Staying Absent for a Valid Fast

Categories : Islamic personal law

Staying Absent for a Valid Fast; Intention and abstinence are the two key components of a “valid” fast. Every night during the month of Ramadan, Muslims must have the purpose of fasting. Moreover, they must refrain from activities that would invalidate the fast, such as eating, drinking, smoking, having sexual relations, vomiting on purpose, menstruation, or bleeding during childbirth.

All observing Muslims who are of sound mind and of age (i.e., have attained puberty but are not yet elderly) must meet these conditions. Only in the event of a life-threatening emergency can one take medication while fasting.

Ramadan still allows for the majority of daily activities. Muslims are allowed to take showers, draw blood, smell different things, rinse their mouth and nose, use deodorant, kiss or embrace their spouse, and use eyedrops. Unintentional vomiting (perhaps brought on by illness), bathing, and tooth brushing do not render a planned fast invalid. Using contact lenses and accidentally ingesting one’s own saliva or sputum are also acceptable.

Thoughts of breaking the fast, unintentional breaks, or forgotten breaks do not render it invalid, but willfully breaking the fast necessitates making amends in a variety of ways, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction. Muslims should break their fast by either drinking water or eating an odd number of dates at the appropriate time. It’s important to keep in mind that drinking water breaks the fast, thus it should only be done at the designated times.

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