Fasting

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Fasting

Rule no.1543. In Islam fasting is one of the cardinal doctrines of the practice of the faith, taking its rank next to the prescribed five daily prayers. Fasting means that a person must, in obedience to the commands of Allah, from the time of Adhan for dawn prayer up to sunset, abstain from certain things. Fasts of the month of Ramadhan are obligated on the Muslims, and God Almighty says in the chapter al-Baqrah of the Glorious Quran, “O you who Believe, Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before, so that you may self-restraint.”

In the subsequent verses, some basic rules related to fasting are detailed; for example, if a person is ill or on a journey during the month of Ramadhan and as such was not able to fast, he should offer the Qadha of the lapsed fasts. For he who can fast with hardship, and does not do so, should feed one destitute person for each lapsed fast. The holy act of fasting is heavily stressed and highly prized in Islam, as it has numerous physical, moral, spiritual and social benefits. Fasting is a powerful means to free us from bondage of psychological cravings, whims, lusts, and to cleanse the spirit.

The Glorious Quran was also revealed in the very blessed month of Ramadhan. The Honoured, glorious and sacred night of “Qadr” also falls in this blessed month. By fasting, Muslims carry out Allah’s order and are rewarded by Eid-ul-Fitr on first day of the month of Shawwal.

Rules related to fasting

Fasting means that a person must, in obedience to the commands of Allah, from the time of the Adhan for dawn prayer until sunset, avoid nine things which will be mentioned later.

Intention for fasting

Rule no.1544. It is not necessary for a person to pass the intention for fasting through his mind or to say that he would be fasting on the following day. In fact, it is sufficient for him to decide that in obedience to the command of Allah he will not carry out from the time of Adhan for dawn prayer up to sunset, any act which may invalidate the fast. And in order to ensure that he has been fasting throughout this time he should begin abstaining earlier than the Adhan for dawn prayer, and continue to refrain for a short time after sunset from acts which invalidate a fast.

Rule no.1545. A person can make the intention every night of the holy month of Ramadhan that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make the intention on the first night of Ramadhan that he would fast throughout that month.

Rule no.1546. The time for making the intention to observe a fast of Ramadhan is from the beginning of the night until true dawn.

Rule no.1547. The time for making the intention to observe a recommended fast is from the beginning of the night until such little time before the sunset of the next day in which one can make the intention of the fast of that day, provided that he has not committed any such act (from dawn) until that time (i.e. just before sunset) which invalidates the fast.

Rule no.1548. If a person sleeps before the Adhan for dawn prayer in days other than those of Ramadhan without making an intention of fasting, and if he wakes up before midday and then makes an intention of fasting, his fast will be in order, whether his fast is obligatory or recommended. But if he wakes up after midday, he cannot make the intention of an obligatory fast. But if a person sleeps without making the intention of the fast of the month of Ramadhan and even if he wakes up before midday and makes the intention of fasting, the validity of his fast is problematic.

Rule no.1549. If a person intends to keep a fast other than the fast of Ramadhan, he should specify that fast; for example, he should specify it as the Qadha fast or a fast to fulfil a vow. On the other hand, it is not necessary that a person should specify in his intention that he is going to observe a fast of Ramadhan. If a person is not aware or forgets that it is the month of Ramadhan and makes an intention to observe some other fast it will be considered to be the fast of Ramadhan.

Rule no.1550. If a person knows that it is the month of Ramadhan, yet intentionally makes an intention of observing a fast other than the fast of the month of Ramadhan, his fast will not be reckoned as a fast of the month of Ramadhan, nor the fast of which he made the intention.

Rule no.1551. If a person observes a fast with the intention of fasting on first day of the month, and understands later that it was the second or third of the month, his fast is in order.

Rule no.1552. If a person makes an intention before the Adhan for dawn prayer to observe a fast and then becomes unconscious and regains his senses during the day time, he should, on the basis of precaution, complete the fast on that day, and if he does not complete it, he should observe its Qadha.

Rule no.1553. If a person makes the intention before the Adhan for dawn prayer to observe a fast and then gets intoxicated and comes to his senses during the day, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast of that day and should also offer its Qadha.

Rule no.1554. If a person makes the intention before the Adhan for dawn prayer to observe a fast, and then goes to sleep and wakes up after sunset, his fast is in order.

Rule no.1555. If a person did not know or forgot that it was the month of Ramadhan, and takes notice of this before midday, and if he has performed some act which will invalidate a fast, or takes notice of this after midday, his fast is void. But, he should not perform any further act until Sunset which invalidates a fast and should also observe the Qadha of that fast after Ramadhan. The same rule applies if he learns after midday that it is the month of Ramadhan. And if he learns before midday, and if he has not done anything which would invalidate his fast, as an obligatory precaution, the same rule is applied.

Rule no.1556. If a child reaches the age of puberty before the Adhan for dawn prayer in the month of Ramadhan, he should keep the fast and if he reaches the age of puberty after the dawn’s Adhan, the fast of that day is not obligatory for him.

Rule no.1557. If a person who has been hired to observe the lapsed fasts of a dead person, observes recommended fasts, there is no harm in it. However, if a person has his own Qadha of fasts or some other obligatory fasts are obligated on him, he cannot observe recommended fasts. If he forgets this and observes a recommended fast and remembers it before midday, his recommended fast will be void and he can convert his intention to the obligatory fast, and if he takes notice of the situation after midday his fast is void; and if he remembers this after sunset, his fast is in order.

Rule no.1558. If it is obligatory for a person to observe a specific fast other than the fast of the month of Ramadhan – for example, if he has vowed that he would observe fast on a particular day – and he does not make an intention purposely until the Adhan for dawn prayer, his fast is void. And if he does not know that it is obligatory for him to fast on that day or forgets about it and remembers it before midday, and if he has not performed any act which invalidates the fast, and makes an intention to fast, his fast is in order, otherwise it is void.

Rule no.1559. If a person does not make an intention until near midday for an obligatory fast which has no fixed time, like a fast of expiation, there is no harm in it. In fact, if he had decided before making the intention that he would not fast, or was undecided as to whether he should or should not fast, if he has not performed any act which invalidates a fast, and decides before midday to fast, his fast will be in order.

Rule no.1560. If a non-Muslim embraces Islam in the month of Ramadhan before midday, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, make an intention to fast, and complete it, and if he does not observe fast on that day he should offer its Qadha.

Rule no.1561. If a patient recovers from his illness before or after the midday in the month of Ramadhan, it will not be obligatory on him to fast on that day, even if he has not done anything to invalidate the fast.

Rule no.1562. If one doubts whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first day of Ramadhan, then the fast on that day is not obligatory on him. If however, somebody wants to observe fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the Ramadhan fast, neither can he make an intention that if it is Ramadhan then it is the Ramadhan fast and if it is not Ramadhan then it is a Qadha fast or some other such fast. In fact, he should observe the fast with the intention of Qadha fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was the first of Ramadhan then it will automatically become a fast of Ramadhan. And even if he makes an intention that I am doing this which is obligated on me by Allah, and later it becomes known that it is Ramadhan, it will be sufficient (i.e. that fast will be counted as the fast of Ramadhan).

