Fasting is a universal institution. It is one of the five fundamental articles upon which Islam stands. It is a universal institution in as much as all the religions of the world and all the great religious personalities adopted fasting as the principal method of controlling and killing passions. The Celts, the Romans, the Babylonians and the Assyrians practised it. The philosophers, either Cynic, Stoic, Pythagorean or Neoplantonic left advice for fast. The followers of Hinduism, Jainism, Confucius and Zoroaster practised it. The Jews observe an annual fast on the Day of Atonement in commemoration of the descent of Moses from Sinai. The Prophet Moses qualified himself to receive revelation from God after forty days of fasting. Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert and commanded his followers to fast (Matthew 4:16). Therefore, the institution of fasting is universal and existed in some form or other until it fell into disuse owing to want of method, regularity and time. That there was fasting previously is supported by the following verse:
Fasting gained perfection in Islam. The injunction about fasting was revealed in 2AH in Islam. It gave the institution of fasting a finishing touch and introduced therein method, regularity, and meaning which go together to make it perfect and ever-living. Fasting will not die a natural death in Islam. Like prayer, the institution of fasting is kept alive as it is observed every year in the world of Islam and forms the regulating principle of their lives. Fasting was previously resorted to as a sign of grief of mourning or for commemoration of a great event. The underlying idea was to propitiate an angry god. Islam abolished this pantheistic idea and introduced a highly developed significance.
In other words the chief objective of fasting is to generate power in man which can control unruly passion just as a beast is brought under control by keeping it occasionally hungry and then by giving it food. The same principle has been expressed by the following tradition of The Holy Prophet :
Thus fasting has been introduced as it kills the animal propensities in a man. Secondly, in Islamic fasting, there is nothing to be eaten or drunk from the early dawn till the setting of the sun. If anything, say even water is taken, it produces no appreciable effect on the mind as a result of hunger. It is then a misnomer of fasting. Thirdly, in order to put an effective check on passion, even intercourse with one’s wife in the hours of fasting has been prohibited. In other religions, this has not been so prohibited and therefore there has been no effective check on passions. Fourthly, fasting is methodical in Islam as in every Month of Ramadhaan, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate, all have to fast with the same spirit of common fatherhood of God and universal brotherhood of man; while in other religions, it is not so. Islam has not forgotten to reserve provisions for optional fasting at the choice of every Muslim. It has therefore kept the door of voluntary fasting open to all. Because of the want of any provision for compulsion, fasting in other religions is practically dead. Islam saved this institution by making it obligatory. This seasonal fasting is natural as the world also undergoes such a fasting in particular season of the year. From Falgun to Baisakh in India, the earth is dried up by God, but He gives it food after that period. Thus, the drying up of the body is also required for some particular time of the year. For these reasons, fasting has reached perfection in Islam.
(ii) It makes the soul shining. Fasting invigorates the soul and enlivens it from its lethargic state, while excessive eating makes it blind and dark just as excessive water destroys crops. Excessive eating makes a man dull and stupid and deprives a man from the power of thinking, a hungry belly is, however, a fountain of wisdom. This has been the experience of many pious divines.
(iii) Fasting gives taste in prayer. By the practice of fasting, taste in prayer is enjoyed. A full belly can never taste sweetness of prayers and invocations. His prayer ends only in tongue and does not enter the heart, which is full with food.
(iv) Fasting removes false sense of prestige. It removes pride because a hungry man finds himself weak and naturally turns towards One who is strong. Hunger thus makes a man modest and turns the mind towards the Almighty for help.
(v) It saves time and trouble. Fasting reduces the period of sleep and thus a great deal of time is saved for work. Excessive eating keeps a man engaged very often in taking food and responding to the frequent calls of nature while this time can be saved by fasting.
(vi) Fasting saves money. Fasting saves expenditures and thus helps economy. This is no less useful to a worldly man having small means.
(vii) It greatly contributes to the preservation of health. Health improves a great deal by fasting. The great American physician Dr. Dewey said: "Take the food away from a sick man’s stomach, and then you have begun to starve not the sick man but the disease. The digestive organs are given some rest, later to work with redoubled energy and vigour. Just as a land, which was left without cultivation for one year, brings abundant crops in the year following, or just as a man can work with redoubled vigour after some rest. Spiritual progress depends on a healthy mind, which again depends on a healthy body. Therefore the value of fasting for preservation of health is very great.
