In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

How to fast in Islam and the rules regarding Fasting.

Definition of Fasting

Fasting means abstaining from  several things,  from just before the starting of dawn (i.e. just before the start of Fajr) until sunset, with the intention of fasting.

A Muslim fasting must abstain from the following

  • Food and Drink
  • Sexual intercourse
  • masturbation (most scholars say this not allowed even when not fasting)
  • You should not ingest anything food nor liquid. You should not use injections or other means to put inside you water nor any thing that will provide you with nutrition

 If these  things listed above are done deliberately a persons fast will be broken.  


If you are female then you cannot fast when you are in your menses until your menses stop. However if you have non menstrual Vaginal bleeding then you can still fast.

If you are experiencing post-childbirth bleeding you cannot fast until it stop. However if bleeding continues for more than 40 day. You can make ghusl on the 4pth day and start fasting.

1 Make Intention

Make intention to fast  in your mind before you sleep or just before the start of dawn.

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever does not intend to fast before dawn, there is no fast for him." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 730. According to a version narrated by al-Nasaa�i (2334): "Whoever does not intend to fast from the night before, there is no fast for him." Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 573.


 2 The time for beginning  the fast.

A person should stop eating and drinking just before the start of Fajr.

Fajr starts before dawn. Some people mistakenly think that fasting start before sunrise. This is not correct. Fasting starts just before fajr.

i ) There are two types of fajr:

-False fajr and True fajr

a) False Fajr, At this time  it is unlawful to pray fajr prayer but it is permissible to eat for the one intending to fast. The false fajr is distinguished by a rising vertical column of whiteness which appears like the  tail of a wolf

b) True fajr. At this time it is lawful to pray the fajr pray but is it unlawful to eat for one who is fasting. It is distinguished by a white light coming across the horizon in the East ,  

 Thus one should stop all eating and drinking before the True fajr.

ii) The meal that is taken before the fajr is called Suhoor (predawn meal)

We should make sure that we eat and drink something at Suhoor, and that we delay it until just before the adhaan of Fajr.

 The Prophet Page not found – Muslim Converts

(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said "The distinction between our fasting and the fasting of the people of the book is the taking of the pre -dawn meal (Suhoor)" (Muslim)

 The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: " Have Suhoor, for in Suhoor there is blessing (barakah)." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 4/139)

"Suhoor is blessed food, and it involves being different from the people of the Book. What a good Suhoor for the believer is dates." (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 2345; Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/448).

He (peace be upon him) also said "The Suhoor is a meal of blessings, so do not leave it, even if one of you takes just a gulp of water, since Allah sends mercy and His angels seek forgiveness for those who take Suhoor" (Ahmad) 

It is also guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to delay the Suhoor meal until just before the true fajr. (note along with no eating or drinking whilst fasting. one can not have sexual intercourse with spouse. kissing and hugging is allowed but if such close contact causes ejaculation then this will break the fast. Also swallowing saliva of some one else invalidates the fast.

 3 The time to breaking the fast (Iftar).

The time for breaking your fast starts as soon as the sun sets (ie Maghrib time). As soon as the sun sets you can resume eating, drinking and having sexual relationships. disappears time is as soon as Maghrib Starts (after sun has set).

 If you are in the Masjid or close by and  hear the Athan for Maghrib prayer then it means you can now break your fast.

One should hasten to break the fast because the (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The people will be fine so long as they do not delay iftaar." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 4/198). He (peace be upon him)  also said "My Ummah will not cease to be upon my Sunnah as long as they do not await the stars when breaking the fast" (Ibn Hibban). So as soon as Maghrib begins (i.e. if you are in the Masjid and Athan is said) one should start to break the fast immediately.

Break the fast in the manner described in the hadeeth narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to break his fast with fresh dates before praying; if fresh dates were not available, he would eat (dried) dates; if dried dates were not available, he would have a few sips of water." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 3/79 and others. He said it is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth. Classed as saheeh in al-Irwa?, no. 922).

Dua said when Breaking the fast

Following is dua to  recited.



Thahaba th-thama o wabtallatil-Aaurooq, wathabatal ajru in shaal-lah

(The thirst has gone and the veins are quenched, and reward is confirmed, if Allah wills.)

4 Things that break the fast  

There are certain things that break the fast and some things that do not break the fast

Some  people mistakenly believe that Muslims only  fast  in Ramadan.

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar. Fasting all the days of that month is compulsory for Muslims

(see Ramadan section of the website)

However, for those who want to seek extra reward, extra forgiveness for  their sins and better themselves as Muslims they can fast Nafl (optional fasts)

This will be explained soon in a more detail article.