Rule no.1563. If it is doubtful whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first of Ramadhan, and a person observes a qadha or a recommended fast or some other fast on that day, and later comes to know on the same day that it is the first of Ramadhan, then he should convert the intention to the fast of Ramadhan.

Rule no.1564. If somebody is undecided in his intention whether or not to break an obligatory fixed fast, like that of Ramadhan, or decides to do so, his fast immediately becomes invalid, even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention, and it is also obligatory not to do anything which invalidates the fast until the sunset .

Rule no.1565. If while observing a recommended fast or an obligatory fast, the time of which is not fixed (e.g. a fast for expiation), a person intends to break the fast or wavers whether or not he should do so, and if he does not break it, and make a fresh intention before midday; his fast will be in order.

Things that invalidate a fast

Rule no.1566. There are nine acts which invalidate a fast:

(i) Eating and drinking

(ii) Sexual intercourse

(iii) Masturbation (Istimna), which means self abuse, leading to ejaculation

(iv) Ascribing false statements to Almighty Allah, or his Prophet or to the Successors of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.)

(v) Allowing dust to reach the throat

(vi) Immersing the head completely in water

(vii) Remaining in sexual ritual impurity or menstruation or in state of lochia (i.e. in the state of bleeding after childbirth) until the Adhan for dawn prayer

(viii) Enema with liquids

(ix) Vomiting

Details of these acts will be explained in the following articles:

I. Eating and drinking

Rule no.1567. If a person eats or drinks something intentionally, while being conscious of fasting, his fast becomes void, irrespective of whether the thing which he ate or drank was usually eaten or drunk (for example bread with water) or not (for example earth or the juice of a tree) and whether it is more or less; even if a person who is fasting takes the toothbrush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void.

Rule no.1568. If while eating and drinking a person realises that it is dawn, he should remove the food out of his mouth, and if he swallows it intentionally, his fast is void, and according to the rules which will be mentioned later, it also becomes obligatory on him to give expiation.

Rule no.1569. If a person who is fasting eats or drinks something forgetfully, his fast does not become invalid.

Rule no.1570. There is no objection to an injection which anaesthetises one's limb or is used for some other purpose being given to a person, who is observing the fast, but it is obligatory that the injections which are given as food are avoided.

Rule no.1571. If a person observing the fast intentionally swallows something which remained in between his teeth, his fast is invalidated.

Rule no.1572. If a person wishes to observe a fast, it is not necessary for him to use a toothpick before the Adhan of dawn prayer. However, if he knows that some particles of food which have remained in between his teeth will go down into his stomach during the day, and if he does not use a toothpick and something goes into his stomach, his fast becomes void.

Rule no.1573. Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast, although it may have collected in one's mouth owing to thoughts about sour things etc.

Rule no.1574. There is no harm in swallowing one's phlegm or mucous from the head and chest as long as it does not come into the inner part of one's mouth. However, if it reaches one's mouth, the obligatory precaution is that one should not swallow it.

Rule no.1575. If a person observing fast becomes so thirsty that he fears that he may die of thirst, he can drink as much water as would ensure that the fear is averted. However, his fast becomes invalid, and if it is the month of Ramadhan then for the rest of the day he must refrain from all acts which would invalidate the fast and he should offer its Qadha later.

Rule no.1576. Chewing food to feed a child or a bird and tasting food etc. which does not usually go down the throat, will not invalidate the fast, even if it happens to reach there inadvertently. However, if a person knows before that it will reach the throat, his fast becomes void, and he should observe its Qadha and it is also obligatory upon him to give expiation.

Rule no.1577. A person cannot abandon his fast on account of weakness. However, if his weakness is to such an extent that it usually becomes unbearable, there is no harm in abandoning the fast.

II. Sexual intercourse

Rule no.1578. Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration is up to the point of circumcision of the male organ, and even if there has been no semen ejaculation.

Rule no.1579. If the penetration is less than the point of circumcision of the male organ, also if no semen ejaculation takes place, the fast does not become invalid.

Rule no.1580. If a person has sexual intercourse intentionally and then doubts whether penetration was up to the point of circumcision or not his fast becomes invalid, and it is necessary for him to observe its Qadha. But it is not obligatory on him to give expiation.

Rule no.1581. If a person forgets that he is observing fast and has sexual intercourse or he is compelled to have sexual intercourse in a manner that makes him helpless, his fast does not become void. However, if he remembers (that he is observing fast) or ceases to be helpless during sexual intercourse, he should withdraw from the sexual intercourse at once, and if he does not, his fast becomes void.

III. Masturbation

Rule no.1582. If a person, who is observing fast, performs masturbation (Istimna), his fast becomes void.

Rule no.1583. If semen is discharged from the body of a person involuntarily, his fast does not become void.

Rule no.1584. Even if a person observing fast knows that if he sleeps during the day time semen will be discharged from his body during sleep, it is permissible for him to sleep, even if he may not be inconvenienced by not sleeping. And if semen is discharged from his body during sleep, his fast does not become void.

Rule no.1585. If a person, who is observing fast, wakes up from sleep while ejaculation is taking place, it is not obligatory on him to stop it.

Rule no.1586. A fasting person who has become sexually ritually impure can urinate even if he knows that by urinating the remaining semen will flow from his body.

Rule no.1587. If a fasting person who has become sexually ritually impure, knows that some semen has remained in his body and if he does not urinate before taking the ritual bath, it will come out after bath, he should on the basis of obligatory precaution urinate before taking the bath.

Rule no.1588. If a person indulges in courtship with an intention to allow semen to be discharged, his fast will become void, even if semen is not discharged. He should also complete the fast and observe its Qadha.

Rule no.1589. If a fasting person indulges in courtship without the intention of allowing the semen to be discharged, and also, if he is sure that semen will not be discharged, his fast is in order, even if semen may be discharged unexpectedly. However, if he is not sure about the discharge and it takes place, then his fast is void.

IV. Ascribing false statements to Allah and his Prophet (P.B.U.H.)

Rule no.1590. If a person who is observing fast intentionally ascribes something false to Allah or the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) or his twelve vicegerents (A.S.), verbally or in writing or by making a sign, his fast becomes void, even if he may at once retract and say that he has uttered a lie or may repent for it. And, as an obligatory precaution, anything false should also not be ascribed to Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S.), the holy Prophet’s daughter.

Rule no.1591. If a person observing fast wishes to quote something about which he does not know whether it is true or false, he should, as an obligatory precaution, give a reference of the person who reported it, or of the book in which it is written.

