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Conditions under which sawm becomes obligatory and correct

1- A young girl has reached the age of legal maturity [taklif]; however, she cannot fast in the month of Ramadan due to her weak constitution. She is also unable to perform the qada of the missed days of fasting until the next Ramadan. What is the ruling in this situation?

A: The obligation of fasting or qada for the missed fasts is not removed just because of weakness or inability. Rather, qada of the missed days of fasting in Ramadan will remain obligatory upon her.

2- What is the ruling for those girls who have recently reached legal maturity and find it somewhat difficult to fast? Is nine years the age when girls become mature?

A: The legal age of maturity for girls start at the completion of nine lunar years, hence it is obligatory for them to fast. It is not permissible to forsake fasting due to some excuse. However, if fasting during the day becomes harmful for them, it is permissible to break the fast.

3- I do not know exactly when I reached the age of legal maturity [taklif], as I was not aware of this issue at that time. Please clarify, from which time is it obligatory for me to perform qada of missed prayers and fasts? Is it obligatory for, me to pay the kaffarah for the missed fasts or is qada sufficient?

A: You are only responsible for doing qada from the time that you are certain that you reached the age of legal maturity [taklif]. Payment of the kaffarah is obligatory for fasts that were intentionally broken by persons who were certain that he/she was legally mature.

4- A nine-year old girl, upon whom it is obligatory to fast, breaks her fast because fasting was very hard for her. Does she have to perform qada of those fasts?

A: Yes, she will have to perform qada of the Ramadan fast that she broke.

5- Someone with a strong excuse thought it likely, with more than 50% probability, that fasting was not obligatory for him, so he did not fast. Later it becomes clear to him that fasting was obligatory on him at that time. What is the ruling in respect of performing qada and paying kaffarah?

A: If one breaks a fast in the month of Ramadan, assuming that fasting is not obligatory upon him, then he must carry out its qada and also pay the kaffarah. However, if one did not fast out of fear that fasting was harmful for him, then it is not necessary for him to pay kaffarah, but he must perform qada.

6- If a kafir converted to Islam during the day, is his sawm of that day correct especially if his conversion was before zawal?

A: No, the sawm of that day is not correct.

7- If a Muslim apostatizes during the sawm then he returned to Islam by repentance and renewed his intention before zawal, would his sawm remain correct?

A: No, the sawm of that day is not correct.

8- If a Sunni person returned to the right path during the day which he is in sawm, what is the ruling regarding his sawm?

A: The sawm of that day is not correct.

9- Is the sawm of the mad man accepted?

A: His sawm is not correct even though his madness might have a part of the day.

10- If the drinker or the unconscious person who has already intended to fast awoke or became conscious during the day, what should he do?

A: According to the obligatory caution, one who has awoken from drunkenness with the previous intention to fast should complete his sawm and do qada later on. While that who became conscious after unconsciousness, then simply completing his sawm is sufficient; otherwise he should do qada, if he had not intended to fast already.

11- The fasting prevents someone from performing his job on which he depends for his income and he cannot perform another job. Is he, then, allowed to break his fast?

A: It is not permissible for him to break his fast unless the sawm would cause unendurable hardship for him.

12- If a sick person is cured from his disease before zawal without eating anything, is he allowed to renew his intention and continue the sawm?

A: In the given question, sawm would not be obligatory on him. However, if he becomes cured from his disease before zawal and he did not take anything that may break the fast, it is based on the recommended caution to intend sawm and do its qada later.

13- A person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf] who is affected by poliomyelitis since childhood and suffers from difficulty and weakness in all voluntary movements including walking, speaking, eating, drinking etc., thus he is crippled and should always stay at home however he is mentally normal and could distinguish between right and wrong just like the normal people. For this reason he does some things to amuse himself like listening to enrapturing songs and the like. We would like to know your view about this mukallaf and what is the ruling about his salat, sawm and his other duties?

A: He should act according to the rulings of all the other mukallafs regarding salat, sawm and other obligations and it is not permissible for him to listen to songs or trifling, enrapturing music which is suitable for the dissolute and corrupt gatherings.

