Fatwas on Fasting and Ramadhan Issues

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Fatwas on Moon-Sighting Issues
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

Fatwas Related to Taraweeh Prayers
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

Fatwas on Qadha, Fidyah, Kaffarah (Making Up Fasts/Compensation)
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

Fatwas Related to I’tikaaf (Seclusion in the Masjid or Home)
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

Fatwas Related to Eid
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

Some Rules Related to Fasting (Saum)
(Hazrat Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi)

A Few Important Advices for Ramadhan
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

The Bid’ah of 8 Raka’ts of “Taraweeh”
(Direct Eye-witness Testimonies from the Imams of the Salaf-us-Saaliheen)

Smoking and Using the Inhaler Breaks the Fast According to Ijma’
(Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)


Q. How should one make preparations for the Month of Ramadhan?

A. One should always be prepared for Maut. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the most intelligent person is one who makes preparations for Maut and the sojourn in Barzakh. While Ramadhaan comes once a year, Maut stalks us every moment of our life. No one knows when it will strike and snatch us from this dunya. The Mu’min’s preparation, whether for Ramadhaan or for Maut, is constant Istighfaar, constant Thikrullaah, abstention from sin and futility, following the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and strict obedience to the Shariah. This should be our preparation at all times, then we shall be prepared for Ramadhaan and for any other occasion.


Q. Please advise on making the iftaar in the Sunnah way.

A. Fasting is an act of Ibaadat which has rules which the Shariah explains in detail. Fasting is not mere abstention from food, water and sexual relations. In addition to the physical fasting, is the spiritual fasting which completes and perfects the Fast. The spiritual dimension of Fasting demands abstention from haraam, mushtabah (doubtful acts), futility anger, abuse, impatience, etc. Nonsensical acts (futility) are all such acts and statements which are devoid of any worldly and Aakhirah benefit. The ultimate consequence of indulgence in futility is indulgence in haraam.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Often for a fasting person there is nothing in his fast except hunger.” His fasting is like an animal which is restrained from eating and drinking. He does not abstain from sin, lies, nonsensical talk, etc. In this way he totally ruins this wonderful ibaadat of Saum (fasting). One of the Masnoon ( Sunnat Acts) of Fasting is to make Iftaar (break the fast) in the way Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed us to observe Iftaar. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever finds dates should break the fast with it, and whoever has no dates, should make iftaar with water.” In another Hadith it is mentioned: “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to break the fast with three dates or with something which the fire did not touch (i.e. it was not prepared or it was an uncooked item).”

Feasting – eating pies, samoosas, drinking haleem and devouring plates of food at the time of Iftaar and inordinately delaying the Maghrib Salaat are in conflict with the Sunnah. The thawaab and benefits of the Fast – both spiritual and physical – are substantially reduced by violating the Sunnah method. The dates could be simply taken during the duration of the Athaan or while the Muath-thin is making Iftaar just prior to the Athaan. The Athaan is recited after sunset, that is when it is time to break the fast. So everyone may commence breaking their fast when the Muath-thin makes Iftaar just before entering the Minaret for Athaan. Iftaar time is a time when duas are readily accepted.
Close Answer


Q. What is the Sunnah way of breaking the fast in Ramadhan?

A very important act related to Saum (Fasting) is Iftaar or to break the fast at its appropriate time. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) emphasised the importance and the virtues of correct observance of Iftaar. Correct observance of Iftaar means to observe it in the Sunnat way. Although Iftaar is ostensibly a mundane act of eating some food, it is an ibaadat of much thawaab (reward) as well. However, Iftaar will be bereft of its spirituality and ibaadat dimension if it is not observed in the Masnoon manner.

It should be well understood that Iftaar is not feasting. It is not an act to discharge gluttonously or with impatience. It is a spiritually pleasurable act or should be so. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Saa-im (the fasting person) experiences two moments of happiness or pleasure. The one moment is when he makes Iftaar and the other moment will be the occasion when he meets his Rabb (in the Aakhirah).

This pleasurable exercise should not be contaminated and ruined with greed and impatience when it is time to end the fast. The Masnoon method of breaking the fast is to eat some dates or to drink some water. It should not be transformed in a veritable feast with heavy foods as has become the norm in most places. Instead of the light Iftaar which was the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah, people have developed the greedy and impatient habit of stuffing their bellies with food of a variety of kinds while the Athaan is in progress. They are consequently deprived of the thawaab of responding to the Athaan. They suffer the loss of the Sunnat acts of responding to the Athaan and of the Masnoon light Iftaar which is not only spiritually beneficial but which is physically beneficial as well. The sudden avalanche of food which descends into the stomach which has become contracted as a result of the day-long abstention from food and water, leads to disorders in the body. The repercussion of such disorders can be severe and very harmful for even the physical health.

