Basic Fiqh of Fasting

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The basic Fiqh of fasting has been summarized in easy-to-read point form. Areas of difference of opinion have been left out. Please speak to your local scholars when seeking advice on issues of difference of opinion.

1.    Fasting means to avoid food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn until sunset.

2.    Intention is crucial. Intention means that in your heart you recognize that you are fasting today for the sake of Allah.

3.    The early morning meal before dawn is called Suhoor and it is Sunnah to eat at that time.

4.    The meal for breaking the fast is called Iftaar. It should occur as soon as the sun sets before praying Maghrib.

5.    It is important to avoid all sins & bad manners while fasting. These things decrease the reward of the fasting.

6.    If someone eats of drinks forgetfully while fasting, then fast is still valid.

7.    But if someone has sexual intercourse forgetfully, the fast is broken.

8.    Eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse purposely while fasting invalidates the fast.

9.    Praying Taraweh is a Sunnah (recommended).

10.It is Sunnah to eat dates and drink water for Suhoor and Iftaar.

11.It is recommended to spend as much time as possible reciting Quran and praying at night during Ramadan.

12.Women can’t fast during menstruation or post-natal periods, and need to make up their fasts after Ramadan.

13.Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding also have concessions. Speak to your local scholar for details about this.

14.Elderly and chronically ill people who can’t fast for health reasons need to pay Fidyah instead. Fidyah means to feed one poor person per fast.

15.People who are sick or travelling are also excused from fasting and may make it up after Ramadan.

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