Ramadan Rules & Regulations

Ramadan Rules & Regulations

Ramadan Rules & Regulations

Ramadan Rules & Regulations

Compiled by Ishaq Zahid

  • Fasting in the month of Ramadan is compulsory on every
    Muslim adult. The Arabic word sawm is used for
    fasting. The word sawm (plural siyam) literally
    means ‘to refrain’, but as an Islamic term, it means
    refraining from food, drinks and sexual activity from dawn
    to sunset. Allah says in the Quran, in Surah Al-Baqarah

‘O you who believe, siyam is prescribed on you as it
was prescribed to those before you so that you may become

importance of Siyam in Ramadan is clearly expressed in several
sayings of the Prophet(S.A.W.). It is reported by Abu Hurairah
that the Prophet said:

‘He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeks
his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; he
who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeks
his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; and
he who passes Lailat al- Qadr in prayer with faith and seeks
his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.’

(Bukhari and Muslim)

in Ramadan is practiced by Muslims all over the world. The most
significant aspect of Siyam is the development of
Allah-consciousness (Taqwa) in the heart and the soul of a
fasting Muslim. One must abstain from immoral behavior and
attitude as well. Refraining from food and such is essential
during fast but it is not sufficient. The Prophet of Allah is
reported to have said:

‘If one does not abandon falsehood in words and deeds, Allah
has no need for his abandoning of his food and drink.’



is mandatory on every Muslim who is sane, adult, able and
resident. The following exemptions apply:

  1. the insane;

  2. children who are not adolescent yet;

  3. the elderly and chronically ill for whom fasting is
    unreasonably strenuous; Such persons are required to feed at
    least one poor person every day in Ramadan for which he or
    she has missed fasting.

  4. pregnant women and nursing may postpone the fasting at a
    later time;

  5. the ill and the travellers can also defer their fasting.
    Allah says in the Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqara:

    ‘But if anyone is ill, or
    on a journey, the prescribed period should be made up by
    days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He
    does not want to put you to difficulties.’

  6. Women during the period of menstruation or of post
    childbirth confinement. Fasting during these periods is
    forbidden and should be made up later, a day for a day.


starts everyday in Ramadan at the break of dawn, which is also
the start of the Salatul Fajr time. Fasting ends at sunset or
with the call of Salatul Maghrib.


The validity of fasting depends on the following:

  1. Abstaining from food, liquids and sexual activity from dawn
    to sunset.

  2. The intention to fast must be made every day before dawn.
    The intention (niyyah) may be made during night before going
    to sleep or it can also be made at the time of Suhoor before
    dawn. Suhoor is eating before fasting. It should be as close
    to Fajr time as possible. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says:

    ‘Partake Suhoor, for there is blessing in
    (Bukhari, Muslim)

    It is
    desirable to break the fast as soon as possible after
    sunset. Breaking the fast with dates or water is a tradition
    of the Prophet. Following is one of the Du’a for breaking

    Allahumma laka sumtu wa ‘ala ridhqika aftartu (O Allah!
    For You did I fast and with Your bounties did I break
    the fast.)

things which invalidate fast are of two kinds. The first one
requires Qada (only making up missed days), the other one not
only requires Qada but also Kaffarah(a penalty).

The following are the things that require Qada only:

  1. Eating or drinking intentionally. This includes
    non-nourishing items taken by mouth.

  2. Deliberately causing oneself to throw up.

  3. The beginning of menstruation or post-childbirth bleeding
    even in the last moment before sunset.

  4. Ejaculation for reasons other than sexual intercourse.

  5. Intending to break the fast before sunset even if one
    changes his mind, since intention is one of the
    pre-requisites of the validity of fasting.

  6. Eating, drinking or having intercourse after dawn on the
    mistaken assumption that it is not dawn yet. Similarly,
    engaging in these acts before Maghrib on the mistaken
    assumption that it is already sunset.

that not only require Qada but also Kaffarah are the following:

Sexual intercourse during fasting(dawn to dusk). The penalty is
to fast an additional period of 60 continuous days. If one is
not able to do so then he must feed sixty poor people-one
average meal each.

the days of the Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W.), slavery was a common
practice in the Arab world. Islam eliminated slavery from the
society in a very short period of time. A useful approach was to
allow people free a slave as a charity or as a penalty for a
sin. Thus during the time of the Prophet(S.A.W.), setting a
slave free was the penalty one must pay as a kaffarah, if he or
she had a slave.

What does not break the fast:

  1. If
    anyone forgets that he is fasting and eats or drinks, he
    should complete his fast, for it is only Allah who has fed
    him and given him drink. (A Hadith from Muslim).

  2. Unintentional vomiting.

  3. Swallowing things which are not possible to avoid, such as
    one’s saliva, street dust, smoke, etc.

  4. Brushing the teeth.

  5. Injection or intra-venous which is solely medical and not

Breaking of fast under exceptional conditions:

are permitted to break the ordained fast of Ramadan when there
is danger to their health. In this situation a Muslim should
make up his fast later at any other time of the year.


“Every Day Fiqh” by Maulana Yusuf Islahi, translated by Abdul
Aziz Kamal.

Islamic Information & News Network Vol.4

7 thoughts on “Ramadan Rules & Regulations

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