FAQ About Fasting in the Month of Ramadan

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As we approach the month of incredible value of Ramadaan, we have compiled some of frequently asked questions which many people are unaware of:

Q. Is it necessary to have an intention for fasting?

A. yes, it is necessary to formulate the Niyaat for fasting. Making the Niyaat for one fast will not be sufficient for all. Merely having the intention to fast, without verbal utterance is sufficient and waking up for sehri, serves the smae purpose as a Niyaat, because sehri is only eaten for the sake of fasting.

Q. What is the final time in which one can formulate a Niyaat?

A. One is allowed to formulate the Niyaat during any part of the morning until just before midday, on condition that he didn’t consume anything until then.

Q. Is it permissible to use any form of medication to prevent menstruation?

A. Yes, although the fast is valid and there is no restriction in the shariat, it is best that it should not be done because it can prove to be harmful to a woman’s health.

Q. Is it permissible to apply surmah (antimony), whilst fasting?

A. It is permissible to apply surmah, oil, and to inhale any fragrance. The fast is not affected by such acts.

Q. Is it permissible to inhale incense sticks?

A. If fasting person inhaled the smoke of of an incense stick intentionally his fast will break, in the same way, the fast breaks by smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.

Q. A person vomited unintentionally, does the fast break?

A. The fast will not break irrespective of the amount. However, if he vomited intentionally, his fast will break if it was a mouthful, but if it was less than a mouthful, it will not break.

Q. Does the fast become invalid when blood comes out of the mouth?

A. The fast will definitely break. Nevertheless, if the quality of the blood is less than that of the saliva and its taste is not sensed when it goes down the throat then the fast will not break.

Q. Can one cleanse the teeth while fasting?

A. It is makrooh to clean the teeth with toothpaste and if it goes down the throat, it is likely the fast will be invalidated.

Q. What is the mas’ala regarding a woman who experiences haiz or nifaas whilst fasting?

A. If a woman experiences hafiz or nifaas whilst fasting in the moth of Ramadaan then her her fast will break, but she should not eat anything in front of those fasting, also, she should not make a feast out of eating, due to the respect which is due to Ramadaan.

Q. Is it necessary for a pregnant woman to fast?

A. Yes, but if she encounters certain difficulties and thereby fears for her life or her child’s life it is permissible for her to break her fast.

Q. Is it possible to use a glucose drip while fasting?

A. Administrating glucose drips while fasting will not invalidate the fast on condition that it was done out of necessity. Similarly, blood transfusion done by injection will not invalidate the fast.

Q.  Is it allowed to apply medicine to the eye whilst fasting?

A.  Yes, it is allowed.

Q. Does water entering the nose invalidate the fast?

A. No, however, if the water enters the nose and reaches the throat the fast will be nullified.

Q. Is it permissible to visit the dentist while fasting?

A. Yes, it is even permissible to have a tooth extracted whilst fasting. If there is a dire necessity one may also apply medication in the month ensuring that the medication is not swallowed.

Q. Is it permissible to apply medication to a wound whilst fasting?

A. Yes, as long as the wound is not so deep that when the medicine is applied it reaches the flesh. If when applying medication to a wound it reaches the stomach or brain the fast will be rendered invalid. However, if the medication doesn’t reach directly but via a blood vessel the fast will be valid.

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

A. Using an asthma pump will invalidate the fast.

Q. If one omitted a fast with a sha’ee excuse what should be done?

A. if fast was missed due to travelling, an illness or due to haiz and nifaas then only qadhaa has to be kept, not kaffaarah.

Q. if one is unable to keep the qadhaa due to old age or an illness is there any substitute?

A. Yes, the amount of sadaqatul-fitr should be given for each fast. Contact your local imam for on how you can do this.

Q. During the last five years one has omitted five fasts each year without a valid excuse how should the qadhaa and kaffarah be kept?

A. According to Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A) one qadhaa will be kept for each fast and one kaffaraah will suffice for all the fasts i.e. he will have keep one kafarraah (60 days) and 25 qadhaas. However, according to Imaam Shaafi’ss (RA) for each fast omitted one qadhaa and one kaffaarah will have to be kept (which will total up to 325 fasts).