arafa or Eid-ul-Azha.

Mustahab Fasts

Issue 1757:* Fasting is Mustahab on every day of a year except those on which it is haraam or Makrooh to observe a fast. Some of them which have been strongly recommended, are mentioned here:

(i) The first and last Thursday of every month and the first Wednesday after the 10th of a month. If a person does not observe these fasts it is Mustahab that he gives their qadha. And if he is incapable of fasting, it is Mustahab for him to give one mudd of food or prescribed coined silver to poor.

(ii) 13th, 14th and 15th day of every month.

(iii) On all days of Rajab and Shaban or on as many days as it is possible to fast, even though it may be one day only.

(iv) The day of Eid Nawroz.

(v) From the 4th up to the 9th of the month of Shawwal.

(vi) The 25th and 29th day of the month of Zi qa’da.

(vii) From the 1st day to the 9th day (i.e. ‘Arafa day) of the month of Zil hajj. But if, it is not possible for one to recite the Duas of ‘Arafa due to weakness caused by fasting, it is Makrooh to fast on that day.

(viii) The auspicious day of Ghadir (18th Zil hajj).

(ix) The auspicious day of Mubahala (24th Zil hajj).

(x) The 1st, 3rd and 7th day of Muharram.

(xi) The birthday of the Holy Prophet (17th Rabi’ul awwal).

(xii) 15th day of Jumadi’ul oola.

Fasting is also recommended on 27th of Rajab – the day the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared his Prophethood.

If a person observes a Mustahab fast, it is not obligatory on him to complete it. In fact, if one of his brethren-in-faith invites him to a meal, it is Mustahab that he accepts the invitation and breaks the fast during the day time even if it may be after Zuhr.

Mustahab Precautions

Issue 1758: It is Mustahab for the following persons that even if they may not be fasting, they should refrain from those acts in the month of Ramadhan which invalidate a fast:

(i) A traveller who has committed an act during his journey which makes a fast void and reaches his hometown before Zuhr, or the place where he intends to stay for ten days.

(ii) A traveller who reaches home after Zuhr or at a place where he intends to stay for ten days. The same rule applies if he reaches such places before Zuhr and if he has already broken his fast while journeying.

(iii) A patient who recovers after Zuhr or even if he recovers before noon, though he may have committed acts which invalidate fast. And if he has not committed any such act, then his obligation has been explained in rule no. 1576.

(iv) A woman who becomes Clean (tahir/pak) from Haidh or Nifas during day time.

Issue 1759: It is Mustahab that a person breaks his fast after offering Maghrib and Isha prayers. However, if he feels terribly inclined to eat, so much that he cannot concentrate on the prayers, or if someone is waiting for him, it is better that he should break his fast first and offer the prayers later. However, as far as possible, he should try to offer the prayers during the prime time (Fadheelat).

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