Acts which Break or do not Break the Fast


Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 3-Fasting, Zakaat, Qurbani, Hajj etc. / Sunday, August 31st, 2008
  1. If a fasting person forgetfully eats, drinks or has sexual intercourse, the fast will not break. If he eats and drinks a full-stomach, even then the fast will not break. If he forgetfully eats or drinks several times in the day, the fast will still not break.

  2. A person saw a fasting person eating or drinking something. If this fasting person is quite strong and is not greatly affected by fasting, it will be wâjib to remind him that he is fasting. But if he is a weak person and is greatly affected by fasting, he should not be reminded that he is fasting. Instead, he should be allowed to continue eating.

  3. A person slept away during the day. He saw a dream which made ghusl compulsory on him. (i.e. he had a wet-dream) In such a case, the fast does not break.

  4. During the day, it is permissible to apply surmah (antimony), oil, and to inhale any fragrance. The fast is not affected by such acts irrespective of when this is done. In fact, after applying surmah, if the colour of the surmah appears in one’s saliva or mucus in the nose, even then the fast will not break nor will it become makrûh.

  5. It is permissible for a man to sleep next to his wife, to touch her and to kiss her. However, if, due to the passions of youth, there is the fear that these acts would lead to sexual intercourse, they should be abstained from. It will then be makrûh to carry out such acts.

  6. A fly went down the throat, or some smoke or dust went down the throat on it’s own. In such a case, the fast will not break. However, if one did this intentionally, the fast will break.

  7. Incense sticks were burnt and the person went and sat near them and inhaled the smoke. The fast will break. In the same way, the fast breaks by smoking cigarettes, cigars, etc. Apart from this smoke, it is permissible to inhale the fragrance of perfumes which do not have any smoke.

  8. A fibre of meat or fragments of betel-leaf, etc. was stuck in the teeth. Due to cleansing the teeth, this fibre released itself from in between the teeth and the person ate it. However, he did not remove it from his mouth. It went down his throat on its own. If this fibre is less than the size of a gram-seed, the fast will not break. If it is equal to or more than the size of a gram-seed, the fast will break. However, if the person removed this fibre from his mouth and thereafter swallowed it, his fast will break irrespective of whether it was smaller or larger than a gram-seed. In both cases the fast will break.

  9. By swallowing one’s saliva, the fast does not break irrespective of the amount swallowed.

  10. After eating some betel-leaves, the person washed and gargled his mouth thoroughly. Despite this, the redness of the saliva did not disappear. There is no harm in this. The fast will still be valid.

  11. Ghusl became compulsory at night. However, the person did not have a bath and only took a bath during the day. The fast will be valid. In fact, even if he does not bath the entire day, the fast will still be valid. However, he will still be sinning for not bathing.

  12. A person sniffed in such a way that the mucus of his nose went down his throat. His fast will not break. Similarly, the fast does not break by sniffing and swallowing the saliva that is in the mouth.

  13. A person placed betel-leaves in his mouth and slept away. His eyes only opened the following morning. His fast will not be valid. He will have to make qada of this fast but there will be no kaffarah on him.

  14. While rinsing the mouth, water went down the throat and the person knew that he was fasting. His fast will break, qada will be wâjib, but there will be no kaffarah on him.

  15. A person vomitted unintentionally. The fast will not break irrespective of the amount. However, if he vomitted intentionally, his fast will break if the vomit was a full-mouth. But if it is less than a mouth full, the fast will not break.

  16. A small amount of vomit came out but it returned down the throat on its own. The fast will not break. However, if the person swallows it intentionally, his fast will break.

  17. A person ate a pebble, a piece of steel or some other object which is not normally eaten nor is it consumed for medicinal purposes. His fast will break but there will be no kaffarah on him. And if he eats or drinks something that is normally consumed, or, it is not normally consumed but is used for medicinal purposes, his fast will break and qada and kaffarah will be wâjib on him.

