Problem # 5 If a person on journey who is ignorant of the rules keeps fast, his fast shall be valid, and it shallbe sufficient for the fulfillment of his duty, in the same way as you have already understood about the person who is ignorant of the rules of prayers, as Qasr is like not keeping fast, while keeping fast is like offering full prayers. So all the rules we have mentioned under the prayers shall also apply here. So for all those on whom offering a full prayer is obligatory like the hired drivers or those undertaking a journey for the commission of a sin, or one who intends to stay at a place (for ten days), or one who stays at a place for thirty days but is always hesitating to stay or leave the place, etc., it shall be obligatory on such person to keep fast.
Of course, (there is some difference in the rules applicable to a traveller and one keeping fast. As) when a person undertakes a journey for hunting for trade, it is a condition that he should not keep fast, while he is required to offer prayers both with and without Qasr. So also its obligatory on a person to keep compensatory fast if he happens to forget it and recalls it after the lapse of its due time, but this is not the case with one who has offered full prayers (So that he is not required to offer it with Qasr) as already mentioned in the four holy places, it is a condition that the person shall not keep fast, while it depends on the discretion of the person to offer prayers in these holy place with or without Qasr. So also if a person undertakes a journey after noon, he shall be required to continue his fast, though it would be obligatory on him to exercise Qasr in his prayers. If a person reaches his home town after noon, he shall break his fast, but if he has not already offered his prayer, and reaches his home town after noon, he shall be required to offer full prayer (without Qasr). It has already been mentioned under the Section on Prayers that the criterion for exercising Qasr prayers is the arrival of the traveller in the limit where Qasr is allowed. The same criterion is observed in fasting too, so that a person is not allowed to break the fast until he reaches the limit (where breaking the fast is allowed), rather if he does so, according to the more cautious opinion, he shall be liable to compensate as well as expiate for it
Problem # 6 According to the more proper opinion, it is permissible to undertake an optional journey during the month of Ramadãn, even if it were for avoiding keeping fast, but it is disapproved to undertake such a journey before the passage of twenty three days of Ramadãn, except when the journey is meant for the performance of Hajj or ‘Umrah, or for a property which is feared to perish, or for a brother who is feared to be killed. In case of a specified obligatory fast, other than the fast for the month of Ramadãn, it is more cautious to give up undertaking journey, if the journey is optional. In the same way if a person is on journey, it is more cautious to stay (for ten days) to keep such fast, though in case of a specified vow, it is permissible to undertake a journey, and it is not obligatory to stay (for ten days) if he is on journey.
. . . -
Problem # 7 It is disapproved for a traveller during the month of Ramadŕn, rather for every person for whom it is permissible not to keep fast, to eat or drink to his fill. So is the performance of sexual intercourse (disapproved) during the day; rather, it is more cautious to give it up; although, according to the stronger opinion, it is permissible to do so.
Problem # 8 Following persons are allowed not to keep fast during the month of Ramadãn:
1. An old man or woman, if it is not possible for them to keep fast, or it is painful for them.
2. One who is suffering from the disease of thirst, regardless whether he is unable to control the thirst, or it is painful for him.
3. A pregnant woman whose delivery time is close, and fasting would be harmful for her or her foetus.
4. A nursing woman being short of milk, when fasting would be harmful for her and her infant.
All the above mentioned persons are allowed not to keep fast. It is obligatory on each of them to expiate in lieu of each day by giving away a Mudd of food, and to be more cautious two Mudds, except in case of an old man or woman, or one having the disease of thirst, when they are not able to keep fast, so that there is difficulty in declaring them to be liable to expiate, rather its being otherwise is not devoid of force, as it is also a matter of hesitation in case of a pregnant women whose delivery time of the child is close at hand, or a nursing woman who is short of milk, when it is harmful for both of them, and not their child.
Problem # 9 There is no difference in a nursing woman whether the suckling is her own child or
she has been nursing the infant voluntarily or against payment It is more cautious that it must be confined to the case when there is no other woman to take her place for nursing the baby voluntarily or against payment by the baby’s father or her mother or voluntarily.
Problem # 10 It is obligatory on a pregnant woman or a nursing woman later to compensate for the fast (given up by them), as also it is more cautious to declare it obligatory on the first two (i.e. an old man and woman), if later they become able to keep fast
Procedure of Finding First of Ramadãn and Shawwãl
The first of every month is established by ocular vision (of the moon), even if the moon is seen by a single person, though it is more useful if it is confirmed by several persons and general opinion, or by passage of thirty days from the preceding month, or through legal evidence which consists of the testimony of two morally sound persons, or the decision of a judge when it is not known to be mistaken or to have an erroneous basis, but no regard is to be paid to the statement of the astrologers, or the encirclement of the moon, or its disappearance after the evening glow in proving that the moon belongs to the last night, though it may help in such assumption.
