The Book of Fasting

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Fasting means, linguistically, to prevent something from you or refrain from doing something and to avoid that or abstain from food, drink and others [like speech also], but in Shariah (Islamic Legislation) fasting means that we refrain or abstain from various matters to comply with Allah's order, The Most High, at a specified and limited time.


Who Must Perform the Duty of Fasting?

Persons who conform to the following criteria are obligated to fast:

1. Adult: that means that the male person completes 15 lunar years or earlier if he attains puberty by having a venereal wet dream [sperm ejaculation] or growing coarse hair round the pubes. As for girls, they must be nine years of age or have a venereal wet dream or at menstruation.

2. Mentally fit : Fasting is not a duty for the young nor for the mentally ill. They should not fast.

3. The absence of fainting. A person who faints before dawn should not fast on that day.

4. Healthy from any disease which led to disadvantage the fasting.

5. The woman should be free from accouchement and menstruation condition.

6. Residence or living in a town and the same rule with homeland not original or the place of residence or the person who settled down in a place and he was going and coming to that place or the person whose job is in traveling and so on, or the person who used to frequent to a place for 30 days…etc., are conditions for valid fasts.


Person authorize to Break Fasting in Ramadan

It is allowed for the person to break fasting when he finds difficulty on the condition that he expiate himself with a mudd-productive- [3 / 4 kilo] of food as an obligation although giving two mudds is more commendable. This food should be given to the poor as an alms.


Those who are allowed to break fasting:

1- The old man and the old woman when they find that it is hard to fast.

2- The person who has the disease of thirst and he can not have patience at all without water, or he finds great hardship to endure thirst.

3- The pregnant woman if fasting causes harm to her or to her fetus.

4- The nursing mother or wet-nurse if she has little milk and fasting causes harm to her health or to her suckling.

5- The ill person who will be harmed by fasting, either by the increase of the illness or fasting will prolong the period of recovery.


When must a person Fast?


We must fast for the whole month of Ramadan. Its beginning and end are fixed in many ways:

1- The person sees the New Moon crescent by himself.

2- Many people should inform and produce trust and tranquility in himself about it.

3- That it is common knowledge.

4- The passing of 30 days from the beginning of the month of Sha'ban.

5- The legal evidence that means the witness of two just persons [male] to the authority according to Shariah.

6- The ruling of the just jurisprudent who gathers all the conditions if no one knows of an error.

If the crescent shows itself, pre night, with clear line of white light in the sky, even from one of its side and connect with another side.


The sentence for who miss the fasting in Ramadan

If a person did not fast so he ought to do it later Qadha, if he have these conditions:

Adult, Sane and Islam


Beside persons who have these qualities:

a. a person who missed the fasting because of inebriety and anesthetization.

b. Menstruation and lying-in.

c. When a person sleep his night without the intending to fast next day, and his sleeping was go on till the end of the day.


The time when a person abstains from things that invalidate the fast.

We should abstain from the clear dawn until the night, and dawn can be achieved by the appearance of the gleam of dawn the whiteness in the horizon in the east, and night can be judged by the time, when the redness in the eastern sky, at sunset, disappears. If a person cannot ascertain these times with surety they should commence the fast at a time before the dawn and break the fast at a time after sunset that gives them no doubt.

The deeds that we should abstain from that Invalidate the fast

Fasting is a worship and we should have the intention to abstain from things that invalidate the fast and to rapprochement Allah, The Most High. The latest time for the intention to fast, whether it is in Ramadan or otherwise, is at the clear commencement of dawn for that day but it is allowed to specify by prior intention that we intend to abstain from the commencement of the dawn.


The things that Invalidate the Fast and we must abstsin from:

a. Eating.

b. Drinking.

c. Sexual intercourse of all kinds will invalidate fasting for the two parties [male and female].

d. Self-pollution.

e. Deliberately remaining in ritual impurity until dawn when fasting in Ramadan. This applies to impurity of a sexual nature menstruation and accouchement when the bathing is deliberately delayed.

f. Telling lies purposely about or which cause Allah's anger, praise be to Him or His Messenger, Peace be upon him, or one of the Imams, peace be upon them. As a precaution we join the truthful and pure Fatima Al-Zahra, peace be upon her, and all the prophets and guardians in this ruling.

g. To swallow dust of any type and however it reaches the mouth if we taste it. As for the soft dust that we do not feel will not harm the fast. As a precaution, we avoid the smoke of cigarettes and hubble-bubble [Nargile].

h. Immersion of the head into water [dipping].

I. Injection with liquids in emergencies or optionally, except the injections with hard or solid things, though it is best to avoid it as much as we can.

k. Deliberate vomiting even for treatment, or a person might swallow something that requires vomiting to get it out from the body [stomach] in the daytime.


The Sleeping of the Self-Polluted person in Ramadan

If the self-polluted person slept at night in Ramadan and he thought probably that he would get up easily in time, but it happened that he went on sleeping until the emergence of the dawn, in this case he will only be required to perform Al-Qadha, but if he decides to give up washing or he was hesitating, or he was careless then his rule is like the deliberately self-polluted person during the fast and his fasting is invalid, and he should pay "Kaffara". If he was forgetful, then he should fast later "Al-Qadha" and pay "Kaffara" as a precaution.


If he was determined to wash, then there are cases.

The First: After he became self-polluted and he knew that he was in self-pollution, he stood and then he went on sleeping after the mergence of the dawn, in this cases nothing wrong with him and his fasting is valid [legal] on condition that his habit was to get up before dawn, but if he was not accustomed to get up before the dawn and he used to get up, but sleeping overcame him [made him sleep again], then his rule is like the deliberate self-polluted person to stay in self-pollution.

The Second: If he awoke from sleeping after his self-pollution and after it, he slept again and was determined to wash and he felt sure would be attentive [awake] before the dawn, but he fell asleep by dozing and went on until the dawn emerged [appeared]. In this case, his fasting became invalid and he should perform "Al-Qadha" and it is best, he should pay "Kafara" [expiation]. He should also abstain for the rest of that day].

The Third: He slept then he awoke then he slept again and he returned to sleep after the second awaking [rising]. Feeling sure that he would awake to wash before the dawn [day-break], then he fell asleep until the emergence of the dawn. This is called legally "third sleep" and its rule is the obligation of "Al-Qadha" as a duty, "kaffara" [expiation] and abstinence for that day. The fourth, the fifth, the sixth sleep…etc., have the same rule of the third sleep, we mentioned the things that break fasting and all these things invalidate fasting legally whether they were optional or deliberate, but if those things took place without intention [purpose], then there is no effect by them on fasting. Fasting becomes invalid if the person knows the rule and if the deed is intended as fast breaking, then there is no difference whether he was aware of the subject or ignorant like the person who does not know what took place in the field of washing whether it is an immersion [dipping] or not. If he was intending that , then his fasting was invalid and if he ate with forgetfulness, then his fasting was not invalid. The person who believed that eating with forgetfulness would not invalidate fasting and he ate forgetfully would not invalidate fasting but if he ate deliberately after his eating with forgetfulness, then in this case, his fasting became invalid.


The Deeds [actions] that are allowed for the Fasting person

a. Sucking the ring of the hand.

b. Chewing food for an infant or feeding birds.

c. Tasting food unless the food may pass by the throat to the belly deliberately.

d. Mastication of chewing-gum, but on precaution the person should not swallow his saliva, if he did not find a taste, and if he finds a taste or the chewing-gum is crumbled then his fasting becomes invalid by the swallowing of those parts.

e. Sitting in water.

f. "Al-Siwak" [a stick for brushing teeth] the wet and the dry one, but if something went from the mouth on it and it was wet, he should not return it to the mouth but if he dose, he should be careful not to swallow it with his saliva.

g. Sucking the child's tongue or the baby's or the wife's without moisture on it.

h. The embracing of the wife and kissing or playing with her without the excitable of lust and without the intention of intercourse, but if he intended that, his fasting would be invalid. The things that cause fast breaking" Iftar" which we mentioned are obligatory to pay "Kaffara" [expiation] or Al-Qadha", if they were optional and deliberate except the remaining of the self-polluted person in his pollution in the second and third sleeping. "The Kaffara" is commendable in the second sleeping and obligatory in the third sleeping.


The "Kaffara" of fast breaking deliberately for one day in "Ramadan" is optional among three cases: either,

a. Feeding [ 60 ] poor men [ Miskeen ].

b. Fasting two successive months.

c. The manumission of one slave.


Expiation [ Kaffara ] should be paid for four sorts of Fasting:

The First: While fasting as an obligation for the month of "Ramadan" a person invalidated his fast deliberately by a thing permitted at other times, then his "Kaffara" is optional among three sorts: either to manumission, or fasting two successive months or feeding [ 60 ] poor men. If the person invalidated his fasting by committing a prohibited deed, then he should carry out the three sorts together.

The second: While fasting "Ramadan" and invalidating his fast after noon his" Kaffara" [expiation] is feeding ten Miskeens with a deal [3/ 4] kilo for each one. If he is unable to feed them, then he should fast 3 days.

The Third: Breaking a fast on a certain day that is due to a vow, its "Kaffara" is optional among three to choose one of them: To feed [ 60 ] Miskeens [ poor men ].To fast two successive months. To free one slave [ the manumission ] of one slave [ releasing him ].

The Fourth: Fasting for the sake of living in seclusion away from people, "Itikaf". If a person caused invalidity to that sort of fasting, he should pay the"Kaffara" of breaking a "Ramadan" fast-the optional expiation.


The best is the arrangement:

Either to free a slave's neck, and if he could not free a slave, then he should fast two months, and if he could not fast, then he should feed 60 miskeen.


How to make "Al-Kaffara":

Feeding for poor-believers people, in this case he has tow options:

First; satiety them.

Second; give to each one deal of food, or tow deals is better, and in precaution, the food is come form what the people deal with in commune, such as wheat, barley and rice.


The Deeds that make "Al-Qadha" obligatory, but not "Al-Kaffara".

1. The sleep of the Self-polluted person, deliberately; the first sleep and even the second sleep too.

2. If the fasting became invalid as a result of a defect in the intention and he did not perform anything that caused fast breaking.

3. If the person forgot the washing of self-pollution for a day or more, then he should perform "Al-Qadha" without "Kaffara" [expiation].

4. Performing a contrary deed to the fasting within the emergence of the dawn, believing that the dawn did not emerge and without investigation. If he investigated and believed it was night and broke fasting, then he should not perform "Al-Qadha" as an obligation, though it is the better course.

5. Eating when  he relays on another person who told him it was still night, but it was in the dawn time.

6. He performed fast breaking, believing that the person who told him about the day-break was not serious in that or try to make fun of him.

7. If one person imitates another and the second told him that the dawn had not emerged, then if the person is one of those who must depend on others like the blind man and the convict man…etc. In this case, the first man committed the fault of fast breaking, and he should perform "Al-Qadha" without "Kaffara".

8. Fast breaking is because of imagining, by mistake, the start of night, then his mistake became clear and that there was no cloud in the sky and no reason and defect.

9. Have some water into his mouth to cool his mouth but water suddenly and inattentively went down his throat without intention, but not if it happens with attention to his fasting and also if he rinsed his mouth with water for the sake of prayer and the water was swallowed inattentively into his belly, then his fasting is valid in this case also.


Selected Questions on Fasting:

1- If a worshipper doubts whether it is the first day of Ramadan or last day of Sha'ban, he has the choice of fasting. If he fasts and is later convinced that it is the first day he may change his intention to the fast for Ramadan but if he has not fasted on this day and is convinced afterwards that it was the first then he will perform Al-Qadha for it. If he doubts that a day is the last of "Ramadan" or the first day of "Shawwal", then he should fast on the day of doubt and consider it the last of "Ramadan".

2- It is not necessary to perform "Al-Qadha" instantly and urgently and also not necessary to perform "Al-Qadha" successively, though succession is more merit. We also should not appoint the day on which we shall fast, but it will do to fast the required number only.

3- If a person was in debt for a day or more "Al-Qadha" for" Ramadan", then it is not allowed for him to fast a voluntary fast.

4- The guardian of a dead man, the eldest of his surviving sons, should perform his father's "Al-Qadha" promptly to gain pardon for what the father had missed deliberately or invalidly, or he was remiss in applying the legal rules. The best way is for the son to perform all of" Al-Qadha". There is no difference, on precaution, between the rules for a dead father or a dead mother. As for the dead man, if he was not able to perform "Al-Qadha" during his life, then the guardian should not do" Al-Qadha".

5- We do not consider the swallow of spittle, in fasting to be desirable even though the amount, though acidity in the stomach, will be increased. Also there phlegm should not be swallowed if it enters the mouth whether it is from the chest or the head. As a precaution, we should not try to draw mixtures of the head to the throat to swallow them.

6- The Medical spray that the patient with asthma uses to relieve the expectoration of the chest and the respiratory tract is of two kinds. The first contains a powder that is changed into vapour by compressed air. It seems that this sprayer does not cause fast breaking, if the person does not feel the taste of that powder in his mouth. The second sprayer contains liquid medication that is changed into a fine spray by the pressure of the air. This kind certainly invalidates fasting.


The Rules of fasting in Traveling:

1- It is not allowed for a traveler to break his fast before reaching the allowed limit.

2- If he traveled after the noon, then he should go on fasting and its parts.

