Breaking our fast after disappearing redness in the sky

Question 382: What if someone has reverted to Shia Islam but due to his Parents, he has to break some of his fasts or all the fasts on Sunni time. He, somehow, manages to do Sehri on Shia time, but sometimes breaks his fast on Sunni time. Does Allah still accept it considering his problem of not letting his parents know about it or he has to give fidiya? If yes, how much fidiya? Or he has to fast again in future when he can easily, as a remedy of those broken on Sunni time? So, what is the ruling on Breaking our fast after disappearing redness in the sky?

Answer 382: Fasting means that a person must, in obedience to the commands of Allah, refrain, from the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers up to Maghrib, from the things which invalidate the fast.[1]

To further explain, just before dawn a column of whiteness rises upwards from the east. It is called the first dawn. When this whiteness spreads, it is called the second dawn, and the prime time for Fajr prayers.[2] It is exactly the time to refrain from the things which invalidate the fast. Maghrib is the time when the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset disappears in the horizon.[3] This is the beginning of Maghrib time and the end of the time for imsak.

Therefore, as per the foregoing explanation, there is no imsak time other than the time between the Adhan for Fajr prayers and the Adhan for Maghrib prayers.

The grand jurists have said that in order to ensure that one has been fasting throughout this time, he should, as a matter of precaution, begin abstaining a little earlier than the Adhan for Fajr prayers, and continue to refrain for a little after Maghrib, from acts which invalidate a fast.

What follows below is an answer to a similar question from Grand Ayatollah Khamenei:

Question: Given that the cities are developing and becoming larger every day and it is not possible to ascertain the exact time of Fajr, kindly let us know about the exact time of imsak for Fast and Fajr prayer.

Answer: The believers are asked to exercise precaution about imsak and the time for Fajr prayer. So, they should refrain from invalidating things from Adhan time as declared by the media and should offer their Fajr prayers five to six minutes after the Adhan for Fajr prayers.[4]

Note: Ayatollah Bahjat (ra) said: according to a mustahab precaution, for breaking your fast you need to wait till the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset disappears in the horizon. This means, if you are unable, due to observing taqiyyah, to wait till the redness disappears and are compel to break your fast on that time, your fast would be considered as valid.[5]

According to most of maraja’, you have to break your fast when the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset disappears in the horizon. Therefore, if you break your fast under duress (as you are compelled by your parents) before disappearing the redness (i.e. according to sunni time) you have to compensate your fast later, however Allah (swt) would accept it and there is no need to give Kaffarah. But, according to Ayatollah Bahjat (ra), your fast performed in this state is treated as valid. As a result, if you are following another marja’ you are able to act only in this issue based on the Ayatollah Bahjat’s fatwa.

The following are some recommendations you are supposed to observe in order to break your fast after disappearing the redness in the sky (i.e. according to Shia time):

– As it is mutahab to break your fast after prayers you should try to offer mustahab or qadha prayers.[6]

– Try to recite some verses of the holy Quran specially Surah al-Qadr or duas, Salawat or any kinds of Dikr.[7]

– Making Wudu.

– Making any excuses in order to refrain eating or drinking on that time.

If there is no possibility to do the above mentioned or other recommendations you don’t have to cause any distress and discomfort to your parents as it is forbidden.[8]

For further information, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting, answer 572.

Index: Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast, answer 575.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr, answer 384.

Index: Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam, answer 196.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

Index: Fast in countries with long days, answer 106.

Index: Niyyat for Fasting: How to make intention to Fast Ramadan, answer 627.

Index: Rules concerning tooth brush (Miswak) during fasting, answer 391.

[1] –  Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini), vol.1, pg. 880.

[2] – Ibid, vol.1, pg.411

[3] – Khomeini, Sayyid Rohullah Musavi, Tawzih al-Masail (by Imam Khomeini), pg.164, issue No.730, First, 1436 A.H;  Jawahir al-Kalam, Vol. 16, Pg. 384.

[4] – Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini), vol.1, pg.440; Khamenei, Sayyid Ali, Answers to Jurisprudential Questions, pg. 73, Office of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei in Qom, Qom, Iran, First, 1424 A.H.