(viii) Fasting teaches democracy. It teaches democracy, which is not even witnessed in prayer. A king may pray with a beggar in the mosque but at home he may lead quite a different life by taking foods at pleasure and having sexual relations with women. Fasting, however, places all men, rich and poor, on the same pitiful plight of hunger, and does not allow anybody to take food and drink or to have sexual relations in daytime.
It is related by Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallahu anhu that the Apostle of God sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: "The reward on every virtuous deed is increased from ten to seven hundred times (i.e., the general principle of Divine recompense on all the good deeds of the Muslims be ten times as compared to earlier communities, and, bondsmen will receive seven hundred times of reward on their virtuous acts), but the standing command of God (about fasting) is that "… the fast is an exception. It is a special gift of the bondsman for Me and I shall reward him directly for it (as I please). The bondsman forgoes food and drink solely for My sake. (I shall, therefore, recompense him for the sacrifice according to My pleasure)."
"There are two moments of special joy for the man who fasts. One is when he breaks the fast, and this he experiences in his earthly existence, and the other will be in the Hereafter when he will be presented before the Lord; and I swear that the bad odour emanating from the mouth of a person who is fasting (which is generally due to an empty stomach) is more pleasant in the judgement of God than the sweet smell of musk; and fast is a shield (for protection in this world against the assaults of the Devil, and, in the Hereafter, against the Fire of Hell; and when anyone of you keeps a fast, he must not utter a filthy or indecent word nor engage in a noisy scene, and were anyone to quarrel with him names he should simply say, ‘I am keeping fast’."
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Abu Umama radiallahu anhu narrates that "(once) I said to the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam, ‘Please command me to perform an act from which God may give me profit?’ ‘Keep fast,’ replied the Prophet. ‘There is nothing like it’."
Commentary: Though it is common to all virtuous deeds like regular worship, fasting, charity, Haj and service to mankind that these are the means to the propitiation to God, they also possess some individual properties which distinguish them from each other. On the basis of it, it can be said about each of them that it is incomparable; no deed is like it. For instance, where the disciplining of the self is concerned it can be said that in respect of it nothing can equal fasting. Thus, the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam’s remark about fasting that no deed is like it, perhaps shows that in Abu Umama radiallahu anhu’s own circumstances, fasting was most beneficial.
(ix) Fasting teaches sympathy for the hungry. Fasting is the only thing which gives a sense of pangs of a hungry man in the mind of the rich. Thus this sense enkindles a spirit of kindness to the poor and the distressed. It also gives rise to the thought of how the people will fare on the resurrection day when they will feel the greatest urge of hunger and thirst.
(x) Fasting teaches mortal discipline. Fasting is a training ground for the lesson that man, whatever is his rank and position, is prepared to suffer the greatest privation and the hardest trial. This lesson is learnt from day to day. This practice really contributes to the moral development of man. Fasting accustoms a man to face the hardships of life and increases his power of resistance.
(xi) Fasting keeps faith in God a living force. A fasting man can easily satisfy himself by taking food or drink in the inner recesses of his house. There is none to see him if he pours down some drops of water to his thirsty throat but he feels that Allah is near him and so he restrains himself. Thus the existence of Allah is felt closer. This is not for once or twice but regularly for a whole month. In this way, faith in God is kept alive and a new consciousness of a higher life is awakened. For this, the Quran says:
There are many traditions relating to the virtues and merits which a man gets from God by fasting the month of Ramadhaan. In this month, the doors of mercy, forgiveness and kindness are specially opened and the doors of punishments are closed. Therefore, whosoever wishes to have these blessings will at once take up to fasting at the advent of this month. It is stated in the Hadith that Allah Ta'ala says:
"It is for Me and I shall certainly compensate it." The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam also stated, "The fragrance of the mouth of a fasting man is more pleasant to Allah than the smell of musk".
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallahu anhu reported that the Apostle of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: "When Ramadhaan comes, the doors of heaven are opened. (In another narration: The doors of paradise are opened), and the doors of hell are shut up and the devils are put under chains. (And in another narration: The doors of mercy are opened)".
