Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ramadan Confusion

Want to be confused? Read different fiqh opinions regarding Ramadan. It will just blow your mind.

After being volunteered to talk about the fiqh of Ramadan at an upcoming workshop (in addition to just Eid), I've spent a lot of time over the last week reading different fiqh opinions on Ramadan, and am terrified of presenting this weekend, and unsatisfied with the ability of Shaykh Google to clarify matters.

So what is confusing?

The time to start fasting--at fajr, is obvious. But should you start 10 minutes before "to be safe?" Some say yes, some say no. Can you finish eating or must you spit it out if fajr time comes with food in your mouth? I've heard both.

What should pregnant and nursing women do if they break the fast for fear for themselves or the baby? Make it up? Pay a ransom? Both? All opinions exist.

What about injections? Definitely yes because it introduces something to the body? Definitely no because it's not a normal way of eating food? Yes if intravenous but no if intramuscular? Yep, heard all of those too.

What if you accidentally eat or swallow something, though you knew you were fasting? (I.e., you didn't forget.) One school has the opinion that even accidental swallowing can break your fast, while others disagree.

And I guess what bothers me the most about these is that the stricter opinions tend to not make any sense, but just seem like they exist "to be on the safe side." But it just makes things seem so complicated. In reading these opinions, though, it seems like they all sort of bash the other opinions, insisting that they are wrong, or even "bid'ah" (innovation.) So what if people as me questions about these subjects? "Go ask a scholar, and Allah knows best."


mezba said...

People should just use common sense. When "to be on the safe side" becomes obligatory then it's wrong.

sandi said...

What do public school students do while at school? (Muslim students are probably only 1% at this school.) As far as I know, my muslim student ate during Ramadan. Are children under a certain age exempt?

Amy said...

Hi Sandi

Children don't have to fast, but some might be fasting part o the day. The younger the kids are though, the less likely they will be fasting. But now Ramadan is over so school should proceed normally. :-)