[5] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini (ra)), Vol. 1, Pg. 407, Q 735.

[6] . Wasael al-Shia, chapter 7, rules concerning fast;  Sayyid Sistani (ha), issue 1718; Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Pg. 969; Tabatabaee, Yazdi, Sayyid Muhammad Kazem, al-Urwa al-Wuthqa, Vol. 2, Pg. 213.

[7] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 10, Pgs. 149-151;  Jawahir al-Kalam, Vol. 11, Pgs. 384-385.

[8] . Imam Sadiq, peace be upon him, said: “If there was anything less than “fie” to cause distress and discomfort to parents, he would prohibit it and “fie” is the lowest level of hurting parents. One of the instances of causing distress is to gaze at the parents. See: Muhammad bin Ya’qub, Usul-e Kafi (translated by Mustafavi), vol.4, pg. 50, Islamic Book Store, Tehran, 1st edition.


Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation)

Question 372: what is the kaffarah for one day of not fasting Ramadan? (besides fasting 60 days)

Answer 372: There are nine acts which invalidate fast as follows:  1) Eating and drinking. 2) Sexual intercourse. 3) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self-abuse, resulting in ejaculation. 4) Ascribing false things to Allah, the Almighty or his Prophet or to the successors of the Holy Prophet (pbuth). 5) Swallowing thick dust. 6) Immersing one’s complete head in water. 7) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers. 8) Enema with liquids. 9) Vomiting.

Commission of the things which invalidate fast as mentioned earlier are a cause of expiation in the same way as they make it obligatory to compensate for it, when it is done deliberately and willingly without any coercion, according to the more cautious opinion, as regards lying about Allah, the Exalted, His Prophet, Blessing be on him and his Progeny, and the Imams, Peace be upon them, and dipping in water, and having enema, and according to the stronger opinion, in case of the rest; rather, in case of lying about them, (Peace be upon them) is also not devoid of force. Of course, according to the stronger opinion, vomiting does not make it obligatory.

According to the more cautious opinion, in this respect there is no difference between the person knowing and an ignorant person who is neglectful. As regards an incapable (or interdicted) person who fails to pay heed to make query apparently it is not obligatory on him, though it would be more cautious (in his case too).

Note:  Here are three types of expiations (Kaffarah) for giving up the fast of the month of Ramadãn:

Emancipation of a slave, keeping fast for two months consecutively and feeding sixty indigent persons, whichever is chosen by him, though, it is more cautious to select one of them according to the above order, if possible. It is more cautious to perform all the three types of expiations if a person has broken his fast by something prohibited, such as eating something usurped, drinking wine, or having a prohibited sexual intercourse, or the like.

According to the stronger opinion, expiation is not repeated with the repetition of its cause in a single day, including performance of sexual intercourse, even if the type of its cause differs, but caution must not be given up in case of performance of sexual intercourse.

Conclusion:  The Kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Ramadhan is to: (a) free a slave, or (b) fast for two months or (c) feed sixty poor to their fill or give one mudd (= 3/4 kg.) of food-stuff, like, wheat or barley or bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to fulfil any of these, he should give Sadaqa according to his means and seek Divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he should give Kaffarah as and when he is capable to do so.

A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.

As regards the payment of expiation by feeding the poor it may be done either by feeding them to their full or by giving each of them a Mudd of wheat, barley, flour, rice, bread, or any other foodstuff, though, it is more cautious to give two Mudds. It is not sufficient in a single expiation to feed a single person twice or several time times or giving him two or more Mudds, when sixty poor persons are available, rather it would be indispensable that there should be sixty poor persons. If a person has a family (of several members), it shall be permissible to give him according to one Mudd for each member, provided that there is surety that the person shall feed them or give the food to them. One Mudd is equal to a quarter Sà’, and a Sã’ is equal to 214 ¼ Mithqals.[1]

Other Translation:

نمایه: چیزهایی که روزه را باطل می کند / آنچه که برای روزه دار مکروه است، سوال شماره 37.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 931, Q 1660 & 1661;  Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Pg. 289;  The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Sistani (ha), rules concerning things which make a Fast void, issue #1582.