FAQ Fasting

CategoriesSawm (fast) [227]

What is fasting?

Fasting is to avoid food, drink and sexual intercourse. A fast lasts from Fajr prayers start time to sunset.  (Hindiyyah 194/1)


It is compulsory for all Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadhan except

  • Those who are travelling the sharee distance (48 miles), although it is preferable to fast if. (Hindiyyah 207/1)
  • Those whose health might be affected like the elderly or sick. (Hindiyyah 207/1)
  • Women going through their monthly periods, or a pregnant woman who fears for her unborn child or who has recently given birth. (Hindiyyah 207/1)

Q: I’m a new Muslim and I wanted to ask whether making an intention for fasting is necessary and when should I make it?

A:  Making an intention for fasting is necessary.

It is to know in your heart that you will fast on that day. This intention can be made from Maghrib of the night before, until the Islamic midday of the actual fast. The Islamic midday is halfway between the beginning of Fajr and Maghrib times. (In Summer this is normally between 1pm and 1.30pm. In Winter it is between 12pm and 12.30pm)      (Raddul Muhtar 395/3)

Q: I recently got married. Is it permissible to kiss my wife whilst fasting?

A: As long as there is no fear of the kissing leading to intercourse or ejaculation, it will be allowed to kiss ones wife. However, if there is fear of this leading to intercourse or ejaculation, it will be makruh (detestable), but the fast will remain intact. (Hindiyyah 200/1)

Q: I am going for Umrah in Ramadhan and need to take an injection before I set off. Can I have the injection whilst fasting?

A: Yes, one is allowed to take it, although it is better to avoid it.

(Ahsanul Fatawa 432/4)

Q: I’ve got a blood test at the hospital next week. Am I allowed to take a blood test whilst fasting?

A: Taking blood out does not break the fast. However, it will be makruh (detestable) if it results in the person falling weak. (Bukhari 260/1, Hindiyyah 199/1)

Q: I’m a regular smoker. If I smoke whilst fasting will it break the fast?  Does the same apply to “Huqqah”?

A: Smoking and “Huqqah” both break the fast. (Maraqi-Falah p.660)

Q: Does vomiting break ones fast?

A: If the vomit is not a mouthful and not forced, the fast will not break. (Raddul Muhtar 392/3)

Q: I am suffering from diabetes, do I have to fast?

A: Regarding illness, the ruling written in various books is that “(It is permissible not to fast) for an individual who is ill and fears that his/her illness will increase, or a healthy person who fears that he will become ill due to fasting.” (Hindiyyah 207/1)

Therefore, as you are suffering from diabetes and you fear that fasting will seriously affect your health there is no sin for not fasting.

Q Am I allowed to apply eye drops?

A: Yes, you are allowed to apply eye drops whilst fasting. (Hidayah 217/1)

Q: I’m a young girl who regularly applies eye pencil. Will this break my fast?

A: No, it will not break your fast. (Hidayah 217/1)

Q: I am pregnant and due any day now and my midwife has told me not to fast as I will not have the energy to go into labour. Am I still obliged to fast?

A: It is best in this situation to avoid fasting. You must not put the child in any form of danger. (Hindiyyah 207/1)

Q: Can I use flavoured miswaaks whilst fasting?

A: It is makruh (detestable) to use it. The flavoured miswaaks will break the fast if the taste reaches the stomach. (Raddul Muhtar 395/3)

Q: Are we allowed to use toothpaste whilst fasting?

A: It is makruh (detestable) for one to use toothpaste whilst fasting. If the taste reaches the stomach,  fast will break.  (Raddul Muhtar 395/3)

Q: Does morning sickness invalidate the fast?

A: If by morning sickness, you are referring to vomiting involuntarily and nausea, then the fast will not break. (Raddul Muhtar 392/3)

Q: Am I allowed to have a smear test whilst fasting?

A: Having a smear test will invalidate your fast, as it requires inserting an object into the private part of a woman. (Hindiyyah 207/1)

Q: Can I use lipbalm or lipstick whilst fasting?

A: It is permissible to use lipbalm or lipstick as the taste does not reach the stomach. (Kitabul Fatawa 396,398/3)

Q: If I swallow mucus, sputum or saliva will my fast break?

A: Swallowing mucus, sputum or saliva does not break the fast. (Hindiyyah 204/1)

Q: Last Ramadhan I broke my fast deliberately. What should I do?

A:  If someone breaks the fast of Ramadhan intentionally it is necessary to give Kaffarah.

A Kaffara may be given in one of the following two ways: 1) Fasting for two months consecutively without missing a single fast, 2) Feeding sixty poor people. It should be remembered that if one has the ability to fast then one cannot adopt the second method; rather, one will have to fast for sixty days continuously. (Bukhari 260/1, Hidayah)

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