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Fasting / She broke her fast five minutes before sunset

She broke her fast five minutes before sunset

publish date : 2014-07-02 | Views : 2022
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. What is the ruling of a woman who broke her fast five minutes before sunset?

أفطرت قبل المغرب بخمس دقائق

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.   Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.   As to what follows:   In response to your question, we say:     If she broke her fast because she thought that the sun had set but in fact it had not, then her fast is valid, because her breaking of the fast is based on the ignorance of the state of the sun and not ignorance of the rules of fasting.  She knows that it is not permitted to eat during the day in Ramadan, but she is ignorant of whether the day has ended or not. Thus she broke her fast on the understanding that it was now  night. This happened in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), as was transmitted in the Sahih al-Bukhari from the hadith of Asma bint Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her, who narrated,  “We broke our fast on a cloudy day at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), then the sun appeared.” [al-Bukhari (1959)] Thus they broke their fast thinking that the sun had set, but when the clouds disappeared, it became clear that it was still during the day . Asma (may Allah have mercy on her) did not mention whether they made up for that day or not. Ma’mar asked Hishaam the narrator of the hadith  from Asma and said, “Is it compulsory to fast and make up for such a day?” His view was that it was compulsory. However what is apparent is that the person who broke his fast thinking that the sun has set is not required to make up for that day.  The Prophet (peace be upon him said), “When night falls from this side and the day vanishes from this side and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast." [al-Bukhari (1954)]. Thus if a person breaks his fast thinking that the sun has set; there is no problem Inshaa Allah. His fast is valid. This issue recurs but the important thing is to inform the muezzins, upon whose athaan people break their fast, to pronounce the athaan at the correct time, and that they should not be lax in this issue which may lead to negligence by people or making them to fall in the problem under discussion. Sometimes there are problems in neighboring cities like Mecca, Jeddah and Taif. For example, some people in Jeddah break their fast according to the athaan of Mecca, and a kind of confusion and uncertainty occurs because of location. At this point I say, “People should  ascertain the time, for example the some people of Taif break their fast with the athaan of Medina, if that is the case, there is no problem. However, the time for sunset and starting fasting should be ascertained., especially where there confusion and certainty is likely to occur, because the principle is that the day persists, that is, if a person is doubtful whether the sun has set or not? Whether athaan has been called or not?, because the principle is that things remain as they were . If a man thinks that it is highly likely that the athaan has been pronounced, and this issue it is not clear, but it becomes clear later on that the athaan has not been pronounced, then it is compulsory that the person in question should keep on fasting and he should not make up for that day. The principle in the case of doubt is that if a person is negligent then he is at fault, However, if it is most likely that the sun has set (then there is no problem) the people are sitting…and this happens many times that people hear “Allahu Akbar” and “Bismillah”, (and they break their fast). This is the usual condition of people. If it becomes clear that the muezzin’s call is before the actual time by two minutes, three minutes or five minutes, in this case the people will not be  guilty of negligence because their action is based on information  by a provider of information that the sun has set.    

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