Problem # 1 It is indispensable to entertain the legal evidence if it testifies the ocular vision of the moon, but mere scientific testimony is not sufficient.
Problem # 2 It is not a condition for the tenability of the evidence that it should be adduced before a judge of a Shari’ah court, rather it is a sufficient proof for every one before whom it is produced; rather even if it is adduced before a judge, but he rejects it due to not being confirmed by the evidence of two morally sound witnesses in his opinion, but the witnesses be morally sound in the opinion of another, in which case the person for whom the witnesses are reliable shall act upon it as regards fasting or otherwise. It is not a condition for both the witnesses to have seen the moon at one and the same time after they have agreed to have had an ocular vision of the moon at night.
Of course, it is a condition that they must agree on the details of the vision. If, however, they differ some of the external details in which there is likelihood of difference of identification, such as the moon being high, it’s being encircled or its appearance in the northern or the southern direction, then their testimony is not far from being acceptable in case the difference is not-exorbitant. If, however, the description of one or both of them is contrary to the actual position, as when they testify that it was turned towards the sky, which is contrary to what is its position in the early days of the month, their testimony shall not be entertained. It would be sufficient if both the witnesses give a general description of the moon, or one of them gives information which is not against the actual position while the other gives general information.
Problem # 3 The testimony of four women shall not be accepted as regards the sight of the moon, nor that of one man and two women, nor of the testimony of a single witness with the addition of another’s oath.
Problem # 4 There is no difference if the two morally sound witnesses belong to the same town, or they are outsiders, and whether there is any reason for the sight of the moon in the sky or not.
Of course, in case of non-existence of the reason for the sight of the moon in the sky, the sky is clear and a number of people have gathered to see the moon, and there is so much of difference and contradiction among them that it may strengthen the likelihood of the error of the two morally sound persons, in that case there shall be difficulty in accepting their testimony.
Problem # 5 The tenability of the decision of the judge of the Shari’ah court is not limited to his own followers only, but it would be an authority even for another judge when it is not established that he has ever mistaken or the basis of his decision has been erroneous.
Problem # 6 If the sight of the moon is established in another town but not in one’s own town, then if they are close to each other, or it is sure that they have a common horizon, it shall be sufficient (for acceptance), otherwise not.
Problem # 7 It is not permissible to depend on a telegram or the like with regard to the information about the sight of the moon, except when the two towns are close to each other or have a common horizon, and the sight of the moon is established in that town through the decision of a judge of the Shari’ah court, or by legal evidence, and for its proof it is sufficient if the telegram has been sent by two morally sound persons.
Chapter Concerning Compensation for the Fast of Ramadãn
A child is not liable to compensate for the fasts he has not kept during his childhood, nor a lunatic or a fainted person for the fasts given up by them during the period of their excuse, nor is a born infidel required to compensate for the fasts he has not kept during the period of his disbelief.
It is, however, obligatory to compensate for the fasts given up by others than the above mentioned persons, including even an apostate who is required to compensate for the fasts given up by him during the period of his apostasy.
The same rule applies to a woman having menstrual or puerperal blood, though they are not required to compensate for the prayers given up by them (during the period of their excuse).
Problem # 1 It has already been mentioned that fasting is not obligatory on a person who has become of age before noon, but has not taken anything, nor on a person who has intended to keep fast as a recommended one, and becomes of age during the day. So if such persons break the fast, they shall not be required to compensate for it; though it would be more cautious to do so.
Problem # 2 It is obligatory on an intoxicated person to compensate for the fast given up during his intoxication, regardless whether taking the intoxicant was for medication or in a prohibited way. Rather it shall be obligatory on such a person to compensate for the fast if, before the intoxication, he has had intention to keep fast, and he must also complete the fast (he has already started).
Problem # 3 If an opponent (i.e. a non-Shi’ah) joins the Shi’ah faith, it shall not be obligatory on him to compensate for the fasts he has already kept according to his own faith or the right faith (i.e. the Shi’ah faith) with the intention of seeking closeness (to Allah). However, it shall be obligatory on him to compensate for the fasts he has given up during that period.
Problem # 4There is no immediacy in compensation. Of course, to be more cautious, it is also not permissible to delay the compensation until the next Ramadan.
In case a person delays the compensation, then he shall have a vast time for the compensation.
