In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
|"O who believe, fasting is decreed for you
as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves. (2:183)
Siyam - Fasting
Fiqh of Ramadan in Brief
Minhaj al-Talibin, al-Imam Muhyiddin Abu Zakariya an-Nawawi (d 676H/1277 AC), considered one of the foremost scholars of Shafi`i
Obligation to Fast
The fast of Ramadan becomes obligatory when thirty days of the preceding
month, Sha`ban, are past or with the seeing of the new moon of Ramadan. This seeing is established with the testimony of one
trustworthy witnesses or as some [`ulama] say, two. If one witness is accepted, it is a condition that he must have the quality
of veracity... If we should fast because of such testimony and did not see the moon [of Shawwal] after thirty days, we might
still end the fast even if the sky was cloudy...
Thus if the fast is not yet obligatory in one area and a traveller
comes to a locality where the moon has been seen [i.e. they have begun fasting], the most proper thing is for him to conform
with the inhabitants in fasting. One who travels to an area where the new moon of the Eid has been seen should feast with
its people, and afterwards make up the day of fast he has lost thus.
Intention is a condition of the fast; the intention
should be formulated each night... The full formulation in Ramadan is "to fast tomorrow to observe my duty towards Allah of
fasting Ramadan this year."
fast, one must rigorously avoid sexual intercourse, vomiting... or introducing any substance to the "interior of the body."
... all can break the fast with the introduction of a substance by snuffing or eating or injection, or through incision in
the belly or the head or the like. According to the soundest opinion, putting drops in the nose or the urethra breaks the
fast...there is no harm in oil's entering the pores by absorption, or when kohl (antimony) is used, and its taste is afterwards
perceived in the throat. The introduction must be intended so that if [something] entered by accident, the fast would not
But the fast is broken if saliva leaves the mouth and one then brings it back into the mouth...If one
swallows the saliva in his mouth he does not break the fast, but if he swallows the water from the mouth or nose remaining
after the ablution, if it is in any quantity, he does. If food remaining between the teeth is dislodged by saliva, it does
not break the fast...
If one eats someting truly forgetting (that he is fasting) he has not broken the fast, unless
he repeat this, according to the best opinions. I too say that he has not broken the fast, and Allah is Most-Knowing.
intercourse is like eating, according to our school (if committed during the time of fast and one has truly forgotten that
he is fasting, it does not break the fast). But any seminal emission (otherwise) breaks the fast...
A traveller or
sick person who has legally broken the fast, must fast the number of days he has missed when he is able. This is true also
for menstruating women, for those who broke the fast without a valid excuse, for those who did not formulate the intention
before fasting, for one who was unconscious the entire day...
A pregnant or nursing woman must fast for lost days
when she is able, but if she did not fast for reasons of her own health, she need not pay expiation; while if she broke the
fast fearing for the child, she does pay expiation (fidya) as well. The expiation is a day's food given to the poor and needy,
of the same sort given in alms at the Eid of Fast-Breaking...
One owes an atonement (kaffara) for breaking the ast
of Ramadan due to sexual intercourse... The atonement... [is that] he must fast sixty days, or if he cannot do that, give
sixty days' provisions to the poor. If he is unable to do all this, the obligation remains, and he must still do it if ever
he is able... It is not possible for a poor person to pay his atonement to his own family.