Sawm (Fasting)

Types of Fasting

There are six kinds of fasting:

1. Fard: Fast of Ramadan. If the fasts of Ramadan are missed due to a genuine reason, it is imperative to observe them later.

2. Wajib: If one has made a vow to observe some fast it is wajib to do so.

3. Sunnah: The fast which the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself observed or urged his followers to observe. Ashura fast on the ninth and tenth of Muharram, fast of the day of Arafah on ninth of Dhulhijjah, and fast of the Ayam Baid (thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of every lunar month).

4. Nafl: Six fasts of month of Shawwal, fast of every Monday and Thursday, fast of fifteenth of Sha'ban, and eight fasts during the first ten days of Dhulhijjah.

5. Makrooh: Fasts observed only on Saturday or Sunday, only on the tenth day of
Muharram, fast of a women without her husband's permission, fasting without a break.

6. Haram: Fasts on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, on the day of Eid-ul-Adha, and during
the tashreeq days (eleventh to thirteenth of Dhulhijjah).

Parts of Fasting:


Valid Reasons for Not Observing the Fast:

People who are unable to observe the fasts of Ramadan due to some reason should abstain from eating and drinking openly, but should show due reverence for the sacred month. A person who fulfills the conditions which make observance of the fast incumbent upon them, and then their fast is invalidated due to some reasons, are required to conduct themselves like the ones observing the fast.

Missed Fasts (Qadha):

The fasts of Ramadan which have been missed due to some reasons, must not be deferred indefinitely, but observed as soon as possible.


Expiation (Kaffarah)

Expiation is obligatory only in the case of the Ramadan fasts when they are rendered void intentionally without any genuine reason.


Atonement (Fidyah)

A person who is extremely weak due to old age or disease cannot fast and has no hope of early recovery has been allowed by Shari'ah not to fast, but to feed a needy person.


Voluntary Fasting