Conditions Under Which Fasting Is Obligatory And Valid

Question 747: A young girl has reached the age of taklif. However, she cannot fast in this month of Ramazan due to her weak constitution. She is also unable to perform qaza' of the missed fasts until the next Ramazan. What is the ruling in this situation?

A: The obligation of fasting or performing the qaza' of missed fasts, is not removed just because of weakness. Qaza' of the missed fasts of Ramazan will remain obligatory on her.

Question 748: What is the ruling for those girls who have recently reached puberty [bulugh] and find it somewhat difficult to fast? Is nine years the age when girls become mature?

A: The legal age of puberty for girls starts at the completion of nine lunar years, when it is obligatory on them to fast. It is not permissible to omit fasting due to some excuse. However, if fasting during the day becomes harmful for them or causes haraj, it is permissible to break the fast.

Question 749: I do not know exactly when I reached the age of taklif. As I was not aware of this issue at that him, please clarify, from which time is it obligatory for me to perform the qaza' of missed prayers and fasts? Is it obligatory for me to pay the atonement [kaffarah] for the missed fasts or is their qaza' sufficient?

A: You are only responsible for qaza' from the time you are certain that you reached the age of taklif. payment of kaffarah is obligatory for fasts which were intentionally broken by a person who was certain that he /she had become mature.

Question 750: A nine-year old girl for whom it is obligatory to fast, breaks her fast because fasting was very hard upon her. Does she have to perform its qaza'?

A: Yes, she will have to perform the qaza' of the Ramazan fast that she broke.

Question 751: Someone with a strong excuse thought it likely, with more than 50% probability, that fasting was not obligatory on him, so he did not fast. Later it becomes clear to him that fasting was obligatory on him at that time. What is the ruling in respect of performing qaza' and paying kaffarah?

A: If one breaks a fast of Ramazan for assuming that fasting is not obligatory on him, then he must perform its qaza' and also pay the kaffarah. However, if one did not fast because of the fear that fasting was harmful for him, then it is not necessary for him to pay any kaffarah, but must perform the qaza'.

Question 752: A person performing military service could not fast during the month of Ramazan last year because of frequent traveling and presence in the area of service. As Ramazan approaches this year, he is still serving in the same area and does not think he will be able to fast this year too. Does he have to pay the kaffarah after leaving the service, in addition to their qaza'?

A: When one does not fast in the month of Ramazan due to traveling, and this excuses remains valid throughout the year until next Ramazan, then his only duty is to perform the qaza' and no kaffarah is obligatory on him.

Question 753: A fasting person was unaware the he was in the state of janabah until the time of zuhr prayers. Then he performed irtimasi bath [performed through submerging the whole body in water]. Does it make his fast void? And if he realizes what he has done only after he has submerged his body in water, does he have to perform qaza'?

A: If one performs irtimasi bath due to forgetfulness or inattention to the fact that he is fasting, then both his fast and bath are valid and he does not have to perform any qaza'.

Question 754: A person who is fasting had planned to reach his place of residence before time of zuhr prayers. But he met an accident on the way that delayed him and he could not reach the area of his residence in time. Is his fast valid? Does he have to pay kaffarah or just qaza' will be sufficient?

A: His fast is not valid when travelling. It is only obligatory on him to perform the qaza' of the fast of the day that he did not reach his place of residence, and he does not have to pay kaffarah.

Question 755: A passenger or a crew member aboard an aeroplane flying on high altitude and bound for a distant city at 2.5 to 3 hours' journey has to drink water every 20 minutes to maintain his equilibrium. Does he/she have to pay a kaffarah in addition to performing the qaza'?

A: If fasting causes harm, one can break the fast to drink water. He will have to perform its qaza' but kaffarah will not be obligatory on him in this case.

Question 756: If a woman's periods begin two hours or earlier before the maghrib prayers in the month of Ramazan, will her fast be void for that day?

A: Yes, her fast is void.

Question 757: What rule applies to someone who immerses himself in water wearing waterproof clothing like a diving suit which does not allow the body to become wet?

A: If the dress is in close contact with his head, there is a problem in his fast being valid. Hence, as an obligatory precaution he should perform its qaza'.

Question 758: Is it permitted for a person to travel intentionally during the month of Ramazan in order to break the fast and relieve himself of its burden?

A: There is no problem in one doing so. When one travels, even to escape the duty of fasting, he must break the fast.

Question 759: A person under the obligation to qaza' of an obligatory fast he had missed, decided to fulfil his duty, but could not because of unforeseen circumstances. He prepared to travel after sunrise, but failed to return home before noon. He had not done anything which invalidates the fast, but as the time for making the niyyah of an obligatory fast had elapsed, and as it was a day of recommended fast, is it valid if he makes the niyyah of a recommended fast?

A: When one is responsible for qaza' of a Ramazan fast, it is not valid to make niyyah to perform a mustahabb fast, even if the time for making niyyah for performing an obligatory fast has passed.

Question 760: I am addicted to smoking. No matter how much I try not to be irritable in the blessed month of Ramazan, to I can not abstain from a conduct that disrupts the peace of my family and puts me into a nervous state. What is my duty in this situation?

A: It is obligatory on you to fast in the month of Ramazan and it is not permissible for your to smoke while fasting. Also, acting irritably without justification with others is unlawful, and refraining from smoking has no relation to anger.

Pregnant And Nursing Women

Question 761: Is fasting obligatory for a pregnant woman in the first few months of pregnancy?

A: Pregnancy alone does not relieve someone of the obligation of fasting. But if she has a reasonable fear that fasting would be harmful for herself or the baby, then it is not obligatory on her to fast.

