Ruling on offering Salaah and observing Sawm during travel

Question: What are the rulings related to Salaah (Prayer) and Sawm (Fast) during travel? Which is better: offering Salah 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: It is not righteousness to fast while traveling.read more here.

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Sawm of a patient with a serious disease

Question: I suffered from a serious disease in the last ten days of Ramadaan, 1395 A.H. I broke the Sawm (Fast) for four days in this blessed month because of my sickness. I hoped that I could make up for these days when I would restore my health. I am still ill up to now and the coming Ramadan is about to start. I am unable to make up for these days and to fast the next Ramadaan. Additionally, I am not sure that I will restore my health in the future. Would you please tell me in writing what I should do and the present cash value of feeding? If there are a few poor people in our village, can I pay them this value more than once?

Answer: If the case is as you have mentioned, you have to be patient until Allaah cures you of your illness... read more here.

Sawm of a woman suffering from uterine bleeding

Question: My wife could not fast in the Ramadaan of 1401 A.H., because of a disease that caused her to bleed from the genital organs. Consequently, she could not fast the missed month of Ramadaan before the next Ramadaan of 1402 A.H. which she was able to fast. Indeed, she submitted to treatment during that period until the bleeding stopped. Now, should she make up for the missed days by fasting or by offering Fidyah (ransom)?

Answer: It is obligatory for her to make up for all the days she missed in the Ramadaan of 1401 A.H. In which she broke her Sawm and could not make up for it until the next Ramadaan of 1402 A.H. Allaah (Exalted be He) says... read more here.

Paying Fidyah for breaking Sawm in Ramadaan due to illness and then recovering

Question: A pious young woman who is twenty eight years old has entrusted me to request a Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim Scholar) regarding the following: Her doctors prohibited her from offering Sawm (Fast) due to a cureless heart disease from which she suffers, so she does not fast in Ramadaan but was committed to paying the expiation for every day that she missed. The Divine will decreed that medicine improved and she underwent Heart Valve Surgery, and successfully recovered from it, Praise be to Allaah, but she was kept under observation and treatment for a period of time.

Now after she has recovered and Allah has provided her the strength to fast the previous months of Ramadaan, she is asking about making up for the days that she did not fast, these are 180 days which are equal to six consecutive months of Ramadaan, should she fast them? Or was it enough for her to pay the expiation of these days; based on Allaah’s Saying (Exalted be He): And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). ? Advise us in this regard, May Allaah reward you the with best of all on behalf of the inquirer and all Muslims.

Answer: What she has paid as an expiation for every day she did not fast is sufficient for her and she is not to make up for these days, for she was excused, and has fulfilled her duty in this regard at that time... read more here.

Sawm of a liver patient

Question: A person suffers from hepatitis and the doctor ordered him to refrain from Sawm (Fast) in order to take the medicine and because of his inability to observe Sawm. He says that he can walk to the Masjid (mosque) and the hospital. Is it permissible for him to break Sawm under these conditions?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned that you were unable to fast due to suffering severe ill health and that you still can not fast as per the doctor’s instructions, there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Sawm of a colon patient

Question: If the state is as you have described, that you have been suffering from this disease for so long and are unable to fast, then it is permissible for you to feed a poor person for each missed day during these years with half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat, dates, rice, corn, or the like from the average kind of food you feed your family with.

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned that you were unable to fast due to suffering severe ill health and that you still can not fast as per the doctor’s instructions, there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Sawm of a hemorrhoid (piles) patient

Question: A Muslim person suffered from severe hemorrhoids, which bled due to sharp swellings. Bleeding happened during the blessed month of Ramadaan. A doctor prescribed the medicine necessary to, by Allaah’s Will, stop the bleeding and cure the disease. The doctor permitted him not to observe Sawm (Fast) in order to take the medicine during the period of bleeding until it would stop. However, bleeding did not stop even during the time the medicine was taken. Please be informed that the person concerned could not stand or walk except with the help of others due to the severe swellings and bleeding.

May a patient with such a condition break his Sawm in order to take medicine? Can he perform the Five Daily Obligatory Salaahs (Prayers) although bleeding is continuous and thus both his underwear and outer clothes are soiled with blood?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned and you are unable to observe Sawm or observing Sawm increases the severity of your disease or retard the recovery, it is permissible for you not to observe Sawm; but you have to make up for the missed days of Sawm... read more here.

