- Fasting Definition
1. Fasting in Islam is to refrain from eating, drinking, etc. — which will be discussed later in details — the whole day (from fajr until maghrib) in order to obey the Allah's order.
- Types of Fasting
2. There are four types of fasting:
- Obligatory fast, like during the month of Ramadan;
- Mustaḥabb fast, like during the months of Rajab and Sha'bān;
- Makrūh fast, like on the day of 'Āshūrā;
- Ḥarām fast, like on Eid ul-Fir (the first of Shawwāl) and Eid ul-Adha (the tenth of Dhi al-Hajjah).
3. Obligatory fasts are as follows:
- Fast during the month of Ramadan;
- Qaḍā’ fast;
- Kaffārah fast;
- Parents' qaḍā’ fast;
- Mustaḥabb fast which became obligatory due to nadhr, 'promise', or 'swear';
- Fast on the third day of i'tikāf
- Fast instead of slaughtering in tamattu' haj * .
* If a pilgrim is not able to slaughter and cannot borrow money, he should, instead, fast for ten days, of which three days is kept during haj and seven days in his waṭan.
Fast on the day of 'Āshūrā
4. Is it allowed to fast on the day of 'Āshūrā?
A: It is makrūh.
5. I heard that silence fast is ḥarām while some say it is ḥalāl in case of nadhr, is it true?
A: It is ḥarām.
Fast of One's spouse/child
6. Naming ḥarām fast, they include: fast of the wife in case it violates the right of the husband and fast of a child in case it hurts/annoys the parents. Do they apply in mustaḥabb fasts only, or they include obligatory fast without shortage of time?
A: It does not include obligatory fasts.
Rules during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Fast of a Pregnant Woman
198. A pregnant woman does not know whether fasting will harm the baby or not. Does she have to fast?
A: If she has reasonable grounds to fear that fasting would harm her baby, then, it is not obligatory for her to fast, otherwise she must fast.
Fasting of a Breastfeeding/Pregnant Woman Fearing of Harm
199. A woman was pregnant during two consecutive Ramadans and could not fast during those two years. Now that she is able to fast, what is her duty? Does she only have to perform the qaḍā’ for the two months, or does she have to carry out the twofold kaffārah as well? What is the rule concerning her delaying the fasting?
A: If she did not fast during the month of Ramadan due to a shar‘ī excuse, she is only liable for their qaḍā’. However, if she did not fast because she feared it might harm the fetus or the baby, she has to give fidyah, i.e. one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day, in addition to making their qaḍā’. And if she delayed the qaḍā’ beyond the following Ramadan without a shar‘ī excuse, another fidyah is obligatory for her as well, i.e. she should give one mudd [750 grams] of food to a poor person for each day.
If her excuse was fearing of harm for herself, rules of other cases of fearing of harm are applied, i.e. if the fear continues to the next Ramadan, she is not to perform qaḍā’ and she is only required to pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food as fidyah.
200. If fasting during the month of Ramadan is harmful for a breastfeeding/pregnant woman and it continues like that until the next Ramadan, does it suffice to pay fidyah without performing the missed fast like a patient?
A: The rules of a patient are applied here.
To Experience Menses While Fasting
201. If a woman’s periods begin two hours or more before the maghrib prayers in the month of Ramadan, will her fast be null and void for that day?
A: Her fast is void.
202. If a woman’s menstrual cycle starts while she is fasting on the specific day that she had made a nadhr to perform, what should she do?
A: Her fast is void because of the menstrual cycle, and she has to perform its qaḍā’ after she is clean again.
203. If during her keeping 60 fasts as kaffārah, the menstrual period of the woman or something like that starts, what should she do?
A: After she becomes clean, she may continue with the kaffārah fasts. She is not required to start it from the beginning.
Becoming Clean of Menses before Morning Adhān
204. If a woman becomes clean of her menses before morning adhān, what is her duty?
A: If there is enough time to take ghusl, she should take it; otherwise, she should do tayammum and her fast will be valid. However, if she does not take ghusl or tayammum on purpose, her fast becomes void and she has to observe kaffārah for it.
To Discover That She Is Clean of Menses only during the Day of Ramadan
205. A woman does not take ghusl before morning adhān during the month of Ramadan, because she is not confident about her being clean. However, she discovers during the day that she had become clean, should she abstain from fast invalidators till maghrib?
