Questions and Answers
- Question: Some people come
to a city with the intention of residing therein for some years for a specific
purpose [e.g., education] During this time, they do not leave their own home-towns
for good. When the specific purpose is accomplished, they leave that city
and go to wherever they like. How should they do their salãt
and how should they fast [in that city]?
They shall pray fully; they can fast after having lived in that city for a
month just as they do in their own home-towns.
- Question: Is it permissible
to rely on the European observatories [i.e., non-Muslim experts] for determining
the timings of true dawn, sunrise, noon, and sunset for the whole year, including
the month of Ramadhãn, knowing well that it is scientific and very
precise to the minutes and seconds?
If one is sure of the correctness
of their timings, it is permissible to act upon it. However, one should know
that there are some differences in determining the true dawn especially in
some of the cities in [northern] Europe [and Canada]; therefore, it is necessary
to ascertain that it is based on the proper view.
In some cities, the sun does not rise at all for days or does not set at all
for days or even more. How should we pray and fast?
As for salãt, one should, as a matter of obligatory precaution,
observe the closest place that has night and day in a twenty-four hour period,
then say salãt according to its timings with the intention of
mutlaqa [i.e., just qurbatan ilal lah without specifying whether
it is ada (on time) or qadhã (after time)].
As for fasting, it is obligatory upon you to move during the month
of Ramadhãn to another city where you can observe fasting of this holy
month, or move to that city after that month to perform it qadhã.
Can a person who is fasting in the holy month of Ramadhãn serve food
By looking at the issue on its own merit, there is no problem in it.
Would use of a nozzle spray that facilitates breathing invalidate the
If the spray that comes out of the nozzle enters the respiratory tract and
not the passage of food and drink, it does not invalidate fast.
Does the nutrition given, intravenously invalidate fast irrespective
of whether or not it was absolutely necessary for the patient?
In both the cases, it does not invalidate the fasting.
Does masturbating during daytime of Ramadhãn invalidate the
fast, regardless of whether or not it leads to ejaculation? What is the penalty
that should be incurred by one who does so? What is the ruling for a woman
who engages in masturbation during daytime of Ramadhãn, irrespective
of whether or not it leads to discharge?
If a person masturbates with the intention of ejaculating and actually ejaculates,
his fast is rendered invalid and he must make it up by way of qadhã
as well as pay the penalty (kaffãra) which is fasting for two
successive months or feeding sixty poor people. If he masturbates with the intention of ejaculating
but does not ejaculate, he must complete the fast with the intention of pleasing
the Almighty and then do it qadhã.
If he masturbates
without the intention of ejaculating and he does not normally ejaculate, knowing
that discharge is probable and it actually happens —he has to do qadhã
without the penalty. However, if such a person was confident that no discharge
would take place and it actually happens — no qadhã is required. In all these cases, there is no difference between
a man and a woman.
A believer fasts but does not know that intentionally getting into state
of janãbat invalidates fasting—what should he do [when he
It is obligatory on him to make up those fasts; however, there is no penalty
on him as long as he was [erroneously] convinced that being in a state of
janãbat does not invalidate fast or was unaware of that ruling.
- Question: According to some jurists, a person who
intentionally invalidates his fast during the month of Ramadhãn by
committing a sin has to pay all three kinds of penalty [that is, fasting
for sixty days, feeding sixty poor people, and emancipating a slave]. What
should a person therefor do during our time when emancipating a slave is impossible
since there are virtuallyno slaves?
The penalty of emancipating a slave is waived when it is no more possible.
It should, however, be clarified that in our view, it is not obligatory to
pay all three kinds of penalty for invalidating a fast during Ramadhãn
by committing a sin. And Allãh knows the best.
If the new moon is sighted in the East, does it apply to us also in
the West? And if it is sighted in America, does it apply to Europe also?
If the new moon is sighted in the East, it also applies to the West as long
as the latitude of the two locations are not greatly further away from one
another. If the new moon is sighted in the West, it does
not apply to the East unless it is proven—even by the moon staying on the
first [Western] horizon for the length of time that is longer than the difference
between the sunset of the two locations. [For example, if the sunset in the
Eastern city was half an hour before the Western city where the moon was sighted,
and the moon stays on the horizon longer than half an hour —the Eastern city
can follow the moon sighted in the Western city.]
’s-Sãliheen, it says: “The new moon is proven through the knowledge
acquired by sighting or recurring reports etc., and through credible reports
of its sighting, etc.” In ruling No. 1044, it says: “If the new moon
is sighted in a city, it is sufficient for other cities, provided they share
the same horizon, in the sense that the actual sighting in the first city would
necessarily be followed with the sighting in the second city if there were no
barriers like clouds, fog, mountains, etc.”
In the light of
what has been quoted, the following questions arise:
Would the sighting of the new moon in cities in the East like Iran, Ahsã’,
Qatíf [both in Arabia], other countries in the Gulf, Iraq, Syria, and
Lebanon necessarily be followed by its sighting in Western countries like
England, France and Germany if there were no barriers like clouds and fog?
Yes, the sighting of the new moon in an area would necessarily be followed
—provided there were no barriers— in places which are located to its west
as long as they are not far apart on the latitude lines.
If the answer to the previous question is positive, would the occurrence of
the sighting of the new moon in the view of some religious scholars in Eastern
countries be a sufficient evidence for one who is residing in Western countries
even though the sighting of the new moon did not occur in those places for
lack of clear skies?
It will not be a sufficient evidence for him or for others. However, if the
occurrence of the sighting from the view point of those religious scholars
attracts trustworthiness in that person that the moon was actually sighted
or proof was established about the sighting without any counter proof —even
in the form of a ruling— that person can act on what he believes is true.
During certain months, it is declared that the sighting has been proven according
to some religious scholars in some Eastern countries. This is based on the
testemony of those who have sighted the new moon. Such declarations are usually
coupled with the following facts:
The criterion is the satisfaction of the individual himself  about the actual
sighting [of the new moon] or  the proof of sighting without any counter
- The witnesses
who sighted the moon and who number around thirty, for example, are scattered
in various cities such as 2 in Isfahan, 3 in Qum, 2 in Yazd, 4 in Kuwait,
5 in Bahrain, 2 in Ahsã’, and 6 in Syria, etc.
- The sky was clear
in a number of cities in the West, and the believers went out in the attempt
to sight the moon; and there was nothing preventing the sighting.
- The observatories
in England announced that it was impossible to sight the new moon that evening
in England except by using a telescope; and that its sighting with the naked
eye would be possible only in the following night. So, what is the ruling in such a case? Please
guide us, may Allãh reward you.
In the case mentioned above, satisfaction is not
normally achieved concerning the appearance of the new moon on the horizon in
such a way that it could have been sighted by the naked eye. On the contrary,
one is satisfied that it was not sighted and that the testimony [of sightings
in the Eastern cities] is based on illusion and error in sight. And Allãh
knows the best.