Illnesses that allow breaking the Sawm

Question: My wife was suffering from an abdominal illness, so I took her to Al-Huda Specialist Hospital in Al-Taa’if. She observed Sawm (Fast) for ten days last Ramadaan, but she could not complete the rest of the month. The specialist said to us that she had to eat six meals a day due to her weakness. Now Ramadaan is near again and I remembered that she has not been able to make up for the days that she missed last Ramadaan. I, therefore, ask of Allaah, and then of you, to guide me to the correct Fatwaa. Can paying a Fidyah (ransom) compensate for the days of Sawm she missed, because the doctor said that she must eat six meals daily over the course of the day? Please advise us. May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: If the case is as you mentioned, she is excused for not fasting during Ramadaan. She has to make up for the days she did not fast, if Allaah cures her and she becomes able enough to fast. Likewise, if she is unable to fast during the coming month of Ramadaan or part of it, she can abstain from Sawm and make up for the missed days, if Allaah cures her... read more here.

Kidney dialysis as a nullifier of Sawm

Question: Some patients – may Allaah cure them – suffer from renal failure, so they need to go through kidney dialysis,which is used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function to filter poisonous wastes in the blood typically two or three times a week. Blood is taken to the dialysis machine that carries the removed blood to the dialyzer for filtering out impurities wherein blood is diffused with a dialysate. Kidney dialysis is so necessary to the patient’s life that may be endangered because of contingent renal dysfunction.

Does this process invalidate Sawm (Fast)? Please bear in mind that it is a necessity and it is so difficult for the patients to break their Sawm and make up for it later, while the only benefit they get is filtering poisonous waste in the blood. In fact, this is a frequently asked question. Please give us information in this regard, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: His Eminence the Manager of King Faysal Hospital and His Eminence the Manager of the Military Hospital in Riyadh were addressed by letters no. 1756/2 dated 14/8/1406 and 1757/2 dated 4/8/1406 respectively to enquire about the nature of the process of kidney dialysis, whether it involves mixing chemicals, and whether it includes nutrients... read more here.

Sawm of a patient with intestinal complaints

Question: I suffer from a gastric ulcer and I underwent five surgeries. I remained in hospital for a long time as I had been suffering severe ill health. During this period of time, the month of Ramadaan came, and I was unable to fast during the current Ramadaan nor make up for the missed fasts of last Ramadaan. What should I do?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned that you were unable to fast due to suffering severe ill health and that you still can not fast as per the doctor’s instructions, there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Non-observance of Sawm by a gastric ulcer patient

Question: My brother suffers from a gastric ulcer. His doctor restricted the foods he is allowed to eat and prohibited him from observing Sawm (Fast) for the next five years. My brother attempted to fast, but it badly affected his health. What is the ruling on this case?

Answer: If this is the condition of your brother, and the doctor who advised him to abstain from Sawm is reliable, honest and knowledgeable, then he should follow his doctor’s advice. Therefore, he should not fast during the month of Ramadaan until his health improves to the extent that he is able to observe Sawm... read more here.

Sawm of a diabetic and tuberculosis patient

Question: My mother is 66 years old. For the last seven years she suffered from diabetes, and since she was diagnosed, she has continued to receive treatment for her condition. Also, in 1398 A.H she came down with tuberculosis and I took her to Kuwait in search of treatment. She remained hospitalized at the Thoracic Disease Hospital in 1399-1400 A.H. where she was treated for two years until her condition improved relatively speaking. Since she left the hospital she has been living at my home and she is still being treated for these two conditions and must visit the hospital every week. She also suffers from general physical weakness due to her old age and these incurable diseases. She cannot fast at the present time as she has to drink at least one cup of water every two hours.

Likewise, she did not fast the last two years while she was in the hospital according to the advice of her physicians. Next Ramadaan is coming soon and we would like to know, may Allaah reward you well, what should be done concerning the days of fasting that she missed the last two years and also regarding the fasting of next Ramadaan that she cannot perform. May Allaah grant you success and forgive you! Peace be upon you!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned regarding your mother’s illness,then she is allowed to give up fasting during the month of Ramadaan as long as she remains in this condition. If she recovers and is able to make up for the missed days, she should do so by fasting... read more here.

Sawm of a diabetic person

Question: I got married in 1477 A.H. I have ten children; six sons and four daughters. My wife, all praise be to Allaah, is righteous and fears Allah (Exalted be He). Since we have been married, she has been committed to her religion and consistently performed the five obligatory daily Prayers and observed Sawm (Fast) of the month of Ramadaan. I never saw her lazy in performing Salah or observing Sawm during the blessed month of Ramadaan. When she breaks her Sawm because of menstruation, she immediately makes up for the days of Sawm she missed; five days after the end of Ramadaan. However, she has been suffering from diabetes for one year. It was so severe on her to the extent that she fell into a state of unconsciousness and was hospitalized. After several months, she recovered, but she is still suffering from diabetes. Physicians told us that there is no cure for this disease.

