Q.1: Under what circumstances can one forgo fasting?A. One can forgo fasting in the following conditions without incurring a sin:Journey, pregnancy, breast-feeding of a child, severe sickness, old age, fear of being killed, duress, fear of loss of the senses and “Jehaad” (religious war, holy crusade).Q.2: What is meant by journey?A. Journey means Shar’ee travel i.e. to set off on a journey for such a distant place,destination that is covered in three days if one walks on foot irrespective of adopting whatever mode of travel like plane etc. However, it is better for the traveller and his companions to fast during journey if it does not harm them otherwise non-observance of fast is better.Q.3: Can one forgo fast or not if he plans to travel in the day?A. If one plans to undertake a journey any time in the day he can not forgo fast of that day, for, it is not a valid excuse. He should observe fast. In case, he fasted and broke it before time during journey, in such situation Kaffaarah would not be due but he would be sinner and if he fasted and broke it before time prior to undertaking travel and then set off on a journey then Kaffaarah would also become due.Likewise, if he travelled in the day and came back home to collect something which he had forgotten to carry with him and broke his fast before time at home, in such situation too Kaffaarah would be due.Q.4: What injunction is there if a traveler stays somewhere before noon?A. If a traveler makes intention of staying somewhere before meridian Shar’ee (the time by which intention of fast has to be made) and he ate or drank nothing by that time then he must intend for and observe fast as his journey is finished before the ceiling time of forming “Niyat” of fast.Q.5: What injunction is there for a traveller who reaches his home after meridian?A. If a traveller intends to stay somewhere or reaches his home after meridian Shar’ee and ate or drank nothing by that time, in such case he can not observe fast as the ceiling time of making intention has expired. However, he must spend the remaining part of the day as a fasting man.Q.6: In which condition can one forgo his fast for illness?A. If a sick man is sure that observance of fast will aggravate his disease or delay the recovery or a healthy man is certain that fast will make him sick or a servant/maid is sure that observance of fast will weaken him/her badly, in such cases fast of that day can be forgone.Q,7: Can one forgo his fast or not for just a doubt of aggravation of disease?A. A mere doubt or apprehension that observance of fast will worsen the condition of the sick is no excuse to forgo fast. One must be sure of it. For example, (1).there are some symptoms which lead to believe that observance of fast will aggravate his disease or (2).he has experienced such thing in the past or (3).an experienced Muslim doctor who is not involved in “Fisq-o-Fujoor” (sinfulness and debauchery) has advised to forgo fast otherwise his condition is sure to worsen.If one broke his fast before time without facing any of these conditions on the advice of a doctor who is an unbeliever or “Faasiq” (sinner,transgressor) then Kaffaarah would also become due and in case, he forwent a fast then he would be sinner. Unfortunately, nowadays doctors advise their patients to forgo fast for just an ordinary disease without taking into consideration whether his disease warrants such advice or not. Advice of such doctors is not credible.Q.8: What injunction is there if a woman has “Haiz-o-Nifaas” during fast?A. If a woman has “Haiz-o-Nifaas” (menstruation or discharge of blood of childbirth) during fasting her fast would be spoilt and she will have to observe Qada thereof. Qada of obligatory fast is “Fard” and “Waajib” of Nafil fast.Q.9: Will fast of a menstruating woman who becomes free from it in the day be in order or not if she makes intention of fast?A. Being free from “Haiz-o-Nifaas” (menstruation and discharge of blood of childbirth) is must for a woman to observe fast. If a woman who has Haiz-o-Nifaas becomes free from it in the day before meridian Shar’ee and she forms Niyat of fast, her fast will not be in order irrespective of Fard or Nafil.Q10: How should a menstruating woman spend remaining part of the day if she becomes free from it?A. If a woman who has Haiz-o-Nifaas becomes from free it in the day, she should spend the remaining part of the day like a fasting woman.Q11: Can a menstruating woman forms Niyat of fast or not if she becomes free from it before the dawn of Fajr?A. If a woman who has Haiz-o-Nifaas becomes free from it after full ten days at such a time that night has run out leaving not even a few moments in which she could say “Al-Laahu Akbar” once, in such case observance of fast is Waajib. She should make intention of the fast and take bath as early as possible. And in case, she becomes free from Haiz-o-Nifaas before ten days but there is so enough time in finishing the night that she can take bath and say “Al-Laahu Akbar” before the dawn of Fajr then the observance of fast is Fard. (She should better take bath before dawn. If can