(Bukhari & Muslim)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallahu anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: "Whosoever fasts in Ramadhaan out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven; and whosoever stands up (in prayer) in Ramadhaan out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven and whosoever stands up (in prayer) at the Blessed Night out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.
(Bukhari & Muslim)
It is related on the authority of Sahl bin Sa'd radiallahu anhu that the Apostle of God said sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: "There is a special Gate of Paradise, which is known as Rayyan (and) only those who observe fasting will be allowed to enter through it on the Day of Resurrection. On that day, it will be called aloud, ‘Where are the bondsmen who used to fast for the sake of God and endure the pangs of hunger and thirst?' Such of the bondsmen will respond to the call and save them, no one will be permitted to enter by this gate. When they have entered paradise through this gate, it will be shut, (and), after it, no one will be able to enter by it."
Commentary: Thirst is the most severe hardship one has to bear during a fast and the greatest sacrifice a man who is fasting makes is that he remains thirsty. Complete satisfaction from thirst should as such form the most prominent part of the reward on fasting. Hence, the distinguishing quality of the gate has been set apart for the entry of those who fast is satiety. Rayyan, literally, means satiation.
It is related on the authority of Abdullah bin ‘Amr radiallahu anhu that the Apostle of God sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: "The fast and the Quran will both plead on behalf of the bondsman (who will keep fast in the day and recite or listen attentively to the recital of the Quran in the night, standing in the presence of the Lord). The fast will say: ‘My lord! I had held him back from food, drink and sexual satisfaction. Accept my intercession for him today (and treat him with mercy and forgiveness)’. And the Quran will say: ‘I had held him back from taking rest and sleeping in the night. O God! Accept my intercession for him today (and treat him with mercy and forgiveness)’. The intercession of both, the fast and the Quran will be accepted for the bondsman and he will be treated with exceptional kindness."
In all the principal ordinances of Islam there are two sides, compulsory and optional. Here we discuss compulsory fast. Farz or compulsory fast happens only in the month of Ramadhaan. It commences with the new moon of Ramadhaan and ends with appearance of the new moon of Shawwal. The Quran says concerning this compulsory fast:
"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil, for a fixed number of days, but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then a like number of other days; and those who are able to do it may redeem it by feeding a poor man. So whosoever does good spontaneously, it is good for him; and that fast is better for you if you know. The month of Ramadhaan was that in which the Quran was revealed… therefore whosoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein"
(2:183 to 185 Quran)
"Eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till night"
The Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadhaan and therefore it is fitting that this month should be observed for spiritual training.
Exceptions: In case of inability to fast, there is no compulsion. Those who are ill, or in journey, or those women who are in the course of menstrual discharge, or pregnant or have suckling children at breast have been exempted from fasting the Ramadhaan but they are required to keep fast for the equal number of other days.
The following fasts have been enjoined as expiation for breach of Divine commandments:
1. Two months successive fasting in case a Muslim killed a Muslim by mistake and the killer has not the means to free a slave (4:92 Quran)
2. Two months successive fasting when the husband puts away the wife by saying: Thou art to me as the back of my mother (58:14 Quran)
3. Three days fasting as an expiation for breach of an oath (5:89 Quran)
4. Fasting if a Muhrim kills a game (5:95 Quran)
5. Two months fasting for breach of one fast of Ramadhaan without lawful excuse.
Fasting has also been recommended for breach of certain minor duties as compensation.
1) In default of charity or sacrifice of an animal, a Muhrim is required to fast for 3 days for breach of certain duties. (2:196 Quran)
2) If one breaks the Ihram before Haj though he observed Ihram by combining Umrah and Haj together, he is required to fast for three days during pilgrimage and seven days after the pilgrimage (2:196 Quran)
3) In case of breach of a vow, there is a fast.
The above fasts assume a binding character on the occurrence of certain circumstances and in default of certain expiation.
He, who does not keep fast without lawful excuse, must fast an equal number of other days in the year. Such is the case with a traveller, a sick man and a menstruating, pregnant or suckling woman. In case of intentional breaking of fast in Ramadhaan without any lawful excuse, the fast of its one-day is to be compensated by a fast of sixty consecutive days.
