Ramadan Question: What if you accidently break the fast?

A person who is fasting might accidently break the fast, because s/he may forget that s/he is fasting or because of confusion in time.

In such as case, as the person had no intention of breaking the fast, s/he may continue fasting, according to the Official Fatwa Center of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

It is only when the person eats or drinks aware that the time for fasting has begun that the fast is considered broken.

Medication, not orally taken, breaks the fast?

According to the Official Fatwa Center of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, medication taken in ways other than through the mouth does not break the fast.
 
This means that injections, or tablets inserted in other parts of the body, are permitted during the fast. However, when an injection is taken with a nutritious purpose the fast is broken.
 
Listening to music
 
The Official Fatwa Centre of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) does not advise Muslims to listen to music during the Month of Ramadan. On the contrary, it advises Muslims to listen to Quran recitations, because Ramadan is the month of Quran.
 
There are different opinions about listening to music in general. Although some say it is not allowed, other say that it is permitted as long as the lyrics do not contain bad words.
In the month of Ramadan listening to Quran recitation is most recommended.

Wearing make-up
 
According to the Official Fatwa Center of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, there is nothing wrong with wearing make-up as long as the person ensures that the make-up does not reache the throat. If anything reaches the throat this would mean breaking of the fast.
 
Rule on Iftar just before boarding a flight
 
A traveller was on the ground and listened to Maghreb Athan announced and then he took his Iftar. After that the plane took off, and he saw that the Sun was still lingering. What is the Shariah ruling in such case?

Dr Ali Ahmed says:

The fasting of this person is valid and because he broke fast before the plane took off and he was sure that the Sun had set and Maghreb Athan announced. In such case his fating is valid where he took his Iftar according to the timing of the country where the plane was still on the ground.
 
Does blood donation break the fast?
 
Dr Ali Ahmed says:
In case a person donates blood during the day in Ramadan, the fast does not break.
 
Dr Ali Ahmed says:
Eye-drop use in itself does not break the fast - most scholars and imams confirm this. However, there is a belief that if the person can taste it in his/her throat, then the fast is broken.

So Muslims should avoid using it during Ramadan unless compelled to.
 
Fasting in extreme climates
 
Dr Ali Ahmed says:
Prayer and fasting are cornerstones of Islam and are obligatory and should never be dropped – even if a Muslim is in Antarctica or an astronaut in space.
When one cannot see the sun and is in permanent darkness, a Muslim should pray the five daily prayers every 24 hours and estimate the fast timings using modern technology. An approximate estimation of the suhoor and iftar every day are allowed.
 
Medication for women
 
Dr Ali Ahmed says:
The use of medication to prevent a woman’s cycle is not wrong as long as it does not result in any harm to the woman's health.
If there is any threat of damage or harm to a woman's health, she should refrain from taking medication.
 
Iftar while flying
 
Dr Ali Ahmed says:
A Muslim should take his/her iftar according to the timing of the country’s airspace in which the plane is in at the time. Usually the crew alerts fasters to the time of iftar.
 
One of the readers woke up from sleep on the Fajr prayer and because he was very thirsty, he drank water before the end of Azan. He asks if he broke the fast and should he re-fast?
 
Dr Ali Ahmed says the person should re-fast after the Holy Month of Ramadan as he broke the fast because he drank water after entering the time of fasting.
 
Azan is time for fasting. Dr Ali Ahmed says a person must know that Iftar is after sunset or Azan of Maghreb and that Suhoor must be before Fajr prayer call.
 
Can asthma patients use inhalers?
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael said if the patient is prescribed the medication he ought to use it.
 
However, the grand Mufti added that the use of sprays/inhalers breaks fasting "because the spray contains water" apart from medical elements.
 
He said if people who observe fast during the Holy Month should discontinue the use of sprays only if they are sure they will be safe.
 
The Grand Mufti said there is an option for people who cannot observe fasting because they have to use sprays. They can re-fast the number of days later.
 
Travellers time?
 
If a person reaches before the Fajr prayer call s/he must fast with the people of the country, because s/he is in a country that has not seen the crescent of Shawal yet.
One may break the fast in secret, but not in front of people still observing Ramadan.

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:
 
"The person in this case can have souhur on the timing of the place where he begins his journey, and iftar depending on the timing of his destination.
Also, if one starts the Holy Month of Ramadan in one country, but ends it in another, one can go by the timings of one’s current location’s end to the month."
 
Nicotine patches
 
The use of nicotine patches is permitted and does not break the fast during the month of Ramadan, according to the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (AWQAF) in Abu Dhabi.
 
When fasting, a Muslim needs to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and physical intercourse between the dawn and sunset.
Smokers will often say that refraining from smoking cigarettes is the most challenging of these tasks. Resorting to techniques to quit smoking is not unthinkable in that regard.
Fortunately, the use of nicotine patches in order to refrain from smoking during the month of Ramadan is permitted and does not break the fast.
 
The patch is used as a medicine, and is not consumed as a food item, is the rationale behind this rule.
Anything that enters the body though the skin such as an injection or in this case a nicotine patch and is meant to repair rather than feed the body does not break the fast, said AWQAF
 
Does smoking break the fast? What of the argument that smoke does not enter the abdomen and so is allowed?
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:
 
"Smoke inhalation – even entering the mouth or nose is invalidating the fast. We have evidence from the Hadith of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him). Smoking is a violation of the sanctity of fasting, because it risks entry into the stomach."
 
Deodrant use
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, says:
 
"Using a deodorant does not break the fast, but if inhaled incense is deliberately inhaled, then it violates the rules of fasting."
Sharjah, Dubai timings

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, says:
 
The person who hears Fajr prayer in Sharjah should follow the timing of Sharjah. One must be stop taking food or drink according to the timing of the place where one resides and hears the Fajr.
 
In case of iftar, one should take it in the place where one hears the last athan of Maghreb.
 
Non-Muslims fasting
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, the Grand Mufti at the (IACAD), says: It is certainly empathetic of the Christian community members to share the experience in this month of tolerance and only indicates their brotherhood towards all Muslims.
 
However, the fasting or the prayer cannot be accepted in Islam as the individual is not Muslim or accepts this religion as his own.
 
It is to be known that the condition of worship in Islam is to believe in the religion first.
 
TV serials
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, says:
 
"It is not permissible for a Muslim to watch such TV series. This should not be only in Ramadan, but during the rest of the year as well.
In Ramadan, people fasting and watching such serials will surely spoil their fast. The Muslim who is fasting during Ramadan should devote his time to worship and reading the Quran."

Grooming

What is the Shariah law for personal grooming  - like cutting one’s nails or getting a hair-cut during fasting?
This has nothing to do with the fast, so it is permissible to cut one’s hair during fasting.
 
Food
 
Is there a specific food to be eaten at suhoor? Are some foods not recommended to be eaten?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:
 
"A person may eat any food at suhoor unless it is forbidden. Muslim scholars throughout the history have not spoken about certain foods that should be eaten for suhoor, but they have stressed that Muslims can eat anything except what is forbidden. It is preferable to eat dates and milk. The Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) said the best food for suhoor is dates.|
 
Purification
 
What is the rule for fasting before purification? What if a person is ‘unclean’ from the previous night, but did not wake up to be washed and purified. Can they directly continue fasting?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:
 
"Purity (washing) is not a condition for the validity of fasting, but is a condition for prayer and if s/he wakes up and is not clean during the day of Ramadan or any other day, and is fasting, the fast is valid. S/he should wash directly after waking up.
 
"But one should avoid committing sin, especially not waking up for the Fajr prayer."
 
Husband-wife contact
 
What is the Shariah law as regards physical contact with husband and/or wife during the fasting period of Ramadan?
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:
 
"Physical contact that causes any kind of arousal during the fasting period of Ramadan should be stopped immediately. There is nothing wrong with physical or verbal contact with a spouse as long as it does not lead to any violation of the rules of fasting.
 
A Muslim must keep away from desires that may spoil his/her fast."
 
What is the ruling of Shariah in case a Muslim has intercourse with his wife during Ramadan?
 
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“It is forbidden during the day of Ramadan, and penetration will sure break the fast and it is forbidden.
 
“You must hold on eating and drinking the rest of the day, and the (Kafarah) atonement is the expiation of committing the sin of the intercourse during Ramadan. He should fast for two consecutive months, and if one cannot, then he must feed 60 poor persons.
 
“The Maalikis have given the choice to the violator: The choice between emancipation and fasting for two consecutive months and feeding is better for him.”
 
Sputum
 
Does sputum break the fast if swallowed?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

"Most of the scholars said If sputum was swallowed during the fasting deliberately, the fast will be invalid and on the contrary, the Malkai Mathahb do not believe that phlegm invalidates the fast and Muslims should complete their fasting."

Non-Muslims

How should Muslims react when they see non-Muslims eat or drink during Ramadan?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“Non-Muslims living in Muslim countries must respect the beliefs of Muslims.

“They should respect the feelings of Muslims and shouldn’t eat or drink in front of those who fast. However, patients or those travelling are allowed to eat and drink.

Abu Saeed Al Khudri had heard the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) say, ‘Whoever of you sees an evil must then change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then [he must change it ] with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his heart. And that is the slightest [effect of] faith.”

Moon sighting

The sighting of the moon signals the beginning of Ramadan. Which Muslim country is assisted by its geographical location on the sighting of the moon first?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai (IACAD), says:

"There is no Islamic country that has priority over any other in sighting of the moon, but if scientists agree that one country is the right one to see the moon first, obviously, because of the quality of its terrain or weather conditions or otherwise, in such a case we don’t find any problem in following such a country. This has never happened like this until now.

The moon must be seen with the mere eyes and should followed the Hadith of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him).

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: “Whenever you sight the New Moon of the month of Ramadan observe the fast and when you sight the New Moon of Shawwal break it, and if the sky is cloudy for you, then observe the fast for 30 days.”

This means Muslims all over the world should not rely on astronomers, though they may be referred to .

[Home page image via Shutterstock]

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