Ramadan Q/A

How and when should a person make his niyyah (intention) to fast Ramadan?
If a person has the intention of fasting on the first day of Ramadan that he will fast this whole month, that is enough to cover whole of Ramadan. If the continuity of fasting is broken for an unavoidable reason, intention of fasting must be renewed. Even if the intention is not formed literally, it is there by implication.

If Ramadan coincides with the exams for high school graduation, is it permissible for a student to break his fast?
It is not permissible for one who is accountable to break his fast in Ramadan because of exams, because that is not one of the excuses that are allowed in sharee’ah.

Is there any truth that one should not cut their nails or shave the pubic hairs while fasting?

These actions are not things that are neither obligatory for the fasting person nor do they go against fasting.

When is the “Gate of Al-Rayyaan” opened (during Ramadan) and what is its significance?

Allah has promised a great reward to those who fast.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyaan, through which those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection, and no one but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will get up, and none will enter it but them. When they have entered, it will be locked, and no one else will enter.” (Al-Bukhaari, 1763; Muslim, 1947).

It is known that Paradise has many gates, because Allah says : “‘Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), which they shall enter and (Also) those who acted righteously from among their fathers, and their wives, and their offspring. And angels shall enter unto them from every gate” [al-Ra’d 13:23]

“And those who kept their duty to their Lord (Al-Muttaqoon – the pious) will be led to Paradise in groups till when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salaamu ‘Alaykum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein” [al-Zumar 39:73]

What is the du’aa’ that we should say when breaking our fast?
‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say when breaking his fast: “Dhahaba al-zama’ wa abtalat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr in sha Allaah (Thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain if Allaah wills).”

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2357; al-Daaraqutni, 25. Ibn Hajar said in al-Talkhees al-Habeer (2/202): al-Daaraqutni said, its isnaad is saheeh.

During Ramadan, can one watch movies and soap operas on videos and TVs, and play cards?
Muslims, whether they are fasting or not, should fear Allah with regard to what they are doing and not doing at all times and must avoid that watching obscene movies and the operas which show things that Allah has forbidden. Every Muslim, whether he is fasting or not, must avoid playing with cards and other kinds of games, that can inculcate wrongdoing.

What is the ruling on one who eats or drinks out of forgetfulness during Ramadan?
That does not matter and his fast is valid, because Allah says: “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error” [al-Baqarah 2:286]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever breaks his fast in Ramadan out of forgetfulness, he does not have to make that day up and he does not have to offer any expiation (kafaarah).”

Does the use of moisturizers, kohl and some cosmetics break the fast?
Soaps, kohl, facial creams, moisturizers, henna do not break the fast of either women or men; but using it at night is preferable for one who is fasting.

Is the fast invalidated by the act of gargling?
The fast is not invalidated so long as one does not swallow it, but this should not be done unless it is necessary.

If a fasting woman who in her ninth month of pregnancy leaked water (i.e., amniotic fluid), but not blood; does she have to make up the fast?
Her fast is valid and she does not have to make it up.

Is it permissible to use a bad-breath killer aerosol during the day in Ramadan to remove bad breath?

If the aerosol does not reach the throat, then that is permissible, but using a siwaak may be better. Also the following hadeeth should be noted: “the smell from the fasting person’s mouth is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk.”

Does a wet dream invalidate a fast and does the person have to make it up?
No, it does not invalidate the fast. But ghusl is required.

Is it permissible to go to the dentist while fasting?
Most dental actions do not effect the validity of the fast and furthermore this is allowed as long as no blood or medicine is swallowed. Similarly, if an injection which is not intended for nourishment does not affect the validity of the fast.

Is breaking the fast (iftaar) fard (obligatory)? When a person approaching to the Masjid for Salatul Maghrib, during the time of iftaar, should he/she break the fast and join in the prayer or pray first and then break the fast?
The Sunnah is to hasten to break one’s fast. One should hasten to break the fast by eating small morsels that will calm one’s hunger and then pray.

Does incomplete Hijaab invalidate the fast? When I go out to work I leave my head, neck and hands uncovered but everything else covered?
One should adhere to complete hijaab in front of non-mahram men so that the fast will be accepted. If a Muslim woman fasts but does not wear hijaab, her fast is still valid, but she is sinning by neglecting hijaab. Being uncovered does not affect the validity of one’s fast, but the one who displays her beauty and adornments (tabarruj) is threatened with punishment from Allah for going against His commandment. It is better to obey the commands of Allah:
“…to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies…” [al-Ahzaab 33:59]
“…and not to show off their adornment…” [al-Noor 24:31]
“…and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…” [al-Noor 24:31]

Is it permissible to delay ghusl for janaabah until after dawn has broken? Is it permissible for women to delay ghusl following the end of menstruation or post-natal bleeding until after dawn has broken?
If a woman sees that she has become taahir (pure) before Fajr, then she has to fast, and it does not matter if she delays ghusl until after dawn has broken. But she should not delay it until the sun is risen.
The same applies in the case of junub (impurity after sexual activity), one should not delay ghusl until after the sun has risen and in the case of men, they should hasten to do ghusl so that they can pray Fajr in congregation.

