Fiqh laws on fasting
Fasting means abstaining from the things that will be explained below from the moment of Fajr to Maghrib with the niyya of Qurbatan Ilallah.
Sawm is also known as roza in Urdu & Farsi.
Every baligh Muslim must fast during the whole month of Ramadhan.
In the month of Ramadhan on the first night (i.e. the night preceeding the first day) one can make the niyya to fast the whole month and remain with that niyya until the month ends or one can make the niyya for each day separately. Other than the month of Ramadhan, one must make a separate niyya for each day whether they are few or many, wajib or mustahab.
During the sawm we have to abstain from nine actions or things. These are known as "muftirãt". Muftirãt "means those things that make a sawm batil. The muftirãt are as follows:-
1. Eating intentionally.
2. Drinking intentionally.
3. Vomiting intentionally.
4. Letting dust or smoke enter into the throat.
5. Sexual intercourse.
6. Men: Doing any such thing which causes discharge of semen.
7. Intentionally remaining in state of janabat, haydh or nifas up to true dawn.
8. Taking liquid enema.
9. Speaking, writing or conveying by sign a lie about Allah, and the ma'sumeen.
All these break the sawm if they are done intentionally.
If a person forgets that he is a Sa'eem (one who is fasting) and eats or drinks, then his sawm is correct.
Those allowed not to fast and the concept of fidya
They are of two categories:
1. Who will not fast and have no qadha to give.
2. Those who will give qadha later, when the holy month is over.
Those who are incapable of fasting because of advanced old age are totally exempted. They do not have to give any Qadha either.
Those elderly people who find it extremely trying and difficult to fast are also exempted; but they have to pay a redemption (Fidya) of 1 Mudd (=3/4 kg) of food to the poor and needy in lieu of each fast. It is recommended that preference be given to wheat or barley.
A person who, due to certain illness, is unable to sustain and endure thirst, is exempted. However in view of the sanctity of the holy month, he or she should not drink water to quench the thirst fully. Such a person will pay Fidya in lieu of each fast and will give Qadha if the illness is later remedied.
A mother in advanced stage of pregnancy will not fast if fasting is harmful to herself or the baby. She will give Fidya in lieu of the fasts and will give Qadha later.
Similarly, a nursing mother who fears that fasting might reduce the supply of milk for the child is exempted from fasting. But she will give Fidya in lieu of each fast she has left out and will later give Qadha also.
A lady in her period will not fast. In fact, she is forbidden to fast while in her periods. She will give Qadha later.
It is a great sin to eat or drink during the days of Holy Ramadhan or deliberately commit acts which break the fast - without a justifiable reason. Those reasons have been explained earlier.
Anyone who leaves out a fast purposely has to give Qadha together with Kaffara. The Kaffara is either
1. to free a slave
2. to fast for two months in lieu of each fast of Holy Ramadhan
3. to feed 60 poor
He who chooses to fast for two months as kaffara will fast for 31 days in succession. He may then complete the balance at random.
And if one wishes to feed sixty poor, one has to give away food or grain which would be enough for a full meal. This could be in form of wheat, barley or loaves.
Caution: If a person invalidates his fast by a Haram (forbidden) act like: drinking alcohol etc.. or committing adultery, fornication. Attributing lies to Allah, his Prophet (S.A.W.) and Masumeen (A.S.) - he or she will have to give ALL THREE KAFFARA together.