The excessive feasting at the time of Iftaar leads to spiritual lethargy, indigestion and delay in beginning of the Maghrib Salaat. To gain the best rewards of Iftaar, spiritual and physical, it is necessary to break the fast with only some dates or water. The Maghrib Salaat should then commence almost immediately after the Athaan, perhaps three or four minutes after the Athaan, not 10, 15 and even 20 minutes after the Athaan as has been observed in some places where people feast like gluttons. In this way, they detract from the benefits of the Saum. The best results of ibaadat can be acquired only if the proper Masnoon method is adopted.
Close Answer


Q. Some people say that iftaar should be made before Maghrib Salaat and others say, after Maghrib Salaat. What is the ruling?

A. It is not permissible to delay iftaar until after Maghrib Salaat. Iftaar has to be made immediately after sunset. Once sunset is confirmed, iftaar should be made with dates or water. If dates are not available, water is sufficient. There is no need for pies, samoosas and sumptuous dishes at the time of iftaar. Rasaulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) emphasized that iftaar should be made with water if dates are not available. After this light and beneficial method of iftaar, the Maghrib Salaat should be performed. Only after comfortably and peacefully having performed Maghrib and Awwaabeen Salaat should one partake of meals.


Q. When is it Iftaar time? Does Iftaar begin with the Maghrib Athaan?

A. Iftaar is the very moment the sun has set. When the upper circumference of the sun has disappeared from the horizon, then it is Iftaar time. Iftaar is not dependent on the Athaan.


Q. Is it permissible for us to break fast when the Muath-thin breaks his fast, or do we have to wait until the commencement of the Athaan?

A. Breaking the fast is not dependent on the Athaan. As soon as the sun has set, the fast may be broken. When the Muath-thin breaks his fast before the Athaan, one may break one’s fast also.


Q. At the Musjid where I attend (in New York), feasting takes place at the time of iftaar. A full meal is eaten. So much food is brought to the Musjid that about 20 plates of this food is thrown into the garbage almost daily. A non-Muslim neighbour has asked me for some of the food. Is it permissible for me to give him the food without the permission?

A. You don’t need the permission of vile gluttons who eat like animals and waste like devils. They are brothers of the shayaateen according to the Qur’aan Majeed. If the people of the Musjid are committing the heinous and major sin of throwing so much food in the garbage, then you may give the food to the non-Muslim neighbour. May Allah Ta’ala guide those who are displaying so much satanic ingratitude to Allah Ta’ala for the bounty of food. It is haraam to devour so gluttonously at the time of iftaar as you have described. The Sunnah way is to break the fast with a couple of dates or water, then to immediately begin Maghrib Salaat.


Q. With the month of Ramadhaan approaching the haleem madness has commenced, especially in the greater Durban area. I find that haleem is associated with Ramadhaan to almost the level of Sunnat. Ridiculous quantities are prepared. For example, a small town where there is a Muslim population of between 750 – 1000 families prepares 10 to 15 degs (huge pots); in a suburb another 5 to 10 degs. On Sundays in one small town about 15 degs. A bigger town nearby prepares 50 degs every weekend. Various other venues in this same 50 deg town also prepare several degs each. These families are not poor and destitute. Is there any Deeni significance of haleem during Ramadhaan, especially for iftaar? The other issue is that the haleem madness has become commercialized. The cost of a deg of haleem is about R500 to R750 depending on whether its chicken or mutton. People who collect money for preparing haleem distribution are soliciting R1500 to R2000 per deg. What happens to the extra money collected? Many people contribute Sadqah towards the haleem project. The haleem is consumed by not only the poor. This has become a lucrative business. Cooks can earn as much as R15,000 in a weekend. The other important issue is that almost all the chicken haleem is prepared from haraam carrion chickens. This haraam haleem is given free for people to make iftaar with. Please comment on this issue. (Haleem is a kind of a soup)

A. There is absolutely no Deeni/Sunnah relationship between Ramadhaan and haleem. It has become a racket as is clear from the wasteful quantity prepared, and from the inflated prices quoted by the collectors who pocket the money. Furthermore, crooks are cashing in. In fact, this bid’ah of haleem has displaced the actual Sunnah method of Iftaar. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever finds dates, should make iftaar with it, and whoever has no dates, should make iftaar with water.” It was Rasulullah’s and the Sahaabas’ practice to break the Fast with dates. When they had no dates, iftaar was with water or with “something not prepared by fire”, i.e. something uncooked.

It appears that the custom of haleem (a kind of soup) was introduced to provide for the Fuqara (the poor and destitute). However, it has now become, as you say, a ‘madness’. The carrion chickens render the haleem haraam. The Fasts of the people are ruined with the haraam haleem. The dishonesty perpetrated by unscrupulous haleem vendors is another reason for the need to discontinue this bid’ah. Furthermore, there are many poor people who benefit from the haleem, hence they even scramble dishonourably for a share.

