Spoilers (Invalidators) of Fasting

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Spoilers (Invalidators) of Fasting

Question: Oh Noble Shaykh, What are the spoilers of Sáum (Fasting)? And what are it’s conditions?

Yes, the spoilers of fasting are it’s invalidators, and they are:
1) Intercourse
2) Eating intentionally and drinking intentionally
3) The release of sperm with desire
4) Vomiting intentionally
5) That which is in meaning food and drink (such as injections that have nutritional benefits)
6) To have Hijāmah (therapeutic bloodletting also known as cupping) done to oneself or to performs Hijāmah to another
7) The release of menstrual blood
8) The release of post-partum (after birth) bleeding

As for eating, drinking and intercourse the proof (that they are invalidators) is Allāh تعالى speech:
فَٱلۡـَٰٔنَ بَٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَٱبۡتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡۚ وَكُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡخَيۡطُ ٱلۡأَبۡيَضُ مِنَ ٱلۡخَيۡطِ ٱلۡأَسۡوَدِ مِنَ ٱلۡفَجۡرِۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱلَّيۡلِۚ¹

So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sâum (fast) till the nightfall.²

As for (the proof for) the release of sperm with desire: the statement of Allāh in the hadeeth Al-Qudusi (It is the speech of Allāh, if it is authentically transmitted, and is narrated by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and is not recited in Salāh like the Qurān):
“He leaves off his food and his drink and his desires for my sake”.³

And the statement of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ :
“And in the bud’i [the act of laying down referring to a sexual act] of each one of you there is a charity. They said : O Messenger of Allaah, when one of us fulfils his carnal desire will he have some reward for that?! He said ﷺ: Do you not see that if he were to act upon it [his desire] in an unlawful manner then he would be deserving of punishment ? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner then he will be deserving of a reward”.⁴

And the act of laying down is the sperm that is released with desire, and with this (proof) it has been made the stronger opinion- that the release of sperm does not invalidate one’s fast unless it is (released) with desire.

5) Things that coincide with the meaning of food and drink (having nutritional benefits) include injections that by using them the body does not need food or drink; even if it’s not actual food or drink in which case the body can do without food or drink. For that which carries the meaning of something also possesses it’s ruling. Therefore, the body is held up and preserved due to receiving this needle. Meaning, the body of the one (that receives such a needle) will be sustained by this needle even if one were not to nourish himself with other than it.
As for the needle that does not nourish (the body) or does not stand in the place of food and drink, then it does not break one’s fast. Similarly, if a person were to take it in the veins (intravenously) or in the muscles (intramuscularly) or in any place in his body.

6) Intentionally vomiting: meaning a person tries to make himself vomit up that which is in his stomach until it comes out of his mouth. By the hadeeth narrated by Abi Hurrairah, رضى الله عنه that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said,
“Whomever vomits intentionally he must make up (his fast), and whomever overcomes him (the urge to) vomit then he is not required have to make up (his fast)”⁵

The wisdom in this is that if he were to cause himself to vomit then he would have emptied his stomach of food and that which the body needs to repel against this void (of sustenance now that his stomach is empty). Due to that, if his fast is an obligatory fast then it is not permissible for a person to vomit intentionally; for verily if he were to cause himself to vomit he would harm himself and invalidate his obligatory fast.

7) The release of blood from the one who gets Hijāmah (therapeutic bloodletting also known as cupping) by the statement of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
“A man who cupped and a man who has himself cupped broke their fast”⁶

8) The release of menstrual blood and post-partum (after birth) bleeding by the statement of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ :
“Isn’t it true that a woman does not pray and does not fast on menstruating?”⁷

These invalidators do not invalidate except with the presence of 3 conditions:
1) Knowledge
2) Remembrance
3) Purposefulness

