All praises be to Allah.
Ramadan is a month of striving to reap the merits and bountiful rewards it entails. This is by striving to abstain from food and drinks during the day and also from things that might tarnish the heart such as back-biting and watching things we should avoid.
However, in trying our best to observe the practices, some of us struggle to understand the do’s and don’ts. People have then searched for answers from various platforms. One popular place to look for answers is Google.
Here are some popular searched questions online answered by Asatizah, listed down for you in this article:
There are hadiths that indicate the Prophet s.a.w. used to kiss his wife while fasting. There were also instances in the past where the Prophet s.a.w. had given different answers to different companions depending on the person’s capacity to restrain from breaking the fast.
أَنَّ رَجُلاً، سَأَلَ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنِ الْمُبَاشَرَةِ لِلصَّائِمِ فَرَخَّصَ لَهُ وَأَتَاهُ آخَرُ فَسَأَلَهُ فَنَهَاهُ . فَإِذَا الَّذِي رَخَّصَ لَهُ شَيْخٌ وَالَّذِي نَهَاهُ شَابٌّ
A man asked the Prophet s.a.w. whether a fasting person could fondle (with his partner) and he (the Prophet) gave him permission; but when another man came to him (the Prophet), and asked him (the same inquiry), he forbade him. The one to whom he gave permission to was an old man and the one whom he forbade was a youth.
(Sunan Abu Daud)
Kissing that that does not lead to sexual intimacy is allowed. In other words, kissing that arouses the person to sexual intimacy is prohibited. The following hadith shows us that kissing while fasting is permissible, provided that it does not arouse the desire to perform intimate activities.
كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُقَبِّلُ وَيُبَاشِرُ وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ وَكَانَ أَمْلَكَكُمْ لإِرْبِهِ
The Messenger of Allah s.a.w would kiss and fondle while he was fasting, and he had the greatest control over his desire among you.
Therefore, it is best to avoid kissing your partner during fasting hours just as how we are encouraged to avoid participating in any other activities that might lead to invalidating our fast.
Using perfume in Ramadan does not invalidate your fast.
Indeed, these are actual questions seen on popular google searches. Cutting your hair does not invalidate the fast. Hence, it is permissible to cut your hair during the fasting hours of Ramadan.
P.S. However, in the current circuit breaker period, barber shops and hair salons are not available to cut your hair. You may choose to cut at home, if you wish! :)
Brushing our teeth does not invalidate the fast, as long as the toothpaste or water does not pass through the throat due to excessiveness or intentionally.
When fasting, we are advised to avoid brushing our teeth excessively. The same rule applies for gargling as well.
If a person were to brush the teeth or gargle adequately whilst avoiding excessiveness, the fast will remain valid if water were to enter the person’s throat by accident. This is similar to dust or small particles that enter the throat unintentionally.
However, if you really feel unpleasant without brushing your teeth, you may want to do so in the morning before Subuh or after Maghrib.
Cleanliness is indeed part of faith. Ensure that we maintain cleanliness even when we are fasting.
Smoking invalidates the fast. Anyone who smokes within the fasting time of Ramadan is obliged (wajib) to make up for the fast (qadha’).
Smoking doesn’t only affect his/her self but it also affects the people around, particularly those who are observing their fast. It is also harmful to the smoker and others too. Therefore, a smoker should abstain from smoking, especially in the month of Ramadan.
Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
وَلا تُلقوا بِأَيديكُم إِلَى التَّهلُكَةِ ۛ وَأَحسِنوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ المُحسِنينَ
Do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands, but do good, for God loves those who do good. (Surah Al-Baqarah:195)
If you are a smoker, you may wish to try to quit smoking in Ramadan. As you are observing fasting daily, without puffing a cigarette during the day, this could be an opportunity to continue fighting the desire to smoke even after breaking the fast.
Listening to music or watching TV, for that matter, does not invalidate the fast.
However, you may wish to refrain from entertainment activities especially when it involves lewd and indecent content.
Ramadan is more than just refraining from food and drinks. The highlight of Ramadan is the opportunity to develop ourselves to become a better person for Allah s.w.t. We should focus on our spiritual development and communal contribution, while also continuing our daily commitments and responsibilities.
You may also wish to increase your Zikir (remembrance), Dua (supplication) or look for educational programmes such as online Islamic classes and podcasts during your free time to optimise your Ramadan experience. You can also listen to this song about Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Also, take the opportunity in Ramadan to do good deeds and to invest the Quran with your loved ones. The rewards will be multiplied insya'Allah.
A pregnant woman may continue to fast if she is physically able to do so. It is encouraged to check for the advisory from the doctor before proceeding to observe the fast.
However, if she is unable to fast due to concerns over herself, she has to make up for the days she had missed (qadha’) only.
Should she develop concerns for herself and the child, she has to make up for the days she had missed (qadha’) and pay fidyah.
The same ruling applies to mothers nursing their child as well.
You can find out more on the current rate of fidyah here.
A woman in her period is obligated to not fast, as a form of mercy from Allah s.w.t. What is obligatory for her is to make up for the missed days of fasting (qadha’).
This is according to Sayidatuna Aisyah r.a:
كَانَ يُصِيبُنَا ذَلِكَ فَنُؤْمَرُ بِقَضَاءِ الصَّوْمِ وَلَا نُؤْمَرُ بِقَضَاءِ الصَّلاة
“When we experienced menstruation, we were ordered to make up for the missed fasts (qadha’) but not for the missed prayers”
This, however, does not mean women in their menses are unable to reap the rewards of a fasting person in Ramadan. Allah s.w.t. is All-Merciful and there are alternatives to gain the bountiful rewards.
For alternatives or more guidance on what a Muslim women in their period could do this Ramadan, click here.
Although there is no legal ruling within the religion that prohibits taking medical pills to delay the menstruation (as long as it doesn’t bring harm), there is no need to adopt such means in order to observe the fast. The hadith mentioned above is Prophetic guidance for women in their menses wishing to fast in Ramadan. It is, therefore, better to let nature run its course.
Yes, working out does not invalidate the fast nor does it minimise the sanctity of fasting.
It is, however, important that we do not tire ourselves with too much intensity to avoid draining ourselves for the day. In fact, if we are not careful, it may even lead to harm.
You may wish to do your light workouts an hour before breaking the fast. That way, we can immediately replenish our strength when breaking the fast right after. Other times would also be later in the night or before the call to prayer in Subuh.
Fasting has been proven to benefit the practitioner spiritually and physically. It is fine as long as you ensure you eat the right amount of food with a balanced diet.
As Muslims, we are supposed to practice a healthy lifestyle, beyond just Ramadan. Let’s not be like those who fast the whole day and eat the whole night. We should not be indulging in overconsumption of food and lead to wastage. It is our social and religious responsibility.
Furthermore, what is important is to remind ourselves of the core objective of fasting; to develop ourselves to become a better person in the sight of Allah s.w.t. Losing weight can be a plus point but it shouldn’t be our mere focal intention in observing the fast.
In essence, we should continue to look for answers from the right sources. With the current situation, online classes have begun to fill up the gaps for the community to learn and to spend their time with. Surely there are many more inquiries being regularly asked out there.
With the intention to practise beneficial knowledge, we ask Allah s.w.t. to accept our deeds and to grant us the best rewards of Ramadan.
And Allah knows best.