When does the menses fast break?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I have been going through the Ramadhan section of your site and have a few queries regarding menses of women. You have stated that at any time during the day, if a woman starts menstruating, her fast beomes void. Would this mean that she wuld be required to break her fast by eating something or can she just go about her day and open her fast at the time of Iftar? Moreover, many people have told me in the past that if a woman does not get her menses before Fajr, i.e. before she says the neeyat for the fast, even if she gets her menses an hour after Fajr, her fast remains. Others say that if women get their menses after Zohar, they cannot break it. So, what I want to know is, are we required to BREAK the fast at any time, after having said the neeyat to keep the fast at Fajr or are we allowed to retain it for the day but not treat it as a fast and then make up for it later?
One more thing. Are we required o feed a person for each fast that we miss during menses or are we just required to keep the lost fasts at a later date?
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Question: So, what I want to know is, are we required to BREAK the fast at any
time, after having said the neeyat to keep the fast at Fajr or are we allowed
to retain it for the day but not treat it as a fast and then make up for it
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 3.139
Fasting, the menses and post-childbirth bleeding
Even if such bleeding begins just before the sunset, the fast of that day is rendered void and the day must be made up. There is a consensus of scholars on this point.
If the woman experiences her menses anytime during the period of the fast, the fast will be broken and considered void, and she would be required to make up the missed fast at a later date.
Your Question: Are we required o feed a person for each fast that
we miss during menses or are we just required to keep the lost fasts at a later
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 183-185:
183 O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.
184 (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill or on a journey the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more of his own free will it is better for him and it is better for you that ye fast if ye only knew.
185 Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 3.120
Those who must make up the missed days
The scholars agree that it is obligatory for menstruating women and women with post-childbirth bleeding to break the fast and to make up the missed days later on. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that 'Aishah said: "When we would have our menses during the lifetime of the Prophet (saws), we were ordered to make up the days of fasting that we had missed, but were not ordered to make up the prayers that we had missed.
If one is ill or on a journey, or a woman experiences her menses, which results in fasts being missed, one is required to make up the fasts at a later date. If ones health is so bad that one has no hope of recovering, and as a result is unable to make up the missed fasts even at a later date, the atonement of the missed fast would be to feed a poor person for each fast missed. The person has to either make up the missed fast or feed a poor person, but not both.
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Your Brother in Islam,