Rule no.1592. If a person quotes something as the word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) with the belief that it is true, but realises later that it is false, his fast does not become void.

Rule no.1593. If a person ascribes something to Almighty Allah or the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) knowing it to be false and understands later that it was true, he should complete his fast and should also offer its Qadha.

Rule no.1594. If a person intentionally ascribes to Allah or the Holy Prophet or the successors of the Holy Prophet a falsehood fabricated by some other person, his fast becomes void. However, if he quotes the person who has fabricated that falsehood, his fast will not be invalidated.

Rule no.1595. If a person who is observing fast, is asked whether the Holy Prophet said such and such thing and he intentionally says 'No' whereas he should say 'Yes' or intentionally says 'Yes' whereas he should say 'No', his fast becomes void.

Rule no.1596. If a person quotes a true word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet, and later says that he had uttered a lie, or if he ascribed something false to them at night, and says on the following day when he is observing fast, that what he said on the previous night was true, his fast becomes void.

V. Allowing dust to reach one's throat

Rule no.1597. On the basis of obligatory precaution, allowing thick or thin dust to reach one's throat makes one's fast void, whether the dust is of something which is permissible to eat, like flour, or of something which is prohibited to consume like earth; and swallowing intentionally the dust whose taste can be felt in the throat makes the fast void.

Rule no.1598. If thick dust is whipped up and carried by the wind, and if a person does not take care despite of taking notice of it, allowing the dust to reach his throat, his fast becomes void.

Rule no.1599. As an obligatory precaution, a person who is observing fast should not allow the smoke of thick steam, cigarettes, tobacco, and other similar things to reach his throat.

Rule no.1600. If a person does not take care to prevent dust, steam, smoke, etc. from entering his throat, and if he was quite sure that these things would not reach his throat, his fast is in order; but if he only thought that they might not reach his throat, it is better that he should observe that fast again as Qadha.

Rule no.1601. If a person forgets that he is fasting and does not exercise care, or if dust or any other similar thing enters his throat involuntarily, his fast does not become void.

VI. Immersing the head completely in water

Rule no.1602. If a fasting person intentionally immerses his entire head in water, his fast is void, even if the rest of his body remains out of the water. But if all of his body is immersed in the water and some part of his head remains out of the water, this does not invalidate the fast.

Rule no.1603. If a person immerses half of his head in the water once and the other half the second time, his fast is not affected.

Rule no.1604. If a fasting person goes under the water with an intention to immerse his entire head into the water and doubts whether his entire head is immersed into the water or not, his fast becomes void but expiation is not obligatory on him.

Rule no.1605. If the entire head is immersed under the water, leaving out only some hair, the fast becomes void.

Rule no.1606. There is no harm in immersing one's head in liquids other than water, like in milk. In fact the fast is not affected by immersing one's head in mixed water. But it is better to avoid this.

Rule no.1607. If a fasting person falls into the water involuntarily, and his entire head goes into the water, or if he forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, his fast is not void.

Rule no.1608. If a person throws himself into the water thinking that his head will not go down into the water, and the water covers his entire head, his fast remains valid.

Rule no.1609. If a person forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, or his head is forced to immersed in the water by a person, and he remembers under the water that he is fasting, or his head is released by the person, the fasting person should takes his head out of water at once, but if he does not do so, his fast will become void.

Rule no.1610. If a fasting person forgets and immerses his head under water with the Intention of bath, both his fast and bath will be in order.

Rule no.1611. If a fasting person knows that he is observing fast and yet intentionally immerses his head under the water with the intention of taking a ritual bath, and if it is the fast of Ramadhan, then both his fast and ritual bath will be void. As a precaution, the same rule will be applied for the Qadha fast of Ramadhan after midday. But if his fast is recommended or is an obligatory fast which is not time-specified (for example, the fast for expiation), his bath will be in order, but his fast will be void. And same will apply to obligatory fasts for which time is specified.

Rule no.1612. If a person dives headlong in the water to save someone from drowning, his fast becomes void, although it may be obligatory to save that person.

VII. Remaining in the state of sexual ritual impurity (janabah) or menstruation (haidh) or lochia (nifas) until dawn time

Rule no.1613. If a sexually ritually impure person does not take the ritual bath intentionally until the time of dawn Adhan, his/her fast becomes void. And if a person, whose obligation is to do dry ablution, wilfully does not do it, his/her fast will be also void. The rule applies to the Qadha of the fasts of Ramadhan will be discussed later.

Rule no.1614. If a person in the state of sexual ritual impurity does not take the ritual bath intentionally until the time of dawn Adhan, his/her obligatory fasts other than those of the month of Ramadhan and their Qadha, which however have fixed days like those of Ramadhan, will be in order.

Rule no.1615. If a person enters the state of sexual ritual impurity during a night in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take the bath intentionally until the time left before Adhan is short, as an obligatory precaution, he/she should perform dry ablution and observe the fast, and also offer its Qadha.

Rule no.1616. If a person in sexual ritual impurity in the month of Ramadhan forgets to take the bath and remembers it after one day, he should observe the Qadha of the fast of that day. And if he remembers it after a number of days he should observe the Qadha of the fasts of all those days during which he is certain to have been in sexual ritual impurity. For example, if he is not sure whether he was in sexual ritual impurity for three days or four, he should offer Qadha of three days.

Rule no.1617. If a person who does not have time for ritual bath or performing dry ablution in a night of Ramadhan gets into state of sexual ritual impurity, his fast will be void and it will be obligatory upon him to offer the Qadha of that fast, as well as expiation.

Rule no.1618. If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for the bath, goes into state of sexual ritual impurity and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs dry ablution, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into sexual ritual impurity and when he learns later that the time was short, and starts the fast with dry ablution, he should, as an obligatory precaution, observe the Qadha of that fast.

Rule no.1619. If a person is in a state of sexual ritual impurity during a night in Ramadhan and knows that if he goes to sleep he will not wake up until the Adhan of dawn, he should not sleep before taking the bath and if he sleeps before taking the bath and does not wake up until the Adhan of dawn, his fast is void, and the Qadha and expiation become obligatory on him.

Rule no.1620. When a person in state of sexual ritual impurity goes to sleep in a night of Ramadhan and then wakes up, the recommended precaution is that if he is not habituated to waking up, he should not go to sleep before the bath, even if he has hope that he might wake up before Adhan of dawn prayer if he sleeps again.

Rule no.1621. If a person in a state of sexual ritual impurity in the night of Ramadhan feels certain that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, and is determined to have the ritual bath upon waking up, and oversleeps until the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, his fast will be in order. And the same rule applies to a person who usually wakes up before the Adhan of dawn prayer, and is also hopeful about waking up before the time of Adhan of dawn prayer.

Rule no.1622. If a person in a state of sexual ritual impurity in a night of Ramadhan is certain or reasonably hopeful that if he sleeps he will wake up before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, but he is not heedful of the fact that after waking up he would have the ritual bath, if he oversleeps until the time of Adhan of dawn prayer, the Qadha of that fast will be obligatory on him as a precaution.