3- If a person was traveling and came back to his country or he came to a country in which he was determined to reside for ten days, then if he reached before the noon, and had not broken his fast, he should fast all that day [ day-long ] [ the rest ], but if he reached after the noon, then he does not have to fast, but it is commendable to abstain from breaking the fast for rest of the day in which he returned from his traveling although that day would not be considered fasting for him.

4- A person is allowed to travel in "Ramadan" by choice, even he intends to escape from the duty of fasting.

5- There is a close relationship and connection between completing the prayer and the obligation of fasting. Also there is a connection between remissness and fast breaking and invalidity except the following cases:

a. The four places of choosing if it is invalid to fast in them, but it is inevitable to break fasting when the minimum of traveling is achieved that legally requires fast breaking.

b. If the person went out for traveling after the noon, then he should continue fasting while shortening the prayer.

c. If a person returned from his traveling before noon and before breaking fast, he should then fast and that will suffice, though he should shorten his prayer before his arrival at his destination.



1. Fasting cannot be invalidated, whether it is obligatory or deputed or not appointed, by having a wet dream in daytime. If someone had that dream in day-time, then he is allowed to purify by urination or by brewing or squeezing the male member [ penis ] and by turning softly to let the sperm out. If he knows that there remains semen in the urethra, then on precaution he should purify and clean the rest of semen before washing, because if semen comes out after washing, then it is a new self-pollution based on his choice. So he should avoid it in fasting.

2- The Kaffara is repeated for the repetition of the cause on two days or more. If he invalidated his fasting for two days, he should pay "Kaffara" twice, but if the cause was repeated in one day, he should pay one" Kaffara" except for sexual intercourse when he should pay double.

3- If the husband forced his wife into sexual intercourse in "Ramadan" and they were fasting, then he should pay two "Kaffara" for both and the blame or punishment for both he will bear too.

4- If the wife forced her husband into sexual intercourse, then she will be without liability, and there is no difference between the wife with permanent contract or temporary contract.

5- If the husband was not fasting [ breaking fast ] for any allowing legal cause like traveling, illness…etc., and the wife was fasting, then it is not allowed for him to force her into sexual intercourse. Yet, if he did then he will be without liability (kaffara and punishment) for her.


The Zakat (almsgiving) Al-Fitra

The Zakat is the language of increase, reformation and promotion.

In Islamic Laws; it's mean to give a sum of money for especial precise items, it divides into two types:

A- Zakat of the moneyed (we shall cover this type later, by Allah's help.)

B- The Zakat of the Bodies: It is also called fast breaking zakat "Fitra". It is obligatory [a duty] with the coming month of "Shawwal".


The Person who should pay "Zakat Al-Fitra"

This "Zakat" should be paid by an adult person, sane, free, and able to perform it; he should possess the ability for supporting and feeding his family for a year. He should pay it by himself for the following individuals: They are: the wife, the parents, the lad, and the guest stays for the night of the feast [the host] even though the guest paid his own "Zakat ".


The Time of its performance:

The person should pay this "zakat" just when the crescent emerged. It is not allowed to delay it when a deserving person is present. If the person was unable to convey to the deserved person, then he should keep it aside until he can convey it to a deserving one, but the zakat will stay as his debt until he delivers the "zakat". Also if some damage happens to the deposit after its isolation, then the person should pay its value from his own money. The final time for payment is the prayer of feast end for the person who prayed it and noon for the person who did not pray it. If he delayed the payment, then he should pay to him by the intention of the" absolute rapprochement".


The degree of the zakat, and what sort of that:

It is equal to the measure of (Saa'a) which means a measure of food (equal three kilos) , that available for people in that city, and man can feed his family from it, such as, dates, currant, flour, wheat and rice, or what is counterbalance it, in the country where the tribute pays.


The Deserving Person:-

Every believer who does not possess the food, or the means to obtain it for one year, for himself and his family is entitled to it. If the person who pays "Al-Zakat" is non Hashemi [ not from the family of "Banu Hashem"] he is not allowed to "give Zakat to a "Hashemi" and if he paid, then his zakat is invalid. As for the Hashemi, he is allowed to pay his zakat to another Hashemi or to a "non-Hashemi". It is not allowed to pay "zakat" to a person whose maintenance is already obligatory upon the person paying. The relatives are more deserving and have the right before any one else to take "Al-Zakat" than the aliens, the strangers and also it is better to carry it to the jurisprudent who has all the conditions of giving Legal decisions in the time of absence, "Al-Ghayba". If the jurisprudent ordered the believers by general guardianship to carry it to him the imitators should follow his order, we shall come [ Allah's willing ! ] to explain that more in detail about the sorts of the deserving people in the subject of "Zakat Al-Amwal"[fortunes zakat].