Important points regarding fasting
- If a person who is fasting forgets that they are fasting, and eat or drinks or is involved in a conjugal relationship their fast IS NOT effected.
- A wet dream DOES NOT invalidate the fast.
- If someone swallows a small piece of food that was stuck in the teeth and it was smaller than the size of a chickpea the fast IS NOT invalidated. Although it is better to spit it out.
- If a person carries on eating after the sehri time has ended thinking that the time had not expired they must repeat the fast at a later date.
- If a person opened his fast thinking that the sun had set when in fact the sun had not yet set they must repeat the fast.
- If a person breaks their fast, for whatever reason, they should still abstain from food and drink out of respect for the Blessed month of Ramadaan.
- It is important to have the intention to fast. The intention helps to differentiate between an act of worship and a habit. The Sunnah way is to utter the intention with the tongue, however to make the intention in the mind will suffice. If a person wakes up after the time of sehri has passed they must make the intention before midday.
Actions that are disliked while fasting
This means that the activities below WILL NOT break the fast, however they will reduce the reward greatly. They are referred to in Islamic terminology as “Makrooh” meaning disliked or undesirable.
- To collect one’s saliva in the mouth and then to swallow it,
- To delay a bath that has become obligatory intentionally until after fajr time.
- To quarrel, argue, use filthy, indecent words. To backbite, tell a lie or swear.
- To use toothpaste or a mouthwash.
- To put any food into the mouth and then spit it out.
- To chew something.
- To undertake a laborious job, this may cause undue fatigue and weakness and may compel one to break the fast.
Actions which do not affect the fast
- To brush the teeth using a wet toothbrush without any toothpaste, or to clean the tooth using a miswaak whether it’s wet or dry. Flavoured miswaaks are not permitted.
- To rinse the mouth or nose.
- Taking a bath or shower.
- To use ointment for the eyes even if one feels its effect in the throat.
- To apply oil to the scalp, hair or moustache.
- To use attar perfume on the body or clothes.
Some desirable activities during fasting
- To be quick ending the fast once the sunset has been ascertained and before the Maghreb prayer. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “My followers will continue to be good as long as they their fast quickly and delay their pre-dawn meal.”
- The fast should be opened with dates, sweet foods or water. It is desirable that dates should be in odd number.
- To read the specific supplication at this time like the following: ‘O Lord I fasted for You, believed in You and relied on You and opened the fast with Your provided subsistance and I intend tommorrows fast of Ramadaan. Be Kind to forgive my previous and future sins’.
- To eat at pre-dawn even if it is a sip of water and to delay the pre-dawn meal until the last specified time which is before the beginning of dawn.
- To control one’s tongue from futile talking, however, to stop it from Haraam activities like backbiting and calumny are obligatory at all times and especially in Ramadaan.
- To become more generous towards the needy, the poor and one’s relatives.
- To busy oneself day and night in learning, recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, Zikr and sending blessings upon the Blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).