During the month of Ramadaan in 1398 A.H., she gave birth to a male baby on the first day of Ramadaan. After the end of the forty days of postpartum period, she tried to make up for the month of Sawm she had missed. She observed Sawm till midday, but she again suffered from vertigo and could notstand up. Thus, she broke her Sawm. After eating and drinking water, she felt better and the dizziness disappeared. A few days later, she suffered vertigo again at midday when she tried to observe Sawm and thus, once more broke her Sawm. She cried out of fear of Allaah (Exalted be He) lest the following Ramadaan should come while she is still in this state. She asked me to inform Your Eminence about her condition. She will try, In-shaa’-Allaah (if Allaah wills), to observe Sawm. What should she do if she suffers vertigo due to observing Sawm? What should I, as her husband, do in this case for the sake of pleasing Allaah (Exalted be He)?

I hope you will guide us to the truth. May Allaah guide you to what pleases Him, grant you success and make Paradise your abode.

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned with regard to the continuity of her illness and her inability to make up for the days of Sawm she missed, there will be no harm to delay making up for these days till she is able to perform them even if another Ramadaan passes... read more here.

A diabetic person who is negatively affected by fasting

Question: I suffer from diabetes. Observing Sawm (Fast) affects my health badly. I am seventy two years old. I usually forget in my Salaah (Prayer) and I think this is the result of diabetes.

Answer: If you come to know, through experience, that observing Sawm aggravates your disease or delays your recovery or if your well-versed Muslim physician informs you that observing Sawm causes you harm, you are permitted to break your Sawm. Then, you can, after recovery, make up for the days of Sawm you have missed. But if your disease continues, Allaah forbids, and you are not able to make up for these days or think mostly that you will not recover, you have to feed a needy person half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat, dates, rice or the like of the food you usually feed your family for every day of Sawm you have missed... read more here.

Sawm of a patient with one sick kidney

Question: My wife underwent an operation before the month of Ramadaan. Because of the operation, she was unable to fast (she had one kidney removed and stones removed from the other kidney). Her physician advised her not to fast for the rest of her life. Thus, we would like to know the religious ruling regarding the expiation for the missed days of fasting.

How should I go about feeding sixty needy persons if this is the expiation that has been ordained? Are we supposed to expiate as long as physicians forbid her from fasting out of fear for her life? Are we supposed to expiate for every year that the doctors believe she should not fast? Are we permitted to pay the expiation in cash? If it is permissible to pay it in cash, then how much should we pay? Am I required to buy grain and distribute it among the needy or should I go to the Sacred Mosque and distribute money among the needy there, as I may not find sixty needy persons here? Please enlighten us, may Allaah reward you well!

Answer: If a reliable Muslim physician has advised her that fasting is harmful to her health, then she should not fast. Instead, she should pay the expiation for each day that she does not fast during the month of Ramadaan by feeding one needy person. Each person should be given half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg Approx.) of wheat, rice, dates or other such foodstuffs eaten in her country. The expiation should not be paid in cash... read more here.

A kidney patient making up the missed days of Ramadaan

Question: I am a Kuwaiti citizen, 27 years of age, and for two years I suffered from kidney disease that caused me to require dialysis. Physicians told me that I needed one of my brothers to donate a kidney to me. My younger brother, who is two years younger than me (25 years old), agreed to do so and the operation was successful by the grace of Allaah. The doctors advised me not to fast as I must drink a cup of water every hour. My brother was also advised not to fast. Physicians told me that if I were to try to fast, I would endanger my life. Only someone who has this disease can know just how much I have suffered. In my situation, am I required to fast or not? My brother fasted Ramadaan last year (two years after the operation) and it obviously affected him. I advised him not to do so, but he rejected my advice and continued fasting.

Please answer my question soon. What am I supposed to do if I do not fast? How much am I supposed to pay for each day or for the entire month? May Allaah protect and guide you to what is good for Islaam and Muslims.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, then you are permitted to break your fast during the month of Ramadaan as long as you are in such a state. 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. If you are able to fast in the future, then you are required to make up for any days that you did not fast. If, however, you cannot fast, then you should feed a needy person for every missed day of fasting. We ask Allaah to restore you to health as He is All-Hearing and answers our prayers... read more here.

