INSTRUCTIONS OF RAMADAN
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
What you can and cannot do during the holy month?
1. What fasting means
Fasting means no food or drink and also abstaining from bad habits and sins such as smoking, swearing, gossiping, arguing, fighting or being disrespectful, cruel or selfish. Sexual relations are also banned during the hours of fasting.
2. When to eat
Fasting runs each day between a pre-dawn meal (known as suhoor) and a meal after sunset (iftar).
3. Who fasts
All male and female adults (meaning anyone who has undergone puberty) must take part in fasting.
There are exceptions. Anyone who is ill or travelling during Ramadan and who doesn't take part in the fasting must make up the days of fasting later.
Women who are pregnant, menstruating or breastfeeding don't have to fast. If you begin your period during Ramadan fasting, the fast is broken and you must make up for it later.
6. Elderly or ill
The elderly and chronically ill (including diabetics) are exempt from fasting, along with the severely mentally ill. Doctors can give advice on whether you are fit and well enough to fast.
7. What happens instead
Those with permanent health conditions instead help the poor to compensate for not fasting.
8. Making it up
When someone cannot fast in Ramadan and can’t make up the lost days afterwards (for example, due to being elderly or because of ill health, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating), then they should pay for someone else to be fed. This is known as fidyah.
Islamic Relief says the present rate is £5 for each day that is missed (this should provide one person with two meals or two people with one meal.) If someone misses all the fasts of Ramadan, they would need to pay £150.
Atonement is the compensation you should pay if you deliberately miss or break a fast in the month of Ramadan without a valid reason. To atone for the missed/intentionally broken fast, a person must fast continuously for 60 days.If they are unable to do that, then they have to feed 60 poor people at a rate of £5 per person (the cost of an average meal in the UK). This amounts to £300 in atonement for each missed/intentionally broken fast, according to Islamic Relief.
11. Forgetting to fast
The fasting is still valid if it's unintentionally broken when someone eats or drinks in a moment of forgetfulness, or if they are coerced into doing so.
The fast is broken if you make yourself vomit deliberately, but not if it's done suddenly or involuntarily. Do not swallow the vomit or that will definitely break the fast.
If you have sex during the fast, then you have broken the fast and must perform atonement (see no 9 above).
Pre-pubescent children are not required to fast but some of them do it for some days, or parts of days, to train themselves in readiness for Ramadan as an adult.
15. Brushing teeth
You can brush your teeth and rinse your mouth but it's not permitted to swallow any water, or you would invalidate the fast.
It's also fine to swim, bathe or shower - again, as long as you don't swallow any water.
If you need injections for medical reason, it's perfectly acceptable to continue these and the fast will not be broken.
Accidentally swallowing food or dust (such as airborne particles of sieved flour) or your own saliva will NOT invalidate the fast. You can also deliberately taste food, for instance if checking the seasoning when preparing a meal for the iftar later, as long as you don't swallow the food.
You must not be in a state of janaba. This is an Islamic term meaning impurity after sex, ejaculation or the completion of the menstrual cycle. A person in this state must wash so that they can become ritually pure and take part in Ramadan fasting and prayers the following day. The full-body cleansing ritual they must undertake is known as ghusl.
Eyeliner and eye drops are allowed, and drops MUST be continued if someone is suffering glaucoma.and after the fasting and use a technique to stop the fluid draining down into the throat.