Is Expiation Required If One Eats Assuming the Fast Was Broken after Vomiting?

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

Last Ramadan while in a car, I vomited more than a mouthful due to nausea. I didn’t try to hold it in, but there was debris in my mouth and throat. I spit out as much as possible in a bag. I did not rinse my mouth with water. I thought my fast was broken from vomit so I drank the juice I was given to clear my mouth. For the rest of the day, I didn’t eat or drink.

Later I tried to read about fasting again and I fear that I broke my fast by drinking. Since I didn’t wash my mouth, I would have also swallowed some traces of vomit when I drank the juice.

In this situation do I need to do kaffara?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

No, you don’t need to perform an expiation (kaffara) after eating voluntarily thinking that vomiting a mouthful unwillingly has broken your fast. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The reason for this ruling is that it is excusable to believe that vomiting a mouthful unwillingly breaks a fast because this mistake is based on legal confusion (shubha sharia).  Indeed it is very easy to think for someone unlearned that to vomit willingly a mouthful and to vomit unwillingly a mouthful both break the fast based on the fact that the two situations are very similar. Thus it is excused and no kaffara is due. [Ibid]

Nonetheless, the truth is that vomiting willingly a mouthful breaks the fast. Vomiting unwillingly a mouthful doesn’t. As for someone aware of this difference, there is no excuse to eat after vomiting unwillingly and a kaffara will be due upon him. [Ibid]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “To vomit unwillingly does not entail to make up the fast. To vomit willingly entails to make up the fast.” [Tirmidhi]

And Allah knows best.
Wassalam

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.