Questions & Answers About Fast Accroding to Ayatollah Khamenei's Fatwa
- :Ayatollah Khamenei
Questions & Answers About Fast Accroding to Ayatollah Khamenei's Fatwa
1- As you know, one of the following three conditions occurs at the beginning or end of the each month: The crescent sets before the sunset; the crescent sets along with the sunset; or the crescent sets after the sunset. Please clear the following matters: First, which one of the three above-mentioned conditions would be considered the beginning of the month according to Islamic law? Second, if we take into consideration that these three conditions are accounted for in the farthest places of the world using accurate calculations, is it possible to benefit from these computations to figure out the beginning of the month in advance, or it is necessary to observe it with the naked eye?
A: The basis of determining the beginning of the month is the crescent that sets after sunset which can be observed before sunset in the customary way. The astronomical calculations are not reliable unless confidence is obtained through them.
2- If the crescent marking the beginning of Shawwal is not observed in a city by the local people, and if the radio or television announces the beginning of Shawwal, should the local people act upon the radio announcement, or should they ascertain by investigating whether Shawwal has commenced?
A: If the radio or television announcement makes them feel sure that Shawwal has commenced, or if there is a decree by the Supreme Religious Authority [wali al-faqih] announcing the beginning of Shawwal, then there is no need for investigating further.
3- If it is difficult to ascertain the beginning of the month of Ramadan, or Eid al-Fitr, because of the inability to observe the crescent at the beginning of the month due to clouds or for some other reason, and if the count of the month of Sha`ban or the month of Ramadan did not add up to 30 days, is it permissible for us in Japan to go by the horizon in Iran or should we rely on the regular calendar? What is the rule?
A: If the crescent has not been ascertained by being sighted even in the regions located at the same longitude with your city, or on the evidence of two just witnesses, or on the basis of a decree by a religious authority announcing the end of Ramadan, it is obligatory to observe caution by ascertaining the beginning of Shawwal. The sighting of the crescent in Iran, which is to the west of Japan, cannot be a basis regarding the beginning of Shawwal for one residing in Japan.
4- Is the sameness of horizon (the longitude) considered to be a condition in regards to observing the crescent?
A: It is sufficient that the crescent be sighted in the areas of the same horizon, or nearby, or in the areas to the east.
5- What is meant by sameness of horizon?
A: When certain areas are located on the same longitude, according to astronomy, they are said to share the same horizon.
6- If the twenty-ninth day of the month was the day of Eid al-Fitr in Tehran and Khorasan, is it permissible for the residents of areas like Bushehr to break their fast too, though the horizon of Tehran and Khorasan differs from the horizon of Bushehr?
A: If the difference between the longitude of two cities is such that the new moon cannot be seen in one of them when sighted in the other, its sighting in the city located to the west of the other is not sufficient for the residents of the city to the east, where the sun sets earlier than in the city to the west, and is sufficient when the case is the reverse.
7- If the Islamic scholars of a city differ regarding the end of Ramadan, and one considers all of them to be just and precise in their investigations, what is the duty of the city's inhabitants?
A: If the difference between the two testimonies is one of contradiction, in the sense that one of them claims the crescent to have been sighted and the other claims that certainly it has not been sighted, the duty of the inhabitants is to decide the matter through other means. However, if the first group testifies to the sighting of the new moon, but the second group does not claim to have seen it, the inhabitants have to accept the view of the first group if they are known to be just. Also, the people have to follow if the Supreme Religious Authority [hakim al-shar`i] issues a decree announcing the end of Ramadan.
8- If a person who sees the new moon knows that the city's religious authority is not able to see the crescent for some reason, is it his duty to inform the religious authority that he has observed the crescent?
A: It is not his duty to do so, unless his not doing so can cause some depravity.
9- As you know, most Islamic scholars have written in their book of practical laws [Risalahs] that the beginning of Shawwal can be proved only through five methods. However, announcement of the end of Ramadan by a religious authority is not among those methods. Such being the case, how can most of the people break their fasts when the beginning of Shawwal has been ascertained by the major marji`s? What is the duty of a person who is not convinced of the new moon's sighting by such means?
A: Unless a religious authority issues a decree announcing the sighting of the new moon, the mere ascertaining of it by him is not sufficient for others to follow him, unless they are convinced thereby of the end of Ramadan.
10- If the Guardian of the Muslims' affairs [Wali Amr al-Muslimeen] issues a decree announcing the next day as Eid al-Fitr and the media report that the crescent has been cited in certain cities, does it determine the Eid for all the cities or only those cities and for others on the same longitudes?
A: If the decree issued by the religious authority includes all the cities, his decree is Islamically reliable for all of them.
11- If on the evening of Eid al-Fitr, the moon appears as a very fine crescent, does it mean that the next day is the first of Shawwal and that the Eid was declared by mistake? Is one required to make up [do qada] for the last day of Ramadan?
A: The thinness or thickness of the moon and also its position in the sky are not lawful evidence in deciding the first or second of a month. But if it brings conviction to the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf], he is obliged to act in accordance with his knowledge in this case.
12- Can the night of the full moon, which is the night before the fourteenth of the month, be taken as a reliable basis for calculating the first day of the month so as to determine whether the Day of Doubt was the thirtieth of Ramadan, for example, so that whoever did not fast on that day may have evidence concerning the necessity to make up [do qada] for the thirtieth day of Ramadan and whoever fasted that day, considering Ramadan to continue, may know that he is free of obligation?
A: That which has been mentioned does not constitute a lawful evidence for anything mentioned. However, if it brings knowledge to the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf], his obligation is to act in accordance with his knowledge.
13- Is watching out for the new moon a wajib kifa'i [a duty that if done by someone, it is ceased to be obligatory upon the others] or something to be done as an obligatory caution?
A: It is not Islamically a legal duty in itself.
14- What are the methods adopted to ascertain about the sighting of the crescent of the beginning and end of Ramadan?
A: Deciding the beginning of any lunar month is only possible through one of the following methods: sighting the new moon by the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf] himself; the testimony of two just witnesses to that effect; numerous reports that bring conviction that the moon has been sighted; completion of 30 days since the month's beginning; or the decree of a religious authority.
15- Suppose it is permissible to follow certain government's announcement about the sighting of the crescent which could act as a scientific standard for other countries, then, is it necessary for it to be an Islamic government in order to ascertain that the moon has really been sighted, or can one accept it even from a tyrannical government?
A: The criterion in this regard is the person's assurance that the new moon has been sighted in the area where its sighting is sufficient in relation to the person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf].
16- If the crescent is seen in one country, would the sighting become generalized for all other countries, especially regarding the crescent of the Holy month of Ramadan?
A: It would become generalized for neighboring countries or these countries in which sunset occurs later i.e. to the west of that country.
17- If one saw the crescent before the zawal time, would this day of sighting be considered to be from the coming month?
A: The mere sighting of the crescent during the day, even though before the zawal time, is not a shar`i evidence that this day belongs to the coming month. However, if this sighting has made one certain that this day belongs to the coming month, the ruling of the coming month would be applied to it.
18- Is the presence of the lunar halo an evidence that it is the crescent of the second night?
A: The lunar halo is not a shar`i evidence that the crescent is of the second night.
19- What is the ruling regarding the prisoner or the captive who could not become certain about the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan?
A: If they suspect that Ramadan had begun, they are obliged to act according to this suspicion. Otherwise, they are permitted to delay their sawm until the certainty is there that their sawm occurred either during or after Ramadan and not before it.
20- Is the delay of the setting of the crescent moon after the evening twilight an evidence that it is of the second night?
A: The setting after the evening twilight would not prove this.
21- If one had broken his fast and then it is appeared that the crescent had been sighted through one of the legally accepted methods, is he obliged to abstain from food for the remaining of the day?
A: He is obliged to abstain from food for the remaining of the day from the moral aspect.
22- Is the sighting of the new crescent through a binoculars or telescope or the like is sufficient?
A: The sighting of the new crescent with these means is also reliable and its ruling does not differ from that of the naked eye since the standard is to say it has been by eyes. However, computerized photographing of the crescent moon or the like which could not be considered as real sighting is problematic.
1- If the mukallaf fasted on the day of doubt with the intention that it is Sha`ban, qada or nadhr and then it appeared that it was in the month of Ramadan, then what is the ruling in this case?
A: This sawm is valid and could be considered as part of the month of Ramadan and there is nothing upon him.
2- If the mukallaf had fasted the day of doubt with the intention of hesitation (i.e. to say: if it is being from Sha`ban, it will be a recommended (mustahabb) sawm, while if from Ramadan, it will be obligatory), then is sawm in such a way correct?
A: His sawm is correct if he was serious in the intention that he would fast in any way, and it is valid to be considered from Ramadan if the day later appeared to be in Ramadan.
3- If the mukallaf had fasted the day of doubt with the intention of the real divine command directed to him (either obligatory or recommended), then what is the ruling about the sawm of this day?
A: His sawm is correct if he intended to do sawm in any way, and it is valid to be considered from Ramadan if it appeared, later, that it is in it.
4- If the mukallaf had fasted the day of doubt with the intention that it is in Ramadan, is his sawm correct?
A: This sawm is not correct.
5- If the mukallaf intended to break fasting on the day of doubt and then it appeared, during the day, that it is in the month of Ramadan, then what is the ruling if:
a- He ate something?
b- It appeared after zawal and he did not eat anything?
c- It appeared before zawal and he did not eat anything?
A: In the first 2 cases he is obliged to abstain from food for the remainder of the day, from the moral aspect, and compensate the sawm for this day.
In the 3rd case he should intend sawm from that time and it would be correct and valid to be considered from the month of Ramadan.
6- What is the ruling about a person who fasted the day of doubt with the intention of being from Sha`ban and he ate food inattentively and it appeared later that it is in the month of Ramadan?
A: His sawm is correct and it is valid to be considered from the month of Ramadan.
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.
1- If during Ramadan one ignorantly or forgetfully, intended to fast for a purpose other than Ramadan, what is the ruling about his sawm?
A: In the given question his sawm is correct and valid to be considered as part of the fast of Ramadan.
2- In niyyah, is it obligatory to determine the subject in details?
A: It is not obligatory. It is sufficient to intend the wanted sawm, i.e. if he wanted to fast Ramadan at a time when it is obligatory, it is valid to intend the sawm of the month of Ramadan.
3- Is it possible to fast during the month of Ramadan, consciously aware of the niyyah, other than Ramadan fasts?
A: It is incorrect and cannot be applied either to the month of Ramadan or to the niyyah one had intended.
4- If the mukallaf wanted to make a fast other than that of Ramadan, is he obliged to specify it in the niyyah?
A: If the kinds of sawm he is allowed to fast are more than one kind, he is obliged to sepcify it.
5- Is one niyyah sufficient for the whole month of Ramadan?
A: It is sufficient if it would continue every day till the end of the month.
6- Is there a specific form of niyyah in the Islamic law?
A: There is no specific form. The standard is the occurance of the sawm with continuing determination or desire in one's mind even though if this would take place just before the fajr of a day of fasting or even before that.
7- If a mukallaf intends either to cancel his sawm by abolishing its niyyah or to perform anything that would invalidate it during the month of Ramadan, its qada or the sawm of the kaffarah or nadhr, then what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: If he just intends to perform or take anything that would invalidate the sawm, it would not harm the correctness of the sawm unless he had already eaten something except if he became aware that this would entail the intention of canceling his sawm by abolishing its niyyah. While the niyyah of canceling the fasting by the determination to abolish it completely will invalidate the obligatory and time specific sawm, in general. In case of obligatory time-non-specific sawm it would not be invalidated with this intention in case that he returned to the niyyah of the sawm before the zawal.
8- What is the ruling if a mukallaf did not intend to fast for the month of Ramadan due to forgetting the ruling or the subject, then he became aware:
a) before zawal and before eating anything,
b) after zawal and before eating anything,
c) after he eats something.
A: If he became aware only after he committed an act which would void the sawm, his sawm is void and he is obliged to refrain from eating for the rest of the day. While if he becam aware before that, then if it was after zawal, his sawm is void, while if it was before zawal, then it is based on obligatory caution to intend to observe sawm at this day and do fast and perform its qada later on.
(1) & (2) Eating and Drinking
If a fasting person introduced food or drinks into his body through a way other than the normal one (e.g. introducing water through the nose), what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: Taking food or drink would invalidate the sawm even if they had been introduced through other than the normal manner.
Would the entrance of anything which breaks the fast into the body through a wound or the ear invalidate the sawm?
A: If it came to the mouth cavity and then through the throat to the stomach or it is considered as food and used for nutrition, then it would invalidate the sawm, otherwise it would not.
3- If the sa`im [fasting person] had swallowed nasal secretions before it reached the mouth cavity, would that harm his sawm?
A: In the given question, it would not harm the sawm.
4- A sa`im has something in his mouth wet with his saliva then he takes it out and returns it again to his mouth and swallowed the saliva on it, what is the ruling concerning this? With details please.
A: In the given question, his sawm would be invalidated by swallowing the moisture of his saliva unless this moisture was so little and it is mixed with amount of saliva in the mouth to the extent that it could not be considered that he had swallowed the saliva which had come out.
5- Is tooth picking after a meal obligatory for those who want to fast?
A: It is not obligatory unless one is certain that there are remnants of food between his teeth and he is sure that if he did not pick it out, they would get inside the throat.
6- If a sa`im had taken food or drink, forgetfully or inattentively, during the month of Ramadan or the sawm of its qada or during sawm al-mustahabb, what is the ruling concerning this?
A: Taking food or drink forgetfully or inattentively would not invalidate the sawm without any difference between its types.
7- If a sa`im while rinsing his mouth with water for wudu of salat al-wajibah or mustahabbah or not for salat and the water is inattentively swallowed, what is the ruling?
A: In the given question, this would not invalidate his sawm.
