Sawm (fast) of the six days of Shawwaal

Question: Should the voluntary Sawm (Fast) of the six days of Shawwal be observed directly after Ramadaan, following the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast), or is it permissible to start observing it several days after `Eed-ul-Fitr, during the month of Shawwal?

Answer: It is not necessary to observe this Sawm directly after `Eed-ul-Fitr. It is permissible to start observing it one or more days afterwards. The six days can be observed either consecutively or non-consecutively during the month of Shawwaal, whichever is easier. This matter is open to choice, as this Sawm is Sunnah and not Fareedah (obligatory act)… read more here.

Best days for voluntary Sawm (fast)

Question: Which days are most recommendable to observe voluntary Sawm (Fast) and which months are most recommendable to pay Zakaah (obligatory charity)?

Answer: The most recommendable days to observe voluntary Sawm are Mondays, Thursdays, the White Days (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree [lunar] month), the first ten days of Dul-Hijjah, especially the Day of `Arafah (9th of Dul-Hijjah), the 10th of Muharram along with one day before or after it, and the six days of Shawwaal… read more here.

Voluntary Sawm with two intentions

Question: Is it permissible to observe voluntary Sawm (Fast) with two intentions: the first to make up for missed days of Ramadaan and the second to apply an act of Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet)? Is the Sawm of a traveler or an ill person who can fast valid or not?

Answer: It is not permissible to observe voluntary Sawm with two intentions: one to make up for missed fasts and another to perform an act of Sunnah. It is better for a person who is traveling a distance over which it is permissible to shorten Salaah (Prayer) not to observe Sawm. However, it is unobjectionable to observe Sawm in such a case, which will discharge the obligation. It is better for an ill person, if Sawm will be too hard for them, not to observe Sawm. Furthermore, if it is certain or probable that Sawm will cause harmful effects or results in death, it will be obligatory to refrain from Sawm so as to avert harm and hardship. Later on, a traveler or an ill person must make up for the days of Ramadaan they have missed. However, if they observe Sawm despite difficulty, it will discharge the obligation… read more here.

Dying before making up for missed days of Ramadaan

Question: If a person dies while still having to observe compensatory Sawm for missed days of Ramadan or in fulfillment of a vow made to fast, should their relatives observe Sawm (Fast) or pay Kaffaarah (expiation) for every day of Sawm required on their behalf?

Answer: If, after recovery and regaining the ability to fast, the person concerned dies before observing Sawm, it is prescribed for their relatives to observe Sawm on their behalf, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If a person dies while still having to observe Sawm, their relatives should observe Sawm on their behalf. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). The word “relatives” here refers to the nearest relatives, such as a father, son, brother, paternal cousin, and so on. However, if the person concerned dies before they have recovered, Sawm will be waived and thus their relatives neither have to fast nor pay a Kaffaarah on their behalf… read more here.

Perfumes, Siwak, henna while fasting

Question: Is it permissible for a fasting person to wear perfume or use Siwaak (tooth-cleansing stick) during the daytime? Likewise, is it permissible for women to henna their hair or apply oil?

Answer: It is permissible for a fasting person to apply perfume to the body, head cover, or clothes. However, one should not sniff it through the nose. Siwaak may also be used during the daytime in Ramadaan. In this regard, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for fear of overburdening my Ummah, I would have ordered them to use Siwaak at every Salaah. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). The Hadeeth broadly applies to Duhr (Noon) and `Asr (Afternoon) Prayers whether one is fasting or otherwise… read more here.

Sawm (fast) of a Junub

Question: Is it permissible for a person to fast while in a state of Janaabah (major ritual impurity related to sexual discharge) caused by intercourse with one’s spouse during the night or anything else?

Answer: The Sawm (Fast) of a Junub (person in a state of post-sexual ritual impurity) due to sexual intercourse during the night without taking Ghusl (ritual bath) until after daybreak is valid. Likewise, the Sawm of a Junub due to a wet dream that takes place during the day or the night is valid, even if making Ghusl is delayed until after daybreak. Only sexual intercourse that takes place between daybreak and sunset invalidates Sawm… read more here.

Sexual intercourse interrupting compensatory Sawm

Question: In Shawwaal, 1410 A.H., a man was making up for a day that he missed during Ramadaan. His wife, who was not fasting, aroused him so much that he could not help having sexual intercourse with her during that day. What is the ruling on this matter?