Rule no.1623. If a person in a state of sexual ritual impurity in a night of Ramadhan is sure or fairly hopeful that if he sleeps he will wake up before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, but he does not intend to have the bath then, or is undecided about it, and if he sleeps and does not wake up, his fast is void and the Qadha and expiation will be obligatory on him.

Rule no.1624. If a person in a state of sexual ritual impurity sleeps and wakes up during a night of Ramadhan, and is certain or fairly hopeful that if he sleeps again he will wake up before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer with full determination to have the bath after waking up, but he oversleeps until the time of Adhan of dawn prayer, he should observe the Qadha of the fast of that day. And if he wakes up again for the second time and goes to sleep for the third time and does not wake up until the time of Adhan of dawn prayer, it is obligatory on him to observe the Qadha and as recommended precaution give the expiation.

Rule no.1625. When a person becomes mohtalim (i.e. discharged semen while sleeping and therefore entered the state of sexual ritual impurity) during sleep, the first, second and third sleep means the sleep after waking up; and the sleep in which he became mohtalim will not be reckoned to be the first sleep.

Rule no.1626. If a person observing fast becomes mohtalim during the day time, it is not necessary for him to take the ritual bath immediately, although it is better to hasten to take the bath.

Rule no.1627. When a person wakes up in the month of Ramadhan after the Adhan of dawn prayer and finds that he has become mohtalim, his fast is in order, even if he knows that he became mohtalim before the Adhan of dawn prayer.

Rule no.1628. When a person who wants to observe the Qadha of Ramadhan, and remains in a state of sexual ritual impurity until the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, even if it was not intentional, his fast is void.

Rule no.1629. If a person wants to observe the Qadha of Ramadhan and wakes up after the time of Adhan of dawn prayer finding himself mohtalim, and knows that he became mohtalim before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, and if he has a short time for the Qadha at his disposal, for example if five fasts of last Ramadhan are obligated on him and only five days are remaining in the next Ramadhan, then it is better he should fast on that day and also observe its Qadha after Ramadhan.

Rule no.1630. If a person remains in sexual ritual impurity intentionally until the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer in an obligatory fast which does not have fixed days, like the fast of expiation, his fast is in order, but it is better that he should observe the fast on some other day.

Rule no.1631. If a woman becomes pure from menstruation or lochia before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take the ritual bath intentionally, her fast will be void. And if it is not the fast of Ramadhan, her fast will be in order. But, as a precaution, it is better to have the bath before having the fast. And if the obligation of a woman is dry ablution instead of the bath for menstruation or lochia and she does not do it intentionally, in the month of Ramadhan and before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, her fast is void.

Rule no.1632. If a woman becomes pure from menstruation or lochia before the time of Adhan of dawn prayer in the month of Ramadhan and she has no time to take the bath, she should perform dry ablution. And as an obligatory precaution, she should remain awake until the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer. The same rule applies to a person whose obligation is dry ablution after getting into the state of sexual ritual impurity.

Rule no.1633. If a woman becomes pure from menstruation or lochia just before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer in the month of Ramadhan, and has no time left for the bath or dry ablution, her fast is valid.

Rule no.1634. If a woman becomes pure from menstruation or lochia after the Adhan of dawn prayer, or if menstruation or lochial discharge begins during the day though just before the sunset time, her fast is void.

Rule no.1635. If a woman becomes pure from menstruation or lochia before the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer in the month of Ramadhan, but neglects her obligation and does not take the bath until the Adhan of dawn prayer, her fast will be void. But if she is not negligent, like when she waits for her turn in a public bath, then even if she sleeps three times without taking the bath until the Adhan of dawn prayer, her fast will be valid.

Rule no.1636. If a woman is in a state of excessive menstrual irregular discharge, her fast will be valid if she acts according to the rules of the ritual baths as explained earlier. In medium menstrual irregular discharge, if a woman does not take her bath, her fast is valid.

Rule no.1637. A person who has touched a dead body (i.e. has brought any part of his own body in contact with it) can observe the fast without having taken the ritual bath for touching a dead body, and his fast does not become void even if he touches the dead body during the fast.

VIII. Enema

Rule no.1638. If liquid enema is taken by a fasting person, his fast becomes void, even if he is obliged to take it for the sake of treatment.

IX. Vomiting

Rule no.1639. If a fasting person vomits intentionally his fast becomes void, though he may have been obliged to do so on account of sickness. However, there is no harm if one vomits forgetfully or involuntarily.

Rule no.1640. If a person eats something at night knowing that it will cause vomiting during the day time, the obligatory precaution is that he should offer the Qadha of that fast.

Rule no.1641. If a fasting person can stop vomiting without causing any harm or inconvenience to himself, he should exercise restraint.

Rule no.1642. If a fly enters the throat of a fasting person, he should cough it out if possible, and by doing so his fast does not become void. But if he knows that by doing so he will vomit, it is not necessary to bring it out, and his fast is in order.

Rule no.1643. If a person swallows something by mistake and remembers before it reaches the stomach that he is fasting, it is not necessary for him to bring it out, and his fast is in order.

Rule no.1644. If a fasting person is certain that if he belches, something will be brought out from the throat, he should not belch intentionally, but there is no harm in his belching if he is not certain about it.

Rule no.1645. If a fasting person belches and something comes from his throat or into the mouth, he should throw it out, and if it is swallowed unintentionally his fast is in order.

Rules relating to things that invalidate a fast

Rule no.1646. If a person intentionally and voluntarily commits an act which invalidates his fast, his fast becomes void, but if he does not commit such an act intentionally, there is no harm in it, i.e. his fast is valid. However, if a person in sexual ritual impurity sleeps and does not take the ritual bath until the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer, his fast is void.

Rule no.1647. If a fasting person forgetfully commits an act which invalidates fast and thinking that since his fast has become void commits intentionally another act which invalidates fast, his fast will be void.

Rule no.1648. If something is dropped forcibly down the throat of a fasting person or his head is immersed into water by force, his fast does not become void. But, if he is compelled to break his fast by intimidation, like, if he is warned that his life or wealth would be at stake, and he willingly breaks the fast to ward off the danger, his fast will be void.

Rule no.1649. A fasting person should not go to a place where he knows that something will be put down his throat or that he will be compelled to break his fast by his own hands. And if he goes there and if something is forcibly put down his throat or he is compelled to commit an act by his own hands which invalidates a fast, his fast will be void. In fact if he just intends to go there, his fast becomes void, even he does not actually go there.

Things that are hateful for a person observing fast

Rule no.1650. Certain things are hateful for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below:

(i) Using eye drops and applying rouge, if its taste or smell reaches the throat.

(ii) Performing an act which causes weakness, like blood-letting (extracting the blood from the body) or going for a bath.

