The Office of the Supreme Leader

Occasional Rules of Fasting (part 3)

Fasting of a Breastfeeding/Pregnant Woman Fearing of Harm
Q1. 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, it is not required to perform qaḍā’ and she is only required to pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food as fidyah.
To Experience Menses While Fasting
Q2. 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.
To Discover That She Is Clean of Menses only during the Day of Ramadan
Q3. 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 makes 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.
To Observe a Mustaḥabb/Nadhr Fast while Owing Qaḍā’ Fasts
Q4. 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.
To Break Fast due to Ignorance
Q5. 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 took 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
Q6. 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 Miss Fasts due to not Knowing Signs of Puberty
Q7. 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.
Illness Continues from This Ramadan to the Next Ramadan
Q8. 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’ Prayer/Fast of Alzheimer's Patients
Q9. 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 insanity, 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
Q10. 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.
Death of the Elder Son
Q11. If the eldest son — whether mature or not — dies before his father, will it becomes obligatory for any of the other sons to perform the missed prayers of their 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.
inheritance of the Qaḍā’ Prayer/Fast of the Parents
Q12. 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.
Delay in Qaḍā’ Fasts out of Ignorance
Q13. 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
Q14. 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
Q15. 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 people, one mudd (750 gr.) to each person. If he does not have it, he should fast for three — by obligatory caution, consecutive — days.
To Repeat Fast Invalidators
Q16. Someone repeatedly breaks the fast on the same day. What should he do?
A: This only entails one kaffārah. However, if he breaks fasting by masturbation or sexual intercourse, it is an obligatory caution to pay as many kaffārah as he masturbated or had sexual intercourse.
To Invalidate Fast by a Ḥarām Act
Q17. A person breaks his fast by masturbation, ḥarām sexual intercourse, or taking ḥarām food/drink. What is the ruling?
A: In the given case, he should fast for sixty days or feed sixty poor people. It is a mustaḥabb caution to do both.
Kaffārah Is Not an Immediate Obligation
Q18. Should we observe kaffārah immediately or we can do it later?
A: To observe kaffārah — giving food or fasting — is not an immediate obligation. You may do it in the future but you should not neglect it.
Being Unable to Pay Kaffārah
Q19. A person did not perform prayers or fasts for about 10 years due to ignorance. Now he has repented, turning to Allah, the Exalted, and has decided to compensate for his past. But he cannot perform the qaḍā’ of all the days he did not fast, nor has he the means to pay for the kaffārah. Is it enough for him to ask for forgiveness alone?
A: He is not relieved from the duty of performing the qaḍā’ of the missed fasts by any means. As to the kaffārah for each day that he did not fast, if he is not able to fast for 60 days nor to feed 60 needy persons, he should feed as many poor people as he can and — by caution —to ask Allah for forgiveness. If he can give food to nobody, he should say from the bottom of his heart: “Astaghferollah” O', Allah, I ask you for forgiveness.
Fidyah and Kaffārah of Delay for a Pregnant/Breastfeeding Woman
Q20. A woman is breastfeeding and fasting is harmful for her. If she does not fast, should she observe kaffārah as well?
A: If she fears harm to her baby, she should give one mudd of food (approximately 750 gm. of bread, rice, wheat, or the like) to a poor person and perform the qaḍā’ of the missed fasts. If she fears harm to herself, the rules of a patient are applied.


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