Fasting in the days of Ramadan is obligatory on every Muslim. People who do not believe it to be obligatory (Fard) are not considered to be a Muslim and the one who without any valid excuse does not fast in this blessed month is a sinner. ‘Fast’ means to refrain from drinking and eating throughout the day with a clear intention of pleasing Allah Almighty.

If somebody refrains from drinking and eating for any reason other than pleasing Allah SWT then it cannot be called a fast. It is therefore necessary that you have the intention which is known as ‘Niyyah’. It is always advisable for fasts in Ramadan that the niyaah should be made for it in the night, i.e. before the commencement of fast. Howbeit, in case a person had no intention of observing fast before dawn then he can also make ‘niyyah’ in the morning at any time before noon. But this rule is applicable only for fast in this holy month of Ramadan.

Acts that Nullifies the Fast

Acts that nullify the fast are of two kinds. There are these acts which not only nullify the fast but also make Muslims liable to both kaffarh and qada. Number of these acts is only three:

  • Drinking something
  • Eating something

When these three acts are committed deliberately after you have observed the fast then they are liable to kaffarah. In these circumstances, both kaffarah and qada are obligatory on him/her. Kaffarah means to perform an act to redeem the sin of having broken the fast, whereas Qada means to keep another fast in lieu of the one which you have broken in Ramadan. Kaffarah can be given in the following three ways respectively:

  • Fasting for two months continuously without a break
  • Giving food to sixty people
  • Freeing a slave

As there is no concept of slavery now, only the 1st two ways can be adopted today. But there is still a condition in these ways also. A person who has capable enough to fast for continuously two months is bound to fast. In case he is too weak to fast for such long time, only then he is allowed to give kaffarah by giving food to sixty people.

There are some other acts which nullify the fast but they do not make the person liable to kaffarah. Only qada is obligatory in such cases. These acts are:

  • Eating or drinking unintentionally. For instance, while making wudu, if a drop of water slips in your throat unintentionally then the fast is considered broken but for such mistake, only qada will be enough to compensate for it.
  • Dropping medicine or anything else in ear or the nose
  • Drinking or eating under the wrong impression that the sun has set or dawn has not yet broken.
  • In case a person drinks or eats while he does not remember that he is observing fast, his fast is not broken. He should continue her/his fast once he/she remembers.