Answer: Anyone who breaks his Sawm at a time outside the month of Ramadaan through having intercourse with his wife has to make up for that day. He is not required to offer a Kaffaarah (expiation) because sexual intercourse did not happen during Ramadaan. He has to repent to Allaah of that sin. The wife should also repent to Allaah as she was the cause of breaking his Sawm… read more here.

Sexual intercourse during the daytime in Ramadaan

Question: I had intercourse with my wife during the daytime in Ramadaan. I was told that I have to offer a Kaffaarah (expiation), which is freeing a slave, observing Sawm (Fast) for two consecutive months, or feeding sixty poor people. However, I do not know whether this order of priority of the required Kaffaarah is obligatory to follow or is optional. Please give us a Fatwaa, may Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: If you intentionally had intercourse with your wife during the daytime in Ramadaan, you have to offer a Kaffaarah – and it is obligatory to follow its order of priority, according to the more correct of the two opinions maintained by scholars. Thus, you should free a slave, if you cannot, step to the second alternative: Sawm for two consecutive months, if you cannot, step to the third alternative: Feed sixty poor persons thirty Sa`s (1 Saa` = 3 kg. approx.) of wheat, fresh dates, rice, or any other staple foodstuff, each poor person receiving half a Saa’… read more here.

Breaking Sawm before Athaan

Question: I broke my Sawm (Fast) once during the daytime in Ramadaan because my two daughters informed me that the Athaan (call to Prayer) for Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer had been announced, but when I went to the Masjid (mosque) I heard the mu’azzin just announcing the Athaan. Am I required to make up for the Sawm of that day?

Answer: If you broke your Sawm after the sun had set, you do not have to make up for that day. But if you broke your Sawm before sunset based on certainty, probability, or suspicion on your part, then you and whoever broke the Sawm with you must make up for that day. This is because the basis of certainty is that the daytime has not ended; consequently, transition from this basis is unwarranted without a Shar`ee evidence, which is sunset in this case… read more here.

Bathing while fasting

Question:  Is it permissible for a fasting person to cool themselves with water after the Duhr (Noon) Prayer during the blessed month of Ramadaan by splashing some on oneself or swimming in a pool? Please enlighten us, may Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: It is permissible for a fasting person to do so, which will have no effect on the validity of Sawm (Fast), as it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to take a bath while fasting. However, one should be on guard lest water leak into their throat… read more here.

Does Madee invalidate Sawm?

Question: One Ramadaan day, I sat beside my wife for about half an hour while we were both fasting. We were having fun with each other. After I left her, I found wet traces of a liquid on my pants discharged from my penis. Actually, this happened more than once. I would like to know if I am liable for Kaffaarah (expiation) for doing so.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, you do not have to make up for the Sawm of that day or offer a Kaffaarah, keeping to the basis that Sawm continues to be valid (as long as nothing has happened to invalidate it, i.e., since the discharge was Madee [thin white viscid fluid secreted due to sexual thoughts or desire]), unless it is proven that the liquid you discharged was Maniy (sperm/vaginal secretions that are released on orgasm), in which case you must perform Ghusl (full ritual bath) and make up for the Sawm of that day, but you do not have to offer a Kaffaarah… read more here.

Swallowing one’s saliva while fasting

Question: Does swallowing one’s saliva during the daytime in Ramadaan invalidate one’s Sawm (Fast)? My mouth produces too much saliva, especially while I am reciting the Qur’aan in the Masjid (mosque), which causes me embarrassment.

Answer: Swallowing one’s saliva does not break one’s Sawm even if in a large amount, whether this happens frequently, and whether one is in the Masjid or elsewhere. However, if a person has thick phlegm, they should not swallow it; they should spit it in a handkerchief or tissue, if in the Masjid… read more here.

Eating or drinking due to forgetfulness while fasting

Question: If one eats or drinks forgetfully during a day in Ramadaan, should one make up for the Sawm (Fast) of that day? The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Anyone who forgets that they are fasting and eats or drinks…”? He (peace be upon him) also said: My Ummah (nation based on one creed) has been pardoned for what they do by mistake, forgetfully, or under duress.

Answer: Anyone who eats or drinks forgetfully during the daytime in Ramadaan is not sinful and should complete their Sawm and not break it. Moreover, they need not make up for the Sawm of the day in question, according to the more correct of the two opinions maintained by scholars. This is the view maintained by Al-Shaafi`ee and Imaam Ahmad based on the Hadeeth related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim to the effect that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who forgets that they are fasting and eats or drinks should complete their Sawm, for it is Allaah Who fed them and gave them something to drink. According to another wording: If a fasting person eats or drinks something forgetfully, it is something with which Allaah provided him and he does not have to make up for the fast of that day. (Related by Al-Daaraqootnee who ranked its Sanad [chain of narrators] to be authentic)… read more here.

