Fatawa >Section Three:FASTING (SAWM)--chapter two : Fasting, other than the Month of Ramadhan


Section Three:FASTING (SAWM)--chapter two : Fasting, other than the Month of Ramadhan

1- Compensatory Fast

Who must compensate for the fast of the Month of Ramadhan?

1- Whoever did not discharge their responsibility of fast should compensate for it by way of qadha’; They must do so by fasting an equivalent number of days they have missed. This is regardless of the reason of days they have missed. This is regardless of the reason for not fasting i.e. be it voluntary or involuntary; the exception being the following:

2- a. Those who have not yet attained adulthood.

3- b. An unbeliever turned Muslim. An apostate, reembracing Islam, must compensate for any periods of fast they did not observe.

4- c. Those who enter a state of unconsciousness prior to making niyyah for fast..

5- d. Those who abandon fast because of old age or persons afflicted with perpetual urge for drinking water (utash), i.e. the subject of paras. (21-22) of the previous chapter.

6- e. Those who could not fast due to illness that continued to the next month of Ramadan. Such should pay the Fidya stipulated in para. (21)just mentioned.

Rules Concerning Qadha

7- whoever has a fast liability, should not be in any rush to discharge it; it could be postponed for months, provided that this does not lead to apathy. However. Should the delay continue until the following month of Ramadhan, qadha and Fidya would become due, as has been discussed in para, (21) of the previous chapter.

This should cover both types of people who fail to discharge their fast liability in good time. Among them is he who takes longer time until the arrival of the following month of Ramadhan and he who is not bent on leaving it to drag on had it not been for a spell of illness they suffered close to the time which made them miss their target of fasting in good time.

The amount of Fidya, however, is not going to increase in the light of the extend delay of dispensing with the qadha fast.

8- Just as it is not imperative that one must hasten to relieve oneself from the responsibility of fasting qadha for missed days during the month of Ranadhan, so is not imperative to fast for days on end: that is, if you are indebted by, say, two days, you can fast one of them and postpone the other to some other time.

9- In case a worshipper has a fast liability of two Ramadhani months. They have the choice to start fasting any one of them. Should they start with the previous one, but not the latter until the year comes to a close, they should be liable for paying Fidya for it in addition to fasting qadha.

If fasting qadha was done without specifying for which of the two months it was, this is allowed; however, in such a case, the worshippers should practically consider themselves discharging the responsibility towards the earlier month. It should, therefore, follow that if they confined their compensatory fast to one month, they would attract Fidya for the second month.

10- Should the worshippers end up doing compensatory fast and another one of an obligatory nature, such as that of kaffarah, they are free to start with whichever.

How should one go about performing compensatory fast?

11- Fasting qadha is more or less like fasting the days of Ramadhan; the differences are:

12- a. The niyyah for fasting qadha can be postponed until before midday. If it is already midday, there will be no chance to make niyyah, as a matter of ihtiyat.

According to this premise, if the worshipper has made niyyah to perform compensatory fast for Ramadhan at dawn, only to waiver in between, and go back to his original niyyah, his fast would stand so long as that the indication took place during the period from dawn till before midday. This, of course, is contrary to fasting the month of Ramadhan where waiving making the niyyah would render fast batil, let alone when the worshipper is resolved to break their fast.

13- b. Some jurists have stipulated that niyyah of fasting any day’s qadha should not be made earlier than its night. For example, if you want to fast on a Saturday, you are not allowed to make niyyah on the day of a Friday alone; that is, it must be renewed when night falls on Friday till midday on Saturday.

However, this is not obligatory, provided that the worshipper’s fast should be based on the niyyah they made on the day of Friday.

14- c. They niyyah should be exclusive to performing compensatory fast of Ramadan, i.e. fasting in vacuum, or just for the niyyah of qurbah per se, will not do, Failure to do so will not absolve one from the responsibility of qadha.

15- d. Experiencing ejaculation while asleep and reaming in a state of janabah until after dawn does not allow the worshippers to carry on with their quadha fast that day, contrary to the same situation in the month of Ramadan where fast will both be in order and obligatory.

16- e. It is permissible for the persons who are observing qadha fast to break their fast at any stage before midday. However, if they deliberately any do so after midday, they are liable to pay Kaffarah, as will be discussed in the chapter dedicated to that, Breaking one’s fast in the belief that it is halal to do so should not attract any penalty.

Those who fast on behalf of others can break their fast at any stage of the day, i.e. even after midday without attracting any kaffarah. However, if they are hired to fast a particular day, they cannot break their fast on that day, even before midday for they have to honor their obligation. Yet. If they break their fast, they are not liable to pay Kaffarah.

