Important Rules of Fasting

Important Rules of Fasting

Definition of fasting:

Fasting is called "Sawm" in Arabic. The literal meaning of Sawm is "to abstain", that is to refrain /stop from something.
The term “Sawm” in shari’ah addresses fasting to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse from "Subh Sadiq" (true dawn) until sunset.

Virtues of fasting:


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and the intention of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari, Hadith no.2014)


Abu Ubaidah(R.A) says: "Fasting is a shield as long as the one who fasts does not damage it." (Nasaa'i, Hadith no.2237)


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Every good deed of a person will be multiplied. A good deed will be multiplied ten times up to as many as 700 times, or as much as Allah wills. Allah says: "Except for fasting, which is for me and I shall reward for it...." (Ibn Majah Hadith no. 1638)

Warnings for neglecting the fast:


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever breaks the fast during Ramadan without an allowance or illness, then even if he fasted for the whole year, his fasting would not make up for it." ‏ (Mishkaat 1/177, Qadimi)

(2) Abu Umamah al Bahili (R.A)
reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "While I was sleeping, I saw in a vision two men taking me to a rugged mountain and telling me: "Climb this mountain." I replied: "I cannot do this." They answered back: "We will facilitate this for you.
"Thus, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "I started to ascend the mountain and when I reached the top, I heard a loud voice. I asked: "What are these voices?" They replied: "These are the wailings of the inhabitants of Hell. Then they took me away until we reached a place where I saw men hanged by their bleeding ankles. I asked my two companions: "Who are these persons?" "These are the ones who break their fasts before it comes to its end", I was answered." (As Silsilah As Sahiha, Hadith no. 1430)

1. Is it permissible to take injections while fasting?

When taking injections, the medicine reaches the body through the pores, not through the natural openings (mouth, nose etc.…). That is why, the fast is not nullified. (Shami 2/395, H.M. Saeed)

2. Taking intravenous injections (drip) while fasting:

Taking intravenous injections (drip) while fasting does not invalidate the fast. However, if it is taken for strength (like vitamins) so as not to feel effects of the fast, it is disliked
(Makruh). (Shami 2/395, H.M. Saeed)

3. Does insulin injections invalidate the fast?

Taking insulin injections while fasting does not invalidate the fast.
(Shami 2/395, H.M. Saeed)

4. Inhaling oxygen when fasting:

If the air inhaled contains only oxygen without any medication, the fast is still valid. However, if there are other medicines included, the fast will be invalid. (Shami 2/417, H.M. Saeed)

5. Can an inhaler be used while fasting?

The use of an inhaler for an asthmatic will nullify his fast because it contains ventolin etc... (in liquid form) which goes inside the body through the pump. And any medicine that goes into the body nullifies the fast. (Shami 2/395, H.M. Saeed)

6. Fasting for a diabetes patient:

If a person suffering from diabetes has become weak and fasting has become difficult for him, he is exempted from fasting in Ramadan. But if there is hope for recovery, fidya will not be enough to compensate on his behalf, it will be compulsory for him to make Qaza (replace) after regaining his health. And if there is no hope for recovery nor any sign of it, in this case fidya will be permissible. (Fatawa al-Hindiyya 1/307, Rashidiyya).

7. Use of eye drops:

Using eye drops while fasting does not invalidate the fast. (Fatawa Tatarkhaniya 2/366)

8. Use of ear drops:

Inserting any liquid medicine (ear drops) in the ears will invalidate the fast. And if a dry medicine or powder etc... is inserted in the ears, the fast will still be valid if it does not reach the inside. (Shami 2/402, H.M. Saeed)

9. Use of nasal drops:

The fast will not be valid if a liquid medicine (nasal drops) is inserted. And if a dry medicine is inserted and it is sure that it has reached the inside, the fast will be invalid, otherwise it will still be valid. (Shami 2/402 H.M saeed).

10. Eating by mistake while fasting:

If a person was conscious of his fast but has eaten by mistake, for example, he thought that it is already time for Iftaar and started to eat and drink, or water has gone down his throat while bathing, the fast will be invalid and Qaza will be compulsory. (Hidaya 1/207, Rahmaniyya)

11. Eating forgetfully:

If a person eats forgetfully while fasting, the fast will not be invalid. (Fatawa al-Hindiya 1/207, Rashidiyya)

12. The difference between eating by mistake and eating forgetfully:

Eating by mistake means that a person is conscious of the fact that he is fasting but his action (eating, drinking etc...) is unintentional. Whilst eating forgetfully is the opposite; it refers to when a person has completely forgotten that he is fasting but his action (drinking, eating) is intentional. (Tafheem ul Fiqh 2/316, Al-Noor)

13. Breaking the fast due to fever or any valid reason:

If a person is suffering from fever or any such disease that if he does not break his fast, his life may be at stake or his health may deteriorate, in such case it is permissible to break the fast but it is compulsory to replace the fast afterwards. (Fatawa al hindiya 1/207, Rashidiyya)

