Feeding People to Expiate For a Corrupted Fast

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Question:  If I intentionally corrupted a Ramadan fast, can I feed 60 people 2 meals instead fasting for 2 consecutive months?


Answer:   1. No. If the fast was broken in a way that requires expiation, then for who are able to fast (and being able to fast during Ramadan is a clear sign of ability) they cannot simply feed as expiation.


2. It is recommended to do one’s makeup fasts first, because they are obligatory (fard) whereas the expiation is necessary (wajib). [Durr al-Muntaqa]


Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Fasting on One’s Birthday

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Question :What is the ruling for commemorating one’s birthday by fasting on it (like the Prophet Allah bless him and give him peace is reported to have done)?


Answer: It is mentioned in several works that simply commemorating one’s day of birth is not blameworthy, if it is done in a way that is related to remembering and giving thanks for the blessings of Allah Most High. However, the closer such celebration comes to the ways of the unbelievers, the more disliked it would be, especially if one seeks to imitate or be like them, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever loves a people is of them.”



Faraz Rabbani

Making of Missed Fast

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I missed some fasts because I was breastfeeding. I was not able to make them up before the next Ramadan because I was still breastfeeding. Do I need to pay an expiation because I have not made them up before the next Ramadan?



Answer:   By clear texts of the Qur’an and Sunna, and consensus of the scholars, it would be obligatory to make up those missed fasts–gradually, without undergoing hardship.


In the Hanafi school, a nursing woman unable to fast is obligated to make up the missed days, but does not have to give any type of expiation (fidya). [Ibn Abidin/Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar].


In general, no expiation is needed for delaying making up one’s unperformed fasts until the next Ramadan comes in.


This is because it is not obligatory to make up one’s fasts immediately. [Halabi, Multaqa al-Abhur; Marghinani, al-Hidaya]. It is, however, recommended to make up one’s fasts as soon as possible, in order to clear one’s debt to Allah. [Shaykh Zada, Majma` al-Anhur Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur, 1.250; Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir, 2.354-355]


The reason it is not obligatory to make up one’s fasts immediately is because Allah’s command, namely His saying, “…and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (then fast the same) number of other days” [Qur’an, 2.185], is unconditioned, and the purport of unconditioned texts is decisive until another decisive text conditions it. [Mahbubi, al-Tawdih; Marghinani/Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir Sharh al-Hidaya, 2.354-355]


Thus, all we have been commanded to do is to fast any same “number of other days” to clear our debt.


However, one should be careful because if one dies without having taking reasonable means to make up the fasts–such that one’s delay was unexcusable–then one would be considered sinful. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar] One should keep track of unmade-up fasts and make arrangements for expiation payments to be given from the discretionary third of one’s wealth upon death, in case one dies unexpectedly, as death is wont to happen.



Faraz Rabbani

Do I Complete My Fast On the Day My Menstruation Starts?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question : Is it true that if I get my period during the day, then I still have to complete my fast (even though I still have to make it up in the future)? What if I have ‘broken’ my fast in the past once my period started, ignorant about this ruling?

Answer : No.

It is necessary (wajib) to abstain for the rest of the day from food, drink, and sexual activity in the opposite case: if one was not fasting (e.g. because of menstruation or travel) and then the reason not to fast ends (e.g. one’s period ended, or one became resident). Not abstaining would be sinful, requiring repentance but not expiation.

In the case mentioned, when one’s period starts after one began fasting, it would not be permitted to continue fasting the rest of the day, and doing so would be sinful.

[Maraqi al-Falah; Hindiyya]

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Could You Please List All the Nullifiers of Ablution According to the Hanafi school?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question : Could you please list all the nullifiers of ablution according to the Hanafi school? What about touching non-mahram women directly?

Answer : It is stated in Gifts of Guidance (‘al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya), of Allama Ala’ al-Din Abidin:

Ritual ablution (wudu) is nullified by:

1. Anything that exits from the private parts, even if it not customary such as a worm or stones.
2. The flowing of any ritually impure substance (f: such as blood or pus) from a wound (f: or other opening) to any place that requires cleaning (f: i.e. it flowed beyond its point of exit), or if it came out with enough force to flow (f: but was prevent from flowing because it was wiped or absorbed by a bandage).
3. Vomit that is a mouthful, such that one would not have been able to keep it in without difficulty, except if it is just phlegm. Vomit that is from the same motion (ghathayan) is considered together when determining whether it is a mouthful or not.
4. Blood (B: from the mouth or throat) that overcomes one’s saliva or equals it (f: if closer to red, wudu is invalidated; if closer to yellow, it is not).
5. The sleep of one whose rear is not firmly seated. As for the one whose rear is firmly seated, his ablution is not nullified by sleep, even if leaning against something in a way that if it were removed he would fall.
6. Loss of consciousness.
7. Madness.
8. Drunkedness.
9. The laughter of an aware adult person a prayer that contains bowing and prostration, even for the one praying by head motions alone. If the laughter occurs after the tashahhud, the ablution is nullified, though not the prayer. If you laugh such that only you could hear it, then it does not invalidate your wudu but does invalidate your prayer.
10. (Direct contact between an erect penis and the vagina of a desirable woman.

