Should a person fast for another day if he has observed it for a full Ramadan month (30 days) but happened to travel to another country the night before Eid, where it is still the 29th or the 30th day of Ramadan?
According to the Fatwa Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, if the person arrives at his destination before dawn then he is advised to observe fast as residents there is yet to see the Crescent.
However, the person can also break his fast as he had seen the Crescent before he set out. But this should be done discreetly and not in front of people who are still fasting.
Fasting for pregnant women
If a woman is between the past-partum period of one pregnancy and then is pregnant again for the next Ramadan, what can she do to make up for the fasting?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, "One will eventually have to make up for all the days of fasting missed, even if it after a few years."
"If one needs breakfast in Ramadan because of another pregnancy or lactation (breast feeding) one can re- in some other time."
"A fedyah - feeding a poor person for each fasting day missed in Ramadan – can also be paid."
Fasting on behalf of sick wards
What if one is suffering from a severe disease during Ramadan and cannot fast, and then, dies immediately after?
Does the guardian of this person have to undertake a fast on the deceased’s behalf?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says, “If one dies because of because of sickness and the same sickness prevented fasting, the guardian does not have to undertake a fast on the deceased’s behalf.”
“However, if the sick person recovers, but then dies before making up for missed fasts, then the guardians should fast on the deceased’s behalf.”
What if one mistakenly breaks the fast early?
What if someone breaks his/her fast through the Azan on the radio, but then discovers the Azan was early by 15 minutes?
The Fatwa Section of the Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities says, “One who breaks the fast by mistake where she or he gets the time of iftar wrong, must re-fast this day.”
A person shouldn’t break his/her fast unless one is sure that the Maghreb prayer call has been made.
I work in Al Ain but live in Oman... Which prayer time do I follow?
A person who lives in Al Buraimi city of the Sultanate of Oman but works in Al Ain city and performs prayers according to Al Ain time was apprehensive if he was doing it right?
In cases when an individual's place of residence and his place of work have different prayer timings, it is permissible for the person to follow the time of place that he is in at that moment.
The Fatwa Section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai was clarifying a question posed by an individual who lives in Buraimi city of Sultanate of Oman but works in Al Ain City, and he follows prayer time of Al Ain City.
The department said the person is right.
Does use of eye-drops, injections affect fasting?
The Fatwa Section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says drops in the eye does not mean breaking the fast, even if the person can feel the taste of the drops in the throat.
This is because the eye is not an open outlet like the mouth.
Therefore, drops are not breaking the fast. It is similar to a person pouring water on the head or body.
Injections also are not considered as breaking the fast, whether intravenous or intramuscular. These do not reach the stomach through an open body inlet.
However, if the injections are a kind of food supplement - having the same effect as food, in such cases the fast will be invalid.
Does dental treatment during the day considered breaking the fast?
The Fatwa section of Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, says that this does not invalidate the fast unless something goes into the stomach.
However, it is advised to delay dental treatment if possible.
Do displays of affection between a husband and wife during Ramadan affect the validity of the fast?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says, “If kissing and hugging during fasting leads to desire, in such cases it is forbidden.
“In such cases one should fast another day and feeding a person in poverty.”
"If kissing or hugging does not lead to desire, it is still to be avoided as it could disrupt one’s fast."
What if one is eating while Fajr call is made?
What happens when one is still eating the Suhoor meal when the Fajr prayer call (Athan) is made?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says, “The Muslim who intends to fast shouldn’t keep anything in his mouth when the Muezzin calls. One must not continue eating and drinking.”
One should not swallow what is in the mouth and in case something is swallowed after hearing the Athan of Fajr, the person should make up by fasting again another day.
How to make up for missed days of fasting
What should a Muslim do to make up for the Ramadan days on which he could not fast this year?
The fatwa section of the Islamic Affairs Department of Fatwa and Charitable Activities in Dubai says such a person should re-fast the missing days in the same year and before beginning of the next Ramadan.
But the fasting for the missed Ramadan days should be on days other than the two Eids and Tashreeq.
In case he is unable to re-fast the missed days before the beginning of the next Ramadan, he should re-fast these days when it becomes possible and pay ransom, the ransom being feeding one poor person for every missed day of fasting.
But if the delay in re-fasting for the missed days is caused by illness or travel, such a person does not have to pay ransom and only has to re-fast these days.
Some Hanafis (followers of the Hanafi school of Islamic thought) say see there is no need to pay ransom in case of delay for another year.
Does incense or use of perfume make fast invalid?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says perfume in Ramadan is not advised because the smell is seen as entering through the nose – which then can go to the throat as well.
Perfume is also considered stimuli for lust and so is not recommended for a person fasting during the Holy month.
In the case of incense, this also reaches the throat of a person and so a re-fast should be taken because the smoke is something tangible.
However, in case one has inhaled incense or perfume not deliberately, the fasting of the person is valid.
Does full-body medical check invalidate her fast?
If a woman has to undergo a full-body medical examination by a doctor during the fasting period in Ramadan, does this invalidate the fast?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says that during the fasting period a women must not be subjected to a medical examination, particularly one where the doctor has to examine her body.
If the doctor does indeed examine the women and there is physical contact, the fast is invalid and one will have to make-up the fast.
Can a husband engage in physical intimacy with his wife after Suhoor but before the Fajr prayer?
The Fatwa Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says, “If a Muslim hears the Fajr and is determined to fast, he has to stop all that invalidates the fast – eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse.
“Once the Fajr prayer call is made, if a Muslim indulges in anything that invalidates the fast, he will have to fast again to make it up.”
“This will mean fasting on an alternative day before the next Holy Month of Ramadan and the feeding of one poor person.”
“It is better for a Muslim to ensure he has stopped all that can invalidate his fast at least 10 minutes before the Fajr.”
Is medicated prevention of menstruation ok?
Can a woman take medication to prevent menstruation so that she is able to fast all the days of Ramadan?
The Fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says nothing is wrong if a woman uses medication to prevent menstruation, unless it is harmful to her health.
This method is permissible with a view to be able to fast with Muslims in general to avoid the hardship of fasting alone.
What is the correct way of fasting for pregnant women?
Upon consultation of the Islamic Affairs Authority, which issues fatwa's to UAE residents, on the correct behavior of a pregnant woman during Ramadan, it said: "With regard to the pregnant woman it is permissible for her not to fast if she fears harm might affect her and/or her baby."
However, when there is no harm or fear of harm of the pregnant woman and/or her foetus it is better to fast, because of the blessing of Ramadan and the performance of the ritual at this time, it added.
How do fast-food outlets survive in Ramadan?
Even though business falls by more than half during Ramadan, some restaurants, especially ones in the highly competitive field of fast-food, spend thousands of dirhams in permits to keep their delivery counters and order-lines open during the day - just so others cannot steal their loyal clients.
"There is not too much of a benefit here," explains Lana Ibrahim, marketing officer of Burger King in the UAE. "But we do it for our customers."
Burger King keeps open the outlets at airports, the outlets that have a drive-through and the delivery service restaurants in all places but Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
"I think there are a total of 36 to 38 outlets in the UAE that are staying open this year," tells Lana. "Mostly these are restaurants with delivery services. We have many non-Muslims who would still like to make orders, so we cannot close our hotline."
To keep open a food outlet during Ramadan in Dubai a permit is required. This permits costs around Dh6,000 per restaurant. Keep in mind the drop in customers, and one might wonder if it is worth opening at all.
"During Ramadan we basically work to pay back the money spend on this permit," tells Regino P. Santiago, assistant-operational manager of Subway.
"There is not really a way we can compensate for the decrease in profit. But we have a lot of non-Muslim customers, who would still like to eat from Subway during Ramadan. So we stay open every year."
Lana says that even though the profit is less, there is a slight increase in delivery orders, as people have fewer options on the street.
According to Toufiq Othman, who has been working in the UAE food industry for years, it is a matter of customising your restaurant to both the local law and the local culture.
"We need to respect the Islamic traditions of this country. But I would not support to close down all restaurants because there are people who do not fast and they need to be able to get food. So a solution where restaurants are open, but only for take-away and delivery orders is a good one. Nobody will eat in public, but people can still get their food," he says adding that most restaurants act accordingly.
Although take-away and delivery orders are not part of the mall food court, some outlets have turned their food court restaurant into a take-away place during Ramadan daytime.
"We have about 300 customers a day during Ramadan. Normally we count 600-700, or 1,200 in the weekends," says a floor-manager of Burger King Dubai Mall.
What if you break the fast early by mistake?
What must one do if one breaks his Ramadan fast after hearing the ‘azan’ on the radio, only to find out later that the call to prayer was given 15 minutes ahead of the right time?
According to the fatwa section of the Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, if anyone breaks the Ramadan fast by mistake, as in this case, he should fast again on another day to make up for the lost day.
In the fatwa section’s view, no one should break his fast unless he is sure that the call for Maghreb prayer has been given.
Can a diabetic in the UAE fast?
People with Type II diabetes should consult their doctor about fasting
For people with certain health risks, extra caution is therefore needed and they should carefully consider fasting during Ramadan.
According to the Fatwa Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, a person suffering from a disease and finding it difficult to fast, is permitted not to fast.
When this person recovers from the disease he must re-fast the missed days when he was not well, that is, the days on which he broke the fast.
If the disease is chronic, it is allowed for this person not to fast at all and this does not require a medical report because that person is the only one who determines his ability to fast.
An estimated 19 per cent of the UAE’s population suffers from diabetes, making it the largest health-risk group.
People suffering from Type II diabetes are especially at risk of health complications during the month of fasting, say health experts.
Where, when should a traveller break fast?
In one travels from Dubai to Abu Dhabi when fasting, and one breaks the fast after hearing the Azan of Maghreb on Dubai Radio.
However, it is not yet time to break the fast in Abu Dhabi.
Does such a person have to fast again on another day to make it up?
The Fatwa Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai says the fasting traveller has to break his fast according to the timing of the place where the sun sets, and not according to the timing of the place where the fast began.
Therefore, in this case, the fast will have to be undertaken on another alterative day.
The fast should have been broken as per the timings of Abu Dhabi, which is four minutes later than Dubai.
Praying at home
If one keeps the fast, but prays at home without a serious reason not to go the mosque, is the fast acceptable or not?
The Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities says that the prayer with the congregation (Jamaha) at the mosque is a necessity.
For the Muslim who is fasting and praying at home his fast will be accepted, but he must pray at the mosque as well.
The department said the prayer in congregation (Jamaha) or praying alone will not effect on the acceptance of fasting, but one should be sure to attend the prayer in Jamaha during Ramadan and other months as well.
Using asthma sprays during fasting
An asthma patient has asked whether the Shariah permits use of medical sprays during fasting in Ramadan.
According to the fatwa section of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, if the asthma patient uses a medical spray during fasting, it may go from the nasal cavity to the throat which will make fasting invalid and make re-fasting for this day necessary.
If this happens, he has to continue to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking for the rest of the day to show respect for the holy month and people who are fasting.
If an asthma patient is cured of the ailment, he should re-fast the missed days. If he has not been completely cured, he should re-fast on days when he is not suffering from asthma.
If he is a life-long asthma patient, it is no sin if he could not re-fast the missing days because his mistake was not deliberate. But it will be a sin if he did not re-fast despite being able to later.