Rulings of fasting on travel

1- A person who is fasting had planned to reach his place of residence before time of the afternoon prayers [zawal]. But, along the way he came across an accident that delayed him, hence he did not reach his residency in time. Is his fast valid? Does he have to pay kaffarah or will performing the qada be sufficient?

A: His fast is invalid while traveling and it is only obligatory upon him to perform qada (of fasting) for the day in which he did not reach his place of residency, and he does not have to pay kaffarah.

2- A passenger or a crewmember aboard an airplane flying at a high altitude and bound for a distant city which takes three hours or so - has to drink water every 20 minutes to maintain his equilibrium. Does he/she have to pay kaffarah in addition to performing the qada?

A: If fasting causes harm, one can break the fast to drink water. He will have to perform its qada, but kaffarah will not be obligatory on him in this case.

3- Is it permitted for a person to travel intentionally during the month of Ramadan in order to break the fast and relieve himself of its burden?

A: There is no problem in doing that. Therefore, when traveling, even to escape the duty of fasting, he must break the fast.

4- A person responsible for performing an obligatory fast decided to fulfill his duty, but could not because of unforeseen circumstances. For example, he prepared to travel after sunrise - he travels, but failed to return home before noon. He had not done anything that invalidates the fast, except that the time for making intentions of an obligatory fast has elapsed; and that day is one in which fasting is recommended. Is it valid if he makes intention to perform a recommended fast?

A: When one is responsible for the qada of Ramadan fasting day, it is invalid to make intentions to perform a recommended fast, even if the time for making intentions for performing an obligatory fast has passed.

5- I am addicted to smoking. No matter how much I try not to be irritable in the blessed month of Ramadan, I can not abstain from a conduct that disrupts the peace of my family and puts me into a nervous state. What is my duty in this situation?

A: It is obligatory upon you to fast in the month of Ramadan and it is not permissible for you, as per obligatory caution, to smoke while fasting. Also, acting irritably with others without justification is unlawful.

6- A person finished his fast in his hometown after sunset. Then on traveling to another city, he found that the sun there had not set yet. What will be the rule regarding his fasting? Can he eat and drink in the new place before sunset?

A: His fast is valid and he can eat and drink in the new place before sunset since he had broken his fast at maghrib in his city.

7- A person performing military service could not fast during the month of Ramadan last year because of frequent traveling and being stationed on base (in the service). As Ramadan approaches this year, he is still serving in the same area and does not think he will be able to fast this year, either. Does he have to pay the kaffarah after leaving the service, in addition to performing the qada of those fast?

A: When someone forgoes fasting in the month of Ramadan because of the excuse of traveling, which extends until the next Ramadan, his only duty is to perform qada and no kaffarah is obligatory upon him.

8- A person who lives in the port of Dayyir kept fast from the first day of Ramadan until the twenty-seventh. On the morning of the twenty-eighth day he traveled to Dubai. Arriving there on the twenty-ninth, he noticed that they had declared that day as the first of Shawwal and Eid al-Fitr there. Now that he has returned to his hometown, does he have to make up [do qada] for the fast he missed? If he does qada of only one day then the month of Ramadan for him will be only twenty-eight days, and if he makes up for two days, then on the 29th day he was present in a place where Eid was declared. What is the ruling for such a person?

A: If the twenty-ninth day of Ramadan was declared Eid in accordance with valid legal [shar`i] criteria, then he does not have to perform qada for that day. But it indicates that he missed fasting at the month's beginning, which he has to make up, the number of days he is sure of having missed.

9- A person works mainly in a center in Beirut but he is asked to stay in the battlefield or go and return without determining the place or the time?

A: If he went to his job without staying for 10 days in a single place and repeated his travel for the job covering the shar`i distance in each time, his prayer [salat] should be full [tamam] and his sawm would be correct.

10- A person who is committed to a job in a place outside his homeland and he is always compelled to go and return from the work center to his home covering the shar`i distance, what is his duty at home, on the way or at his place of work?

A: The ruling here is that of work in traveling, i.e. salat should be full and sawm is correct.

11- One whose job is traveling in such a way that he might stay at home for twenty days and at his work place for some days, like that of the mujahidin, then what is the ruling concerning his salat and sawm?