If in a locality there are genuine Fuqara, then a proper arrangement should be made to distribute haleem and other foodstuff, not for the purpose of Iftaar. The haleem should not be distributed at the time of Iftaar nor served to the Saaimeen (the fasting people) for Iftaar or at the time of Iftaar. This corrupt practice prevails at almost all Musjids in Natal. The rich and the not so rich and a handful of poor, congregate at the Musjid and indulge in wasteful feasting at the time of Iftaar. Considerable waste occurs on these anti- Sunnah occasions.

The Maghrib Salaat too is inordinately delayed to accommodate the bid’ah custom. Iftaar is not the time for feasting. A survey of the poor and needy in an area should be made by the responsible people of the locality. If it is decided to give them haleem, only sufficient should be prepared to cater for their needs, and the haleem should be given to them during the course of the day, not at Iftaar time. The poor may collect the haleem with their own utensils and consume it at home after Maghrib Salaat. The wasteful, bid’ah feasting which takes place at the Musaajid should be terminated.
Close Answer


Q. What is the Shariah’s view about the custom of distributing haleem at Musjids in Ramadhan? The following things take place in this custom: * Women join the queue with non-mahram men to collect haleem (type of soup). * Men dish out the food for women. * The street or location where the haleem is collected is full of men and women who mingle and associate with one another freely. * It has become an occasion for boys and girls to meet and converse openly in public.

A. Since there are many evils which accompany this custom, it is not permissible to serve haleem to the public in this manner. This custom has now become haraam on account of the acts of immorality associated with it.


Q. In the United States, Muslim businessmen who sell haraam meat, pork and beer in their shops, contribute dates, etc. to the Musjid for Iftaar. They also indulge in gambling. Is it permissible to consume the dates, etc.?

A. Abstain from even the halaal items of people who sell pork, beer and indulge in gambling. Don’t corrupt your heart and don’t destroy your Fast with the contaminated items they dole out for Iftaar. A haraam morsel is spiritually fatal.


Q. Is there a congregational dua to be made at the time of Iftaar?

A. There is no congregational dua whether loud or silent at the time of Iftaar.


Q. There is a new practice on the increase. A few minutes before Iftaar in some Musjids, a congregational dua is made. Is there a basis in the Sunnah for this dua?

A. Congregational dua a few minutes before iftaar is a new Bid’ah. Not even the Qabar Pujaari sect has this bid’ah. It is not permissible. Bid’ah is on the rise. The sad part is that most new innovations (bid’at) are nowadays being introduced by those who claim to be the followers of the Ulama of Deoband. Whilst they have gained their smattering of textual knowledge at Deobandi Madaaris, they have lost the path of the Ulama of Deoband. They have strayed, and are straying further and further from Siraatul Mustaqeem with their fabrication of bid’ah customs. In fact, they are on the way to outclass and surpass the grave-worshippers in bid’ah.


Q The Muath-thin at the Musjid recites the Dua of Iftaar over the microphone. Is this proper?

A. It is bid’ah for the Muath-thin to recite the dua over the microphone.


Q. What is the appropriate pause between the Maghrib Athaan and the Maghrib Salaat?

A. The time it takes to recite the Masnoon Dua after Athaan, and for the Muath-thin after Athaan to reach the Saff and deliver the Iqaamat, is the proper pause. There should be no unnecessary delay. However, during Ramadhan, a further pause of a minute or two is advisable.


Q. When exactly should a person stop eating for the fast? The Athaan goes at different times in the various Musjids.

A. The fast beginnings when Subh Saadiq commences. You should not follow the Athaan nor the times when Fajr Salaat begins in the various Musjids. You should ascertain from someone what the time of Subh Saadiq is. We do not know this time at your end. If Athaan is called before ending of Suhoor/Sehri time, then it is still permissible to eat.


Q. According to a fatwa of Shaikh Uthaymeen of Saudi Arabia it is bid’ah to stop eating 10 or 15 minutes before expiry of Suhoor time. The time for eating is right until Subh Saadiq. Please comment.

A. It is permissible to eat right until a second before expiry of Sehri/Suhoor time. However, since in most places the exact time is not known because Subh Saadiq is not physically determined by sighting the natural phenomena, stopping eating a few minutes before what is thought to be Subh Saadiq is a precautionary measure. Undoubtedly, it will be haraam and bid’ah to believe that it is not permissible to eat right until just before entry of Subh Saadiq. To the best of our knowledge no one holds such a belief. The cessation of eating is only precautionary. The Shaikh could not have meant that it is bid’ah to abstain from eating 15 minutes before Subh Saadiq. Perhaps he understood that people believe that it is Waajib to stop eating 15 minutes before Subh Saadiq and not permissible to eat thereafter.


Q. I have heard that there is a view that the fast begins at sunrise. Is this a valid view?

A. It is a corrupt view. The view that the fast begins at sunrise is utterly baseless. Those who adhere to this view are ignorant. No Math-hab teaches this view.


