Fasting means that a person must, in obedience to the commands of Allah, from the time of the calling for Dawn prayers up to Sunset, avoid nine things which will be mentioned later.
The intention for Fasting
1558. In is necessary for a person to pass the intention for fasting through his mind or to say that he would be fasting on the following day. In fact, it is sufficient for him to decide that in obedience to the command of Allah he will not perform from the time of calling for Dawn prayers up to the Sunset, any act which may invalidate the fast. And in order to ensure that he has been fasting throughout this time he should begin abstaining earlier than the calling for the Dawn prayer, and continue to refrain for some time after sunset from acts which invalidate a fast.
1559. A person can perform an intention at every night of the holy Ramadan month that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make an intention on the first night of Ramadan month, that he would fast throughout that month.
1560. The last time of making an intention to observe a fast of Ramadan month for a conscious person, is moments before the calling of the Dawn prayers. This means he must be intent upon fasting at that time, even if he later became heedless of his intention due to sleep etc.
1561. As for the recommendable fast one can perform its intention at any time in the day, even moments before the Sunset time - provided that he has not committed any such act which invalidates the fast.
1562. If a person sleeps before the calling for the Dawn prayers in Ramadan month or any other day fixed for an obligatory fast without performing an intention, and wakes up before the midday to make the intention of fast, his fast will be in order. But if he wakes up after the midday time, as a precaution,
( 2 )
he should continue with the abstinence with intention of Qurba (the interest of Allah) and then give its Quadha' also.
1563. If a person intends to keep a fast other than the fast of Ramadan month, he should specify that fast: for example, he should specify it as the Quadha' 'fast or a fast to fulfill a vow. On the other hand, it is not necessary that a person should specify in his intention that he is going to observe a fast of Ramadan month. If a person is not aware or forgets that it is the month of Ramadan and makes an intention to observe some other fast it will consider to be the fast of Ramadan month.
1564. If a person knows that it is Ramadan month, yet intentionally makes an intention of observing a fast other than the fast of Ramadan month his fast will neither be reckoned a fast of Ramadan month, nor the fast of which he performed an intention.
1565. If a person observes fast with the intention of the first day of the month and understands later that it was the second or third of the month, his fast is in order.
1566. If a person performs an intention before the calling for the Dawn prayers to observe a fast and then becomes unconscious and regains his senses during the day time, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast on that day, and if he does not complete it, he should observe its Quadha''.
1567. A person performs the intention before the calling for the Dawn prayers to observe a fast and then gets intoxicated and comes to senses during the day he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, complete the fast of that day and should also give its Quadha'.
1568. If a person performs an intention before calling for the Dawn prayers to observe a fast, and then goes to sleep, and wakes up after sunset time his fast is in order.
1569. If a person did not know or forgot that it was Ramadan month, and takes notice of this before the midday and if he has performed some act which will invalidates a fast, his fast is void. But, he should not perform any act till the sunset time
( 3 )
which invalidates a fast and should also observe Quadha' of that fast after Ramadan month. The same rule applies if the learns after the midday that it is Ramadan month. But if he learns before the midday time, and if he has not done anything which would invalidates his fast, his fast will be valid.
1570. If a child reaches the age of puberty before the calling for the Dawn prayers in Ramadan month he/she should keep fast and if he/she reaches the age of puberty after the calling for the Dawn prayers, the fast of the day is not obligatory for him/her except if he/she intended to observe a recommendable fast on that day, then he/she should complete it as a precaution.
1571. If a person who has been hired to observe the fasts of a dead person or has fasts of expiation upon him as an obligation, observes recommendable fasts, there is no harm in it. However, if a person has his own Quadha' of fasts, he cannot observe recommendable fasts. If he forgets this and observes a recommendable and remembered it before the midday his recommendable fast will be void and he can convert his intention to the fast of Quadha'', and if he takes notice of the situation after the midday his fast is void as a precaution, and similar if he remembers this after the sunset point, the validity of his fast is a matter if problematic.