8- When I was fasting, my mother forced me to eat or drink. Did it invalidate my fast?
A: Eating and drinking invalidates fast, even if it is done at the request or insistence of someone.
9- If something is forced into the mouth of someone fasting, or his head is forcefully submerged in water, does it invalidate the fast? What if one is coerced to break his/her fast, and he/she does it to avoid danger, for instance if he/she is told: If you do not eat, we will hurt you or your property. Is his/her fast valid?
A: Forcing food into someone's month without his consent does not invalidate his/her fast and neither does submerging his/her head in water. However, if one breaks the fast himself when is forced or threatened by someone else, the fasting becomes void.
10- While suffering from a cold, some mucus gathered in my mouth and I swallowed it instead of spitting it out. Was my fast valid? Also, once, while staying for some days with one of my relatives during the blessed month of Ramadan as I had a cold, and moreover felt shy to perform major ablution for the state of major impurity [ghusl al-janabah], so I did dry ablution [tayammum] instead, which I did not perform until some time before noon. This happened for several days. Were my fasts for those days valid? If not, do I have to pay the kaffarah as well?
A: Swallowing the mucus does not make one liable to anything, though as obligatory caution one should perform qada of that fast if it is done after the mucus enters the mouth. As for not performing ghusl al-janabah before dawn, if the tayammum was done because of some legal excuse or done at the last moment due to shortness of time, then your fasting is valid; otherwise your fasts for those days are void.
(3) Masturbation while fasting and in other instances
1- About seven years ago I intentionally invalidated my fast for several days during the month of Ramadan by masturbating. However, I do not know for sure how many days of fasting I violated in this way during the course of three Ramadans. I do not think they were less than 25 to 30 days. What is my obligation and the kaffarah that I should make?
A: Invalidating a day's fast in the blessed month of Ramadan by masturbating, which is prohibited by Islamic law, requires one of the following: (1)fasting for sixty days; or (2)feeding sixty poor persons, although it is a recommended caution to observe both of the two. As far as feeding sixty persons is concerned, you can give each of them one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day missed. Giving money is not a substitute unless it is given to a poor person to buy food on your behalf; thus, his acceptance to buy the food for himself is considered as kaffarah. Determining the price of the food given as kaffarah depends on the kind of food you choose to give, either in the shape of wheat, rice, or any other kind of food. As for the number of fasts you invalidated by masturbating, you are allowed in performing its qada and giving kaffarah to consider the number of days that you are certain about.
2- A person bound by religious obligation [mukallaf], knowing that masturbation does invalidate the fast, and does masturbate; does he have to offer the two-fold kaffarah? What is the rule if he does it without knowing that masturbation invalidates the fast?
A: In both cases he must offer just one kind of kaffarah, if he masturbates intentionally, although it is a recommended caution to observe the two fold kaffarah.
3- I had an emission of semen during the blessed month of Ramadan for no reason other than excitement that I felt during a telephone conversation with a non-mahram woman. If the phone conversation was not for the purpose of pleasure, was my fast invalid? And if it was, do I have to pay kaffarah as well?
A: If it was not a previous habit of yours to have an emission of semen while conversing with a woman, and the phone conversation was not intended for pleasure and the emission was involuntary, then your fast is valid, and you are not liable to anything.
4- A person had the habit of masturbating for a number of years while fasting in the month of Ramadan and at other times. What is the rule regarding his prayers and fasts?
A: Masturbation is absolutely prohibited, and when it leads to ejaculation it causes one to become in the state of major impurity [junub]. If this done during fasting, it amounts to breaking the fast by unlawful means. If one performs prayers and fasts in the state of major impurity [janabah], without performing major ablution [ghusl] or dry ablution [tayammum], his prayers and fasting are void and he must make them up [do their qada].
5- Someone at the beginning of legal maturity [bulugh] fasts during the month of Ramadan, and masturbates while fasting, continuing in fasting for some days without knowing that fasting requires a state of purity [taharah], that is not being in the state of major impurity [janabah]. Is it sufficient for him to perform qada of the fasts of those days, or some other rule applies to him?
A: In the light of the question, he has to perform both qada and kaffarah.
6- If someone who is fasting looks at a sexually arousing scene during the month of Ramadan, does it void his fast?
A: If he looks with the purpose of having an orgasm, or if he knows that it will cause him to become in the state of major impurity [junub], and it had been his habit before, and still he views it intentionally and becomes junub, then the rule that applies to him is the one that applies to someone who makes himself junub intentionally.
(4) Sexual Intercourse
1- How would sexual intercourse be achieved?
A: It would be achieved by the complete penetration of the glans penis inside the vulva or the anus of a human being or an animal.
2- If a sa`im [fasting person] intended to have sexual intercourse but he did not do it, would this intention invalidate his sawm?
