In the Hadith, great rewards have been mentioned for fasting. The fasting person has a very high status in the sight of Allah Taala. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: The person who fasts in the month of Ramadaan solely for the pleasure of Allah Taala and for gaining His reward, all his past minor sins will be forgiven. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: The smell which emanates from the mouth of a fasting person is more beloved in the sight of Allah Taala than the fragrance of musk. On the day of judgement, one would receive great rewards for fasting.
It is related in a Hadith that a table below the Arsh of Allah Taala will be laid for the fasting persons on the day of judgement. They will sit at this table and partake of the food while all the other people will still be busy giving their account of deeds. On seeing them, they will say: How is it that these people are eating and drinking while we are still occupied in giving an account of our deeds? It will be said to them that they used to fast while you abstained from fasting. This fasting is also a great pillar of Islam. The person who does not fast in the month of Ramadaan commits a major sin, and his Deen shall become weak.
1. Fasting in the month of Ramadaan is fard on every Muslim who is not a lunatic nor an immature person (minor). As long as there is no valid excuse, it is not permissible to abstain from fasting. If a person vows to fast, fasting becomes fard on him on account of this vow. The qada and kaffarah fasts are also fard. Apart from this, all other fasts are nafl if a person keeps them he will be rewarded, and if he does not do so, there will be no sin on him. However, the fasts of eid ul-fitr, eid ul-adhaa, and the three days following eid ul-adhaa are all haraam.
2. Once the time of fajr salaat approaches (i.e. dawn) until the time of sunset, a person should make the intention of fasting and abstain from all food, drink, and sexual intercourse. This is known as fasting in the Shariah.
3. It is not necessary to make a verbal intention. Instead, once a person has this in his heart that today he is fasting and he does not eat or drink anything, nor does he indulge in sexual intercourse his fast will be valid. If a person makes a verbal intention by saying: O Allah! I will fast for Your pleasure tomorrow, or he says the following words in Arabic:
biSoomi ghadin nawaytu
even then there is no harm in this.
4. A person did not eat nor drink anything the entire day and remained hungry and thirsty from morning till evening. However, in his heart he did not have the intention of fasting but merely abstained from food due to a lack of hunger, or, for some reason or the other he did not get the opportunity of eating anything in such a case his fast will not be valid. Had he made the intention of fasting in his heart, his fast would have become valid.
5. According to the Shariah, the time of fasting commences from subah saadiq. Therefore, as long as the subah saadiq time does not expire, eating, drinking, etc. is permissible. Some women wake up early and after having a meal, they make the intention of fasting and sleep away thinking that once the intention is made, eating and drinking is not permissible. This is a gross error. As long as the subah saadiq time does not expire, it is permissible to eat and drink. This is irrespective of whether the intention of fasting has been made or not.
The Fasts of Ramadhan:
1. If the intention of fasting for the fast of Ramadaan is made at night, the fast will be valid. The intention was not made at night and even in the morning one decided not to fast on that day. The day progressed considerably and only thereafter the person realized that it is not good to leave out a fard duty and therefore made the intention of fasting even then his fast will be valid. But if he has already consumed some food in the morning, he cannot make the intention of fasting.
2. If a person has not consumed any food or drink, then for the fasts of Ramadaan he can make the intention of fasting until one hour before mid-day.
3. For the fasts of Ramadaan, the following intention is sufficient: I am fasting today. Alternatively, at night one could say: Tomorrow I will fast. By making this intention, the fasts of Ramadaan will be valid. When making the intention, a person did not specify as to whether it is a fast of Ramadaan or a fard fast. Even then the fast will be valid.
4. In the month of Ramadaan, a person made the following intention: Tomorrow I will keep a nafl fast and I will not keep the fast of Ramadaan. I will make qada of this Ramadaan fast at some other time. Even then, the Ramadaan fast will be considered and not the nafl fast.
5. A person had missed a few fasts of the previous Ramadaan. The whole year passed without his making qada of these missed fasts as yet. When the next Ramadaan commenced, he made the intention of making qada of those missed fasts. Even then, the fasts of this Ramadaan will be considered and the qada fasts will not be valid. He will have to keep those qada fasts after Ramadaan.