1572. If it is obligatory for a person to observe a specific fast other than the fast of Ramadan month, for example, if he has vowed that he would observe fast on a particular day, and he does not make an intention purposely till the calling for the Dawn prayers, his fast is void. And if he does not know that it is obligatory for him to fast on that day or forgets about it and remembers before midday, and if he has not performed any act which invalidates the fast and makes an intentions to fast, his fast is in order, and if he remembers after the midday time, he should follow the precaution applied to Ramadan month.
1573. If a person does not perform an intention toll near midday point for an obligatory fast which has no fixed time, like a fast of expiation, there is no harm in it. In fact, if he had decided
( 4 )
before performing an intention that he would not fast, or was undecided as to whether he should or should not fast, if he has not performed any act which invalidates a fast, and decides before the midday point to fast, his fast will be order.
1574. If a non-Muslim embraces Islam in Ramadan month before the Midday point, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, perform an intention of fast, and complete it provided that he had not committed any act which would make a fast void. And if he does not observe fast on that day he should give its Quadha'.'
1575. If a patient recovers from his illness in the middle of a day in the Ramadan month, before Midday point, and if he had not done anything to invalidate the fast, he should perform an intention and fast. But if he recovers after the midday point, it will not be obligatory on him to fast on the day.
1576. If one doubts whether it is the last day of Sha'ban month or the first day of Ramadan month then the fast on that day is not obligatory upon him. If however, somebody wants to observe fast on that day he cannot do so with the intention of observing the fast of Ramadan month, but if he performs an intention that if it is Ramadan month then it is the fast of Ramadan month and if it is not Ramadan month, then it is Quadha'' fast or some other fast like that, his fast will be valid. But it is better to observe the fast with the intention of Quadha' fast or some other fast, and if it is known later that it was Ramadan month then it will automatically be the fast of Ramadan month. And even if he performs an intention of a natural fast, and later it becomes known that it is Ramadan month, it will be sufficient (ie, that fast will be counted as the fast of Ramadan month).
1577. If is doubtful whether it is the last day of Sha'ban month or the first of Ramadan month, while a person observers a Quadha' or a recommendable fast or some other fast on that day, and later comes to know that same day that it is the first day of Ramadan month, then he should concert the intention to the fast of Ramadan month.
( 5 )
1578. If somebody is undecided in his intention whether to break or not an obligatory fixed fast, like that of Ramadan, or decides to do, immediately his fast becomes invalid even if he does not actually break it or is repentant of his intention.
1579. If, while observing a recommendable fast or an obligatory fast the time of which not fixed (e.g., a fast for ransom) a person intends to break the fast or wavers whether or not he should do so, and if he does not break it, he should make a fresh intention before the midday in case of an obligatory fast, and before the Sunset in the case of a recommendable fast. That way his fast will be in order.
Things which make a fast void
1580. There are nine acts which invalidate fast:
(i) Eating and drinking.
(ii) Sexual intercourse.
(iii) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self abuse, resulting in ejaculation.
(iv) Ascribing false things to Almighty Allah, or his Prophet or to the successors of the Holy Prophet.
(v) Swallowing thick dust.
(vi) Immersing one's complete head in water.
(vii) Remaining on a state of nocturnal pollution or menstruation or abortion till the calling for the dawn prayers.
Details of these acts will be explained in the following articles:
I. Eating and Drinking
1581. a person eats or drinks something intentionally, while being conscious of fasting, his fast becomes void, irrespective of whether the thing he ate or drank was usually eaten or drunk (for example bread with water) or not (for example earth or the juice of a tree) and whether it is more or less; even if a person,
( 6 )
who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.
1582. If while eating and drinking a person realizes that it is the Dawn, he should throw the food out of his mouth, and if he swallows it internationally, his fast is void, and according to the rules which will be mentioned later, it also becomes obligatory on him to give ransom.
1583. A person who is fasting east or drinks something forgetfully, his fast does not become invalid.
1584. There is no objection to an injection which anaesthetizes one's limb or is used for some other purpose being given to a person, who is observing fast, but it is better that the injections which are given as medicine or food are a avoided.
