Ramadan FAQs

A list of FAQs regarding the Holy Month

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Posted By Ml Usaamah Ahmed

What breaks a fast and makes qada' of one fast obligatory?
  • Accidental consumption of food or drink
  • Accidentally entry of water into body cavity whilst making ablution or bathing
  • Beginning of menstruation mid-fast
    Administration of medication through mouth, nose, or private parts.
  • Ejaculation through masturbation.
    Forced consumption of food or drink.
  • Deliberate consumption of non-edible substances.
  • Vomiting a mouthful intentionally.
  • To eat and drink forgetting that one is fasting and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to eat and drink again.
  • Deliberate inhalation of perfumed smoke, cigarette smoke, vape, tobacco or similar substances.

What breaks the fast and makes both qada' and kaffarah (expiation) obligatory?
  • Intercourse (regardless of ejaculation) whilst being conscious of fasting.
  • Deliberate and intentional consumption of food or drink without valid reason (e.g. medical) whilst being conscious of fasting.
What does not break the fast?
  • Consumption of food or drink or intercourse absent-mindedly in the state that one had forgotten they were fasting.
  • Nocturnal emission.
  • Gargling with water unless it passes the throat.
  • Washing the rear private part unless water passes into the cavity.
  • Unintentionally swallowing food stuck in the mouth smaller than a chickpea, as long as it wasn't taken out first.
  • Unintentionally vomiting.
    Accidental consumption of non-edible substances.
How do I carry out kaffarah?
  • Expiation of a deliberately broken fast is carried out by fasting sixty days perpetually.
  • This must be done outside of Ramadan and not be broken in between with days that it is impermissible to fast (Eid days and the Days of Nahr).
  • If one is not able to do this, they can feed sixty people a meal twice a day in lieu (or its value in cash).
Which medication can I take when fasting?
  • Any medicine administered orally, nasally or through private parts negates the fast.
  • Any medicine required to be be administered intravenously, eye drops, or ear drops does not break the fast.
When does the fast start?
  • The fast begins at true dawn (subh sadiq). This is when the first light is seen across the horizon. This is the same time which Fajr salah starts.
When does the fast end?
  • The fast ends when the sun finishes setting. This is the same time which Maghrib salah starts.
Who can delay the fast and make it up after Ramadan?
  • The ill person who hopes to recover.
  • The traveller (outside 48/55 mile radius of his home for less than 14 days in one place).
  • Menstruating women or women experiencing post-childbirth bleeding.
  • Heavily pregnant women.
Is intention necessary?
  • Yes, for obligatory fasts, making intention is necessary for the fast to be considered valid. There is no specific verbal supplication, and the intention can be made in one's heart.
  • The time is from Maghrib of the previous day until the middle of the current day.
What and how much is Sadaqah Al-Fitr?
  • Sadaqah Al-Fitr is a charity obligatory to be paid before Eid Salah on Eid Al-Fitr as a form of expiation for shortcomings in the fasts and a source of joy for the poor on Eid day.
  • It is equated to a full sa' of any foodstuff (e.g. barley or dates). One sa' is approximately 3.2 kg.
Who is Sadaqah Al-Fitr obligatory on?
  • The owner of nisab (minimum threshold for zakah) must pay on their own behalf as well as on behalf of any prepubescent children.
What is the expiatory payment (fidyah)?
  • A very elderly or terminally ill person must make an expiatory payment for each obligatory fast they miss in Ramadan.
  • The amount required to be donated is a half sa' of wheat or a full sa' of barley. One sa' is approximately 3.2 kg.
  • If the person recovers, they must make qada of the missed fasts even if they have paid the fidyah.

This is a non-exhaustive list. Please contact the imams and 'ulama' for further clarification.