14. Fasting when travelling:

It is not compulsory for a person to fast when he is travelling. However, it is better for him to fast if there is no difficulty or hardship. (Shami 2/423, H.M. Saeed)

15. If the journey is schedule for the afternoon, is it permissible not to fast from the morning?

If a person is not a traveler at the time of Subh Sadiq (true dawn), it is not permissible for him to leave the fast, even though he has firm intention of travelling during the day. However, if he breaks the fast after starting the journey, only Qaza (replace) will be compulsory. There will be no Kaffara. (Shami 2/43, H.M.Saeed)

16. Does bleeding invalidate the fast?

If any part of the body bleeds while fasting, the fast will still be valid. (Badai' Sanai' 2/192, H.M. Saeed)

17. Vomiting during the fast:

If a person vomits involuntarily during the fast, the fast will still be valid, whatever be the quantity of the vomit. If he vomits voluntarily, the fast will be invalid if the vomit is mouthful and if it is less than a mouthful, the fast will be valid. (Shami 2/414, H.M. Saeed)

18. Falling unconscious during fast:

If a person falls unconscious during the month of Ramadan, he will have to replace the number of fasts he missed while he was unconscious. However, he will not have to replace the fast during which he fell unconscious, because the fast on that day is valid due to the intention (niyyat) that was made. If he did not fast on that day, it is compulsory to replace it also. (Bahr ur Ra'iq 2/290, H.M. Saeed)

19. Does masturbation nullify the fast?

If a person ejaculates while masturbating during the fast, it will invalidate the fast. In such case, only Qaza (replace) will be compulsory, not Kaffarah. (Shami 2/399, H.M. Saeed)

20. Wet dream during the fast:

If a fasting person sleeps during the day and has a wet dream, the fast will still be valid. However, he should make Ghusl (take a bath) as soon as possible, so as to spend most time of the fast in a state of purity. (Bahr ur Ra'iq 2/272, H.M. Saeed)

21. Sexual intercourse during the fast:

Having sexual intercourse while fasting during the month of Ramadaan will invalidate the fast and will make both Qaza and Kaffarah compulsory. (Shami 2/409, H.M.Saeed)

22. The ruling of Haiz, Nifaas and Istihaza:

It should be noted that it is not permissible to fast during Haiz (menses) and Nifaas (post-natal bleeding). But it is compulsory to replace the missed fasts afterwards. However, it is compulsory to fast during Istihaza (bleeding that exceeds the maximum period of Haiz and Nifaas). ( Shami 1/298, H.M. Saeed)

23. Gargling during the fast:

It is not compulsory to gargle when making Ghusl, nor is it compulsory to put water deep in the nostrils while fasting, to avoid the risk of nullifying the fast. Therefore, one should not gargle when making Ghusl during the fast. (Shami 1/116, H.M. Saeed)

24. Taking a bath to cool and rinsing the mouth to quench thirst:

It is permissible to take a bath due to hot weather or rinse the mouth to quench the thirst during the fast. However, if water goes down the throat and the person was conscious of the fast, the fast will be invalid and it is compulsory to replace it. Swallowing the small amount of water that remains in the mouth after rinsing it, does not invalidate the fast, on condition that the person spits once or twice after rinsing. Because the wetness of water usually remains in the mouth after a rinse. Therefore, spitting once or twice removes the residual water. There is no harm if a very little amount of water remains. (Fatawa al-Hindiya 1/202, Rashidiya)

25. Miswaak and the use of toothpaste:

It is permissible to do miswaak when fasting, whether it is dry or fresh. Even if its bitterness or a strong taste is felt in the mouth, it will not affect the fast and it will not be Makhruh either (disliked). The use of toothpaste is Makhruh (disliked) as its particles may reach the throat. The fast will be invalid if the toothpaste goes down the throat. (Shami 2/216, H.M Saeed)

26. Swimming while fasting:

Swimming or diving during the fast does not invalidate it if water has not gone down the throat through the mouth or nose. But if water went down the throat, the fast will be invalid and Qaza will be compulsory. If a person does not know how to swim, it is not appropriate for him to do so as there is a fear of water going down the throat. (Shami 2/401, H.M. Saeed)

27. Dental extraction during the fast:

If a person has to extract a tooth urgently, it is permissible to do so, but care has to be taken that the blood does not go down the throat. That is why it is better not to extract tooth when fasting. (Shami 2/396, H.M. Saeed)

28. Blood coming out of the teeth while fasting:

If during the fast blood comes out of the teeth and mixes with the saliva and goes down the throat, so if the proportion of the blood is equal to or more than the saliva, the fast will be invalid. In this case, Qaza will be compulsory. If the blood is less than the saliva, the fast will not be invalid. (Fatawa al-Hindiya 1/203, Rashidiyya)