1585. If a person observing fast intentionally swallows something which remained in between his teeth, his fast is invalidated.
1586. If a person wishes to observe a fast, it is not necessary for him to use a toothpick before the calling for the Dawn prayers. However, if he knows that some particles of food which have remained in between his teeth will go down into his stomach during the day, then he must clean his teeth by toothpick.
1587. Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast, although it may have collected in ones mouth owing to thoughts about sour things etc.
1588. There is no harm in swallowing one's phlegm or mucous from head and chest as long as it does not come up to one's mouth. However, if it touches one's mouth, the obligatory precaution is that one should not swallow it.
1589. If a person observing fast becomes so thirsty that he fears that he may die of thirst or sustain harm or extreme hardship, he can drink as much water as would ensure that the fear is averted. However, his fast becomes invalid, and if it is the
( 7 )
Month Ramadan, as an obligatory precaution, he should not drink more than that, and then for the rest of the day, refrain from all acts which would invalidate the fast.
1590. Chewing food to feed a child or a bird and tasting food etc. which does not usually go down the throat will not invalidate the fast, even if it happens to reach their inadvertently. However, if a person knows beforehand that it will reach the throat, his fast becomes void, and he should observe its Quadha'' and it is also obligatory upon him to give ransom.
1591. A person cannot abandon fast on account of weakness. However, if his weakness is to such an extent that fasting becomes totally unbearable, there is no harm in breaking the fast.
II. Sexual Intercourse
1592. Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration is as little as the tip of the male organ, and even if there has been no ejaculation.
1593. If the penetration is less than tip of the male organ, so that it cannot be said that intercourse had taken place, also if no ejaculation takes place, the fast does not become invalid. This applies to both, circumcised and uncircumcised men.
1594. If a person commits sexual intercourse intentionally and then doubts whether penetration was up to the point of circumcision or not his fast, as an obligatory precaution, becomes invalid, and it is necessary for him to observe its Quadha'. It is not, however, obligatory on him to pay a ransom.
1595 If a person forgets that he is observing fast and commits sexual intercourse or he is compelled to have sexual intercourse in a manner that makes him helpless, his fast does not become void. However, if he remembers (that he is observing fast) or ceases to be helpless during sexual intercourse, he should withdraw from the sexual intercourse at one, and if he does not, his fast becomes void.
( 8 )
III. Istimna' (Masturbation)
1596. If a person, who is observing fast, performs masturbation (Istimna) his fast becomes void (The explanation of masturbation has been given rule 1580/iii).
1597. Semen is discharge from the body of a person involuntarily; his fast does not become void.
1598. Even if a person observing fast knows that if he sleeps during the day time he will become nocturnal polluted (i.e., semen will be discharged from his body during sleep) it is permissible for him to sleep, even if he may not be inconvenienced by not sleeping. And if he becomes a nocturnal polluted, his fast does not become void.
1599. If a person who is observing fast wakes up from sleep while ejaculation is taking place, it is not obligatory on him to stop it.
1600. A fasting person who has become a nocturnal polluted can urinate even if he knows that by urinating the remaining semen will flow from his body.
1601. If a fasting person, who has become a nocturnal polluted, knows that some semen has remained in his body and if he does not urinate before taking Bath, it will come out fatter the Bath, he should on the basis of recommended precaution, urinate before taking Bath.
1602. A person who indulges in courtship with an intention to allow semen to be discharge, will complete his fast and also observe its Quadha', even if semen is not discharged.
1603. If a fasting person indulges in courtship without intention of allowing the semen to be discharged, and also, if he is sure that semen will be discharged his fast is in order, even if the semen may be discharged unexpectedly. However, if he is not sure about the discharge and it takes place, then his fast is void.
