In a few days, Muslims around the world will be fasting for the month of Ramadan with sheer devotion. Not only will they go about the entire day without food and water, they will also be worshipping more – making extra prayers and charity. Out of all the acts of worship, Allah says that fasting specifically is for Him, while the rest are for the humankind. Needless to say, an act FOR Allah will be rewarded by Allah in ways we cannot even imagine. Because of its sacrosanct nature and the fact that it comes only once a year makes it imperative for us to understand what nullifies a fast in Ramadan or otherwise.
What nullifies a fast in Ramadan?
“So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allaah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall”
This Qur’anic verse clearly specifies that the three primary things which nullify a fast in Ramadan are eating, drinking and intercourse. Based on these, the scholars of Islam have come to the consensus that any other act (similar to these) can nullify a fast in Ramadan.
Here is a list of 7 acts that nullify the fast:
Whoever has intercourse during the day while fasting in Ramadan deliberately has invalidated his/her fast. The said person has to repent, not eat or drink until sunset, make up that day’s fast later on and offer a severe expiation.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?” He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadan.” He then said, “Can you free a slave?” The man said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”…
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1936; Muslim, 1111.
Allah describes the core of fasting as:
“He gives up his food and drink and desire for My sake.”
al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim, 1151.
Causing ejaculation comes under the heading of the desire which the fasting person gives up.
Eating and drinking
Eating, drinking or anything like it (blood transfusion, drip nourishing, kidney dialysis, etc) invalidates the fast. Injections which do not replace food and drink such as penicillin or insulin, do not affect the fast.
Letting blood by means of cupping and the like
“The cupper and the one for whom cupping is done have both invalidated their fast.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2367
Blood donation falls under the same category as it affects the body in the same way.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 720
Menstruation and nifaas
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when she gets her period, she does not pray or fast?”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 304.
What nullifies the fast? Now you have the answer!