Al-Mufattirat [The Invalidators of the Sawm]

If the Sa'im ate something, or used things which he was not to use during the daytime of the month of Ramadan, his Sawm would be invalid. Such things are called the mufattirat, i. e. "the invalidators". They are:

1. Eating and drinking.

2. Jima [sexual intercourse]

3. Deliberately forginglies against the Messenger of Allah (s)

4. Deliberately immersing1 the head completely in water.

5. Deliberately remaining Junub till dawn. If a Sa'im became Junub at night and deliberately neglected performing the Ghusl or the Tayammum (in case he could not perform the Ghusl), his Sawm would be Batil.2

6. Causing the ejaculation (discharge) of one's semen.3

7. Using enema so as to make the liquid reach one's stomach.

8. Deliberately vomiting.4

9. Deliberately allowing dust to reach one's stomach by breathing.


1. A medicine put in the eye, ear and nose, even if it reaches the stomach, would not invalidate the Sawm.

2. Injecting medicine into the organs of the body by syringe would not invalidate the Sawm.

3. If a Sa'im unconsciously had or committed one or some of the Mufattirat, his Sawm would be valid,5 not Batil.

Performing the Qada and the Kaffarah [Expiation]

1. If someone deliberately had, or used, any one of the aforementioned Mufattirat, he would have to perform Qada Us-Siyam for the missed fast days, besides having to pay a Kaffarah [expiation]. The Kaffarah of deliberately breaking the fast is: feeding sixty needy persons for each day, or fasting for two successive months, or emancipating a slave from slavery, whichever he chooses.6

2. Whoever deliberately broke his fast by having something Haram, such as the one who broke one's fasting by drinking wine. In such a case this person is to fast for the lapsed day, and to pay all the above three expiations.

Rules of Siyam in the Stay and Travel

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur'an was revealed, a guidance to mankind and manifestations of guidance and distinction, therefore, whoever of you is present in the month (at home) has to fast therein; and whoever is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days....." (2:185)

Feasibility and ease are basic principles in every Wajib and duty in the Islamic Shari’ah. Islam is the religion of feasibility and ease. He, the Exalted, says:"

"Allah wants case for you, and does not want hardship for you." (2:185)

Therefore in order to remove difficulty, harm and hardship from His servants, He, in the wise Qur'an has ordered the travellers and the sick to break their fast. The Islamic Shari’ah has stated the rules of break ing the fast during travel and stay, as below:

1. The Sa'im traveller has to break his fasting, in case he intends to travel a distance of some 45km round trip that is a distance of about 22.5 km for going and 22.5 km for the return trip.

2. He is to start his journey before noon7. If he started it in the aftemoon, he would not be allowed to break his fast for that day.

3. His journey should not be for a sinful purpose.

4. If a traveller returned home or to where he lives, before noon, he must fast, as he is not allowed to remain Muftir [not fasting].

5. If a traveller intended to, or knew that he would, stay for at least ten days in a place during his travel, he must fast and perform Tamam Salat. That is, he is not allowed to perform Salatul Qasr. Similarly if someone remained for thirty days in the place to which he has travelled, uncertain whether to stay longer or not, he must then fast and perform Tamam Salat, as from the 31st day of his travel.

6. Those whose business requires them to travel, such as the sailers, drivers, or those whose jobs, are connected to travelling, such as, peddlers, they have to fast, disregarding the distances they make.

7. The traveller has to perform the Qada fasting to make up for the lapsed Siyam caused by his travel.

8. It is impermissible, as a precaution, to postpone the Qada fasting to the next month of Ramadan. If he postpones, the Qada, it would have ample time to do it whenever he wants, but he will have to offer a ransom of a Mudd of food for each day, in addition to the Qada, if the postponement was made owing to his indifference.

9. It is Haram to fast on the two Eids, that is, the first day of the month of Shawwal, and the 10th day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah.8

Mustahabb Sawm (Recommended fasting)

In addition to the Wajib Sawm there are Mustahabb Sawms too:

1. Fasting three days of every month, preferably the first and the last Thursdays, as well as the first Wednesday of every month.

2. Fasting the months of Rajab and Sha'ban, completely (wholly) or partially.

The Messenger of Allah (s) used to encourage and insist upon performing the Mustahabb Sawm. He is quoted to have said: "Whoever fasts three days of every month, would be as if he had fasted forever, because Allah, the Glorified and Almighty, says: "whoever does a good deed will have ten times as much."


Q1. Sawm is one of Islam's bases, with devotional, educational and morel objectives. Explain these objectives briefly.

Q2. Mark the correct statement with the sign √ and the incorrect with X.
a. If the new moon of the month of Ramadan could not be seen because of heavy clouds, the month of Sha'ban is to be completed up to 30 days, then to start the month of Ramadan.

b. Immersing the head completely in water does not invalidate the Sawm.

c. The Sawm of the one who remains Junub till dawn is valid.

d. The Sa'im who travels in the afternoon is allowed to break his fast.

e. The traveller who returns home before noon is not allowed to break his fast.

f. It is Mustahabb for minors to fast, if no harm is anticipated.

g. The women in the state of Hayd or Nifas must fast.

h. Nursing mothers are not allowed to break their fasting, even if it badly affects the quantity of their milk.

Q3. What is the Kaffarah for deliberately breaking the fast of the month of Ramadan?

  • 1. The four sects say: Immersing the head completely in water does not invalidate the Sawm.
  • 2. The four sects say: The Sawm is valid.
  • 3. The four sects say: Causing the discharge of semen requires, Qada Us-Sawm without Kaffarah (atonement).
  • 4. The Hanafis say: Deliberate vomiting does not invalidate the Sawm, unless the mouth is filled with it.
  • 5. In this case, the Malikis say that the Qada would be Wajib.
  • 6. The Shafi’is, the Hanbalis and the Hanafis say: "It should he effected in succession, i.e., first the emancipation of a slave: if this was not possible the next would he the Sawm: if this was not possible, then the feeding of sixty needy persons.
  • 7. The four sects say: "In addition to the said observable conditions in Salatul-Asr, according to each sect, there is the condition that one has to start his journey before dawn. If one set off after dawn, it would be Haram for one to break one's fast. If one did it, one would have to perform Qada Siyam, without Kaffarah.
  • 8. The Hanafis say: "Fasting on the Eid day is very much Makruh to the extent of nearly being Haram.