Problem # 5 It is not obligatory to observe sequence in compensation, nor to specify the days, so that if a person owes the fasts for a few days, it is sufficient for him to keep fast for that number of days with the intention of compensation, even if he does not specify the first, or second day, and so on.
Problem # 6 If a person owes the fasts of two or more months of Ramadãn, it shall be his discretion to select the former or the latter months.
Of course, if a person owes the fasts of this year along with those of the last Ramadãn, and there is not sufficient time for compensating the fasts of both until the next Ramadãn, it shall be more cautious for him to opt for the fasts of this Ramadãn.
If he opts to the contrary, then apparently his option shall be valid, but he shall be liable to expiate for the delay.
Problem # 7 If a person has given up the fasts for the month of Ramadãn due to sickness or menstrual or puerperal blood, and dies before being exonerated, their compensation shall not be obligatory, though it shall be preferable if the fasts are kept on behalf of that person.
Problem # 8 If a person gives up the fasts of the month of Ramadãn or some of its days due to some excuse which continues until the next Ramadãn, then if the excuse was any sickness, he shall not be bound to compensate, and he shall expiate by paying one Mudd of food per day, and his compensation shall not be in lieu of the expiation. If the excuse is other than sickness, like a journey or the like, then, according to the stronger opinion, he shall be bound only to compensate. The same rule shall apply if the cause of death is sickness, while the cause of delay is another, or vice versa. But he should not give up caution by compensating as well as paying a Mudd of food per day, particularly when the excuse were a journey. The same rule shall apply in the latter case.
Problem # 9 If a person gives up the fasts of the month of Ramadãn or some of its days without any excuse deliberately, and does not compensate for it until the next Ramadãn, he shall be bound to expiate by paying a Mudd of food per day, and compensate for them later in addition to the expiation for deliberately giving up fasting.
The same rule shall apply if a person gives up fasting due to some excuse, but the excuse does not subsist, nor does any other excuse arise, and he dilly-dallies the compensation until the arrival of the next Ramadãn.
If, however, the person has had the intention of compensation after the removal of the excuse, but there arose another-excuse during the tight time, then it would be more cautious for him to expiate as well compensate.
Problem # 10 The expiation for the delay does not multiply with the multiplication of the years. So if a person gives up the fasts for three days in three months of Ramadãn consecutively, but fails to compensate for them, he shall be liable to a single expiation for the first and so for the second and compensation only for the third, if he does not delay it until the fourth Ramadan.
Problem # 11 It is permissible to pay the expiation of several days in a single month of Ramadãn or more to a single poor person, and it is not obligatory to pay each poor person a single Mudd of food per day.
Problem # 12 It is permissible for a person to break the fast before noon, if its time is not too short when he is keeping a compensatory fast for the month of the Ramadãn. But it is forbidden to do so after noon rather it entails the obligation of expiation, though it is not obligatory to abstain from taking anything which breaks the fast during the rest of the day.
The expiation in this case is feeding ten poor persons, a Mudd of food to each of them.
If it is not possible for a person to do so, he shall be bound to keep fast for three days.
Problem #13 A fast is like a prayer in so far as it is also obligatory on the Wali (or the eldest son) of a person to compensate for the fasts given up by his deceased father in all circumstances. Of course; it is not far from being non-obligatory on him if his father has given them up by way of disobedience to Allah, though it is more cautious that it may be deemed obligatory even in that case, and this caution must not be given up.
The Wali is bound to compensate for as obligatory on his father to compensate, so that if the father had given up due to some excuse and during the Ramadãn passes away, or when the father was sick and his sickness continued until the next Ramadãn, then it shall not be obligatory (on his Wali to compensate for the fasts given up by his father in that period), due to the liability for compensation having dropped for that period. There is not difference whether the deceased person has left any property enabling the Wali to make the charity on his behalf or not, though it would be more cautious in the first case to pay the charity as well as compensate with the consent of the heirs. Some of the cases relating to this section have already been mentioned under the Chapter on Compensation for the Prayers.
There are four kinds of a Fast, namely: Obligatory, Recommended, Disapproved and Prohibited.
The Obligatory fast is the fast for the month of Ramadãn, a fast for expiation, a compensatory fast, the fast in lieu of a sacrificial animal during the Hajj, the fast on the third day of the ritual retirement, votive fast and the other allied fasts (as the fast for an undertaking or an oath) though counting the votive fast and its allied kinds under the obligatory fasts is by way of indulgence.
An expiatory fast has several kinds. They include the following.
1. An expiatory fast in which something else is also obligatory. It is the expiation for a premeditated murder in which all the three kinds of expiations are obligatory. According to the more cautious opinion, the expiation for breaking a fast in the month of Ramadãn by performing some prohibited act also falls under the same category.