6. A person had taken a vow that if a certain work of his is fulfilled, he will keep one or two fasts for the pleasure of Allah. When the month of Ramadaan commenced, he made the intention of keeping those fasts which he had vowed to keep and not the fast of Ramadaan. Even then, the fast of Ramadaan will be considered and not that of the vowed fast. The vowed fast will have to be kept after Ramadaan.
In short, if any other intention is made in the month of Ramadaan, the fast of Ramadaan will be considered. All other fasts will not be valid.
ACTS WHICH BREAK OR DO NOT BREAK THE FAST
1. If a fasting person forgetfully eats, drinks or has sexual intercourse, the fast will not break. If he eats and drinks a full-stomach, even then the fast will not break. If he forgetfully eats or drinks several times in the day, the fast will still not break.
2. A person saw a fasting person eating or drinking something. If this fasting person is quite strong and is not greatly affected by fasting, it will be wajib to remind him that he is fasting. But if he is a weak person and is greatly affected by fasting, he should not be reminded that he is fasting. Instead, he should be allowed to continue eating.
3. A person slept away during the day. He saw a dream which made ghusl compulsory on him. (i.e. he had a wet-dream) In such a case, the fast does not break.
4. During the day, it is permissible to apply surmah (antimony), oil, and to inhale any fragrance. The fast is not affected by such acts irrespective of when this is done. In fact, after applying surmah, if the colour of the surmah appears in ones saliva or mucus in the nose, even then the fast will not break nor will it become makruh.
5. It is permissible for a man to sleep next to his wife, to touch her and to kiss her. However, if, due to the passions of youth, there is the fear that these acts would lead to sexual intercourse, they should be abstained from. It will then be makruh to carry out such acts.
6. A fly went down the throat, or some smoke or dust went down the throat on its own. In such a case, the fast will not break. However, if one did this intentionally, the fast will break.
7. Incense sticks were burnt and the person went and sat near them and inhaled the smoke. The fast will break. In the same way, the fast breaks by smoking cigarettes, cigars, etc. Apart from this smoke, it is permissible to inhale the fragrance of perfumes which do not have any smoke.
8. A fibre of meat or fragments of betel-leaf, etc. was stuck in the teeth. Due to cleansing the teeth, this fibre released itself from in between the teeth and the person ate it. However, he did not remove it from his mouth. It went down his throat on its own. If this fibre is less than the size of a gram-seed, the fast will not break. If it is equal to or more than the size of a gram-seed, the fast will break. However, if the person removed this fibre from his mouth and thereafter swallowed it, his fast will break irrespective of whether it was smaller or larger than a gram-seed. In both cases the fast will break.
9. By swallowing ones saliva, the fast does not break irrespective of the amount swallowed.
10. After eating some betel-leaves, the person washed and gargled his mouth thoroughly. Despite this, the redness of the saliva did not disappear. There is no harm in this. The fast will still be valid.
11. Ghusl became compulsory at night. However, the person did not have a bath and only took a bath during the day. The fast will be valid. In fact, even if he does not bath the entire day, the fast will still be valid. However, he will still be sinning for not bathing.
12. A person sniffed in such a way that the mucus of his nose went down his throat. His fast will not break. Similarly, the fast does not break by sniffing and swallowing the saliva that is in the mouth.
13. A person placed betel-leaves in his mouth and slept away. His eyes only opened the following morning. His fast will not be valid. He will have to make qada of this fast but there will be no kaffarah on him.
14. While rinsing the mouth, water went down the throat and the person knew that he was fasting. His fast will break, qada will be wajib, but there will be no kaffarah on him.
15. A person vomitted unintentionally. The fast will not break irrespective of the amount. However, if he vomitted intentionally, his fast will break if the vomit was a full-mouth. But if it is less than a mouth full, the fast will not break.
16. A small amount of vomit came out but it returned down the throat on its own. The fast will not break. However, if the person swallows it intentionally, his fast will break.
