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Who Are the Ones That Are Allowed To Break Their Fast?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

  • 1) The traveller and the temporarily sick person. It is allowed for them NOT to fast but they can if they want to. They later on have to make up on the days they missed by fasting the exact number of days.

Note that the traveler’s journey should be lengthy, or else be known as travelling. The traveler should also go beyond the city and its suburbs. A person who is still in the city is “settled” and “present”.

Whoever is determined to travel in Ramadaan should not have the intention of breaking his fast until he is actually travelling, because something may happen to prevent him from setting out on his journey.

The traveler should not break his fast until he has passed beyond the inhabited houses of his town; once he has passed the city limits, he may break his fast. Similarly, if he is flying, once the plane has taken off and has gone beyond the city limits, he may break his fast.

If the sun sets and he breaks his fast on the ground, then the plane takes off and he sees the sun, he does not have to stop eating, because he has already completed his day’s fasting.

If the plane takes off before sunset and he wants to complete that day’s fasting during the journey, he should not break his fast until the sun has set from wherever he is in the air.

The pilot is not permitted to bring the plane down to an altitude from which the sun cannot be seen just for the purposes of breaking the fast, because this would just be a kind of trickery, but if he brings the plane down lower for a genuine reason, and the disk of the sun disappears as a result, then he may break his fast.

Whoever travels to a place and intends to stay there for more than four days must fast.

If a traveler passes through a city other than his own, he does not have to fast, unless his stay there is longer than four days, in which case he must fast.

A person who habitually travels is permitted not to fast if he has a home to which he returns, such as a courier who travels to serve the interests of the Muslims (and also taxi drivers, pilots and airline employees, even if their travel is daily – but they have to make up the fasts later).

The same applies to sailors who have a home on land; but if a sailor has his wife and all he needs with him on the ship, and is constantly travelling, then he is not allowed to break his fast or shorten his prayers.

If nomadic Bedouins are travelling from their winter home to their summer home, or vice versa, they are allowed to break their fast and shorten their prayers, but once they have settled in either their summer home or their winter home, they should not break their fast or shorten their prayers, even if they are following their flocks.

If a traveler arrives during the day (to be on the safe side) he should stop eating and drinking, out of respect for the month, but he has to make the day up later, whether or not he stops eating and drinking after his arrival.

If he starts Ramadaan in one city, then travels to another city where the people started fasting before him or after him, then he should follow the ruling governing the people to whom he has travelled, so he should only end Ramadaan when they end Ramadaan, even if it means that he is fasting for more than thirty days,

The Prophet (saws) said: “Fast when everyone is fasting, and break your fast when everyone is breaking their fast.”

Note that the sickness must be a proper sickness that maybe harmed or prolonged due to fasting (not some minor headache!). If it is something like a fever you are allowed to fast or break the fast.

If a person feels extreme hunger or thirst, and fears that he may die or that some of his faculties may be irreparably damaged, and has rational grounds for believing this to be so, he may break his fast and make up for it later on, because saving one’s life is obligatory but it is not permissible to break one’s fast because of bearable hardship or because one feels tired or is afraid of some imagined illness.

The sick person who hopes to recover should wait until he gets better, then make up for the fasts he has missed; he is not allowed just to feed the poor.

If a person is sick, then recovers, and is able to make up the missed fasts but does not do so before he dies, then money should be taken from his estate to feed a poor person for every day that he missed. If any of his relatives want to fast on his behalf, then this is OK.

People who work in physically demanding jobs are not permitted to break their fast, and they must have the intention at night of fasting the following day. If they cannot stop working and they are afraid that some harm may befall them during the day, or they face some extreme hardship that causes them to break their fast, then they should eat only what is enough to help them bear the hardship, then they should refrain from eating until sunset, and they have to make the fast up later.

Workers in physically demanding jobs, such as working with furnaces and smelting metals, should try to change their hours so that they work at night, or take their holidays during Ramadaan, or even take unpaid leave, but if this is not possible, then they should look for another job, where they can combine their religious and worldly duties.

Students’ exams are no excuse for breaking ones fast during Ramadaan, and it is not permissible to obey one’s parents in breaking the fast because of having exams, because there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to the Creator.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).

أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
For a certain number of days; but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man; so whoever does good spontaneously it is better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know.
[Al Qur’an – Surah Al Baqarah (002:183-184)]

  • 2) For the menstruating women (Haidh) and the women in her Nifaas (postnatal bleeding) it is HARAM for them to fast. They should make up for the missed days by fasting the exact number of days, when they are capable and after their period or when the bleeding has stopped (note the menstruating women do not have to make up for prayers they missed).

If a woman’s haidh began (after fasting the whole day) just before Maghrib, then her fasting is NOT valid and she should make up for the whole day again.

If a woman’s haidh started after Fajr when fasting she should break her fast as it will not be valid.

If a woman’s haidh stopped just before Fajr but she did not perform ghusl and started fasting, then her fasting for that day is valid.

  • 3) Old people or the ones with permanent sickness (i.e. people with diabetes who will have extreme difficulty without their insulin and may result in seizure etc.) do not have to fast. These people have to make up for their missed days by feeding a poor person for the exact number of days missed. If the person is however at that time able to fast then it is better for them to fast instead.

The very elderly who have lost their strength and are getting weaker every day as death approaches, do not have to fast, and they are allowed not to fast so long as fasting would be too difficult for them.

Those who have become senile and confused do not have to fast or do anything else, and their family does not have to do anything on their behalf, because such people are no longer counted as responsible.

If they are of sound mind sometimes and confused at other times, they have to fast when they are OK and they do not have to fast when they are confused.

Note that the ones that are permanently sick do not have to have the intention during the night to fast the following day, even if there is a possibility that he may be well in the morning, because what counts is the present moment.

If a person falls unconscious during the day and recovers before Maghrib or after, his fast is still valid, so long as he was fasting in the morning.

If he is unconscious from Fajr until Maghrib, then according to the majority of scholars his fast is not valid.

According to the majority of scholars, it is obligatory for a person who falls unconscious to make up his fasts later on, no matter how long he was unconscious.

A person who falls unconscious or takes sleeping pills or receives a general anesthetic for a genuine reason, and becomes unconscious for three days or less, must make up the fasts later on, because he is regarded as being like one who sleeps.

If he is unconscious for more than three days, he does not have to make up the fasts, because he is regarded as being like one who is insane.

The person who is suffering from a chronic illness and has no hope of recovery and elderly people who are unable to fast should feed a poor person with half a saa’ of the staple food of his country for every day that he has missed. (Half a saa’ is roughly equivalent to one and a half kilograms of rice). It is permissible for him to do this all at once, on one day at the end of the month, or to feed one poor person every day. He has to do this by giving actual food, because of the wording of the Ayah – he cannot do it by giving money to the poor but he can give money to a trustworthy person or charitable organization to buy food and distribute it to the poor on his behalf.

If a person is waiting to recover from his illness and hopes to get better, but then dies, there is no “debt” owed by him or his heirs.

If a person’s sickness is considered to be chronic, so he does not fast and feeds the poor instead, then advances in medical science mean that there is now a cure, which he uses and gets better; he does not have to make up the fasts he has missed, because he did what he had to do at the time.

  • 4) Regarding pregnant and breast-feeding women, the scholars agree that if fasting is going to harm the mother or the baby then she is allowed to break her fast.

There is a difference of opinion on how that woman is going to make up for the missed days afterwards. Should she expiate by feeding the poor, should she fast or should she do both? There is no Ayah from the Qur’an or anything explicit from the Hadith to give a ruling regarding the fasting of pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Scholars made Qiyas (analogy) regarding this.

Some scholars say since breast-feeding or pregnancy is temporary and there is a ruling for someone unable to fast due to sickness that is temporary, then pregnancy and breast-feeding can be considered a form of temporary sickness (this is not an insult, it is just for the sake of deriving a ruling). So the women have to make up their fast afterwards.

Other scholars said that since the pregnancy and the need for breast-feeding is out of their own control (like the permanent sickness) so therefore the women have to pay for their missed days by feeding the poor rather than making up by fasting.
It makes more sense if the pregnant and breast-feeding women are given the ruling of the temporarily sick person that they have to make up for their fasting of the missed days when they are capable. Allah (swt) knows best.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has lifted the obligation of fasting and part of the prayer from the traveller, and He has lifted the obligation of fasting from the pregnant and breastfeeding woman.”
[At Tirmidhi]

If a pregnant woman fasts and experiences some bleeding, her fast is still valid; this does not affect her fast at all.

  • 5) For those who are fighting an enemy or are being besieged by an enemy, if fasting would make them too weak to fight, they are allowed to break the fast, even if they are not travelling.