A: This intention is considered like the intention of doing practices or taking things that would break the fast, and the sawm would not be invalidated just by this intention.
3- If a sa`im had sexual intercourse in a state of forgetfulness, what is the ruling regarding his sawm?
A: His sawm would not be invalidated.
4- If a sa`im is forced to have sexual intercourse and becomes deprived of his volition, what is the ruling about his sawm?
A: If he had been really forced to the extend that he is deprived of his volition; his sawm would not be invalidated.
1- If a sa`im had plunged his head into water while his body was out, what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: It is haram for sa`im to do this and his sawm would be invalidated according to the obligatory caution.
2- If he introduced his head into water gradually until the entire head was in the water, was the strict meaning of plunging be applied here?
A: After the entire head was under the water, it will be counted as plunging.
3- If he plunged the right side of his head into water and then got it out to plunge the left side, would this act invalidate the sawm?
A: There is no objection to it and the ruling of plunging would not be applied here.
4- A fasting person was unaware that he was in the state of janabah [major ritual impurity - caused by discharged semen] until the time of the afternoon prayers. He then performed the major ablution via submerging the whole body in water [ghusl al-irtimasi]. Does this invalidate his fast? And if he realizes what he has done only after performing ghusl al-irtimasi, does he have to perform the qada of the fast?
A: If one performs ghusl al-irtimasi out of forgetfulness or unintentionally (to the fact that he is fasting), then both his fast and the major ablution [ghusl] are valid; thus, he does not have to perform qada of the fast.
5- What rule applies to someone who immerses himself in water wearing waterproof clothing such as a diving suit which does not allow the body to become wet?
A: If the clothing has close contact with his head, there is a problem in his fast being valid. Hence, as an obligatory caution he should perform its qada.
6- What are the boundaries of the head in the issue of plunging?
A: What is meant by the head, plunging of which while fasting is haram, is the entire head till the neck.
7- If one plunges the upper part of his head down to the ears, would this harm the correctness of his sawm?
A: Unless the entire head is plunged into the water, the sawm would not be harmed.
8- If a sa`im had plunged his head into water sparing his hair, what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: Plunging by sparing just the hair is considered haram and would invalidate fasting.
9- Plunging the head in adulterated water [mudaf], would it validate the sawm?
A: There is no objection in plunging the head in mudaf liquid. However, it is according to caution to avoid plunging of the head in rose-water.
10- If a sa`im had smeared his head with a substance that would prevent water reaching it and then plunged it into water, then what is the ruling about his sawm?
A: The standard is the actual plunging of the head into water even if one had smeared it with such a substance.
11- If one had plunged while he was putting his head in a bottle, then what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: If this was in such a way that it would not be applied correctly to the plunging of the head i.e. he put his head into a bottle and then plunged the bottle into the water, it would not harm his sawm.
12- If a sa`im had jumped into a water imagining that he would not plunge but plunging occurred, then what is the ruling?
A: If the water was not of the kind that which usually necessitates plunging or he was not aware that it would necessitate it, it would not harm the correctness of his sawm, but he is obliged to get his head out of the water immediately.
13- If a sa`im was in state of janabah and he could not perform his ghusl but by plunging, then what could he do?
A: If he could not perform sequential ghusl (tartibi) his duty will be diverted to tayammum and he is not allowed, as per obligatory caution, to plunge into water for ghusl.
14- What is the ruling if a sa`im plunges into water for ghusl in the following cases: a) The sawm is mustahabb or wajib [obligatory] but unspecified for a certain time;
b) The sawm is wajib but specified for a certain time.
A: In a mustahabb and unspecified wajib sawm, his ghusl is correct but the sawm is invalidated. While in a specified wajib sawm, if it is a sawm of the month of Ramadan, both ghusl and sawm are invalid; unless he repents after plunging and then intends to do ghusl even at the time he is getting out of the water. In this case, his ghusl is correct but his sawm is invalidated by the plunging.
(6) Making dust to reach the throat
1- What about the ruling concerning dust which is difficult to avoid?
A: In the given question, to say that the sawm is void is a matter of contemplation. Thus, caution should not be neglected in combining fasting and qada.
2- Would the sa`im break his sawm if he swallowed steam?
A: There is no objection in swallowing steam unless it would covert into water inside the month.
3- If smoke had entered the mouth of the sa`im, what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: Smoke would not harm the correctness of sawm.
4- Would smoking invalidate sawm or not?
A: It is based on the obligatory caution to avoid it.
5- I work in an iron mine and the nature of my work requires me to enter the mine daily. While working with mining equipments dust enters my mouth. This is my daily routine throughout the year. What is my duty? Is my fast valid in such a case?
