Islamic laws and rules for Women Ramadan Fasting
♣ What is Fasting?
Fasting is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. It is called in Arabic as “Sawm” meaning abstain.
Fasting means one should abstain herself from eating, drinking and all the actions which will nullify the fasting from true dawn (time of fajr prayer) to sunset (time of maghrib prayer) in the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
♣ What is Islamic verdict for those who reject fasting?
If anyone rejects any of the five pillars of Islam, she will be considered as an unbeliever (Kafir). Therefore, fasting should not be rejected or should not be called as it is not an obligatory. Otherwise, the one who says it will become an unbeliever according to the Islamic Law. If someone is unable to fast in the month of Ramadan for any reason, she is obliged to fast those missed fastings as qadaa (Due fasting) later.
♣ What are the types of Fasting in Islam?
There are two major types.
1. Compulsory Fasting (Fard)
It can be further divided into three types:
a. Ramadan Fasting:
It is the duty of every sane and adult Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan. Whoever fulfills this duty will be awarded merits and obtained the love and mercy of Allah Almighty.
b. Nadhr Fasting (Oath Fasting)
If a person took an Oath that she will be fasting for specified number of days if her particular wish is fulfilled. In case of her wish is fulfilled, then she must complete her oath. She is not obliged to fast if her wish is not fulfilled.
c. Kaffara Fasting (Compensation Fasting)
Islam has imposed fasting as the compensation for certain criminal acts.
Example: If one took an Oath and if she breaks it, she is obliged to feed for 10 poor persons or should provide clothes to 10 poor persons or should free a slave or should fast for three days.
2. Additional Optional Fasting
This can be divided into two types:
a. Sunnat Fasting
These are the additional fasting observed by beloved prophet ﷺ in some particular days and commanded to his nation to fast as an additional fasting. This is not compulsory to fast. But whoever fast it, will get the abundant rewards and love of Allah Almighty and his beloved prophet ﷺ
Example – Ashura fasting which is observed in 9th & 10th day of month of Muharram, Nisf As-Shaban fasting (Bar'at) on 15th day of month of Sha'ban.
b. Nafl Fasting
These are the additional fasting which is observed by a servant of Allah voluntarily for the sake of love and blessings of Allah Almighty. These fasting can be observed as to show the gratitude to Allah Almighty or to seek rewards from Him. These fastings can be fasted on any days as the person wishes, provided not the days which were forbidden by Islam.
♣ On whom is Fasting compulsory?
One should have attained the following qualification for Fasting becomes compulsory upon her.
1. She must be a Muslimah
2. She must have reached puberty
3. She must be a Sane
4. She should possess the ability (power) to fast
5. She must be cleaned from menstruation or post childbirth bleeding
6. She is not in the state of travel
♣ On whom is Fasting not compulsory?
1. For Non-Muslims
2. For children
3. For an insane
4. People who are in serious illness
5. Women who are in the state of menstruation or post childbirth bleeding
However (3), (4), (5), (6) are required to fast those missing fasts later after Ramadan (qadaa)
♣ What are Fard (Compulsory) of Fasting?
The following two things has to be done compulsorily for fast to be valid.
1. Intention (Niyyah of Fasting)
The person who supposed to fast should intend her intention of fasting. It is compulsory. Without an Intention, Fasting will not be valid.
Nawaitu sawma ghadin an adai fardhi ramadani hazihis sanati illahi taala
“I intend to fast the compulsory Ramadan fast tomorrow”
The time for intention starts from Maghrib. It is sunnah to intend between Maghrib and Fajr for that day fasting. The time for intention lasts up to midday.
According to Shafie Fiqh, The time for intention is between Maghrib and Fajr. If one forgets to intend at that time, he may, based on the Hanafi Fiqh, intend before the midday.
The one who fast should abstain herself from eating, drinking and all the actions which will nullify the fasting from true dawn (time of fajr prayer) to sunset (time of maghrib prayer). The acts which will break the fast has been given below.
♣ What are Sunnat of Fasting?
Sunnat of fasting means a woman will earn more rewards and love of Allah by performing these following acts.