To be knowing of the legislative rulings, and knowing of the time meaning the circumstance. For if he is ignorant of the legislative rulings or the time then his fast is correct (even in presence of any one of invalidators).
By the statement of Allāh تعالى:
رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَاۚ َ⁸
“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error”.⁹
And (in hadeeth Al-Qudsi) Allāh تعالى responded:
“Verily I have done so”¹⁰
And by Allāh تعالى speech:
وَلَيۡسَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ جُنَاحٞ فِيمَآ أَخۡطَأۡتُم بِهِۦ وَلَٰكِن مَّا تَعَمَّدَتۡ قُلُوبُكُمۡۚ¹¹
And there is no sin on you if you make a mistake therein, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend.¹²

And it is also proven by the Sunnah (The authentic prophetic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ) in the authentic hadeeth narrated by ‘Adi ibn Hatim رضي الله عنه He took two (hair) strings, one black and the other white, and kept them under his pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night. So he ate and drank until it became clear to him the white (hair string) from black (hair string) and then he grab them. The next morning he went to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ told him the whole story. He explained to him, “That the verse means the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the dawn.”¹³

He رضى الله عنه was ignorant of the ruling and thought that was the meaning of the Noble Ayah.
As for ignorance of time, the hadeeth of Asmā bint Abi Bakr رضى الله عنها which is in Sahih Bukhari. She said: “We broke fast in the time of Prophet ﷺ on a cloudy day and then the sun appeared, and The Prophet ﷺ did not order them to make up that day”.¹⁴
And if making up that day was obligatory he would have ordered them to do so and it would have been spread to his Ummah (the body of all Muslims); by the statement of Allāh تعالى:
إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَٰفِظُونَ¹⁵
Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).¹⁶
So when it (that He ﷺ did not order them to make up that day) was relayed with the presence of many who could relay it, it is clear that he did not order it. And when he did not order it -making up that day- then it can be known it is not obligatory. And upon this, if a person where to get up thinking it is night time and he ate or drank and then later it became clear to him that he ate and drank after Fajr (dawn), verily it is not upon him to make up that day because he was ignorant.

As for the second condition: it is that he should be remembering (that he is fasting) and the opposite of remembering is forgetting. So if he were to eat or to drink in state of forgetfulness his fast is correct and he doe not need to make that day. By the speech of Allāh:
رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَاۚ¹⁷
“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error”¹⁸
And (in hadeeth Al-Qudsi) Allāh تعالى responded:
“Verily I have done so”¹⁹
And the hadeeth narrated by Abi Hurrairah رضى الله عنه the Messenger of Allāh said ﷺ:
“If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by Allah.”²⁰

As for the third condition: it is purposefulness, it is that a person is free to choose his actions, specifically, that he willingly chooses to do that invalidator (of Fasting). In the case where he is not willful (and free to choose his actions) then his fast is correct. Whether he is compelled or not compelled (unintentional in his actions);by the speech of Allāh تعالى on the one who is compelled to disbelief:

مَن كَفَرَ بِٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ إِيمَٰنِهِۦٓ إِلَّا مَنۡ أُكۡرِهَ وَقَلۡبُهُۥ مُطۡمَئِنُّۢ بِٱلۡإِيمَٰنِ وَلَٰكِن مَّن شَرَحَ بِٱلۡكُفۡرِ صَدۡرٗا فَعَلَيۡهِمۡ غَضَبٞ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٞ²¹
Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.²²

Therefore, if the ruling of disbelief is lifted due to being compelled then what is less than it (breaking one’s fast due compulsion) is also lifted in the first-hand.
And by that which has been narrated that the Prophet Muhammad said ﷺ:
“Allāh has forgiven for me my nation their mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do.”²³
Therefore, if dust was to blow into the nose of a fasting person and if he found food in his throat and if they then became ingested by falling into his stomach, verily he doesn’t break his fast because of that. Due to the fact, he was not willfully doing so and similarly if he were compelled to break his fast and he then broke his fast while detesting doing so. Verily his fast is correct as he had no choice in the matter. Similarly, if he had a wet dream while he was sleeping, then his fast is correct because the one who is asleep is not deliberate in his actions. And similarly if a man forced his wife to have intercourse with him while she was fasting and he did so. Her fast would be correct because she had no choice in the matter.