Cupping while fasting

Question: Does cupping during the daytime in Ramadaan invalidate the Sawm (Fast) of both the cupper and the one who is cupped? Should they break their Sawm and make up for the Sawm of the day in question at a later date? Please answer my question!

Answer: The Sawm of the cupper and the one being cupped is invalidated by doing so. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The cupper and the cupped have broken their Sawm.read more here.

Masturbating while fasting

Question: If a Muslim is so sexually excited during the daytime in Ramadaan that he cannot help masturbating, does this invalidate Sawm? Does doing so necessitate making up for the day (or days) or offering a Kaffaraah (expiation)?

Answer: Masturbation during Ramadaan and at other times is Haraam. It is unlawful to do so based on the Saying of Allaah: And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or the (women slaves) whom their right hands possess – for (then) they are not blameworthy. But whosoever seeks beyond that, then it is those who are trespassers. Anyone who practices it during the daytime in Ramadaan while fasting has to repent to Allaah and make up for the Sawm of the respective day. However, it does not necessitate Kaffaarah because it is prescribed specifically in the case of sexual intercourse… read more here.

Wearing perfume while fasting

Question: Does applying liquid perfumes to hands, face, body or clothing invalidate one’s Sawm (Fast)?

Answer: Applying perfumes in the way mentioned does not invalidate one’s Sawm… read more here.

Diabetes injection during Sawm (fast)

Question: I am a diabetic and I take subcutaneous insulin injections on a daily basis. When I do not take this injection, blood sugar level rises. Is it permissible for me to inject insulin during the daytime in Ramadaan? It is worth mentioning that my health state deteriorates every Ramadaan because I stop taking injection. I thus have to go to the hospital and do not observe Sawm for about ten days which I make up for later. Please tell me what to do; bearing in mind that such an injection therapy is not effective when taken at night.

Answer: It is permissible for you to take the injection referred to above during the daytime without being required to make up for the Sawm of any days. However, it is preferable to take the injection at night if this causes no hardship to you… read more here.

Non-consecutive making up for missed days of Sawm (fast)

Question: Is it permissible to make up for missed days of Ramadaan non-consecutively?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to make up for missed Sawm (Fast) on non-consecutive days, as Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. According to this Aayah, Allaah did not stipulate that missed Sawm be made up for consecutively…. read more here.

How long should the interval between Suhoor and Fajr Salaah be?

Question: How long should the interval between Suhoor (pre-dawn meal before the Fast) and Fajr (Dawn) Prayer be?

Answer: The time of Suhoor lasts until the time when Fajr Prayer is due because Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night) To the same effect, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:  Bilaal announces the Adaan (call to Prayer) at night, so eat and drink until you hear the Adaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom.  (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.) Ibn Um Maktoom was a blind man who would announce the Adaan only when he was told that dawn broke. However, it is Mustahab (desirable) to delay Suhoor (until shortly before dawn)…. read more here.

Cursing and reviling while fasting

Question: In Ramadaan, is the Sawm (Fast) of a person, who, while in a rage, reviles or swears at another, invalidated by doing so?

Answer: Doing so does not invalidate Sawm, but it does detract from its reward. Muslims should control themselves and guard their tongue against swearing, reviling, backbiting, gossiping and other things forbidden by Allaah whether or not they are fasting. However, a Muslim, while observing Sawm, should be all the more keen to preserve the integrity of their Sawm and be more watchful against anything offensive or may sow the seeds of discord and disunity among people, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When any of you is observing Sawm on a day, they should neither speak bad words nor raise their voice. If anyone reviles them or tries to quarrel with them, they should say: ‘I am fasting.’ (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.)… read more here.

Tasting food while fasting

Question: Some scholars maintain that it is permissible for a woman to taste the food she is preparing while fasting to see if it is seasoned properly, on condition that nothing reaches her throat. Is this view correct?

Answer: It is permissible for a fasting person to taste the food during the daytime in Ramadaan, if necessary, and their Sawm (Fast) is still valid as long as they do not deliberately swallow anything of it…. read more here.

Persons to whom serving Iftaar meal entails reward

Question: Which categories of fasting persons did the Prophet (peace be upon him) encourage offering them Iftaar (breaking the Fast) meal; are they the poor, strangers, or guests whom we invite to have Iftaar meal at our home including family members and relatives? Are we rewarded for serving Iftar to fasting persons to whom we extend a special invitation during Ramadaan?