1. Partaking (Eating) Suhoor. (Suhoor means the meal consumed early in the morning before start fasting)
2. Completing the Suhoor before to the Fajr Prayer Call with the time lapse where 50 ayat (Phrases of Al Quran) can be recited.
(Normally it is called Imsak or Suhoor End Time)
3. Starting Suhoor with dates.
4. Partaking Suhoor at least with a cup of water, in case nothing is available.
5. Stopping the Suhoor if the time is doubtful.
6. Breaking the fast immediately after sunset.
7. Breaking the fast with dates. If not available, then with water.
8. Breaking the fast with three dates.
9. Inviting people to join in the break-fast (Iftar).
10. Reciting Iftar Dua (Prayer at the time of breaking fast).
11. Giving charity, donations and helping poor and relations.
12. Reciting Al Quran and performing I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan.
13. Taking obligatory bath before Fajr, if it is needed.
14. Avoiding from telling lies, bad words and erotic desires.
♣ What are the things should be considered at the time of Iftar?
Once the time of Maghrib (Sun-set) comes, one should break the fast immediately without unnecessary delays.
Allah's Messenger ﷺ said, "The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast."
Book - Sahih al Bukhari – 1957
♣ What is the dua to be recited at the time of breaking the fast (Iftar Dua)?
It is Sunnah to recite the following dua (supplication) once breaking the fast. (IFTAR DUA)
“Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika amantu wa `alayka tawakkaltu wa `ala rizqika aftartu fata kabbal minnee”
‘O Allah, I have fasted for You, believed in You, placed my trust in You, and broken my fast on your provision, accept it ’
♣ What are the things that break (nullify) the fast?
• Intentionally eating, drinking or smoking without a valid reason.
• Having sexual intercourse (even though semen does not come out).
• Menstrual bleeding (Haiz) begins.
• Anything put by force into the mouth of a fasting person.
• To vomit mouthful intentionally or to return vomit down the throat.
• Water going down the throat whilst gargling.
• Intentionally swallowing a pebble, piece of paper or any item that is not used as food or medicine.
• Inhaling snuff into the nostrils.
• Dripping oil into the ear canal.
• Swallowing the blood from the gums if the color of the blood is more than the saliva with which it is mixed.
• Swallowing the spittle before washing the dirty mouth.
These all above will invalidate the fast and make up (doing qadaa) is compulsory.
♣ What are the things that will not break the fast?
1. Eating or drinking unintentionally or forgetfully
The Prophet ﷺ said:
"If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by Allah."
Sahih al Bukhari – 1933
2. Vomiting unintentionally
3. Semen discharge in the sleep
4. Water entering the ears
5. Swallowing one’s own saliva
6. Rubbing oil onto the body or hair
7. Applying surma; however, it is better to avoid it
♣ What are the matters should be noted in the fasting?
1. If the fast is broken for any reason, It is wajib to be as fasting in the remaining hours of the day to honour the Ramadan.
2. If a patient is recovered or if a traveler reached his place or if a woman cleaned herself from menstrual and post childbirth bleeding or if one embraced Islam, at the day time, it is sunnah upon them to be fasting in the remaining time of that day according to Shafie Fiqh. However, it is wajib (obligatory) to be fasting according to Hanafi Fiqh.
3. Travelers and women who are in the state of menstrual and post childbirth bleeding can have meals at the day time. However, they must not disclose it out.
♣ What should you do if your menstrual flow has stopped anytime between sunrise and sunset in the month of Ramadan?
Out of respect for Ramadan, you should stop eating and drinking from that time until sunset. However, it is not compulsory and it will not be considered as a fast. Therefore, you should do Qadaa (Redo) that fast later.
♣ What should a fasting woman do if her Haiz (Menstrual bleeding) begins just before breaking the fast at Maghrib?
Her fast will be nullified and she has to make up for that day (keep Qadaa) after Ramadan.
♣ Is sexual intercourse with husband allowed in Ramadan?