17. It is permissible to fast by way of qadha after the lapse of the month of Ramadhan on any day of the year, apart from certain days when fast cannot be sanctioned; this will be discussed in paras(26-36) Fasting qadha cannot be tolerated from a traveling person whose duty it us to perform qasr prayer, from a person who is relieved from fasting on medical grounds, and from a woman who is in a state of either haydh or nifas.

18- Managing Doubt

Harboring doubt as to whether or not one has to perform compensatory fast for the whole of the month of Ramadan or part thereof should be dismissed i.e. it is not obligatory to go for qadha fast.

Doubt about whether one’s fast was is order should be treated in the same way.

Suppose certain worshippers had to break their fast for one day. They do not know whether they have a valid reason to do so. Such as being on a journey or having fallen sick, and subsequently have to compensate for it. Maybe, they were in breach of the fast, in which case they should be liable to perform compensatory fast and pay Kaffarah at the same time, How should they go about this matter?

A. They are required to fast qadha; no Kaffarah shall be due.

B. Worshippers who know that they have missed a number of days during which they did not fast for a reason or the other, However, they do not know the exact number of days what should they do?

A. They must fast the minimum period of any two periods. For example, if they knew that the missed period was between one week and two weeks, fasting one week would do.

Should one become doubtful about whether they have absolved themselves of the responsibility of fasting any outstanding days, they have to have another go.

The Son Standing in for His father

19- If the father had a liability to perform compensatory fast, and passed away without discharging it, it is obligatory on his son to shoulder such a responsibility Should there be more than one son, the eldest should be the one to carry the burden. If there were two sons of the same age, they should jointly be responsible, in exactly the same way of performing prayer by way of qadha’ i.e. para(32) of the General Guidelines of the Chapter on Prayer.

If at the outset, a person is not required to fast either on health ground or for setting out on a journey and subsequently die, no qadha on the son shall be due.

2. Fasting by way of Kaffarah or to Compensate for a Missed Opportunity

Fasting becomes obligatory on certain occasions, such as a self-imposed penalty (Kaffarah) to seek pardon for commissioning a sin, or compensating for an obligation:

20. a. Fasting by way of Kaffarah for not observing fast during the month of Ramadan. Whoever rebels against the injunctions by not fasting the month of Ramdhan, they are liable to Kaffarah, as has already been discussed in para. (56) of the Chapter on Fasting. This Kaffarah involves either the emancipation of a salve, or feeding sixty poor people, or fasting two months, one of which must follow on from a previous one, albeit for one days.

21. b. Fasting by way of Kaffarah for leaving Arafat prematurely. As part of hajj rituals, wuquf at Arafat is required for the period from midday of the ninth of Thil Hijjah to the sunset of the same day. Should the pilgrims choose to exit Arafat prematurely, i.e. before sunset, they are required to compensate for this haste by slaughtering an animal. Should this type of Kaffarah not be feasible, the pilgrims have the alternative of fasting for eighteen days, although not in one go.

22. c. Fasting as a compensation for hady. As part of Hajj-ut-Tamatu, it is obligatory to sacrifice an animal (hady) at the day of Eid. Should this not be feasible, the pilgrim can compensate for it by way of fasting for ten days.

23. The form of obligatory fast by way of Kaffaeah or compensation is the same as that of fasting in the month of Ramadan. However, there are few differences. In Kaffarah type of fast, there is no harm in a fasting person waking up in the morning only to find out that they have had a sexual experience that led to ejaculation. This, though, is contrary to observing compensatory fast for the month of Ramadhan. The latter too cannot be sanctioned in a context of travel, whereas some types of kaffarah/compensatory fast can be sanctioned in the context.

a. fasting by way of Kaffarah for leaving Arafat prematurely.

b. Fasting for ten days in compensation of hady is usually divided into two stages; fasting for three days while the mukallafs are still in travel, i.e. before returning to their homeland.

Observing fast by way of kaffarah for not fasting the month of Ramadan cannot be tolerated while the worshipper is on the move (musafir).

3. Voluntary Fast

24. Volunteering fast on all days, save those of Ramadan and particular forbidden days- the subject of paras, (35) onward, is mustahab.

Tradition has it that fast is a shield against hellfire and that it is a purification of body and soul. Through fast the worshippers are admitted to paradise; their sleep is viewed as a kind of worship, their silence a sort of tasbih, and their du’a is answered. The fasting persons have two happy moments: the first when they break their fast, and the second when they meet their Creator.

Who qualifies for voluntary fast?

