Things which Break the Fast
A fasting person must avoid a number of things which are bound to break the fast. They are as follows:
- Food and drink, as the Qur’an states, “Eat and drink until you can clearly discern the white thread from the black thread of the dawn, then strictly observe the fast until nightfall.” (Soorat Al-Baqarah, 2:187)
However, if a person forgets that he is fasting and so he eats or drinks, his fast is still valid and he is not considered sinful for absent-mindedly doing so. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever forgets he is fasting and so he eats or drinks, let him complete his fast for it is Allah who has fed him and given him to drink.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 1831; Saheeh Muslim: 1155)
- Anything that is classified as being in some way similar to eating and drinking. This includes the following:
- Injections which have some nutritional value: These serve to supply the body with the necessary minerals and nutrients it needs, hence their similarity to eating and drinking.
- Having a blood transfusion: Blood is like the body’s transportation system, and as it circulates, it delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, hence its resemblance to eating and drinking.
- Smoking in all its forms renders the fast void, for inhaling smoke introduces numerous toxic substances into the body.
- Sexual activity in which a man puts his penis into a woman’s vagina, whether or not this results in ejaculation.
- Deliberate seminal emission through sexual contact, masturbation or any other means.
However, wet dreams, sexually exciting dreams) that result in an orgasm, do not break the fast.
A man may kiss his wife if he knows he can easily control himse lf and does not engage in intercourse or any act that may lead to seminal emission.
- Deliberate vomiting: Involuntary vomiting, however, does not the break the fast. The Prophet ﷺ said, “If a person vomits unintentionally while observing a fast, he does not have to make up for this by fasting another day; however, if he deliberately vomits, then he must fast another day for breaking his [obligatory] fast.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 720; Sunan Abu Daawood: 2380)
- Beginning of menstruation or post-natal bleeding regardless of the time or part of the day when such bleeding begins.Whenever such bleeding begins, even if it takes place just before sunset, a woman’s fast is automatically broken. If a menstruating woman becomes clean after dawn, her fast is also broken. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?”(Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 1850)
Nevertheless, apart from menstrual bleeding and post-natal bleeding, abnormal uterine bleeding which some women experience does not prevent them from fasting.