Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
When I was younger, I masturbated while fasting in Ramadan and might have entered into a janaba from madhy or maniy. I was not aware of having to perform a ritual bath for purity. I am scared my entire Ramadan was not counted or that I recited Qur’an and prayed while in janabah. I also think paying a kaffara will expose my sins to my family, which I don’t want. When I was 11 or 12, after puberty, I would purposefully break my fasts out of hunger. How do I deal with this again without exposing my sins? My past is haunting me, and I want to rectify my mistakes privately. I have repented, but my heart is very discomforted.
Thank you for your question. In sha’ Allah, nothing will be exposed to your family, and you can take care of any problems from the past privately.
Madhy While Fasting
Arousal fluid that exits while fasting does not nullify the fast. However, it does need to be washed away, and ablution (wudu) does need to be renewed in order to pray. Figure out what the fluid was and try to estimate how many prayers might have been affected after you were pubescent. After you calculate them, you must make them up.
Masturbation While Fasting
Masturbating does break the fast, even if done out of ignorance of its prohibition during the day of Ramadan. However, expiation is not due, and the fasts must be made up. Look at your past and make a distinction between the days that you masturbated and the days that you did not masturbate but found only arousal fluid (madhy).
Expiations in our school are only owed for intercourse while fasting Ramadan. See the details in the links to the fasting guide below.
Eating While Fasting
As for eating while fasting, you were pubescent, and you must make up the fasts. You don’t owe expiation for them, but you owe fidya if it’s not difficult for you to pay it. Start fasting twice a week, and intend to make them up over the year. You don’t need to explain to anyone why you are fasting, you can tell them that they are sunna fasts in order to hide your sins, or you can tell them that you are making them up for days that you were not feeling well in Ramadan, or days when you were menstruating during Ramadan.
If you can calculate how many fast days you missed, and for what reason, you should write back to us and we can help calculate if you owe any fidya (payment to the poor) for having delayed making up your fasts beyond the last Ramadan. You may not owe it at all.
See this link for a complete guide to fasting: The Fiqh of Fasting Ramadan According to the School of Imam Shafi‘i
Allah tells us not to despair of His mercy because of our sins. Allah has told us in these very merciful words, “Say, (O Prophet, that Allah says,) ‘O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful (…).’” [Quran, 39:53]
Repent sincerely, transform yourself, gain correct knowledge about your worship, and leave the rest up to Allah.
Please see this link about sincere repentance: What Are the Conditions of Making Tawba?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[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, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.