(iii) Inhaling a snuff if one is not aware that it might reach the throat; and if one is aware that it will reach the throat its use is not permissible.

(iv) Smelling fragrant herbs or grasses.

(v) For women, to sit in the water.

(vi) Using suppository that is, letting into rectum a dry stimulant for bowels.

(vii) Wetting the dress which one is wearing.

(viii) Getting a tooth extracted or doing something as a result of which there is bleeding in the mouth.

(ix) Cleaning the teeth with a wet toothbrush.

(x) Putting water or any other liquid in the mouth without a good cause.

It is also hateful for a fasting person to kiss or court or woo his wife without the intention of ejaculation, or to do something which excites him sexually. And if he does it with the intention of ejaculation, his fast will be void.

Situations in which both Qadha fasts and expiation are obligatory

Rule no.1651. If a person becomes sexually ritually impure during a night of Ramadhan and, as discussed in details in the foregoing articles, wakes up and sleeps again and does not wake up untl the Adhan of dawn prayer, he should only observe the Qadha of that fast. But if he does some other act which makes the fast void intentionally, both the Qadha and expiation become obligatory, provided that he knows that the act he is committing invalidates the fast.

Rule no.1652. If a person commits any act which invalidates the fast due to not knowing the rule, expiation will not be obligatory on him. However, if he intentionally ascribes something false to Allah or the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and knows that it is prohibited, both the Qadha and expiation become obligatory on him, even if he does not know that this act invalidates the fast.

Expiation for fasts

Rule no.1653. As the expiation for leaving out a fast of Ramadhan, a person should: free a slave, or act according to the rules which are discussed later in fasting for two months, or feed sixty poor people to their fill, or give one mudd(?) (which equals to about ¾ kilograms) of food (like wheat, barley, or bread) to each of sixty poor people. If it is not possible for him to fulfil any of these, he should give alms according to his means and seek Divine forgiveness. The obligatory precaution is that he should give expiation as and when he is capable to do so.

Rule no.1654. A person who intends to fast for two months, as expiation for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.

Rule no.1655. A person who intends to fast for two months, as expiation for a fast of Ramadhan, should not commence fasting at such a time when he knows that within a month and one day, a day like Eid-ul-Adha will fall (when it is prohibited to fast).

Rule no.1656. If a person, who must fast continuously, fails to fast on any day in the period without any just excuse, then he should commence fasting all over again.

Rule no.1657. If a person, who must fast continuously, is unable to maintain the continuity due to an excuse beyond control, such as: menstruation, lochial discharge, or a journey (which one is obliged to undertake), it will not be obligatory on him/her, after the excuse is removed, to commence fasting again from the beginning. He/she should proceed to observe the remaining fasts.

Rule no.1658. If a person breaks his fast with something prohibited, whether it is prohibited in itself, like drinking wine or adultery, or has become prohibited due to some reason, like any food which is normally permissible but it is injurious to his health, or if he has sexual intercourse with his wife during menstruation, as a precaution, he will have to observe all the three expiations. This means that he should set free a slave, fast for two months and also feed sixty poor people, or give one mudd(?) of wheat, barley, or bread to each of sixty poor people. If it is not possible for him to observe all three expiations, he should perform what he can from the aforementioned expiations.

Rule no.1659. If a fasting person intentionally imputes lies to Allah or the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.), or his twelve vicegerents (A.S.), or Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.), as a precaution, he should observe all the three expiations as detailed above.

Rule no.1660. If a fasting person engages in sexual intercourse several times a day during Ramadhan, a separate expiation becomes obligatory on him for each time he engages in sexual intercourse. The same rule applies for masturbation.

Rule no.1661. If a fasting person repeats an act, other than sexual intercourse or masturbation, which invalidates a fast of Ramadhan, one expiation is sufficient for all.

Rule no.1662. If a fasting person commits an act, other than sexual intercourse or masturbation, which invalidates a fast and then has sexual intercourse with his wife, a separate expiation is obligatory on him for each act.

Rule no.1663. If a fasting person commits a permissible act which invalidates a fast, such as drinking water, and thereafter commits another act which is prohibited, other than sexual intercourse and masturbation, and invalidates a fast, such as eating prohibited food, one expiation will suffice.

Rule no.1664. If a fasting person belches and swallows intentionally that which comes into his mouth, his fast becomes void and he should offer its Qadha and expiation as well. If the object which comes into his mouth is prohibited to consume, such as blood or some food which no more looks like food, and he swallows it intentionally, he will give the Qadha of that fast and all the three expiations which are now obligatory on him.

Rule no.1665. If a person takes a vow that he would fast on a particular day, and if he invalidates his fast intentionally on that day, then he should give the expiation which becomes obligatory upon one who breaks a vow.

Rule no.1666. If a fasting person breaks his fast when someone unreliable informs him that sunset has set in, and he later learns that sunset had not set in or doubts whether it had set in or not, it is obligatory on him to offer the Qadha and expiation.

Rule no.1667. If a person who has intentionally invalidated his fast travels after midday or before midday to escape the expiation, he will not be exempted from the expiation. In fact, if he has to proceed unexpectedly on a journey before midday, even then it is obligatory for him to give expiation.

Rule no.1668. If a person invalidates the fast intentionally and then an excuse such as menstruation, lochial discharge, or sickness arises, it is obligatory that he/she should give an expiation.

Rule no.1669. If a person was certain that it was the first day of Ramadhan and invalidated his fast intentionally, and it transpired later that it was the last day of Sha'ban, it would not be obligatory on him to give expiation.

Rule no.1670. If a person doubts whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first day of Shawwal and invalidates his fast intentionally, and it transpires later that it is the first day of Shawwal, it will not be obligatory on him to give expiation.

Rule no.1671. If a man who is fasting in the month of Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his wife who is also fasting, and if he has compelled her for that, then he should give expiation for his own fast and also for his wife's. If she had wilfully consented to the sexual intercourse, a separate expiation becomes obligatory on each of them.

Rule no.1672. If a woman compels her fasting husband to have sexual intercourse with her, it is not obligatory on her to give expiation for her husband's fast.

Rule no.1673. If a man who is fasting in Ramadhan compels his wife for sexual intercourse, and if the woman expresses her agreement during the intercourse, the man should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, give two expiations, and the woman should give one expiation.

Rule no.1674. If a man who is observing fast in Ramadhan has sexual intercourse with his fasting wife who is asleep, expiation becomes obligatory on him. However, the wife's fast is in order and she will not give any expiation.

Rule no.1675. If a man compels his wife or a woman compels her husband to commit an act, other than the sexual intercourse, which makes the fast void, it will not be obligatory upon any of them to give any expiation.

Rule no.1676. A man, who does not observe fast due to travelling or illness, cannot compel his fasting wife to have sexual intercourse. However, if he compels her, expiation will not be obligatory on him.