25. Fasting is mustahab for the worshippers, provided that:

a. They should not be suffering from an ailment or fasting could adversely affect their health.

b. They should not be traveling, except for fasting for three days while in the Holy Medina to attend some business, especially on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday consecutively, as a matter of ihtiyat.

c. Women should not be experiencing either haydh or nifas.

d. The worshippers have no liability for the month of Ramadan compensatory fast. Should they be observing an obligatory fast by way of nadhr and the like, they can embark on a mustahab type of fast. The same applies for those who hire themselves to fast for other people.

Just as it is not permissible for the person, dealing with compensatory fast for the month of Ramadhan, to personally observe mustahab type of fast, so is it not permissible for him to volunteer his services for fasting on behalf of others. However, he is allowed to hire himself for fasting on behalf of others. However, he is allowed to hire himself for fasting for the others, in which case the fast shall be in order, even though he might have a liability for fasting by way of qadha.

It is also permissible to observe mustahab type of fast while on a journey, so long as he cannot perform the obligatory fast.

Q. As you have already explained, the worshippers cannot embark on a mustahab type of fast while still having to contend with an outstanding period of fast. Can they, though, take up a nadhr to perform a voluntary fast, and thus turning it into an obligatory one and eventually giving it precedence over any outstanding period?

A. Such a nadhr is batil to start with; it should, therefore, follow that fasting by way of nadhr is invalid, if it was observed before discharging one’s responsibility towards compensatory before discharging one’s responsibility towards compensatory fast. Should the worshipper promise a vow (nadhr) to observe a mustahab type of fast without specifying that it comes first, such a nadhr becomes enforceable. To absolve one of the responsibility towards both the liabilities, has to start with the qadha fast first, then the mustahab one.

Women do not require their husbands’ permission to engage in voluntary fast. That is, unless the husband objects to that on the ground that they want to enjoy their wives’ company.

26. The Niyyah. It is sufficient to make niyyah of qurbah for voluntary fast the night before. However, the time for making niyyah spans the whole day, in that if the worshippers did not do anything which may detract from the validity of fast, they can still make niyyah for fast, even if it comes within hours or minutes before the time of ending the fast. Not making niyyah or not contemplating fast for all that time is immaterial, so long as the worshippers remained in a state of abstention.

27. Its form. Voluntary fast is performed in the same way as that observed during the month of Ramadhan, and its qadha for that matter. Where diverges is in the fast that it is permissible for the mukallafs to remain in a state of janabah until after dawn. Fast thus observed is in order, contrary to the fast of the month of Ramadhan, be it Ada or qadha. Where voluntary fast is also different from fasting the month of Ramadhan by way of qadha is in the case of waking up in the morning with an experience of a sexual encounter, in that it is permissible to carry on with voluntary fast that day, as opposed to fasting the month of Ramadhan by way of qadha.

28. Rules Regulating Voluntary Fast.

The worshippers have the choice of breaking their fast whenever they wish, be it before midday or some time in the afternoon, regardless of the way they choose to do so. However, inadvertently breaking one’s fast would not detract from fast.

29. Voluntary Fast May Become Obligatory. This may come about due to an emergency, i.e by way of a pledge to, an oath by, or a covenant with Allah, the Most Hgih. Once turned obligatory, this mustahab fast assumes a different set of rules:

30. a. Should the worshippers pledge to fast on a particular day, they have to make niyyah for doing so at the outset, i.e they are not permitted to delay making the niyyah until after dawn. Let alone dragging it until before midday, which is the case in the voluntary fast. That said, one can maintain that it is permissible to delay it until before zawaal, notwithstanding the practice of ihtiyat by way of qadha.

31. b. Should the worshippers pledge to fast a particular day, they are not allowed to break their fast that day, neither before midday nor after it. Should any day be picked at random for observing their fast, they are free to break such a fast whenever they wish, provided that they fast another day.

32. c. In fasting for a nadhr, it is obligatory on the person to do that with the intention of absolving one’s responsibility of the pledge he made. Failure to do so would result in leaving the nadhr as though it was not met.

33. d. The worshippers can still travel, if need be, on a day that has already been earmarked for fast by way of nadhr. However, they should compensate for the said day by way of qadha.

34. e. Should the worshippers pledge a fast by way of nadhr, making it obligatory to implement, it is permissible for them to observe it, even while on a journey. That is, with the provison that they, while making nadhr, stipulated that their fast would be during travel time or that they undertook to absolve their responsibility of fasting irrespective of whether they were present or away on a journey.

4. Forbidden Fast

Types of such fast are the following:

35. a. Fasting the first of Shawwal i.e. the day of Eidul Fitr.

36. b. Fasting the tenth of Thil Hijjaj, i.e, the day of Eidul Adhha.

37. c. Fasting the eleventh, the twelfth, and the thirteenth of Thil Hijjah, by those who are present at Mina and engage in hajj devotions or for any other reason.