A: Swallowing dust invalidates the fast as per obligatory caution. Therefore, one must guard against it. However, the mere entering of dust into the mouth and the nose without its being swallowed does not invalidate the fast.
1- Would lying in general invalidate sawm or is there a special kind of it?
A: Lying which would invalidate sawm is specified by inventing of lie about Allah, His Prophet Muhammad (s.) and about the Infallible Imams (a.) according to the obligatory caution.
2- If a sa`im had invented a lie about jurisprudents and mujtahids would that entail invalidating of his sawm?
A: Although inventing lies about them is haram, yet it would not invalidate the correctness of the sawm.
3- If the sa`im intended to say the truth but it appeared to be an untruth and vice versa, what about the ruling?
A: In both cases his sawm is correct.
4- If a sa`im had just quoted a saying from someone which was lying, would that invalidate the sawm?
A: If the saying was a kind of narration or quotation from a person or a book, it would not harm the correctness of his sawm, although it is based on obligatory caution to relate the saying to the book from which it is quoted.
5- If the sa`im tells a lie, which invalidates the sawm, without directing his speech to someone or he is directing it to an irrational creature (like an animal); will this invalidate sawm?
A: It does not invalidate his sawm unless it could be truly said that he was informing someone, i.e. he wants to make someone understand it, even in case the later will hear it later.
6- If a sa`im invents a lie about the Prophet Muhammad (s.) or the Infallible Imams (a.) in a secular issue, would that invalidate his sawm?
A: In invalidating the sawm there is no difference, according to the obligatory caution, whether one invents a lie about them in the religious or in the secular issues.
7- Would the invention of lies about the Prophets and legates or Fatimat al-Zahra (s.) invalidate the sawm?
A: It is based on obligatory caution to join them with Infallible Imams (a.) in this issue.
8- If one tells a lie as a joke, i.e. he did not mean the real meaning, what about the ruling?
A: The ruling of lying would not be applied here unless one was serious in telling it.
(8) Remaining intentionally in the state of janabah
1- If one stays in the state of major impurity [janabah] (because of some difficulty) until the morning call to prayer [adhan], can he/she fast the following day?
A: There is no problem if one is performing a fast other than that of Ramadan or its qada. However, as to the fasting of Ramadan or its qada, if one has a lawful excuse for not performing ghusl, then it is obligatory to perform tayammum. And if he does not perform dry ablution [tayammum] either, the fast is invalid.
2- A person fasts for some days in the state of major impurity [janabah] without knowing that taharah from janabah is required for a valid fast. Does he/she have to pay kaffarah for the days fasted in the state of janabah, or it is enough to perform the qada of those fasts?
A: If he woke up in a state of major impurity [janabah] and stayed in that state because of ignorance of the fact that one has to perform major ablution [ghusl] (or dry ablution [tayammum]), then as per obligatory caution he should also observe kaffarah in addition to performing their qada. However, if his ignorance was due to negligence with inability to get the ruling, apparently kaffarah is not obligatory upon him, though caution lies in making it.
3- Is it permissible for one who is fasting qada or recommended [mustahabb] fast to perform major ablution [ghusl] for the state of major impurity [janabah] after sunrise?
A: If one deliberately stays in the state of janabah until morning call to prayer [adhan], then his fast is not valid if it is a fast of Ramadan or one of its qada fasts. Other than that, it is strongly probable that the fasting is valid, especially recommended one.
4- A faithful brother has asked me the following question: He got married ten days prior to the month of Ramadan. He had heard that the legal ruling regarding a person in a state of major impurity [janabah] was that if one becomes in that state after the morning call to prayer [adhan] and performs major ablution [ghusl] before the call to the afternoon prayers, his fast would be valid (he claims he was convinced that this was the rule). Accordingly, he would have intercourse with his wife on the basis of such a notion. Later, he realized that the rule on the issue was not what he believed to be. What is the ruling concerning this case?
A: The rule for one who intentionally becomes in a state of major impurity [junub] after morning prayers is the same as that of one who intentionally breaks the fast; that is, both qada and kaffarah are obligatory upon him.
5- A person staying as a guest in his host's house becomes in a state of major impurity [junub] at night during the month of Ramadan. As he is a guest and does not have any extra clothes, he decides to travel the following day to avoid fasting. He takes off after the morning call to prayer [adhan] with the intention to travel without breaking the fast. The question is, does his intention to travel relieve him of the kaffarah or not?
A: Neither mere intention of traveling at night nor traveling in the day is sufficient to relieve one of the kaffarah if one becomes in a state of major impurity [junub] and knows that he is in the state of janabah without making an immediate attempt to perform major ablution [ghusl] or dry ablution [tayammum] before dawn.