  18. When a person has sexual intercourse, the fast will break, qada will become wâjib, and it will also be wâjib to observe kaffarah. Once the head of the penis enters the vagina, the fast breaks and qada and kaffarah become wâjib. This is irrespective of whether ejaculation takes place or not.

  19. If the man inserts the head of his penis into the anus of the woman, even then, the fast of both the man and woman will break. Qada and kaffarah will also be wâjib on them.

  20. When a fast is broken, kaffarah only becomes wâjib when the fast of Ramadhân is broken. Kaffarah does not become wâjib by breaking any other fast irrespective of the manner in which the fast is broken. This applies even if the fast is a qada of a Ramadhân fast. However, if the intention was not made at night (i.e before dawn) for such a fast, or, a woman gets her haid on that very day after breaking her fast; then by breaking the fast, kaffarah will not become wâjib.

  21. While fasting, a person took snuff, put some oil in his ears or took an enema without taking any medicine orally. The fast will break. However, only qada will be wâjib and not kaffarah. If he puts water in his ears, the fast will not break.

  22. While fasting, it is not permissible for a woman to insert any medicine, oil, etc. in her vagina. If she inserts any medicine into the vagina, the fast will break, qada will be wâjib but not kaffarah.

  23. Because of some reason, the doctor inserts his finger into the vagina, or, the woman inserts her own finger. Thereafter, he or she removes part of the finger or the entire finger and then re-inserts the finger. The fast will break but kaffarah will not be wâjib. If the finger was not re-inserted, the fast will not break. However, if the finger was wet or moist before inserting it the first time, and then it is inserted, the fast will break the first time it is inserted.

  24. Blood comes out from the mouth. It is then swallowed together with saliva. The fast will break. However, if the quantity of blood is less than that of the saliva and its taste is not felt when it goes down the throat, the fast will not break.

  25. If a person tastes something with his mouth and thereafter spits it out, the fast will not break. However, it is makrûh to do so unnecessarily. But if one’s husband is very hot-tempered and there is the fear that if the salt or water content in the gravy is not in order, he will become extremely angry, it will be permissible to taste and will no longer be makrûh.

  26. It is makrûh to soften any food with one’s mouth and feed it to a child. However, if this becomes necessary and there is no alternative, it will not be makrûh.

  27. It is makrûh to cleanse the teeth with coal or tooth-powder. If any of these things go down the throat, the fast will break. It is permissible to clean the teeth with a miswâk. This is irrespective of whether it is a dry miswâk or a fresh one. If the miswâk is obtained from the neem (margosa) tree and one perceives it’s bitterness in the mouth, even then it will not be makrûh to use such a miswâk.

  28. A woman was sleeping or lying down unconscious. A person came and had sexual intercourse with her. Her fast will break, qada will become wâjib but she does not have to give any kaffarah. As for the man, qada and kaffarah will be wâjib on him.

  29. A person ate something forgetfully and thought that since he has eaten, his fast is now broken. He therefore ate something intentionally. His fast will now break, qada will be wâjib on him, but not kaffarah.

  30. A person vomited involuntarily and thought that his fast is now broken. He therefore consumed some food. His fast will break, qada will be wâjib, and not kaffarah.

  31. A person applied surmah, underwent blood-letting or applied some oil and thereafter thought that his fast has broken because of any of these causes. He therefore ate some food intentionally. In this case, both qada and kaffarah will be wâjib on him.

  32. If a person’s fast coincidentally breaks in the month of Ramadhân, he cannot eat or drink anything for the rest of the day. It is wâjib on him to abstain from consuming anything for the rest of the day just like a normal fasting person.

  33. A person had no intention of fasting on any day in the month of Ramadhân. He therefore continued eating and drinking the entire day. Kaffarah will not be wâjib on such a person. Kaffarah only becomes wâjib when one makes an intention to fast and thereafter breaks the fast.

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