Those Who Are Exempt from Fasting

To make it easy for people, Allah ﷻ has exempted some of them from fasting. They are:

1 Sick people whose medical condition is bound to be further worsened by fasting are permitted to break the fast but must make up the missed fasts after Ramadaan..
2 People who canno t possibly observe a fast due to old age or sick people for whom there is no hope of recovery may also break the fast but must feed a needy person for every day missed, by giving him 1.5 kg of the staple food common in the country..
3 Travellers, while moving from one place to another or during their temporary residence which lasts less than four days, are allowed to break the fast but have to make up for the fast days they have missed after Ramadaan. As the Qur’an states, “But those of you who are sick or are on a journey must fast an equal number of other days. Allah wants ease for you, not hardship.” (Soorat Al-Baqarah: 185)
4 Menstruating women، and women experiencing post-natal bleeding are forbidden to fast but must make up an equal number of days after Ramadaan.Even if they fast, it will not be valid.
5 Pregnant and nursing، women are permitted to break the fast if they fear it would be dangerous for them or for their babies if they fast. They must, however, make up for the fast days they have missed after Ramadaan..

The Islamic Ruling Regarding Those who Deliberately Break the Fast

Breaking the fast without a valid excuse is a grave sin which clearly testifies to its doer’s disobedience to Allah ﷻ. Therefore, those who commit such a sin must sincerely repent to Allah in addition to making up for the fast days they have omitted. Those who engage in sexual intercourse during the day in Ramadaan must, in addition to expressing sincere repentance and making up that day, expiate for doing so by freeing a Muslim slave, hence the importance Islam attaches to liberating people from the shackles of servitude. If they cannot find any slaves to set free, as is the case today, they must fast for two consecutive months; if they are unable do so, then they have to feed sixty poor people.

Voluntary Fasting

Muslims are required to observe a strict month-long fast once a year, that is, during the month of Ramadaan. They are also recommended, as long as they are able to do so, to fast on other days in order to gain more rewards. These days include the following:
  1. The day of ‛Aashuraa’, as well as a day before it or after it:‛Aashuraa’ is the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is the very day Allah ﷻ saved Moses ﷺ and drowned Pharaoh and his army. A Muslim fasts it as an expression of gratitude to Allah for saving Moses and to follow in the footsteps of our Prophet ﷺ who not only fasted on this day but also asked his companions to fast a day before it or a day after it. (MusnadAhmad: 2154). When he was asked about fasting on it, he replied, “It expiates [the sins committed in] the previous year.”(Saheeh Muslim: 1162)
  2. The Day of ‛Arafah:‛Arafah is the ninth day of the lunar month of Dhul-Hjjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. On this day, pilgrims who perform the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage, gather in the wide open plain of ‛Arafah and engage in invoking Allah, praising Him and glorifying Him. ‛Arafah is the best day of the year, and those who are not performing the hajj may fast on it. When the Prophet ﷺ was asked about fasting on this day, he replied, “It atones for the sins committed the preceding year and the coming year.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1162)
  3. Six days of Shawwaal: Shawwaal is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever fasts in Ramadaan then follows it up with six days of the month of Shawwaal will obtain the rewards of fasting for the entire year.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1164)

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