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Islamic Law delineates nine acts which invalidates a fast, two of which are overtly sexual: Sexual intercourse, and; Masturbation which means self abuse, resulting in ejaculation.


Sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, even if the penetration is as little as the tip of the male organ, and even if there has been no ejaculation.

If the penetration is less than the tip of the male organ, so that it cannot be said that intercourse has taken place, also if no ejaculation takes place, the fast does not become invalid. This applies to both, circumcised and uncircumcised men.

If a person commits sexual intercourse intentionally and then doubts whether penetration was upto the point of circumcision or not his fast, as an obligatory precaution, becomes invalid, and it is necessary for him to observe its qadha. It is not, however, obligatory on him to give Kaffarah.

If a person forgets that he is observing fast and commits sexual intercourse or he is compelled to have sexual intercourse in a manner that makes him helpless, his fast does not become void. However, if he remembers (that he is observing fast) or ceases to be helpless during sexual intercourse, he should withdraw from the sexual intercourse at once, and if he does not, his fast becomes void.


If a person, who is observing fast, performs masturbation (Istimna), his fast becomes void (The explanation of istimna has been given in rule 1581/iii).

If semen is discharged from the body of a person involuntarily, his fast does not become void.

Even if a person observing fast knows that if he sleeps during the day time he will become Mohtalim (i.e. semen will be discharged from his body during sleep) it is permissible for him to sleep, even if he may not be inconvenienced by not sleeping. And if he becomes Mohtalim, his fast does not become void.

If a person who is observing fast, wakes up from sleep while ejaculation is taking place, it is not obligatory on him to stop it.

A fasting person who has become Mohtalim can urinate even if he knows that by urinating the remaining semen will flow from his body.

If a fasting person who has become Mohtalim, knows that some semen has remained in his body and if he does not urinate before taking Ghusl, it will come out after Ghusl, he should on the basis of recommended precaution, urinate before taking Ghusl.

A person who indulges in courtship with an intention to allow semen to be discharged, will complete his fast and also observe its qadha, even if semen is not discharged.

If a fasting person indulges in courtship without the intention of allowing the semen to be discharged, and also, if he is sure that semen will not be discharged, his fast is in order, even if semen may be discharged unexpectedly. However, if he is not sure about the discharge and it takes place, then his fast is void.

If a fly enters the throat of a fasting person, it will not be necessary to throw it out if it has gone deep down the gullet, and his fast will be valid. But if it has not descended deep down, it must be coughed out, even by vomiting, if it is not harmful to do so. If one does not do so, fast will be void.

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