Rules of Fasting
Sighting moon with optical aid
Q. Is it permissible in the Shari’ah to sight moon with the help of astronomical objects (binoculars, telescopes etc.)?
A. It is objectionable to consider moon-sighting with optical eyes as sufficient. Allah knows best
Ascertaining the first day of Month
Q. If the radio channels and media reports inform us that moon is sighted in some city, can the Muslims in the entire country celebrate the next day as Eid or not?
A. If the news given through radio or other channels helps a person reach certainty, he must celebrate that day as Eid. Allah knows best.
Unity of Horizon
Q. If the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan is sighted in a city, will the beginning of Ramadan be proven for other cities having a common horizon or a time difference of two hours?
A. It is not farfetched to consider that moon-sighting in one city will be sufficient for other cities as well. Allah knows best.
Ascertaining the month with astronomical calculations
Q. Can the new month be proved by astronomical calculations; especially today, if compared to the past times, the facilities they possess are extremely precise and well equipped, and they lay emphasis on the point that the results of their scientific equipment are totally undeniable and accurate today?
A. The astronomical predictions themselves do not hold any value in the Shari’ah. However, for those men who attain certainty of its accuracy, it is mandatory to act upon the certainty they have reached due to the saying of the astronomers. Allah knows best.
Day of uncertainty
Q. A person fasts on Yawm As – Shak, i.e. uncertainty between the last day of Sha’ban and the first day of Ramadan, with the intention of last Sha’ban, then he intended to break his fast; and he came to know before Zuhr or before the time of Iftar that the month of Ramadan has begun; in this case, if he intends to fast for the month of Ramadan, will his fasting be valid?
A. In the case mentioned, he should fast with the intention of Ramadan and his fasting is valid. Allah knows best.
Long duration of Moon
Q. Can the long duration of crescent be considered as a proof for the second night?
A. Long duration of moon is not a proof for the second night as per the Shari’ah. Allah knows best.
Time of Abstention (Imsaak) in the holy month
Q. During the holy month of Ramadan, keeping in mind the extensive cities and the impossibility of allocating the exact time of dawn, we request you to explain your view regarding the time of Abstention (Imsaak) for fasting and the Morning Prayer.
A. It is obligatory to abstain from the moment when a person becomes certain about the rise of the true dawn (Fajr e Sadiq), and he can offer the Morning Prayer; it is not possible to ascertain the accurate and exact time of dawn upon which abstention can be declared mandatory as per the Shari’ah, and which can also be the time for Morning Prayer. As per precaution, one should begin the abstention for fasting slightly before the certain time of the rise of dawn.
Baligh (Mature) girls and lack of fasting strength.
Q. The age of maturity for a girl is mentioned as 9 years in the books whereupon the duties become obligatory on her. However the girl is so small that if she fasts, she might become sick, or she cannot fast at all; and there is no other sign of maturity, what is her duty?
A. The age of obligation for girls is nine complete lunar years, but at the same time, ability to perform a duty is kept as a condition. Whoever has the strength to perform it, must perform it, and it is not obligatory for one who lacks the strength. For example, if she doesn’t have the strength to fast, she should not fast and perform its Qadha only after she has the physical strength for doing it. At the same time, offering prayer, observing Hijab and all other duties which she has the strength to perform, she must perform them. Allah knows best.
Lack of strength for fasting due to the difficult nature of work and hot weather
Q. What is the ruling for a person whose work is very difficult in nature and he works in an extremely hot city, and it is practically next to impossible for him to fast in the summer?
A. If it is possible for him to cut down the working hours and keep fasting, and not be deprived of its blessings, then he should do it. And if this is not possible for him, then he should travel every morning to the extent of Shari’ah limit and break his fast. This will bring upon him only the Qadha of fasts and he will not be liable to pay its Kaffarah (penalty). Allah knows best.
Condition of Specifying the fast each day of Ramadan
Q. Is it necessary to specify the intention of the fast each day of the month of Ramadan?
A. It is not necessary to specifically make intentions for every day of the month, instead, it is sufficient if he knows that he is keeping the fasts for the month of Ramadan. Allah knows best
Forgetting the intention of fast in the month of Ramadan.