6- Is it permissible for one to intentionally become in a state of major impurity [junub] during the night in the month of Ramadan even if he does not have water or has another excuse for not performing ghusl (except shortness of time)?
A: It is permissible, if his duty was to perform tayammum and he had sufficient time to perform it.
7- A person woke up before the morning call to prayer [adhan] but did not realize that he was in a state of major impurity [junub] and went back to sleep. Later, he woke up during the morning call to prayer [adhan] and realized that he has been in a state of major impurity [junub]. What is the ruling concerning his fast?
A: If he did not realize that he was in the state of janabah before the morning call to prayer [adhan], then his fast is valid.
8- A person wakes up after the morning call to prayer [adhan] during the month of Ramadan and realizes that he is in a state of major impurity [junub] and then goes back to sleep to rise some time after sunrise (without performing the morning prayers). Then he delays the major ablution [ghusl] until after the call to the afternoon prayers, and says the afternoon [zuhr] and late afternoon [`asr] prayers. What is the ruling regarding his fast on that day?
A: His fast is valid, and delaying ghusl until noon does not affect it.
9- During the month of Ramadan a person doubts before the morning call to prayer [adhan] whether he has had a wet dream or not. However, he goes back to sleep without ascertaining his doubt. After the morning call to prayer [adhan], he wakes up gain to realize that he had been in a state of janabah. What is the ruling concerning his fast?
A: If no sign of janabah was observed the first time he woke up but had a mere suspicion that was not confirmed, and he went back to sleep until after the morning call to prayer [adhan], then his fast is valid, even if he finds later that he had been in a state of janabah before the morning call to prayer [adhan].
10- A person used impure [najis] water to perform major ablution [ghusl] during the month of Ramadan. A week later, he remembered that the water was impure. What is the ruling concerning his prayers and fasts during that period?
A: His prayers are void and he is liable to their qada, but the days he fasted are valid.
11- A person suffers from dripping of urine for a limited duration, i.e. it continues for an hour or more after passing urine. What is the ruling concerning his fast if he has a wet dream on some nights and he might wake up an hour before the morning call to prayer [adhan] and it is probable that semen may come out with urine afterwards? What is he to do to start the fast in a state of taharah?
A: If he performs the major ablution [ghusl]or dry ablution [tayammum] before the morning call to prayer [adhan], his fast is valid, even if there is an involuntary discharge of semen afterwards.
12- A person sleeps prior to, or after, the morning call to prayer [adhan]. He becomes in a state of major impurity [junub], realizing it after the morning adhan. How much time does he have to perform the major ablution [ghusl]?
A: Being in janabah under the condition stated does not void that day's fast. However, it is obligatory on him to perform ghusl for prayers, and he may delay it until the time of prayers.
13- If one forgets to perform ghusl al-janabah during the month of Ramadan, or during other days, and remembers during the day, what is the rule in this case?
A: If one forgets to perform the major ablution for the state of major impurity [ghusl al-janabah] during the month of Ramadan at night before morning call to prayer [adhan], his fast is void. As per obligatory caution, the same rule applies to qada of Ramadan fasts. However, other fasts do not become void if one forgets to perform ghusl al-janabah before morning call to prayer [adhan].
14- If the sa`im thought that there was enough time till the fajr so he did not do ghusl and then it appeared to be not, what about the ruling?
A: In the given question, if the sawm was that of Ramadan, it would be correct, but if it was of its qada, then it would not be correct.
15- Remaining on the state of the hadath of menstrual period [hayd] or puerperium [nifas] till the fajr time, would it invalidate the sawm?
A: The ruling of this during the sawm of the month of Ramadan is the same as the ruling of remaining in the state of janabah during it.
16- If the sa`im did tayammum instead of ghusl before the fajr time, is he obliged to stay awake till the fajr time?
A: No, he is not. He is allowed to sleep after doing tayammum.
17- If one had a wet dream [ihtilam] during the day in the month of Ramadan, is he obliged to hasten immediately to do the ghusl?
A: No, he is not.
18- Is the ghusl of touching the dead [mass al-mayyit] a condition in the correctness of the sawm?
A: No, it is not a condition.
19- Is it permissible for a person who had a wet dream to sleep before doing ghusl?
A: After he became aware of this he is allowed to go back to sleep as long as he believes that he would wake up before the fajr time and he was intending to do ghusl after awaking up. But, in the given question, if he did not wake up until fajr then he is obliged to do qada.
20- If he was not already used to waking up, yet he slept until fajr came, what is the ruling of his sawm?
A: If he was not used to waking up and he did not think it possible that he would wake up when he went back to sleep and he slept until the fajr time, then he is just like someone who intentionally remained in the state of janabah.
21- If he was used to waking up, so he went back to sleep until fajr came, what is the ruling?