The exception being: The obligatory fast of any two of the sanctuary months (Thil Qi’dah, Thil Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab) as a Kaffarah for killing (man slaughter) in certain cases. It is permissible to fast and include the Eid and other days.

38. d, Every unlawful fast, such as that observed by a suck person, a woman in a state of haydh or nifas, fasting for a nadhr by way of thanksgiving for commissioning a sin (say, for killing a believer), and the fasting of a traveling person, except the case discussed in paras. (24, 26 and 35).

Among unlawful fast is that which is extend until after sunset; it is not valid. However, should the mukallafs, who are intent on ending their fast on time, delay so doing unintentionally, their fast is in order, even if they did not break their fast that night.

Also among unlawful fast is that which is observed on the day which could be among the days of the month of Sha’ban and Ramadan, Should the worshippers fast that day, although it was not proved conclusive as past of Ramadan, it will not be accepted from them, as has already been discussed in para (74) of the previous Chapter.

Refraining from speech, as part of fast, cannot be sanctioned.

39. The fourth type of unlawful fast is different from the first three ones in one aspect. In the first three, fast is forbidden, even if it is not observed with the niyyah of qurabah; conversely, the fourth type is forbidden when it is observed with the niyyah of qurbah; it shall not be haraam, if it is not observed with the niyyah of qurabah; it would not be deemed lawful. It would be considered as a personal judgment.


39. Appended below is a comparative summary of the types of fast and rules regulating them.

Invalidators of Fast (Muftirat). All types of fast share things that render fast invalid.

Things commissioned inadvertently (sahu). All types of fast are immune to being breached, if the worshipper did any thing unintentionally.

Niyyah. During the month of Ramadhan, niyyah should not be delayed until after dawn, However, should the worshippers be taken unaware with the arrival of the month of Ramadhan, yet no niyyah was contemplated, their fast should be in order, if becoming aware of the problem takes place some time before midday and with it the making of the niyyah afresh.

The same applies to fasting by way of nadhr on a particular day.

Delaying the niyyah until after midday in all obligatory types of fast cannot be sanctioned,

In voluntary types of fast, it is permissible to delay making niyyah until after midday.

Deliberately Remaining in a State of Janabah until Dawn Time. This is not permissible during the fast of the month of Ranmadham, as a matter of ihtiyat. The same applies to Kaffarah and compensatory types of fast. There is no harm in doing it in voluntary types of fast, even if it turns obligatory by way of nadhr, oath, or pledge.

Waking up after Experiencing a Sexual Encounter that Led to Ejaculation. This should not detract from any type of fast, except fasting of the month of Ramadhan by way of qadha’ as a matter of ihtiyat.

Forgetting about One’s State of Janabah until after Dawn. This would render fasting of the month of Ramadan, both Ada and qadha, null and void, as a matter of ihtiyat. It will not affect other types of obligatory or voluntary fast though.

Calling the Fast off and Annulling it. This is not permissible in every fast that has been undertaken that day, such as any day the month of Ramadhan or the day the mukallaf specified to fast on by way of nadhr. This however is permissible in the other cases, be it before midday of after it, except for fasting of the month of Ramadhan by way of qadha where it cannot be tolerated is when it tale place after midday ; it can, though be done at any time before it.

Kaffarah. No kaffarah is due on leaving out the niyyah in an obligatory fast, especially without calling fast off. Nor should there be kaffarah for unlawfully taking to food and drink, except for two cases: not fasting during the month of Ramadan and calling fast off some time in the afternoon in compensatory fast for the month of Ramadhan.

As for the worshipper who does not fulfill his vow to fast a particular day without valid and lawful reason, he should pay kaffarah of nadhr as soon as he abandoned the idea of fasting. This is regardless of whether he broke his fast by actually eating or drinking. This will be discussed in some detail in the Chapter dedicated to Kaffarah of nadhr, oath, and pledge.

Fasting while in Travel. Neither fasting the month Ramadhan, nor compensating for it travel, which normally requires the traveler to perform his prayer qasr, can be sanctioned, Observing voluntary fast during travel cannot be tolerated, unless it has turned obligatory by way of nadhr, provided that the person making the nadhr stipulates that he carries it out during travel as has already been discussed in para(34). There ism however, one case where fasting during travel can be tolerated, i.e. the one mentioned in para.(25).

Certain types of kaffarah and compensatory fast can be sanctioned during travel. However, that which cannot be tolerated is fasting by way of Kaffarah for not fasting during Ramadhan.

Fasting of a Sick Person. Fasting , any type of fast, by a sick person, whose health can adversely be affected by fasting, cannot be deemed valid. Also, those with good reasons not to fast, as has already been discussed in para. (6) of the previous chapter.

Fast by women in a state of haydh or nifas cannot be sanctioned.