( 9 )
IV. Ascribing Lies to Allah and His Prophet
1604. If a person who is observing fast, intentionally ascribes something false to Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household)and his vicegerents (peace be upon them), verbally or in writing or by making a sign, his fast becomes void, even if he may at once retract and say that he has uttered a lie or may repent for it. And, as a recommended precaution, he should refrain from ascribing lies to the mistress Fatima Al- Zahra' (peace be upon her) and all the Prophets and their successors.
1605. If a person observing fast wishes to quote something about which he has no authority or he does not know whether it is true or false, he should, as an obligatory precaution, give a reference of the person who report it, or of the book in which it is written.
1606. If a person quotes something as the word of Allah or the Holy Prophet with the belief that it is true, but realizes later that it is false, his fast does not become void.
1607. A person ascribes something to Almighty Allah or the Holy Prophet knowing it to be false and understand later that it was true, as an obligatory precaution, he should complete his fast and should also observe its Quadha'.
1608. If a person intentionally ascribes to Allah or the Holy Prophet or the successors of the Holy Prophet a falsehood fabricated by some other person, his fast becomes void. However, if he quotes the person who has fabricated that falsehood, his fast will not be effected.
1609. If a person who is observing fast, is asked whether the Holy Prophet said such and such thing and he intentionally says No' where he should say 'Yes' or intentionally say 'Yes' where he should say 'No' his fast becomes void. as an obligatory precaution.
1610 If a person quotes a true word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet, and later says that he had uttered a lie, or if he ascribed something false to them at night, and says, on the following day when he is observing fast, that what he said on the previous night
( 10 )
was true, his fast becomes void, except when his intention is to convey his newly acquired information.
V. Letting Dust Reaches One's Throat
1611. On the basis of obligatory precaution, allowing thick dust to reach one's throat makes one's void, whether the dust is of something which is inhibited to eat, like flour, or of something which is prohibited to consume like dust or earth.
1612. Allowing thin dust to reach one's throat will not invalidate the fast.
1613. If thick dust is whipped up by the wind and if a person does not take care in spite of taking notice of it, allowing the dust to reach his throat his fast becomes void on the basis of obligatory precaution.
1614. As an obligatory precaution, a person who is observing the Fast, he should not allow the smoke of cigarettes, tobacco, and other similar things to reach his throat.
1615. If a person does not take care of the dust, smoke, etc. preventing from entering his throat, and if he was quiet sure that these things would not reach his throat, his fast is in order; but if he only felt that they might not reach his throat, it is better that he should observe that fast again as quadha'.'
1616. If a person forgets that he is fasting and does not exercise care, or if the dust or any other similar thing enters his throat involuntarily, his fast does not become void.
VI. Immersing One's Head in Water
1617. If a fasting person intentionally immerses his entire head in the water, his fast is known to be void, even if the rest of the body remains out of the water. But this act does not invalidate the fast; it is disapproved act, and as a measure of precaution, should be avoided.
1618. If a person immerse half of his head in the water once, and the other half the second time, his fast is not affected.
( 11 )
1619. If the entire head is immersed under the water, leaving some hair out, the rule applied will be that mentioned above in 1617.
1620. There is no harm in immerse one's head in liquids other than water like, in milk. Similarly, fast is not effected by immersing one's head in mixed water that is Mixed water.
1621. If a fasting person falls into the water involuntarily, and his entire head goes into the water, or if he forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, his fast is not affected.
1622. If a person throws himself into the water thinking that his entire head will not go down into the water, and water covers his entire head, his fast remains in order.
1623. If a person forgets that he is fasting and immerses his head in the water, and he remembers under the water that he is fasting, it is better that he takes his out of the water at once, but if he does not do so, his fast will not be void.
1624. If a person is pushed into the water and his head is immersed in the water, the fast is not affected at all. But if the fellow who pushed him and forced his head under water releases him, it is better that he raises his head out of the water immediately.
1625. If a fasting person immerses his head under the water with the intention of getting Bath, both his fast and Bath will be in order.
1626. If a person dives headlong in the water to save some one from drowning, although in may be obligatory to save the person, as a recommendable precaution, he should offer the Quadha' for the fast.