Rule no.1677. One should not be negligent about giving expiation. However, it is not necessary to give it immediately.

Rule no.1678. If expiation has become obligatory on a person and if he fails to fulfill it for some years, no increase in the expiation takes place.

Rule no.1679. When a person is required to feed sixty poor people by way of expiation for one fast, he cannot give to any one of them more than one mudd(?) of food or feed a poor man more than once, calculating it as feeding more than one person. However, he can give to a poor person one mudd(?) of food for each member of his family, even if they may be minors. However, there should not be a suckling child among them.

Rule no.1680. If a person offering Qadha of a fast of Ramadhan intentionally breaks his fast after midday, he should give food to ten poor people (one mudd to each). If he cannot do this, he should observe fast for three days.

Occasions on which it is obligatory to observe the Qadha only

Rule no.1681. In the following cases it is obligatory on a person to observe a Qadha fast only, and it is not obligatory on him to give expiation:

Rule no.1682. (Firstly) If a person is in sexual ritual impurity during a night of Ramadhan and as detailed earlier does not wake up from his second sleep until the time of the Adhan of dawn prayer.

Rule no.1683. (Secondly) If he does not commit an act which invalidates a fast, but did not make the intention to observe the fast, or fasts to show off, or intends not to fast at all, or decides to commit an act which invalidates a fast.

Rule no.1684. (Thirdly) If he forgets to take the ritual bath of sexual ritual impurity during the month of Ramadhan, and fasts for one or more days in the state of sexual pollution.

Rule no.1685. (Fourthly) If in the month of Ramadhan a man, without investigating as to whether dawn has set in or not, commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it becomes known later that it was dawn, and if after investigating one suspects that dawn has set in and commits an act which invalidates the fast, and it transpires later that dawn had not set in, even then the Qadha of that fast is obligatory on him. In fact, if one doubts after investigating whether dawn has set in or not, and commits an act that invalidates the fast, and it becomes known later that it was dawn, he should give its Qadha.

Rule no.1686. (Fifthly) If someone else informs that it is not dawn yet, and on the basis of his statement one commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it is later found out that it was dawn.

Rule no.1687. (Sixthly) If someone informs that it is dawn and not believing his word or thinking that the person is joking, he commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it becomes known later that it was dawn.

Rule no.1688. (Seventhly) If a blind person, or any such person, breaks his fast relying on the statement of another person (that sunset has set in), and it is known later that sunset had not set in.

Rule no.1689. When a person is certain that sunset has set in because of darkness in clear weather, breaks his fast accordingly, and later he learns that it was not sunset, he must offer the Qadha. However, if he believed that sunset had set in because of cloudy weather, and he broke his fast, and later it became evident that sunset had not set in, Qadha is not obligatory.

Rule no.1690. When one rinses his mouth with water in order to feel cooler, or without any excuse and the water uncontrollably goes down one's throat, Qadha is obligatory. Similarly, one should offer a Qadha fast if the washing of the mouth was for an ablution for recommended prayers, and the water went down the throat. However, if he forgets that he has kept a fast and swallowed the water, or if he washes his mouth for ablution of an obligatory prayer and water is uncontrollably swallowed, there will be no Qadha.

Rule no.1691. If a person breaks his fast due to duress, helplessness, or Taqiyyah, he will observe Qadha of the fast, but it is not obligatory on him to give expiation.

Rule no.1692. If a fasting person puts something other than water in his mouth and it goes down the throat involuntarily or puts water in his nose and it goes down involuntarily, it will not be obligatory on him to observe Qadha of the fast.

Rule no.1693. It is hateful(?) to do excessive mouth washing for a fasting person, and after the mouth wash if he wishes to swallow saliva, it is obligatory that he spits until he becomes certain that the water present in the mouth has been removed.

Rule no.1694. If a person knows that water will go down his throat involuntarily or forgetfully if he does a mouth wash, he should avoid it.

Rule no.1695. If in the month of Ramadhan a person becomes sure after investigation that it is not dawn and commits an act which invalidates a fast, and it is later known that dawn had begun or passed, it will not be necessary for him to offer the Qadha of that fast.

Rule no.1696. If a person doubts whether or not sunset has set in, he cannot break his fast. However, if he doubts whether or not it is dawn, he can commit an act which invalidates a fast even before any investigation.

Rules relating to the Qadha fasts

Rule no.1697. If an insane person recovers and becomes sane, it will not be obligatory on him to offer the Qadha for the fasts which he did not observe while he was insane.

Rule no.1698. If an unbeliever becomes a Muslim, it is not obligatory on him to offer Qadha for the fasts of the period during which he was an unbeliever. However, if a Muslim apostatises and becomes Muslim again, he must observe the Qadha for the fasts of the period during which he remained an apostate.

Rule no.1699. A person must offer Qadha for the fasts left out due to being intoxicated, even if the intoxicant was taken for the purpose of medical treatment.

Rule no.1700. If a person did not fast on certain days because of some excuse and later doubts about the exact time at which the excuse was over, it will not be obligatory on him to offer Qadha basing his calculation on the higher number. For example, if a person travelled before the commencement of the month of Ramadhan and now does not remember whether he returned on the 5th of Ramadhan or on the 6th, or if he travelled in the last days of the month of Ramadhan, returned after Ramadhan, and now does not remember whether he travelled on the 25th of Ramadhan or on the 26th, in both the cases he can observe Qadha based on the lesser number of days (meaning five days). However, the recommended precaution is that he should offer Qadha for the higher number of days (meaning six days).

Rule no.1701. If a person has to offer Qadha for Ramadhan fasts of several years, he can begin with the Qadha of Ramadhan of any year he chooses. However, if the time for Qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan is short, for example, if he has to observe five Qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan and only five days are left before the commencement of the approaching Ramadhan, he should first observe the Qadha fasts of last Ramadhan.

Rule no.1702. If a person has obligated upon him Qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for several years, and while making the intention he does not specify to which year the fasts belong, they will not be reckoned to be the Qadha of the last year.

Rule no.1703. A person who observes a Qadha for the fast of Ramadhan can break his fast before midday. However, if the time for Qadha fast is short, it is better not to break it.

Rule no.1704. If a person observes a Qadha fast of a dead person, it is better not to break the fast after midday.

Rule no.1705. If a person does not observe the fasts of the month of Ramadhan due to illness, menstruation, or lochia, and dies during Ramadhan, it is not obligatory to offer the Qadha fasts left by him/her.

Rule no.1706. If a person does not fast in the month of Ramadhan due to illness and his illness continues until the next Ramadhan, it is not obligatory on him to observe the Qadha of the fasts which he had not observed. However, for each fast he should give one mudd of food (about ¾ kilograms) such as wheat, barley, or bread to the poor. Also, if he did not observe a fast due to some other excuse, for example, if he did not fast because of travelling and his excuse continued until next Ramadhan, he should observe its Qadha fasts, and the obligatory precaution is that for each day he should give one mudd of food to a poor person.

