Ramadan is a month of blessings. Muslims all around the world fast in this holy month to fulfill a religious obligation. However, merely keeping a fast isn’t enough. One has to make sure that the activity is done with spiritual zeal and zest. While fasting, there are certain rules which a Muslim has to abide by to achieve the true objective of fasting and here are the Ramadan fasting rules for beginners.
If you are a beginner to fasting, it can get confusing at times, following all the dos and don’ts. To help you, we have enlisted a few basic rules which everyone must follow during the month of Ramadan. Let’s have a look at these Ramadan fasting rules for beginners!
Essential elements of the Fast
For the validation of a fast, there are two essential elements that you must keep in your mind. Let’s discuss them under separate headings.
You don’t need to say it out loud, but you must have the intention to fast before fajr. It is your intent that matters the most. Hence, one must make sure that there is no hesitation when one is about to keep a fast in the crack of the dawn.
This is more towards the practical side of things. One has to abstain from doing a lot of things, which might nullify the fast.
Only by marinating these two elements, one can hope for the acceptance of their fasting!
Actions that nullify a fast
One must know acts that can impure or nullify a fast. All scholars agree that doing one of these acts will nullify your fast.
1- Intentional Eating or Drinking
It is human to make a mistake and eat something while fasting. However, if the act was done intentionally, then it will nullify your fast. This is the most basic fasting rule for beginners.
2- Intentional Vomiting
For reasons known only to the doer, if one vomits intentionally, it will damage the validation of fast. There is a relaxation if one vomits intentionally, but none of the act was intentional.
3- Sexual intercourse
Kaffarah becomes obligatory if one has sexual intercourse while fasting. This is an activity to make up for the sin. Kaffarah involves either fasting for sixty days or feeding the poor for sixty days.
Menstruating women can skip fasting and later make up for it. If bleeding happens during the fast, the fast for that day becomes invalid. The same is the case for childbirth bleeding. There is no exception to both of these rules.
Actions permissible during a fast
Often, beginners get confused, even about those things which are permissible during fasting. Following is a list of such actions, which do not affect your fast. Some of these common confusions include:
If you are feeling exhausted, tired or simply overheated because of the high temperature, you can take a shower. It will not impure your fast in any case. However, make sure you don’t swallow water by mistake.
Swallowing water will invalidate your fast, but if you are cautious enough, you can rinse your mouth and nose. However, you must not do it with exaggeration. Remember that wasting too much water is also a sin!
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Do injections annul a fast? And the simply two lettered answer is NO. It is fine to use injections for treating a disease or for any other medical purpose.
4- Drawing blood
Drawing blood in amounts that causes weakness is a disliked action. However, one can draw blood without fear of invalidating his or her fast.
5- Applying eye drops
Because eyes and throat have a direct link, sometimes one can taste the drops. But it doesn’t invalidate the fast, so you can use eye drops without worrying about invalidation.
So who may be excluded from fasting? Well, firstly, chronically ill patients can skip fasting and make up for it later, when they recover. Then there are women who are either breastfeeding or menstruating. And of course, children are also exempt from fasting, but will they listen to their parents?
Well, that’s all for now. We have tried to keep things simple in this discussion. Ramadan is a month of great blessing for those who follow it. Practicing fasts without following rules will be futile, to say the least. May the Almighty strengthens us in Ramadan, accept our efforts and shower His blessings on us in Ramadan!