Which is better during the day in Ramadan – reading Quran or praying voluntary prayers?
This depends on people’s circumstances and its evaluation is up to Allah. The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was to do a lot of different kinds of worship during Ramadan. Jibreel used to review the Quran with him at night, and when Jibreel met with him, he was more generous in charity than the blowing wind and more so in Ramadan. He used to give more in charity and treat people even more kindly; he would read more Quran, pray more, recite more dhikr, and spend time in I’tikaaf (retreat).

Which medications/actions are permitted whilst fasting?
The following is a summary of shar’i research presented to the Islamic Fiqh Council during its regular meetings:
The following things do not have any effect on the fast:

  • Eye drops, eardrops, ear syringing, nose drops and nasal sprays – so long as one avoids swallowing any material that may reach the throat.
  • Tablets or lozenges that are placed beneath the tongue for the treatment of angina pectoris etc., so long as one avoids swallowing any material that reaches the throat.
  • Vaginal pessaries, douching, use of a speculum, or internal digital examination.
  • Introduction of a scope or coil (IUD), etc., into the uterus.
  • Introduction of a scope or catheter into the urethra (male of female), or injection of dyes for diagnostic imaging, or of medication, or cleaning of the bladder.
  • Drilling of teeth (prior to filling), extraction or polishing of teeth, using a miswaak or toothbrush, so long as one avoids swallowing any material that reaches the throat.
  • Rinsing, gargling or applying topical treatment in the mouth, so long as one avoids swallowing any material that reaches the throat.
  • Injections, whether subcutaneous, intra-muscular or intra-venous – with the exception of those used for purposes of nutrition.
  • Oxygen.
  • Anesthetics, so long as they do not supply nutrition to the patient.
  • Medicines absorbed through the skin, such as creams, lotions and patches used to administer medication through the skin.
  • Introduction of a catheter into the veins in order to examine or treat the vessels of the heart or other organs.
  • Laparoscopy for the purpose of diagnosis or surgical treatment of the abdominal organs.
  • Biopsies of the liver and other organs, so long as this is not accompanied by the administration of nutrients.
  • Gastroscopy, so long as this is not accompanied by the administration of nutrients.
  • Introduction of medicine or instruments into the brain or spinal cord.
  • Involuntary vomiting (as opposed to self-induced vomiting).

It is however preferable to postpone the above-described treatments and procedures until after he has broken his fast, if it is safe to do so.

The young is told to start praying when they are seven year old. Does the same rule apply for fasting?
The young boy is ordered to fast when he reaches the age of 7 is if he is physically capable of bearing it.

Will brushing teeth break your fast?
If tooth paste does not get into the throat, then the fast is not broken. However, it would be better to use tooth paste at night and to Sewaak at day time.

Where there are discrepancies in Fajr time stated on the different timetables of various Masjids of the same town or city, is it ‘safer’ to follow the earliest of those times for the purpose of Imsaak (abstaining from eating, drinking, etc.)?
It is permissible to eat, drink, etc. until one is certain of the time of Fajr : “…eat and drink until the time where the ‘white’ and ‘black’ thresholds of Al-Fajr is evident to you…” [Soorat-ul Baqarah].
If one cannot determine Al-Fajr himself and if there was no one else who could tell him about it through means such as raising the Adaan (The call to prayers), then one should follow the timetable.
You are strongly advised to abide by the timings determined by the Masjid or congregation you attend.

If I were to travel on the 30th day of Ramadan just after Maghrib time, after having broken my fast and I were to arrive at my destination in another country and find that they are still in the day time of their 30th day of Ramadan, what should I do?
Your state should be similar to that of the [Muslim] inhabitants of where you are. So, if they were still observing fasting then you should observe fasting with them even if that means you would be fasting for more than 30 days.

When it comes to the number of rakat to be prayed in Taraweeh’, which is right eight rakat or 20 rakat?
It was the practice of Prophet Muhammad to pray eight rakat and in fact, he never exceeded this amount during his lifetime. Aishah (R) said, ”Whether it was Ramadan or any other month, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not pray more than eleven rakat.” (Bukhari and Muslim) (i.e. 8 rakat of Taraweeh’ and then 3 rakat of Witr.)

Quality is very important and we should not think because we do not pray 20 rakat of Taraweeh’ that we are not getting as much reward. In fact, we get more reward by following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and staying behind the imam for the whole prayer until he finishes prayer Witr.

During the Taraweeh’ prayer, can one hold the mus’haf (copy of the Quran) while standing behind the imam?
This is permissible if the imam requests for someone (preferably right behind him) to correct him in the event of his reciting incorrectly. It is not preferable for too many people to correct him as it only causes the imam a great deal of confusion.

This act also causes people to miss out several aspects of the prayer such as looking at the place of sajood (prostration) during salah, having the right hand over the left hand, and in addition it also bothers people who are to the left and right of you.


The above article and question answers have been mainly derived from the following sources:

  • Al-Siyaam – 70 Matters Related to Fasting, Book by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
  • www.islamqa.info

Let us ask Allah to help us to remember Him, thank Him and worship Him properly, and to observe Ramadan with forgiveness, and to save us from the Fire.

May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

Source: The Islamic Society of Greater Lansing