Question 762: A pregnant woman does not know whether fasting will harm the baby or not. Does she have to fast?

A: If she has reasonable grounds to fear that fasting would harm her baby, then it is not obligatory on her to fast, otherwise she must fast.

Question 763: A pregnant women fasted while she was also breast-feeding her baby. When she delivered, the baby was found dead. From the beginning she had thought that her fasting might be harmful, but she fasted nevertheless.
1. Were her fasts valid?
2. Is she liable to pay blood money?
3. What is the ruling in her case if she did not think that her fasting would be harmful, but later found it to be otherwise?

A: If she fasted even after she had reasonable fears that fasting will be harmful to her or her baby, or she discovered later that fasting was harmful to herself or her baby, then her fast is void, and she has to perform its qaza' However, her liability to blood money will depend on proving that the death of the foetus was caused by her fasting.

Question 764: On delivery, God Almighty blessed me with a son, thanks be to God, and he is being breast-fed. The blessed month of Ramazan is approaching, and I am capable of fasting presently. But if I do fast, my milk will dry up, as I have a weak constitution and my baby, thank God, wants milk every ten minutes. What should I do?

A: If there is a fear of harm to your baby in a decrease in the quantity of milk or its drying up due to fasting, it is permissible for you to break the fast. for every day you missed the fast , you have to give one mudd [750 grams] of food to the poor, and to perform the qaza' of missed fasts later on.

Illness And Restriction By A Physician

Question 765: Some physicians who are not truly committed to Islamic laws forbid their patients to fast, claiming that fasting is detrimental to their health. Should their orders be acted upon or not?

A: If the physician cannot be trusted and one does not have confidence in his statements, and there is no fear of harm through fasting, his statements are not worthy of notice.

Question 766: My mother was ill for a period of almost 13 years and could not fast. I know for certain that we had stopped her from this duty because she had to take medicines. Please tell us if it is obligatory on her to perform their qaza'.

A: If she was not able to fast due to her illness, she does not have to perform the qaza' for those days.

Question 767: I did not fast since reaching the age of puberty until I was twelve years old because I was physically too weak to do so. What should I do now in this regard?

A: You should perform qaza' of the Ramazan fasts you did not perform after reaching the age of taklif. And if you did not perform the fasts deliberately and voluntarily and without having a legitimate excuse, then you will have to pay the kaffarah well.

Question 768: An ophthalmologist ordered me not to fast due to an eye disease. But, as I was not convinced I began to fast. However, while I was fasting I felt a pain in the afternoons on some days. Now, I wonder whether I should refrain from fasting or bear the pain until sunset? Basically is it obligatory for me to fast? should I maintain the fast on the days that I fast without knowing whether I can continue the fast until sunset? What should be my niyyah?

A: If you trust the orders of your physician, or you fear that fasting might be harmful for your health, then you should not fast. In fact it is not permissible for you to fast in such a situation, and a niyyah to fast is not valid when there is fear of harm. When there is no fear of harm, there is no obstacle to your fasting, but the validity of your fast will depend on the actual absence of harm.

Question 769: I wear medical glasses and am physically very weak at the present. The doctors tell me that if I do not strengthen my physique my eyesight will get weaker. If I am unable to perform the Ramazan fasts, What is my shar'i duty?

A: If fasting is harmful for your eyes, you do not have to fast. In fact it is obligatory that you refrain from fasting. And if your eyesight does not get better until the next Ramazan, then your duty is to give one mudd [750 grams ] food to the needy for every day that you did not fast.

Question 770: My mother is seriously sick, and my father is also physically weak. Nevertheless, both of them fast. sometimes, it is quite evident that fasting aggravates their illness. So far, I have not been able to persuade them to refrain from fasting at least at times when their illness is serious. Please guide us concerning the rule that applies to their fasting?

A: The criterion in determining the inability to fast, or whether fasting causes illness, or aggravates it, is the opinion of the fasting person himself. However, if it is known that fasting is harmful for him and he still decides to fast, it is unlawful.

Question 771: Last year I had a surgery of my kidneys, and the surgeon ordered me not to fast for the rest of my life. However, I have been eating and drinking in the normal way and I do not feel any signs of disease. What is my duty?

A: If you personally do not fear any harm due to fasting and there is no legitimate fround for it, it is your to fast during the month of Ramazan.

Question 772: Since some physicians are not aware of Islamic laws, should the patient obey a physician's order if he forbids fasting?

A: If the patient trusts the physician's statement that fasting is harmful for him, or is led to believe that it is so either on the basis of his statements or on some other reasonable grounds, then it is not obligatory on him to fast.

Question 773: Due to some kidney trouble, the doctors have ordered me to use fluids continuously. As they have prohibited me from fasting, what is my duty regarding fasting during the blessed month of Ramazan?

A: If the treatment of your illness requires that your drink water and other fluids during the day also, it is not obligatory on you to fast.

Question 774: Diabetics are required to take insulin injections once or twice a day. Also, their meals should not be delayed or taken at long intervals, otherwise they might go into a coma or get fits. That is why physicians advise them to have four meals a day. please given your opinion concerning their fasting.

A: If abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset is harmful to their health, fasting is not obligatory on them. In fact it is not permissible for them to fast.

Things Which Must Be Avoided

Question 775: If a person who is fasting bleeds in the mouth, does it invalidate his fast?

A: Bleeding in the mouth does not void fast. However, the blood should not be swallowed.

Question 776: Please give your opinion concerning the use of snuff by a person who is fasting.

