- 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.
- 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’.
- Missed Fasts which Requires Qaḍā’ Only
259. A person, who does not intend to fast in Ramadan or fasts to show off without committing any act which invalidates fasting, should make up for the fast of that day in qaḍā’ without being required to observe kaffārah.
260. If a junub individual forgets to take ghusl of janābah during the month of Ramadan and fasts once or several days in a state of janābah , he should make up for these fasts in qaḍā’.
261. If one, without investigating about fajr arrival, does something that invalidates fast and then they come to know that fajr had been arrived, they should make up for this fast in qaḍā’. But if after investigation they become sure that fajr has not arrived and eat something to discover later that it was fajr time, they are not required to make up for it.
262. If during the day of the month of Ramadan one becomes sure — due to darkness in the sky — that it is maghrib or somebody — whose telling is reliable by shar` — tells that maghrib has arrived and one breaks fasts depending on that yet he comes to know later that maghrib had not arrived, one should make up for that fast in qaḍā’.
263. If one due to cloudy weather thinks that it is maghrib and breaks his fast but comes to know later that maghrib had not arrived, one is not required to make up for this fast in qaḍā’.
264. In the month of Ramadan, unless one is sure that fajr time arrives, they may perform any fast invalidator but if they come to know later that it was fajr time, the ruling is made clear in issue 261.
265. In the month of Ramadan during the day time, unless one is sure that maghrib has arrived, one is not allowed to break his fast. Anyhow, if one becomes sure that maghrib has arrived and breaks fast to come to know later that maghrib had not arrived, the ruling is mentioned in issues 262 and 263.
266. If a fasting person rinses out their mouth for wuḍū' of an obligatory prayer and some water is swallowed involuntarily, one's fast is in order and they are not required to make up for it. But if one does the same not for wuḍū' of an obligatory prayer, they should — by obligatory caution — make for this fast in qaḍā’.
- Rules of Making up for Fast in Qaḍā’
267. If, during the month of Ramadan, a person remains unconscious or in coma for a day or several days and they miss one or several fasts, they are not required to make up for the fast/s in qaḍā’.
268. If somebody misses one fast of Ramadan out of intoxication (e.g. being intoxicated, they do not make the intention of fast), they should make up for this fast in qaḍā’ even though they abstain from fast invalidators for the whole day.
269. If somebody makes the intention to fast but becomes intoxicated afterward for the whole day or a part of it, they should – by obligatory caution – make up for this fast in qaḍā’, especially in sever intoxication states which affect one's reason. It makes no difference, for this and the previous issues, whether consuming the intoxicating material is ḥarām for the person or it is ruled ḥalāl for them due to an illness or as they do not know that it is intoxicant/alcohol.
270. A woman, who does not fast due to menstruation or after giving birth to a baby, should make up for these missed fasts in qaḍā’ after the month of Ramadan.
271. A person missed some fasts of Ramadan due to some excuse, but he does not know how many fast he missed, e.g. he does not know he started his journey on the 25th of Ramadan so that he missed six fasts or on the 26th to owe five fasts. In this case, he may perform five fasts. However, if he knows the onset of his excuse, e.g. he started his journey on the 5th but does not remember whether he returned on the 10th or 11th so that he missed five or six fasts respectively, he should — by caution — consider the bigger number.
272. If one has missed fasts of several Ramadan months, he may compensate for the one he wants first. However, if the time for the last Ramadan's missed fasts is too short, say he missed five fasts during the last Ramadan and the next Ramadan will start after five days, by caution he performs the missed fasts of the last Ramadan first.
273. While observing qaḍā’ of missed fast of Ramadan, one may break his fast before 'noon' unless the time is too short, i.e. the number of last Ramadan's missed fasts equals that of the days remains to the next Ramadan. In this case, by caution he does not break his fast even before 'noon'.
274. One who does not fast in Ramadan due to an illness is exempted from their qaḍā’ — provided that his illness continues to the next Ramadan — but should pay one mudd of food for each fast.
275. If one does not fast in Ramadan due to traveling and his travel continues until next Ramadan, performing qaḍā’ fasts does not cease to be obligatory and he should fast later. It is mustaḥabb caution to pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food for each fast as kaffārah.
276. If one does not fast in Ramadan due to an excuse and does not make its qaḍā’ before the next Ramadan either while he is not excused any more, he should make its qaḍā’ and pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food for each fast.
277. If one delays qaḍā’ of a Ramadan fast for several years, he should make its qaḍā’ and pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food as kaffārah for delay of the first year but he has no other duty for the delay of the following years.
278. A person, who should pay one mudd for each fast, may pay kaffārah of several days to one poor person.
279. If the father — and the mother by obligatory caution — does not fast because of an excuse — other than travel — and does not make its qaḍā’ either although he/she is able to, it is obligatory for the elder son to perform its qaḍā’ — or hire someone else to do so — after the death of the parent. However, as to missed fasts due to traveling, it is obligatory for the elder son to perform its qaḍā’ even if they find no opportunity to make its qaḍā’.
