What is the atonement for breaking the fast? What invalidates fast islam? What are three things that invalidates fasting in islam? What actions can invalidate a fast?
A) Situations That Invalidate The Fast And Require Making It Up Only
It is possible to amass the situations that only require making up the broken fast in three points.
1) Eating or drinking something that has no nutritional or therapeutic purpose invalidates the fast and requires only one day of making it up. These are things that human nature does not usually incline towards as it is not customary to eat and drink such things. For example, this is like eating uncooked rice, uncooked millet, lentils, raw dough, flour, or raw fruit, or swallowing nuts, almonds, and walnuts with their shells. Although these are food items, it is not normal to eat them in this way. Similar is the ruling about eating a lot of salt at once. Even if a little of the above-mentioned types of foods are deliberately eaten, the fast will be broken but only one-day compensatory fasting is required. Eating a small amount of salt, on the other hand, requires both making it up and atonement, as eating a little salt provides nourishment.
Swallowing the rain, snow, and hail that enters the mouth willingly is like drinking water and invalidates the fast, but rain, snow, and hailstones falling into the mouth without the intention of the person do not invalidate the fast.
Fasting is not broken by eating or drinking something or having sexual intercourse if the person forgets that he or she was fasting. There is no difference between farḍ and wājib or supererogatory fasting in this regard. For errors and forgetfulness are exonerated in acts of worship. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said that if anyone forgets that he is fasting and eats or drinks, he should complete his fast, for it is only Allah Who has fed him and given him drink. However, the ruling of eating and drinking by mistake is different from this, and according to the Ḥanafis, it invalidates the fast. For example, if a person accidentally eats or drinks something, even though he is aware that he is fasting, his fast is broken, and making it up is required. Swallowing water while performing wuḍū or swallowing water while swimming in the sea are of this nature.
According to the Shafiʿis, since there is no intention to break the fast, a person who eats or drinks something by mistake does not break the fast. According to the Malikis, in such a case, the fast is broken and it has to be made up for imsāk, which is the pillar of fasting, is transgressed.
If one sees that the fasting believer is eating, the situation can have various rulings; If this person is old or weak, it is permissible not to warn that person. If he is able to fast, not reminding him that he was fasting is considered makrūḥ and close to ḥarām, according to the Ḥanafis’ preferred view.
In case of bleeding of the gums, if blood equal to or more than the saliva goes into the throat, it breaks the fast. Less does not, because it is difficult to avoid.
If one vomits intentionally, it does not break the fast. If it is done deliberately and if it is a mouthful, the fast is broken.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa and Imam Muhammad, spitting a mouthful of phlegm does not break the fast.
The evidence of the above issues is the following hadith, “If one has a sudden attack of vomiting while he or she is fasting, making it up is not required, but if he or she vomits intentionally he or she must make it up.”
It does not invalidate the fast if something that is not usually eaten and that which is impossible to avoid, goes inside the throat. For example, the smoke of a fire, the smoke dispersed in the air, and the dust from the things that are ground or beaten with a mallet do not break the fast. Such is the case with a fly entering into the nose or mouth. However, if a medicine, for example, a clove put on a tooth, goes inside the throat, it invalidates the fast.
Since medicine dripped into the ear or nose can reach the stomach through the throat, it invalidates the fast. However, water that enters or spills into the ear does not break the fast. A medicine dropped into the eye does not break the fast even if it is felt in the throat. Kohl applied to the eye does not harm the fast, even if its color and texture can be seen in the saliva. For the connection of the eye to the throat is indirect since the penetration of eye drops or kohl is considered to have occurred through the skin pores.
Putting medicine on a woman’s genitals or the anus of both sexes with a syringe invalidates the fast, necessitating making that day up.
Using medication, vaccination, and injection: A sick person may fast if he or she is able to endure the fast. In such a case, what happens if there are medications that need to be taken at certain times on a daily basis? There is a consensus among Muslim scholars that food, drink, medicine and similar things to be taken while fasting through normal ways such as mouth, nose, front and back will invalidate the fast. That is because drugs such as oral pills, syrups, lozenges, etc. break the fast.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa, when drugs are applied to deep wounds close to the abdomen or the brain reach the abdominal cavity or the brain, the fast is broken and requires one day of making it up. Accordingly, a medicine injected under the skin, into the muscle, or into the vein by means of a vaccine or injection invalidates the fast. For the drug, serum, or vaccine taken in this way is fully infused and spreads throughout the body. In addition, it is applied at the request of the fasting person and is deemed suitable for the health of the body. The penetration of the drug in this way is not in the nature of water penetrating through the skin pores. Accordingly, it is more prudent to offer a vaccine or injection after ifṭār in cases where there is no necessity.
