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Question:

Assalamualaikum. Do I have to pay kaffarah if I had intercourse after I intentionally invalidate my fast by eating and drinking?

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam.

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Kaffarah Jimak

Kaffarah (الكفارة) literal meaning is closing. This means closing of sin as an alleviation from Allah SWT.

The term kaffarah means an action that enables the sin to be redeemed by freeing a slave, giving in charity or fasting on certain conditions.

The jurists agreed that whoever intentionally have intercourse during the day in Ramadan out of his own free will, then his fast is invalidated and he is fined with kaffarah kubra as stated in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, where he said:

بَيْنَمَا نَحْنُ جُلُوسٌ عِنْدَ النَّبِىِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، إِذْ جَاءَهُ رَجُلٌ، فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَلَكْتُ. قَالَ: مَا لَكَ؟ قَالَ: وَقَعْتُ عَلَى امْرَأَتِى وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ، في رواية: في رَمَضَان. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: هَلْ تَجِدُ رَقَبَةً تُعْتِقُهَا؟ قَالَ: لاَ. قَالَ: فَهَلْ تَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تَصُومَ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ؟ قَالَ: لاَ. قَالَ: فَهَلْ تَجِدُ إِطْعَامَ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا؟ قَالَ: لاَ. فَمَكَثَ النَّبِىُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم، فَبَيْنَمَا نَحْنُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ، أُتِىَ النَّبِىُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِفرقٍ فِيهِ تَمْرٌ. قَالَ: أيْنَ السَّائِلُ؟ فَقَالَ: أَنَا. قَالَ: خُذْهَا فَتَصَدَّقْ بِهِ. فَقَالَ: الرَّجُلُ أَعَلَى أَفْقَرَ مِنِّى يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، فَوَاللَّهِ مَا بَيْنَ لاَبَتَيْهَا أَهْلُ بَيْتٍ أَفْقَرُ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي، فَضَحِكَ النَّبِىُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، حَتَّى بَدَتْ أَنْيَابُهُ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: أَطْعِمْهُ أَهْلَكَ

While we were sitting with the Prophet (ﷺ) a man came and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! I have been ruined." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked what was the matter with him. He replied "I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked him, "Can you afford to manumit a slave?" He replied in the negative. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked him, "Can you fast for two successive months?" He replied in the negative. The Prophet (ﷺ) asked him, "Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?" He replied in the negative. The Prophet (ﷺ) kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet (ﷺ) . He asked, "Where is the questioner?" He replied, "I (am here)." The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), "Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity." The man said, "Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah; there is no family between its (i.e. Medina's) two mountains who are poorer than I." The Prophet (ﷺ) smiled till his premolar teeth became visible and then said, 'Feed your family with it."

Sahih al-Bukhari (1834)

There are several types of kaffarah set by syarak, such as kaffarah for oath, murder and zihar. As for kaffarah imposed because a person invalidates his fast by having intercourse, they are as the following:

  • Freeing a slave
  • Fast for two consecutive months if he does not own a slave or incapable to get one
  • Feed 60 poor people, each person one mudd of the staple food of the state

This must be following the order explained above. Thus, a person cannot simply choose which kaffarah he wants, except if he is incapable to fulfil the preceding kaffarah. However, if he is only temporarily incapable to do so, then it is still his responsibility to fulfil it when he is capable. (See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji 2/364)

The Ruling of Intentionally Invalidating Fast Then Have Intercourse

According to the above issue, jurists have differing opinions on this matter. Syeikh Wahbah Zuhaili in his book said “according to the opinion of Syafi’iyyah, if a person invalidates his fast by eating then he has intercourse, then there is no kaffarah for him.” (See al-Fiqh al-Islami wa adillatuhu li Zuhaili, 3/1722)

The same opinion is presented by Imam al-Bajuri in his Hasyiah where he states: “It is exempted (the kaffarah) of having jimak (intercourse) when his fasting is invalidated by eating and drinking. This trick only removes the kaffarah, but not the sin.” (See Hasyiah al-Baijuri 1/440)

Whereas, according to madhhab Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad, kaffarah is wajib even if the fast is first invalidated by eating then intercourse happens. The reason this is so is because the obligation to fast is not abrogated on him, thus the prohibition is also not abrogated because he invalidates his fast not due to excuses sanctioned by syarak. (See al-Fiqh ala al-Mazhab al-Arba’ah 1/509-511)

The Grave Sin of Intentionally Invalidating Fast

The worship of fasting in Ramadan is the basics and the pillars of Islam. Allah SWT commanded His slaves to fast as stated in His statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”

Surah al-Baqarah (183)

Whoever intentionally neglects the obligation of fast, then he has neglected one of the pillars of Islam. This is a major sin and he will receive the wrath of Allah SWT. There is a stern warning against those who intentionally leave his fast and this is stated in a hadith by Ibnu Abbas RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:

