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The Academy Blog
19 Jul 2012

Breaking a non obligatory fast

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Question:

  • If an individual breaks a non obligatory fast does he obtain a sin for that? If he breaks it with a sexual encounter then does he have to expiate for that?

Answer:

  • When a person fast a voluntary fast, then breaks it with food, drink or a sexual encounter, there is no sin on them. This is because everyone that began fasting a voluntary fast, then he  is not held to completing it except in the situation of Hajj and Umrah. Although it is preferred for them to complete it. With this being said, there is no expiation on him for a sexual encounter during a voluntary fast. Again, this is because it is not an obligation on him to complete it.
  • If the fast is an obligatory fast and he has a sexual encounter with his wife, then this is not permissible. This is because the fast is obligatory, meaning it is not permissible to break it except out of dire necessity. There is no expiation on him except  in the month of Ramadan and it was an obligation on him to be fasting that day. Pay special attention to our statement (( and he was from those that it was an obligation on him to be fasting that day)). So if he had to travel and he did so with his wife, and they fasted during the travel then the encounter occurred, then there is not on them any sin or expiation. Rather it is just upon them to make up that day on which the encounter occurred.
 

[Taken from Fatawah Arkan al Islam by Sheikh Uthaimeen]

[Translated by Abu Abdillah Abdul Lateef]

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