The Office of the Supreme Leader

Occasional Rules of Fasting

Conditions of Obligatory Fast
1. Those who are eligible to fast (Fast is obligatory provided that):
- They are mature;
- They are wise;
- They are able;
- They are not in coma;
- They do not go on a trip;
- She is not in menstrual cycle/nifās;
- It is not harmful/unbearably hard to fast.
Not Being Able to Fast at the Beginning of Puberty
Q2: What is the ruling for those who have recently reached puberty and find it somewhat difficult to fast? If they do not fast, is it obligatory for them to perform the qaḍā’ of the fast or perform both qaḍā’& kaffrah ?
A: It is obligatory for a person who has recently reached puberty to fast. It is not permissible to forsake fasting due to some excuse or weakness and s/he must carry out its qaḍā’ and pay the kaffārah. But if one knows fasting is harmful for him or fears out of rational root that fasting would be harmful, then s/he can break her/his fast. Also if fasting involves unbearable hardship, it is permissible for him to break the fast when he faced hardship. It is necessary to perform qaḍā’ in both situations and kaffārah is not obligatory.
To Break Fast during the Day due to Difficulty
Q3: Due to one's profession, he cannot fast because of hunger/thirst nor able to leave his job, can he break his fast at the beginning of the day or he has another duty? What about the juvenile who face unbearable hardship if they fast?
A: In the given cases, they can break their fast when they face unbearable hardship. However, they should perform qaḍā’ for the missed fast.
To Fast While the 1st of the Month Is not Ascertained

Q4: If it is difficult to ascertain the beginning of the month of Ramadan, or Eid ul-Fitr, because of inability to observe the crescent at the beginning of the month due to clouds or for some other reason, and if the count of the month of Sha‘bān or the month of Ramadan did not add up to 30 days, is it permissible for us in Japan to go by the horizon in Iran or should we rely on the regular calendar? What is the duty?
A: If the crescent has not been ascertained even by being sighted in an adjacent cities of the same horizon, or the evidence of two just witnesses, or on the basis of a decree by a mujtahīd, it is obligatory to observe caution until the beginning of the month is ascertained.


sameness of horizon
Q5: What is the sameness of horizon and which places are of the same horizon? If moon is sighted in the eastern countries, is the new moon established for the countries of the west?
A: the sameness of horizon means two cities/places are the same regarding how possible it is to sight of the new moon in them. Also sighting the moon in an eastern country is usually inseparable from possibility of sighting it in the country of the west, sometimes it is not like that due to much difference in their latitude; the criterion is corollary of possibility of moon sighting between the two countries.


Criterion for Sighting the Crescent

Q6: Is the sighting of the new crescent through binoculars, telescope, retrieving the data saved in a computer or the like sufficient?
A: The sighting of the new crescent with an instrument does not differ from usual sighting and it is valid. The standard is to say it has been seen. Therefore, sighting with the naked eye, with glasses, and through telescope are ruled the same. However, computerized photographing of the crescent moon which cannot be clearly categorized as sighting is problematic (it is not reliable as obligatory precaution).
To Follow a Non-Islamic State in Sighting the Moon

Q7: If it is permissible to follow a government announcement regarding sighting the crescent and it constitutes a scientific criterion for the new month in other regions, is it qualified to an Islamic government or does it include a tyrannical government?
A: The criterion in this regard is being confident that the crescent is sighted in a place where it is sufficient in relation to the mukallaf.
To Intend Every Day or for the Whole Month

Q8: In the month of Ramadan, should we intend every day or it suffices to intend once in the beginning of the month?
A: It suffices to intend to fast at the night before the first day of Ramadan for a month. However, it is better (mustaḥabb caution) to intend every night for the next day as well.
To Decide to Break the Fast during the Day
Q9: During the month of Ramadan, a mukallaf decides to break his fast but he changes his mind before doing so. Is his fast valid? What about other fasts except Ramadan?
A: During the month of Ramadan if he ceases intending to fast, i.e. he does not have intention to continue his fast, it invalidates his fast and intending again to proceed with the fast is to no avail. Of course, he should avoid fast invalidators until Maghrib. However, if he doubts, i.e. he has not decided to break his fast or he decides to perform something which would invalidate the fast (but does not do so), the validity of his fast is problematic in these two cases and there is an obligatory caution to complete the fast and later perform its qaḍā’ as well. The same rule is applied to any fast which is obligatory for a specific day like that of nadhr.
Acts which Invalidate Fast
10. Nine acts invalidate the fast:
A) Eating and drinking;
B) To have intercourse;
C) To masturbate;
D) To attribute a thing which is not true to Allah, the Holy Prophet SAW, or infallible Imams;
E) To let dense dust to reach the throat;
F) To immerse whole head under the water;
G) To continue to be in state of Janābah/menses/nifās by fajr adhān;
H) Enema;
I) To vomit on purpose. Details and rules on the nine mentioned above will be discussed later.
[Items d, e, and f invalidate the fasts by obligatory caution].
To eat Prefast Food after Morning Adhān
Q11: In Ramadan month, one wakes up to have prefast meal. After eating, he comes to know that he has eaten after morning adhān, is the fast valid or he should observe its qaḍā’?
A: If he has eaten prefast meal without investigating Fajr, and after that becomes known that he has eaten after morning adhān, he should performs qaḍā’. But if he checks the time and knows that it is before Fajr, so eat something and afterwards it becomes clear that he ate after adhān, performing qaḍā’ is not obligated.
To Swallow Mucus while Fasting
Q12: While suffering from a cold, some mucus gathered in my mouth and I swallowed it instead of spitting it out. Was my fast valid? Also, once, staying for some days with one of my relatives during the blessed month of Ramadan, I had a cold and felt shy to perform ghusl of janābah, so I did tayammum instead and did not perform ghusl until sometime before noon. This happened for several days. Were my fasts for those days valid? If not, do I have to pay the kaffārah as well?
A: Swallowing the mucus (from head /lung) does not invalidate fast. However, after the mucus enters the mouth, one should — by obligatory caution — avoid swallowing it. As for not performing ghusl of janābah before dawn and performing tayammum instead, if the tayammum was done because of some shar‘ī excuse or done at the last moment due to shortness of time, then your fasting is valid. Otherwise your fasts for those days are void.
To Use Chewing Gum or to Suck Frankincense
Q13: What is the rule on using chewing gum and sucking frankincense while fasting?
A: Any how if something enters the throat, invalidates fast.
turning water around in the mouth
Q14: What is the rule if a fasting person takes water in his mouth, _in order to remove his thirst_ turns it around and spits it out allowing no water to enter the throat? Is it a must to spit out three times?
A: In the given case, it is no problem. What is obligatory is to drive water out of mouth. If he is sure that water has exited, nothing else is obligatory.
Q15: What is the rule on gargling for a fasting person whether for wuḍū’ or something else? How about if water goes down the throat?
A: While gargling, during wuḍū’ for obligatory prayer, if water goes down the throat, the fast is void. But in other cases than obligatory prayers, the fast should be performed again precautionary as qaḍā’.
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