Q. If a person forgets to make an intention of fasting before the rise of dawn in the month of Ramadan?
A. If he realizes it before Zuhr, he should make the intention; and if he realizes it after Zuhr, his fasting is void. Though, it is necessary for him to abstain (Imsaak) on that day and perform the Qadha of his fast later. Allah knows better.
Waking up after the Morning Prayer without the intention of Fasting.
Q. If a person intends to fast but does not wake up before dawn to eat anything and wakes up only for the Morning Prayer, then sleeps again. Is the fasting of such a person correct?
A. Having the intention of fasting is sufficient. Eating something at the time of Suhoor (before dawn) is not necessary. Allah knows better.
Q. Is it permissible for a person who is fasting to take injections or serums?
A. As per recommended precaution, one should refrain from the use of injections and serums. If it becomes necessary for him and he takes injections, his fast will not become void. Allah knows better.
Use of Asthma inhalers
Q. Will the use of inhalers and breathing sprays inside the mouth or nose, for the purpose of opening the wind pipes, invalidate a person’s fast or not?
A. In the mentioned case, there is no objection to it if a person helplessly uses it in the daytime and fasts. However, before the arrival of the month of Ramadan next year, if his problem is finished, then as per precaution, he should keep the Qadha of those fasts. If his problem continues to occur till the next Ramadan, then as per precaution, he should give three quarters (one Mudd – 750 grams) of food like wheat or barley, with the intention of Kaffarah to the non – Sayyid poor. There is no Qadha in this case. Allah knows best.
Use of nasal drops
Q. What is the rule regarding the use of nasal drops for opening the wind pipes and for treatment purpose, where in some cases, it certainly enters the throat?
A. If it enters the throat, his fast will become invalid. Allah knows better.
Q. Does brushing teeth invalidate the fast in the month of Ramadan or not?
A. If the water formed from the tooth paste or outside water doesn’t enter the throat and it is put away, there is no objection. Allah knows best.
Q. Endoscopy is an instrument inserted inside the digestive tract to take pictures of the internal organ without inserting anything in the stomach. Does this process invalidate a fast or not?
A. As per precaution, it is objectionable for a fasting person. Allah knows best.
Q. If the space of the bathroom is totally occupied by water vapors, will it cause the invalidation of fasting?
A. It will not invalidate the fast. Allah knows best.
Q. What is the rule about chewing gums in the state of fasting?
A. If it does not have any taste that might enter the throat, the fast is valid; however, this act is not suitable for a person fasting, and showing it openly is objectionable. Allah knows best.
Q. Does smoking cigarettes or Hukka invalidate fast?
As per obligatory precaution, a person who is fasting should not let the smoke of cigarettes of Hukka reach his throat. Allah knows best.
Q. Does the process of injecting blood in the body of a fasting person invalidate his fast?
A. It does not invalidate the fast. Allah knows best.
Q. If in the month of Ramadan, 5 cc blood is extracted from our body for the purpose of examination, what is the rule regarding it?
A. There is no objection, but this act is Makrooh if it weakens one’s body. Allah knows best
Filling ones tooth
Q. What is the rule regarding the filling of tooth in the month of Ramadan?
A. There is no objection for dentists in filling, removal or extraction of tooth in the month of Ramadan. It is permissible for a person fasting only when he is assured that blood or water which enters the space of mouth due to the instrument, will not be swallowed. Allah knows best.
Use of cosmetics.
Q. What is the rule regarding the use of cosmetics, such as cream, kohl etc. in the month of Ramadan for a person who is fasting?
A. There is no objection; but if the kohl is made of a content whose taste or smell will enter the throat, then its usage is Makrooh (undesirable). Allah knows best.
Use of contraceptive pills
Q. Is the fasting of those women who use contraceptive pills to prevent the occurrence of menstrual periods in the month of Ramadan valid or not?
