Delaying an Expiation Fast

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if it is sinful to delay an expiation fast for breaking an oath.

Is it sinful to delay fast for an oath expiation?

Yes, it is considered to be religiously sinful to delay the mandatory expiation (kaffara) of a nullified oath (yamin), unless you have a reasonable excuse to do so, such as being too poor to make the payment and too sick to fast.

The general basis with duties is that they are to be taken care of as soon as reasonably possible and without undue delay, except if you have a reasonable excuse to do the contrary. At the very least, you should include the expiation (kaffara), in this case, in a document containing any other unfulfilled duties which you owe to Allah Most High.

Allah Most High said, “And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful of Allah.” (Sura Aal ‘Imran 3:133) The divine injunction here is to rush to that by which you will attain unto forgiveness, such as by fulfilling your duties (wajibat).

Note that if there is an undue delay, you should repent for your error.

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see How to Expiate a Broken Oath? and A Reader on Tawba (Repentance).

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Fasting while Using Contraceptive Implant

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about fasting while using a contraceptive implant.

If one has a contraceptive implant fitted into their arm, are the fasts they keep legally valid?

Yes, your fasts are legally valid whilst you have a contraceptive implant in your arm. This is because there is no entry of a substance into your digestive system from a cavity or orifice of consequence. Such entry is required for the legal nullification of your fast.

Please also see The Complete Guide to Fasting.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Breaking Fast without Knowing the Rules

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

Question:

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)

Repenting 

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.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Why Did the Prophet Fast on the White Days of the Month?

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked about the significance, virtues, and blessings, of fasting on the white days of each month.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I was wondering why the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, fasted on the white days of each month? Was there a specific logic behind these particular days? I’ve heard a lot about how the moon affects our moods and I was wondering if this had anything to do with why these days were chosen?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I hope you’re well insha Allah.

The white days of the month refer to 13th, 14th and 15th of each lunar month, when the moon is at its fullest and most luminous.

Fasting on these days (al ayam al beed) is an established sunna, mentioned in various ahadith such as, “If you fast three days of the month, then fast the 13th, 14th and 15th.” (Tirmidhi), and the words of Ibn Abbas, “The Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, did not fail to fast the white days either when at home or on a journey.” (Nasa’i)

Reward of a Lifetime

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, informed us that fasting three days a month yields the rewards of fasting the whole month, “because for every good deed you will have [the reward of] ten like it, so that will be like fasting for a lifetime.” (Bukhari, Muslim) Each day earns 10 rewards, thus htree days equals thirty days reward. Thirty days being the maximum days of a lunar month. If one does this every month for twelve months, then they are rewarded for a whole year, and if they do this every year, then it is as if they fasted every year of their life.

While this reward can be achieved by fasting any three days of the month, the Prophet, blessing and peace be upon him, specifically mentioned this rewards alongside the sunna of fasting on the white days, as if indicating to the optimal combination of the general three days with the three white days, “Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and the shining days of whiteness, the 13th, 14th and 15th.” (Nasa’i)

The Lunar Effect

The word lunacy originates from the Latin “lunaticus,” meaning “of the moon,” and has long been associated with mental health. Aristotle is said to have held that the brain was the “moistest” organ in the body and thereby most susceptible to the influences of the moon, which triggers the tides.

Though scientific evidence is inconclusive, the gravitational hypothesis holds that the moon’s gravitational pull has the power to affect animal feelings and behavior, as animal physiology (particularly bodily fluids) are subject to seasonal, lunar, and circadian rhythms. Moonlight itself may have effects on the human physiology.

Some studies have shown that the lunar cycle has a particular impact on human reproduction, specifically fertility, menstruation, and birth rate. During the full moon, it is said that the lunar effect decreases sleep quality and diminishes melatonin levels. Animal studies reveal that the lunar cycle may affect hormonal changes.

The Lunar Effect and the White Days

Fasting in general certainly has many positive health benefits, among them harmonizing hormonal imbalances and lowering blood pressure and sugar levels. Given that the lunar effect theory maintains that bodily fluids and secretions are subject to increase and decrease during the full moon phase, fasting during these days makes sense.

However, there does not seem to be any textual reference to the wisdom or reasons behind fasting on the white days, therefore, it is not possible to say with any certainty whether the lunar effect is part of the wisdom or consideration behind the sunna of fasting on these days.

All good wishes and warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Invalid Ghusl, Prayer, and the Fast

Shaykh Abdul Rahim Reasat is asked about the conditions of a valid ghusl and if not having a valid ghusl invalidates the fast.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I got my first period when I was around ten years old. I was told that I would have to take a bath once it was over in order to uplift the impurity, but I was never taught the proper steps involved in the ghusl. I simply continued taking a bath for many, many years and thought that I had become pure.

Just recently came to know that what I was doing was completely wrong, and it’s really made me upset knowing that I prayed and fasted many Ramadans in a state of impurity.

My question is that, in addition to making up the missed prayers, do I have to make up all the fasts of Ramadan, too?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Purity is simple.

A valid ghusl is very simple. All a person has to do is rinse the mouth and nose, and make water flow over the rest of the body. There is very little to do to render it invalid.

If you submit another question with the reason why you think your ghusls have been invalid, it may be the case that they were valid – if not in the Hanafi school, then perhaps in another.

If the ghusls were indeed invalid then you would have to repeat all the prayers that were performed invalidly, but not the fasts. Purity is not a condition for the validity of a fast. (Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah).

If they were invalid, see it as it being better for you to realize it in this world, so you can have the reward of compensating for this deficiency, and as a means for you to draw closer to Allah.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Was My Fast Valid?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalamu alaykum

On the last day of Rajab, I was fasting. When I woke up in the morning, I checked the time for Fajr, but what I didn’t know was I was checking the Iqamah time, not the Azaan time. So, by the will of Allah, I unknowingly started eating on the Azaan time (4:12) and ended on 4:17. I then prayed afterwards. Does my fast count if I didn’t know that I had the wrong time?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

From your explanation, it appears that you intended to fast but mistakenly ate after the entrance of Fajr. According to Islamic Sacred Law, the fast begins at the beginning of Fajr time (Azan time) and all eating/drinking must cease before then. Continuing to eat/drink after this time, even if done by mistake, invalidates one’s fast.

Do not confuse the situation you described with what’s mentioned in the following hadith:

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ أَكَلَ نَاسِيًا وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ فَلْيُتِمَّ صَوْمَهُ فَإِنَّمَا أَطْعَمَهُ اللَّهُ وَسَقَاهُ (رواه البخاري)

“Whoever eats forgetfully while fasting, let him complete his fast. For verily it is only Allah who has fed him and given him drink” (Bukhari).

The situation described in the hadith above refers to a fasting person who completely forgets that he is fasting. This may happen because, unlike the prayer, the fast extends throughout the day and has no special posture required. Hence, it’s conceivable that a fasting person might completely forget that he’s fasting, and in that case, eating/drinking is forgiven (i.e. does not break the fast). However, in your situation, you ate mistakenly, not forgetfully. That is, you knew that you were supposed to fast, but you errred in the timing. This invalidates the fast (source: Maraqi al-Falah).

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Umer Mian

Can I Donate the Reward of a Voluntary Fast to Another Person?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

In addition to making dua for a loved one when they have a specific need, can I fast for that person with the intention of having his/her need fulfilled? For instance – Can I make an intention like the following: “I intend to fast for my child until his/her exams day”?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, it is permissible to donate the reward of a voluntary fast to another person, and in this case, your child. You can fast with the intention of fulfilling another’s need as it can be considered a form of supplication (du‘a) for another. Many traditions (ahadith) affirm the permission to donate reward to another.

[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Qari, al-Maslak al-Mutaqassit]

Please also see this answer.

And Allah Most High knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Can I Eat During the Day While Having My Menses in Ramadan?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Some scholars say that it is permissible for a woman to eat and drink if she gets menses during fasting but some scholars say that if a woman gets menses while fasting she should not eat and drink until the fast opens. Could you clarify?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well. Thank you for you question.

There are two rulings regarding eating and menstruation:

1. If a lady starts a day fasting and then her menstrual cycle starts before sunset, she should eat, as this means that the fast of the day does not count. She does not need to imitate those who are fasting, because the ruling of fasting does not apply to a lady who is menstruating or someone has post-natal bleeding. She should eat discreetly though, and not publicly.

2. If a lady’s menstrual cycle ends in Ramadan before sunset, she cannot eat until sunset. This is because when the cycle ended she entered into a state in which the rulings of fasting applies to her, but she cannot fast that day, so out of the reverence due to the month she cannot eat until sunset. The same ruling applies to someone who was not fasting because he was travelling; if he reaches home before sunset, he cannot eat until sunset for the same reason.

(Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

I hope that clarifies matters for you.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Can a Soldier Postpone His Ramadan Fast?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

If a soldier is in tight schedule of training, and fasting may cause harm to his health, is it allowed by Islam to not fast during Ramadan?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

In general every Muslim is obligated to fast the month of Ramadan due to the clear common in the Qurʾan, ‘Whoever of you sees the month [Ramadan] then he should fast’ (2:185). Based on this and other sources, the jurists of the Hanafi school have stated that if the intensity of a particular job means that someone will not be able to fast, then he must reduce his workload if possible, or otherwise find an alternative form of employment.

If there is no other job he can go into then can delay the fasts to another time of the year when it will be easier to perform them, such as winter, or when he has time off. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

Allah knows best

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

How Should I Clean Myself in the Toilet During Ramadan?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How should I clean myself in the toilet during Ramadan in order to avoid breaking my fast?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You should clean yourself as you do when you are not fasting and stop worrying about water entering the rear passage.

This is only a concern if something like a moist enema, which is usually the length of a finger, is inserted into the passage; or if someone suffers from haemorrhoids which cause some of the passage to come out whilst he is relieving himself. Someone suffering from this would simply wash himself and then dry the lump before it is pushed back in.

For anyone else performing istinjaʾ would not invalidate their fast (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.