Answer: It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who offers a fasting person something to break their Sawn will earn the same reward as them, without diminishing in the slightest the reward of the one fasting. (Related by Al-Tirmidee) The Hadeeth refers to any fasting Muslim, especially those who deserve to be charitably invited to Iftaar, such as poor and needy people or a wayfarer… read more here.

Delaying breaking sawm (fast) is an innovation

Question: What is the ruling on a person who delays breaking Sawm (Fast) until a long time after Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer during Ramadan; for example, at 9 or 10 p.m.?

Answer: A fasting person should break Sawm immediately at sunset. This complies with the regular practice and words of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In this regard, it is reported on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa`d (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: People will remain on the right path (i.e., acting upon the Sunnah) as long as they hasten to break Sawm (immediately at sunset). (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). In brief, delaying Iftaar until a long time after sunset does not conform to the Sunnah; rather, it is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion)… read more here.

Invoking Du`aa’ at the time of Iftaar

Question: The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: The Du`aa’ (supplication) of a fasting person at the time of breaking Sawm (Fast) will not be rejected. What is the exact time referred to by the phrase “Du`aa’ at the time of breaking Sawm”? Does it refer to Du`aa’ made just few moments before Iftaar (breaking the Fast), or immediately after it?

Answer: This Hadeeth is related by Ibn Maajah. The author of Al-Zawaa’id ranked its Isnaad as Saheeh (authentic).Focusing on the question, Du`aa’ can be made before or after Iftar because the preposition “at” refers to both times…. read more here.

Observing sawm (fast) without having Suhoor

Question:  Is it permissible to fast without having Suhoor (pre-dawn meal before the Fast)? May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: A fasting person is recommended to have Suhoor before dawn breaks as it gives the energy to fast. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to have Suhoor stating that there is a blessing in this meal. However, Sawm (Fast) will still be valid even if one does not have Suhoor…. read more here.

Breaking Sawm (fast) when invited to a meal

Question: Should a person, who is invited by a Muslim brother to a daytime meal, break Sawm (Fast)?

Answer: It is not permissible to break an obligatory Sawm. As for voluntary Sawm, a Muslim has the choice either to continue or break the Sawm, although it is better to continue Sawm. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When any of you is invited to a meal, they should accept (the invitation). If they are fasting, they should say, ‘I am fasting.’ According to another narration, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:If they are fasting, they should make Du`aa’ (for the inviter), and if they are not fasting, they should partake of the meal.read more here.

Delaying Iftaar is an innovation and against the Sunnah

Question: What is the ruling on a person who delays breaking Sawm (Fast) until after Taraaaweeeh (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadaan)? It is noteworthy that the person concerned is well-aware of the rulings pertaining to breaking Sawm. Also, when observing voluntary Sawm, he is in the habit of breaking Sawm after `Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer. What is the ruling on the validity of Sawm as such? I appreciate giving me advice in this regard.

Answer: Sawm ends at sunset. This is based on the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) in which Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall. This is also based on the Hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: When night comes from this direction (east) and the day departs from this direction (west) and the sun has set, it is time for the fasting person to break Sawm. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is also reported to have said: People will remain on the right path (i.e., acting upon the Sunnah) as long as they hasten to break Sawm (immediately at sunset). Only Mubtadi`s (those who introduce innovations in religion) who contradict the Sunnah (action following the example of the Prophet) consider delaying breaking the Sawm until after sunset as an act of `Ibaadah (worship). Anyone who does so should repent to Allaah of it… read more here.

The meaning of Imsaak

Question: I would like Your Eminence to clarify the meaning of Imsak. Is it only a commendable act, or are all Muslims required to abide by it? Is it true that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) specified the time of Imsaak as being equal to the recitation of fifty Aayaahs (Qur’aanic verses) before Fajr (Dawn) Prayer? Scholars estimated it to be half an hour. What is the ruling on whoever eats or drinks while the Adaan (call to Prayer) for Fajr is being announced? Does Sawm (Fast) start upon hearing the Adaan for Fajr Prayer, or half an hour before Adaan, or after the Adaan is announced?

Answer: Imsaak means abstention from food and drink and all that invalidates Sawm from the beginning of the appointed time of Sawm. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) clarifies in the Glorious Qur’aan the starting time of Sawm, which is the break of dawn, saying: …and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall. The Adaan for Fajr Prayer is a proclamation of the break of dawn. Therefore, you have to stop eating and drinking when you hear it…. read more here.

