Ramadan Day 2: 7 reasons your fast may become invalid

Ramadan Day 2: 7 reasons your fast may become invalid

Editor’s note: During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise, many Muslims have the Suhoor or a predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast.

In this piece, Legit.ng examines seven things that can invalidate your fast.

In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful, whoever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray and whoever Allah sends astray, no one can guide him.

Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the best guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah give him peace and bless him), and the most evil matters are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hell fire. May Allah save us from the torment of Hell fire, (Aameen).

Allaah has prescribed fasting in accordance with the highest wisdom. He has commanded the fasting person to fast in a moderate manner, so he should not harm himself by fasting or consume anything that will invalidate the fast.

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There are seven things that break the fast, these include:

1. Intercourse

This is the most serious and the most sinful of the things that invalidate the fast. Whoever has intercourse during the day in Ramadan deliberately and of his or her own free will, in which the two circumcised parts meet and the tip of the penis disappears in either of the two passages, has invalidated his fast, whether he releases sem*n or not.

He has to repent, complete that day (i.e., not eat or drink until sunset), make up that day’s fast later on and offer a severe expiation. The evidence for that is the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allaah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?”

He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadaan.” He said, “Can you free a slave?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”… Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1936; Muslim, 1111.

No expiation is required for any of the things that break the fast apart from intercourse.

2. Ma.sturbation

This means causing eja.culation or climax by using the hand etc. The evidence that mast.urbation is one of the things that invalidate the fast is the words of Allaah in the hadeeth qudsi in which He says of the fasting person: “He gives up his food and drink and desire for My sake.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim, 1151. Causing eja.culation comes under the heading of the desire which the fasting person gives up.

Whoever mas.turbates during the day in Ramadaan has to repent to Allaah and refrain from eating and drinking for the rest of the day, and he has to make up that fast later on.

If he starts to mas.turbate then stops without eja.culating, he has to repent, but his fast is still valid, and he does not have to make it up later because he did not eja.culate. The fasting person should keep away from everything that provokes desire and shun bad thoughts.

With regard to the emission of madhiy (prostatic fluid), the most correct view is that it does not invalidate the fast.

3. Eating and drinking

This refers to food or drink reaching the stomach via the mouth. If anything reaches the stomach via the nose, this is like eating or drinking.

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Snuff up water deeply into the nose (when doing wudoo’), except when you are fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 788.

''If water reaching the stomach via the nose did not invalidate the fast, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have told those who are fasting not to snuff up water deeply into the nose.

4. Anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking

The fourth of the things that invalidate the fast is anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking

This includes two things:

1. Transfusion of blood to one who is fasting – such as if he bleeds heavily and is given a blood transfusion. This invalidates the fast because blood is formed from food and drink.

2. Receiving via a needle (as in the case of a drip) nourishing substances which take the place of food and drink, because this is the same as food and drink. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p/ 70.

With regard to injections which do not replace food and drink, rather they are administered for the purpose of medical treatment – such as penicillin or insulin – or are given to energize the body, or for the purpose of vaccinations, these do not affect the fast, whether they are intravenous or intramuscular (injected into a vein or a muscle). Fataawa Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem, 4/189. But to be on the safe side, these injections may be given at night.

Kidney dialysis, in which blood is extracted, cleaned and then returned to the body with the additional of chemical substances such as sugars and salts etc. is regarded as invalidating the fast. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/

5. Letting blood by means of cupping and the like

Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2367; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2047.

Donating blood comes under the same heading as cupping, because it affects the body in the same way.

Based on this, it is not permissible for a person who is fasting to donate blood unless it is essential, in which case it is permissible. In that case the donor has broken his fast and must make up that day later on. Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p. 71

If a person suffers a nosebleed, his fast is valid, because that happened involuntarily. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/264

With regard to bleeding that results from extraction of a tooth, surgery or a blood test etc., that does not invalidate the fast because it is not cupping or something that is similar to cupping, unless it has an effect on the body similar to that of cupping.

6. Vomiting deliberately

Deliberate vomiting invalidate fast because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 720, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 577.

Ibn al-Mundhir said: ''The scholars are agreed that the fast of one who vomits deliberately is invalidated.'' Al-Mughni, 4/368.

Whoever vomits deliberately by sticking his finger in his throat, pressing his stomach, deliberately smelling something nasty or persisting in looking at something that makes him vomit, has to make up his fast later on.

If his gorge rises, he should not suppress it, because that will harm him. Majaalis Sharh Ramadaan, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, p. 71.

7. Menstruation and nifaas

The seventh of the things that invalidate the fast is the blood of menses and nifaas because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when she gets her period, she does not pray or fast?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 304.

When a woman sees the blood of her period or nifaas (post-partum bleeding), her fast becomes invalid even if that is one moment before sunset.

If a woman feels that her period has started but no blood comes out until after sunset, her fast is still valid.

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If the bleeding of a woman who is menstruating or in nifaas ceases at night and she has the intention of fasting, then dawn comes before she does ghusl, the view of all the scholars is that her fast is valid. Al-Fath, 4/148.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously examined 11 reasons Ramadan is prescribed for all Muslims by Allah, the Ever living.

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