Non-observance of Sawm by someone whom fasting may harm

Question: I suffer from kidney disease. One of my sons donated one of his kidneys to me and the physician who performed the operation advised me not to fast during the month of Ramadaan. The operation was performed only recently, and the physician told me that fasting will endanger my life due to my dire need for water, because this is a newly transferred kidney. I ask Allaah to guide me and I ask your Eminence to tell me what should I do concerning the missed days of fasting? Am I supposed to make up for these days or should I pay charity as I can not fast while in such a state? May Allaah protect and save you!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, then you are allowed to break your fast for as long as fasting causes you hardship. You have to make up for the days of fasting you missed during the month of Ramadaan whenever you are able to do so, even if after one year or more. If you are not likely to recover and to be able to fast in the future, then you should feed a needy person for every day of fasting that you missed during the month of Ramadaan. You should give each person one half Sa` (1 Saa`=3 kg Approx.) of rice, wheat or the like of other foodstuffs like that which you feed your family. In this case, you are not required to make up for these days of missed fasting... read more here.

Sawm of a kidney patient

Question: I am a kidney patient and I have undergone two surgical operations on my kidney. Doctors advised me to drink no less than two and a half liters of water daily and warned me that Sawm (Fast) 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 I am at risk of developing stones? What should I do? What Kaffaarah (expiation) am I liable for if I do not observe Sawm?

Answer:If your health condition is as mentioned, diagnosed as such by skillful and efficient doctors, you are allowed to refrain from 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 must make up for those missed days of Sawm. However, if your disease continues and doctors decide that you are incurably susceptible to the risk of developing stones if you do not drink water over short periods, you should feed a needy person for each day that you do not fast... read more here.

The disease that cancels the obligation of Sawm

Question: I am a woman and have been suffering from a disease for the last fifteen years. Up until this time (1402 AH) I am suffering from this disease, and last year it was so severe that I was hospitalized and received treatment for three months. The physician prescribed a medication for me to take at home for a year. The disease that I suffer from is a type of pneumonia and bleeding from the mouth. Last year, I fasted eight days during the month of Ramadaan. If I stopped taking my medicine, I used to spit up blood with phlegm from my mouth. The physician recommended that I do not stop the medicine.

The next Ramadaan is coming up soon and I still have not made up for the missed days of Ramadaan from last year. If I fast, the hemorrhage will continue as a result of stopping the medicine, and will cause me to spit up phlegm alone or mixed with blood. I would like your Eminence to study my case and to inform me what I should do about the missed days of fasting from the previous Ramadaan and the religious ruling regarding the validity of the eight days that I fasted. Please answer my question, may Allaah reward you good!

Answer:If the reality is as you mentioned, then you are allowed to break your fast during the month of Ramadaan until you recover and are able to fast. Your fasting last Ramadaan is valid and you are not required to make up for the days you fasted, but you are required to make up for the days that you did not fast... read more here.

Taking medications during the day of Ramadaan

Question: I would like to inform Your Eminence that I have been suffering from asthma and severe allergy for 13 years. I traveled to London this year to perform medical examinations because sickness has caused me some complications. May Allaah protect you. The physician advised me to take medicine for three months three times a day. This specified period will coincide with the month of Ramadan. I would like to know what I should do as my condition requires receiving medicine to cure my lungs. I suffer great hardship due to observing Sawm (Fast) every year during Ramadaan. What should I do? May Allaah protect Your Eminence and guide you to increase in good deeds!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, there will be no blame on you in taking medicine according to your needs even if it is during daytime in Ramadaan for the sake of alleviating your pain and hoping that Allaah may cure you. If your medicine can be taken through the nose, intravenously, or intramuscular for the sake of alleviating asthma and facilitating breathing, your Sawm will be valid and you will not be required to make up for these days later... read more here.

Fasting of bronchial asthmatic patient

Question: I want to inform Your Eminence that I have been suffering from asthma since 1382 A.H. The disease has worsened gradually to the extent that I must use an inhaler for asthma every half an hour and sometimes every one or two hour, according to the mildness of the weather and its impact. I am also forced to take various tranquilizers once, twice or three times per day, according to the intensity of the persistent asthma allergy. I have had several medical reports, all of them reveal the severity of the illness, and exactly reflect what I feel and suffer. I ask Your Eminence whether it is permissible for me not to observe Sawm (Fast) in Ramadaan and what I should do to expiate for this since I cannot observe Sawm. May Allaah guide you!

