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N.B. Rulings are given in accordance with the Hanafi school of thought

Ramadan FAQ’s - General

Q- Does smoking invalidate the fast?

A: Smoking nullifies the fast. Both Qadhaa and Kaffarah become Waajib.


Q- Is it permissible to apply oil to the head whilst fasting?

A. It is permissible to apply oil to the head. The fast will not be nullified. (Fataawa Raheemiya)


Q- I am writing exams during Ramadhan and find it difficult to concentrate whilst hungry. Can I delay my fast until after Ramadhan?

A. It is not permissible to delay the fasts in this instance. You may however consider delaying the exams which in many instances is not impossible. Keep your fast and pray to Allah Ta'ala to make it easy for you. (Fataawa Raheemiya Vol. 2. pg 34)


Q- If I have a wet dream whilst fasting is my fast still valid?

A. Yes, the fast is still valid. However, when gargling the mouth or cleaning the nose during the Ghusl one should be careful not to allow the water to go down the throat or above the nasal bone. (Shaami)


Q- Is swimming permissible whilst fasting?

A. It is not advisable to swim whilst fasting. If water is swallowed by mistake or enters through the nose and goes beyond the nasal bone, reaching the nasal cavity the fast will break and a qadha will have to be kept. (Tahtaawi Alaa Maraaqil Falaah, pg. 672)


 

Q- How can we compensate for the fasts and Salah we missed many years ago?

A- Qadha should be made for the fasts and Salahs missed over the years. If the fast was broken intentionally without a valid reason after commencing it, then this would necessitate fulfilling the Kaffaara as well.


Q- In what way is a Kaffaarah fulfilled?

A: A Kaffaarah may be given in the following two ways:
1) Fasting for two months consecutively without missing a single fast,
2) Feeding sixty poor people.
It should be remembered that if one has the ability to fast then one cannot adopt the second method; rather, one will have to fast for sixty days continuously.


Q- If one is fasting and sprays perfume on oneself and accidentally inhales some of the perfume, will it break the fast? Will Qadha have to be made?

A. One’s fast does not break by applying or smelling fragrance provided one does not inhale the actual liquid. As such, it is permitted to apply perfume (itr), deodorant, or sprays whilst in the state of fasting. However, if one was to intentionally inhale something that has a perceptible body, such as smoke (like the smoke of lobaan, aghar batti, Oudh etc.), then one’s fast would become invalid.


Q- Can one take bath after Sehri, to be cleared from the state of Janaabat (requiring a Fardh Ghusal)?

A. It is not advisable to unnecessarily delay the Fardh Ghusal. However, due to time constraints, if one requires to have the Sehri and delay the Ghusl to after the time of Sehri ends, it is permissible to do so. It is preferable to at least gargle the mouth and put water in the nose before the Sehri time expires.


Q- What is the status of Sehri in Ramadhan?

A- Sehri is a Sunnah practice. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is reported to have said, "Partake of Sehri, for verily there is barakah (blessings) in Sehri." (Bukhari and Muslim) Notwithstanding this, the fast is valid without Sehri.


Q- If one bites his or her nails whilst fasting, does it break the fast?

A- Biting the nails, irrespective of whether one is fasting or not is a reprehensible act. Hence, it must be refrained from. Nevertheless, biting the nails in itself does not break the fast, although swallowing them would break the fast.


Q- A person experienced a wet dream whilst in the condition of fasting. During Ghusl, at the time of gargling the mouth, he did not intensely gargle the mouth. Also when cleaning the nose, he did not cause the water to reach deep into the nasal cavity. Is his Ghusl  valid? Is the Salaah performed after this Ghusl valid?

A- Yes, his Ghusl is valid. The Salaah that he performed with this Ghusl is also valid. A fasting person does not have to make the water reach the entire mouth thoroughly, nor does he have to make water reach pass the fleshy part of the nose. Rinsing the mouth and the nose lightly and carefully without letting the water reach the throat or top portion of the nose is sufficient.


Q- Does masturbating break the fast?

A. One is not allowed to masturbate, whether fasting or not. However, if one does this vile act whilst fasting then the fast will break and a qadha will have to be kept. (Shaami vol. 2, pg 399)


 

Q- Does the fast break when you use a wet Miswaak, & brush your gums, the water then separates from the Miswaak & little slides down your throat?

