Rule of Thumb for Matters that Invalidate the Ritual Fast

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by
Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


Could you explain the principles of those things that invalidate the ritual fasts (sawm)?


In the Name of Allāh, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.

In general, the things that invalidate the fast are, deliberately eating, drinking and engaging in sexual intercourse. Menses and postpartum bleeding are also factors that invalidate the fasts.

Two common principles noted in numerous manuals of fiqh, as fast nullifiers, are as follows:

  1. Anything that enters the internal stomach cavity or internal mind invalidates the fast.
  2. Sexual activity that leads to ejaculation.

(See Rad al Muhtār)

Ibn Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Ikramah (may Allāh be please with him) have stated, “The fast is invalidated by what enters the internal stomach cavity.” (Bukhārī)

“Have sexual relations with the wives …, and eat and drink until the white thread [light] of dawn appears [to commence the fasting].” (Qurʿān 2:187)

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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