A: If the use of snuff causes anything to go down the throat from the nose, then it will be forbidden for a person who is fasting.

Question 777: Some people use `Naas,` which made up of tobacco and other constituents, and they put it under their tongues for a few minutes, then they spew it out. Does that void the fast?

A: If they swallow the saliva mixed with Naas, then their fast will become void.

Question 778: There is a medicine for asthma patients, which is in the form of a spray containing a vapour-borne powder which dnter the patient's lungs through the mouth providing him relief. At times, asthmatic patients needs to use it several times a day. Is it permissible to fast while using such spray?

A: Hf what goes into their lungs through the mouth is only air, that does not harm the fast. But if the air mixed with medicine in the shape of a powder or dust, the fast's validity is problematic. Hence, it is obligatory to avoid it. However, if fasting without it is difficult or harmful, using the medicine is permissible.

Question 779: My gums often bleed and the blood gets mixed with saliva. At times I am not sure whether the saliva that enters my throat is mixed with blood or not. please tell me what I am supposed to do to overcome this problem.

A: If the blood from your gums gets mixed with saliva in a way that it can no longer be distinguished, then the saliva is clean and can be swallowed. If you are not sure whether the saliva is mixed with blood or not, it can still be swallowed without affecting the fast.

Question 780: Once in the holy month of Ramazan, I forgot to brush my teeth, and some tiny bits of food remained in my mouth. I swallowed the bits unintentionally. Do I have to perform the qaza' for that day's fast?

A: If you did not know that some bits of food remained in your mouth, or you did not know that they might be swallowed, and they were swallowed unknowingly and unintentionally, then you are not liable to anything in respect of your fast.

Question 781: The gums of a person who is fasting bleed a lot. Does that invalidate his fast? Moreover, is it permissible to pour water over one's head with a jug?

A: The blood coming out of the gums does not invalidate the fast unless it is swallowed. Also one's fast is not affected by pouring water nver one's head with a jug or something else.

Question 782: There are certain medicines for feminine illnesses that are applied through the vagina. Does their use invalidate the fast?

A: The use of such medicine does not invalidate the fast.

Question 783: Please explain your view on injections given by dentists or other physicians to persons fasting during the blessed month nf Ramazan.

A: There is no problem in taking these injections. But if they are nutritional, then precaution is to avoid them during fast.

Question 784: Does intravenous injection of nutritive fluids, as are given to patients in hospitals, invalidate the fast?

A: The permissibility of intravenous injection of nutritional fluids into the body during fast is problematic. Therefore, precaution is not to be `bandoned in avoiding them.

Question 785: Is it permissible to take pills for high blood pressure during fasting?

A: If taking these pills during Ramazan is necessary for controlling high blood pressure, it is permissible , but it will invalidate the fast.

Question 786: since taking tablets for treatment is not commonly regarded as eating or drinking, would taking pills void the fast?

A: Taking pills through the mouth invalidates the fast. However, their anal use does not affect the fast.

Question 787: During the month of Ramazan my wife forced me to have intercourse. What is the ruling concerning us?

A: The rule of intentional breaking of the fast applies to both of you. Hence it is obligatory for the two of you to perform its qaza' along with its kaffarah.

Question 788: When a man has foreplay with his wife during the day in the month of Ramazan, does it invalidate his fast?

A: As long as it does not result in ejaculation, his fast is not affected. Otherwise it is not permissible.

Intentional Remaining in the State of Janabah

Question 789: If one stays in the state of janabah [because of some difficulty] until the morning azan, can he/she fast the following day?

A: There is no problem if one is performing a fast other than that of Ramazan or its qaza’. However, as to the fast of Ramazan or its qaza' if one has a lawful excuse for not performing ghusl, then it is obligatory to perform tayammum. And if he does not perform tayammum either, the fast is invalid.

Question 790: A person fasts for some days in the state of janabah without knowing that taharah from janabah is required for a valid fast. Does he/she have to pay kaffarah for the days fasted in the state of janabah, or it is enough to perform the qaza' of those fasts?

A: If he woke up in janabah and stayed in that state because of ignorance of the fact that one has to perform ghusl [or tayammum], then as per precaution he should also pay kaffarah in addition to performing their qaza'. However, if his ignorance was due to qusur [ignorance of being ignorant], kaffarah is apparently not obligatory upon him, though precaution lies in making the kaffarah.

Question 791: Is it permissible for one to perform janabah bath after sunrise and then perform a qaza' or mustahabb fast?

A: If one deliberately stays in the state of janabah until morning azan, then his fast is not valid if it is a fast of Ramazan or one of its qaza'fasts. Other than that, it is strongly probable [aqwa] that other fasts are valid, especially recommended ones.

Question 792: A faithful brother has asked me the following question. He got married ten days prior to the month of Ramazan. He had heard that the shar'i rule regarding a junub person was that if one gets junub after the morning azan and performs ghust before the call to zuhr prayers his fast would be valid [he claims he was convinced that this was the rule]. Accordingly, he would have intercourse with his wife on the basis of such a notion. Later, he realized that the rule on the issue was not what he believed it be. what is the ruling concerning this case?

A: The rule for one who intentionally becomes junub after morning prayers is the same as that of one who intentionally breaks the fast; that is, both qaza' and kaffarah are obligatory upon him.

Question 793: A person staying as a guest in his host's house becomes junub at night during the month of Ramazan,. As he is a guest and does not have any extra clothes, he decides to travel the following day to avoid fasting. He takes off after the morning azan with the intention to travel without breaking the fast. The question is , does his intention to travel relieve him of the kaffarah or not?