Besides the compulsory fast in Ramadhaan, every Muslim is allowed to keep voluntary fasts on any day he likes besides the Eid days and the three days of Tashreeq (11th, 12th and 13th of Zil-Hijjah) provided his health and constitution allow him, and in case of husband and wife with mutual consent. These fasts should not be continuos without any break or always on fixed days. Friday should not be specially chosen for optional fast. Generally three days fast in a month has been recommended by the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam; and according to him, the best optional fast is on every alternate day. David alaihissalaam used to keep such sort of fast. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam used to pray: "O Allah, keep me hungry for one day so that I may seek help from Thee and give me food on the following day, so that I may be thankful to Thee." The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam used to keep optional fasts on the following days:
(ii) Ayyame-Biz i.e. on the 13th, 14th or 15th of every lunar month
(iii) First six days of Shawwal
(iv) On the 13th to 15th of Shabaan
(v) 25th and 26th of Rajab (for Mi‘raj)
(vi) Monday and Thursday or…
(vii) …Thursday and Friday
Ayesha reported: The Messenger of Allah used to keep fast so much so that we could say he will never break fast and he used to break it so much so that we would say he will never keep fast; and I did never see the Messenger of Allah completing the fast of one month except Ramadhaan, and I did not see him to keep more fast in any month then in Shabaan. In a narration, she said: He used to fast the entire Shabaan, and he used to fast the Shabaan but a little.
(Bukhari & Muslim)It is necessary and important for those people on whom fasting have become compulsory to know the rules and procedures of fasting. He or she should have the knowledge on what breaks the fast and what does not, what are the exceptions and what are the necessities. Here are few basic rules of fasting: -
Rules of Fasting
The fast begins from the appearance of the white colour in the eastern horizon before the early dawn till the setting of the sun. In other words, it is about and hour and a half before the sun rise and extend up to sunset. Before the beginning of fast, some light food or tiffin generally known as sehri should be taken as there is blessing in it and as it enables a man to cope with the hardship of fast to some extent. There should be a gap of at least the time required for reading fifty short verses of the Quran between sehri and the earliest time of Fajr prayer. In the beginning of Islam, there was Azaan for Sehri but it now fell into disuse. The duties of a Muslim is, however, to wake up others for Sehri. Then the Niyyat should be taken for fast. It runs thus: -
"I resolve to keep fast tomorrow in the month of blessed Ramadhaan, a binding duty for Thee: O Allah, accept from me, verily Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing."
Then immediately after the setting of the sun, the fast should be broken. This is generally known as Iftar. The sooner the iftar is taken the better for rewards. Fast should be broken generally with water and dates with the following invocation:
"O Allah! I have fasted for Thee, and I have relied on Thy provision and I have broken Fast by Thy mercy, O Merciful."
There are six duties in fast known as sunnats.
i. To partake of Sehri or pre-dawn tiffin
ii. To break fast immediately after sunset
iii. To read Tarawih prayer at night
iv. To feed the poor and hungry
v. To increase the Quran reading
vi. To observe I’tikaf within the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadhaan
Things which break the Fast
The following duties are Farz in fasts and breaching any one of them shall make the fast null and void.
i. If some one sees the moon, or anybody reliable as a witness attests that he has seen the moon, it becomes compulsory on the former to keep fasts.
ii. Niyyat of fast is Farz. Every night after Sehri, niyyat must be made in the heart or uttered by the tongue for the following days fast. According to some Imaams, the time extends up to mid-day.
iii. Anything wilfully introduced up to the body from outside, makes the fast void; but if it introduced out of forgetfulness or if anything goes up to the body as a result of involuntary action, fasting will not be void. Therefore smoking, vomiting, taking of medicine and acts of similar nature make the fast void. However, if one takes in some food out of forgetfulness, or vomits a little quantity involuntarily or somehow allows water to get in without any intention, he will not injure fast. Cleansing the mouth or teeth by gurgling or sipping water into the nostrils does not break the fast.
iv. Sexual intercourse during the hours of fasting is prohibited. If resumed, it will make the fast void, but there is no prohibition at night. Kissing or embracing is however allowed. Masturbation or taking out semen also renders the fast void.
v. In many cases, the Prophet held that one who does not resist from false talk and false action is not required to keep fast. Once he advised two men to break fast because they rendered it void by backbiting. He also said, 'Fasting is meaningless, if one speaks falsehood and is engaged in bad actions.' The jurist did not take it as one of the rules which break fast because it is difficult to judge a man by inward actions. The prophet therefore made the charity of Fitr compulsory as a protection from vile discourse and vain talks.
