Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD), answers readers' questions exclusively for Emirates 24|7 concerning Ramadan.
: Majority of scholars believe that water that enters ears can reach the abdomen and modern medicine also proves this. Therefore, people observing the fast should take precaution while performing ablutions.
: ‘I'tikaaf’ is a nine or10-day prayer time when the person stays in the mosque. This is taken on in the last ashra (10 days) of Ramadan. A woman has to take her husband's permission to be safe in such matters. For a woman, however, it is better to perform i'tikaaf in her house, where she has is performing her prayers.
Vomiting does not break a pregnant woman’s fast as it is an
involuntary act on her part.
Make-up does not break the fast because such substances are placed on the body and do not go into the abdomen. However, if by chance, any make-up - eyeliner (kohl) or lipstick – enters the throat, then the fast will be broken and the person should re-fast that day. However, women fasting in Ramadan should avoid being spoiled by such things.
Those people who cannot fast due to an illness or are sick and eventually pass away, are excused. Their guardians need not fast for them, either. However, those who are unwell during the holy month and they recover afterwards, should fast for the missed days later in the year. In cases of those who recover from their illness but die before fasting for the missing days, their guardians should fast on their behalf.
The first one is where scholars say blood transfusion means breaking the fast. The second opinion, of the majority of scholars, allows the possibility of going for blood transfusion while fasting, based on the Prophet (PBUH) being treated while he was fasting. This opinion is adopted by the majority, but they insist that the person must not be weakened by the transfusion where s/he is unable to fast.
Eating during or after Fajr invalidates the fast. In such a case the person must re-fast the day and also should perform the ‘Kafarah’. However, in case it is not done on purpose and the food passes into the stomach, there is nothing wrong because he did not deliberately eat. However, even in this case, the person should re-fast this day. A fasting person should take all precaution and stop eating and drinking before the Adhan.
People who observe the fast may rinse their mouth and nose. However, we should avoid excessive rinsing lest water enters the throat, leading to breaking of the fast. There is nothing wrong in a simple rinsing out of the mouth while fasting, but ensure water does not go down the throat.
People who observe fast should ensure the Sun has completely set and is absent. Or they may listen to the Adhan of Maghreb in the city they reside, which in this case is Sharjah. It is not allowed for people fasting in Sharjah to break for Iftar relying on the Adhan from another city – in this case Dubai.
Nicotine skin patch contents can’t go through the throat of a person who is observing a fast. This is not something that equates to entering the abdomen; therefore, nicotine skin patches do not break the fast. A fasting person must strive to refrain from smoking during Ramadan.
The timing of your Iftar and prayer will be in the space you are in and not the place where you live and not where you travel to. In case the Sun is shining when you are on the plane and it is Iftar time for people down, in such a case you may not break your Iftar until the Sun sets in your space. For instance, residents atop Burj Khalifa may see the Sun shining and they will not break their fast. And in case the Maghreb prayer is called for, then people on the ground floor can break their fast and not people on top floors.
Moon sighting is the key for the beginning of the Islamic months and the beginning of Ramadan. There are two views on this issue. The first is supported by the Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali scholars, which is against taking the sighting of the moon in each country at a time. This calls for the sighting of the moon in one Muslim country that allows the rest of the Muslims countries to begin the fast with the country where the moon was sighted. The biggest difference between Islamic countries is seven hours. The second opinion is adopted by the Imam Al-Shaafa'i where he supports the different sightings of the moon in Islamic countries. According to this opinion each country has its own moon sighting and different prayer times.
The Islamic Fiqh Council confirms that there is no need to unite on the sighting of the moon, but to leave the issue to the Islamic scholars of each country.