Q. A Shaikh in Dubai has issued a fatwa to the effect that those high up in skyscrapers have to make iftaar a couple of minutes later than those in the lower floors. The skyscraper in Dubai is 828 metres high with 160 stories. People in this building, according to Shaikh Ahmad Haddad’s fatwa, have to break the fast at three different times. Those living on the lower floors – 80 and below – have to break fast at the same time as all others when the Athaan for Maghrib is recited. Those from 80 floors to 150, have to make iftaar two minutes after the Athaan on the ground. Those above 150 floors have to break fast three minutes later. The same applies to their Maghrib Salaat. Is this correct? If those on the top stories perform Maghrib Salaat when they hear the Athaan in the Musaajid, will their Salaat be valid?

A. The fatwa is correct. Maghrib and Iftaar are valid only when the sun has disappeared from sight. Those on the upper floors are still able to see the sun which has set for those at the bottom, hence they have to make iftaar fter the sun has disappeared from their sight. If they break the fast together with those at the bottom whilst they are still able to see the sun, then their fast will not be valid. Similarly, their Maghrib Salaat will not be valid if they follow those on the ground.


Q. During Ramadhaan, when should Fajr Namaz lawfully be situated relative to Sehri time?

A. Fajr Salaat commences immediately after cessation of Sehri time. Therefore, Fajr Salaat could be performed immediately after expiry of Sehri time.


Q. Is it allowed to make any Namaaz between Sehri and Fajr Azaan?

A. Any Salaat could be performed until just before entry of Subh Saadiq which ushers in the time for Fajr Salaat. Once the time for Fajr Salaat commences, it is not permissible to perform any Nafl Salaat. Only the two Rakats Sunnat of Fajr as well as Qadhaa Salaat may be performed in this time, i.e. the entire duration of Fajr time.


Q. I am a Shaafi. There is a dispute among us regarding niyyat for the Saum of Ramadhaan. What is the latest time for the niyyat for the fast to be valid?

A. It is obligatory for Shaafis to make the intention (niyyat) for the Ramadhaan fast during the night time which ends when the time for Sehri ends. The Ramadhaan fast for Shaafis is not valid if niyyat is not made during the night.


Q. Is a Nafl fast valid if intention was made long after sunrise?

A. As long as no food and drink were consumed from the time of Subh Saadiq, the Nafl fast is valid if the niyyat was made even after sunrise.


Q. Last year a person made a single niyyat to fast for the whole month of Ramadhaan. Recently he was told that such an intention is not valid for the whole month. Does this mean he has to make qadha of all the fasts of last year?

A. Perhaps the meaning of niyyat has not been correctly understood. Niyyat is not the verbal recitation of a formula/ dua. It is the intention in the mind that one is fasting today. So, this person must have participated in Sehri every night. When he woke up from his bed to eat his Sehri meal, it was in his mind that he will be fasting. This is his niyyat. There is no need for making qadha.


Q. A traveller started off the day without intention of fasting. If during the course of the day he decides to fast, will his fast be valid?

A. As long as the traveller did not eat anything from the time of Subh Saadiq, and he makes his intention to fast before Nisfun Nahaar (about an hour before Zawwaal) his/her fast will be valid.


Q. During the month of Ramadhaan I was very ill. I had no intention of fasting. However, during the morning on one day of Ramadhan I felt better and decided to fast. I made niyyat. It was after sunrise. Is my fast valid?

Yes, your fast is valid.


Q. Must a Nafl fast which was broken be kept again?

A. If Niyyat (intention) for the Nafl fast was made during or after Subh Saadiq (i.e. approximately 1 hour 30 minutes before sunrise Subh Saadiq commences) then Qadhaa will have to be kept for the fast broken. However, if Niyyat was made during the night, but before entry of Subh Saadiq, one decided not to keep the fast, then no Qadhaa is necessary. Hence, Qadhaa will have to be kept for a Nafl fast broken.


Q. If one takes a Waajib ghusl after expiry of Sehri time, will the fast be valid?

A. While a Waajib ghusl should not be unnecessarily delayed, it is nevertheless permissible to take the Fardh ghusl even after expiry of Sehri time. The fast will be valid.


Q. If a compulsory ghusl was not taken before ending of Sehri,, will the fast be valid?

A. Ghusl should be made as soon as possible. However, even if it was not made immediately, and was delayed until after ending of sehri time, the fast will be valid. Whilst ghusl should be taken as soon as possible, it will not invalidate the fast if ghusl had not yet been made.


Q. If a husband and wife who are in need of a waajib ghusl wake up late and there remains just a few minutes for the ending of Sehri time, what should they do? If they bath, they will miss sehri. Is it permissible to delay the ghusl? Will the fast be compulsory on them?