A: Neither mere intention of travelling at night nor travelling in the day is sufficient to relieve one of the kaffarah if one becomes junub and knows that he is in the state of janabah without making an immediate attempt to perform ghusl or tayammum before dawn.

Question 794: Is it permissible for one to become intentionally junub during the night in the month of Ramazan even if he does not have water or has some other excuse [except shortness of time]?

A: It is permissible if his obligation was tayammum and he had sufficient time to perform it.

Question 795: A person woke up before the morning azan but did not realize that he was junub and went back to sleep. Later, he woke up during the morning azan and realized that he has been junub. What is the ruling concerning his fast?

A: If he did not realize that he was in the state of janabah before the morning azan, then his fast is valid.

Question 796: A person wakes up after the morning azan during the month of Ramazan and realizes that he is junub and then goes back to sleep to rise some time after sunrise [without performing the subh prayers ]. Then he delays the ghusl until after the call to zuhr prayers, and says the zuhr and asr prayers. What is the ruling regarding his fast on that day?

A: His fast is valid, and delaying the ghusl until noon does not affect it.

Question 797: During the month of Ramazan a person doubts before the morning azan whether he is in a state of janabah or not. However, he goes back to sleep without ascertaining his doubt. After the morning azan, he wakes up gain to realize that he had been in a state of janabah. What is the ruling concerning his fast?

A: If no sign of janabah was observed the first time he woke up but had a mere suspicion that was not confirmed, and he went back to sleep until after the morning azan, then his fast is valid, even if he finds later that he had been in a state of janabah before the morning azan.

Question 798: A person uses najis water to perform ghusl during the month of Ramazan. A week later, he remembers that the water was najis. What is the ruling concerning his prayers and fasts during that period?

A: His prayers are void and he is liable to their qaza', but his fasts are valid.

Question 799: A person suffers from incontinence for a limited duration, i.e., it continues for an hour or more after passing urine. What is the ruling concerning his fast if he is in a state of janabah on some nights and he might wake up an hour before the morning azan and it is probable that semen may come out with urine afterwards? What is he to do to start the fast in a state of taharah?

A: If he performs the ghusl or tayammum before the morning azan, his fast is valid, even if there is an involuntarily discharge of semen afterwards.

Question 800: A person sleeps prior to, or after, the morning azan. He becomes junub, realizing it after the morning azan. How much time does he have to perform the ghusl?

A: Being in janabah under the condition stated does not void that day's fast. However, it is obligatory on him to perform the ghusl for prayers, and he may delay it until the time of prayers.

Question 801: If one forgets to perform janabah bath during the month of Ramazan, or during other days, and remembers during daytime, What is the rule in this case?

A: If one forgets to perform janabah bath during the month of Ramazan at night before morning azan, his fast is void. As per precaution, the same rule applies to the qaza' of Ramazan fasts. However, other fasts do not become void if one forgets to perform janabah bath before morning azan.

Masturbation While Fasting Or Not

Question 802: About seven years ago I intentionally invalidated my fast for several days during the month of Ramazan by masturbating. However, I do not know for sure how many days' fast I violated in this way during the course of three Ramazans. I do not think they were less than 25 to 30 days. What is my obligation and the kaffarah that I should make?

A: Invalidating a day's fast in the blessed month of Ramazan through masturbation which is prohibited by Islamic law, requires two kaffarahs: fasting for sixty days, and feeding sixty poor persons. As far as feeding sixty persons is concerned, you can give each of them one mudd of food for each day. Giving money cannot be a substitute unless it is given to a poor person to buy food in your stead [niyabah] and it is accepted by him for himself as a kaffarah. Determining the price of the food given as kaffarah depends on the kind of food you choose for giving the kaffarah , either in the shape of wheat, or rice, or any other kind of food. As for the number of fasts you invalidated through masturbation, you are allowed to perform the qaza' and give kaffarah for the number of days that you are certain about.

Question 803: A mukallaf, knowingly and intentionally, invalidates the fast by masturbating, does he have to offer the two-fold kaffarah? What is the rule if he does it without knowing that masturbation invalidates the fast?

A: In both cases he must offer the two-fold kaffarah if he masturbates intentionally.

Question 804: I had an emission during the blessed month of Ramazan for no reason other than excitement that I felt during a telephone conversation with a non-mahram woman. As the phone conversation was not for the purpose of pleasure, was my fast invalid? And if it was, do I have to pay kaffarah as well?

A: If it was not a previous habit of yours to have an emission on conversing with a woman, and the phone conversation was not intended for pleasure and the emission was involuntary, then your fast is valid, and you are not liable to anything.

Question 805: A person practised masturbation for a number of years during the fasting month and at other times. What is rule regarding his prayers and fasts?

A: Masturbation is absolutely prohibited, and when it leads to an emission it causes one to become junub. If done during fasting, it amounts to breaking the fast with something unlawful. If one performs prayers and fasts in the state of janabah, without performing ghusl or tayammum, his prayers and fasts are void and he must perform their qaza'.

Question 806: Is it permissible for the husband to masturbate using his wife's hand? Is there any difference whether it is done during intercourse or not?

A: There is no problem with a husband's foreplay with wife, or touching her body with his own until ejaculation. Similarly, it is not prohibited for the wife to handle the husband's organ until he ejaculates. These do not constitute prohibited masturbation.

Question 807: Is it allowed for a bachelor to masturbate if required by the doctor for a laboratory test of semen, and that is the only way to extract it?

A: There is no problem if it is required for treatment.

Question 808: Some medical centers require a man to masturbate for sperm tests to determine whether he can have children or not. Is this masturbation permissible?

