What are the things that invalidate fasting according to Shafii madhhab? Does eating deliberately while fasting necessitate kaffarah?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to Shafii madhhab, eating deliberately invalidates fasting but it does not necessitate kaffarah. However, a person who does so needs to spend the remaining part of the days fasting and perform fasting one day as qada (missed) fasting.

Kaffarah and tazir become necessary for a person who performs a sexual intercourse in Ramadan while he is fasting. Kaffarah and tazir do not become necessary for a person who performs a sexual intercourse outside Ramadan while he is performing nafilah, vow, qada or kaffarah fasting.

The things that invalidate fasting according to Shafii madhhab are as follows:  

1. Eating and drinking.

If a person eats or drinks deliberately, his fasting is invalidated no matter how little he eats or drinks. However, if he eats or drinks by forgetting, his fasting is not invalidated no matter how much he eats or drinks. For, the Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

"If a person eats or drinks by forgetting, he needs to complete his fasting. For, Allah has made him eat and drink."[1]

2. Something visible entering the human body.

The word "jawf" mentioned in the hadith means the passage from the throat to the stomach and intestines. What is meant by something entering the body is what enters the body through the mouth, ears, the front and back passages of the body.

From this point of view, eye drops put into the eyes do not invalidate fasting because the eyes are not open holes. 

An injection given through "Sharajiyya" (rectum) invalidates fasting because it is regarded as an open hole. However, an injection given from a “warid” (vein) does not invalidate fasting because it is not an open hole.

The things that are not mentioned are compared to the ones above.

They invalidate fasting when they are done deliberately. If they are done by forgetting, they will not invalidate fasting because they are like eating and drinking by forgetting.  

A fly or dust that enters human body does not invalidate fasting because it is very difficult to avoid them. If the gums of the teeth bleed and the saliva becomes dirty and if the mouth is not cleaned by washing, swallowing this saliva invalidates fasting even if it is white.

The water that enters the throat during mazmaza (rinsing the mouth) and istinshaq (rinsing the nose) that are done normally does not invalidate fasting. However, if mazmaza and istinshaq are done in an exaggerative way and water enters the mouth, fasting is invalidated. For, it is forbidden to do so in Ramadan.

If something that remained from a food that was eaten and that is impossible to remove enters the throat with saliva unintentionally, fasting is not invalidated. However, if it is not removed though it is possible and if it enters the throat, fasting is invalidated.    

The fasting of a person who is forced to eat or drink is not invalidated because he does not do it by his own will.

To vomit deliberately invalidates fasting even if nothing returns to the throat. However, if a person vomits unintentionally, his fasting is not invalidated even if some of it enters the throat again. 

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

"Fasting as qada is not necessary for a person who vomits unintentionally; however, if he vomits intentionally, qada is necessary."[2]

3. To have a deliberate sexual intercourse even if no sperm comes out. 

The evidence for this is the following verse:

"…And eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques." (al-Baqara, 2/187)

What is meant by ´the white thread´ in the verse is daylight and by ´the black thread´ is darkness of the night. Fajr is the light that occurs horizontally in the horizon and that shows that night has ended.

What is meant by the phrase "do not associate with your wives" in the verse is not having a sexual intercourse with women during itikaf. If a person has a sexual intercourse with his wife by forgetting, his fasting is not invalidated. This forgetting resembles eating or drinking by forgetting.

4. Istimna

Istimna means sperm coming out as a result of kissing or touching one’s wife or through masturbation. If it is done deliberately when a person is fasting, his fasting is invalidated. However, if it occurs unintentionally, fasting is not invalidated. It is makruh tahrimi for a person who will be aroused when he/she kisses his/her spouse to kiss his/her spouse. For, there exists the risk of invalidation of the fasting. This is like trying to invalidate fasting deliberately. It is better even for a person who is not aroused by kissing to avoid kissing.

The following is reported from Hz. Aisha:

"Hz. Prophet kissed me when he was fasting. Which one of you can control his soul as much as he does?"[3]

Scholars interpret Hz. Aisha’s statement as follows:

"It is better for you not to kiss your wives. Do not think that you are like the Prophet. Do not think that what is permissible for the Prophet is permissible for you. For, Hz. Prophet was able to control his soul; he was sure that he would not be aroused and he would not have an intercourse. You can never be sure that you would not do any of them."

5. Menstruation and Puerperium

Menstruation and puerperium are excuses that prevent the validity of fasting. Therefore, when a woman who starts to menstruate or gives birth during the day, her fasting is invalidated. She has to perform it again as qada later. 

When Hz. Prophet was asked why the religion of a woman was incomplete, he said,

"Does a woman not abandon prayers and fasting when she is in menstruation and puerperium?"[4]

6. To lose consciousness and to exit the religion

To go mad and to exit the religion invalidate fasting. For, they prevent a person from being held responsible. Besides, it is necessary for a person who is fasting to keep away from the things that will invalidate fasting. Fasting starts at dawn and ends at sunset. If a person who is fasting does one of the things that invalidate fasting thinking that it is not dawn yet but if it is understood later that it was dawn, his fasting is invalidated. However, he should not eat and drink anything until the evening that day in order to show respect to Ramadan; and he has to perform it again as qada later.

If a person breaks his fast thinking that the sun has set, his fasting is invalidated if it is understood that the sun has not set yet. He has to perform it again as qada later.

Only one day of qada fasting is necessary for the things that invalidate fasting except sexual intercourse. However, those who invalidate fasting by sexual intercourse need to perform both qada fasting (one day) and kaffarah fasting for two months.


[1] Muslim/1155, Bukhari/1831, (from Abu Hurayra)
[2] Abu Dawud, 2380; Tirmidhi, 720 and other hadith scholars (from Abu Hurayra)
[3] Muslim, 1106
[4] Bukhari, 298; Muslim, 80, (from Abu Said)

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