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, then there is nothing wrong if you do not observe Sawm in Ramadaan. Yet the days during which you did not observe Sawm are still a debt on you, i.e., you have to make up for them once you recover and become able to observe Sawm. Allaah (Exalted and Glorified 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. On the other hand, if you remain sick and a specialized doctor decides that this illness is most likely to be incurable, then you have to feed one Miskeen (needy) person for each day you do not observe Sawm on, by giving this Miskeen half a Saa` (1 Saa`= 3 kg. Approx.) of staple food; such as wheat, dates, rice, etc. You do not have to make up for these days based on Allaah’s saying: Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. And: …and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardshipread more here.

A patient who cannot fast Ramadaan

Question: There is a person who suffers from tuberculosis and finds it difficult to observe Sawm (Fast) in Ramadaan. Having not observed Sawm during last Ramadaan, should he feed needy people or not? It is worth mentioning that this illness is incurable and that he receives medication for a period of about a month, in which he leaves his home in the village and goes to the city, which makes it hard for him to stay there.

Answer: If this patient is unable to observe Sawm in Ramadaan due to suffering from an incurable disease, then he is to be exempted from Sawm. However, he must feed one needy person for each day by giving him half a Saa` (1 Saa`= 3 kg. Approx.) of staple food; such as wheat, dates, rice, etc. Provided that this is within his capacity. This patient takes the same ruling as an old man or aged woman who finds it difficult to observe Sawm… read more here.

Sawm and Tahaarah of a woman who inserts her finger or another object in her vagina

Question: If a woman inserts her finger into her vagina while making Istinjaa’ (cleansing the private parts with water after urination or defecation), applying ointment, or inserting a suppository; or if a female doctor inserts a diagnostic instrument or her finger during a medical examination, should a woman perform Ghusl (full ritual bath)? If this occurs during the daytime of Ramadaan, should she break her Sawm (Fast) and make up for it later?

Answer: In any of the above-mentioned cases, a woman does not have to perform Janaabah Ghusl (full ritual bath to cleanse of sexual discharge) nor does it invalidate her Sawm… read more here.

Salaah and Sawm (fast) of an elderly patient

Question: My father is around seventy or eighty years old. He suffers from many diseases, which are:

1- Bronchial asthma
2- Diabetes
3- Polyneuritis and spondylitis
4- He has also been bedridden for three years.

I would like to ask you the following questions:

1- He sometimes observes Sawm (Fast) but just until midday, for he cannot continue fasting until sunset. What should he do during Ramadaan?
2- He cannot perform Wudoo’ (ablution) properly as he can neither stand nor sit. What should he do when he wants to offer Salaah (Prayer)?
3- His clothes are often soiled with drops of urine or traces of excrement that he might be unaware of. Please answer my questions.

Answer: Firstly, if your father cannot observe Sawm due to his old age or because of an incurable disease, then he should break his Sawm and feed a needy person half a Saa` (one Saa` equals 3 kg) of wheat, rice, dates, or other such foods that are common in his area for every day he misses. Secondly, if your father cannot perform Wudoo’ by himself or with the help of others, then he can perform Tayammum (dry ablution) with clean earth… read more here.

An insane elderly person is not obliged to pray or fast

Question: I have a wife who is around 85 years old. She is a righteous Muslim woman who has been suffering from diabetes for the last few years. Her condition has reached the extent that some days she is in a coma in the hospital and some days at home. She cannot speak properly and is not aware of what she is saying. Moreover, she cannot walk except with the help of her children. The problem is that she has not offered Salaah (Prayer) for at least two years. With regard to Sawm (Fast), we pay expiation on her behalf, but with regard to Salaah she does not even know the prescribed times of Salaah or what to say while offering them. The mistakes in her speech are more than that which is correct.

Please answer the following questions for me: Is she required to offer Salaah though her mind is not fully functioning? Are we required to pay expiation on her behalf for the days of Ramadaan that she cannot fast? What should we do about the religious duties that are obligatory upon her? I ask Allaah (the Most Exalted) to grant you good health. May Allaah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!

Answer: If the case is as you have mentioned, then she is not required to offer Salaah or to observe Sawm, because she is not Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions)… read more here.

Ransom of Sawm (fast) missed by the deceased

Question: My mother was around 85 to 90 years old. She suffered from hemiplegia on her left side, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease; this was according to a medical report. She lived like this for more than a year; some of which she was at home and some of which she was in hospital, until she finally passed away. She also suffered from amnesia sometimes, and used to ask many repeated questions and ask about people who had died a long time ago, such as her brothers. I do not know if this was a result of her illness or senility. The point that I would like to clarify is that my mother was in the condition I have described during Ramadaan of 1409 A.H.

