What Should I Do after Committing Illicit Intercourse in Ramadan?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question

Please help me. I have committed a grave sin. I slept with my boyfriend on a day of Ramadan while we were both fasting and broke our fast. I wish to repent. What should I do? I’ve read that we both have to fast for 60 days straight or feed 60 poor. Is that true? If so, how do I fast for 60 days straight while having my menstrual cycles every 28 days? How do I repent? I feel so guilty and dirty.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Now is the time to turn wholeheartedly to Allah in regret and repentance. The first steps are already there: you have acknowledged that you committed major sins, namely fornication (zina) outside of marriage and breaking the fast through it during Ramadan. You also regret it deeply in your heart and have desisted from this sin completely.

Do not despair. Remember that Allah calls Himself the Most Merciful and Compassionate, the Oft-Forgiving, the Pardoner, and the One Who Accepts Repentance, not for ideal strong believers only but for His Muslim servants who commit these wrongs and are truly sorry. Allah Most High says in the Qur’an:

“Tell them: O My dear servants who have committed excesses against their very selves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins whatsoever. He is truly the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]

Resolve right now to never return to this sin again. This is part of true repentance.

You should also completely cut off the illicit relationship that led to this in the first place or make it lawful through marriage, whichever you deem is best for your situation. You have now seen firsthand what the devil and one’s desires can lead to, so you should take steps to prevent it from recurring by a total separation from temptation.

Sometimes, one may go through these sins as a means to change their lives and come to an even higher level of devotion afterward, so even in sin, sometimes there may be divine wisdom and mercy. Read the link below about repentance, and try to finish Ramadan on a new page with renewed devotion and strength.

What is Sincere Repentance? – SeekersGuidance

The Fast Broken through Intercourse in Ramadan

As for the broken fast, this will require the makeup of the fast after Ramadan (qada) and, after that, an expiratory penalty (kaffara) that is fasting sixty days in a row. This can be performed anytime in your life outside of Ramadan, in months during which the Eid holidays will not fall. The menstruating woman would take a break during her period and resume fasting immediately after it ends. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah). See the links below for more details:

How Does One Expiate for Intercourse during the Days of Ramadan? – SeekersGuidance
The Expiation (Kaffara) for Having Sex While Fasting – SeekersGuidance

[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.