Ramadan Notes ~ 2 of 3

Sh. Muhammad Rami Nsour with Shaykh Salek bin Siddina

This is a continuation of a previous blog post which can be found here, taken from a course taught by Shaykh Muhammad Rami Nsour at Zaytuna Institute (as it then was) a few years back.

The Book of Fasting from the Risala of ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani


There no harm in using a dry miswak during any part of the day.

If a peice of wood gets to your throat, it doesn’t break your fast. If it gets to your stomach however, your fast is broken.

Cupping (Himaja) is not disliked unless it causes over exhaustion.


If you vomit involuntarily you don’t have to make up that day after Ramadan, so long as it only gets to your mouth and is not re-swallowed. If it is, the day has to be made up after Ramadan.

Intentional vomiting requires a make-up as well as an expiation (Kafara) due to the intentional act.

Pregnant and Nursing Women

A pregnant woman worried about her foetus must break her fast. Each fast missed must be made up after Ramadan. The dominant Maliki position is that no expiation is required from her.

A nursing woman worried about the detrimental effects on her child (caused by the lack of milk production due to fasting) must break her fast if she can’t find a wet-nurse. The fast must be made up after Ramadan in addition to 1/2 litre of food (1 madd) that should be given out for 1 poor person for each day missed. This should come out from her own wealth (but it is permissible for her husband to pay if he wishes to on her behalf).

The expiation doesn’t remove the obligation of making up the fast that were missed. A healthy person must make up every day of Ramadan ever missed.

Expiation (Kafara)

Expiation must be given out, in addition to making up any fast(s) missed, if caused by an intentional careless act. The expiation can consist of either:-

1. 60 madds (1 madd = 1/2 a litre) of grain (being the dominant staple of the people) to 60 different poor people for every single day missed; or

2. 2 months consecutive fasting for every single day missed; or

3. Freeing a slave for every single day missed.

If you’re sick, you have broken your fast with a valid intention/reason. So whilst you have to make up the day(s) of fasting missed, you don’t pay an expiation.

So unintentionally breaking the fast (or with valid reason): no expiation is required but the invalid fast has to be made up.

Breaking the fast with a careless act: expiation required in addition to making up the invalid fast.

Long-term Illness

If someone cannot fast due to a serious illness or a long-term health condition such as diabetes then it is recommended to give 1 madd of food per day for each that s/he would have fasted if s/he were healthy.

If you missed some days from last year, you should make them up before this Ramadan. If you don’t, not only must you still make the day(s) up but you must also give 1 madd of food per day missed.

Let’s say you missed 2 weeks of fasting last Ramadan and you have left it until the last week of Shaban to make them up. In that case, you must fast the last week of Shaban and then give 1 madd per day for the remaining days (i.e 1 week) as Ramadan is already in. If you annually don’t get around to making up the fast days before the next Ramadan then the expiation does not accumulate – it is for the first year only.

Children / Ghusl / Forbidden Fasting / Menstruation

Children aren’t recommended to fast until puberty (age of bulugh/responsibility).

The fasting of a person who delays doing ghusl until after Fajr is valid.

Fasting is not permitted on Eid ul-fitr nor on Eid al-adha (& the 2 days after it) except for one doing Hajj tammatu’ (i.e. Hajj & Umrah on the same trip to Mecca) who doesn’t have an animal to sacrifice.

If you break fast out of forgetfulness you only have to make up that day without paying an expiation. You don’t continue eating now that you’ve broken your fast, you continue your invalid fast (imsak). The same applies if you’re forced to break your fast due to illness.

If a woman began the day fasting but then begins menstruating during the day, if there’s no food for her to break the fast on, a mere intenton of breaking the fast will break the fast.


You must travel at least 48 sharia miles ( 48 kilometres ) to shorten your prayers and be deemed as a traveller. This is counted from the edge of your city of residence to the edge of your city of destination.

If you leave before the sun has risen you can shorten the prayer right away as soon as you leave the city limits. As for breaking the fast due to the travel, you should have left before Dawn! You started the day as a resident, so you maintain the fast.

If anyone travels less than 48 kilometres thinking that they’re OK to break the fast then no expiation is done although as usual the day must be made up after Ramadan. He thought it was permissible to do. The same goes for anyone who breaks the fast with a valid explanation. An unreasonable explanation requires an expiation in addition to making up the fast.

If there’s no serious hardship whilst travelling then it’s recommended for you to maintain the fast. It’s not a sunnah to break your fast in such circumstances (unlike shortening the prayer during travel which is a sunnah even if you face no difficulty).

Fasting 6 days after in Shawwal / Tarawih

According to Imam Malik this is recommended, not obligatory.

Don’t pray Tarawih if you have outstanding Fard prayers to make up.

1 million nafilahs don’t equal 1 second of a Fard prayer.


This entry was posted in Ramadan. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s