Traveling after the end of Ramadaan to another country where it is still Ramadaan

Question:  Someone completed the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan as thirty days in his own country. On the next day, he traveled to another country to find the people there fasting. So he fasted on that day like them to have the total of 31 fasted days. He later came to know that the people of the country referred to had sighted the new moon of Ramadan two days after his country had sighted it. In general, it may happen that after completing the Sawm of Ramadaan, either as 29 days in view of sighting the new moon of Shawwal or as 30 days for not sighting it, a Muslim travels to another country to find the people there still have to observe Sawm for two more days. In such a case, should such a person fast on these two additional days, or not fast due to the fact that Ramadaan can be no more than 30 days? I greatly appreciate Your Eminence issuing us a Fatwaa in this regard.

Answer: If someone, after completing the Sawm of Ramadaan in their country, breaks the Sawm on the first day of Shawwaal on a Shar`ee (Islaamically legal) basis, they should not observe Sawm if they happen to travel to another country where people are still fasting because Ramadaan, according to their sighting, has begun there on a later date. This is because they are to abide by the calendar of the country where they initiated their Sawm provided that ending the Sawm was founded on a Shar`ee basis. However, they should not eat openly lest discord should take place… read more here.

Congratulations on the coming of Ramadaan

All praise be to Allaah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has examined the Fatwa request submitted to His Eminence, the Grand Muftee, by Al-Ahsa’ General Court judge Muhammad ibn Sulaymaan Al-Sa`id, which was referred to the Committee by the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars, no. 5845, dated 24/9/1419 A.H. Following is a statement of the question:

Exchanging congratulations at the start of the blessed month of Ramadaan whether by shaking hands, embracing one another, exchanging family visits, as commonly practiced by the people of Al-Ahsa’: to which category does doing so belong: customarily practices or `Ibaadaat (acts of worship)? If it is better not to do so, what should the congratulated person do? Should they show disapproval of those who congratulate them? Please, bear in mind that such people do so in good faith.

I ask Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) to prolong our lives to witness Ramadaan many years and enjoy its blessings for long. I also ask Him to make us all and our parents among those who will be manumitted from Hellfire during this month. Indeed, He (Glorified be He) is the Most Generous, Ever-Bountiful. May Allaah safeguard and protect you!

Answer: After examining the Fatwaa request, the Committee gives the answer that there is nothing wrong with exchanging congratulations onthe coming of Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to announce to his Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet) the coming of Ramadaan by saying: There has come to you a great and blessed month. He (peace be upon him) also used to educate them about the merits of Ramadaan and urge them to make the best use of it…. read more here.

Pregnant fasting women experiencing bleeding

Question: I was pregnant during the blessed month of Ramadaan. I had a vaginal bleeding on Ramadaan 20th, but I neither ate nor drank, i.e., I kept fasting. During my stay in the hospital I broke my Sawm (Fast) for four days. After Ramadaan I made up for the days of Sawm I missed. Should I make up for them again, bearing in mind that I have not given birth yet? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: Your observing Sawm while having vaginal bleeding during pregnancy has no effect on the validity of your Sawm, just like the case of Istihadah (abnormal vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual or post-partum period). Therefore, your Sawm is valid. Moreover, your making up for the four days you missed during your stay in hospital after Ramadaan discharges the obligation, and you do not have to fast them again… read more here.

Pregnant fasting women experiencing a white discharge

Question: A woman was in her ninth month of pregnancy during Ramadaan. At the beginning of the month, she would have a white vaginal discharge with no traces of blood and she would, nevertheless, fast. This happened ten years ago. My question is: “Should she make up for these days, bearing in mind that she fasted in spite of the white vaginal discharge she had?”

Answer: If the case is as you mentioned, her Sawm is valid and she does not have to make up for these days… read more here.

Pregnant women: Non-observance of Sawm (fast)

Question: I was pregnant during Ramadaan so I did not fast during the entire month. Later on, I fasted for one complete month to make up for the days I missed in addition to giving Sadaqah (voluntary charity). I was pregnant again during a subsequent Ramadaan and thus did not fast. Later on, I made up for these missed fasts by fasting every other day for two months without giving Sadaqah. Does Sawm (Fast) in this manner necessitate paying Sadaqah?

Answer: If a pregnant woman is worried lest Sawm should harm her or her embryo, she is allowed to refrain from Sawm, provided that she makes up for the days of Sawm she misses. A pregnant woman falls under the same ruling as a sick person who cannot fast or fears that Sawm may cause them harm. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days.read more here.

