Who is obligated to fast during Ramadan

In the name of Allah,


Islamically, the fast of Ramadan is an act of worship to Allah, the Most High, which consists of refraining from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn to sunset. Fasting is worshipping Allah through abstaining. He leaves them to worship Allah, not as a habit.


Fasting was also practiced by past religious communities. It’s also decreed for Prophet Muhammad’s followers (Peace and blessings be on him). Allah says in the Quran, 


“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed onto you as it was prescribed onto those before you, that perhaps ye may (learn) self-restraint.” [Surat Al-Baqara, v. 183]


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. The child will be rewarded for fasting, and the parents will be rewarded for raising him well and teaching him to do good. Maturity in the Maliki school is determined by ejaculation or age, which is 18 in the well-known stance[i]


Al-Rubay’ bint Mu’awwidh (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, “We used to make our children fast, and we would make them a wool toy. If they cried for food, we would give them that item to play with until Iftar[ii].”[iii]


Caution must be exercised regarding a young girl’s fasting, since she may fast during her period out of shyness and then fail to make up the fast afterward[iv].


If a non-Muslim becomes Muslim, a child enters puberty, or an insane person comes to his senses during Ramadan, they should fast for the rest of the day but not make up for the days they missed.[v]


Shaykh Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him) said,


If a woman who is menstruation or bleeding after childbirth becomes pure during the day, she can eat and drink since she must make up that day. This is Maalik and al-opinion, Shaafa’i’s one of Imam Ahmad’s two opinions.


Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “The one who ate at the beginning of the day, let him eat at the end of it.[vi]” End quote. 


The menstrual woman who becomes clean, the traveler who settles, and the ill person who heals all fall under one rule: they do not have to fast for the remaining day, but they must make up later[vii].


Peace and blessings be upon the last and final prophet.



[i] The Risala Ibn Abi Zayd Al Qaywarani’s Manual of Islamic Law, Translated by Aisha Bewley page 367

[ii] Sahih Muslim 1136a

[iii] (al-Bukhaari, Fath, no. 1960).

[iv] Rulings pertaining to Ramadan, A Collection of Works by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid, Islamfuture, page 29

[v] Rulings pertaining to Ramadan, A Collection of Works by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid, Islamfuture, page 29

[vi] Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 19/question no. 59.

[vii] 65635

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