2. It is an expiation which is rendered obligatory due to inability to do something else. This is the expiation for Zihãr, and the expiation for homicide not amounting to murder (or unintentional murder), in which the obligation for expiation is rendered obligatory in case a person is unable to emancipate a slave. The other one is the expiation for breaking the compensatory fast for the month of Ramadãn, in which a person is bound to keep fast in case he is unable to feed the poor. So also there is the expiation for oath, which consists of emancipation of a slave or feeding ten poor persons or clothing them, and in case he is unable to do it, he is bound to keep fast for three days. Then there is the expiation by a woman on scratching her face in distress resulting in bleeding, or tearing out her hair in distress. So also there is the expiation by a man on tearing his clothes in grief (on the death) of his wife or children, both of which are identical with the expiation for oath. Then there is the expiation for leaving Arafat deliberately before sun-set (during Hajj), which amounts to fasting for eighteen days in case a person is unable to sacrifice a camel.
Likewise, there is the expiation for hunting an ostrich after having tied Ihrŕm (for Hajj) which consists of sacrificing a camel, and in case he unable to do it, according to the stronger opinion, he must prepare food equal to its price, and distribute it among sixty poor persons, one Mudd of food to each poor person, and, to be more cautious, two Mudds to each of them. If the food is enough for more than sixty poor persons, then he must confine the distribution to sixty persons, and if it is not enough to feed sixty poor persons, then he is not bound to complete the number. The caution of distributing two Mudds of food is to be observed in case when it may cause the distribution to less than sixty persons; otherwise, he must confine the distribution of one Mudd of food per person, and complete the number of sixty. In case he is unable to do so, according to the more cautious opinion, he is bound to keep a fast for each Mudd until the completion of the number of sixty. This is the maximum expiation (for hunting an ostrich). In case he is unable to do so, he must keep fast for eight days.
The expiation for hunting a wild cow (or a blue bull) is sacrificing a cow. In case a person is unable to do so, he is bound to prepare food equal to its price and distribute it among thirty poor persons, one Mudd of food per person, according to the stronger opinion, and two Mudds (per person) according to the more cautious opinion. If there is a residue, it is for himself, and if it falls short, he is not bound to complete the number. As already mentioned, he is not bound to distribute two Mudds of food per person if it results in falling short. If he is unable to do so, he is bound to keep fast for a day per Mudd until the completion of number of thirty. This is the maximum expiation for hunting a wild cow. If he is unable to do so, he shall keep fast for nine days. The same shall be the expiation for hunting a wild ass, rather it would be more cautious to treat it as equal to an ostrich. The expiation for hunting a deer is sacrificing a goat. In case a person is unable to do so, he shall prepare food equal to the price of a goat and distribute among ten poor persons, one Mudd of food to each of them, according to the stronger opinion, and two Mudds of food, according to the more cautious opinion, while the rule relating to the case of its being in excess or falling short as well as the observation of caution is the same as mentioned earlier. In case he is unable to do so, according to the more cautious opinion, he shall be bound to keep fast for one day in lie of each Mudd until ten days. This is the maximum expiation for hunting a deer. If a person is unable to fast for ten days, he shall keep fast for three days.
3. When a person has the discretion either to keep fast or do something else, and that is the case of giving up the fast for the month of Ramadan. So also is the expiation for vitiating the ritual retirement by performing sexual intercourse, or the one for a woman tearing her hair in distress and the expiation for a vow or an undertaking. In such cases a person has the discretion to select any of the three types of expiation’s (namely emancipation of a slave, fasting for two months or feeding sixty poor persons).
Problem It is obligatory to observe the sequence in fasting for two months in case of the liability for both the expiations and the optional and sequential expiation. This is fulfilled by fasting through out the first month and for a day in the next month, as mentioned before. Likewise, a person is bound to observe sequence, according to the more cautious opinion, in fasting for eighteen days in lieu of two months; rather, it is more cautious to observe the sequence while fasting in all the other expiations as well. It does no harm to the sequence in case a person happens to give up fasting due to any due excuse in between. So he may continue the fasting as before (after the removal of the excuse).
The emphatically recommended fasts are as follows:
1. The fast for three days in each month, the preferable being on the first and the last Thursdays and the first Wednesday in the second unit of ten days.
