Seeking knowledge of our deen is very important so that we don’t grope in ignorance. The ease and the beauty of Islam is unveiled when you seek knowledge of the deen.
Knowledge in divided into two parts – knowledge that is mandatory upon every individual to learn about your religion, other wise known as fardul-aein. The second is the communal obligation, at least one person is required to learn this type of knowledge in a community. If nobody learns it, it becomes sinful.
Everybody in such community will be groping in the dark, and ignorants of the religion. That is why it is otherwise known as fardul-kifayah. Information about our religion from Allah is incumbent upon us, we must learn it and have basic knowledge of it.
A Muslim could ask, Yes, I’m I oblige to fast in Ramadan and what are the rules? It is not enough you messed up your fast on the alter of ignorance and say, “oh! I didn’t know.” It will be too bad for anyone who is ill and need medication to get well but decided to continue his fast to his detriment. Ignorance of the rules is unjustifiable. There are Muslims all around you, yet you refused to ask, then worsening your health situation or sometimes paid with your life. Too bad.
Zakat system is also an important area we all must know how it is done. How do we do zakat on livestock, such as cows, camels, chickens, sheep, goats etc? In every 40 sheep, there is one sheep for zakat. These also are for those who have them, Allah will not ask you about what you don’t have. It is what you have you pay zakat on. In other words, these knowledge is not obligatory on you if you don’t have the animal or wealth to pay zakat on.
Besides, How you break your fast is an obligatory knowledge upon every Muslim. Because of time and space, we will only concentrate on essentials and basic things that invalidates fast.
There are seven things that breaks fast. These are what scholars talk about every time the question of breaking fast comes up.
1 Sexual Intercourse: The greatest of these is sexual intercourse with a spouse. This is totally prohibited on the day time of Ramadan. If he or she does that, the fast is void and expiation for it is 60 days of fasting consecutively. First of all, they have to continue the fast, although it is void, secondly, they have to make up for that day and thirdly atone for breaking the rule.
The atonement for this is that each of them will have to free a slave or fast for 60 days consecutively or feed 60 poor Muslims. According to scholars, you are not even at liberty to choose from any of the three, but you consider your capacity in any and availability of the three. This means, if there is no slave to be set free by way of paying the ransom, then you have to fast for 60 consecutive days. And if you have health challenges that you cannot complete the 60 days of fasting, then you have to feed 60 poor persons.
2. Ejaculation: Masturbation is a sinful act, though it does not take the ruling of intercourse because it is not penetration. If you intentionally ejaculated, you have voided your fast and have to make up for it.
This is different from nocturnal emission or wet dreams which are not under human control. You dont have the choice whether to do this or that, so, it has no impact on your fasting. But to purposely ejaculate, whether by masturbating or watching pornography that leads to ejaculation voids your fast. There is no expiation for this because there is no penetration but it is a sinful thing. This is mentioned in Suratul Al Ma’arij vrs 29-30.
3.Eating and drinking: Anything that a person consumes that goes into his stomach would invalidate his fasting if he does it intentionally. So, swallowing medicine invalidates fasting.
4.Drip/Injection that energises the body. It also takes the ruling of eating and drinking, it refers to anything that nourishes your body like glucose, intravenous injection that can give them energy or boost their system. This vitiates fast
5. Intentionally vomiting: The Prophet said whoever is overwhelmed and vomits unintentionally, his fasting is intact. But whoever intentionally vomits has no fast. Example of this is that somebody who after eating too much, feels uneasy and insert his hand into his throat to cause him to vomit has invalidated his fast. Care must be taken here, some also complain that they vomit after repulsive smell, that is no excuse because you can close your nose to something repulsive to avoid throwing up.
6. Menstruation and post natal bleeding: There is no atonement for this, it is something that happens naturally. It invalidates the fast for the women, they only have to make up for it.
7 Cupping: This in Arabic is known as Ijaamah. This is by cutting the bottom of the neck and sucking out rotten blood. It is regarded as a prophetic means of healing because the prophet recommended it. It was very common in those days as people do it for high blood pressure or migraine. It was said that it relieves migraine for about six months. But scholars differ on whether it invalidates fasting or not. But majority of opinion say it does break fast because it is capable of weakening the body. But this does not fall under normal and regular blood test we do. A medical test where blood sample is collected for examination does not invalidate fast. Blood donation however invalidates fast because it falls under ijaamah and makes someone weak.