PEOPLE ON WHOM FASTING IS NOT OBLIGATORY DURING THE MONTH OF RAMADHAN


As per the rules for Muqallidin of His Eminence Aga Ali Al Hussein Seestani.

1) PEOPLE ON WHOM FASTING IS NOT OBLIGATORY DURING THE MONTH OF RAMADHAN

(a) A person who cannot fast because of old age, or for whom fasting causes extreme hardship. But in the latter case, he should give one mudd (¾ kg. [750 gms.] of food-stuff, like, wheat or barley or bread, etc.) to a poor person for every fast. However, if he becomes capable of fasting later, he should, on the basis of recommended precaution, give the qadha’ .

(b) A person who suffers from a disease which causes excessive thirst, making it unbearable, or full of hardship. But in the latter case, that is, 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 recommended precaution, he should give qadha’ .

Note: A person cannot abandon fast on account of weakness. However, if his weakness is to such an extent that fasting becomes totally unbearable, there is no harm in breaking the fast.

(c) A woman who is in advanced stage of pregnancy, for whom fasting is harmful or for the child she carries. For every day, however, she should give one mudd (3/4 kg. [750 gms.]) of food to poor. In both the cases, she has to give qadha’ for the fasts left out.

(d) If a woman is suckling a child and the quantity of her milk is small, and if fasting is harmful to her or to the child. But she will give one mudd of food per day to poor. In both the cases, she will later give qadha’ for the fasts left out.

Note: This rule is specifically applicable in a circumstance where this is the only way of feeding milk to the child (as an obligatory precaution). But if there is an alternative, like, when more than one woman offer to suckle the child, then establishing this rule is a matter of ishkal.

(e) A woman who is in the state of Haidh or Nifas. She has to give qadha’ for the fasts left out.

(f) If a person knows that fasting is not harmful to him, he should fast and his fast will be valid even if his doctor advises him that it is harmful. And if a person is certain or has a strong feeling that fasting is harmful to him, he should not fast even if the doctor advises for it. He/she is required to give qadha’ for the fasts left out.

Note: If a person, without any shari’i reason does not observe qadha of the fasts left out during Mahe Ramadhan till next Ramadhan, then in addition to offering the qadha of the fasts he/she left , on the basis of obligatory precaution, he/she will give one mudd of food to poor for each fast left out.

2) INVALIDATING A FAST OF MAHE RAMADHAN INTENTIONALY

If a person intentionally and voluntarily commits an act which invalidates fast, his/her fast becomes void and besides giving qadha he/she is also required to give kaffara. However, if a person who is fasting eats or drinks something forgetfully, his/her fast remains valid.

3) KAFFARAH

The Kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Mahe Ramadhan is to:

•  free a slave, or
•  fast for two months, or
•  feed sixty poor to their fill or give one mudd of food-stuff to each of them .

If a person breaks his/her fast with something haraam he/she will have to observe all the three kaffarah , as a recommended precaution.

Note: If it is not possible for him/her to fulfill any of the above, he/she should give sadaqa according to his/her means and seek Divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he/she should give kaffarah as and when he/she is capable to do so.

4) NIYYAT FOR FASTING.
(a) Fasting means that a person must, in obedience to the commands of Allah, from the time of adhan for fajr prayers up to the time of adhan for maghrib prayers, avoid nine things which will be mentioned later.

(b) It is not necessary for a person to pass the niyyat 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 perform from the time of adhan for fajr prayers up to the time of adhan for maghrib prayers, 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 time of adhan for fajr prayers, and continue to refrain for some time after the adhan for maghrib prayers from acts which invalidate a fast.

(c) A person can make niyyat every night of the holy month of Ramadhan that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make niyyat on the first night of Ramadhan that he would fast throughout that month.

(d) The last time for making niyyat to observe a fast of Ramadhan for a conscious person, is moments before the time of adhan for fajr prayers.

(e) If a person sleeps before the time for fajr prayers in Ramadhan without making a niyyat, and wakes up before zuhr to make a niyyat of fast, his fast will be in order. But if he wakes up after Zuhr , as a precaution, he should continue with the abstinence with the niyyat of qurbat and then give its qadha’ also.

(f) If a person makes a niyyat before the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers to observe a fast, and then goes to sleep, and wakes up after Maghrib his fast is in order.

(g) If a child reaches the age of puberty before the time of adhan for fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan he/she should keep fast, and if he/she reaches the age puberty after the adhan for fajr prayers, the fast on that day is not obligatory for him/her.

(h) If a patient recovers from his illness before zuhr in the month of Ramadhan, and if he has not done anything to invalidate the fast, he should make niyyat and fast. But if he recovers after zuhr , it will not be obligatory on him to fast on that day.