2. The white days, and they are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every month.
3. The Eid al-Ghadeer, i.e. the 18th of Dhu’l Hijjah.
4. The Birth-day of the holy Prophet, Allah’s Blessings be upon him and his Progeny, i.e. the
17th of Rabi’ al-Awwal
5. The Day of the Prophet’s Mab’ath (i.e. Beginning of the Prophetic Mission), i.e. the 27th of
6. The Day of the Expansion of the Earth, i.e. the 25 of Dhu’l Qa’dah.
7. The Day of ‘Arafah, for one who does not feel weakness while reciting the Du’ã decided by him to recite provided that the first should be in a way that it may fall on the Eid day.
8. Eid-i Mubãhalah, i.e. the 24th of Dhu’l Hijjah, on which day a person should keep fast with the general intention of seeking closeness to Allah and by way of Thanks for the Prophet’s Announcement of the great excellence of Amir al-Mu’minin ( Peace be upon him).
9. Every Thursday and Friday.
10. The First of Dhul Hijjah to the Ninth (of Dhu’l Hijjah).
11. The entire months of Rajab and Sha’bŕn, or some of their days, even if it is a single day from each of them.
12. The NowRuz.
13. The first and third of Muharram.
Chapter Concerning the Disapproved Fasts
The disapproved fasts are as follows:
1. The fasts kept by a guest without the permission of his host, and so are the fasts kept by him despite his host’s forbidding him. It is more cautious to give them up, even without the permission of the host. So also the fast of a child without the permission of his father, despite its not being painful to him as regards the father’s kindness. Caution must not be given up when the father forbids him to do so, even if it is not painful to him. Same is the case when the child’s mother forbids him to keep fast. It is more cautious for the child, how low so ever, to obey the order of the father, how high so ever. Rather, the child should also observe the permission of his mother.
3. It is better to give up the fast on the day of Arafah if it causes weakness due to the recitation of the relevant Du’ãs and keeping fast at the same time. Similarly, it is better to give up fast when there is likelihood of the coincidence of the day of Arafah and the Eid.
Apparently disapproval here does not mean the same as is generally used even in the matters relating to ‘Ibãdât (Worship).
Following are the prohibited fasts:
1. Fasts on the Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhã.
2. The fast on 30 of Sha’ban with the intention that it is a part of Ramadan
3. The fast on the Day of Tashriq (i.e. on the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah) for a person who is in Minã, regardless whether he is busy in performing the rites of Hajj or not.
4. A votive fast kept for the performance of a sinful act
5. A fast to keep silence, in the sense that the fast is kept with the intention of keeping silence, even if for a part of the day. There is no harm in keeping silence if it is not the intention of the fast, even if the person keeps silence throughout the day.
6. The continuous fast. According to the stronger opinion it includes a fast with the intention of keeping it throughout the day and night until the morning or two days including the night. There is, however, no harm if breaking the fast is delayed until morning or the next night without such an intention for the fast, though it is more cautious to abstain from doing so.
7. Similarly, it is also more cautious for the wife to give up a recommended fast without the permission of her husband. Rather, caution must not be given up in case it entails some trouble, rather generally in case the husband disallows it.
Concluding Chapter on A Ritual Retirement (I’tikãf)
A ritual retirement consists of staying in the mosque with the intention of performing divine worship. It is not a condition in it to have the intention of performing any other worship other than that of ritual retirement, though it is more cautious to do so. It is initially a recommended act according to the Islamic Shari’ah, but sometimes its performance becomes obligatory due to a vow, an undertaking, oath, being hired (to perform it on behalf of another person), or the like. It is valid throughout the time it is valid to keep fast. The most preferred time for it is the month of Ramadãn, and even more preferable the last ten days of the month of Ramadän. Now its conditions and rules are mentioned hereunder.
Conditions of a Ritual Retirement
There are some conditions relating to the ritual retirement (I’tikãf) They are as follows:
First: Sanity. So it is not valid in case a person is insane, even if having periodical attacks of insanity, nor in case a person is intoxicated, or is otherwise deprived of sanity.
Second: Intention. After specifying the ritual retirement, there is no condition of anything more than seeking closeness (to Allah) and purity of purpose.
It is also not a condition to have the intention of its being obligatory or recommended as is the case with other kinds of worship, so that one must have the intention of an obligatory retirement in an obligatory one and a recommended retirement in a recommended one, though the recommended ritual retirement turns obligatory on the third day, and it is better that it must be taken into consideration at the beginning of the intention, rather it must be renewed on the third day.
The proper time for beginning the ritual retirement is early morning from the first day, in the sense that it should not be delayed further.
It is also permissible to start it from the early part of the night or during the night, so that he should have the intention at the time of beginning it. Rather it is more cautious to include the first night in it, and the person must have the intention from the beginning of the night.