[Gifts of Guidance, unpublished translation, © Faraz Rabbani, 2002]

As for touching a female, it does not invalidate wudu. However, it is recommended to renew one’s wudu, to get out of the difference of opinion of the Shafi`is, especially if one will lead others in prayer where Shafi`is are likely to be present.This is in terms of wudu. As for voluntarily touching a stranger (i.e. non-mahram other than one’s spouse) of the other gender, this is sinful and unlawful because of the clear hadiths interdicting this.The Messenger of Allah said: “It would be better for one of you to have himself stabbed on the head with an iron nail than to touch a non-mahram woman.” (al-Tabarani, with a sound chain of narrators)

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani.

When Does Bleeding Nullify the Ritual Ablution?


Answered by : Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question :   When does bleeding nullify the ritual ablution? What about bleeding from the nose? How do we tell whether the blood “flowed” or not and would this blood be considered pure or filthy?

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Answer : The condition for blood [or other impure substances such as pus] to invalidate one’s ritual ablution (wudu) is that they:

a) exit the body; and

b) flow past the point of exit, actually or effective (such that if left unwiped, it would have flowed);

Further, anything that invalidates ritual ablution (wudu) is impure. [Multaqa al-Abhur] That which exits from the body without invalidating wudu is not impure, such as blood that appeared on the body surface but did not flow past the point of exit. [Multaqa al-Abhur, Tanwir al-Absar]


When blood flows down to the nose – even if only to the bony upper part – one’s wudu is broken. [Bada’i` (1.26), Hindiyya (1.11) quoting al-Muhit, Radd al-Muhtar (1.134) quoting Fath al-Qadir of Ibn al-Humam and al-Bahr al-Ra’iq of Ibn Nujaym]

However, if a clot of blood is found in the nose, it does not break one’s wudu. [ibid]

As for blood that comes out when blowing one’s nose:

a) if from a flowing wound in the nose, it breaks wudu;

b) if it flowed down into the nose, it breaks wudu;

c) if one sneezes and a clot of blood comes out, wudu is not broken—in order to break wudu, the blood needs to have flowed;

d) if one puts a finger into one’s nose, blood found on the finger will not break wudu, unless it was such that one is reasonably sure that it had flowed.

Faraz Rabbani

Does Vomiting Break the Ritual Ablution?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question : Does vomiting break the ritual ablution? Further, is it considered filthy and is the same ruling of filth applied to a baby’s vomit?

Answer : 1. Vomit, including baby vomit, is only considered filthy if it is more than a mouthful, with a mouthful being defined as that which the mouth (of the one vomiting) would not be able to hold in without undue difficulty.

Imam `Ala’ al-Din al-Haskafi stated in his Durr al-Mukhtar Sharh Tanwir al-Absar, the most important commentary in Hanafi fiqh for relied upon rulings and all the conditions and details related to them, and amazing in its conciseness:

“(And) wudu is nullified (by vomit that fills the mouth) such that it could only be kept in with difficulty.”

This was confirmed by Ibn Abidin in his Radd al-Muhtar, where he cited several authorities who chose this definition.

 2. If the baby vomits more than a mouthful, and it gets on the clothes, note that a small amount of it is excused for the purposes of prayer.

It is recommended, whenever reasonably possible to remove such an amount before one prays, but if one does not remove it the prayer is still valid. It is neither blameworthy nor sinful not to remove a small amount of filth before prayer, though one would have left that which is best. This is a great dispensation for many, especially mothers with small children.

The amount excused is the equivalent of about 4 or 5 grams of solid filth, or the extent of the area of the inner palm (around 5 cm in diameter) for liquid filth. Note that it is not needed to measure this; one’s judgement is enough. Eventually, of course, one needs to remove the filth, so it does not spread…


[ref: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]


And Allah knows best.

Faraz Rabbani.



Beyond Hijab: Modesty Amongst Women in Islam

In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gives advice on reframing the question of Hijab from one of form (clothing) to one of essence (modesty) by using the Prophetic example and the example of the best of women: Khadijah, Fatima, Maryam, A’isha, and Asiya (May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) be pleased with them all).

Download Options:

(1) Download this talk here. (right click and “save”)


(2) Download podcasts directly onto your iPod by going to Seekers Guidance Islamic Knowledge Podcasts

10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

In this brief podcast, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani provides 10 genuinely useful tips on gaining and retaining a firm grasp of your knowledge of fiqh. Listen to it now.

See also:

“From knowing nothing to becoming a student of knowledge”
Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge

Habib Umar’s Advice to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Áwwamah’s advice for Students of Sacred Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge