Fasting in Islam is when a person stops himself for actions that are forbidden in general, and those are specifically forbidden only during the daylight hours during Ramadan. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said what can be translated as: “Almighty Allah is not in any need for any person to fast if the person doesn’t stop saying and doing shameful acts.” By knowing this we have to understand that there are some acts that make fasting incomplete and not fully rewarded, those acts are in three sections:
(1) One of the biggest sins and forbidden acts during fasting is having sexual relations during the days of fasting. Whoever commits this has to ask Almighty Allah for forgiveness immediately, with the intention and the promise not to do it again, and has to fast consecutively for two full months.
(2) Eating or drinking or using any kind of nourishing injections during the days of fasting.
(3) Vomiting intentionally: However, if someone vomits unintentionally, his fast will be acceptable. About this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever accidentally vomits during the days of fasting, does not have to pay any expiation.” However, if a person intended and did something to make himself vomit, he has to ask Almighty Allah for forgiveness and fast another day to make up for the nullified fast.
Fasting is an obligation on all adult Muslims capable of fasting, but not during their travel. Fasting is an obligation on all adult women, not during their monthly periods, and that differs from a woman to another and not during the late days of pregnancy when they become weak and afraid that fasting will do harm to themselves or to their fetuses. It also differs from a woman to another. Fasting requirements have extenuating circumstances which can be divided into three sections:
(A) Those who are not obliged to fast, like the mentally ill or crazy or full time unconscious, as well as the non-believers. Fasting will not be accepted from any such person, even if they do carry it out as others do.
(B) Those who are obliged to fast in general, but are exempt during some situations, like the women during their monthly periods, or during the late days of pregnancy, or after delivery. The number of days for all those differs from a woman to another, all those have to fast the same number of days after the month of Ramadan.
(C) Those who are not obliged to fast and fasting is not a must on them, but if they do fast, it will be accepted from them. For example, the fasts of young children are accepted and rewarded, as will their parents who are teaching and encouraging them to fast. Also those who are traveling during their flights (in a non- forbidden travel, or non-forbidden purposes or places) may break their fast during their travels, but if they do fast their fasting will be accepted from them.
This is similar to what happened during the days of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when some of his companions were fasting and some were not fasting during their travels, and no one minded the other. In this case, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Fasting during traveling is not a good behavior. But if a Muslim fasts while traveling from one place to another the fasting is accepted, but he will be more rewarded if he does not fast, because not fasting is a permission from Almighty Allah and eases more the worship of the Muslims.”
Adult Muslims who are not in normal situations and are under medical treatment can break their fast if their situation becomes worse because of fasting. Should such persons fast, their fast will be accepted. If they have a chronic medical condition and will never be healthy enough to fast again, they are obliged to provide a full meal to an adult poor person, equivalent to one of their own average meals, every day they do not fast.
However, those who are under medical treatment and expect to return to their normal condition, they have to fast the same number of days they missed. But in either situation, the one suffering from a chronic disease, if he fasts, it will be accepted. Regarding the elderly who find it extremely hard to fast, they can break the fast, and rather provide a full meal according to the standard of living of the town or village, to an adult needy person.
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By The Holy Quran and Correct Sunnah Group