A: Masturbation is prohibited by Islamic law, even if it is done to determine fertility, except when it is required for diagnosing the illness causing infertility.

Question 809: Is it permissible to bring out the semen by stimulating the prostate gland by one's own finger through the anal passage so that semen is discharged without an orgasm and without causing bodily weakness?

A: The above-mentioned method is not permissible, as it is one of the instances of unlawful masturbation.

Question 810: Is it permissible for a husband away from his wife to picture her in his fantasy for sexual excitement?

A: If sexual fantasies are meant to lead to ejaculation, or if one knows that it would eventually lead to it, then it is not permissible.

Question 811: Someone at the beginning of his age of taklif fasts during the month of Ramazan, and masturbates while fasting, continuing in this way for some days without knowing that fasting requires obtaining taharah from janabah. Is it sufficient for him to perform the qaza' of the fasts of those days, or some other rule applies to him?

A: In the light of the question, he has to perform both, the qaza' as well as the kaffarah.

Question 812: If someone who is fasting looks at a sexually arousing scene during the month of Ramazan, does it void his fast?

A: If he looks with the purpose of experiencing an orgasm, or if he knows that it will cause him to become junub, and it had been his habit before, and still he views it intentionally and becomes junub, then the rule that applies to him is the one that applies to someone who makes himself junub intentionally.

Rules of Iftar [ Breaking One's Fast ]

Question 813: Is it permissible to follow the Ahl al-Sunnah in their timings for breaking the fast while one is in public or attending official gatherings and the like? What is one's duty if he thinks that doing so cannot be counted as one of the instances of taqiyyah and no compulsion is involved?

A: It is not permissible for a mukallaf to follow others in determining the time for breaking the fast. He may not break the fast voluntarily, and without lawful evidence, without ascertaining to his satisfaction that nightfall has occurred and the day has ended.

Question 814: When I was fasting, my mother forced me to eat or drink. Did it invalidate my fast?

A: Eating and drinking invalidates fast, even if it is done at the request or insistence of someone.

Question 815: If something is forced into the mouth of someone fasting, or his head is forcefully submerged in water, does it invalidate the fast? What if one is coerced to break his fast, and he does it to avoid the danger, for instance if he is told : If you do not eat, we will hurt you or your property. Is his fast valid?

A: Forcing food into someone's mouth without his consent does not invalidate his fast, neither does submerging his head in water. However, if one breaks the fast himself when forced or threatened by someone, his fast becomes void.

Question 816: While going on a trip someone who is fasting breaks his fast before crossing the limit of tarakhkhus with the notion that he is a traveler, without knowing that he may break his fast before noon only when he has gone beyond the tarakhkhus limit. What is the rule concerning his fast ?Does he have to perform its qaza' or is he liable to something else as well?

A: The rule that applies to him is same as that for one who intentionally breaks the fast.

Question 817: While suffering from a cold, some mucus gathered in my mouth and I swallowed it instead of spitting it out. Was my fast valid? Also, once while staying for some days with one of my relatives during the blessed month of Ramazan as I had a cold and moreover felt shy to perform janabah bath I did tayammum instead of ghusl, which I did not perform until some time before noon. This happened for several days. Were my fasts of those days valid? If not, do I have to give the kaffarah as well?

A: Swallowing the phlegm and mucus does not make one liable to anything, though as per precaution one should perform qaza' of that fast if it is done after the mucus enters the mouth. As for your omitting to perform the janabah bath before the dawn, if the substitute tayammum was done due to some shar'i excuse or done at the last moment due to shortness of time, then your fasts are valid. Otherwise your fasts of those days are void.

Question 818: I work in an iron ore mine and the nature of my work requires me to enter the mine daily and work inside. While working with mining equipment dust enters my mouth. This is my daily routine throughout the year. What is my duty? Is my fast valid?

A: Swallowing dust invalidates the fast. Therefore, one must guard against it. However, the mere entering of dust into the mouth and the nose without its being swallowed does not void the fast.

Question 819: Is a person who is fasting allowed to take an injection that contains vitamins and nutritive substances?

A: If an injection containing nutritive substances is intravenous, it is better to avoid it as per precaution, and to perform the qaza' for the fast of the day it was taken.

Question 820: While fasting during the holy month of Ramazan a person did something that he thought invalidates his fast. However, after Ramazan he realized that it was not so. What is the ruling concerning his fast?

A: If he did not intend to violate the fast and did not do anything that actually voids the fast, then his fast is valid.

Kaffarah [Penalty] of the Fast And Its Amount

Question 821: Is it sufficient to give a needy person the money to buy one mudd (750 grams ) nf food instead of giving him the food itself?

A: If you are sure that the needy person receiving the money will buy the food on your behalf and then take it as kaffarah, there is no problem in it.

Question 822: A person was appointed to take charge of feeding a group of needy persons. Can he take his wages for the work and cooking he does from the kaffarah money he was entrusted with?

A: He can demand the wages for his work and for the cooking. But he cannot take it from the kaffarah.

Question 823: A woman could not fast due to pregnancy and the approaching delivery. She knew that after delivery she must perform qaza' for the days she did fast before the next Ramazan, If she did not fast after delivery, intentionally or otherwise, for several years, does she have to pay only the kaffarah for that year or for all the years she delayed the fasting?

A: The fidyah for delaying the qaza' , even if it is for several years, is required only once. It is one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day, and is required only if the qaza' was delayed until another Ramazan without any legitimate excuse. If one had an excuse for the delay preventing one from performing valid fasts, no fidyah is required.

Question 824: A women could not fast due to illness. Also, she could not perform their qaza' until the next Ramazan. Does she or her husband have to pay kaffarah?

A: In this case, the fidyah, a mudd for each fast, has to be given by her, not her husband.

Question 825: A person was liable to perform qaza' of ten Ramazan fasts and he started keeping them on 20th of sha'ban. Can he break the fast intentionally before or after the noon? And, if he does, what is the kaffarah for breaking it before or after the noon?

A: It is not permissible for him to break his fast intentionally in this case. However, if he does break his fast intentionally before noon, he does not have to pay any kaffarah. But if he breaks it intentionally in the afternoon, his kaffarah is to feed ten needy persons. If he cannot afford to do so, he shall fast for three days.

Question 826: A woman was pregnant during two consecutive Ramazan and could not fast during those two years. Now, when she is able to fast what is her duty. Does she only have to perform the qaza'7 for the two months, or does she have to carry out the twofold kaffarah as well? What is the rule concerning her delaying the fasts?

A: If she did not fast during the month of Ramazan due to a legitimate reason, then she is only liable for their qaza'. However, if she did not fast because she feared it might harm the fetus or the baby, she has to give the fidyah, a mudd of food for each day, in addition to making their qaza'. And if she delays the qaza' beyond the Ramazan until the following Ramazan without a legitimate excuse, then she shall also give its fidyah, a mudd of food for each day.

Question 827: If someone has to perform qaza' and give kaffarah for the days that he did not fast, must he observe their sequence?

A: It is not obligatory.

Making Up For Missed Fasts

Question 828: Due to a journey made for an important religious mission, I became liable to qaza' of 18 days of Ramazan. What is my duty? Is it obligatory for me to perform qaza' of the missed fasts?

A: You must perform qaza' of the Ramazan fasts missed due to traveling.

Question 829: A person was hired to perform qaza' fasts of the month of Ramazan for somebody else, and he breaks the fast in the afternoon. Does he have to pay the kaffarah?

A: No kaffarah is required.

Question 830: Those who could not fast due to their journey for religious missions during the month of Ramazan, and now want to make up after years of delay, do they have to pay any kaffarah?

A: If delaying the qaza' of the fasts of Ramazan until the next Ramazan was due to a continuing legitimate excuse, then they should perform only the qaza' of the fasts missed and no fidyah is required, although precaution lies in giving fidyah as well. But, if the delay was for no legitimate reason and a result of negligence, then they are liable both to their qaza' as well as fidyah.

Question 831: A person did not perform prayers or fast for about 10 years due to ignorance. Now he has repented, turning to God, the Exalted, and decided to compensate for his past. But he cannot perform qaza' of all the days he did not fast, nor has the means to pay for the kaffarah. Is it enough for him to ask for forgiveness alone?

A: He is not relieved from the duty of performing qaza' of the missed fasts by any means. As to the kaffarah for each day that he did not fast , if he is not able to fast for 60 days and also unable to feed 60 needy persons, he must give as much as he can to the poor.

Question 832: What is the duty of a person who did not know that performing qaza' of missed fasts is required before the next Ramazan, and so did not do it?

A: Ignorance of the obligation to perform qaza' before next Ramazan does not relieve one of the fidyah for the delay.

Question 833: A person did not fast for 120 days. What must he do? Does he have to fast for 60 days for every day missed, and does he have to pay kaffarah?

A: He has to perform qaza' for the Ramazan fasts he missed. If he broke the fasts intentionally and not for some legitimate reason, then he has, in addition to performing their qaza' , to pay the kaffarah, which is fasting for sixty days or feeding 60 needy persons, or giving one mudd of food to each of the sixty.

Question 834: I fasted almost for one month with the intention of carrying out qaza' of any fast that I might have missed, or to be counted as a means of nearness to God. Does this month of fasting count as qaza' for the fasts that I missed?

A: If you fasted with the intention of carrying out whatever counts as your present duty, an obligatory or a recommended fast, it would be counted as qaza' of the fasts missed if you were liable to any.

Question 835: If a person, not knowing the number of fasts missed, performs fasts with the intention of mustahabb fast with the belief that he is not liable to any qaza', does this fasting count as qaza' for missed fasts if he is liable to qaza' of some fasts?

A: The fasts kept with the intention of recommended fasting do not count as qaza' for fasts whose, qaza' one is liable to perform.

Question 836: If due to ignorance of the rules a person intentionally breaks his fast due to hunger, does he only have to perform qaza' of the fast or should he pay the kaffarah as well?

A: If his ignorance was due to negligence, then as per precaution he should pay kaffarah in addition to performing its qaza' as well.

Question 837: A person at the outset of the age of taklif was not able to fast due to physical weakness and inability. Is it enough for him to perform the qaza' of the fasts, or is he required to offer the kaffarah as well?

A: If fasting was not harmful for him when he did not fast intentionally, then he has to offer qaza' as well as the kaffarah.

Question 838: A person does not know the exact number of days he has failed to fast in the past nor the prayers he missed. What should he do? And what rule applies if he does not know whether be missed the fast intentionally or due to a legitimate excuse?

A: It is permissible for him to confine to performing the qaza' of the prayers and fasts he is sure of having missed. When there is doubt as to whether the fast was broken intentionally or not, kaffarah is not required.

Question 839: A person fasting during Ramazan did not wake up one day to eat the meal taken before the dawn. Therefore, he could not continue fasting until sunset. During the day there happened an event that caused him to break his fast. Does he have to give the single or the twofold kaffarah?

A: If he kept the fast until the time he broke it when it was harmful for him to continue, due to severe hunger and thirst or some other reason, he has only to perform qaza' of the fast and no kaffarah is required.

