Ramadan Frequently Asked Questions
This is my first Ramadan. Please give tips on how we are supposed to fast (Do’s & Don’ts).
Don’t: eat, drink, or have marital relations from dawn to sunset, lie, cheat, use bad words, lose your temper, listen to or look at bad things.
Do: Eat small meals (pre-dawn meal & when breaking the fast), give charity, read Quran, increase in worship, remember God, share food, increase in good deeds, work hard to create new good habits.
Besides praying and reciting Quran, please can you suggest other things to make the most of the month?
- Give Charity
- Remember God
- Help others
- Learn & Read about Islamic Subjects
When is the time to break the fast (before or after maghrib), time for Suhoor (before or after fajr)? When do we stop eating in the morning?
- Fasting ends at sunset. As soon as the sun sets, you can eat and drink.
- Fasting begins at dawn (fajr). It’s best to stop eating a few minutes before the time comes in.
What are good foods to eat & drink according to Sunnah during Suhoor & Iftar?
- Water and dates
- Light, healthy meals
Can accumulation of saliva break the fast?
No. Accumulation of saliva does not break the fast.
Regarding Intention for Fast – Is there any specific dua to read at Suhoor? At what time should we make intention? If I got up a few minutes late after fajr prayer and then I make the intention, is my fast valid?
- There is no specific dua to be read at Suhoor.
- You should make your intention the night before when you are planning to fast.
- Yes, your fast is still valid.
I made the Suhoor meal after the Fajr. After I remembered that it should be before Fajr. I continued with the fast, is it not valid?
Fasting is not invalidated by forgetfulness, according to a majority of the scholars. Once you realize, you are required to fast and it is valid.
Is it bad to listen to music during Ramadan?
It’s not ever good to listen to music. In these very special, very limited days, we should be extremely careful how we spend our time. There’s so much good to be done. We may not be eating, but cautious care should also be taken with what we intake with our eyes and ears as well.
Is brushing my teeth during the day permitted in the month of Ramadan?
Yes, it is permitted and is encouraged to have good oral hygiene. The Messenger Muhammad brushed his teeth often with a tooth stick, even while he was fasting (although it was different from the plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste we are familiar with).
Due to family pressure I am forced to eat at least 2-3 bites during lunch. I do not consume anything after this. Is my fast valid? If my fast is broken due to this then what should I do?
Your fast is broken. You have to make it up at a later date when you are able.
If my fast is broken then do I have to make up the missed fast after Ramadan or can I donate some food instead of making up the fast later?
You need to make up the days you missed after Ramadan.
My family is very strict and doesn’t know I am a Muslim. Please suggest how do I fast without any issues like unnecessary fights?
Many non-muslims these days do intermittent fasting. Start that sort of habit before Ramadan so they are used to not seeing you eating much. Then when you are fasting for Ramadan, find a way to politely avoid them when they are eating. Try to stay busy out of the house – that helps too.
My family isn’t aware of my conversion. Do I have to wear a hijab even though it will make them aware?
- If the situation is too difficult or dangerous, you are not required and can take time to slowly ease into the obligations. Make gradual steps to a more modest way of dressing.
I have hashimoto a thyroid issue. My doctor said to stay hydrated throughout the day. Can I still fast?
You would have to discuss the options with your doctor. If he/she says it will harm you to fast, then you are required to refrain from fasting. If this condition is permanent, you should feed a poor Muslim for every day of Ramdan instead of fasting.
Is it permissible for a pregnant woman & breast-feeding mother not to fast in Ramadan? How to make up the missed fast and when? Where to pay fidyah and how much and to whom?
If it will harm the mother or the baby, it is permissible not to fast, but the fasts must be made up when she is no longer pregnant or breastfeeding. Fidyah is only an option for people who will not be able to make up the fasts (like those with permanent illnesses or terminal diseases). So it would not be an option in this case.
I was told there are some reasons women can't fast and I was wondering why.
Women do not fast during their monthly cycle. This is a concession from God. They make up those days at a later time in the year.
Does getting angry or getting in an argument or swearing break the fast?
- It does not technically break the fast but it should be avoided as much as possible. Part of the purification process is controlling the self. Committing such actions will decrease in the quality of the fast and the reward associated with it.
Does bleeding from a finger nullify fasting?
No. Bleeding from a finger or any other wound does not nullify the fast.
Does fasting lower my immune system? And make me get sick?
No it does not lower the immune system. Actually many terminal illnesses are treated with fasting and science has proven that regular fasting strengthens the immune system. If you have health concerns you should check with your primary care provider.
Is it allowed to use a suppository during Ramadan.
If necessary, a suppository can be used, and does not break the fast.
I want to learn how to pray step by step from morning to night. And can I recite only one surah in prayer.
- Ok, please take the Salah course at newmuslimacademy.org.
- It’s fine if you only know one surah. Ramadan is a great time to work hard to learn more and New Muslim Academy offers free Arabic and Quran classes to help with that.
What does the Quran and Sunnah say for a New Muslim to learn and do their 5 daily prayers? Is it OK to learn one at a time and then learn the rest? So not praying all 5 prayers, only praying the one prayer, until all 5 prayers have been memorized and learned?
You can do just the motions at first, then motions and statements, and work up to the full ritual. But all five set times for the ritual must be kept to. Please join the “Practice Makes Perfect” live class weekly to learn more.
Can I have a copy of dua/surah on a piece of paper while praying alone?
Yes you can use paper to help you remember at first.
How to pray Tahajud & Witr?
1. How many rakahs?
The Messenger Muhammad conducted his night prayer in sets of twos and we follow his way as much as we are able. You do as many as you like. Witr is an odd number, usually three.