In a case where a fast is rendered void, one is required to compensate it by fasting 60 consecutive days or in case of inability, to feed sixty poor men.
Not including the few basic rules mentioned above there are many other issues and questions faced by a Muslim during fasting. Here are a few questions with the answers, which may occur in the daily life of a Muslim, whilst his fasting: -
Questions: The times for intention of fast are still technical (religious) midday. It has been mentioned in some books that intention can be done until 1 1/2 hours before midday and in other books it has been mentioned that one hour before midday. Which of these is correct? What times is the technical (religious) midday?
Answer: The time between dawn and sunset, the halfway point of that is called technical (religious) midday. The time difference between the technical (religious) midday and the well formal Known midday is half of the difference between dawn and sunrise. For example the time difference between dawn and sunrise is 1/2 hours then the technical (religious) midday will be 3/4 hours before the well formal known midday. The amount of difference of this time changes with the season and place. For this reason no exact time can be fixed and the intention should be done in accordance with the above-mentioned rule.
Question: Zaid has got intention of going on a journey, is it permissible if he does Sehri but does not have intention of fast?
Answer: The person who is not travelling at the time of dawn cannot give up fast even if he has got firm intention of travelling at daytime.
Question: Does injection break the fast? If fast is impaired is atonement incumbent/ obligatory?
Answer: Fast are broken when substances are entered to the brain or stomach (via the orifice passage). The medicine (through the injection) does not enter the brain or the stomach (via the orifice passage). It enters via the veins and pores therefore fast will not break.
Question: A person becomes seriously ill after keeping fasts, although there was not a threat to life, the doctors gave him medicine. Is it sinful? And is there atonement as well as to make good of the fast?
Answer: If it is likely that the illness will become severe or the time will increase in ill health, if fast is kept then it is permissible to break the fast. Only to make good the fast is compulsory upon him. If medicine can be taken by injection then it is not permissible to break the fast.
Question: In Ramadhaan if by kissing women ejaculation occurs then is there atonement and to make good the fast?
Answer: In this situation there is no atonement, only to make good the fast.
Question: Is it permissible for women to put lipstick during fast?
Answer: It is permissible but if there is a likelihood of it entering the mouth then it is undesirable.
Question: How is it to take out blood by injection during fast? Does it break the fast or make it undesirable?
Answer: To take blood out by injection does not break the fast but if there is a chance that it will create such weakness that he will not be able to keep fast then it is undesirable to do so.
Question: Is it permissible during fast to take out the (molar) teeth and put medicine into the mouth?
Answer: At the time of necessity it is permissible, but without necessity, it is undesirable. If the medicine or blood enters the stomach and is greater than the amount of saliva or equal to it or the taste of the perceived then the fast will be vitiated.
Question: If a woman does not keep fast due to menstruation then is it possible for her to eat during the day?
Answer: If she did not keep the fast due to her menstrual course or the menses started after keeping fast then it is permissible for her to eat and drink but she should not do so in front of others. If her menses stopped during the day then it is compulsory upon her to refrain from eating and drinking the remaining of the day.
Question: Does the fast become vitiated from eye drops from which the taste is felt in the throat and by wearing contact lenses does the fast become vitiated?
Answer: Fast does not vitiate in these circumstances.
Question: If, by keeping fast, life is in danger then is it compulsory or just permissible to break fast?
Answer: If life is in danger because of hunger, thirst or illness then to break the fast is obligatory. If fast is not broken and the person dies he will be sinful.
In a situation where a person is being forced (by someone else) to break fast due to threat to his life, it is not compulsory upon him to break his fast but it is permissible for him to do so. Although it is better not to do so, if he is killed he will be rewarded. However if the person is ill or a traveller at the time of being forced then it is compulsory upon him to break his fast.
Question: In the state of fast if a person discharges minor involuntary seminal due to kissing and fondling his wife is the fast vitiated or is this act undesirable?
Answer: By kissing and fondling minor involuntary seminal is discharged it does not affect the fast; fast is vitiated if sperm is discharged. If there is danger of fast being vitiated then it is not permissible to kiss and fondle in the state of fast. (To do so is disapproved to the point of being forbidden).
Question: In the state of fast if a woman enters a tube in her private part does the fast become vitiated.
Answer: Fast does not become vitiated due to this, but if medicine reaches the inner vagina then the fast will be vitiated. (The inner vagina starts after the end of the rectangular hole where there is a round hole).
Question: Should one make intention for observing the fasts of the holy month of Ramadhaan in the beginning or is it necessary to make intentions separately for each fast?
Answer: It is necessary to make intention for each fast separately: to intend for all the fasts in the beginning of the month will not be sufficient. It is stated in Mala Bud Minho. "According to the three Imaams, it is a condition to intend for each of the thirty fasts of Ramadhaan separately each night: and according to Imaam Malik, intending in the first night is sufficient for the whole of Ramadhaan."
Question: A man asserts that applying Collyrium or medicine to the eyes does not break the fast. But the fact is that one can feel the colour and taste of the Collyrium and the medicine in one’s saliva and mouth and the doctor says that, 'stated that the fast is broken by dropping any medicine or oil to the ears, though there is no passage between the ears and brain; had the passage been there, the medicine or oil having reached the brain would have vitiated the fast.' Kindly answer in detail to this question?
Answer: The fast is vitiated if anything vitiating the fast reaches the cavity of the stomach or brain through an internal wound of the mouth, nose, anus, vagina, stomach and skull.
But the fast is not vitiated by applying any medicine or Collyrium to the eyes because there is no passage to the brain and stomach. The tears that well up come like perspiration from the pores. The colour and taste of the medicine and collyrium applied to the eyes which is felt in the saliva and throat reaches through the ducts and is not a violator of fast like oil rubbed into the scalp which reaches the brain; but medicine and oil dropped into the ears reaches the brain and affects it hence the fast is vitiated.
The reaching of egg-yolk through the ear to the brain for strengthening it is an experimented fact and some reliable persons have told me about it. It is possible that it may be so in allopathy also. It is the experience of a certified Hakim of Lucknow and an old expert Vaidya that medicine dropped in the ear reaches the brain and sometimes the throat. In short, if medicine or oil dropped in the ear reaches the brain directly, or indirectly the stomach, it vitiates the fast.
Question: Please make it clear as to when should the prayer call be given after breaking the fast.
Answer The prayer call should be given after having broken the fast after sunset: there is room for delaying the congregational prayer for five to seven minutes for the sake of breaking the fast.
Question: In our house there is a TB patient who has been under medical treatment for the last six months. Before the treatment began, an X-ray plate indicated disease in the lungs. Another X-ray photograph taken after four months of treatment showed 75% healing. Hakim Fakhr Uddins treatment is continued and he says that the patient should not fast at present. Considering that Ramadhaan will begin after 15 days what will be the religious directive for the patient? This letter has been written in consultation with the Hakim.
Answer: If the hakim saheb does not permit the TB patient to fast lest it does him harm, you should follow his advice. The Hakim saheb himself is a religious scholar and an able physician and hence his opinion is reliable. The patient may make good the missed fasts after recovery.
Question: Sehri was given up when azaan was called but one-two morsels, which were inside the mouth, were swallowed and water was drunk. According to the Shariah is fast valid or is it compulsory to make good the fast? Some people have been seen in the hotels drinking tea and rinsing the mouth whilst the siren is ringing and azaan being given signalling the end of Sehri. What is the juridical verdict upon this?
Answer: If there is a strong presumption that azaan is being given after dawn then fast will not be valid. If the situation is doubtful then to eat and drink at that time is undesirable but the fast will be valid.
Question: Hinda has severe stomach pains during fast, she used medicine for relief. Is it compulsory upon her to resemble a fasting person till sunset or is it mustahab (desirable)?
Answer: It is compulsory upon her to resemble a fasting person.