not, then make intention of fast and take bath later but before Fajr prayer). But if the time left (in finishing the night) is not enough then fast will not be Fard. However, she should spend the day as a fasting woman and should not do such things that are opposed to fasting like eating and drinking.Q12: At what stage of their life can old men and women forgo fasting?A. It is permissible for such old men and women who are called “Shaikh-e-Faanee” by the Shari’ah (i.e. who are so emaciated by the old age that they can not observe fasts and there is also no hope of improvement) to forgo fasting. But it is compulsory for them to pay “Fidyah” (payment or feedig an indigent to relieve oneself of the obligation) for each fast.Q13: Should a Shaikh-e-Faanee observe fasts in winter in lieu of summer or give Fidyah?A. If an old man or woman can not observe fasts in summer but can in winter then he/she can forgo fasting in summer for observing in winter. He/She can not pay Fidyah in such case.Q14: What injunction is there for the one who can not observe fasts owing to weakness?A. “Real weakness” must be distinguished from that of “lack of courage”. The first thing to this effect is that sometimes devil inveigles one into believing that he can not do such and such work. If he attempts to, he will be putting his life in peril. But when he takes courage to do the work seeking Allah’s grace then he comes through with flying colours without the slightest damage to oneself. “Lack of courage” is nothing but a deception of Satan. Some people are there who do observe fasts even after 75 years of age and contrary to this some people who are under 70 can not do it because of weakness. Therefore, reality and unreality must be distinguished well from each other to save oneself from the devilish subterfuges.Secondly, some people (faced with weakness) can not observe fasts in summer but can in winter. Such people can not pay Fidyah for their fasts but they should forgo fasts in summer and observe their Qada in winter.Thirdly, some weak people can not observe fasts of the whole month (of Ramadaan) continuously but can do intermittently. Such people should observe as many fasts as they can in Ramadaan and observe Qada of
the unobserved ones in winter.Fourthly, a young or old who is so weakened by some disease that he can not observe fasts, can not pay Fidyah for his fasts but should wait for recovery. If he dies before recovery he should, when death is nigh, make a will for the payment of Fidyah.In brief, Fidyah can be paid for fasts only when one can fast neither in summer nor in winter and neither continuously nor intermittently and that the excuse,reason due to which he can not observe fast must be genuine like old age which is an irreversible phenomenon. Some naive people think that every that person can pay Fidyah for his fasts who feels a difficulty in observance of fasts. It is not so at all. The facility of Fidyah is meant for Shaikh-e-Faanee only as expounded above.Q15: What injunction is there for the one who collapses because of hunger and thirst?A. If a fasting man collapses due to hunger and thirst and his life or the senses are in peril, in such case he can break his fast before time. No Kaffaarah will be due but he will have to observe Qada fast.Q16: Can a fasting man break his fast before time or not under duress?A. A fasting man can break his fast before time under duress. For example, he is threatened with death or amputation of any limb of the body or severe beating and he is sure that the threateners will do what they say if he does not break the fast, in such situation he must break his fast before time. If he does not and is killed by the threateners then he will be sinner, for, in such dire situations breaking fast before time even (God forbid!) drinking wine or blood and eating carrion or pork is as much permissible as these things are “Mubaah” (permissible) for the one who faces the pangs of hunger and is under compulsion. However, this injunction applies to only travelers and the sick who observed fast despite the leave (granted to them by the Shari’ah in this regard) and are now faced with duress.Q17: What injunction is there for a “Muqeem” fasting man who is under duress?A. If a fasting man who is “Muqeem” (resident) or healthy, is forced to break his fast before time can break fast if he wills. However, it is better for him not to break his fast and face torture with patience. If dies in this condition, he will be greatly rewarded in the hereafter.Q18: Can a fasting man break his fast or not if stung by a snake?A. If a snake stings a fasting man endangering his life he can break his fast before time.Q19: Is Qada compulsory or not for those who break their fast before time due to some valid excuse?A. It is compulsory for those who broke their fasts before time due to Shar’ee reason (valid excuse) to observe Qada fasts.Q20: Should Qada fasts be observed serially or not?A. It is not compulsory to observe Qada fasts serially. If one observes Nafil fasts before Qada fasts those will be deemed to have been observed. But the