29. Sehri/Suhur is Sunnah. It is sunnah to have Sehri/Suhur:

Great virtues have been mentioned for it in the hadith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the difference between fast of the Jews and Christians and our fast is Suhur. (Sahih Muslim 1/350, Qadeemi)

30. Having Sehri/Suhur in the state of Janabah (state of impurity):

If Ghusl is compulsory on a person and he could not take a bath before Subh Sadiq (true dawn) and had Sehri/Suhur and started the fast, his fast will be valid. Being in a state of impurity will not affect the fast. However, he should make Ghusl as soon as possible. Delaying the Ghusl so much that Fajr salaat becomes Qaza is a serious sin. (Fatawa al-Hindiya 1/16, Rashidiya)

31. Continue eating Sehri during the Azan of Fajr:

The time for sehri is till Subh Sadiq (true dawn). Sehri ends as soon as the time for Subh Sadiq enters and the time for Fajr starts immediately after Subh Sadiq. Therefore, Sehri must end when the time of Subh Sadiq enters, not when the Azan starts. Because Azan is given at different times in different places. That is why, a person should not wait for Azaan to start or end to stop eating. If during the month of Ramadan, a person eats after the time for Fajr has started, his fast will not be valid. He will have to replace that fast whether he did it on purpose or unknowingly. (Fatawa al-Hindiya 1/194, Rashidiyya)

32. Fasting for breast-feeding women:

If a woman has to breastfeed a child and if she fasts there is fear of harm to the child or the mother, there is the permissibility of not fasting and make up for the missed fasts later.
(Shami 2/422, H.M. Saeed)

33. Breast-feeding does not invalidate the fast:

Breast-feeding a child during the fast does not invalidate the fast because nothing enters the body while doing so. On the contrary, milk comes out and fast does not become invalid when something comes out of the body. (Bahr 2/278, H.M. Saeed)

34. Medical check-ups during pregnancy:

In the early stages of pregnancy, the doctor inserts fingers in the private part for check-up. Sometimes the doctor may wear gloves to do so and sometimes not. In both cases, if the fingers or gloves are inserted dry, the fast will be valid. If they are inserted wet or they are inserted dry then removed and re-inserted (with the wetness from the first insertion on the fingers/gloves), in both cases the fast will be invalid. (Shami 2/297, H.M. Saeed)

35. Cleaning of the uterus by doctors:

The instruments used by doctors to clean the uterus do not invalidate the fast because they are removed after insertion and do not remain inside. Medical instruments that are inserted in the body like bronchoscope, gastroscope, catheter, Ryle tube, etc... do not invalidate the fast. It should be noted that these instruments when inserted dry do not invalidate the fast based on the above mentioned principle. But if they are inserted with vaseline or any other substance (usually applied on before insertion), the fast will be invalid due to those wet substances. Likewise, if any instrument has been inserted dry then removed and re-inserted, the fast will be invalid due to the wetness on it from the first insertion. (Tafheem ul Fiqh 2/322, Al-Noor)

36. Opening of hotels and restaurants during the daytime in Ramadan:

It is necessary to keep hotels closed during daytime out of respect for the month of Ramadan, regardless of which religion the customers belong to. The month of Ramadan is among the rights of Allah and it is important to respect the rights of Allah. However, it is permissible to open the hotels in the evening before Iftar to allow people to buy things for Iftar. (Shami 2/413, H.M. Saeed)

37. When to do Iftar when travelling by plane?

When travelling by air, the time for Iftar will be according to the sunset seen from the plane. If the Sun has already set on land
but is still seen on the horizon from the plane, it is not permissible for the travelers to break their fast. They should wait for the sun to set from the horizon (seen from the plane) to break their fast. (Shami 2/412, H.M.Saeed)

38. Eating things that are not edible:

If something which is not used as food or medicine is swallowed (e.g. paper, etc..), the fast will be invalid, only Qaza will be compulsory, not Kaffarah. However, if a fly or smoke or dirt goes inside the throat unintentionally, the fast will not be invalid even if it reaches the stomach; because it is difficult to avoid these. Likewise, if when grinding or crushing something like medicine etc., the taste or the mist is felt inside the throat, the fast will not be invalid. (Shami 2/395, H.M. Saeed)

39. Fidya:

A person who cannot fast due to old age or terminal illness and has no hope to regain his health again, can give 1.75 kg of wheat or its equivalent value in money for every fast as Fidya. However, if he regains his health afterwards, he will have to replace those fasts. (Fatawa al-Hindiyya 1/207, Rashidiyya)

40. Kaffarah:

The Kaffarah for one fast is to free one slave. If this is not possible, then the person must fast for sixty (60) consecutive days and if he does not have the strength to do so, he will have to feed two full meals to sixty (60) poor persons. (Shami 2/412, H.M. Saeed)

Allah knows best

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