According to Imam Muhammad and Abu Yusuf, the fast does not break unless something enters through the normal ways. This is because fasting is defined as “holding oneself from not taking anything inside through a normal limb such as the mouth or nose”. In this respect, penetration of medicine placed in a deep wound to the abdomen or the brain is disregarded. Because this penetration did not occur in a normal way. Accordingly, vaccination and injection should not invalidate the fast. In the fetvahane in the past and in the fatwa commission of Azhar University in 1948, the following fatwa was issued, “Anything that enters the body from a place outside the normal holes of the body does not break the fast.”
Today, the use of the pills, injections, serums, etc., which did not exist in the era of mujtahid imams and which would quench hunger, thirst, or provide resistance to the body while fasting may detract from the purpose of fasting. This is because many drugs can also come in the form of injections instead of tablets. While ruling that taking the tablet form orally, the fast is broken, but if the same drug is injected into the muscle as a liquid with a syringe does not break the fast causes an obvious contradiction. Therefore, it would be more prudent for patients who have to take medication during the day to leave the fast to be made up later, and for those with mild conditions to have the injection done after ifṭār.
2) The fasting person’s taking food or medicine as an excuse requires only one day of making it up. Illness, travel, being forced, making an error, neglect, or doubt are among the religious excuses. Eating or drinking something or using medicine due to such reasons breaks the fast and requires it to be made up. However, it does not require atonement. For example,
a) Swallowing water while performing wuḍū by mistake,
b) When treating a deep wound on the head or abdomen, the drug penetrates the brain or abdominal cavity,
c) Making a sleeping person drink water,
d) Breaking the fast out of fear that he will be harmed and get sick while working a heavy job,
e) After eating, drinking, or having sexual intercourse by forgetting, eating, drinking, or having sexual intercourse again deliberately for the rest of the day assuming that the fast was broken in the first instance.
f) Eating and drinking after not intending at night but intending during the day, believing that this intention is insufficient,
g) If a person who intends to fast as a resident during the night and starts a journey during the day eats, drinks, or has sexual intercourse while on a journey, believing that it is permissible to break the fast,
h) The traveler who intends to fast at night eats after intending to reside,
i) If a person who is in doubt as to whether the dawn time has commenced or not continues to eat and drink, but realizes that the second dawn has already broken, only one day of making it up is required, and no atonement is necessary. For while the break of dawn is not known for certain, it is primarily assumed that the night continues.
j) If a fasting person breaks his fast by thinking that the sun has set, but then realizes that the sun has not set, only one day of making it up is required and no atonement.
If a person enters the imsāk time while eating and stops eating immediately, he can continue the fast of that day.
3) If a fasting person satisfies his lust in a way other than sexual intercourse, it is required that this day is made up, but no atonement is required.
If a person breaks his or her fasting outside the month of Ramadan by eating, drinking, or having sexual intercourse, making it up is required, but no atonement since there is no violation of the month of Ramadan.
B) Situations that Invalidate Fasting and Require Both Make Up and Atonement
At the top of the list of the situations that break the fast and require both make up and atonement is sexual intercourse while fasting on the day of Ramadan. There is no direct provision in the Qur’an about atonement for fasting. The Prophet also ruled for atonement for fasting in a sexual intercourse incident that took place at that time. The only example for the application of the atonement of fasting is as follows:
A man came to the Prophet (saw) and said, “I am ruined.”
The Prophet asked him,
“What has happened to you?”
“I had intercourse with my wife in Ramadan while I was fasting.”
The Prophet asked,
“Can you set a slave free?” He said:
He again asked:
“Can you fast for two consecutive months?”
“No.” He asked:
“Can you provide food for sixty poor people?” He said:
Allah’s Messenger said: “Sit down.”
Then a huge basket containing dates was brought to the Prophet (saw). He then said to the man:
“Give this as charity.”
The man said,
“O Messenger of Allah, there is no poorer family than mine between the two lave plains of Medina.”
The Messenger of Allah (saw) laughed so that his eye-teeth became visible, and said:
“Give it to your family to eat.”
This ruling of atonement regarding Ramadan fasting is the same as the ẓihār atonement in the Qur’an. In the period of ignorance, ẓihār was a kind of oath by which a husband would make his wife unlawful to himself by resembling his wife to his mother or a close female relative (for instance, by saying “for me you are like my mother”). In the fourth or fifth year of the Hijra, Khawla (r. anha)’s husband, Aws Ibn Sāmit, made such a ẓihār. Khawla came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and demanded that this custom of ignorance be abolished. Upon the Prophet’s statement that there was no revelation on this issue, she stood in front of the door and started to pray and complain to Allah. Thereupon, the first verses of the chapter “al-Mujadila”, meaning “the struggling woman”, were revealed and the issue of ẓihār was resolved.
Thereupon, the Prophet called Khawla bint Malik and said that her husband, according to the verse, a) should free a slave if he could, b) If he could not, fast for two months without interruption, and c) If he could not do this, he should feed sixty poor people, and only after that would the sexual barrier between them would be lifted. When Khawla said that her husband would not be able to free a slave, nor fast for two months, nor feed sixty poor people, the Messenger of Allah gave him a measure of dates, and Khawla added another measure from herself, thus ending the ẓihār process by feeding sixty poor people.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever intentionally breaks his fast in the month of Ramadan, upon him is the ruling (atonement) required for the person who makes ẓihār.” Since the form of breaking the fast is not mentioned here, according to the Ḥanafis, atonement is also required for a fast broken through deliberate eating and drinking. On the other hand, the hadith narrated by Aisha (r. anha), “Fasting is broken only by the one who enters, and it is not broken by the one who leaves” has a general meaning about how the fast is broken.
According to this, if the fasting person deliberately eats and drinks something that is habitually eaten or drunk, or uses a drug for the purpose of treatment within the measures stated above in a way that breaks the fast, both making it up and atonement are required. However, if an excuse arises that makes it permissible not to fast, such as illness, menstruation, post-partum bleeding, travel, being forced, intimidation, and mistake, then only making it up will suffice, and atonement will not be required.
However, it should be noted that atonement for fasting is a punishment for deliberately breaking the obligatory Ramadan fasting, which has been started with intention, without a valid excuse. Therefore, in case of breaking the compensatory, votive, sunnah, or other supererogatory fasts intentionally or unintentionally, it is sufficient to make it up in one day in place of the broken day. However, it is necessary to ask for forgiveness from Allah Almighty for the untimely interruption of a worship that had been started.
According to the Shafiʿis, since the atonement of fasting is related to the atonement of ẓihār, atonement is required only for the fast broken deliberate through sexual intercourse.
C) Make Up (QADA) Fasting
There is a consensus that those who do not fast for one or more days of Ramadan should make up for them. It may occur due to illness, travel, menstruation, postpartum bleeding, and similar excuses, or by intentionally or mistakenly abandoning the intention. The evidence is the following verse: “But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days.” This verse means that those who are sick or traveling but cannot fast should fast for the same number of days to make them up.
In a hadith narrated by Aisha, the following is stated, “During our menses in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) we were commanded to make up the abandoned fast, but were commanded to make up the abandoned prayer in the time of the Prophet.”
A person who does not fast in Ramadan without an excuse becomes a sinner. This is because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Whoever does not fast one day in Ramadan without having a concession allowing that, fasting for a lifetime will not make up for that.”
According to the Ḥanafis and the Malikis, just like making up the Ramadan fast, it is required to make up the atonement, votive, or voluntary fasts that were started and broken untimely. While the Shafiʿis do not consider it necessary to make up for a supererogatory fast that was started but not completed, the Malikis consider it necessary only to make up for a voluntary fast that is broken intentionally.
Making up Ramadan fasting is possible for a lifetime, with or without an excuse. According to the Shafiʿis, it should be made up until the next Ramadan. Otherwise, both making it up and monetary compensation (fidya) are required after the month of Ramadan.
It is not appropriate to fast on prohibited days such as Eid days, on days specified for a votive fasting day, and on the days of Ramadan. This is because these days do not accept any fast other than the fasts allocated to them.
There is no requirement for these days to be in a row or to make haste to make up the Ramadan fasting. A person can fast on separate or consecutive days if he or she wishes. This is because the Qur’anic verse that states compensatory fasting has absolute meaning.
Is it permissible for the guardian of a dead person to perform the make-up fasts in place of a deceased person?
There are two situations for a person who owes a Ramadan fasting:
1) According to the majority of jurists if the fasting person dies before he can make up his missed fasts due to an excuse such as time constraint, illness, travel, excessive old age, or permanent illness, this fasting debt is deemed to have been waived. This is because he has no fault in the emergence of this impossibility. The responsibility of these fasts will be dropped without any requirement, as in the case of pilgrimage. They do not have to be made up either because there was no time and opportunity to fulfill them.
2) If the person who owes fasting dies after he has had the opportunity to make up for his fasts, his guardian cannot fast for him. It is not permissible to do this either while he is alive or after death. Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever dies owing to the fasts of a month, one poor person should be fed on his behalf for each day.”
According to the Ḥanafis and the Malikis, if the deceased person has left a will regarding the payment of monetary compensation for the days he could not fast, his guardian gives half a ṣāʿ (in the amount of fidya) dates or barley to a poor person for each day because the deceased was incapable of fasting in the last part of his life, so he is considered like an old person.
D) Atonement of Fasting
The penalty for intentionally breaking a Ramadan fast that started in the month of Ramadan is the necessity of atonement in addition to making it up. The atonement of fasting, as in the atonement of ẓihār, is carried out in one of the three ways respectively, a) Freeing a slave, b) Fasting for two consecutive months, and c) Feeding sixty poor people. Since there is no more slavery, it is necessary to take one of the second or third ways as a basis. Here, it is essential to follow the order between the two ways. A person who thinks that he cannot fast for two months feeds sixty poor people at once or on separate days and if he is unable to do so, he should repent to Allah Almighty and ask forgiveness. Accordingly, the ruling on atonement fasting is obligatory only because of intentionally breaking a fast that started in the month of Ramadan. There is no need for atonement for breaking any fast except Ramadan, but it requires only qaḍā.
The reason for the atonement is to violate the dignity of the month of Ramadan and for ignoring it. However, atonement is not required for a person who breaks the fast out of forgetfulness, unknowingly or based on speculative knowledge. According to the Ḥanafis and the Malikis, breaking the fast, which requires atonement, occurs in Ramadan with acts such as intentional sexual intercourse and eating and drinking.
According to the Malikis, kaffarah is obligatory in one of the above-mentioned three ways. Following the order is not required. If a person wishes, he can feed sixty poor people, which is the most virtuous, or fast for sixty days, or free a slave.
If the atonement fast is interrupted by a valid excuse such as menstruation, post-partum bleeding, and Eid, it is not necessary to start over again, it is continued from where it left off.
It is sufficient to pay a single atonement for breaking the fast on different days before the atonement is paid for intentionally breaking the fast. Even if this situation belongs to two separate Ramadans, this is the case according to the sound view. If an atonement payment has intervened, according to a sound narration, a single atonement will not be sufficient.
A person who is incapable of paying kaffarah will not owe atonement. He will do it in whatever form of payment he can afford.
Atonement becomes invalid due to the emergence of an excuse such as menstruation, postpartum bleeding, or an illness that makes it permissible to break the fast on the day the fast is broken. For the same day does not acknowledge disintegration for atonement, both in terms of being determined and not determined.
E) Monetary Compensation (Fidya) for Fasting:
The following is stated in the Qur’an regarding the monetary compensation of fasting, “And upon those who are able to fast, but with hardship – a ransom as a substitute of feeding a poor person each day.” Ibn Abbas (ra) said, “This verse was revealed to make it easy for old people. Fasting is farḍ. It is permissible for a farḍ to fall by making it up, as well as by payment of monetary compensation.” The expression “who are able to fast, but with hardship” includes the destitute elderly, as well as the sick who have no hope of recovery. The proof of this is the following verse: “Allah has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.” Accordingly, the verse stipulates that the elderly, who cannot fast, and the sick who have no hope of recovery, give fidya in place of fasting that they cannot observe, and explains the amount of the fidya as “feeding a poor person” each day.
The sick and the elderly, whose body is weakening day by day, can feed a poor person for each day they could not observe, or they can give the fidya enough to feed a poor person in cash or goods at the beginning or end of the month of Ramadan. If they cannot pay this fidya in their lifetime, they must bequeath it to be paid after their death. If such a will is made and one-third of the inheritance is sufficient to fulfill it, the heirs must pay this fidya to the poor. If there is no will or one-third of the inheritance property does not cover it, it is recommended that the heirs pay it as a donation. According to the Shafiʿis, fidya must be paid out of the entire inheritance whether there is a will left or not.
The form of compensation for fasting by means of fidya is reserved for those who cannot fast due to constant illness and old age and does not include those who do not fast on time, with or without an excuse, except for these two situations. However, if these people die without making up for the fasting they owed, it is permissible and even mandūb for the heirs to give fidya for these fasts in the same way. Because although the responsible worshiper shows a deficiency in delaying making up the fasting, death eliminates the possibility to make up the fasts owed and it turns out to be a kind of “inability to make it up”.
The fidya of the fasts that cannot be observed can be given to many poor people, as well as the total amount of the fidya can be given to one poor person. According to Abu Yusuf, it is also possible to divide a single fidya among several poor.
Since it was impractical to actually feed the poor through fidya, it initially needed to be paid in the form of a certain amount of food. According to the Ḥanafis, the amount of fidya, which is equal to a poor person’s satisfaction, is half a ṣāʿ of wheat and one ṣāʿ of barley, dates, or raisins. The amount of the fidya for fasting is equal to the amount of the zakāt al-fiṭr. Today, the money or monetary value that can feed the poor for a day should be determined as the minimum amount, taking into account the social and economic level of the society, and the responsible worshipper should consider his own social status when determining his own amount above this minimum limit.
According to the majority of jurists other than the Ḥanafis, those who show negligence in Ramadan fast by not making it up within one year are required to make it up together with the payment of fidya within the following period. Here, the situation is compared to a person who intentionally breaks his fast. For both of them underestimated the dignity of fasting. Those who delay the making up of fasting to sometime after the next Ramadan due to excuses such as illness, travel, mental illness, menstruation, and postpartum bleeding do not have to pay fidya.
 Al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, 94-102; Ibn al-Humām, Fatḥ al-Qadīr, II, 64-77; al-Maydanī, Lubāb, I, 165 ff.; Ibn Abidīn, II, 132 ff.; al-Shurunbulālī, ibid, p. 109 ff.; al-Zaylaī, Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāiq, I, 322 ff.; Fatawā al-Hindiyya, I, 202 ff.; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 652 ff. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 26; Muslim, Ṣiyām, 17. Abū Dawūd, Ṣawm, 33; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 24, 25; Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 16; Al-Darimī, Ṣawm, 25; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣiyām, 47; al-Shawkanī, ibid, IV, 204. See al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, pp. 94-102; Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, p. 64 ff.; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, p. 132 ff., (Trans. A. Davudoğlu, Istanbul 1985, IV, p. 294 ff.); al-Shirbāsi, Yas’alūnaka fi’d-Dīn wa’l-Ḥayāt, I, 144, 145; Bilmen, ibid, pp. 292-293; Hayrettin Karaman, Günün Meseleleri, Istanbul, 1982, I, p. 502, II, p. 32. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 30 Hiba, 20, Nafaqāt, 13, Kaffarāt, 2-4; Muslim, Ṣiyām, 81; Abū Dawūd, Ṭaḥāra, 123, Ṣawm, 37; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 28; Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 14. Al-Mujadala, 58: 3, 4; See also al-Ahzab, 33: 4. See Abū Dawūd, Ṭalāq, 17; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, VI, 411; al-Shawkanī, Nayl, VI, 262; Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle Aile İlmihali, Istanbul 1995, p. 442-445. Ibn al-Humām, Fatḥ, II, 70. Al-Zaylaī, Naṣb al-Raya, II, 253. Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, p. 80 ff.; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 288, Ibn Qudāmah, Mughnī, III, 135. Al-Baqara, 2: 184. See Abū Dawūd, Ṭaḥāra, 104; al-Bukhari, Ḥayḍ, 20; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 67; al-Nasā’ī, Ḥayḍ, 17, Ṣiyām, 64; Ibn Maja, Ṭaḥāra, 119. Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 14; al-Darimī, Ṣawm, 18; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, I, 92, II, 386, 442, 458, 470. Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 81; al-Maydanī, Lubāb, I, 171; al-Shurunbulālī, ibid, p. 116; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 289. Ibn Maja, Ṣiyām, 50; See also al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 23; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣiyām, 53. Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 83 ff.; al-Maydanī, ibid, I, 170; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 290; al-Shirbinī, ibid, I, 43 ff.; Ibn Qudāmah, ibid, III, 142 ff. Al-Kāsānī, ibid, II, 98 ff.; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 150 ff.; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 289, ff.; al-Shurunbulālī, ibid, p. 112; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 678 ff. Al-Baqara, 2: 184. See Ibn Kathīr, Muhtaṣar Tafsir, 7th ed., Beirut 1402/1981, I, 159, 160; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 687. Al-Ḥajj, 22: 78. One ṣāʿ, in comparison to the religious dirham, is 2.917 kg, and, in comparison to the customary dirham, is 3.333 kg.
Source: Basic Islamic Principles (ilmiḥal) According to the Four Sunni Schools With Evidence From The Sources of Islamic Law, Prof. Hamdi Döndüren, Erkam Publications