A- Using a wet Miswaak does not invalidate the fast. Similarly, if some bristles of the Miswaak are swallowed the fast will not break. However, care should be taken not to allow water to go down the throat as this would break the fast.


Q- Is it permissible to commence the fast in a state wherein one requires Farz Ghusl?

A- Fard Ghusl should not be delayed unnecessarily. However, if one commences the fast in the state where one requires a Fardh Ghusal the fast will be valid. A person should at least wash the hands, gargle the mouth, and rinse the nose thoroughly before Sehri.


Q- Does the use of an injection or a drip break the fast?

A- The use of an injection or drip does not nullify the fast.


Q- Does vomiting break the fast?

A- The fast will break if:
a. A person vomited a mouthful involuntarily and swallowed it or a part of it by his own volition.
b. If one had voluntarily (induced) vomited a mouthful whether swallowed or not. NB: A “mouthful of vomit” is defined as such an amount that one cannot hold back in one's mouth without difficulty.

NB: A “mouthful of vomit” is defined as such a measure (volume) that one cannot hold back
in one's mouth without difficulty


Q- Can you use eye drops whilst fasting?

A- It is permissible to use eye-drops whilst fasting. The fast will not be nullified even if the taste of it is felt in the mouth.


Q- If the nose begins to bleed whilst fasting, will the fast break?

A- The fast will not break by mere nose bleeding. If the blood flowed down the nasal passage and entered the throat then it will be seen whether the blood was more than the saliva or less than it. If the blood was more than the saliva or equal to it the fast will break. If the blood was less than the saliva then the fast will not break.


Q- Is it permissible for a fasting person to scent the Musjid through burning loban or any other incense sticks?

A- It is makrooh for a fasting person to burn incense in the Musjid or anywhere else, due to the possibility of smoke inhalation. Inhaling the smoke intentionally will nullify the fast.


Q- Whilst fasting, if the gums begin to bleed and the blood flows down the throat will the fast break?

A- If the blood which was swallowed with the saliva was more than the saliva or equal to it, then the fast will break and only Qadha will be Wajib. If the blood was less than the saliva then the fast will not break.


Q- If, whilst fasting, water goes down the throat when gargling the mouth or rinsing the nose in Wudhu or Ghusl will the fast break?

A- If one was mindful that he was fasting at the time and water seeped down the throat or nostril, the fast will break. If one was unmindful that he was fasting, the fast will not break.


Q- Can I use ear-drops whilst fasting? Will it break the fast?

A- Usage of ear-drops will break the fast.


 Q- Is it compulsory for a Musafir (Shari traveller) to fast whilst on a journey?

A- It is not compulsory for a Musafir to fast whilst on a journey. However, if the Musafir is able to fast during his journey then this is more rewarding. The missed fast must be made-up after Ramadan.


Q- A person intends travelling during the course of the day and at the time of Subh Sadiq (when the fast commences) while he is still in his hometown. Is it permissible for him not to fast?

A- It is compulsory for a person who is present in his hometown at the time of Subh Sadiq to fast. Since he only intends travelling during the course of the day the concession of not fasting does not apply to him. Hence, if he does not keep the fast he will be sinful.


Q- I understand that it is not permissible to smoke cigarettes etc. whilst fasting. However, is it permissible to take the e-cigarette whilst fasting?

A- Using the e-cigarette causes a sensation of some vapour/substance going down the throat. This will also break the fast.


Q- Is it permissible to brush the teeth with toothpaste whilst fasting?

A- Brushing with toothpaste whilst fasting is Makrooh. However, if the paste does not go down the throat it will not break the fast.


Q- Is the fast valid if we continue eating till the Azan of Fajr is called out?

A- Generally in South Africa, the Azan is not called out precisely when Sehri ends. Rather the Azan is called out approximately 5-10 minutes after Sehri time has lapsed. This is contrary to the Middle East and other countries where the Azan is called out immediately upon expiry of Sehri. Therefore, if one intentionally eats beyond the Sehri time indicated on the local calendars his/her fast will not be valid.


Q- If someone unknowingly eats beyond the time of Sehri will the fast be valid?

A- If someone unintentionally or unknowingly eats beyond the time of Sehri the fast will not be valid.

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