Was it obligatory upon her to observe Sawm (Fast) then? If it was, can any one or all of her children observe Sawm on her behalf? Or which one should do it for her, or should each one of them take part? Are we obligated to pay Sadaqah (voluntary charity) on her behalf as an expiation for not observing Sawm? If so, what is the best way, from her personal wealth or from the wealth of her children? Please note that she had many children, both sons and daughters. If we have to pay Sadaqah on her behalf, how much do we have to give for every day of Ramadaan, and what type of Sadaqah do we have to give, and how do we give it?

Answer: If the circumstances were as you mentioned, she was not required to do anything due to her dementia. Therefore, you are not required to observe Sawm or pay expiation on her behalf… read more here.

Sawm and Kaffaarah of a heart patient

Question: I am an eighty year old man. I suffer from a disease in my arteries and heart. I was unable to observe Sawm (Fast) during Ramadaan of last year. For this reason, I paid three sacks of wheat to three needy families in our village. The amount of the three sacks was thirty-four Mudd (a dry measure of half bushel, 543 grams). I do not know if I will be able to fast this year or not. I hope your Eminence will answer my question as I will not feel comfortable until I am informed of your legal opinion.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned regarding your age and health, and you did not observe Sawm last Ramadaan because of your inability to fast, then you are not to be blamed for breaking your Sawm… read more here.

Salaah and Sawm of an elderly patient

Question: There is a very elderly woman who is around 85 years old. She is bedridden and cannot even get up to answer nature’s call. Is it obligatory on her to perform the Salaah (prayer) and to observe the Sawm (fast)? Please enlighten us, may Allaah reward you well!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, then she is required to perform the Salaah so long as she is sane and comprehends the acts of Salaah, and she does that to the best of her ability even if it is by mere gestures… read more here.

Sawm of a gastric ulcer patient

Question: I was born in 1315 A.H. And I have been suffering from a gastric ulcer since 1380 A.H. Now I am nearly 87 years old. I used to fast the entire month of Ramadaan every year in addition to fasting six days of the month of Shawwaal. This year also, I intend to fast the month of Ramadaan, if Allaah wills, but I fear that I may not be able to complete it. What should I do if I cannot fast? I ask your Eminence to answer my question in this regard. May Allaah reward you well!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned regarding your age, then you should fast the number of days that you are able to fast during the month of Ramadaan. If, however, some days you are not able to fast, then you should feed a needy person for every day that you do not fast. You are not required to make up for these days. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can He also says: …and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardshipread more here.

An elderly person and an asthmatic person during Ramadaan

Question: I am a very old man. I am around ninety years old. I suffer from asthma and high blood pressure. I have been able to fast Ramadaan every year up until last year when I was forced to break my fast for sixteen days because I was unable to fast. I intended to make up for these days when my health became better, but my condition has not improved, and I am still unable to make up for these days. I fear that next Ramadaan may come while I am still in such a state. I would like to know the religious ruling of paying in compensation for the missed days of fasting and what I should do next Ramadaan. If I am supposed to pay for the days I could not fast by feeding the needy, what is the amount that I am supposed to give to each needy person? If there are no poor people who can take the food, can I give the equivalent in money instead of food? If this is possible, what is the amount of money I should give? Am I supposed to give it on a daily basis or should I collect it and pay it all as a whole at the end of the month?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned that you are ninety years old and suffer from asthma and high blood pressure, then you are not required to make up for the sixteen days of missed fasting during Ramadan as long as you are not able to make up for them. You are also permitted to break your fast as long as you are still unable to fast. You should give half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) for one needy person for every day of Ramadaan that you did not fast. You are permitted to give it out all at once or separately. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship You should not give money instead of food… read more here.

Sawm (fasting) of an elderly man

Question: My father is more than seventy years old. For the last three years, he has been inflicted with a disease that I ask Allaah to bestow His Mercy on him, and to make it an expiation for his sins. This disease has made him unable to fast, as fasting will cause him to lose his sight, hearing and his life. Therefore, he cannot observe Sawm (fast) during the month of Ramadaan. Tell us what he should do.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, then he is not supposed to fast during the month of Ramadaan. He has a legal excuse for breaking his fast, but it is Waajib (obligatory) on him to feed a needy person half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat, dates, rice, etc. Of the foodstuffs whereof he feeds his family for every day of Ramadaan that he is unable to fast. Allaah says: So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can He also says: Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scoperead more here.