(i) If one doubts whether it is the last day of Sha’baan or the first day of Ramadhan then the fast on that day is not obligatory. However, if one wants to fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the Ramadhan fast, but if he makes an intention that if it is Ramadhan then it is the Ramadhan fast and if it is not Ramadhan then it is qadha’ fast or some other fast like that, his fast will be valid. But it is better to observe the fast with the intention of qadha’ fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was Ramadhan then it will automatically be Ramadhan fast. And if he learns on the same day before Maghrib that it is the first day of Ramadhan, then he should convert the intention to the Ramadhan fast.(j) If somebody is undecided in his niyyat whether to break the fast or not in Ramadhan, or decides to do so, immediately his fast becomes invalid even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention.

5) THINGS WHICH MAKES A FAST VOID
There are nine acts which invalidate fasts:

(i) Eating and drinking.
(ii) Sexual intercourse.
(iii) Istimna which means self abuse, resulting in ejaculation.
(iv) Ascribing false things to Almighty Allah, or His Prophet or to the successors of the Holy Prophet.
(v) Swallowing thick dust.
(vi) Immersing one’s head completely in water according to the common opinion (among Jurists).
(vii) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers.
(viii) Enema with liquids.
(ix) Vomiting.

Details of these acts will be explained in the following articles:
(i) EATING AND DRINKING .

(a) 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 something normally eaten or drunk or whether it was small or large amount; even if a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.

(b) If a person who is fasting eats or drinks something forgetfully, his fast does not become invalid but the moment he realizes he should immediately throw out the food or drink from his mouth.

(c) If a person observing fast intentionally swallows something which remained in between his teeth, his fast will be invalidated.

Note: If a person knows that some particles of food which has remained in between his teeth, will go down into his stomach during the day, then he must clean his teeth with toothpick.

(d) Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast, although it may have collected in one’s mouth owing to thoughts about sour things, etc..

(e) There is no harm in swallowing one’s phlegm or mucous from head and chest as long as it does not come up to one’s mouth. However, if it reaches one’s mouth, the recommended precaution is that one should not swallow it.

(ii) SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.

(a) Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration of the male organ was only up to the point of circumcision, and even if there has been no ejaculation.

(iii) ISTIMNA (self abuse, resulting in ejaculation).
(a) If a person, who is observing fast, performs Istimna , his fast becomes void.

(b) If a person involves himself in Istimna with the intention of allowing semen to be discharged, even if he does not discharge, his fast will be void.

(c) If semen is discharged from the body of a person involuntarily, his fast does not become void.

(d) If a fasting person indulges in courtship without the intention of allowing 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 LIES TO ALLAH, HIS PROPHET AND TO THE SUCCESSORS OF THE HOLY PROPHET.

(a) If a person who is observing fast, intentionally ascribes something false to Allah, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) or his 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 a recommended precaution, he should refrain from imputing lies to Bibi Fatema Zahra (a.s.) and the rest of the Prophets and their successors.

(b) If a person quotes something as the word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet with the belief that it is true, but realizes later that it is false, his fast does not become void.

(v) LETTING DUST REACH ONE’S THROAT.

(a) On the basis of obligatory precaution, allowing thick dust to reach one’s throat makes one’s fast void, whether the dust is of something which is halal to eat, like flour, or something which is haraam to consume like dust or earth.

(b) Allowing thin dust to reach one’s throat will not invalidate the fast.

(c) As an obligatory precaution, a person who is observing fast, should not allow the smoke of cigarettes, tobacco, and other similar things to reach his throat.

(vi) IMMERSING ONE’S HEAD IN WATER.

(a) If a fasting person intentionally immerses his entire head in the water, his fast is known to be void according to the common opinion (among Jurists), even if the rest of his body remains out of water. But, according to the ruling of Ayatullah As-Seestani Dama Dhilluhu, this act does not invalidate the fast; it is an absolutely makrooh act, and as a measure of precaution, should be avoided.

(b) If a fasting person immerses his head under water with the niyyat of ghusl, both his fast and ghusl will be in order.

(vii) REMAINING IN JANABAT OR HAIDH OR NIFAS TILL FAJR TIME.

(a) If a person in j anabat does not take ghusl intentionally till the time of fajr prayers, his/her fast becomes void. And if a person, whose obligation is to do tayammum , willfully does not do it, his/her fast will also be void.

(b) If a person gets into the state of janabat during a night in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take ghusl intentionally till the time left before Adhan is short, he/she should perform tayammum and observe the fast. However, it is a recommended precaution that its qadha is also given.