A. If the menstrual periods do not occur, their fast is valid. Allah knows best.
Use of Enema
Q. Does the use of medicinal enemas, opium enemas or food enemas invalidate the fast?
A. Enema does not invalidate fast. Allah knows best.
Sea-diving and fasting
Q. You are requested to mention the Shari’ah law regarding the fasting of those men whose profession is to dive deep under waters.
A. Going under water with diving costumes invalidates one’s fast, as per obligatory precaution. However, if a person goes under water inside a room-like place and his body doesn’t come in contact with water, his fasting will not be invalidated. Allah knows best.
Mud and dust in the work atmosphere
Q. My work atmosphere is such that dust particles are scattered in the surrounding and it is not possible for me to distance myself from that surrounding. Though we make use of masks etc. to every possible extent, even then, dust particles enter the throat. What is the rule regarding fasting in such atmosphere?
A. If the dust particles enter the throat, your fast is objectionable. Allah knows best.
Fasting of pregnant woman
Q. Is fasting obligatory on a woman who is pregnant from five months?
A. The rule differs from person to person. In general, if a woman attains certainty, by her experience or according to the suggestion of an expert doctor, that fasting can be harmful for herself or her fetus, she should not fast. Allah knows best.
Incorrect recitation of Quran
Q. In the month of Ramadan, if a person recites Quran incorrectly, will it harm his fast? (Wrong pronunciation of words)
A. If you intentionally do not recite the Quran incorrectly, there is no objection. Allah knows best.
Mistakenly ascribing the tradition of an infallible towards any other infallible.
Q. If a person mistakenly ascribes the words of an infallible towards another infallible, for example, instead of saying that the holy Prophet (peace be upon Him and His Progeny) said this, we say that Amirul Momineen (peace be upon Him) said it; does this act result in the invalidation of fast? What is the rule if this act is done knowingly?
A. There is no objection if it is done mistakenly; but if the same is done intentionally and with attention, it means ascribing a saying towards a particular noble leader even after knowing that he hasn’t said it, then it will be deemed false allegation. This will both invalidate his fast and make him liable to perform Qadha and give away Kaffarah (penalty) also. Allah knows best.
Travelling in the month of Ramadan
Q. Is it permissible for a person to travel in the month of Ramadan only with the intention of escaping fast?
A. There is no objection, but this act is deemed Makrooh (undesirable). Allah knows best.
Compliance of wife from the husband in the issue of hometown
Q. A woman gets married and goes away from her actual hometown to another city; however, she visits her actual hometown to meet her relatives several times in a year. What is the rule regarding his prayers and fastings?
A. In the questioned case, where the wife lives along with her husband in her husband’s hometown, it will be deemed as natural forsaking of her hometown. Hence, in the case of visiting her hometown to meet the relatives, she will be regarded as a traveler. Allah knows best.
Iftar and the limit of Tarakkhus.
Q. Can a person travelling in the month of Ramadan break his fast in his house or should he pass the limit of Tarakkhus and then break his fast?
A. He should not break his fast unless he reaches the limit of Tarakkhus. Allah knows best.
Unintentional ejaculation of semen
Q. If a person who is fasting, without the intention of ejaculating semen, does playful act with his wife and it results in the ejaculation of semen; how will his fast be deemed if he certainly knew that ejaculation of semen will take place?
A. In the mentioned case, where the person who is fasting knows that if he plays with his wife, ejaculation of semen will take place, if semen is ejaculated, he should observe
Qadha fast and pay Kaffarah (penalty) as well. Allah knows best.
Masturbation in the state of fasting
Q. If a person who was not aware that masturbation invalidates fast and that it is a major sin, performs this act, will his fast be deemed invalid? If it is invalid, should he pay penalty (Kaffarah) or not?
A. In the mentioned case, he should observe the Qadha of that fast, but he isn’t liable to pay penalty. However, if his ignorance is culpable (Muqassir), i.e. at the time of performing this act, if he gave the possibility that this act could be Haram but he didn’t inquire, or if he knew that masturbation is Haram and sinful, but didn’t know that it invalidates one’s fast also; in such a case, if this act is done in the daytime of the month of Ramadan, then he will have to pay collective penalty (Kaffarah). Allah knows best.