An elderly mother who is unable to fast 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.

Ruling on feeding the needy by those who are unable to fast Ramadaan

Question: I want to ask you about the ruling on feeding the needy for those who are weak in Ramadaan, such as weak elderly men and women, those who are ill and not expected to recover, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers whose milk would dry up if they fast.

Answer: Firstly, anyone who is unable to fast during Ramadaan either due to old age – an elderly man or woman – or anyone who experiences extreme difficulty when they fast, have been granted a concession to break their Sawm (fast). It is obligatory upon them to feed a needy person for every day of Sawm that they missed. They should give each needy person half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg. Approx.) of wheat, dates, rice, or anything similar, from the type of food that they usually feed their family… read more here.

Yellowish discharge after purification from menses

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… read more here.

Delaying making up for missed days until after another Ramadaan passes

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 Sa` (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.

Yellowish discharge after purification from menstruation

Question: A lady started her menstruation period but the discharge stopped after six days so she performed Ghusl (ritual bath following major ritual impurity), and resumed Salaah (Prayer) and Sawm (Fast). Two days passed before she started to bleed again but only for one day.

Again the lady performed Ghusl then resumed Salaah and Sawm. Nevertheless, she bled another time for one day. What should she do?

Were the Salaah and Sawm that she performed after the first six days i.e. the period of her menstruation valid?

Does she have to perform Salaah and Sawm during these extra days of bleeding or should she make up for Salaah and Sawm when the blood ceases?

Is it obligatory on her to perform Ghusl after the termination of this blood just as is done after menstruation or not?

What is the ruling in the case that her menstruation period continues for five days but she waits until the sixth lest the bleeding should start again, then she makes Ghusl when she is sure that no blood can be seen?

Is it obligatory for her, after performing Ghusl by the end of the sixth day, to make up all the obligatory Salaahs (Prayers) she missed on that day? Please provide me with your beneficial answer!

Answer: A lady should stop performing Salah and Sawm during the days of her menstruation. Once she is pure, she should perform Ghusl and make up for the days of Sawm but not the Salaahs she missed. In case that she sees Sufrah (Yellowness) and Kudrah (swarthiness) after the start of Tuhr (purification), she should perform Salaah and Sawm and not be affected by such discharges. However, she should perform Wudoo’ (ablution) when the due time of each Salaah starts for Umm `Atiyyah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: We used to disregard dark and yellow discharges after the start of Tuhr.read more here.

Fasting after the postpartum bleeding (Nifaas)

Question: My wife gave birth almost seven days before Ramadaan. She became Taahir (ritually pure) before the beginning of the month. Is her Sawm (fast) valid or should she make up for it? She said that she fasted once she was Taahir. Please answer me, may Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: If the case is as you have mentioned, and your wife fasted Ramadaan while she is Taahir, her Sawm is valid. There is no need to make up for it… read more here.

A fasting woman menstruating 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.

A man performing Istinjaa’ for breaking wind and a woman seeing blood at the time of her menses

Question: Is it obligatory to perform Istinjaa’ (cleansing the private parts with water after urination or defecation) after a person (male or a female) breaks wind? Also, what should a lady do in case she sees three drops of blood during the time of her menstruation period while she is observing Sawm (Fast)? Is it permissible for her to break her Sawm or should she continue her Sawm bearing in mind that this happens just before sunset?

Answer: Breaking wind, whether by a man or a woman, invalidates Wudoo’ (ablution). A person who breaks wind is not required to perform Istinjaa’. Rather, it is obligatory on this person to perform Wudoo’, which is washing the face along with Maddmadah (rinsing the mouth) and Istinshaaq (sniffing water into the nose and then expelling it), washing the two arms up until the elbows, wiping the head along with the ears, and washing the feet along with the ankles. On the other hand, when a lady sees blood during the time of her menstruation period while she is observing Sawm then it stops, she should terminate the Sawm even if the blood is little. This lady should break her Sawm, make up the missed days later, and perform Ghusl (ritual bath following major ritual impurity) once the blood stops… read more here.

Ignorantly abandoning making up for the missed days of Ramadaan due to the menses

Question: Some ladies used to not make up for the days that they did not fast in Ramadaan due to a Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) excuse, i.e. menstruation. This is because most of them were ignorant of the Islaamic ruling regarding the obligation of making up these days while others were careless of the matter. One of these ladies did not know that making up such days was obligatory because of the lack of schools and awareness. She is now over forty five years old and her menstruation has ceased no less than four years ago. She would like an answer for her question and she insisted that I should inquire about this issue on her behalf. So please provide us with the answer and tell us what this lady should do especially that she is over forty five years of age?

