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6. Things Which Break the fast


The things, which break the fast, are of two categories:

A. What requires Qada only:

1. Eating, drinking, smoking or taking any food substitutes such as receiving blood, glucose, or I.V. substance while being mindful of fasting.

2. To induce vomiting intentionally, the Prophet (peace be on him) said: "Whoever induced vomiting must make up for (the fast)." (Hakim and others).

3. Menstruation and post-partum bleeding. Even if the bleeding starts just before the sun sets, that day's fasting must be repeated.

4. Ejaculation, either by masturbation or any other method of ejaculating short of intercourse, whether the cause was kissing the wife, or hugging her, or by use of the hands, etc. This nullifies the fast but requires Qada only ( a day for a day once Ramadan is over).

B. What requires Qada and Kaffarah both:
As for that which requires both Qada (repeating) and Kaffarah (expiation), it is only sexual intercourse and nothing else, in the opinion of a great number of scholars. The expiation is to free a slave, or to fast two lunar months in succession without missing a day, or to feed sixty poor people. Some scholars say the obligation is in that order, i.e. first one should free a slave; then, if that 's not possible, to observe fast; then, if that's not possible to feed the poor.

Things Which Do Not Spoil The Fast:

* To eat or drink forgetfully or mistakenly, or due to another person's threats and compulsion. There is no necessity for Qadda or Kaffarah. The Prophet (peace be on him) said: "Whoever forgot while he was fasting and ate or drank he should complete his fast, for it was Allah Who fed him and he (peace be on him) said: "There is no harm as regards fasting if one is Junub even after dawn."

* The person, who is Junub (impure after sexual intercourse) and has delayed taking bath up to dawn, should observe fast. Similarly, the woman whose menstrual or labor bleeding has ceased to come before dawn and she delays in taking bath up to the dawn, she should also observe fast. The delay in taking bath up to the dawn to purify oneself from cultic impurity, is not prohibitive for fasting. However, one (he or she) should not delay oneself from purification up to sunrise; rather one (he or she) should purify oneself and pray Fajr Salat before sunrise.

Moreover, a man should be prompt enough in this regard so that he may join the congregation for Fajr Salat.

Narrated 'Aisha (May Allah bless her) and Umm Salama ( May Allah bless her): At times Allah's Messenger (peace be on him) used to get up in the morning in the state of Janaba after having sexual relations with his wives. He would then take a bath and observe Saum (fast). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith No.148, Vol.3)

One may embrace his wife while he is observing Saum (fast):

Narrated 'Aisha (May Allah bless her): The Prophet (peace be on him) used to kiss and embrace (his wives) while he was observing Saum (fast), and he had more power to control his desires than any of you.(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 149, Vol.3)

* Wet dreams or unintentional ejaculations do not break the fast.

* There are certain problems which some people face during their fasting like being wounded, or nose-bleeding, or vomiting or devouring water or petrol through his throat unintentionally; all these things do not vitiate fasting, and whoever vomits intentionally will vitiate his fasting: this is in line with the Hadith:

"Whoever vomits unintentionally, his fast is not disrupted, but whoever vomits intentionally, his fast is disrupted and he has to make it up.

Among the things, which do not disrupt fasting, are: Blood analysis and injection, if it (the injection) is not intended for (intravenous) feeding or nourishment. However, if possible, it is better to delay it (i.e. injection) till night. The Prophet (peace be on him) Said: "Leave whatever you doubt in, for that in which you do not doubt."

And the Prophet (peace be on him) also said: "Whoever guards himself against suspicion, saves his Faith and honour."

One can also take the shower or a bath while fasting. The application of Kuhl (surma), eye, ear, or nose drops do not break the fast; they are neither food nor substitute thereof.

* Wearing perfumes, using siwak or toothbrush without toothpaste do not break fast since it has been reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) practiced that.



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