Question 840: If one is not sure whether one has done qaza' of all the missed fasts, what is one's duty?

A: If one is sure of having missed some fasts in the past then it is obligatory to ascertain that one has done qaza' for those days.

Question 841: A person did not fast on reaching puberty. He would fast for 11 days then break the fast one day at noon and would not fast for the remaining 18 days. Also, he did not know that kaffarah was obligatory for the days not fasted. What is the ruling concerning him?

A: If he intentionally and voluntarily failed to fast in the month of Ramazan, he has to perform qaza' and pay kaffarah as well, regardless of whether he knew he had to give a kaffarah or not.

Question 842: A patient was told by the physician that fasting is harmful for his health. However, after a few years, he realized that fasting was not harmful for him and the physician was wrong in excusing him from fasting. Does he have to pay kaffarah in addition to performing qaza'?

A: If had he had refrained from fasting due to fear for his health on the basis of an experienced and reliable physician's diagnosis or some other reasonable basis, he has to only perform qaza' of the missed fasts.

Miscellaneous Rules Of Fasting

Question 843: If a woman's periods start while she is performing a fast that she had vowed to perform on a specific day, what should she do?

A: Her fast is voided by the menses, and she has to perform its qaza' after she is clean again.

Question 844: A person who lives in the port of Dayyir kept fast from the first day of Ramazan until the twenty-seventh. On the morning of the twenty-eighth day he traveled to Dubai. Arriving there on the twenty-ninth, he noticed that they had declared that day as the first of Shawwal and Id al-Fitr there. Now that has returned to his hometown, does he have to make up for the fast he missed? If he does qaza' of only one day then the month of Ramazan for him will be only twenty-eight days, and if he makes up for two days, then on the 29th day he was present in a place where id was declared. What is the ruling for such a person?

A: If the twenty-ninth day of Ramazan was declared id in accordance with valid shar'I criteria, then he does not have to perform qaza' for that day. But it indicates that he missed fasts at the month's beginning, which he has to make up, the number he is sure of having missed.

Question 845: A person finished his fast in his hometown after sunset. Then on traveling to another city, he found that the sun there had not set yet. What will be the rule regarding his fasting? Can he eat and drink in the new place before sunset?

A: His fast is valid. He can eat and drink in the new place before sunset.

Question 846: A martyr had made a will to a friend asking qaza' of some fasts to be performed on his behalf for the sake of precaution. However, the martyr's heirs do not give significance to such issues and it is not possible to put the matter before them. Moreover, fasting would involve hardship for that friend. Is there any other solution?

A: If he martyr had made a will to his friend, asking him to fast on the martyr's behalf himself, the martyr's heirs do not have any obligation in this regard. If it is too difficult for the friend to fast, he also does not have any obligation.

Question 847: I am obsessed by doubts, or to put it precisely, am kathir al-waswasah [ excessively obsessed ], especially in religious the last Ramazan, I had a doubt whether I had swallowed some thick dust that had entered my mouth and whether I had spitted out water that I had drawn into my mouth? Is my fast valid?

A: In light of your question, your fast is valid. Such doubts as these have no significance.

Question 848: Is the Kisa' tradition, which is narrated from Fatimah Zahra' (a), a reliable tradition? Is it permissible to attribute it to her during fasting?

A: If the tradition is cited with reference to books where it has been reported, there is no problem in it.

Question 849: I have heard from scholars and laymen that if a person performing a mustahabb fast is invited to eat something, he can accept the invitation, and eating and drinking does not invalidate his fast nor deprive him of its thawab [reward]. Please express your view on the matter.

A: Accepting a believer's invitation is preferred by Islamic law over a mustahabb fast, and although eating and drinking breaks the fast, but it does not deprive one of the reward for fasting.

Question 850: There are certain supplications for the month of Ramazan each of which is specified for a day in a sequence, starting with the supplication for the first day, followed by the one for the second day and so on. What is the rule on reciting them if there is a doubt as to their authenticity?

A: There is no problem in reciting them with the intent of raja' al-matlibiyyah [hope of desirability ].

Question 851: A person intending to fast does not rise to eat sahur [dawn meal] before dawn. Therefore he could not fast the following day. Does the guilt for not fasting fall on him or on someone who did not wake him up? Also, if one fasts without eating sahur, is his fast valid?

A: Breaking the fast due to inability to fast, even if due to not eating sahur, is not a sin. In any case others who did not wake you up are not liable to anything. Also, fasting without eating sahur is valid.

Question 852: If a person is in i'tikaf [confinement in a mosque for three or more days ] in Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, what rule applies to his fasting on the third day?

A: If he is a traveler and has intended a ten-day stay in Mecca or has vowed to fast while traveling, then after fasting for two days he must complete the i'tikaf by fasting on the third day. However, if he didn't make the intent of iqamah nor did he vow to fast while traveling, it is not valid for him to fast while traveling. And as the fast is invalid, i'tikaf will also become invalid.

Sighting the New Moon

Question 853: As you know, one of the following three conditions occurs at the beginning or end of the each month:
The crescent sets before the sunset;
The crescent sets along with sunset; or
The crescent sets after the sunset.
Please clear the following matters:
First, which one of the three above-mentioned conditions would be considered the beginning of the month according to Islamic law? Second, if we take into consideration that these three conditions are accounted for in the farthest places of the world using accurate calculations, is it possible to benefit from these computations to figure out the beginning of the month in advance, or it is necessary to observe it with the naked eye?

A: The basis of determining the beginning of the month is the crescent that sets after sunset, which can be observed before sunset using the customary means.