280. The eldest son should — by caution — make qaḍā’ of the fasts his parents did not observe on purpose either individually or through hiring another person to do it.
To Observe a Mustaḥabb/Nadhr Fast while Owing Qaḍā’ Fasts
281. A person owes some obligatory fasts, can he observe mustaḥabb fasts?
A: Whoever owes qaḍā’ of the fasts of Ramadan month cannot fast a mustaḥabb one.
282. A person owes qaḍā’ fasts of Ramadan month, can he make nadhr to fast?
A: If he wants to observe nadhr fast after qaḍā’ fasts, his nadhr is in order.
Qaḍā’ of Fasts Missed due to Traveling
283. Due to a journey made for an important religious mission, I became liable for the qaḍā’ of eighteen days of Ramadan. What is my duty? Is it obligatory for me to perform qaḍā’ of the missed fasting?
A: You must perform qaḍā’ of the Ramadan fasts missed due to traveling.
To Break Fast due to Ignorance
284. Due to ignorance of the rules, a person does something that invalidates his fast, should he only perform qaḍā’ of the fasting or should he pay the kaffārah as well?
A: If someone does something that invalidates his fast due to lack of knowledge about the shar‘ī rule, e.g., he does not know that taking medicine like taking food invalidates fasting and takes medicine in Ramadan month during the day, his fasting is void. He should perform its qaḍā’ but paying kaffārah is not required.
Not to Know the Number of Missed Fasts
285. A person does not know the exact number of days he has failed to fast or how many prayers he missed. What should he do? And what rule applies if he does not know whether he missed the fast intentionally or due to a shar‘ī excuse?
A: It is permissible for him to perform only the qaḍā’ of the prayers and fasts he is sure he missed. When there is doubt as to whether the fast was broken intentionally or not, kaffārah is not required.
To Doubt Making up Qaḍā’ Fasts
286. If one is not sure whether they have done the qaḍā’ of all missed fasts, what is their duty?
A: If they are sure they were obligated to perform qaḍā’ of some fasts in the past, then it is obligatory to ascertain that they have fulfilled their duty.
Being Unable to Make up Qaḍā’ Fasts
287. Due to misguiding propaganda of communists, some people did not perform their prayers and other obligatory duties for some years. But, after reading Imam Khomeini’s letter to the leaders of the USSR, they repented. Now they are not able to make up for their missed obligations. What is the rule regarding them?
A: It is obligatory for them to make up for the missed obligatory prayers and fasts as much as possible and to make a will for those whose qaḍā’ they are not able to perform.
To Miss Fasts due to not Knowing Signs of Puberty
288. It has been about six months since I reached the age of shar‘ī puberty. Up until some weeks before my age of shar‘ī puberty I was under the impression that there was only one sign of ritual maturity, i.e. the completion of fifteen lunar years. Then I happened to read a book which spoke of the signs of maturity for boys. I read there of other signs of maturity which I really possessed but do not know the date of their occurrence. So, do I now have to perform the qaḍā’ of my prayers and fasts? Taking into consideration that I would sometimes perform prayers and that I fasted the whole of Ramadan last year, what is the ruling in this case?
A: It is obligatory to perform the qaḍā’ of all the prayers and fasts that you are certain you missed after becoming ritually mature.
289. I experienced wet dream before the age of fourteen but I did not know that it is one of the signs of shar‘ī puberty. Therefore, I did not fast until I was fifteen years old. Is qaḍā’ of fasts sufficient or I have to observe kaffārah as well?
A: Qaḍā’ of fasts is obligatory.
- Qaḍā’ Fasts of a Sick
Illness Continues from This Ramadan to the Next Ramadan
290. I wear medical glasses and at the present, my eyes are too weak. The doctors tell me that if I do not strengthen my physique my eyesight will get weaker. If I am unable to perform the Ramadan fasts, what is my duty?
A: If fasting is harmful for your eyes, you are not obligated to fast; in fact, it is obligatory that you refrain from fasting. And if your illness continues until the next Ramadan, then your duty is to give one mudd [750 grams] of food to the needy for every day that you did not fast.
Qaḍā’ of Fasts while Illness Continues for Several Years
291. My mother was ill for a period of almost 13 years and could not fast. I know for certain that what prevented her from this duty was her need to take medicine. Please tell us if it is obligatory for her to perform the qaḍā’ for these missed fasts.
A: If she was not able to fast due to her illness, she does not have to perform the qaḍā’ for those days.
Qaḍā’ Prayer/Fast of Alzheimer's Patients
292. An alzheimer's patient passed away. Was fast/prayer obligatory for him? What is our duty in this regard?
A: If his illness did not reach the level of being mad, he had to pray and fast. If he did not, his elder son should do its qaḍā’ unless he had made a will in this regard and its value does not exceed one third of his estate. In case of will, they may hire someone to perform his qaḍā’ prayer/fast.
