Answered by Sidi `Abd al-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is expiation or just a make-up required for breaking the fast (intentionally) in the following circumstances: (a) rising (unintentionally) after Fajr time has arrived, and then taking suhur out of physical necessity, or (b) breaking the fast for a meal in which would be highly offensive not to partake? I have been advised by some very trustworthy scholars that in the instance of (b) above, in order to be permitted to break the fast and only necessitate qada, I could take the traveler’s dispensation, and make a trip of the required length. Would this “solution” also apply to (a) above, namely, rising too late and intentionally eating?

Answer: Wa ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

1. Eating something intentionally in Ramadan after the time of fajr has entered would make the fast of that day invalid. If one had not intended the fast from the previous night,or prior to eating this would entail the qada of that fast without the need to perform the expiation.

However if one had a prior intention from the night before, your fast would be invalidated and an expiation would be necessary. (Maraqi al-Falah).

Not fasting, or breaking a fast because of a physical necessity is permissible under conditions the Sacred Law has laid down. Amongst them are:

– the fear of an illness occouring,
– it increasing in terms of length or severity,
– the recovery of a present illness being slowed
– a pregnant woman fearing fearing illness or death for herself or her child
– someone breastfeeding a child who fears the above for herself or the child.

One will be permitted to break a fast or not fast if one knows that any of the above will occour through the advice of a skilled muslim doctor, past experience or one considering it an overwhelming possibility. In these situations only a qada is required. [Maraqi al-Falah; Hashiya al-Tahtawi; Durr al-Mukhtar; Radd al-Muhtar]

If your eating in the morning was not for one of the above reasons then either a qada with a kaffara is due, or just a qada depending on whether one initiated the fast through intention or not.

2. Breaking a fast to partake in such a meal is not permitted during the obligatory fast during Ramadan, and doing so would necessitate a qada as well as a expiation. However if one is fasting voluntarily one may break the fast if one is a host, a guest or in order to avoid upsetting one’s parents as long it is not after the time of ‘asr. In this case, and in the situation you mentioned one should politely, yet firmly, excuse oneself.

It is permitted for the traveller to not fast as long one has initiated the journey prior to the break of dawn (Maraqi al-Falah). If one initiated the journey after Fajr it is not permitted to break the fast, however if one did so there will be no expiation. (Hashiya al-Tahtawi, Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar). This would also apply in the first scenario.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam
‘Abd al-Rahim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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