عُرَى الْإِسْلَامِ وَقَوَاعِدُ الدِّينِ ثَلَاثَةٌ عَلَيْهِنَّ أُسِّسَ الْإِسْلَامُ مَنْ تَرَكَ مِنْهُنَّ وَاحِدَةً فَهُوَ بِهَا كَافِرٌ حَلَالُ الدَّمِ: شَهَادَةُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَالصَّلَاةُ الْمَكْتُوبَةُ وَصَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ

“The bonds of Islam and pillars of religion are three of which Islam is built on them. Whoever leaves one of it is considered as a disbeliever and his blood in permissible, they are reciting the syahadah, obligatory prayers and fasting in Ramadan.”

Narrated by Abu Ya’la (2349)

Furthermore, the rewards of replacing the Ramadan fasting when he does not have any permitted rukhsah (facilitation) will never be the same of replacing it on another day. This is in accordance with the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ أَفْطَرَ يَوْمًا مِنْ رَمَضَانَ مِنْ غَيْرِ رُخْصَةٍ وَلاَ مَرَضٍ لَمْ يَقْضِ عَنْهُ صَوْمُ الدَّهْرِ كُلِّهِ وَإِنْ صَامَهُ

"Whoever breaks the fast during Ramadan without an allowance or illness, then if he fasted for all time, his fasting would not make up for it."

Sunan al-Tarmizi (723)

Trick (Hilah)

Hilah (الْحِيلَةُ) lexically means shrewdness or cunningness in managing something, such as craftily changing something to another in order to reach the aim or purpose. (See al-Mausuah al- Fiqhiyyah al-kuwaitiyyah 2/101)

In Kamus Dewan, helah means trickery, tactics, deception. Using trickery to reason.

The term helah means its usage is specific to change something to another matter. And usually it is used according to the situation and custom. (See al-Mausuah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuawaitiyyah, 18/328)

The jurists divided hilah into two:

Permissible hilah; it is used with good intention and to defend the truth. The usage of hilah must not contradict the syarak and maqasid syariah. The usage of hilah that is in line with syarak is accepted by the majority of scholars.

Prohibited hilah; it is used to attain the purpose which contradicts syarak and involving doubtful matters. Such as invalidating and changing the syarak rulings by leaving the wajib and making the prohibited and matters which contradicts maqasid syariah permissible. (See al-Mausuah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah 18/330)

According to the above explanation, invalidating fast without any reason for the sole purpose of having intercourse without getting fined with kaffarah for having intercourse during the day in Ramadan is included as prohibited hilah. The reason is its purpose is to do something which would originally invalidate the fast and will be imposed with kaffarah kubra of which it would also result in a person committing major sin because breaking fast without permissible excuse.

Conclusion

According to the above issue, it can be concluded that jurists have differing opinions as to whether kaffarah is imposed or not. According to the opinion in madhhab Syafie, kaffarah is not imposed on those who had intercourse after he is no longer fasting. For the obligation of kaffarah is when if the intercourse happens when a person is still fasting.

However, the act is actually to intentionally invalidate the fast using it as a trickery to avoid kaffarah by eating or drinking first before having intercourse.

This trickery is categorized as prohibited hilah. This is due to the fact that the usage of the hilah is to reach the purpose of something which is prohibited through haram means. It is an act that would invite the wrath of Allah SWT and a major sin. The reason is fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam.

Furthermore, Islam does not prohibit intercourse during the night of Ramadan. This is stated in the Quran, Allah SWT states:

أُحِلَّ لَكُمۡ لَيۡلَةَ ٱلصِّيَامِ ٱلرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَآئِكُم

“It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations].”

Surah al-Baqarah (187)

If he leaves the obligation of fasting, then he actually has neglected one of the pillars of Islam. Sayyid Sabiq in his book cited the words of Imam al-Zahabi who says: “Indeed, whoever leaves Ramadan fasting intentionally, then it is worse than the act of fornication and their Islam is doubted as well as there is a possibility that they are from among the zindik disbelievers.” (See Fiqh al-Sunnah, 1/434)

Thus, whoever committed this sin, then it is obligatory for him to repent with all his heart, leave the sin immediately and determined to never repeat it. This is advised by al-Kalbiy:

التَوْبَةُ النصوحُ الندمُ بالقَلْبِ، والاسْتِغْفَارُ بِالِسَانِ، والاقلاعُ بالبَدْنِ، والإِضْمَارُ عَلَى ألا يعودَ

“True repentance is regret in one’s heart, istighfar on one’s tongue and removal of sin with his body with the determination to never repeat it.” (See Tafsir al-Qurtubi, 18/198)

Wallahua’lam.