Rule no.1707. If a person did not fast in Ramadhan due to illness and his illness ended after Ramadhan, but there emerged another excuse due to which he could not observe the Qadha fasts until next Ramadhan, he should offer the Qadha for the fasts which he did not observe. Also, if he had an excuse other than illness during Ramadhan and that excuse ended after Ramadhan, but he then fell ill and could not offer the Qadha until next Ramadhan because of that illness, he will offer the Qadha for the fasts he did not observe and, on the basis of obligatory precaution, he should give one mudd of food to the poor for each day.

Rule no.1708. If a person does not observe the fasts in the month of Ramadhan due to some excuse and his excuse is removed after Ramadhan, yet he does not observe the Qadha fasts intentionally until next Ramadhan, he has to offer the Qadha of the fasts and should also give one mudd of food to a poor person for each fast.

Rule no.1709. If a person deliberately ignores observing the Qadha until the time left is short, and during that short time he develops an excuse, he has to offer Qadha and give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day. Similarly, if after the excuse is over, he firmly decides to offer the Qadha but is unable to do so because of a new excuse during that short time, as an obligatory precaution, he will follow the above rule.

Rule no.1710. If the illness of a person continues for very long, protracted over many years, after being cured, he should observe the Qadha fasts of the last Ramadhan, and for each day of the earlier years he should give one mudd of food to a poor person. Additionally, the recommended precaution is that he offers the Qadha of earlier fasts.

Rule no.1711. A person who must give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day can give food of expiation of a few days to one poor person.

Rule no.1712. If a person delays observing Qadha fasts of the month of Ramadhan for a few years, he should offer the Qadha and should, on account of the delay in the first year, give one mudd of food to a poor person for each day. As for the delay in the subsequent years, nothing is obligatory on him.

Rule no.1713. If a person does not observe the fasts of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, he should offer their Qadha, and for each day lapsed he should: observe fast for two months, or feed sixty poor people, or set a slave free, and if he does not observe the Qadha until next Ramadhan, he should also give one mudd of food for each day as expiation.

Rule no.1714. If a person does not observe fast of the month of Ramadhan intentionally, and commits sexual intercourse or masturbation several times during the day, he has to give a separate expiation for each time he committed sexual intercourse or masturbation. However, if he performs other acts which invalidate the fast, such as eating several times, then one expiation will suffice.

Rule no.1715. After the death of a person, his eldest son should observe the Qadha fasts of the deceased, as explained in connection with the prayer earlier.

Rule no.1716. If a father had not observed obligatory fasts other than the fasts of the month of Ramadhan, such as a fast of vow, the obligatory precaution is that his eldest son should observe its Qadha. However, if the father was hired for observing fasts on behalf of a dead person but he did not observe them, it is not obligatory for the eldest son to offer them.

Fasting by a traveller

Rule no.1717. A traveller for whom it is obligatory to shorten a four-unit prayer to two units, should not fast. However, a traveller who offers full prayers, such as a person who is a traveller by profession or who goes on a journey for a prohibited purpose, should fast while travelling.

Rule no.1718. There is no harm in travelling during the month of Ramadhan, but it is hateful(?) to travel during the month to evade fasting. Similarly, it is hateful(?) to travel before the 24th of Ramadhan unless travelling is undertaken for the purpose of Hajj (pilgrimage) or Umrah (minor pilgrimage) or for some important work.

Rule no.1719. If it is obligatory on a person to observe a fast on a particular day (other than the fasts of Ramadhan), like if he has a vow to fast on a particular day, then it is better that he should not travel on that day without a justifiable excuse. If he is already on a journey, then he should make an intention to stay at some place for ten days, if possible, and keep the fast. However, travelling on that day is permissible and it is not necessary to make an intention of staying at some place for ten days. Also, if he does not observe fast on that particular day, he should offer its Qadha.

Rule no.1720. If a person makes a vow to observe a fast and does not specify any day for it, he cannot keep the fast while travelling. However, if he makes a vow that he will observe fast on a particular day during a journey, then that vow is not in order.

Rule no.1721. A traveller can observe recommended fasts in Madinah for three days with the objective of praying for the fulfilment of his wish, and it is better if those three days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Rule no.1722. If a person does not know that the fast of a traveller is invalid, observes fast while travelling, and learns about the rule during the day, his fast becomes void. However, if he does not learn about the rule until sunset, his fast is valid.

Rule no.1723. If a person forgets that he is a traveller or forgets that the fast of a traveller is void, and observes fast while travelling, his fast is invalid.

Rule no.1724. If a fasting person travels after midday, he should complete his fast. If he travels before midday, as soon as he will reach the limit of tarakkhus his fast will become void, and if he breaks the fast before reaching the limit of tarakkhus, he will be liable to give expiation.

Rule no.1725. If a traveller in the month of Ramadhan, regardless of whether he was travelling before dawn or was fasting and then undertook the journey, reaches his hometown before midday or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, and if he has not committed an act which invalidates a fast, he should fast on that day. However, if he has committed such an act, it is not obligatory on him to fast on that day.

Rule no.1726. If a traveller reaches his hometown after midday, or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, he should not fast on that day.

Rule no.1727. It is hateful(?) for a traveller and for a person who cannot fast due to some excuse, to have sexual intercourse or to eat or drink to his fill during the daytime in Ramadhan.

People on whom fasting is not obligatory

Rule no.1728. Fasting is not obligatory on a person who cannot fast because of old age, or for whom fasting causes hardship. However, in the latter case, he should give one mudd of food, such as wheat, barley, or bread to a poor person for every fast missed.

Rule no.1729. If a person who did not fast during the month of Ramadhan due to old age, becomes capable of fasting later, he should, on the basis of recommended precaution, offer the Qadha.

Rule no.1730. Fasting is not obligatory on a person who suffers from a disease which causes excessive thirst, making the fast unbearable or full of hardship. However, in the latter case of hardship, he should give one mudd of food to a poor person for every fast. At the same time, as a recommended precaution, such a person may not drink water in a quantity more than essential. If he recovers later, enabling him to fast, then as a precaution, he should offer Qadha for the fast.

Rule no.1731. Fasting is not obligatory on a woman in the advanced stage of pregnancy if fasting is harmful for the child she carries. For everyday, however, she should give one mudd of food to a poor person. Also, if fasting is harmful to herself, it will not be obligatory on her to fast and, as a recommended precaution, she should give one mudd of food per day to a poor person. In both the cases, she has to offer Qadha for the lapsed fasts which she failed to observe.

