Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It grants good deeds and gives Barakah to Muslims’ life.
Fasting in Islam
Muslims worldwide fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Lunar year – in the Islamic Calendar. Fasting Ramadan is an obligatory act of worship through which Muslims show true devotion to Allah Almighty by leaving all the distractions of Dunnyah and worshiping Allah.
Allah – Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala- mentioned the benefits of fasting in many of His Verses to uncover the unlimited rewards and Thawab it has for those believers who fast during Ramadan.
“O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you1—so perhaps you will become mindful ˹of Allah” __ Al-Baqarah – Verse 183.
“Ramaḍân is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺. So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then ˹let them fast˺ an equal number of days ˹after Ramaḍân˺. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful”. __ Al-Baqarah – Verse 185.
Our Beloved Prophet has mentioned the great Thawab of fasting Ramadan. He ﷺ told us that fasting is such a great worship that Allah Almighty Himself will reward this act of worship. It was Narrated by Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.’ Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ By Him in Whose Hands my soul is’ The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.” __ Sahih al-Bukhari
Fasting comes in two forms;
- Ramadan Fasting: an obligatory form of fasting.
- Nafilah Fasting: a voluntary form of fasting.
Both are acts of worship and committing to performing these two types of fasting grants us the satisfaction and pleasure of Allah Almighty.
Ramadan fasting is an obligatory act of worship for every healthy adult Muslim. During Ramadan, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, intercourse, lousy behavior, and displeasing speech from sunrise until sunset.
Nafilah fasting is the voluntary form of fasting to please Allah Almighty, to become closer to Him SWT – and it’s the best way to follow the teachings of our beloved Prophet and His Sunnah ﷺ like:
- Fasting the six days of Shawal. Abu Ayyoob (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allahﷺ said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime” __ Muslim.
- Fasting Mondays and Thursdays. Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allahﷺ said: “Men’s deeds are presented [to Allah] on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like mine to be presented when I am fasting.”
- The White Days (Ayam Al-Beedh). The white days refer to the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the lunar calendar
- The Day of Ashura – 10th of Muharram.
- The day of Arafah – 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. Abu Qatadah (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about the observance of fasting on the day of Arafah. He said, “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year and the current year” – Muslim.
List of Things That Will Break Your Fast in Islam
The month of Ramadan is the month of worship and devotion to Allah. Muslims during Ramadan abstain from their basic needs and desires as humans to enter a higher state of spiritual connection to Allah Almighty.
However, there is a list of things that can break the fast, so we need to pay attention to these actions.
Eating, Drinking and Smoking
Fasting is the act of refraining from the basic needs of our daily life, such as eating food, drinking water and other liquids, and even smoking – which is an unpleasant habit in Islam – therefore, consuming any of these things on purpose will break your fast immediately. However, if a Muslim drinks or eats something while fasting out of forgetfulness, he can complete his fast. As the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever eats out of forgetfulness while fasting, let him complete his fast, for it is Allah Who has fed him and given him to drink.” – Sahih Al Bukhari.
Lying, Cursing, Misbehaving
Islam is all about ethics, doing good deeds, and committing to being a good person to yourself, your family and friends, your neighbors and community, and teaching and implanting good manners and good deeds in your entire society. Therefore, all actions classified as misbehavior is unaccepted in Islamic teachings. Ethics are so important in Islam to the stage that breaking these rules can break your actions of worship, like fasting Ramadan; actions like misbehaving, cursing someone – or one another – lying to someone, or backbiting, are all bad behavior that can terminate your fast at once.
Muslims who are sick or suffering from an illness are exempt from fasting. If a Muslim vomits during a fasting day, they can complete their fast. However, if a Muslim intentionally provokes himself into vomiting, they’ve broken their fast.
Injection, Drops Eye Drops, Nose Drops, and Ear Drops
The general principle of fasting is not to reach the stomach and nourish the body. Therefore, all types of ear, nose, eye drops, and even nasal sprays do not invalidate one’s fasting.
As for injections, it is permissible for a fasting person to take medicine by injection, whether intramuscular or intravenous, while fasting; however, taking injections for nourishment purposes while fasting will break the fast because it empowers the body, just like eating and drinking.
Allah Almighty says in His Holy Book: “It has been made permissible for you to be intimate with your wives during the nights preceding the fast. Your spouses are a garment1 for you as you are for them. Allah knows that you were deceiving yourselves.2 So He has accepted your repentance and pardoned you. So now you may be intimate with them and seek what Allah has prescribed for you.3 ˹You may˺ eat and drink until you see the light of dawn breaking the darkness of night, then complete the fast until nightfall. Do not be intimate with your spouses while you are meditating in the mosques. These are the limits set by Allah, so do not exceed them. This is how Allah makes His revelations clear to people, so they may become mindful ˹of Him” — Surah Al-Baqarah – Verse 187.
As clarified in this Verse, it is allowed for Muslim couples to have an intimate relationship during the nights of Ramadan; it is only forbidden during the daytime.
What Things Can Break Your Fast?
Intentional eating and drinking, deliberate vomiting, sexual intimacy between a married couple, and nutritious or vitamin injections.
Does Listening to Songs Break Your Fast?
No. It does not. However, it’s undesirable action to do during Ramadan.
Does Swallowing Saliva Break Fast?
No. It doesn’t.