The Scholar Who Worked as a Waiter

Breaking Fast without Knowing the Rules

Hanafi Fiqh

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about making up broken fasts.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I had a question related to how I can make up missed fasts.  I’ve always fasted since I’ve hit puberty.  But due to an increased sexual desire when I was a youth, I often masturbated while fasting and there were times that I ejaculated. At the time I didn’t know that this invalidated the fast.

When I learned that this in fact does invalidate your fast, I began calculating and realized that there are perhaps hundreds of fasts that I might have invalidated unknowingly while under the impression that I was in fact fasting.

My question is, how do I make up these fasts? Am I required to fast 60 days for each missed fast? I certainly will not be able to do that because of the sheer number of fasts that I’ve invalidated. Your guidance on the subject will be much appreciated.

PS: I’m a Hanafi.

I pray you are well.

Making Up Fasts

Masturbating only breaks one’s fast if there is ejaculation. If this happened during a fast in Ramadan one would only have to make up the fast, as is the case with any other fast. No expiation (kaffara) is required. You should make a good guess about the number of fasts which need to be made up, and do so. Winter is perfect for making up fasts due to the shorter days. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah)


Due to His infinite mercy, Allah has made repentance after a sin a means for us to draw closer to Him, just as He has made good deeds an avenue for that too. In fact, repentance is one of the acts which people who Allah loves has: “Indeed Allah loves the frequent repenters, and He loves those who purify [themselves].” (Sura al-Baqara 2:222) Turn to Him – especially when you are about to break a fast at sunset – and you’ll see wonders.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.