Here there is an issue we must discern; certainly, if a man were to break his fast by having intercourse during the day in Ramadān while fasting is obligatory upon him, then a few things are imposed upon him and they are the following:
1) The sin (of deliberately breaking his fast by performing intercourse)
2) He is obligated to make up that day
3) Expiation (for details see article: Intercourse During The Day in Ramadān)
It is also incumbent upon him to continue to not eat or drink for the rest of day. And there is no difference if he is aware or unaware of what is obligated upon him as an expiation for that intercourse. Meaning, if a man were to have intercourse while he was fasting Ramādan and the fast is obligatory upon him however he was not aware of the expiation that would be obligated upon him, the expiation is (still) obligatory. This is due to fact that he intended to invalidate his fast (by his choice to engage in intercourse) and from this the ruling is issued upon him. Rather, by the hadeeth narrated by Abi Hurrairah رضى الله عنه :
“A man came and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! ﷺ I have been ruined.” Allah’s Messengerﷺ asked what was the matter with him. He replied “I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting”.²⁴
So the Prophet ﷺ ordered him to perform the expiation in spite of the fact he did not know what it was. And this is the case for the one whose fast is obligatory upon him.
Caution, however, for the one who is fasting in Ramadān while he is traveling for example, verily it is not incumbent upon him to expiate for that. Such as, if a man was traveling with his wife during Ramadān and they both were fasting and then he proceeded to have intercourse with his her, (in such a case) he does not have to do an expiation (for that). This is the case because he is a traveller and if a traveller was to proceed in fasting he is not obligated to complete it, if he wants he can break his fast and make it up (another day) or if he wants he can continue (his fast).

¹Al-Qurān- [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 187]
²Noble Qurān-Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 187 [Muhsin Khan and Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali] ³Related by Bukhari- The Book of Fasting – Number [1894] and related by Muslim- The Book of Fasting- Number [1151]
⁴Related by Muslim- The Book of Zakāh (The Obligatory Charity) -Number [1006] ⁵Related by At-Tirmidhi- The Book of Fasting- Number [720] and Related by Ibn Mājah- The Book of Fasting- Number [1676]
⁶Related by Abi Dāwud – The Book of Fasting- Number [2367]
⁷Related by Bukhari- The Book of Fasting- Number [1951] ⁸Al-Qurān- [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 286]
⁹Noble Qurān-Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 286- [Muhsin Khan and Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali]
¹⁰Related by Muslim- The Book of Eeman (Faith) – Number [126]
¹¹Al-Qurān- [Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 5]
¹²Noble Qurān-Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 5 [Muhsin Khan and Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali]
¹³Related by Bukhari- The Book of Fasting – Number [1916] ¹⁴Related by Bukhari- The Book of Fasting – Number [1959]
¹⁵Al-Quran- [Surah Al-Hijr, Ayah 9] ¹⁶Noble Qurān-Surah Al-Hijr, Ayah 9 [Muhsin Khan and Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali]
¹⁷Al-Qurān- [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 286]
¹⁸Noble Qurān-Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 286- [Muhsin Khan and Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali]
¹⁹Related by Muslim- The Book of Eeman (Faith)-Number [126]
²⁰Related by Bukhari- The Book of Fasting-Number [1933] and related by Muslim- The Book of Fasting-Number [1155].
²¹Al-Qurān- [Surah An-Nahl, Ayah 106]
²²Noble Qurān-Surah An-Nahl, Ayah 106-[Muhsin Khan and Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali] ²³Related by Ibn Mājah- The Book of Divorce- Number [2043]
²⁴Related by Bukhari- The Book of Fasting Number [1936] and related by Muslim-The Book of Fasting- Number [1111]

Jurisprudence of Worship Fatwa Regarding Sáum (Fasting) By: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih lbn Uthaymeen رحمه الله تعالى) (pg.259-265)

Translated by: Abu Uwāis Muhammad Abdullahi Elmi