If they need to break their fast before fighting, they can break their fast.

The Prophet (saws) said to his Companions (r) once, before fighting: “In the morning you are going to meet your enemy and not fasting will make you stronger, so do not fast.”
[Sahih Muslim]

This is also the preferred opinion of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. The scholars of Damascus also issued fataawas to the same effect when their city was attacked by the Tatars

If a person’s reason for not fasting is obvious, such as illness, there is nothing wrong with him eating or drinking openly, but if the reason is hidden, such as menstruation, it is better to eat and drink in secret, so as not to attract accusations and the like.


Written by al Muddaththir

June 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm

What Is the Penalty of the One Who Breaks His Fast?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

Anyone who does not fall into any of those four categories and still does not fast or breaks their fast, it is a MAJOR sin (kabeerah) upon them. If he broke the fast with something Haram, such as drinking alcohol, this makes his sin even worse. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The person then must make up for the day(s) missed.

There are three things a person who broke their fast intentionally must do:

1. Firstly, REPENT to Allah (swt) for doing that major sin and do more naafil deeds,
2. Secondly, the person has to make up for the missed/broken fasts.
3. Thirdly, the person has to find out how they broke their fast.

If they ate or drank then it is enough to repent and make up for the fasts missed/broken.

If the person broke the fasting by intercourse he should still fast for the rest of the day, but he has to make up the fast later on, and then there is an added penalty:

i) Free a slave (we cannot do that anymore in our time). If they cannot do so…
ii) Fast TWO months consecutively (non-stop, one after the other) after the day of Eid ul Fitr. So the person must fast the whole month of Shawwal and the whole month of Dhu al Qa’idah. If the person now breaks any of these penalty fasting days intentionally, they have to begin the whole two months again. O Muslim, fear Allah (swt) and do not unleash this penalty upon you.
iii) Now if the person cannot even fast for two consecutive months then in that case the third alternative penalty is to feed SIXTY poor people. You could if you want feed one person for sixty days or thirty people two times etc. Basically you have to pay for SIXTY meals.

A kind word of advice, do not get married in Ramadaan!

Narrated Abu Hurairah (r):
“While we were sitting with the prophet (saws), a man came and said, ‘O Allah’s apostle! I have been ruined.” Allah’s apostle (saws) asked what was the matter with him.
He replied, “I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting.”
Allah’s apostle (saws) asked, “Can you afford to manumit a slave?”
He replied in the negative.
Allah’s apostle (saws) asked him, “Can you fast for two successive months?”
He replied in the negative.
The prophet (saws) asked him, “Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?”
He replied in the negative.
The prophet (saws) kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basked full of dates were brought to the prophet (saws).
He asked, “Where is the questioner?”
He replied, “I (am here).”
The prophet (saws) said (to him),
“Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity.”
The man said, “Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah (swt); there is no family between its (i.e. Medina’s) two mountains who are poorer than I.”
The prophet (saws) smiled till his pre-molar teeth became visible and then said, “Feed your family with it”.

The prophet being silent at one point meant that the burden was off the man’s shoulder until he could feed sixty people.
[Sahih Bukhari]

If a man wants to have intercourse with his wife but he breaks his fast by eating first, his sin is more serious, because he has violated the sanctity of the month on two counts, by eating and by having intercourse. It is even more certain in this case that expiation is obligatory, and if he tries to get out of it, that only makes matters worse. He must repent sincerely.

If a person is engaged in the act of intercourse and dawn comes, he is obliged to withdraw, and his fast will be valid even if he ejaculates after withdrawal, but if he continues having intercourse until after dawn, he has broken his fast, and he must repent, make the fast up later, and offer expiation.

If morning comes and a person is in a state of janaabah (impurity following sexual intercourse), this does not affect his fasting. He or she is permitted to delay doing ghusl, whether it is for janaabah or following menstruation or post-natal bleeding, until dawn has appeared (though well before sunrise), but it is better to hasten to do ghusl so that one can pray.

If someone accidentally/unintentionally drinks (any amount) or eats (any amount) or has intercourse during the days of Ramadaan there is no sin upon them. This is as they had no intention of breaking the fast. If someone is watching you when you are unintentionally breaking your fast then it is an OBLIGATION upon them to remind you that it is Ramadaan!