Question: Does vomit vitiates the fast?
Answer: If the vomit is mouthful and the amount of a chick pea or more has been intentionally swallowed then the fast is vitiated. It is compulsory to make good the fast and there is no atonement. If vomit was done intentionally and it is mouthful then fast will be vitiated even if nothing is swallowed. However, if it was not mouthful then the fast will not be vitiated.
Question: If a person misunderstood the verdict of a vomit for a vitiated one and ate after that then is there atonement or not?
Answer: There is no atonement, it is compulsory upon him to make good the fast only.
Question: At the time of miswaak if the bristles enter the throat and even after trying they don’t come out does the fast become vitiated?
Answer: The particles of food stuck between the teeth, if the amount is less than a chick pea, is swallowed then fast does not be vitiated because of this. The reason being is that it is difficult to refrain from this. It is clear from this that fast will not be vitiated by the bristles of the miswaak entering the throat.
Question: How is it to use toothpaste in the state of fasting?
Answer: It is not permissible to use toothpaste in the state of fasting because it is inevitable that some of the fluid will enter the throat.
Question: In our local masjid incense is burnt on Fridays. This is also done during Ramadhaan. Does this affect our fast?
Answer: Inhaling smoke by one’s own action, e.g. inhaling the smoke of incense, etc. nullifies the fast, However if smoke is inhaled unintentionally, it will not break the fast. The burning of incense in the month of Ramadhaan should be avoided.
Question: Does kissing one’s spouse break the fast?
Answer: Kissing one’s spouse does not break the fast as long as the other does not swallow the saliva of the partner. However, if one cannot control the sexual urge and fears that kissing might result in seminal discharge, then it should be avoided. Wilful ejaculation breaks the fast.
Question: Does having a wet dream break the fast?
Answer: No, having a wet dream does not break the fast.
Question: While doing wudhu if water slips down the throat, is the fast broken?
Answer: If water slips down the throat while performing wudhu the fast is broken, even though it is not deliberate.
Question: Does masturbating break the fast?
Answer: Yes, in addition to this it is an immoral and sinful act. Qadha (making good of the fast) will be incumbent.
Question: What is the verdict of religious scholars regarding a person who is permanently ill, there is no hope of regaining good health. Is this person in the same category as an old person in giving compensation of fast?
Answer: This person will give compensation of fast as same as an old person.
Question: Does fast break if water enters the ear?
Answer: Fast does not break if water enters the ear, but if it is done purposely then the opinion of the scholars differ. The stronger opinion is of that fast does not break and the opinion that fast breaks is there is consensus of opinion that to enter oil or medicine in the ear vitiates the fast.
Question: Does injection break the fast? If fast is vitiated, is atonement obligatory?
Answer: Fast is broken when substances are entered to the brain or stomach (via the orifice passage). The medicine from the injection does not enter the brain or stomach (via the orifice passage), it enters via the veins and pores therefore fast will not break.
Question: If the woman does not keep fast due to menstruation then is it permissible for her to eat during the day?
Answer: If she did not keep the fast due to her menstrual course or the menses started after keeping fast then it is permissible for her to eat and drink but she should not do so in front of others. If her menses stopped during the day then it is compulsory upon her from refraining from eating and drinking the remainder of the day.
Question: If the blood from the nose enters the stomach via the throat, does fast be vitiated or not?
Answer: The fast will be vitiated, there is no atonement, only to make good the fast is compulsory.
Question: Can toothpaste or toothpowder be used during fast?
Answer: It is undesirable to use toothpaste or toothpowder, if anything enter via the throat then fast will be vitiated.
Question: Is it Sunnah to break the fast with water or dates?
Answer: It is desirable to use fresh dates to break fast, if that is not available then dry dates and if that is also not available then water.
Question: In a state of fast, if a person discharges minor involuntary seminal due to kissing or fondling his wife, is the fast vitiated or is this act undesirable?
Answer: By kissing and fondling, minor involuntary seminal is discharged then this does not affect the fast, fast is vitiated if sperm is discharged. If there is a danger of fast becoming vitiated then it is not permissible to kiss and fondle in the state of fast. (To do so is disapproved to the point of being forbidden)