Certainty regarding ejaculation while sleeping
Q. A person sleeps one hour prior to the Morning Azan in the month of Ramadan, and he certainly knew that ejaculation will take place if he sleeps, then he doesn’t wake up before the Azan. Can he sleep or not? And if he sleeps and ejaculation takes place, and Azan is delivered, will his fast be considered valid or not?
A. In the mentioned case, if the abovementioned person certainly knows that ejaculation will take place if he sleeps before the Morning Azan, then as per obligatory precaution, he shouldn’t sleep. Allah knows best.
Sleep ejaculation (Ihtelaam) in the month of Ramadan.
Q. In the month of Ramadan, if a person sleeps after the Morning Azan and becomes Junub (ejaculation takes place), will his fast invalidate or not? If it does not invalidate, can he perform the Janabat Ghusl (bath) after the Zuhr Azan or the Maghrib Azan or not?
A. His fast will not become invalid, but it is mandatory for him to perform Ghusl (bath) for the Zuhr prayer. Allah knows best.
Arrival of the time of Azan while performing Ghusl
Q. A person wakes up before the Morning Azan in the state of Janabat, then begins to perform Ghusl (bath). In the middle of the Ghusl, Azan is delivered. Will his fast be deemed valid? Will he be liable to pay penalty (Kaffarah) or not?
A. There is no objection and his fast is valid. Allah knows best.
Penalty for delay
Q. If a person does not keep the Qadha fasts of the previous year’s Ramadan till the arrival of the next year’s Ramadan, what is the ruling for him?
A. In the mentioned case, apart from keeping the Qadha fasts, he should give away one Mudd (750 grams) of wheat, barley or flour with the intention of Kaffarah (penalty) to a non-Syed poor. It is not sufficient to pay its equivalent cash. The food product itself should be given. One can give away all the penalties to the same poor man. Allah knows best.
Giving the money of Kaffarah (penalty) to the poor.
Q. Is it permissible to give away the money of Kaffarah to the poor and say: make the intention of Kaffarah before eating the food you eat daily; or is it compulsory that the poor should buy food from the same amount of money?
A. In the mentioned case, the poor should buy food for the person paying penalty from that money itself, and on his behalf, he should regard the food as Kaffarah. Allah knows best.
Zakat Al – Fitrah for army personnel.
Q. What is the rule regarding a person who is an army personnel and who spends the eve of Eid Al – Fitr there itself. Is the Fitrah obligatory on his father, or upon the person himself, or for instance, on the force, army or military?
A. In the mentioned case, if they are financially capable of giving away alms, they should give their own Fitrah. Allah knows best.
Guest paying Fitrah and nullification of obligation for the host.
Q. With the permission of the host, if a guest pays his Fitrah himself, will its obligation be nullified for the host?
A. It will not be nullified. Allah knows best.
Giving Zakat Al – Fitrah to the person whose Nafaqah is obligatory.
Q. Is it permissible to give away Zakat Al – Fitrah to persons like son, wife, father or mother (if they are deserving) or not?
A. It is not permissible to give away Zakat Al – Fitrah to those whose Nafaqah is obligatory on a person. Allah knows best.
Giving away Zakat Al – Fitrah to institutions.
Q. What is the rule regarding the payment of Zakat Al – Fitrah to the aiding committees, welfare organizations and some charitable institutions?
A. In my view, as per obligatory precaution, Zakat Al – Fitrah should reach a Shia poor who believes in twelve Imams. The person paying Zakat Al – Fitrah to such organizations and committees should attain certainty that his money has been spent, not more or less on the appropriate person (Shia Ithna Ashari). If this is not the case, then his obligation will remain intact. Hence, there is no objection for the person who attains this certainty. For example, if the person paying Zakat Al – Fitrah is not Sayyid, he should make sure that his charity is being spent on a non – Sayyid poor; not on a Sayyid, school or Hussainiya etc. Allah knows best.
Zakat Al – Fitrah for the Fetus inside a mother’s womb
Q. Is it obligatory to pay Zakat Al – Fitrah for the fetus inside a mother’s womb?
A. It is not obligatory. Allah knows best.