17. A person ate a pebble, a piece of steel or some other object which is not normally eaten nor is it consumed for medicinal purposes. His fast will break but there will be no kaffarah on him. And if he eats or drinks something that is normally consumed, or, it is not normally consumed but is used for medicinal purposes, his fast will break and qada and kaffarah will be wajib on him.
18. When a person has sexual intercourse, the fast will break, qada will become wajib, and it will also be wajib to observe kaffarah. Once the head of the penis enters the vagina, the fast breaks and qada and kaffarah become wajib. This is irrespective of whether ejaculation takes place or not.
19. If the man inserts the head of his penis into the anus of the woman, even then, the fast of both the man and woman will break. Qada and kaffarah will also be wajib on them.
20. When a fast is broken, kaffarah only becomes wajib when the fast of Ramadaan is broken. Kaffarah does not become wajib by breaking any other fast irrespective of the manner in which the fast is broken. This applies even if the fast is a qada of a Ramadaan fast. However, if the intention was not made at night (i.e before dawn) for such a fast, or, a woman gets her haid on that very day after breaking her fast; then by breaking the fast, kaffarah will not become wajib.
21. While fasting, a person took snuff, put some oil in his ears or took an enema without taking any medicine orally. The fast will break. However, only qada will be wajib and not kaffarah. If he puts water in his ears, the fast will not break.
22. While fasting, it is not permissible for a woman to insert any medicine, oil, etc. in her vagina. If she inserts any medicine into the vagina, the fast will break, qada will be wajib but not kaffarah.
23. Because of some reason, the doctor inserts his finger into the vagina, or, the woman inserts her own finger. Thereafter, he or she removes part of the finger or the entire finger and then re-inserts the finger. The fast will break but kaffarah will not be wajib. If the finger was not re-inserted, the fast will not break. However, if the finger was wet or moist before inserting it the first time, and then it is inserted, the fast will break the first time it is inserted.
24. Blood comes out from the mouth. It is then swallowed together with saliva. The fast will break. However, if the quantity of blood is less than that of the saliva and its taste is not felt when it goes down the throat, the fast will not break.
25. If a person tastes something with his mouth and thereafter spits it out, the fast will not break. However, it is makruh to do so unnecessarily. But if ones husband is very hot-tempered and there is the fear that if the salt or water content in the gravy is not in order, he will become extremely angry, it will be permissible to taste and will no longer be makruh.
26. It is makruh to soften any food with ones mouth and feed it to a child. However, if this becomes necessary and there is no alternative, it will not be makruh.
27. It is makruh to cleanse the teeth with coal or tooth-powder. If any of these things go down the throat, the fast will break. It is permissible to clean the teeth with a miswaak. This is irrespective of whether it is a dry miswaak or a fresh one. If the miswaak is obtained from the neem (margosa) tree and one perceives its bitterness in the mouth, even then it will not be makruh to use such a miswaak.
28. A woman was sleeping or lying down unconscious. A person came and had sexual intercourse with her. Her fast will break, qada will become wajib but she does not have to give any kaffarah. As for the man, qada and kaffarah will be wajib on him.
29. A person ate something forgetfully and thought that since he has eaten, his fast is now broken. He therefore ate something intentionally. His fast will now break, qada will be wajib on him, but not kaffarah.
30. A person vomited involuntarily and thought that his fast is now broken. He therefore consumed some food. His fast will break, qada will be wajib, and not kaffarah.
31. A person applied surmah, underwent blood-letting or applied some oil and thereafter thought that his fast has broken because of any of these causes. He therefore ate some food intentionally. In this case, both qada and kaffarah will be wajib on him.
32. If a persons fast coincidentally breaks in the month of Ramadaan, he cannot eat or drink anything for the rest of the day. It is wajib on him to abstain from consuming anything for the rest of the day just like a normal fasting person.
33. A person had no intention of fasting on any day in the month of Ramadaan. He therefore continued eating and drinking the entire day. Kaffarah will not be wajib on such a person. Kaffarah only becomes wajib when one makes an intention to fast and thereafter breaks the fast.