- 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.
- Conditions for Zakat ul-Fitrah to Be Obligatory
Zakat ul-Fitrah of the Guests
225. What is the ruling of zakat ul-fitrah of a guest who comes to our home at the night before Eid ul-Fitr?
A: Paying his zakat ul-fitrah is not the duty of the host.
226. If one, who has some guests at the night, discovers the next morning that it is Eid ul-Fitr, is he required to pay the guests' zakat ul-fitrah?
A: Not being aware of moon sighting does not affect the ruling of paying zakat ul-fitrah. Anyhow, as said before, paying zakat ul-fitrah of a one-night guest is their own duty.
227. If the guest pays his own zakat ul-fitrah, does that release the host from this obligation?
A: In a case that guest is considered the host's dependent, if they pays their own zakat ul-fitrah on the behalf of the host and by his permission, the host is released from paying it.
Zakat ul-Fitrah of the Needy
228. Is a person, who is financially needy, required to pay zakat ul-fitrah?
A: If one is needy, they are not required to pay zakat ul-fitrah. However, if they have 3 kg. of wheat or the like or its value, it is mustaḥabb that they pay it as zakat ul-fitrah. Anyhow, if one has family members who are dependent on him, it is mustaḥabb that he pays zakat ul-fitrah to one of them, the latter pays it to another one and so on. It is also mustaḥabb that the last person pays zakat ul-fitrah to a person who is not among the family members.
Zakat ul-Fitrah of a Woman Who Provides for Her Family's Living
229. If a woman helps her husband to provide for their family's living, who should pay their zakat ul-fitrah?
A: If the wife is dependent on her husband, the husband should pay his and her zakat ul-fitrah provided that he affords it. Anyhow, if the wife is neither dependent on her husband nor on any other person, she should pay her zakat ul-fitrah herself.
Zakat ul-Fitrah of a Nāshizah Wife
230. In case the wife does not yield to her husband's sexual needs, is her husband exempted from paying her zakat ul-fitrah?
A: No, her husband is required to pay her zakat ul-fitrah unless she is dependent on another person.
Wife's and Children's Duty if One Does not Pay Zakat ul-Fitrah
231. What is the duty of one's wife and children if he does not pay zakat ul-fitrah?
A: They have no duty. They are not required to pay zakat ul-fitrah.
- What Is to Be Paid as Zakat ul-Fitrah and How Much
What Is to Be Paid as Zakat ul-Fitrah
232. Should zakat ul-fitrah be paid from the usually consumed food or the shar‘ī one?
A: If they pay wheat, barley, date, rice or the like, it is enough. It is not necessary to be paid from the main daily food item of the giver.
The Amount of Zakat ul-Fitrah
233. How much should one pay as zakat ul-fitrah?
A: One should give a deserving needy person one sā` (3 kg.) of food (wheat, barely, date, rice, currant, corn, or the like) or its value as zakat ul-fitrah for themselves and each individual who are dependent on them.
- Time and Place of Paying Zakat ul-Fitrah
Time of Putting Zakat ul-Fitrah aside
234. When should one put zakat ul-fitrah aside?
A: One may put zakat ul-fitrah aside when the moon of the month of Shawwāl is sighted. For a person who offers Eid ul-Fitr prayer, it is an obligatory caution to pay or put aside zakat ul-fitrah before Eid prayer. However, if one does not offer the prayer, they may delay fitrah payment until ‘noon’.
Putting Zakat ul-Fitrah aside and Making Use of It
235. If one puts some amount aside as zakat ul-fitrah, can they use it and then put another amount in its place?
A: No, they should pay the same amount they put aside as zakat ul-fitrah.
Paying Zakat ul-Fitrah before the Month of Ramadan
236. Is it allowed to pay zakat ul-fitrah to the needy person before the month of Ramadan?
A: No, that is invalid. However, one may give him the amount as a loan and on Eid day consider it as zakat ul-fitrah.
Sending Zakat ul-Fitrah to Another City
237. May we pay zakat ul-fitrah at another city?
A: Unless there is a deserving person in one's city, they may send their zakat ul-fitrah to another city.