injunction to this effect is that Qada fasts should be observed soon after the excuse (the disability because of which the fasts were forgone,omitted) is over and before the coming of next Ramadaan. There is in a Hadees that fasts of one of the current Ramadaan will not be accepted who owes Qada (fasts) of the previous Ramadaan.However, if one could not observe Qada and in the meanwhile second Ramadaan approached then he should observe fasts of this Ramadaan and observe Qada fasts later.Q21: What injunction is there for the sick who recovered after paying Fidyah?A. If a sick man paid Fidyah for his fasts and later he recovered being able to observe fasts then he must observe Qada and the Fidyah paid by him will be counted in “Sadaqa-e-Nafil” (supererogatory worship) and he will earn reward thereof.Q22: Can posterity observe fasts of their parents?A. Nobody can fast on behalf of someone else.Q23: What is the quantity of Fidyah?A. “Fidyah” which is due to “Shaikh-e-Faanee” for each fast is that he should give commodity,cash equal to “Sadaqatul Fitr” or feed an indigent with two meals.Q24: How and when should Fidyah be paid?A. It is optional for one to pay Fidyah of the full month of Ramadaan at the beginning of Ramadaan or in the end of Ramadaan. “Tamleek-e-Faqeer” is also no condition in this regard. Feeding an indigent with two meals will suffice for it. It is also not essential to pay Fidyah to as many indigents as the number of fasts but only one indigent can also be paid Fidyah of many fasts.Q25: What injunction is there for the one who can not observe fasts of atonement because of old age?A. If a fast of atonement is due to one on account of violating an oath or in case of unintentional or by mistake murder and he is unable to observe it owing to old age, can not pay Fidyah thereof, for, this fast is an indemnity which can not be recompensed with Fidyah. But in case, he owes Kaffaarah of breaking a fast before time or “Zehaar” (speaking such words that have the effect of a divorce) can feed sixty indigents with two meals if he can not observe fasts, as this Fidyah is proved by the Holy Quraan for fasts.Q26: Can one who made “Nazar” to fast daily but could not, forgo fast and pay Fidyah thereof or not?A. If one makes “Nazar” or “Mannat” (vow) to fast daily and begins observing fasts uninterruptedly, he will find it very difficult to meet essential needs of life like earning livelihood etc. In such situation, it is permissible for him to drop as many fasts as genuinely required for the purpose. But should pay Fidyah of each and every dropped fast. If not possible then do “Istighfaar” (seek forgiveness of Allah).Q27: What injunction is there for the one who forwent fast(s) due to some valid excuse but did not observe Qada fasts later?A. If a sick man recovered or a traveller reached his home and also found time enough to observe Qada of the fasts he forwent, in such case it is compulsory on him to observe as many fasts as the time (days) he finds. If he does not fast despite having time and dies (the death draws near) then he should make a will for the payment of Fidyah of these fasts.Q28: What injunction is there for the one who dies facing valid excuse?A. If one died facing a valid excuse (under which non-observance of fast is permitted) without finding time enough to observe Qada fasts, in such situation neither Qada nor Fidyah is due. If he made a will for Fidyah, it would be considered valid and would be paid from the one-third portion of his property. If he did not and his heirs paid at their own even then it would be considered valid.Q29: Is there any condition or not for payment of Fidyah from one-third portion of deceased’s property?A. The condition of paying Fidyah from one-third portion of deceased’s property is applicable only when the deceased has his heirs. If there is no heir then all property must be used for paying Fidyah if need be and in case the heir is only wife or hasband (as the case may be) she/he should be paid her/his due after separating l/3rd from the whole property of the deceased and whatever property is saved after paying the due right of the sole heir, can be paid as Fidyah if needed.Q30: For how many fasts can a will of Fidyah be made?A. Making a will of Fidyah is due for only those fasts which one could have observed after disability (valid excuse) was removed but h
e did not. For example, a traveller or a sick man forwent ten fasts and after the disability, valid excuse was removed (i.e. traveller reached his home, the sick recovered) he found five days and then expired. In such situation, a will of only five days will be due.Q31: Is there any difference in the Fidyah of prayer and of fast or not?A. The Fidyah of a fast is equal to Sadaqatul Fitr and so is of every “Fard” and “Witr” prayer i.e. half a Sa’a of wheat or one Sa’a of barley or price of any of these commodities.Q32: To whom should Fidyah be given?A. The same kind of people are deserving of Fidyah who are entitled to receiving Zakaat i.e. beggar, indigent, poor who must be a Muslim exclusive of Haashimi and one’s posterity and parents.