A: In the given situation, if she did not commit anything which may break fast, she should intend fasting. Anyhow, it is an obligatory caution that she make up for this fast in qaḍā’ later. However, if she did a fast invalidator, she will not be required to observe kaffārah for this missed fast.
- Eid ul-Fitr Prayer
Eid ul-Fitr Prayer in the Time of Occultation of the 12th Imam (a.s.)
249. What kind of obligatory duties are the two Eid prayers and Friday prayer in your opinion?
A: The two Eid (Fitr and Adha prayers are not obligatory, rather they are mustaḥabb in the present time but the Friday prayer is an optional (takhyīrī) obligation.
Leading Eid Prayer by an Imam Who Is not Appointed by the Jurist Leader
250. In the present time — that the jurist leader has an authority — is leading Eid prayer only possible for the jurist leader and his authorized representatives or other imams of congregational prayer in masjids and other places can lead it?
A: There is no problem in leading Eid prayer by those who are not appointed by the jurist leader hoping being desired by shar` (with rajā' intention) and not for its being mentioned in the Islamic tradition. That said, although it is better not to be led by them.
Leading Eid Prayer by Imams of Congregational Prayer in Masjids
251. In the past, every imam of congregational prayers used to perform Eid ul-Fitr prayers in his masjid. Is it permissible for imams of the masjids in the current time to hold the two Eid prayers?
A: At the time being, it is permissible for the representatives of the Jurist Leader — who are permitted by him to hold Eid prayers — and also for the Friday prayer imams, who have been appointed by him, to hold Eid prayers in congregation. As for any other individual, it is based on caution to perform them individually. It is no problem if they perform the two prayers in congregation as something hopefully — not surely required — desired in Islamic law. If it is deemed necessary/beneficial that only one Eid prayer be held in a city, it is preferable not to be led by anyone other than the Imam of Friday prayer appointed by the Jurist Leader.
Saying Iqāmah before Eid Prayer
252. Does Eid ul-Fitr prayer have any iqāmah?
A: It does not have any iqāmah.
253. If an imam of congregational prayer recites iqāmah for Eid ul-Fitr prayer, what will be the rule of his prayers and that of others who are praying behind him?
A: It harms neither the Eid prayer of the imam nor those of the followers.
To Join Friday or Eid Prayer during the 2nd Rak`ah
254. If someone joins the prayer of Eid ul-Fitr/ Eid ul-Adha or Friday prayer during the 2nd rak`ah, what is their duty?
A: They should complete the remaining part of the prayer individually.
To Make more or less Qunūts in Eid Prayer
255. Does any increase or decrease in the qunūt of Eid prayers make them invalid?
A: Prayers are not invalidated by this if by increase or decrease it is meant to elongate or shorten the qunūt itself. While if it means increase or decrease in the number of the qunūts, one should offer the Eid prayer as it is mentioned within the books of jurisprudence.
To Doubt the Qunūt of Eid Prayer
256. If one doubts the number of qunūts in Eid ul-Fitr or Eid ul-Adha prayer, i.e. unsure whether he has done four or five qunūts, what shall he do?
A: Unless he passed its place, he should consider the lesser number.
To Delay Eid Prayer for Unity Purpose
257. Is it alright, for the purpose of maintaining unity and solidarity, to offer Eid prayer on the 2nd of Shawwāl especially with the presence of some hadiths which indicate the permissibility of offering Eid prayer on the 2nd or 3rd day of Shawwāl?
A: Whatever the case is, to offer Eid prayer on the 2nd day of the month of Shawwāl as something hopefully desired in Islam is no problem.
Making up for Eid Prayer in Qaḍā’
258. Is there any qaḍā’ for Eid ul-Fitr prayer?
A: It does not have any qaḍā’.
- Hired Fasts
To Perform Qaḍā’ Fasts on behalf of a Living Person
308. My father has some qaḍā’ prayers due but he cannot offer them and I am the family’s eldest son. Is it permissible — while he is still alive — that I perform his missed prayers or hire someone to perform them?
A: It is not correct to perform the missed prayers and fast on behalf of a living person.
To Pay from the Father's Estate for His Fasts
309. Someone dies while owning only a house where his children live and he has some missed prayers and fasts to perform. His oldest son cannot do so for him because of his daily occupations, is it obligatory to sell the house and have his missed prayers and fasts performed?