To Pay Zakat ul-Fitrah prior to Eid Ul-Fitr
238. If at another city or country, there are people more deserving and needy, are we allowed to pay zakat ul-fitrah some days before Eid so that we can send it to them? What is the ruling if we phone somebody there to pay them with the intention to pay him the same amount any time we meet him?
A: There is no problem in giving the power of attorney to somebody to pay zakat ul-fitrah on your behalf with no difference between what is mentioned in the question. However, it is a must to pay zakat ul-fitrah at its specific time.
To Forget Paying Zakat ul-Fitrah
239. We forgot to pay zakat ul-fitrah. What should we do?
A: If you did not pay zakat ul-fitrah, you will not be exempted from paying it. In such a case, you should put it aside and pay it without intending being adā’ or qaḍā’.
- Areas of Spending Zakat ul-Fitrah
How to Pay Zakat ul-Fitrah
240. Can one pay zakat ul-fitrah to the family of a non-religious needy person?
A: `Adālah (justice) of the zakat ul-fitrah receiver is not conditional. However, according to caution, one should not pay it to a person who openly commits major sins.
To Pay Zakat ul-Fitrah to Whom We Are Required to Maintain
241. Can a father pay his zakat ul-fitrah to his deserving son who is a student?
A: If the children are needy, the parents are required by shar` to provide for their living and not allowed to pay them zakat ul-fitrah for covering their life needs. However, there is no problem in doing so for settling their loan or providing them with those needs whose providing is not the parents' duty.
Collecting Zakat ul-Fitrah and Distributing Equally among the Needy
242. As a charity for helping the needy and orphans, we collect zakat ul-fitrah after Eid prayer in the main masjid of our village. As you know the value of each sā` (share) varies. Our question: can we distribute the whole collected amount among the needy equally, e.g. to give each needy person 20.5 sā` (more or less)?
A: As per the obligatory caution each needy person should not receive lesser that one sā` or its value no matter whether or not all the needy receive zakat ul-fitrah. One may pay each needy person several sā`s or even an amount which covers their yearly expenses. It is a caution not to give a needy person, and the latter not to receive, an amount which exceeds their yearly expenses.
Paying Zakat ul-Fitrah to One's Relatives
243. Is it permissible to pay zakat ul-fitrah to one's honorable deserving relative as a gift?
A: One may give it to them as a gift without being necessary to tell them that it is zakat ul-fitrah. However, one should pay it to them with the intention of zakat ul-fitrah.
244. May one pay zakat ul-fitrah to their brother?
A: If they are needy, there is no problem in that. Rather, to pay zakat ul-fitrah to one's relatives, neighbors, those who left their countries for religious goals, Islamic scholars, wise men, and other people with priority is mustaḥabb.
Spending Zakat ul-Fitrah on Cultural Affairs
245. Can we spend zakat ul-fitrah on cultural and religious affairs aiming for propagating Islamic teachings?
A: There is no problem in spending zakat ul-fitrah for propagating Islamic teachings. Anyhow, it is a caution to give it to the needy.
Zakat ul-Fitrah of Sayyids
246. My wife is a sayyid woman. In view of the fact that I am a non-sayyid, paying her zakat ul-fitrah rests with me and zakat ul-fitrah of sayyids are separately collected, should I put my wife's fitrah in the place special for sayyids' fitrah?
A: The criterion in paying zakat ul-fitrah is the family provider not family members. Therefore, you are not allowed to put your zakat ul-fitrah in the sayyids' box even though your wife is sayyid.
Paying Zakat ul-Fitrah to Needy Sayyids
247. Can we pay zakat ul-fitrah to needy sayyids?
A: Non-sayyids are not allowed to pay their zakat ul-fitrah to sayyids.
Spending Zakat ul-Fitrah on Treating Needy Patients
248. The treatment of the ill daughter of a financially poor person costs a lot of money, can we give him zakat ul-fitrah for this goal? What if we discover later that he was not deserving help?
A: If he is needy, he is not required to pay zakat ul-fitrah and you may pay him your own fitrah. If you understand later that he was not needy, then in case the money you paid him is still untouched, you may claim it and pay it again to whoever deserves it. However, if you fail to take it back, you should repay zakat ul-fitrah to the needy.
- 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.