- Qaḍā’ Prayer/Fast of the Parents
Qaḍā’ Prayer/Fast of the Parents
293. If the eldest child of a deceased person is a female and his/her second child is male, is it obligatory for this son to perform the missed prayers and fasts of the mother and the father?
A: The criterion is that the male child is the eldest among the sons, if the father has any sons. As for the assumption in question, it is obligatory for the son, i.e. the father’s second child, to perform his father’s missed prayers and fasts. By obligatory caution the same rule is applied to his mother's missed prayers and fasts as well.
Qaḍā’ of Intentionally Missed Fast of the Father
294. If a father forsakes all of his worship duties intentionally, will it be obligatory for his eldest son to perform all of the prayers and fasts his father missed over 50 years?
A: Even in the given case, caution goes with the performance of the missed prayers and fast.
Qaḍā’ Fast of the Father Missed after a Brain Stroke
295. My father had a brain stroke. As a result, he remained ill for two years and was unable to distinguish between good and bad. That is to say, he lost his mental senses. During this two year period, he was not able to perform his prayers or fasts. Since I am the family’s eldest son, is it obligatory for me to perform his missed prayers and fasts? Of course, I know that if he had been fine, it would have been obligatory for me to perform those missed prayers. I would appreciate your advice in this regard.
A: If his mental defect did not reach the level of insanity and he was not unconscious throughout the whole time of prayers, you would be obliged to make qaḍā’ of his missed prayers and fasts, otherwise there is nothing obligatory for you.
No Priority between One's Qaḍā’ Fast and That of the Father
296. If the eldest son already has the obligation to perform some missed prayers and fasts of his own when the performance of his father’s missed prayers and fasts is also added to his obligations, which one of the two will have priority?
A: He has the choice in this situation; therefore, it is correct for him to start performing either of them.
Death of the Elder Son
297. If the eldest son — whether mature or not — dies before his father, will it become obligatory for any of the other sons to perform the missed prayers of his father?
A: The performance of the father’s missed prayers and fasts is obligatory for the eldest son who is alive when his father dies, even if he is not the father’s first child or son.
298. If the eldest son who had the obligation to offer his father’s missed prayers dies, will this obligation pass on to the eldest son’s inheritor or to the grandfather’s second eldest son (the brother of the eldest son)?
A: The performance of the father’s missed prayers and fasts, which were obligatory for his eldest son, will not become obligatory for the latter’s son or brother upon his death after that of his father.
Doubted Qaḍā’ Fast of the Father
299. My father missed fasts for some years. I do not know whether he performed them or not. What is the duty of the elder son in this regard?
A: If the elder son is sure that his father had to perform some qaḍā’ fast, he should compensate for them.
300. I am the eldest son of the family. Is it obligatory for me to investigate and acquire information from my father about his missed prayers so that I can perform them for him? Or should he inform me of the numbers outstanding and if he does not, what will my duty be?
A: It is not obligatory for you to investigate, but it is obligatory for the father to perform them while he is alive or, if he could not, to specify it in his will. In any case, it is a duty of the eldest son, after the father’s death, to perform fasts and prayers he is certain his father missed.
The Duty of a Daughter Regarding Her Father's Missed Fasts
302. If a father has daughters only, is his missed fast obligatory for his elder daughter?
A: No, it is not obligatory.
Qaḍā’ of His Father's Missed Prayer/Fast While the Son Is Minor or Does not Inherit
304. Is it obligatory for the minor child or that who is not eligible by shar‘ to receive inheritance to perform missed prayer/fast of his father?
A: Upon death of the father, it is obligatory for his elder son to perform his missed prayers/fasts. To be mature at the time of father's death is not conditional. Therefore, it is obligatory — when he becomes mature — for a minor to do so. To receive inheritance is not conditional either; so he should do it even if he does not receive inheritance as a killer/kāfir.
- Delay and Negligence in Qaḍā’ Fasts
Delay in Qaḍā’ Fasts out of Ignorance
305. What is the rule on a person who delays his/her qaḍā’ fasts as he does not know he should do it before next Ramadan?
A: Fidyah, on the delay of qaḍā’ fasts until next Ramadan, is not removed due to his ignorance.
Rule on Negligence in Qaḍā’ Fasts
306. A person neglected performing qaḍā’ of fasts he missed in Ramadan and now he is not able to perform them due to illness, what should he do?
A: If he neglected performing qaḍā’ fasts and now he is not able to perform them before next Ramadan, he should give one mudd (750 gr.) of food to a poor person for each fast and perform their qaḍā’ when he can.
To Break Qaḍā’ Fasts
307. Can one break his qaḍā’ fast for one reason or another?
A: He may do so before 'noon'. However, it is not permissible to break it after 'noon'; if he does so, he should observe kaffārah, i.e. to give food to ten poor persons, one mudd (750 gr.) to each person. If he does not have it, he should fast for three — by obligatory caution, consecutive — days.
- 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.