A: In the given case, it is not obligatory to sell the house. But the performance of the missed prayers and fasting, which were obligatory for the father, is the duty of his eldest son in all cases except if the deceased person ordered in his will that someone be hired by the one-third of his estate for that purpose and that amount is sufficient for all of the prayers and fasts that are obligatory for him. In this case, it will be obligatory to spend one third of the property left for this purpose.
Duty of the Eldest Son as to Willed Fasts
310. I am the eldest son of my father, hence I am responsible for performing any outstanding prayer and fast my father owed. However, my father has directed in his will that one-year of prayer and fast should be performed. How should I go about the fact that more than one year of prayer and fast is outstanding?
A:The instructions of the deceased to clear any outstanding prayer and fast should be catered for from his share of one-third of the estate if he has directed thus. Accordingly, it is within your right to hire a person to perform the outstanding prayer and fast. Should the outstanding duration be more than what he directed in his will, you have to perform it on his behalf, albeit by hiring a person to do it with money paid from your own pocket.
Estate's Insufficiency for Qaḍā’ Fasts
311. A person died while he had to perform the qaḍā’ of some fasts of Ramadan and some prayers. He has no son. However, he left behind a certain amount of wealth. If this wealth is spent for the performance of the qaḍā’ of his missed fasts, the qaḍā’ of his prayers will remain outstanding and vice versa. In this situation, which one of the two should be given priority over the other?
A: None of the fasts and the prayers has any priority. It is not obligatory for the heirs to spend his wealth for making qaḍā’ of his fasts and prayers unless he left a will that someone is hired, out of the one third of his wealth, to perform of his qaḍā’ prayers and fasts as much as 1/3 of his wealth can afford.
Elder Son's Hiring Someone for His Father's Qaḍā’ Fasts
312. If eldest son wants to hire someone to perform his father's qaḍā’ fasts, can he pay from his father's estate?
A: No, he should perform them himself or pay from his own pocket to hire someone else to fast. He has no right to use his father's estate unless the father had made a will (to this effect).
To Be Hired While Owing Kaffārah of Nadhr or Swear
313. A person owes some fasts due to kaffārah of nadhr or swear, can he accept the request to be hired to fast on behalf of another person?
A: There is no objection to it.
To Be Hired While Owing Kaffārah/ Qaḍā’ Fasts
314. A person owes kaffārah/qaḍā’ fasts, can he fast on behalf of others for free/for compensation?
A: It is no problem to be hired to do so while doing so for free is problematic.
Attorney's/Agent's Negligence in Performing Qaḍā’ Fasts/Prayers
315. Someone acted as an attorney in hiring other people to perform certain acts of worship, such as prayer and fasting, on behalf of the deceased. He betrayed the trust, i.e. he did not hire anybody and took the money for himself. Having shown remorse, he wants to pay back his dues. What should he do? Should he hire some people to do the job or return the money to the respective owners at the current rate? Or is he required to return only the amounts he originally received from the people who asked him to do the job? And what is the view if this person himself was hired to do the job, but died before getting it over and done with?
A: If the contract of being attorney has already expired before hiring anybody to perform the prayer and fasting, he should be made to pay compensation equal to the amount of money he received for getting the job done. Otherwise, he has the choice between hiring someone to perform prayer and fasting with the money he received or canceling the contract and returning the money to the owners. In case, there was a change in money value, it is a caution that both parties reach reconciliation.
As for the hired person, if he was hired to do it himself, the contract is automatically cancelled with the death of the person. It would then be obligatory that the money he received be paid back from his estate. If he was hired either to do the job or to have it done, he would still be responsible for discharging the work itself. In this case, his inheritors have to hire someone to discharge the work with money set aside from his estate if he has such estate. Otherwise, they do not have to do anything.
Kaffārah of Breaking Fast by a Hired Person
316. A person was hired to perform qaḍā’ fasts of the month of Ramadan for somebody else, and he breaks the fast in the afternoon. Does he have to pay the kaffārah?
A: No kaffārah is required.
To Make a Will as to Qaḍā’ Fast by Someone Other than One's Heirs
317. A martyr had made a will asking his friend to perform the qaḍā’ of some fasts on his behalf as caution. However, the martyr’s heirs do not give significance to such issues and it is not possible to put the matter before them. Moreover, fasting would involve hardship for that friend. Is there any other solution?
A: If the martyr had made a will asking the very friend to fast on his behalf, the martyr’s heirs do not have any obligation in this regard. If it is too difficult for the friend to fast, he also does not have any obligation.