Question 854: If the crescent marking the beginning of Shawwal is not observed in a city by the local people, and if the radio or television announces the beginning of Shawwal, should the local people act upon the radio announcement, or should they ascertain by investigating whether Shawwal has commenced?

A: If the radio or television announcement makes them feel sure that Shawwal has commenced, or if there is a decree by the supreme religious authority [wali faqih ]announcing the beginning of Shawwal, then there is no need for investigating further.

Question 855: If it is difficult to ascertain the beginning of the month of Ramazan, or the Id al-Fitr, because of the inability to observe the crescent at the beginning of the month due to clouds or for some other reason, and if the count of the month of Sha'ban or the month of Ramazan did not add up to 30 days, is it permissible for us in Japan to go by the horizon in Iran or should we rely on the regular calendar? What is the rule?

A: If the crescent has not been ascertained by being sighted in the city and in the regions at the same longitude, or on the evidence of two just witnesses, or on the basis of a decree by a religious authority announcing the end of Ramazan, it is obligatory to observe precaution by ascertaining the beginning of Shawwal. The sighting of the crescent in Iran, which is to the west of Japan, cannot be a basis regarding the beginning of Shawwal for one residing in Japan.

Question 856: Is the sameness of horizon considered to be a condition in regards to observing the crescent?

A: It is enough for the crescent to be sighted in the areas on the same horizon, or nearby, or in the areas to the east.

Question 857: What is meant by sameness of horizon?

A: When certain areas are located on the same longitude they are said to share the same horizon.

Question 858: If the twenty-ninth day of the month was the day of Id al-Fitr in Tehran and Khorasan, is it permissible for the residents of areas like Bushehr to break their fast too, though the horizon of Tehran and Khorasan differs from the horizon of Bushehr?

A: If the difference between the longitude of two cities is such that the new moon cannot be seen in one of them when sighted in the other, its sighting in the city located to the west of the other is not sufficient for the residents of the city to the east, where the sun sets earlier than in the city to the west, and is sufficient when the case is the reverse.

Question 859: If the Islamic scholars of a city differ regarding the end of Ramazan, and one considers all of them to be just and precise in their investigations, what is the duty of the city's inhabitants?

A: If the difference between the two testimonies is one of contradiction, in the sense that one of them claims the crescent to have been sighted and the other claims that it has not been sighted, the duty of the inhabitants is to decide the matter through other means. However, if the first group testifies to the sighting of the new moon, but the second group does not claim to have seen it, the inhabitants have to accept the view of the first group and break their fasts. Also, the people have to follow if a religious authority [hakim al-shar'] issues a decree announcing the end of Ramazan.

Question 860: If a person who sees the new moon knows that the city's religious authority is not able to see the crescent for some reason, is it his duty to inform the religious authority that he has observed the crescent?

A: It is not his duty to do so, unless his not doing so can cause some trouble [fitnah].

Question 861: As you know, most Islamic scholars have written in their risalahs that the beginning of Shawwal can be proved only through five methods. However, announcement of the end of Ramazan by a religious authority is not among those methods. Such being the case, how can most of the people break their fasts when the beginning of Shawwal has been ascertained by the major marja's? What is the duty of a person who is not convinced of the new moon's sighting by such means?

A: Unless a religious authority issues a decree announcing the sighting of the new moon, the mere ascertaining of it by him is not sufficient for others to follow him, unless they are convinced thereby of the end of Ramazan.

Question 862: If the Leader [wali al-amr ] of Muslims issues a decree announcing the next day as Id al-Fitr and the media report that the crescent has been cited in certain cities, does it determine the id for all the cities or only those cities and for others on the same longitudes?

A: If the decree issued by the religious authority includes all the cities, it is valid for all of them.

Question 863: If on the evening of Id al-Fitr, the moon appears as a very fine crescent, does it mean that the next day is the first of Shawwal and that the id was declared by mistake? Is one required to perform qaza' for the last day of Ramazan?

A: The thinness or thickness of the moon and also its position in the sky are not lawful evidence in deciding the first or second of a month. But if it brings conviction to the mukallaf, he is obliged to act in accordance with his knowledge in this case.

Question 864: Can the night of the full moon, which is the fourteenth night of the month, be taken as a reliable basis for calculating the first day of the month so as to determine whether the Day of Doubt is the thirtieth of Ramazan, for example, so that whoever did not fast on that day may have evidence concerning the necessity to perform qaza' for the thirtieth day of Ramazan and whoever fasted that day, considering Ramazan to continue, may know that he is free of obligation?

A: That which has been mentioned does not constitute lawful evidence for anything mentioned. But if it brings knowledge to the mukallaf, his obligation is to act in accordance with his knowledge.

Question 865: Is watching out for the new moon a kifa'i [collective ] obligation or something to be done as an obligatory precaution?

A: It is not a shar'i duty in itself.

Question 866: Are the beginning and end of Ramazan determined through observing the crescent or by the means of the calendar, even if Sha'ban was not thirty days?

A: Deciding the beginning of any lunar month is only possible through one of the following methods:
sighting the new moon by the mukallaf himself;
the testimony of two just witnesses to that effect;
numerous reports that bring conviction that the moon has been sighted; or
completion of 30 days since the month's beginning;
the decree of a religious authority.

Question 867: If a government announces the end of Ramazan, is it necessary for it to be an Islamic one in order to ascertain that the moon has really been sighted, or can one accept it even from a tyrannical government?

A: The criterion in this regard is the mukallaf's assurance that the new moon has been sighted in the area where its sighting is sufficient in relation to the mukallaf.


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