Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Am I allowed to break fasting for a day?

Muslims fast in Ramadan, one lunar month
Muslims fast in Ramadan, one lunar month


I was living away from my wife this Ramadan and she is joining me today. Are we allowed not fast for one day, since I want to enjoy her and this would help me concentrate on the rest of my fasting?

- Hisham

Wael's Answer:

Dear Brother Hisham, As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

No, it is not allowed to break your fast deliberately in order to have sexual relations. Wait a few hours until after Iftar (breaking the fast), then you can enjoy each other as Allah has permitted you to do.

One of the goals of Ramadan is to learn patience.

There are certain conditions under which one is allowed to break the fast of Ramadan, for example:

  • someone who is traveling (because traveling can be a hardship)
  • a woman who is menstruating or experiencing post-childbirth bleeding
  • pregnant and breast-feeding women, if they fear for their health or that of the baby
  • minors below the age of puberty
  • an elderly person who is physically weak and cannot bear it
  • the chronically ill who are weak or must take medication
  • one who is forced to work under harsh circumstances and as such cannot endure the additional burden of fasting
  • the mentally insane.

Some of these people must make up the fast when they can, and some must feed one poor person [miskin] a day (for every day of fasting that they do not perform). That's beyond the scope of this answer but you can research it in Fiqh-us-Sunnah if you like.

If you do not fall under any of those conditions, then it is prohibited to break the fast of Ramadan. Simple desire, or missing your spouse, or sexual arousal, are not valid reasons to break the fast.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever breaks his fast during Ramadan without having one of the excuses that Allah would excuse him for, then even a perpetual fast, if he were to fast it, would not make up for that day." This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and atTirmizhi.

Al-Bukhari records from Abu Hurairah in marfu' form: "Whoever breaks the fast of Ramadan without having a legitimate excuse or being ill, he cannot make up for that day, even if he were to undertake a perpetual fast." Ibn Mas'ud has also reported this.

And Allah knows best.

If any readers have some additional advice for this questioner, I invite you to post your comments below.

(O Allah), Guide us to the straight path; The path of those whom you have favored; Not those with whom you are angry; Nor those who go astray.

Best regards,. - Wael Abdelgawad Marriage Advice Muslim Matrimonial Service

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2 Responses »

  1. Is it OK for someone to not fast for 1 day if he or she has to study for a major exam?

    • Salaams,

      Skipping fast for studying is not one of the approved exceptions to fasting per shariah. People still have to work even if they are studying, working long shifts or in labor-intensive positions. In general, the major exceptions for fasting are limited to illness/medical conditions, traveling, and bleeding from menstruation/childbirth (for women).

      -Amy Editor

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