Please can you help me with clarifying something regarding intentionally missed/broken fasts. I follow the opinion that any acts of worship such as salah and fasts intentionally missed or delayed beyond their specific time cannot be made up and a person should concentrate on doing extra nafl acts to make up for it as I find this more convenient and optimistic. However I wanted to know whether or not an intentionally ‘broken’ fast (breaking it after intention was made or after suhoor was taken part in), comes under the same category as that of a ‘missed’ fast?
Al-Bukhari records from Abu Hurairah in Marfu` form: “Whoever breaks the fast of Ramadan without having a legitimate excuse or being ill, he cannot make up for that day, even if he were to undertake a perpetual fast.” Ibn Mas`ud has also reported this.
Am I right in thinking that according to this opinion an intentionally broken fast (for example due to eating/drinking) is the same as that fast missed altogether and therefore it is unclear whether qada can be made or not? Also if one were to follow this opinion would he still offer qada and kaffarah for a fast broken due to sexual intercourse?
Secondly, when it is said that an intentionally missed prayer/fast cannot be made up is it referring to those missed in the long term for example over many years, or single ones too?
May Allah reward you,
I would see the referred saying as implying the gravity of the loss entailed in missing an opportunity of doing a deed at its prescribed time. A person who misses even a single fast of Ramadan, must see it as such a grave loss which cannot be covered even if one were to fast each of the remaining days of his life.
Nevertheless, we are all ordinary human beings and sometimes we do miss out on doing a deed – whether intentionally or unintentionally – at its prescribed time. After having consciously accepted faith, one should try his utmost best to fulfill all the obligations that the Almighty has put upon us. However, if we miss out on carrying out any of these obligations at its prescribed time, we should then try to complete the obligation as soon as we realize the loss that we have accrued due to it. This will be the case of fasting as well as prayers.
As for wrongly breaking a fast without any excuse, the Prophet (pbuh) advised a person to complete sixty fasts, without a break, in its exchange. If a person is unable to do that, then he may feed sixty people as a recompense for this sin.
For the obligatory practices missed in the long run, it seems that our only available option is to cover them by offering supererogatory forms of the same act, while offering our sincere repentance and firm commitment of trying our utmost not to allow ourselves repeat the same sin, again.
I hope this helps.
April 6, 2006