“If he forgets, and eats and drinks, then let him complete his fast, for Allaah has fed him and given him to drink.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Those who need to break their fast in order to save someone whose life is in danger, may break their fast and should make it up later on. This applies in cases where someone is drowning, or when fires need to be put out.

Written by al Muddaththir

June 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm

What Are the “Muftirat” (Those Things From Which It is Obligatory To Refrain During the Fast, From Dawn To Sunset)?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

1) Change of intentions (“I don’t want to fast anymore”).

It is narrated on the authority of Amirul Mu’minin, Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (r) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) say:
“Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.”
[Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

2) To eat.

3) To drink.

4) To have intercourse.

5) Vomiting intentionally (i.e. by putting finger in mouth) (by consensus of scholars). If the person vomited unintentionally then fast is not broken.

Narrated Abu Hurairah (r):
The prophet (saws) said: If one has a sudden attack of vomiting while one is fasting, no atonement is required of him, but if he vomits intentionally he must make atonement.
[Abu Da’ud]

A person who vomits deliberately, by sticking his finger down his throat or applying pressure to his stomach, or deliberately smelling a repulsive odor, or looking at something that could make him vomit, is obliged to make up the fast later on.

If he feels that he is about to vomit, but then it subsides by itself, this does not break his fast, because it is not something that he can control, but if the vomit comes into his mouth and he swallows it back down, this does break the fast.

If a person feels sick in his stomach, he does not have to suppress the urge to vomit, because this could cause him harm.

6) To cause an ejaculation (of seminal fluid only) with intention (i.e. masturbation or looking at certain things that may cause ejaculation). If ejaculation happens unintentionally then fasting does not break. He must repent to Allah and fast for the rest of the day, but he also has to make up that fast later on.

If a person starts to masturbate but then stops, and does not ejaculate, then he has to repent but he does not have to make the fast up later on, because he did not ejaculate.

7) If anything (i.e. water/food) reaches ones throat (with intention) then the fasting is broken. It is however allowed to taste something (i.e. check for saltiness in cooking) or chew something when fasting as long as it does not go beyond throat. However one is not encouraged to do so. It is also disliked (makrooh) to taste food unnecessarily, because this carries the risk that the fast may be broken.

The Sahaba (r) used to chew the dates when fasting and give them to their infants to eat.

If some dust enters your throat unintentionally (i.e. due to dusty wind) then fasting is not broken. If you enter it intentionally then fasting breaks.

8) Scholars say that intravenous injections (in the veins) break ones fasting (which gives nourishments) and an intramuscular injection (in the muscles) does not break ones fasting. Allah (swt) knows best. To be on the safe side all of these injections should be given after Iftaar and before the ending of suhur.

9) Cupping.

Ibn Taymiyah suggested that the one who has cupping done breaks his fast, but the one who does it does not break his fast.

10) Blood transfusions.

11) Kidney dialysis.

12) Smoking breaks the fast, and it cannot be used as an excuse not to fast. How can a sin be taken as an excuse?!

  • Smoking And Trading Cigarettes:

    What is the Islaamic ruling regarding one who trades in cigarettes which are sold under licence from the cigarette company?

    Smoking is haraam, growing tobacco is haraam, and trading in it is haraam, because of the great harm which it causes. And it was narrated in the hadeeth:

    ((There should be no causing harm nor reciprocating harm)),

    and because it is (regarded as) one of the evil things (al-khabaa.ith).

    Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says, in describing the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):

    {he allows them as lawful at-Tayyibaat [all good and lawful things] and prohibits them as unlawful al-Khabaa.ith [all evil and unlawful things]}, [Soorah al-A’raaf, Aayah 157].

    And Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says (interpretation of the meaning):

    {They ask you what is lawful for them. Say: ‘Lawful unto you are at-Tayyibaat [all good and lawful things]}, [Soorah al-Maa’idah, Aayah 4].

    And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

    The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising –
    Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Abdullaah ibn Baaz;
    Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee;
    Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan;
    Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood
    Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Volume 13, Page 31, Question No.1 of Fatwa No.4947

Written by al Muddaththir

June 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm

What Are The Things That Do Not Break the Fast?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

1. Having the ears syringed; nose drops and nasal sprays – so long as one avoids swallowing anything that reaches the throat.

2. Tablets that are placed under the tongue to treat angina and other conditions – so long as one avoids swallowing anything that reaches the throat.

3. Anything inserted into the vagina, such as pessaries, douches, scopes or fingers for the purpose of a medical examination.