(c) If a person is in janabat during a night in Ramadhan and knows that if he goes to sleep he will not wake up till fajr , he should not sleep before performing ghusl and if he sleeps without performing ghus l and does not wake up till fajr , his fast is void, and qadha and kaffarah become obligatory on him.

(d) When a person in janabat goes to sleep in a night of Ramadhan and then wakes up, the obligatory precaution is that if he is not sure about waking up again, he should not go to sleep before performing ghusl , even if he has a faint hope that he might wake up before fajr if he sleeps again.

(e) If a person in janabat in the night of Ramadhan feels certain or fairly hopeful that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before the time of fajr prayers, and is determined to do ghusl upon waking up, and oversleeps with that determination till the time of fajr prayers, his fast will be in order.

(f) If a person in janabat 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 fajr prayers, with full determination to do ghusl after waking up, and oversleeps till the time of fajr , he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he wakes up from his second sleep and goes to sleep for the third time and does not wake up till the time of fajr prayers, it is obligatory on him to observe the qadha as well as give the kaffarah , as a recommended precaution.

(g) When a person becomes mohtalim 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.

(h) If a person observing fast becomes mohtalim during day time, it is not obligatory on him to do ghusl at once.

(i) When a person wakes up in the month of Ramadhan after the fajr prayers and finds that he has become mohtalim his fast is in order, even if he knows that he became mohtalim before the fajr prayers.

(j) If a person whose obligation is tayammum after getting into the state of janabat , after performing tayammum it is not necessary for him/her to stay awake till the time of fajr prayers.

(k) A person who has touched a dead body can observe fast without having done ghusl for touching a dead body, and his fast does not become void even if he touches the dead body during the fast.

FOR WOMEN ONLY

(l) If a woman becomes paak from haidh or nifas before the time of fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan and does not do ghusl before fajr – or in the case of time being short, tayammum – intentionally, her fast will be void.

(m) If a woman becomes paak from haidh or nifas just near the time of fajr prayers in the month of Ramadhan, and has no time left for ghus l or tayammum, her fast is valid.

(n) If a woman becomes paak from haidh or nifas after the fajr or if haidh or nifas begins during the day, even just before the maghrib time, her fast is void.

(o) If a woman forgets to do ghus l for haidh or nifas and remembers it after a day or more, the fasts that she has observed will be valid.

(p) If a woman is in a sate of medium or excessive istihadha, her fast will be valid even if she does not carry out the rules of ghusls she is normally required to undertake when she is in the state of medium or excessive istihadha.

(viii) ENEMA.

(a) If liquid enema is taken by a fasting person, his fast becomes void even if he/she is obliged to take it for the sake of treatment.
(ix) VOMITING.

(a) If a fasting person vomits intentionally his fast becomes void, though he may have been obliged to do so on account of sickness. However, the fast does not become void, if one vomits forgetfully or involuntarily.

(b) If a fasting person is certain that if he belches, something will come out from the throat, he should not, as a precaution, belch intentionally, but there is no harm in his belching if he is not certain about it.

(c) If a fasting person belches and something comes from his throat into the mouth, he should throw it out, and if it is swallowed unintentionally, his fast is in order.

6) FASTING BY A TRAVELLER

(a) A traveler for whom it is obligatory to shorten a four rak’ats prayers to two rak’ats , should not fast. However, a traveler who offers full prayers, like, a person who is a traveler by profession or who goes on a journey for a haraam purpose, should fast while traveling.(b) If a person does not know that the fast of a traveler is invalid and observes fast while journeying, and learns about the rule during the day, his fast becomes void, but if he does not learn about the rule till maghrib , his fast is valid.

(c) If a person forgets that he is a traveler or forgets that the fast of a traveler is void, and observes fast while journeying, his fast is invalid.

(d) If a fasting person travels after zuhr , he should, as a precaution, complete his fast.

(e) If a fasting person travels before zuhr and had an intention from the previous night to do so, he cannot fast on that day. As a precaution, he cannot fast on that day even if he had no intention to travel from the previous night. In both the cases, he cannot break the fast till he has reached the limit of tarakkhus . If he does, he will be liable to give kaffarah .

Note: Masaels relating to the limit of tarakkhus can be obtained from your Resident Aalim or refer to Taudhihul Masael book in the section of Prayers of a traveler.)

(f) If a traveler reaches his hometown or a place where he intends to stay for ten days or more before Zuhr , and if he has not committed an act which invalidates a fast, he should fast on that day. But if he reaches after Zuhr , he cannot fast on that day.

NOTE: RELEVANT DETAILS OF THINGS OR ACTS WHICH ARE MAKROOH/MUSTAHAB FOR A PERSON OBSERVING FAST, QADHA FASTS, KAFFARA, ETC. PLEASE REFER TO THE ISLAMIC LAWS BOOK.

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