The Official Beginning and End of Ramadan
Mahmud ibn Ahmad Abu Musallam
Praise be to Allah alone and peace be upon the last Prophet. This is a short
article about the rulings of fasting and breaking the fast which I ask Allah
(may He be Glorified and Exalted) to accept and make Muslim benefit therefrom,
The rulings of fasting:
• Prepare your intention for fasting every day in the previous night.
Do not utter intention with your tongue because the place of intention is in
the heart. It was not reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he
ever uttered the intention of fasting.
• Delay the late-night meal (before fasting) as far as possible. It is
desirable to delay it short time before the Fajr Salah and do not sleep before
having Suhur because it is full of blessings; and the People of the Scriptures
did not have Suhur.
• Accelerate breakfast as soon as you hear the Adhan (call to Prayer) because
Adhan means that the time of the Maghrib Salah has come and the beginning of
the time starts at the muezzin's saying: Allahu Akbar [Allah is the greatest].
Do not wait until the muezzin says: Ash-hadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah [I bear
witness that there is no god but Allah] because people are still in prosperity
as long as they accelerated breakfast as the Prophet (peace be upon him)
• Start with food before Salah if you are hungry, however if you are not
hungry, break your fast by taking light food then perform Salah. Do not
perform Salah before breaking your fast even by having a gulp of water.
• Break your fast with whatever you have, and it is not a condition to use
fresh dates because the Prophet (peace be upon him) once broke his fast with
Suwiq which is a kind of food that is made of milk, honey, and flour.
• If you eat or drink forgetfully, resume your fasting and nothing against
you. Do not continue eating believing that you have broken your fast. Some
scholars said that you should not make up for that day, but the majority holds
the view of making up that day after Ramadan.
• It is desirable for the person whose sexual desire is rapidly excited not to
approach his wife during the daytime of Ramadan or even kiss her.
• Whoever ejaculates while kissing his wife during the daytime of Ramadan has
broken his fast and he must make up for that day without paying a penance;
likewise those who ejaculate by any other way.
• As for those who practice sexual intercourse with their wives during the
daytime of Ramadan, they must pay a penance and make up for that day. The
penance is to fast two consecutive months, but if he is unable to fast, he may
feed sixty needy persons. If the wife obeys her husband in sexual intercourse,
she has to pay a penance too.
The view of the majority is: The penance cannot be overlooked by insolvency,
so it will be a debt on him that he must pay one day.
• The one who has sexual intercourse with his wife before dawn and sleeps then
wakes up after Fajr in the state of major impurity, he may perform Ghusl
[complete ritual bathing] and resume his fasting with no harm.
• The one who sees a wet dream during the daytime of Ramadan nothing will be
due on him and he should resume his fasting.
• If a menstruating woman became pure before Fajr, she has to perform Ghusl
then resume her fasting, but if she became pure after Fajr, she may break the
fast of that day.
•There is no harm if a person applies perfume during the daytime of Ramadan,
and it is permissible for women too provided that they use it in their houses.
It is reprehensible to practice cupping, blood donation, or giving blood
samples during the daytime of Ramadan if a person becomes weak by that, but if
he does not get affected, there is no harm.
• The one who is overpowered by vomiting nothing will be against him, but if
he vomits intentionally, he must make up for that day.
• Of the prohibited matters during Ramadan and anywhere else is false speech:
Backbiting, tale bearing, songs, and any foul language; so anyone indulges in
such practices his fasting shall be void.
• Whoever travels in Ramadan, he may break his fast then makes up for the days
he had missed or may fast. The distance of travel is the same as the distance
of shortening Salah i.e., any distance that people consider traveling.
• People who are sick have some conditions: If a person is sick and his
sickness may be cured such as flu or bronchitis which a Muslim physician
decides that it is curable may break the fast then make up for the missed days
If a person has a chronic disease and he cannot observe fasting, he may break
the fast and feed a needy person for each day he did not fast. The amount of
the meal should be as usual meals of people; likewise the old person who
cannot observe fasting.
