Not fasting for Many Years
Question :

I have not fasted during the month of Ramadan for many years deliberately. Is there a way I can repent for this and be forgiven?

Answer :

Fasting is among the obligatory pillars that Islam was built upon. Not performing it is amongst the big sins for which Almighty Allah has threatened to punish with hellfire. However, Almighty Allah has also opened the doors of mercy for his slaves when he said: "Say: O My slaves who have wronged their own selves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgives all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful." (53:39). We ask Almighty Allah to forgive all believers and bless us all.
However, alongside this, it is obligatory to make up for all the fasts missed, as well as undertaking the Kaffara and paying the Fidya, as explained in detailed in the treatise of Islamic laws.

Excessive Headaches
Question :

Sometimes I get excessive headaches while fasting, and water is the only relief. If I drink water so as to relieve my headaches, is my fast valid, and is there a kaffara or any penalty

Answer :

You may drink the water to relieve the pain if it causes hardship, but the fast will become invalid and will need to be made up later. However, there is no kaffara in such a situation.

Sickness During the Fast
Question :

If someone is sick during fasting and it has passed the time of Dhuhr prayer, can he choose to break his fast?

Answer :

If there is a fear that fasting will be harmful, then it should be broken at any time.

Doubts in Fasting
Question :

If someone who is fasting doubts whether he just swallowed food, does this affect his fast?

Answer :

This does not affect the validity of the fast.

Long Days
Question :

In the month of Ramadan there are days which are longer than 18 hours in some countries. I heard that there are different views, one of them being that you can shorten your fast according to Mecca when the days are longer than 18 hours. What is your point of view when we have to fast for such a long period and it has a negative effect on health?

Answer :

It is obligatory to fast from dawn to sunset according to the person’s location. Mecca – or any other city - is not a criterion for him. If the fast causes illness then it is not obligatory.

Masturbation during Fasting
Question :

If I masturbated when I was fasting for a nadhr (pledge), what should I do? I believe my fast was broken due to my ignorance and the sin of masturbation.

Answer :

Masturbation is among the prohibited act. You should stop doing it even by having temporary marriage. The fast is valid if you did not know that masturbating is prohibited and that it will invalidate the fast.

Breaking the Fast after Zawal
Question :

Can I break my fast after the time of the Zawal, during a makeup (Qadha) fast?

Answer :

It is prohibited to do so.

Rules of Avoiding Fasting on the Last Day of the Month
Question :

I live in a Sunni majority country. The government had announced that the Eid Fitr will fall on 30th Ramadan. As others in the neighborhood are Sunnis who follow the government announcement, we decided to not fast on 30th Ramadan to strengthen ties with them. Is it obligatory to us to go for a journey early morning on 30th Ramadan in order to break the fast that day and avoid the kaffara?

Answer :

It is prohibited to break the fast during the month of Ramadan even for the mentioned reason. Yes, it is permissible to travel in order to break the fast. However, strengthening the ties of Muslim brotherhood does not require breaking the fast. One can greet them with the Eid felicitations and greetings while one is fasting.