As the Holy month of Ramadan fast approaches, many of us are already making preparations, be it spiritual or otherwise to make the most of this month of endless blessings. Indeed, Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and holds many benefits for us Muslims as it purges us of our evil and shortcomings and gets us closer to Allah. As Allah SWT said in the Quran “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become conscious of Allah”. (Al-Baqarah: 183).
As we make preparations for this holy month we should also be wary of the factors that can nullify our fasting and in this article we are going to list the 5 things that invalidate fasting .
#1. Having sexual relations with your spouse.
If anyone has any sexual relation with his/her spouse during the day in the month of Ramadan then his/her fasting is rendered invalid. This is one of the most serious ways of nullifying fasting and has heavy punishments to expiate for the sin. They must free a slave to expiate the sin. If they are unable to do that, they must fast for two consecutive months. If they are also incapable of doing that they should feed sixty poor people.
If one discharges sperm due to kissing, touching, masturbating or any other deliberate act with the opposite sex, it will in effect invalidate his fasting. However if semen is released while asleep due to wet dreams or any other means then this does not invalidate the person’s fasting as he has no control over it.
#2. Eating and drinking.
If a person eats or drinks anything during the day in the month of Ramadan then the person’s fasting becomes null and void. This involves getting food in the stomach via the mouth or nose. Getting food or water via the nose into the stomach also invalidates fasting. The Prophet SAW said in a Hadith “Snuff up water deeply into the nose (when doing wudoo’), except when you are fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 788. If getting water in the nose didn’t invalidate fasting the Prophet PBUH won’t have warned us against it.
Other forms of getting food into the body may be through injection or taking a food supplement pill. Also blood transfusion to someone who is fasting breaks the person’s fast as blood is formed from food and drink. But in the case of injections that do not add any form of nourishment to body and are administered for things like medical purposes then this doesn’t invalidate the fast.
#3. Blood cupping.
This is backed by the Prophet’s PBUH saying “The cupper and the one for whom cupping if done have both invalidated their fast.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2367; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2047. The same goes for blood donation as a lot of blood is extracted from your body. However, if it is for a life or death situation then the person can donate blood (which breaks his fast) but will have to make up for that fast another day. If one has his/her blood taken to screen for sickness or diseases this does not fall under blood cupping because it has little effect. Also if a person loses blood due to tooth extraction or nose bleeding his/her fasting is still valid.
#4. Intentional vomiting.
If a person deliberately vomits his/her fasting is nullified but no blame is for one who vomits unintentionally. This is backed by the saying of the Prophet PBUH “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 720, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 577.
#5. Menstrual or postnatal bleeding.
A woman’s fasting is deemed invalid if she sees the blood of her period even if it is just moments before sunset. However if she feels her period has started but still hasn’t seen any blood then her fasting is valid. If a woman’s menstruation ends at night and she intends to fast the next day but for some reason didn’t perform ghusl beyond dawn, scholars have agreed that her fast is still valid.
For fasting to become invalid in all of the factors listed except for menstrual or postnatal bleeding, three conditions must be met.
The person did it knowingly, not out of ignorance
The person did it intentionally not out of forgetfulness.
The person did it willingly and was not forced.
Allah knows best.