The pregnant and breastfeeding woman who fear for themselves and their babies
may break the fast and feed the needy and do not make up for the missed days,
or they may break the fast and make up for the missed days without feeding the
needy. There is no harm if they adopt one of the two views, and Allah knows
• Eye drops, eardrops, nose drops, or inhaler (if it does not reach the
throat), vaginal douche, angina tablets that are placed under the tongue (if
it is not ingested), catheter, injection such as insulin do not break the
fast. As for vitamin injections, they break the fast, and enema is permissible
unless it contains nutritional supplements or nutrients.
• It is permissible for a woman to taste food during cooking without
swallowing it. It is also permissible to use Miswak, taking a shower,
gargling, applying Kuhl, and swallowing the remnants of food between the teeth
if it is done unintentionally.
• Whoever dies while he missed up some days of Ramadan, his heirs must fast
for him. It is permissible also to feed in his behalf a needy person for each
day he missed according to the view of the majority.
Qiyam during Ramadan:
• Keep to Tarawih Salah in the masjid and perform part of it in your home, and
combine the two actions as that was the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon
him). Whoever performs Qiyam during Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking
the reward of Allah, his past sins shall be forgiven.
• If you are an imam, recite whatever portion of the Qur'an you can recite and
do not abide by one part of the Qur'an every night because this is more
affecting in people. Equate between the duration of standing, kneeling down,
and prostration, and do not invoke Allah during Witr every day, but if you do,
do not be lengthy.
• If you are a Ma'mum [led by an imam], do not recite from the Mushaf because
that was not reported from the Companions or the Followers, but listen to the
recitation of the imam and ponder over the Ayahs.
• When you perform Salah with an imam, do not leave Salah until the imam
finishes Tarawih so as to have the reward of performing Qiyam.
• Do not focus all your efforts on the 27th night of Ramadan thinking it is
the Night of the Decree, but exert efforts in the entire ten days of Ramadan.
• The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe I'tikaf during the last ten
days of Ramadan because they contain the Night of the Decree, so if you want
to follow his example, it will be better.
• I'tikaf is observed in large masjids where congregational Salahs are
• There is no harm for women to observe I'tikaf.
• Do not leave your I'tikaf place except for a necessity such as food, drink,
medicine, answering the call of nature, or performing Friday Salah. When you
leave your I'tikaf, do not approach your wife by sexual intercourse because it
• The one who observes I'tikah should avoid arguing, much laughter, and idle
talks, and his I'tikaf is not nullified by amusement or sins.
• Selling, purchasing, earning are impermissible during I'tikaf as it is
reprehensible in masjids in general. If a person wants to buy some food by
telephone, he may do so while being in the masjid without nullifying I'tikaf,
but it is better to make the phone call outside the masjid if there is no one
to make it on his behalf.
• The one who performs I'tikaf should not leave I'tikaf except for a reason,
and he may not leave it for visiting a sick person or for following a funeral
procession except he stipulates that before I'tikaf.
• It is permissible to pay Zakatul-Fitr before going to Salatul-'Eid, and it
is permissible for him to pay it one or two days before the 'Eid day.
• The majority of scholars adopt the view that he must pay Zakatul-Fitr as
food, but if he pays it as liquid money, I hope that Allah would accept it
from him according to some scholars.
• He should break his fast before going to the 'Eid Salah by taking some fresh
dates. He should wear the best of his clothes, take a shower and go early to
Salah walking, but if the masjid is far, he may go by transportations.
• It is desirable to pronounce Takbir in the night of 'Eid loudly and in the
morning while going to Salah until he comes to the praying place and until the
imam steps up the pulpit.
• Women and children should go for Salah even if women are menstruating but
they should avoid the praying place.
• It is part of the Sunnah that people perform the 'Eid Salah in open air not
inside the masjid except there is an excuse such as rain, fear, and so on.
• A person should not perform a Sunnah Salah before the 'Eid or after, but if
Salah is performed inside the masjid, a person may deliver two Rak'ahs for
saluting the masjid.
• Whoever misses a Rak'ah or catches the imam during Tashahud, he should make
up for the missed Rak'ahs by pronouncing seven-times Takbir in the first
Rak'ah and five-times Takbir in the second then recites whatever possible
Ayahs he could.
• Whoever misses Salatul-'Eid and wants to make up for it, he may make it up
as Salatul-'Eid whether in congregation or individually.
• He should go to Salatul-'Eid from a way and returns from another.
• It is desirable for a person to fast six days of Shawwal after Ramadan
whether separated or continuous, and Allah knows best.