4. Insertion of a scope or intra-uterine device (IUD or “coil”) and the like into the uterus.

5. Insertion into the urethra – for males or females – of a catheter, opaque dye for diagnostic imaging, medication or solutions for cleansing the bladder.

6. Dental fillings, tooth extractions, cleaning of the teeth, use of siwaak or toothbrush – so long as one avoids swallowing anything that reaches the throat.

7. Rinsing, gargling or applying topical mouth sprays – so long as one avoids swallowing anything that reaches the throat.

8. Subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous injections – except for those used to provide nourishment.

9. Oxygen!

10. Anesthetic gases – so long as the patient is not given nourishing solutions.

11. Medications absorbed through the skin, such as creams and patches used to administer medicine and chemicals.

12. Insertion of a catheter into veins for diagnostic imaging or treatment of blood vessels in the heart or other organs.

13. Use of a laparoscope (instrument inserted through a small incision in the abdomen) to examine the abdominal cavity or to perform operations.

14. Taking biopsies or samples from the liver or other organs – so long as this is not accompanied by the administration of solutions.

15. Gastroscopy – so long as this is not accompanied by the administration of solutions or other substances.

16. Introduction of any instrument or medication to the brain or spinal column.

17. According to the most correct view, suppositories, eye-drops, ear-drops, having a tooth extracted and treating wounds do not break the fast

18. Scholars say that if someone has asthma then the asthma sprays are permissible to use as it goes to your lungs and not to your stomach and it is a necessity.

19. Having a blood sample taken does not break the fast and is permissible because it is something that is needed

20. Medicines used by gargling do not break the fast so long as they are not swallowed. If a person has a tooth filled and feels the taste of it in his throat, this does not break his fast.

21. Kissing, hugging, embracing, touching and repeatedly looking at one’s wife or concubine, if a man is able to control himself, is permissible, because it is reported Aisha (r) that the Prophet (saws) used to kiss and embrace his wives whilst he was fasting, but he was the most in control of his desire. However if a person get aroused quickly and is unable to control himself, then it is not permissible for him to kiss or embrace his wife, because that will lead to him breaking his fast, as he cannot be sure that he will be able to avoid ejaculating or having intercourse.

The Islamic guideline is that “anything that leads to Haram is also Haram.

22. If a person who is fasting sleeps and experiences a wet dream, this does not break his fast, according to scholarly consensus (Ijmah), so he should complete his fast. Delaying doing ghusl does not break the fast, but he should hasten to do ghusl so that he can pray and so that the angels will draw close to him.

23. The emission of wadi (a thick white sticky substance that comes out after urination with no sense of physical pleasure, usually due to some sort of an illness), does not break the fast, and a person does not have to do ghusl, but he does have to do istinjaa’ (clean his private parts) and do wudu.

24. If a person unintentionally swallows something that is stuck between his teeth, or if it is so small that he could not tell it was there or spit it out, this is counted as being part of his saliva and it does not break his fast. But if it is big enough to spit out, he should spit it out. If he spits it out, this is OK, but if he swallows it, this breaks his fast. If it can be diluted in the mouth, in whole or in part, and it has an added taste or sweetness, it is Haram for him to chew it.

25. If a person spits out water after rinsing his mouth, his fast is not affected by any moisture or wetness that is left behind, because he cannot help it.

26. If a person suffers from a nosebleed, his fast is still valid, because this is something that is beyond his control.

27. If he has gum ulcers or his gums bleed after using the siwaak (tooth stick), it is not permissible for him to swallow the blood; he has to spit it out. However, if some blood enters his throat by accident, and he did not mean for that to happen, there is no need to worry.

28. With regard to mucus coming from the head (nose and sinuses) and phlegm coming from the chest by coughing and clearing the throat, if it is swallowed before it reaches the mouth, this does not break a person’s fast, because it is a problem which all people have, but if it is swallowed after it reaches the mouth, this does break the fast. However, if it is swallowed unintentionally, it does not break the fast.

29. Inhaling water vapors, as may happen to people working in desalination plants, does not break the fast.

30. Using siwaak is Sunnah for the one who is fasting at all times of the day, even if it is wet. If a person who is fasting uses a siwaak and detects some heat or other taste from it and swallows it, or if he takes the siwaak out of his mouth and sees saliva on it then puts it back in his mouth and swallows the saliva, this does not break his fast.