2. When do we pray tahajud and Witr?
Both can be prayed after the isha (night time) salah, and up until fajr (dawn time).
3. Are there any specific Surahs we should read with these prayers, if so which ones?
For Witr, the Messenger Muhammad would generally recite the following chapters after Fatiha. Surah ‘Ala #87 in the first unit, Surah Kafirun #109 in the second unit, and Surah Ikhlas #112 in the third unit. We try to follow his way as much as possible. But you can do what is easy for you to recite with ease and understanding, ideally.
When I do wudu in Ramadan, how do I wash the nose?
You still have to do this in Ramadan, just with extra care not to inhale or swallow any water. Rinsing your nose entails gently sniffing or inhaling the water into your nostrils then blowing it out. You can also complete this process in one act by taking a handful of water and using half of it to wash your mouth and the other half to rinse your nose. It is compulsory to rinse your mouth and nose once and it is recommended to do it three times.
If you do not wake up in time for fajr, do you still pray it when you wake up or does it not count?
You are required to make it up as soon as you wake up.
Before tasleem can we recite any dua?
Only dua from Quran and Sunnah in the fard salah. And only in Arabic.
And if yes then how many times we can recite it?
As many times as you like, as long as it fulfills the above requirements. And can we offer sunnah prayers before azan? Yes, but that would simply be a voluntary Salah and not the prescribed regular Sunnah. Sunnah prayers are offered in the way of the Messenger Muhammad. He prayed 2 units after the fajr athan and before fajr, four units before and after the dhurhr salah, after the dhuhr salah came in, etc. So one would not pray the sunnah prayers before the athan as they would not count for the sunnah of the salah that is coming in.
What is the reason behind wearing a hijab/ prayer outfit while praying?
There are certain requirements that must be met when standing before God. A Muslim woman must wear loose clothing that covers her entire body and hair, leaving her face and palms exposed. This is an obligation. One should dress in a manner that is clean and befitting for standing before God.
Is it a sin if I successfully manage to pray five times a day whilst fasting and then I fail to perform Taraweeh and witr? Or other Sunnah prayers?
Taraweeh, witr, and sunnah prayers are highly recommended but not obligatory and hence do not result in accumulation of sin if not performed.
My family does not allow me to do fasting and prayer. I pray my salahthul fajr and Isha at the time. But I miss Zohar, Asr, magrib.
Making up should be done when the person is able to. These have to be made up and so do your fasts. It is suggested to try your best to change your situation in order to resolve this issue.
How to pray Taraweeh prayers? How many rakats and is there any particular surah to read?
It’s best to go to a mosque and pray behind an imam. There are different and valid opinions as to how many rakats. At the mosque, they generally read through the Quran in the month (one juz per day).
Can I pray behind an Imam virtually like from YouTube?
No, this does not count as taraweeah.
Last Ten Nights
What to do in the last ten days of Ramadan in regard to prayer? Which prayer to pray (step by step) for laylatal Qadr and how do we offer it during this time?
Increase in worship and supplication. No special prayer to pray. The supplication to be made is: “Oh Allah! You are most forgiving, you love to forgive, so forgive me.”
How to offer Eid prayer? What to do on Eid? Tell in detail please.
Offer Eid prayer in congregation following behind an imam. On Eid morning, shower, eat, dress up, go to the Eid prayer, celebrate and be thankful that God enabled you to fast the entire month.
I am 18 and don’t have a job just getting some pocket money. Do I also have to pay zakat?
No you don’t. There are specific requirements for zakat. You don’t meet those requirements unless you have a particular sum of money saved for a full year, in which case you would need to pay. It’s best to use a zakat calculator or ask a scholar.
After Ramadan Questions
After my first Ramadan, what next?
Keep on with your new habits! Fast the 6 days of Shawaal and continue with Mondays and Thursdays. Keep up with your increased worship and reading of Quran. The winner of the marathon trains for it. Then the next Ramadan you can increase again!
Today I was making up my missed fasts but I missed suhoor and feeling thirsty. Can I break my fast? Will it be a sin and do I have to do 60 days fasting for it?
It’s normal to feel thirsty. No, you can’t break your fast if you intended to fast to make up a day. If you do, you should repent and will have to make it up.
I missed fasting first 3 days of shawwal. Can I fast from now for the next 6 days?
The fist day of Shawwal is the day of Eid and it is restricted to fast. You can fast any other 6 days of Shawwal.
If you miss a day of fasting, when is it to be made up. After Ramadan is EID and the 10 day fasting. I do the 10 day fast. So how do I make up the day missed?
You can make it up any time during the year before the next Ramadan.
I understand Eid we would celebrate and not fast. If I will continue to fast for the days after Ramadan, Shawwal month, I will just skip the day of Eid and fast again on the next day?
I can only read the Quran during the month of Ramadan. Is this okay?
Why can you only read the Quran during Ramadan? The Quran should be a part of our daily routine.
How can a person who knows nothing about Islam except the basics such as the pillars and so on, learn about Islam?
They learn slowly and gradually with a trustworthy teacher or organization and institution of learning.
What if that person is not motivated enough and doesn’t seem too interested but still wants to learn?
Everyone can change. And usually what it takes is to just take the first steps. After that the momentum of excitement and determination propels one forward. Sign up in New Muslim Academy and take the courses which are self-paced.
Is there any harm to someone who reads the Quran but is not fluent (beginner) with the reading during Ramadan or any other time? My reason for this question is that I have heard from different sources that the Quran will continue to curse anyone reading it and making some (probably pronunciation of some words) mistakes.
No, there is no harm to a beginner trying to read Quran. Everyone should try and we all make mistakes at the beginning of any new skill acquisition. The one struggling gets double the reward. The information you have is not accurate.