Frequently asked Questions pertaining to Fasting (Part 1)
Q: Does a minor child have to fast?
A: fasting is not obligatory on a child.
Q: Does a pregnant woman have to fast?
A: By default, a pregnant woman has to fast. However, if illness or harm is genuinely feared upon herself or the foetus, she is then exempted from fasting. She will have to do Qadhā’ later.
Q: Does a sick person have to fast?
A: A sick person is exempted from fasting altogether if there is genuine reason to believe that the current illness will intensify by fasting or that he will suffer another illness on result of fasting or that his recovery will be prolonged due to fasting.
Q: Can a traveller omit fasting?
A: A Shar’ī musāfir (traveller) who embarked on his journey prior to dawn is permitted to omit the fast of that day. As long as he is a Shar’ī musāfir, he may omit fasting.
Q: What about travelling during the day?
A: If a person embarked on a journey during the day, he/she will have to fast that day.
Q: Will the application of eye drops break the fast?
A: Using eye drops will not break the fast.
Q: Can ear drops be used?
A: If a person’s eardrum is not perforated (intact), he may use ear drops. If someone has perforated ear drums, it will not be permissible to use ear drops.
Q: Can we use insulin injections whilst fasting?
A: It is permissible to use insulin injections. Injections do not break a fast.
Q: Will a nasal spray break the fast?
A: Yes, a nasal spray will break the fast.
Q: Can mouthwash be used whilst fasting?
A: It is disliked to use mouthwash whilst fasting.
Q: Is it permissible to brush teeth and use toothpaste?
A: It is disliked to use toothpaste whilst fasting. One may brush teeth, use a miswak and a tongue scraper.
Q: Can an addicted smoker smoke whilst fasting?
A: It is not permissible to smoke whilst fasting. Smoking will result in Qadhā and Kaffārah. A smoker may use a transdermal nicotine patch.
Q: What is the ruling for using suppositories?
A: Insertion of suppositories up the rear passage will invalidate the fast.
Q: I forgetfully ate whilst fasting?
A: If one was totally unaware that he was fasting, the fast will not be broken regardless of what was consumed.
Q: By mistake I swallowed water whilst doing wudhu?
A: By doing an act mistakenly will break one’s fast. However, only Qadhā will be necessary.
Q: I engaged in intercourse with my spouse?
A: Intercourse will invalidate the fast and will make Qadhā and Kaffārah compulsory.
Q: will engaging in intimacy break the fast?
A: Merely being intimate is disliked if it will lead one further. If one experiences ejaculation, the fast will be broken.
Q: I had a wet dream whilst fasting. Is my fast broken?
A: A wet dream will not invalidate the fast.
Q: What is the Kaffārah?
A: A Kaffārah is expiation for a violation. It is fasting for 60 days consecutively without any interruption for those capable of fasting. If one cannot fast, he will have to give monetary Kaffarah.
Q: When will Kaffārah be binding?
A: By swallowing food without an excuse, consuming something that one is inclined to or by intercourse.
Q: Can a sick person pay fidyah instead of fasting?
A: A person who cannot fast due a chronic or terminal illness may give fidyah. As long as a person’s condition remains such that they cannot fast, they will keep giving fidyah for each fast.
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport
Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za