A. Yes, the husband and wife can take ghusl afterwards. If the time for suhoor is very little, they should rinse their mouths, and partake of sehri. Even if they wake up after Fajr Athaan, then too it remains compulsory to fast. They should take ghusl and they have to fast.


Q. If one wakes up after ending of Sehri time and discovers that one is in need of ghusl, will the fast be valid?

A. Yes, the fast is valid.


Q. During Ramadhaan I overslept. When my eyes opened, Sehri time had ended. It was already Fajr. However, I was in need of a Waajib ghusl. Is my fast valid?

Yes, your fast is valid even if you were in janaabat after Sehri.


Q. A person mistakenly eats during Ramadhaan. Then, thinking that his fast is broken, intentionally eats. What is the ruling?

A. In this case only Qadha is incumbent. Kaffaarah is not waajib. However, if despite him being aware of the mas’alah, he intentionally eats, then Kaffaarah will also be compulsory. But if he is genuinely not aware of this mas’alah, then only Qadha is waajib.


Q. I continued eating while the Athaan for Fajr was being recited, but stopped a few seconds after commencement of the Athaan. Is my fast valid?

A. Your fast is not valid. You have to make qadha of one fast.


Q. Is it permissible for a person travelling in comfort to abstain from fasting during Ramadhaan?

A. Whilst it is permissible for a traveller to abstain from fasting, if the journey is not arduous, it will be better to fast. If he avails himself of the concession and abstains from fasting, then he has to make qadha of the days he misses.


Q. Is it necessary for a traveller to abstain from fasting?

A. It is better to fast even when travelling. Only those who are weak, sick and very tired should not fast while travelling. It is not compulsory to abstain from fasting whilst on a journey. It is meritorious to fast even on a journey. Qadha of such missed fast has to be made.


Q. Is it permissible to steam the face using a steamer during Ramadhaan? What if the person wears a mask to cover the nose and mouth?

A. It will be permissible if a mask is used.


Q. Is it permissible to rinse the mouth during the fast when making wudhu?

A. Yes, it is permissible to rinse the mouth whilst fasting. However, do not gargle.


Q. If while fasting water slips down the throat when making wudhu, will the fast be valid?

A. If while fasting the water slips into the throat, the fast breaks. Qadha will be necessary. It will also be incumbent to remain like a fasting person the whole day. The accidental breaking of the fast does not permit eating and drinking.


Q. If one vomits a mouthful or more, does the fast break?

A. The fast does not break even if the vomit is more than one mouthful as long as the vomiting is not induced.


Q. Whilst fasting, I swallowed some vomit which had entered my mouth. Do I have to make qadha?

A. If the vomit slipped down unintentionally, the fast does not break.


Q. Can we use eye drops while fasting?

A. It is permissible to use eye-drops whilst fasting.


Q. Is it permissible to use an asthma pump while fasting?

A. The Asthma pump breaks the fast. If one is compelled to use it, it will be permissible. But the fast will break and has to be made qadha after Ramadhaan.


Q. Does pouring oil into the ears break the fast?

A. Yes, it breaks the fast.


Q. Is it permissible to apply a strong smelling oil to one’s pillow during the fast? The hakeem has prescribed this for a patient.

A. It is permissible. As long as vapour is not emitted, the fast will not break. If the oil is, for example, added to hot water and the steam/vapour is inhaled, the fast will break.


Q. I am a follower of the Shaafi’ Math-hab. I was told that it is not permissible to use perfume whilst fasting. Does it break the fast?

A. According to the Shaafi Mathhab, while perfume does not break the Saum, it is Makrooh to apply it whilst fasting. It is not permissible.


Q. Is it permissible for a person while fasting to use processed miswaaks which have flavourings such as mint and natural Peelo flavouring?

It is not permissible to use these artificial miswaaks while fasting. They are in the category of toothpaste. Furthermore, alcohol is used in the production of flavourings, hence these miswaaks should not be used at all.


Q. During the daytime does a wet dream necessitating ghusl break the fast?

A. The fast does not break.


Q. Does vulgar language break any kind of fasting?

A. Vulgar language is haraam whether one is fasting or not. While it ruins the thawaab of the fast, it does not break the fast.


Q. Most school-going children who fast indulge in major sins. They argue that these actions do not break the fast, hence they freely commit the sins. Please comment on this attitude.

A. Obviously the rozah (fast) of the evil person who indulges in all the kabeerah sins you have mentioned will not be accepted. Such a fast is rejected – struck into his face. Every semblance of thawaab is destroyed by the haraam acts you have mentioned. Their fasting is like a chained dog is denied food and water from morning till night. The effect of the fast is utterly destroyed and they qualify for Jahannum. About such damaged fasts, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There are many persons for whom there is nothing in their fasting but hunger.” If they believe that the sins are permissible, then they lose their Imaan. In fact, innumerable pupils of secular schools and even adults while believing they are Muslims, have long ago become murtads with their beliefs of kufr.


Q. Many boys attending secular school smoke during Ramadhaan. They claim that as long as they don't not eat and drink, their fast is valid. Does smoking break the fast?

A. Smoking is haraam even while not fasting. It is an aggravated haraam while fasting. It breaks the fast. These boys are stupid. They are the effects of the current drug and zina culture which is among the shiaar (salient, outstanding, distinguishing features) of secular educational institutions. If these ignoramuses had started off the fast of Ramadhaan with a niyyat during the night time, that is, before Subh Saadiq, the Kaffaarah penalty of 60 days consecutive fasting, applies when the fast is broken intentionally whether with smoking or eating.


Q. A man smokes during Ramadhaan, but acts as the Imaam for Salaat. Is it permissible to perform Salaat behind him?

A. Smoking breaks the fast. It is haraam for a man who smokes during the fasting time of Ramadhaan to lead the Salaat. Such a vile faasiq should not be permitted to lead the Salaat. Salaat should not be performed behind him. Salaat is not permissible behind him.


Q. Is smoking haraam during Ramadhaan?

A. Smoking is haraam at all times, not only in Ramadhaan. Smoking furthermore breaks the fast.


Q. Does masturbation break the fast?

A. In addition to breaking the fast, this unfortunate person who indulges in this abomination is a mal-oon (accursed) according to the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Qadha of the fast is incumbent.


Q. If masturbation is practiced during fasting, is the fast broken? What compensation has to be paid in order to make the fast good again?

A. Masturbating nullifies the fasting, and besides the destruction it inflicts on the fast, it brings great spiritual havoc in its wake. Masturbation by itself is a heinous sin. To practice it while fasting is sin aggravated. Like Thawaab for virtue practiced in Ramadhaan is multiplied manifold, so is the Wrath of Allah Ta`ala and His Punishment multiplied manifold for the perpetrators of sin during fasting. There is no compensation which could be offered to rectify this heinous wrong committed during Ramadhaan in so far as the Thawaab of fasting is concerned. Qaza of the fast has to be made to discharge the obligation, but such Qaza will not redeem the Thawaab of fasting annihilated by the evil act of masturbation. The perpetrators of this evil has only one hope. i.e. the Mercy of Allah Ta`ala. He should make Taubah and seek Allah Ta`ala’s forgiveness. Regret and sincere repentance will, Insha`Allah, obliterate the damage wrought by this sin. Allah Ta`ala says in the Holy Qur`aan: “And despair not of the Mercy of Allah. Verily, He forgives all sins.” 


Q. Does speaking a lie or looking at a ghair mahram with lust nullify the Fast?

A. Whilst speaking a lie and looking with lust do not physically break the fast, it does destroy the reward and the spiritual effects of the Fast, and the sin is multiplied manifold for committing such flagrant transgression whilst Fasting.


Q. When a woman wears no scarf and wears a mini-skirt, and at the same time keeps Roza, is her Roza accepted?

A. Her fast (Roza) is valid, but her acts of not donning the Islamic head-cover and wearing a mini-skirt are abominable and Haraam. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has cursed women who reveal any part of their bodies and he (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has described such women as adulteresses. Although the obligation of the Roza is discharged, the Thawaab of fasting is destroyed by the commission of unlawful acts. A woman has to clad herself Islamically at all times whether she is fasting or not.


Q. What is the ruling regarding the use of contraceptive pills/medicine to prevent menstruation during Ramadhaan to avoid making qadha?

A. It is not permissible for women to use poison and harmful substances or any substance whatsoever to prevent their haidh periods whether in Ramadhaan or in any other month. It is not permissible for them to violate the natural law which Allah Ta’ala has created for the expulsion of the filth of haidh from their bodies. Unnatural storing of haidh in the body is vile and extremely harmful and haraam. By resorting to these haraam methods, they are storing extremely harmful najaasat inside their bodies. It causes even mental imbalance. The consequences of this evil and unnatural action are injurious. Their monthly periods will go haywire. Furthermore, a host of other diseases and sicknesses could develop and doctors will not know what the causes are nor be able to prescribe correct medication. Allah’s Law dictates that women MUST abstain from fasting during Ramadhaan for the duration of their haidh period, and to make qadha afterwards. This is the Law of Allah for them. It is abominable for women to act in flagrant violation of this Decree of Allah Azza Wa Jal. The haidh condition is not an accident. It is by divine decree.


Q. Is it permissible for a woman to use medication to suppress her menstrual bleeding during the Month of Ramadaan to enable her to keep all her fasts?

A. No, this is not permissible. It is improper to interfere with the creation of Allah Ta’ala. Medication to suppress what is natural is harmful for the body which was given to us as a trust by Allah Ta`ala. The Shariah allows qadha of Fasts missed. Insha-Allah, a woman will receive the same reward when she keeps these missed fasts after Ramadaan.


Q. Is it permissible for a woman to remove facial hair whilst fasting?

A. It is permissible to remove facial hair even during the fast.


Q. Is it permissible to clip nails during the fast?

A. Nails may be clipped while fasting.


Q. Is it permissible to remove pubic hairs and cut nails whilst fasting?

A. It is permissible.


Q. Does an internal medical examination break the fast of a woman?

A. Yes, it breaks her fast.


Q. A man fainted during the daytime while he was fasting. He recovered after Iftaar time. Is his fast valid?

A. If food, water or medicine was not administered to him while he was unconscious, his fast is valid.


Q. Is tahajjud salaat in jamaat permissible at all? in masjid? or at home? i noticed here many learned people partaking in this in the month of ramadan. is there a difference of opinion in this matter between the ulemas?

A. Tahajjud Salaat in jamaa’t is not permissible whether in the Musjid or at home. This practice which some adhere to during Ramadhaan is bid’ah.


Q. When is the last day for paying Sadqah Fitr?

A. Sadqah Fitr should be distributed before Eid, at the latest before Eid Salaat. However, if it was not distributed by this time, the obligation remains and it has to be paid at any time. It could be paid at any time during Ramadhaan.


Q. While fasting during Ramadhaan if haidh begins, will it be permissible to eat?

A. It will be permissible to eat. However, one should not eat in the presence of others.


Q. A fasting woman’s haidh started 2 minutes before Iftaar. What is the state of her fasting?

A. If haidh started even two minutes before Iftaar time (that is before sunset), the fast is not valid. She has to keep one day qadha.


Q. A woman’s haidh ended during the morning time in the Month of Ramadhaan. What should she do regarding fasting?

A. While fasting will not be valid, nevertheless, it is incumbent that she remains like a fasting persons. After Ramadhaan she has to make Qadha.


Q. If a woman attains purity during the day time in Ramadhaan, does she have to stop eating?

A. After attaining purity during the day in Ramadhaan, it is not permissible for the lady to eat.


Q. If while fasting haidh begins, what should the woman do?

A. If haidh begins during the course of the day in Ramadhaan, then the lady should break the fast by eating.


Q. How many days after Ramadhaan is it good to fast?

A. It is permissible to keep Nafl fast from the day after Eid, i.e.from 2nd Shawwaal. It is Sunnat to keep 6 Nafl fasts during the month of Shawwaal. These six days may be kept on any days during the month of Shawwaal. They may be spread over the entire month or kept all in a row, one after the other.


Q. Why is fasting forbidden on the Days of Tashreek?

A. Fasting is forbidden on 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Zil Hajj for the simple reason that Allah Ta’ala has prohibited it. There is no other reason.


Q. I have been told that it is Sunnat to fast two days in Sha’baan, the 14th and 15th. Is this correct?

A. It is Sunnat to fast only one day, the 15th of Sha’baan. However, fasting on 13th, 14th and 15th of every Islamic month is Sunnat. It is therefore permissible to fast on 13th, 14th and 15th Sha’baan. But it is not a Sunnat specific with Sha’baan. The specific Sunnat of Sha’baan is to fast on the 15th.


Q. If I keep my Ramadhaan qadha fasts in Shawwaal, will I also receive the reward of the six Nafl fasts of Shawwaal?

A. If the niyyat is Qadha, the thawaab of the Masnoon fast will not be received.


Q. From which day in Shawwaal do the six days of Nafl fasting commence?

A. The six days of Nafl Fasting could be kept on any days during the month starting from the 2 Shawwaal, i.e. the Day after Eidul Fitr.


Q. Is it Sunnat to fast two days when it is the 15th Sha’baan?

A. It is Sunnat to fast on only the 15th Sha’baan. Fasting two days on this occasion is not Sunnat. Fasting two days is Sunnat on the occasion of Aashuraa, i.e. on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th Muharram.


Q. Is it permissible to begin the 6 Fasts of Shawwaal from the day after Eid?

A. It is permissible to begin the 6 fasts of Shawwaal the day after Eid.


Q. A Moulana says that it is Makrooh to keep the six fasts of Shawwaal.

A. It is the practice of all the Akaabireen to keep the 6 fasts of Shawwaal. It is Sunnat to keep the six fasts of the Month of Shawwaal.


Q. A Moulana claims that it is Makrooh to fast six days during the month of Shawwaal. He claims that according to Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) it is Makrooh. Is it Makrooh or Sunnat to fast six days during the month of Shawwaal?

A. The Maulana talks drivel. Fasting six days during the month of Shawwaal is Sunnat. It is a practice observed from the age of Rasulul lah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Whilst the juhhaal (ignoramuses) baselessly claim that the Hadith on which the validity of this practice is based is a fabrication, the Hadith is authentic. Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (rahmatullah alayh) said that this Hadith is narrated via three authentic Chains of Transmission from the Sahaabah Abu Ayyub Ansaari, Thaubaan and Jabir Bin Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhum). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhaan and follows it up with six days of Shawwaal, is as if he has fasted a whole year.” This Hadith is recorded in Saheeh Muslim, Tirmizi, Nisaai, Abu Dawood and Musnad-e- Ahmad.

Thus, the claim of it being Maudhoo’ (fabricated) is palpably baatil (false). The Makrooh view attributed to Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) was predicated with prevalent circumstances. In his era the practice was assigned a higher level. It was elevated to the level of Wujoob (being compulsory). It is a well-known principle of the Shariah that when even a Sunnah practice is elevated to the degree of Wujoob, it shall be labelled bid’ah and prohibited until such time that the belief of the masses has been rectified.

When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the virtues of fasting six days during Shawwaal and encouraged its observance, it was just natural for the Sahaabah to embrace the practice with great enthusiasm. They steadfastly observed this practice of fasting six days in Shawwaal. Their steadfast and enthusiastic observance of this practice resulted in the belief during the Taabieen age that fasting the six days of Shawwaal was akin to Ramadhaan.

Commenting on the elevation to Wujoob of this practice, Allaamah Ibn Hummaam of the 9th Islamic century states in Fathul Qadeer: “The reason for the Makrooh view is that among the masses the belief of incumbency gained ascendancy. Thus, we have heard some saying on the Day of Fitr (Eid): ‘For us it is not yet Eid.’, or similar such statements. However, in the absence of this (type of idea), there is nothing wrong fasting the six days because of the Hadith (encouraging its observance).” In Al-Muheetul Burhaani is mentioned: “The Makrooh view is based on the fear that it (the 6 days) would become enumerated with Ramadhaan….. However, today, that idea does not exist. It is therefore not Makrooh.” Al-Qustalaani states in Mawaahibur Rahmaan: According to our Ulama and Imaam Shaafi’ it is not Makrooh to follow Eidul Fitr with six fasts of Shawwaal, for the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) says: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadhaan (same Hadith as above).”

There is consensus of the Fuqaha that fasting six days in Shawwaal is Sunnat. It is a practice which has existed in the Ummah since the age of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The rare view of Karaahat (it being Makrooh) has to be incumbently set aside or appropriately interpreted to reconcile it with the well-substantiated practice – substantiated by the consensus of the Ummah. A rare view may not be cited to abrogate an established practice of the Shariah.

The Makrooh view is also attributed to Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh). It is quite clear that the Hadith on this subject did not reach Imaam Maalik. There is no Sahaabi, no Imaam and no Muhaddith who had claimed or who could claim to have encompassed all the hundreds of thousands of Ahaadi th of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is precisely for this reason that the Aimmah Mujtahideen had instructed their Students who were Mujtahids and Fuqaha of the highest calibre, to set aside their views should they come across a Saheeh Hadith stating another view.

In our time, the idea of the six Shawwaal fasts being considered to be part of Ramadhaan or being Waajib is furthest from the mind. Leave alone believing these fasts to be part of Ramadhaan, most Muslims are unaware of this Sunnat practice, and most of those who are even aware, do not observe this practice. Thus, the original Sunnat practice remains intact, and the baseless view of Makrooh propagated by the juhhaal of our time is rejected.
Close Answer


Q. What is the Masnoon fasting during the month of Muharram?

A. Ashura is the 10th of Muharram. It is Sunnah to fast on either the 10th and 11th Muharram OR on 9th and 10th Muharram.


Q. I have read that according to Shaikh Uthaymeen, it is not permissible to keep Nafl fast on Fridays and Saturdays.

A. Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen was a Salafi. His ruling is incorrect. It is permissible to fast Nafl on Fridays and Saturdays. Salafis have their own religion.


Q. Shall we gain the blessings of fasting on the Day of Arafaat when that Day is one day earlier than here in South Africa?

A. Insha’Allah, the blessing will be gained. We have to fast according to the Islamic dates here in this country. We are not bound to follow the dates of Saudi Arabia.


Q. What is the position of a sinner who dies during the month of Ramadhaan? Will he enter Jannat even if he did not fast?

A. The knowledge of who will enter Jannat is with only Allah Ta`ala. No person can say for a surety that a certain sinner with enter Jahannum and a certain pious person will enter Jannat. Islam teaches us the rule that the good will enter Jannat and the evil Jahannam. Death in Ramadhaan is a sign of being forgiven and accepted by Allah Ta`ala but this does not necessarily mean that a person who has died in Ramadhaan will definitely be accepted immediately for Jannat, although we should cherish good thoughts about even sinners who die during Ramadhaan. And, who besides the Ambiyaa, are not sinners?


Q. What is the virtue of passing away during the month of Ramadhaan and on a Friday?

A. Maut (Death) on these auspicious occasions is a wonderful fortune. The questioning in the grave is waived. There is no punishment in the grave for one who dies on these occasions.


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