Sexual intercourse with husband and wife allowed in the month of Ramadan after breaking the fast at Maghrib until next day Fajr to start the next fast. Once started the fasting at Fajr, then it is forbidden to have sex until the break the fast at Maghrib. If both husband and wife did not fast, then it is not forbidden to have sexual intercourse.
♣ Can a woman begin the fast at dawn after having sexual intercourse last night and without having compulsory bath?
Yes, if husband and wife had sex in the night and they can begin the fast in the next Fajr (dawn) without having the compulsory bath. However, compulsory bath anyhow will be required to perform the Fajr prayer.
♣ What are the things that make compulsory to break the fast?
• It is wajib to break the fast if one strongly thinks that the fasting will cause the death or increase his suffer from illness.
• Also it is wajib to break the fast, if a pregnant woman fears of risks for her pregnancy
• If a breastfeeding mother fears for her milk production
♣ What are the Expiatory Payment (Fidya) for missed Fasting?
A very old person who does not have the strength to fast or a very sick or diseased person who has no hope of recovering after Ramadan must make an expiatory payment for each fast missed in Ramadan. One “mudd” of grain should be given as Fidya. One mudd means the amount one can hold in both hands when cupped together. The grain should be the main staple in the place where it is given.
If, however, an old or sick person gains strength or recovers after Ramadan, he must keep the missed number of fasts and whatever was given as fidya will be a reward for him from Allah Almighty.
Each missed fasting in Ramadan should be made up before the next Ramadan, otherwise, One Mudd of grain should be given as Fidya in addition to makeup those missed fasts.
One cannot observe fasting on behalf of another one who is still alive even though he is a very old person. However, family members can fast on behalf of a deceased person.
♣ Which are the forbidden days to fast?
It is prohibited (haram) to fast in the following days:
1. Eid ul Fitr (Ramadan Festival Day)
2. Eid Ul Adha (Hajj Festival Day)
3. 11th, 12th & 13th day of Dhul Hijjah (i.e following three days from Hajj Festival)
4. Doubtful Day (Yaumul Shak) - 30th day of Sha’ban
5. Only in Friday (Fasting in Thursday plus Friday or Friday plus Saturday is permissible)
♣ Which are the Sunnat Fastings?
Beloved Prophet ﷺ has shown us lot of Sunnat Fastings in addition to the compulsory Ramadan Fasting. One can get abundant rewards and blessing through observing those fasts.
1. First six days fasting in the month of Shawwal (Following six days from Ramadan Festival)
2. Arafat Fasting (9th day of Dhul Hijjah)
3. Ashura Fasting (9th & 10th day of Muharram)
4. 13th, 14th & 15th day of every month except Dhul Hijjah
5. 27th, 28th & 29th day of every month
6. Fasting on Monday and Thursday is Sunnat Mu’akkadah
♣ Can a woman fast sunnat fastings?
An unmarried woman can freely fast as she wants. However, a married woman should get permission from husband if he is at the home town, except for the sunnat fastings of Ashura and Arafat. If he permitted then can fast.
♣ Can we fast Qadaa (missed) fast with the Sunnat fast together?
Yes, if you fast your missed qadaa fast in the same date of any sunnat fast, then you will get rewards for both. For example, if you fast your qadaa fast at the 13th, 14th and 15th day of a month, then your qadaa will be completed and you will get the rewards for the sunnat fasting of 13th, 14th and 15th. However, you should keep intention for the qadaa fasting.
♣ Should pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers fast?
• If a pregnant woman fears of risks for her pregnancy and if a breastfeeding mother fears for her milk production, then they can leave their fasts and redo (qadaa) them later.
Allah has given concession for them to leave the fast while they are pregnant and breastfeeding. So they can miss the fast, however, they must redo (qadaa) later.
Beloved Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah has exempted women from fasting and praying during their menses and exempted them from fasting when pregnant or nursing."
Narrated by - Anas bin Malik (RadhiAllahu Anhu)
Book - Al Nasai 2276
• However, if they find themselves healthy and they do not fear that fasting will cause any risks to their pregnancy or breastfeeding, then they must fast. It is obligatory upon them. For this they can consult with Muslim doctors and get medical advice for it.