He should avoid any substance that can be diluted, such as the green siwaak, or siwaak that has any extra flavor added to it, like lemon or mint. He should spit out any small pieces that come off the siwaak in his mouth; he should not swallow them deliberately, but if he swallows them accidentally, there is no harm done.

It is better not to use toothpaste during the day, and to leave it till night-time, because it is too strong.

31. If a fasting person is injured or suffers a nosebleed, or gets water or petrol in his mouth by accident, this does not break his fast. If he gets dust, smoke or flies in his mouth by accident, this does not break his fast either.

Things that one cannot avoid swallowing, like one’s own saliva, or dust from grinding flour, do not break the fast. If a person gathers a lot of saliva in his mouth then swallows it on purpose, this does not break the fast, according to the most correct opinion.

32. If tears reach one’s throat, or if a person applies oil to his hair or moustache, or uses henna, and then detects the taste of it in his throat, this does not break his fast. Using henna, kohl or oil does not break the fast. This also applies to creams used to moisturize and soften the skin.

33. There is nothing wrong with smelling pleasant fragrances, using perfume or applying scented creams and the like. There is nothing wrong with a fasting person using bukhoor (incense), so long as he does not use it as snuff.

34. Immersing oneself in water or wrapping oneself in wet clothes in order to cool down does not break the fast. There is nothing wrong with pouring water over one’s head to obtain relief from heat and thirst.

Swimming is disliked, because it might make one break the fast (by swallowing water). If a person’s work involves diving and he can be sure that he will not get water in his mouth, there is nothing wrong with this.

Written by al Muddaththir

June 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

What Are the Rulings For Fasting of Women?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

A woman who has reached the age of puberty, but is too shy to tell anyone, so she does not fast, has to repent and make up the days she has missed, as well as feeding a poor person for each day, as an act of expiation for delaying her fast, if the following Ramadaan comes and she has not yet made up those days. Her case is like that of a woman who fasts the days of her period out of shyness, and does not make them up later.

If a woman does not know exactly how many days she has missed, she should fast until she is fairly certain that she has made up the days she had missed and not made up from previous Ramadaans, and offer the expiation for delaying for each day. She can do this at the same time as fasting or separately, depending on what she is able to do

A woman should not fast – except during Ramadaan – if her husband is present without his permission, but if he is travelling then it does not matter.

When a menstruating woman sees the white substance – which is discharged by the uterus when the period is finished – by which a woman knows that she has now become tahir (pure), she should have the intention to fast from the night before and should fast.

If she does not have a time when she knows she is tahir, she should insert a piece of cotton or something similar, and if it comes out clean, she should fast, and if she starts to bleed again, she should stop fasting, whether the blood is a flow or just spotting, because it breaks the fast as long as it comes at the time of the period.

If the cessation of bleeding continues until Maghrib, and she has fasted with the intention from the night before, then her fast is valid.

If a woman feels the movement of menstrual blood inside her, but is does not come out until after the sun has set, her fast is valid and she does not have to make the day up later.

If a woman’s period or postnatal bleeding ceases during the night, and she makes the intention to fast, but dawn comes before she is able to do ghusl, according to all the scholars her fast is valid.

If a woman knows that her period will come tomorrow, she should still continue her intention and keep fasting; she should not break her fast until she actually sees the blood.

It is better for a menstruating woman to remain natural and accept what Allah has decreed for her by not taking any medication to prevent her from bleeding. She should be content with what Allah accepts from her of breaking her fast during her period and making those days up later. This is how the Mothers of the Believers and the women of the salaf were.

Moreover, there is medical evidence to prove that many of the things used to prevent bleeding are in fact harmful, and many women have suffered from irregular periods as a result of taking them. However, if a woman does that and takes something to stop the bleeding, then fasts, this is OK.

Istihaadah (non-menstrual vaginal bleeding) does not have any effect on the validity of the fast.

If a pregnant woman miscarries and the fetus is formed or has a discernible outline of any part of the body, such as a head or hand, then her blood is nifaas; if, however, she passes something that looks like a blood clot (alaq) or a chewed piece of meat that has no discernible human features, her bleeding is istihaadah and she has to fast, if she is able, otherwise she can break her fast and make it up later on.

Once she becomes clean after having an operation to clean the womb (D&C), she should fast. The scholars stated that the embryo is considered to start taking shape after 80 days of pregnancy.

