What Should I Do If I Broke My Fast Intentionally?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

1) When I was about 15 years old, I purposely ate even though I was fasting in Ramadan. Straight away I regretted it. I made up this one fast recently and repented, what else do I need to do?

2) Also, a few times, I put drops inside my ear whilst fasting. I have already made up for those fasts but what else do I need to do?

3) I also didn’t know masturbating and ejaculating breaks your fast, although it is sinful. I made up for those fasts, is there anything else I need to do?

4) Also, does hurting people’s feelings break your fast? 

5) Does having a steamy conversation with one’s fiance break the fast?

Answer

May Allah reward you for turning your life around and practicing your religion. I empathize with your bad experiences from childhood at school and Islamic school. 

By the grace of Allah you have been able to see the beauty of Islam despite the aggression of Muslims. Sometimes Muslims do what they do because of bad habits, culture or because they don’t know any better. May Allah continue to guide you to see the light through the darkness.

1-2) In the Shafi’i school, eating on purpose during a fast in Ramadan invalidates the fast and requires you to fast the remainder of the day, and to make up the fast. [Keller, Reliance]

Since you have already made up the fast, you should repent to Allah, asking forgiveness for deliberately invalidating the fast and intend never to repeat it. The same ruling applies to the fast-days where you put drops in your ear. [ibid]

3) Deliberately causing oneself to ejaculate by masturbation, even if one was ignorant that it invalidates the fast, still invalidates the fast. You have already made up that fast, but you should still repent for the action, intending never to repeat it. 

In the Shafi’i school, an expiation (kaffara) is only required for invalidating the fast through lovemaking while remembering one is fasting.

4) Hurting someone’s feelings while fasting is not the correct etiquette of Ramadan. Fasting is a time for self-discipline and inner reflection, not causing harm. Lying, and backbiting in particular, during a fast nullify its reward completely even though the fast remains valid. [The Fiqh of Fasting Ramadan According to the School of Imam Shafi’i – linked below]

5) As for having a steamy conversation with one’s fiance, it is not permissible to do this at all without a marriage contract (nikah). It is certainly not of the etiquette of Ramadan either. Even kissing and touching one’s spouse is generally best to avoid during fasting hours, as one is meant to leave all desires during the day.

The ruling is as follows. “Looking at something or thinking about something which brings about ejaculation (without touching skin) – does not break the fast, even if repeatedly done intentionally (and even if the thing being watched or thought about is haram – which itself is a major sin). However, a very strong opinion in our school, and one which should be taken seriously, holds that if one knows that it will result in emission and does ejaculate – the fast is nullified, he must observe imsak (s. fast the remainder of the day), and must make up the day. [The Fiqh of Fasting Ramadan According to the School of Imam Shafi’i – linked below]

Please see the following link for more information:

When Is Expiation Required For A Fast?
The Fiqh of Fasting Ramadan According to the School of Imam Shafi’i

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad 
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.