A: In the given question, he should pray full salat and fast in his work place as long as he is intending to reside there for 10 days, otherwise he should pray qasr and break fasting.

12- Some of the mujahidin have no specific time for their duties i.e. sometimes they stay in the battle-field for three days to return home and stay for fifteen days and, then, they go again to the battle-field for 3 days or sometimes 10 days or more and return home again and stay for 10 days or more. What is the ruling regarding their salat and sawm?

A: The standard is what was mentioned i.e. if his travel was for work, after he had stayed for 10 days in a place, he should pray qasr on the first journey, unless he intended to stay for 10 days in the work place. While if he traveled without separating his two journeys with a 10 days stay, he should pray full and fast.

13- His Eminence, the Leader of the Muslims, Ayatullah al-dhma Sayyid Ali Khamenei (m.), in Lebanon, some brothers have devoted themselves to the Islamic Opposition Movements. The nature of their job is that it does not have a specific place, time or program. They are compelled to move about from one place to another and to be always ready to be present and act in certain places where they are requested, in certain places in which they may stay for 1 day or more according to the conditions.

1) According to this type of work, what is the ruling regarding their salat and sawm?

2) What is the ruling regarding those who have newly joined such a work?

A: If the work in the Islamic Opposition Movements is considered conventionally as a work or job and it requires frequent traveling here and there, then as long as there is no separating period of 10 days stay, in a single place, between the two journeys, they should pray their full salat and fast. While if the 10 days staying period interferes, they should pray qasr and break fast in the first journey after the staying period.

15- I am in the taqlid of Imam Khomeini (q.) and living in the city of Beirut for more than 15 years. I had been born in the city of Sur in the south of Lebanon and since I have no intention of staying for 10 days in Beirut, I pray qasr and cannot fast because I go weekly to the south more or less often. Is there a way to pray full and fast without intending the residency in the city of Beirut? If I lose my job in Beirut, I should return to my birthplace in the south. Accordingly, should I pray qasr and break fast for all the time of my staying in Beirut or what?

A: If you were frequenting between the city of Sur and Beirut (your work place) every week, you are obliged to pray full and fast, i.e., in general, any person who frequents between his homeland and working place, at least once every 10 days, covering a shar`i distance, his ruling would be a complete salat (full) and his sawm would be correct whether during traveling the distance, being at the work place or home. However, if he, for once, stayed for 10 days in a single place, he should pray qasr during the first journey after the 10 days stay.

16- a) Before the end of 10 days I went to the city of Bakhtaran for important work and stayed there for 2 hours then returned to my work place. b) After this 10 days stay was finished, I traveled to the city of Bakhtaran aiming to go to a certain place there without exceeding the shar`i distance. I had passed the night at that place and then returned to my place of residence. c) After a complete 10 days stay at my work place, I traveled to a certain place in the city of Bakhtaran where my intention was changed, after the arrival, to go to another place which is located at a distance more than the shar`i distance from my place of residency. d) If the ruling in case (b) and (c) was the abrogation of my residency, then what is the ruling regarding my salat and sawm in my place of residency when I was ignorant of the abrogation?

A: (a & b) After the settlement of the ruling of your residency, even by just offering one full salat in this place, going out for a distance shorter than the shar`i distance, even for more than one or two hours or 1 or 2 days, would not harm this residency. So you could pray full salat and fast till a new travel is issued.

(c) If the distance from the point of changing the intention to the destination was equal to 4 farsakhs (1/2 the shar`i distance) or more, or the returning distance from the destination to the place of residency was equal to 8 farsakhs (= shar`i distance), the ruling of the last residency would be abrogated with this journey and you should renew your intention of residency after you reach the place of residency, otherwise, you are still under the ruling of the last residency when you should pray full and fast.

17- I am frequenting to my home and work place every day without covering the shar`i distance. Am I in need to intend residency for 10 days to pray full salat?

A: If frequenting between the two places was after the settlement of the correct intention of residency in one of these places, it will never harm the validity of the continuance of the residency and the act of praying in full and fasting.

Adopted from the book : "Questions & Answers About Fast Accroding to Ayatollah Khamenei's Fatwa"

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