If a woman becomes clean from nifaas before forty days, she should fast and do ghusl so that she can pray. If the bleeding resumes within forty days after the birth, she should stop fasting, because this is still nifaas. If the bleeding continues after the fortieth day, she should make the intention to fast and do ghusl (according to the majority of scholars), and any bleeding beyond the fortieth day is considered to be istihaadah (non-menstrual bleeding) – unless it coincides with the usual time of her period, in which case it is haidh (menstrual blood).

If a breastfeeding woman fasts during the day and sees a spot of blood during the night, although she was clean during the day, her fast is still valid.

In the case of a woman who is obliged to fast, if her husband has intercourse with her during the day in Ramadaan with her consent, then the ruling that applies to him also applies to her.

If, however, he forces her to do that, she should do her best to resist him, and she does not have to offer expiation.

Ibn ‘Aqeel (r) said: “In the case of a man who has intercourse with his wife during the day in Ramadaan whilst she is sleeping, she does not have to offer expiation.”

But to be on the safe side, she should make up that fast later on. (Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (r) was of the opinion that this did not invalidate her fast at all).

A woman who knows that her husband cannot control himself should keep away from him and not adorn herself during the day in Ramadaan.

Women have to make up the fasts that they miss during Ramadaan, even without their husbands’ knowledge. It is not a condition for an obligatory fast for a woman to have the permission of her husband.

If a woman starts to observe an obligatory fast, she is not allowed to break it except for a legitimate reason. Her husband is not permitted to order her to break her fast when she is making up a day that she has missed; he is not allowed to have intercourse with her when she is making up a missed fast, and she is not allowed to obey him in that regard.

In the case of voluntary fasts, a woman is not permitted to start a non-obligatory fast when her husband is present without his permission, because of the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (r), according to which the Prophet (saws) said: “No woman should fast when her husband is present except with his permission.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Written by al Muddaththir

June 15, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Suhur And Iftar Scenarios

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

1) If someone eats Sahur hastily presuming that it is time for Suhur (without seeing clock etc.) but then realises the time has actually past Fajr time, then their fast is valid.

2) If someone breaks their fast before sunset hastily and could not see the sunset due to a cloudy sky (and did not have a Ramadaan chart), even then the person’s fast is NOT valid. The person is not sinful but they do have to make up that fast.

A maxim of the Shariah (near translation):
“You presume things as being the same as they are, unless another factor happens to remove that presumption.”

So, applying this to the first scenario, you presume that it is night until you are sure that it is day. So you ate and thought that it was day but it is still night. You continue along with the presumption that it is night. When you wake up in the morning for Suhur, it could be day or it could still be night. The general ruling is that it is still night as it was night just before you woke up; until you can clearly make out that it is day.

Applying the maxim to the second scenario, it is daytime before Maghrib. So you continue along with this idea that it is still day until you can make out that it is night and then you break your fast.

3) If dawn breaks and a person has food or drink in his mouth, the fuqaha’ are agreed that he should spit it out, and his fast is valid. This is like the ruling on one who eats or drinks because he forgets, then remembers he is fasting – if he hastens to spit out the food or drink in his mouth, his fast is still valid.

Written by al Muddaththir

June 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm

The Taraaweeh

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

[Our Group – Click Here]

The Nature of Taraaweeh – Sunnah or Fard?

If a Muslim does not pray Taraaweeh, there is no sin on him for that, whether he has an excuse or not, because it is not obligatory. Rather it is a confirmed Sunnah which the Prophet (saws) did regularly and encouraged the Muslims to do as he said: “Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

However the Muslim should not neglect Taraaweeh prayer. If he cannot pray it with the Imam in the mosque, then he should pray it at home. If he cannot pray eleven raka’ahs then he should pray as much as he can, even if it is only two raka’ahs after which he should pray Witr. And Allah (swt) knows best.

Origins of the Taraaweeh Prayers

The night prayer in Ramadaan has a special consideration different from any other time of the year. Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “Whoever offers optional prayers (like Taraaweeh prayers) throughout the nights of Ramadaan, believing in Allah and seeking His rewards, will have his previous sins forgiven.”

Qi’yam of the nights of Ramadaan includes the early as well as the late night. So, the Taraaweeh is considered from the Qi’yam of Ramadaan so we should perform it. It was called Taraaweeh because the Companions of the prophet and the successors to the Companions used to make a lengthy standing in them and they would take rest after offering every four Raka’ah. This is how these came to be named Taraaweeh (Rest prayer).

The prophet (saws) was the first who made praying the Taraaweeh in congregation Sunnah (recommended), and then he left it fearing that it may become obligatory upon his Ummah. Imams Bukhari and Muslim have reported that Aisha (r) said that the prophet (saws) prayed once in the Masjid in one of the night of Ramadaan. People joined him, and then more people joined him in the next night. Then more people waited for the prophet (saws) in the third and the fourth (night), but the prophet (saws) did not come out to them. In the next morning, the prophet (saws) said: “I have seen what you did, nothing had prevented me from coming out to you except that I feared that it may become obligatory upon you.”

Then, during the rule of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (r), he saw the companions praying in the Masjid individually, or in different congregation so he ordered them to prayer behind one Imam. During his caliphate, in an authentic narration reported by Imam Malik “Umar (r) ordered Ubayy bin K’ab and Tamim Ad-Dari (r) to offer them in congregation. He enjoined them to offer eight Raka’ah Taraaweeh and three Raka’ah Witr. This practice has been going on ever since.”

The Number of Raka’ahs

The scholars have different opinions about the number of Raka’ahs of Taraaweeh prayer along with the Witr. Some said: forty-one Raka’ahs, some said: thirty-nine, some said: twenty-nine, some said: twenty-three, some said: nineteen, some said: thirteen and some said: eleven. The strongest opinions are those who said: eleven according to Imams Bukhari and Muslim that Aisha (r) was asked about the night prayer of the prophet (saws) in Ramadaan, she replied: “He did not pray it more than eleven Raka’ahs.” Also Imam Bukhari reported that Aisha (r) said: “The prophet used to offer thirteen Ruk’at of the night prayer and that included the Witr and two Ruk’at Sunnah of the Fajr prayer.” Also Imam Bukhari reported that Ibn’ Abbas (R.A.) said: “The Salaat (prayer) of the prophet used to be of thirteen Raka’at, i.e. of the night prayer”. Which included the Witr and two Ruk’at Sunnah of the Fajr prayer.

The early Muslims from the used to pray the Taraaweeh prayer. Assae’eb bin Yazeed said: “The Imam used to read hundreds of verses and we used to use the staff to help us stand up from the lengthy standing.” This is contrary to what many Muslim do these days. The people today pray the Taraaweeh with great speed so that the recitation is almost not understood. So we should be really cautious.

The practice of 20 raka’ats was developed by the caliphs Umar ibn al-Khattab (r) and Ali ibn Abu Talib (r). It was not disputed by the salaf and has been the position of the four madhabs since that time. There are those who claim that eight raka’ats is a bid’a or an unknown practice among Muslims. In fact, both are recognized and valid. Muslims can follow one or the other position if they prefer it (for instance, offering eight raka’ahs if they prefer to follow the original practice of the Prophet (saws), or offering 20 if they prefer to follow the rulings of the madhabs). Or they can achieve reward by following what the imam does at the Masjid, whichever it might be.

We should prepare ourselves to pray the Taraaweeh in the Masjid in congregation with the Imam and not to leave until the Imam has finished it and finished the Witr prayer so that we all gain the rewards of praying the whole night. The prophet (saws) said: “Whoever prays with the Imam until he leaves, it is considered as Qi’yam of one night.”

Women and the Taraaweeh

The scholars have a consensus that women are allowed to come to pray the Taraaweeh in the Masjid with men if they are wearing the Hijab, and men should not prevent the women from coming to the Masjid. Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “Do not prevent women from coming to the Masjid.”

It is a must that women should have a designated place in the Masjid in the back of it like it was during the life of the prophet (saws) and that they start with the last row unlike men. Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “The best of the men’s rows [In Salaat (prayer)] is the first row and the worst row is the last; but the best of the women’s row is the last row and the worst of their rows is the first.”

For those women who come to the Masjid for the congregation prayer, they should leave the Masjid as soon as the Imam makes Tasleem, or they should have special doors for them to leave the Masjid from so that they would not mingle with men. Imam Bukhari reported that Umm Salamah (r) said: “When the prophet (saws) used to make Tasleem, the women got up and left while the prophet (saws) remained shortly in his place before he got up. She said: this is (Allah knows best) because the prophet (saws) wanted the women to leave before the men can catch up with them.”

Written by al Muddaththir

June 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm