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Concerning Fasting
  The Rulings of Ramadaan
Author: Islamic Society of the University of Essex
Article ID : IBD090003  [32990]  
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Amr Ibn al-Aas said: "We were with the Messenger (S) when a young man approached him and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, can I kiss while fasting. He (S) said: "No." Then an old man came and said: "Can I kiss while fasting?" He (S) said: "Yes." We began to look at each other, and so the Messenger of Allah (T) said: "The old man can control himself." [Ahmad]

Blood Testing and inoculations other than inoculations for nourishment
These things do not break the fast. (See the section that relates to the things that invalidate the fast).

Al-Hijaamah (Extracting blood from the head or other parts of the body as a medicinal practice)
This act used to cause the fast to be void, however, the ruling was later abrogated. Ibn 'Abbaas (R) said: "The Prophet (S) had hijaamah done to him while he was fasting." [Al-Bukhaaree]

Tasting food as long as it does not go down the throat
Ibn 'Abbaas said: "Nothing is wrong in tasting vinegar or any other thing while one is fasting, as long as that thing does not enter the throat." [Ibn Abi Shaibah and Baihaqee]

Pouring cold water on the head or taking a complete bath (ghusl)
The Messenger of Allah (T) used to pour water on his head while he was fasting because of thirst or severe heat. [Abu Dawood and Ahmad]

Applying kuhl or eye drops to the eyes even if the taste of any of these reaches the throat
Imaam Al Bukhaaree in his Saheeh said that: "Anas, Al-Hassan, and Ibraheem did not see anything wrong for the fasting person who uses kuhl in the eyes."


Question: In what situation is one permitted to break the fast of Ramadaan?
Answer: The following are the major situations which permit a person to break the fast of Ramadaan:
1. Illness.
2. Travel.
3. Pregnancy in which a woman feels that fasting is hard on her or is threatening to her or her child's welfare.
4. Baby-nursing (breast feeding), when the woman has similar concerns to those in (3) above.
5. Old age.
6. Being forced during the day to exert a hard physical labour which is judged threatening to the person's well being should he continue to fast.

A person belonging to any of the above groups will have to fast a day later (make qadaa) for every day missed. However, those for whom the above situation persists continuously all around the year (pregnant and nursing women, according to many ulamaa) should instead pay a ransom for every day missed.

Question: In which situations is the fast involuntarily disrupted?
Answer: The fast is disrupted (and there is no point or reward in continuing to fast) when a woman sees the blood caused by either of:
1. Menstruation.
2. Labour or childbirth.
The woman in this case will have to fast a day later (make Qadaa) for every day (or part of day) that she missed.

Question: What acts invalidate the fast?
Answer: The following acts, when done knowingly and deliberately in the days of Ramadaan, will invalidate the fast. In addition to being considered major sins in Islaam, a person committing one of these acts will have to continue fasting the rest of the day that he committed it, and he is also required to take certain measures of reconciliations as indicated below.

1. Voluntary vomiting.
2. Intending to stop fasting at any moment during the day of fast.
3. Stimulating oneself, without copulation, to the point of ejaculation.

A person committing one of the above acts, (I) through (3), will have to make up (Qadaa) for every day thus invalidated.

4. Sexual Intercourse. Any fast thus invalidated will require both the Qadaa (make up for that day) as well as a material atonement (Kaffaarah, which corresponds to freeing a slave, fasting two consecutive months or feeding sixty people, where these three alternatives should be expiated in the same order mentioned in the Hadeeth).
5. Deliberately eating, drinking, smoking or letting any material into the stomach.

Contrary to widespread misconception, a day thus invalidated cannot be atoned in the same way as intercourse; it cannot even be atoned by even fasting the entire life. Thus, in addition to the qadaa (making up by fasting a day for the missed day), the only way to atone such an act would be true sincere repentance and strong determination never to do it again.

Question. What acts do not invalidate the fast, even though many people think they do?
Answer: Contrary to many misconceptions, there is no valid evidence that any of the following acts invalidate the fast (even though some of them might reduce the rewards of fasting).

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