Rule no.1732. If a woman is suckling a child (whether she is the mother or a nurse, or is suckling the child for free) and the quantity of her milk is small, and if fasting is harmful to the child, it will not be obligatory on her to fast and she should give one mudd of food per day to a poor person. Also, if fasting is harmful to herself, it will not be obligatory on her to fast. Additionally, as a recommended precaution, she should give one mudd of food per day to a poor person. In both the cases, she will later offer Qadha for the fasts left out. However, if there is another woman available who offers to suckle the child for free, or take payment from the child’s father or mother or a person who gives her payment, then it is obligatory on the suckling woman to give her the child and observe the fast herself.

Method of ascertaining the first day of a month

Rule no.1733. The first day of a month is established in the following four ways:

(i) If a person himself sights the moon.

(ii) If a number of people confirm to have sighted the moon and their words assure or satisfy a person. Similarly, every other thing which assures or satisfies him that the moon has been sighted.

(iii) If two just (`Adil) people say that they have sighted the moon at night. However, the first day of the month will not be established if they differ about the details of the new moon.

(iv) If 30 days pass from the first of Sha'ban, the 1st of Ramadhan will be established, and if 30 days pass from the 1st of Ramadhan, the 1st of Shawwal will be established.

Rule no.1734. The first day of any month will be proved by the verdict of a qualified jurist.

Rule no.1735. The first day of a month will not be proved by the prediction made by the astronomers. However, if a person derives full satisfaction and certitude from their findings, he should act accordingly.

Rule no.1736. If the moon is high up in the sky or sets late, it is not an indication that the previous night was the first night of the month. Similarly, if the moon appears before midday, the first day of the month cannot be established by it. However, if there is a halo around it, it is proof that the new moon appeared in the previous night.

Rule no.1737. If the first day of the month of Ramadhan is not established for a person and he does not observe fast, and if it is proved later that the preceding night was in fact the night of Ramadhan, he should offer Qadha of that day.

Rule no.1738. If the first day of a month is proved in a city, it is also proved in other cities, whether the cities are near or far from each other, or whether they have a common horizon or not.

Rule no.1739. The first day of a month is not proved by a telegram, except when one is sure that the telegram is based on the testimony of two just persons or on a source which is reliable in Islamic Law.

Rule no.1740. If a person does not know whether it is the last day of Ramadhan or the first of Shawwal, he should observe fast on that day, and if he comes to know during the day that it is the first of Shawwal, he should break the fast.

Rule no.1741. If a person is in prison or in such a place in which he cannot ascertain the advent of the month of Ramadhan, he should act according to his own judgement. However, even if that is not possible, he may consider a month which he strongly feels to be Ramadhan, and his fasts will be in order. However, after the passage of eleven months from the month in which he observed fasts, he should observe fasts for one month once again.

Prohibited and hateful fasts

Rule no.1742. It is prohibited to fast on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. It is also prohibited to fast with the intention of the first fast of Ramadhan on a day about which he is not sure whether it is the last day of Sha'ban or the first of Ramadhan.

Rule no.1743. It is prohibited for a wife to keep a recommended fast if, by doing so, she would not be able to attend to her duties to her husband. Also, the obligatory precaution is that even if she can attend to her duties towards her husband, she should not observe a recommended fast without his permission.

Rule no.1744. It is prohibited for the children to observe a recommended fast if it causes emotional suffering to their parents or paternal grandfather.

Rule no.1745. If a son observes a recommended fast without the permission of his father, and his father prohibits him from it during the daytime, the son should break the fast if his disobedience would hurt the feeling of his father.

Rule no.1746. If a person knows that fasting is not harmful to him, he should fast even if his doctor advises that it is harmful. Also, if a person is certain or has a feeling that fasting is harmful to him, he should not fast even if the doctor advises for it, and if he fasts in these circumstances, his fast will not be in order.

Rule no.1747. If a person has a strong feeling that it is harmful for him to fast, and due to that fear created in his mind, and if that feeling is commonly acceptable, he should not observe fast, and if he does, it will not be in order.

Rule no.1748. If a person who believes that fasting is not harmful to him, observes fast and realizes after sunset that it was harmful to him, and if the harm is at such a high degree that if done intentionally it becomes prohibited, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, offer Qadha of that day.

Rule no.1749. Besides the fasts mentioned herein, there are other prohibited fasts as well, the details of which are found in relevant books.

Rule no.1750. As an obligatory precaution, one should not fast on 'Ashura (10th of Muharram). It is also hateful to fast on the day about which one is not sure whether it is the day of 'Arafa or Eid-ul-Adha.

Recommended fasts

Rule no.1751. Fasting is recommended on every day of the year except those on which it is prohibited or hateful to observe a fast. Some of them which have been strongly recommended are as follows:

(i) The first and last Thursday of every month and the first Wednesday after the 10th of a month. If a person does not observe these fasts, it is recommended that he offers their Qadha. Also, if he is incapable of fasting, it is recommended for him to give one mudd of food or prescribed coined silver to a poor person.

(ii) The 13th, 14th, and 15th days of every month.

(iii) On all days of Rajab and Sha`ban, or on as many days as it is possible to fast in these months, even though it may be one day only.

(iv) From the 4th up to the 9th of the month of Shawwal.

(v) The 25th and 29th days of the month of Zil-Qa`da.

(vi) From the 1st day to the 9th day (i.e. day of 'Arafa) of the month of Zil-Hajj. However, if it is not possible for one to recite the supplications and prayers of the day of 'Arafa due to weakness caused by fasting, it is hateful to fast on that day.

(vii) The auspicious day of Ghadeer (18th Zil-Hajj).

(viii) The auspicious day of Mubahala (24th Zil-Hajj).

(ix) The 1st, 3rd, and 7th days of Muharram.

(x) The birthday of the Holy Prophet (17th Rabi'ul-awwal).

(xi) The 15th day of Jumadi'ul-Ula.

Fasting is also recommended on the 27th of Rajab - the day the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) declared his prophethood.

If a person observes a recommended fast, it is not obligatory on him to complete it. In fact, if one of his brethren-in-faith invites him to a meal, it is recommended that he accepts the invitation and breaks the fast during the day time even if it may be after midday.

The situations when one should refrain from the acts which invalidate the fast

Rule no.1752. It is recommended for the following persons that, even if they may not be fasting, they should refrain from those acts in the month of Ramadhan which invalidate a fast:

(i) A traveller who has committed an act during his journey which makes a fast void, and reaches his hometown before midday, or the place where he intends to stay for ten days.

(ii) A traveller who reaches his home after midday or at a place where he intends to stay for ten days. The same rule applies if he reaches such places before midday and if he has already broken his fast while travelling.

(iii) A patient who recovers after midday or even if he recovers before noon, though he may have committed acts which invalidate a fast.

(iv) A woman who becomes pure from menstruation or lochia during day time.

Rule no.1753. It is recommended that a person breaks his fast after offering sunset and evening prayers. However, if someone is waiting for him, or he feels terribly inclined to eat, so much that he cannot concentrate on the prayer, it is better that he should break his fast first and offer the prayers later. However, as far as possible, he should try to offer the prayers during their prime time.