The Fast Of The Insane and Does an individual who is insane need to make up their fast?

In the name of Allah,


The conditions of who must fast during Ramadan are four. That they are:


  1. Muslim
  2. Reached puberty
  3. Sane
  4. Resident[not traveling] Muslims who can fast without restrictions like hayd (menstruation) or nifaas (post-natal bleeding)


A wet dream or ejaculation marks pubescence in boys. Wet dreams or menstruation mark pubescence in girls. Pubic hair growth around the privates. If they haven’t had these experiences by 15 lunar years, both sexes are legally pubescent and must fast.


Those suffering from insanity are exempt from fasting requirements because they have no concept of what they are doing. Ali related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “The pen is lifted for three groups [of people]—that is, they will not be accountable for their actions: the insane until they become sane, those who are sleeping until they awaken, and the youth until they reach puberty[i].”[ii]


According to the Sha’fi school[iii], even a brief period of insanity renders the fast invalid.

If a person loses their intellect even for a second during the fasting day, their fast is broken. This is true whether the person lost their mind on purpose or by accident, and even if the drug that made them crazy was taken at night. However, someone who intentionally lost his mind must make up the fast, while someone who did not must not[iv].


What if the insane person fast


The insane are not required to fast Ramadan, and if they do, it will be invalid due to lack of intention[v].


Does an individual who is insane need to make up their fast?


The Hanafis distinguish between an insane person who is insane for the entire month of Ramadan and one who is insane for part of it. In the former, an insane person does not have to make up, but in the latter, he does.


The Hanafi classical book Al Hidaya states:

‘A person who goes insane for the whole duration of Ramadan should not offer it as qada’, but Malik (God bless him) doesn’t agree with this because he thinks it’s the same as fainting. We assert that the extinguishing factor is the consequent hardship. Fainting rarely lasts a month, but insanity does’.

If the insane person regains his sanity for part of Ramadan, he must make Qada for the days he missed. Al-Shafii and Zufar vary. They claim this person lacks the legal capacity to perform, so he is not required to. Since Qada depends on performance, it’s like he was insane for the whole month[vi].


The best view is that being insane for a brief period of time does not break the fast. Because he is not accountable, the insane individual is not required to make up fast.


Sheikh Saalih Al Munajjid stated:

If a person is sometimes sane and sometimes insane, he must fast when he is sane and is excused when he is insane. If he goes insane during the day, it won’t ruin his fast, just like if someone falls asleep due to disease or other conditions[vii].


Allah Knows Best.




[i] Fiqh us sunnah, Sayed Sabiq, Chapter Fasting, Page 248

[ii] Grade:Hasan (Darussalam),Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 2042

[iii] The Ship of Salvation: A classic manual of Islāmic Doctrine and Jurisprudence In Arabic with English text, commentary, and appendices, Edited and translated by: ʿAbdullah Muḥammad al-Marbūqī al-Shāfiʿī. Page 109

[iv] The fiqh of fasting Ramadan according to the school of Imam shafi‘I, SeekersGuidance, Page 48

[v] A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence by Dr. Salih Al-Fawazan, Vol 1- page 378

[vi] Al-Hidayah THE GUIDANCE, Burhan Al Din Al Farghani Al Marghinani, Book of Fasting, page 332

See also The MUKHTAṢAR AL-QUDŪRĪ, A Manual of Islamic law, According to the Hanafi School, Page 132

[vii] Rulings pertaining to Ramadan, A Collection of Works by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid, Islamfuture, page 29, (Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, p.28).


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