A: If he thought that he would wake up and he was already used to waking, then he slept with the intention of doing ghusl after waking up but he remained asleep till the fajr time; qada would rest on him. Although it is based on recommended caution to pay the kaffarah as well.
22- If he repeatedly slept for two or three times and he was used to waking up but he did not, then what is the ruling here?
A: In case before going to sleep he had intended to do ghusl after waking up, he is morally obliged to refrain from eating and do qada later on in both given cases, otherwise he is obliged to make kaffarah as well.
23- In the month of Ramadan, someone is sure that he will have a nocturnal seminal emission if he sleeps. Is he allowed to sleep?
A: He is allowed to sleep and there is nothing upon him if he has a nocturnal seminal emission during sleep.
24- A sa`im had a wet dream during the day. Is he allowed to do istibra' by passing urine if he is sure that semen will come out?
A: He is allowed to do this before doing ghusl.
25- If a sa`im had had a wet dream during the day and he wanted to do ghusl and was sure that if he neglect istibra' the remnant of semen would come out after ghusl, then in this given question, is he obliged to do istibra'?
A: In the given question, it is based on the obligatory caution to do istibra' before ghusl.
26- Is the sa`im who had had a wet dream obliged to be careful not to let the semen come out, when he woke before it, especially if this would cause unbearable hardship and harm?
A: He is not obliged. Although, if no hardship or harm would follow, it goes with the caution to do it.
(9) Liquid enemas
1- If a sa`im is compelled to use a liquid enema due to a disease or something else, would that harm the correctness of his sawm?
A: Using liquid enemas for a sa`im is haram and it would invalidate his sawm, even if it was to treat disease.
2- If a sa`im had used liquid enemas in a way that the liquid did not come up into his body but just entered into the anus, would this break fasting?
A: It is based on obligatory caution to abstain from such an act.
1- If a person who is fasting bleeds in the mouth, does it invalidate his fast?
A: Bleeding in the mouth does not void fast. However, the blood should not be swallowed.
2- Please, give your opinion concerning the use of snuff by a person who is fasting.
A: If the use of snuff causes anything to go down the throat from the nose, then it will be forbidden for a person who is fasting.
3- Some people use 'Naas', which is made up of tobacco and other constituents, and they put it under their tongues for a few minutes, then they spit it out. Does that void the fast?
A: If they swallow the saliva mixed with Naas, then their fast will become void.
4- There is a medicine for asthma patients, which is in the form of a spray containing a vapor-borne powder, which enters the patient's lungs through the mouth providing him relief. At times, asthma patients need to use it several times a day. Is it permissible to fast while using such a spray?
A: If what goes into their lungs through the mouth is only air, then their fast is not harmed. But if the air is mixed with medicine, be it in the shape of a powder or dust, the validity of the fast is problematic. However, if fasting without it is difficult or harmful, using the medicine is permissible, but it is based on obligatory caution not to use anything else which would break fasting and if one becomes able, later on, to fast without using this medicine, he should observe qada of these days.
5- My gums often bleed and the blood gets mixed with saliva. At times I am not sure whether the saliva that enters my throat is mixed with blood or not. Please tell me what I am supposed to do to overcome this problem?
A: If the blood from your gums gets mixed with saliva in a way that it can no longer be distinguished, then the saliva is pure [tahir] and can be swallowed. if you are not sure whether the saliva is mixed with blood or not, it can still be swallowed without affecting the correctness of the fast.
6- Once in the holy month of Ramadan, I forgot to brush my teeth, and some tiny bits of food remained in my mouth. I swallowed the bits unintentionally. Do I have to perform the qada' for that day's fast?
A: If you did not know that some bits of food remained in your mouth, or you did not know that they might be swallowed, and they were swallowed unknowingly and unintentionally, then you are not liable to anything in respect of your fast.
7- The gums of a person who is fasting bleed a lot. Does that invalidate his fast? Moreover, is it permissible to pour water over one's head with a jug?
A: The blood coming out of the gums does not invalidate the fast unless it is swallowed. Also one's fast is not affected by pouring water over his head with a jug or something else.
8- There are certain medicines for feminine illnesses that are applied through the vagina. Does their use invalidate the fast?
A: The use of such medicine does not invalidate the fast.
9- Please explain your view on injections given by dentists or other physicians to persons fasting during the blessed month of Ramadan!
A: It is based on obligatory caution for the fasting person to avoid having himself injected with any kind of supportive or nutritional injections in addition to all kinds of injections and fluids given intravenously, while there is no objection in using anesthetic injections and the like..
10- Is it permissible to take pills for high blood pressure during fasting?
A: If taking these pills during Ramadan is necessary for controlling high blood pressure, it is pe
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