Answer: In case the reality is exactly as what is mentioned in the question, this lady should do Tawbah (repentance to Allaah, may He be Glorified and Exalted) for her negligence and for not asking people of sound Islaamic knowledge. Moreover, it is obligatory on her to make up for the number of days of Ramadaan that she missed since she attained puberty… read more here.

Ruling on a woman who does not know the exact days she broke her fast due to her menstruation

Question: My menstrual period stopped and started again only ten days later. It continued for four days then I took medicine so it stopped. This happened during Ramadaan in this current year 1400 A. H. The point is that I continued to observe Sawm (Fast) and combine Salaah (Prayer) for the four days of the second menstruation mentioned above. Should I make up for these four days or it is sufficient that I fasted them in Ramadaan bearing in mind that the blood was black in color during these four days? Please answer us! May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: It is obligatory on you to perform Sawm for the four days mentioned. This is because the Sawm you performed for these days while you were bleeding was invalid as the black blood you have mentioned in the question was menstrual blood… read more here.

A woman’s ignorance of Islaamic rulings of menstruation for fasting

Question: A sixty year old lady was ignorant of the rulings of menstruation for many years. She did not make up for the days she had not fasted in Ramadaan because she thought these days were not to be made up for as she had heard from some common people.

Answer: This lady has to make Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) from doing so because she did not ask people who are knowledgeable of the rulings of Islaam. She should also make up the number of days that she thinks were most probably missed. Moreover, she has to offer a Kaffaarah (expiation) for each day she missed by feeding one Miskeen (needy) half a Saa` (1 Saa`=3 kg approx.) of wheat, fresh dates, rice, or any other of the staple food of the country. However, in case she can not afford such a Kaffaarah; it is no longer obligatory on her and making up the days she missed is sufficient… read more here.

Women using medication to prevent menstruation during Ramadaan

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

Answer: It is permissible for women to use medication to prevent menstruation during Ramadaan in the case that trustworthy, expert doctors and the like ascertain that doing so neither harms women’s health nor has a bad effect on pregnancy organs. However, it is better that women do not use such medications. Allaah has given women a Rukhsah (concession) not to observe Sawm (Fast) when they have their menstrual period in Ramadaan, and has prescribed for them to make up for the days of Sawm they have missed. He (Exalted be He) has chosen this for them as the way to discharge this religious obligation… read more here.

Menstruating woman fasting while having pauses and resumes in her menses

Question: A breastfeeding woman’s blood discharge stopped during the first three months after delivery. She then started bleeding at night but it stopped the next day, so she fasted for two days. Later, the blood discharge returned as the beginning of her menses, was her fast valid during these two days?

Answer: If the situation is as what was mentioned, her fast during these two days was valid. The blood discharge during the night or after these two days has no effect on the validity of her fasting… read more here.

Obligation of fasting for a legally accountable person

Question: Should an eleven-year-old girl, who began to experience menstruation, fast although she does not enjoy good health? What should she do if she cannot fast?

Answer: If the case is as you mentioned, she has to fast because menstruation is one of the signs of puberty for women beginning from the age of nine. If she is able to fast then she must do it during the proper time. If she is unable to fast or undergoes extreme hardship in doing so, then she may break her fast but she must make up for the days that she missed when she is able to… read more here.

Fasting of someone who abandons Salaah after fasting Ramadaan

Question: If a person performs Sawm and Salaah only during Ramadaan then after Ramadaan he abandons Salaah, is his fast valid?

Answer: Salaah is one of the pillars of Islaam. It is the most important pillar of Islaam after the Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith). It is an individual obligation. Whoever abandons it out of negligence or laziness is a Kaafir (a disbeliever)… read more here.

Time of Iftaar for a person on a plane during Ramadaan

Question: What is the time of breaking fast for the person on board of an aircraft during Ramadaan?

Answer: If a fasting person is on board of an aircraft during the daytime of Ramadaan and wants to complete fasting till night, then it is not permissible for him to break his fast before sunset… read more here.

When can a traveler by plane break his 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. However, if a fasting person breaks Sawm in a given country after the setting of the sun, but when the plane takes off they still can see the sun, they should retain their state of having broken Sawm because they fall under the same ruling as the residents of the country from which they took off, where the sun has set while they were there… read more here.