Sawm (fast) of kidney patients

Question: I suffer from renal failure and have undergone two surgical operations. Doctors advised me to drink no less than 2.5 liters of water daily. They also warned me that fasting and abstaining from drinking water for three consecutive hours endangers my life. Am I to follow their advice, or should I, seeking Allaah’s Support, observe Sawm despite their warning that there is an increased risk of developing a kidney stone? What should I do? What Kaffaarah (expiation) I am liable for if I do not observe Sawm (Fast)?

Answer: If your health condition is as mentioned, diagnosed as such by efficient and skillful doctors, you are allowed to refrain from observing Sawm to protect your health and prevent further complications. If in the future your health improves and you recover your ability to fast, without difficulty, you have to make up for those missed days of Sawm. However, if your disease continues and physicians decide that you are incurably susceptible to the risk of developing stones if you do not drink a sufficient quantity of water, you should feed a poor person for each day you do not fast… read more here.

Old people who are unable to fast in Ramadaan

Question: My mother, who is old and sick, has been unable to observe Sawm (Fast) during Ramadaan for the last three years. What should she do?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, she should feed a poor person for each day of Ramadaan she missed during the last three years. The amount of food to be given should be half a Saa` (1 Saa` = 3 kg. approx.) of wheat, dates, rice, maize or any other local staple foodstuff…. read more here.

Effect of Sufrah after ritual purity on the validity of Sawm (fast)

Question: One Ramadaan night, my paternal aunt became pure from menses, i.e. her period was over, before dawn. She observed Sawm (Fast) on the next day but at the time of Duhr (Noon) Prayer she saw Sufrah (yellow vaginal discharge during or after menstruation). Is her Sawm valid?

Answer: Her Sawm is valid if Tuhr (purity from menses signaled by white discharge or complete cessation of bleeding) commenced before the break of dawn and thus she observed Sawm on the next day. As for the yellowish discharge that appears after seeing Tuhr, it does not affect the validity of Sawm because Umm `Atiyyah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: We used to consider Kudrah (dusky-colored vaginal discharge during or after menstruation) and Sufrah as nothing (i.e. not menses) after Tuhr.read more here.

Delaying making up for missed Sawm (fast)

Question: During the month of Ramadaan, 1409 A.H., my wife did not observe Sawm (Fast) during her 14-day menstrual period. Later, she made up for only seven days and so she still has to make up for the remaining seven days. Now, she is in the sixth month of pregnancy. Please give me Fatwaa on whether Kaffaarah (expiation) can replace making up for the missed fasts. If not, what should she do? May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: Your wife has to make up for the remaining days of Sawm she missed during Ramadaan due to menstruation. If the delay in making up for the days she missed was for no Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) excuse, she has to pay a Kaffaarah for every day she missed in addition to making up. The Kaffaarah is feeding a poor person, for each day, half a Saa` (1 Saa` = 3 kg. approx.) of dried dates, wheat, or any other staple foodstuff. It should be given to the poor of the country and it is permissible to give the total amount to only one poor person. However, if the delay is due to pregnancy or disease,then she only has to make up for the missed days… read more here.

Start of menstruation shortly before sunset

Question: What is the ruling on a fasting woman whose period starts just few minutes before sunset? Does this invalidate her Sawm (Fast)?

Answer: If her period starts before sunset, her Sawm is invalid and she has to make up for it later. However, if her period starts after sunset, her Sawm is valid and she does not have to make up for it… read more here.

Menstruation-prevention pills during Ramadaan

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to take pills to prevent her menstruation during Ramadaan?

Answer: It is permissible for a woman to take pills to stop menstruation during Ramadaan if experienced trustworthy doctors and similar specialists decide that taking these pills will have no harmful effects or adversely affect her reproductive system. However, it is better not to take them, for Allaah (Exalted be He) has granted her the Rukhsah (concession) allowing her not to observe Sawm during Ramadaan on the days of her period and that she later makes up for the days she misses, and has chosen this for her as the way to discharge this religious obligation… read more here.

The time an airline passenger should break Sawm (fast)

Question: A fasting person on a plane finds out by glancing at the watch or being informed by phone that it is time to break Sawm (Fast) in the country over which the plane is flying; may they break their Sawm although they can still see the sun because of the altitude of the plane? What is the ruling in case a person breaks Sawm in a given country but when the plane takes off they still can see the sun?

Answer: If a fasting person is on a plane and learns either by checking the time on their watch or being informed by a phone call that it is time in the country over which the plane is flying to break Sawm, but they can still see the sun because of the altitude at which the plane is flying, it is not permissible for them to break Sawm because Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall The time limit (i.e. nightfall) specified by this Aayah is not met in the case in question, since the sun continues to be seen… read more here.

Intentional eating during the daytime in Ramadaan

Question: What is the ruling on a fasting person who eats deliberately during the daytime in Ramadaan and then repents to Allaah? Is their Tawbah (repentance) acceptable?

Answer: Yes, their Tawbah will be accepted if all the Tawbah conditions are met, which are: feeling deep remorse for the sin committed, refraining absolutely from it and firmly resolving never to do it again. There is a fourth condition in case sins involve encroachment upon the rights of others, which is asking the person whom one wronged for forgiveness or restoring their right, either by Qisaas (just retaliation) or the like… read more here.

Intentional drinking of water during the daytime in Ramadaan

Question:What is the ruling on intentionally drinking water during Sawm time on feeling very tired? Does doing so necessitate making up for the Sawm of that day?

Answer: Drinking water intentionally during the daytime in Ramadaan invalidates Sawm. Therefore, a fasting person who drinks water due to feeling extremely tired should make up for the Sawm of that day in addition to repenting to Allaah (Glorified be He)… read more here.

Necessity of resolving intention for Sawm (fast) before dawn

Question: Should the intention to observe Sawm (Fast) in Ramadaan be made at night, or is it permissible to make it during the daytime? To give an example, if someone is informed at forenoon that today is Ramadaan, should they make up for the Sawm of that day later?

Answer: It is obligatory to make the intention to fast on any day of Ramadaan in the preceding night before dawn. Thus, starting the Sawm in the daytime without making the intention in the preceding night does not discharge the obligation. Accordingly, if someone knows at forenoon that today is a Ramadaan day and then makes the intention to fast, it is obligatory on them to abstain from all invalidators of Sawm until sunset. They also have to make up for the Sawm of that day later. This is based on the Hadeeth related by Ibn `Umar on the authority of Hafsah (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who has not made the intention to fast before Fajr no Sawm counts for them. (Related by Imaam Ahmad, the Compilers of the Sunan [Imaams ‘Aboo Daawood, Al-Tirmidee, Al-Nasaa’ee and Ibn Maajah], Ibn Khuzaymah, and Ibn Hibbaan.read more here.

The overworked: Non-observance of Sawm (fast)

Question: I heard a Khateeb (preacher) while delivering the Khutbah (sermon) on the second Friday of Ramadaan saying that workers who get extremely exhausted because of the nature of their work, and they have no other source of income, are allowed to refrain from Sawm during Ramadaan. Instead, they should feed a poor person for each day of Ramadaan they do not fast on or equally pay fifteen Dirhams. This urged me to write this letter to you to ask if this Fatwaa is substantiated by any authentic evidence from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah

Answer: It is not permissible for a Mukallaf to break their Sawm during the daytime in Ramadaan under the pretext that they are workers. However, if they suffer from great hardship that may force them to break their Sawm during the daytime, they are permitted to break their Sawm but only up to the point of relieving the hardship. After that, they have to resume abstention from the invalidators of Sawm until sunset and break their Sawm at the time all Muslims break it. However, they have to make up for such a day later. Accordingly, the Fatwaa you mentioned is incorrect… read more here.

Travel distance allowing breaking Sawm (fast)

Question: What is the distance of travel in kilometers that warrants breaking Sawm (Fast)? What if a traveler observes Sawm?

Answer: Some scholars maintain that one is allowed to shorten a a four-Rak`ah Salaah (Prayer consisting of four units) and break Sawm during the daytime in Ramadaan in any travel in the literal sense, i.e. whether the distance is long or short. However, the majority of scholars stipulate a distance of about 80 km… read more here.

A traveler having sexual intercourse during the day of Ramadaan

Question: Two traveling spouses availing themselves of the Rukhsah (concession) allowing travelers not to observe Sawm (Fast) and to shorten Salaah (Prayer); what is the ruling on their having sexual intercourse during the daytime in Ramadaan?

Answer: Travelers are allowed to refrain from Sawm during the daytime in Ramadaan, but they should make up for it later, because Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Accordingly, it is permissible for them to eat, drink, and have sexual intercourse as long as they are traveling… read more here.

Salaah and Sawm (fast) during travel

Question: What are the rulings related to Salaah (Prayer) and Sawm (Fast) during travel? Which is better: offering Salaah in full and observing Sawm, or making use of the Rukhsah (concession), i.e. shortening Salaah and breaking Sawm? Please, bear in mind that long-distance travel at the present time neither takes much time nor causes hardship.

Answer: It is permissible for a traveler during Ramadaan to break Sawm and shorten the four-Rak`ah Salaahs (Prayers consisting of four units), which is the better course of action than Sawm and offering complete number of Rak`ahs. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allaah loves that His Concessions be availed of, just as He loves that His Commands be abided by. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said… read more here.

Committee for sighting the new moon

Question: Is it permissible for Muslims who are living in a non-Muslim country to form a committee to confirm the sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan, Shawwaal, and Dul-Hijjah?

Answer: It is permissible for Muslims living in non-Muslim countries to form a committee consisting of Muslim members to take on the responsibility of confirming the sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan, Shawwaal, and Dul-Hijjah… read more here.

Moving from one country to another where the beginning and end of Ramadaan are different

Question: A citizen called Khuwaylid Al-Jada`y Al-Matiry submitted the following question: On the eve of the thirtieth of Sha‘baan this year, he was in Kuwait when the radio of Kuwait announced their confirmed sighting of the crescent moon of Ramadaan on Tuesday night which, according to the calendar of Umm Al-Qura, would fall on the thirtieth of Sha‘baan. Shortly after he heard on the radio the announcement broadcasted on the radio of Riyadh on the authority of the Higher Judiciary Council that the crescent moon of Ramadaan was not sighted by them on the Tuesday night corresponding to the thirtieth of Sha‘baan according to the calendar of Umm Al-Qura. Accordingly, he, as well as the people of the country where he was present during the sighting of the crescent observed Sawm. After a couple of days, he came back to Saudi Arabia where Ramadaan had begun one day later and the people had been fasting for two days, whereas he had been fasting for three. This may cause a problem for him at the end of the month if Ramadaan completes thirty days.Is he obliged to fast with the people in Saudi Arabia or to stop fasting when Kuwait announces on the thirtieth of Ramadaan that sighting the crescent of Shawwaal is confirmed? The questioner thinks that the moon sighting announced on the radio of Riyadh is more correct and says that he fasted with the people of Kuwait only out of appreciating the sanctity of time. Please clarify this matter!

Answer: If a person finds himself in a country where people have already started fasting, he must fast with them, because under such a situation the person present in another country will come under the same ruling as its own citizens. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Sawm (Fasting, i.e. beginning of Ramadaan) is the day when you fast; Fitr (Breaking the Fast, i.e. end of Ramadaan) is the day when you end the fast, and Al-Adhaa (the Festival of the Sacrifice) is the day when you sacrifice. (Reported by  ‘Aboo Daawood with an authentic Sanad [chain of narrators]; there are supporting reports for it narrated by ‘Aboo Daawood and others)… read more here.

Giving Zakaat-ul-Fitr to charitable societies

Question: All praise be to Allaah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family and Companions. To proceed:

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has examined the Fatwaa request submitted to His Eminence the Chairman by the Chairman of the Board of Al-Bir Society in Jeddah stating:

Al-Bir Society in Jeddah, registered at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs under no. 62 dated 6/3/1404 A.H., practices some social services; the most important thereof are the following:

1- Maintaining orphans, children of unknown parents and children of special circumstances as those whose mothers are jailed or suffering from a mental illness or a chronic disease. Maintenance includes both genders, males and females, and is a complete educational integrated lodging.

2- Maintaining needy families through presenting cash and study aids after a thorough investigation performed by experienced or qualified male and female researchers on scientific objective basis. This is followed by continuous observation from time to time to monitor and take care of positive or negative changes that may happen to beneficiary families.

The society currently cares for around 200 children and more than 600 families. It also offers school aids to about 1000 male and female students. Moreover, in case the resources of the society improve, it is expected (Allaah willing) that its new orphanage maintains 500 children and the families receiving assistance increase. The same also applies to school aids. The society gets its resources from payments of Zakaah (obligatory charity), endowments, donations and wills in addition to member subscriptions.The society considered collecting Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) whether its payments is directly foodstuff or turned into foodstuff by the society on behalf of those who pay it in cash – after the pattern of the meats given as Ud-hiyah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims), Hady (sacrificial animal offered by pilgrims) and Fidyah (ransom) – before the Prayer of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). Is it permissible for the society to distribute such foodstuff eventually in accordance with the need of its maintained beneficiaries? We wish that your Eminence will issue your Fatwaa in this regard so that we may proceed in this charitable enterprise.

The Committee replied as follows:

The society must distribute Zakaat-ul-Fitr to its deserving recipients before the ‘Eed Prayer. It is impermissible to delay paying it after such a time limit as the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered it to be given to the poor before the ‘Eed Prayer… read more here.