The ruling on breaking one’s fast believing that the sun has set

  • Publish date:26/07/2010
  • Section:Fasting
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Question:  

I was making up for the missed days of fasting after Ramadan when I heard a family member saying that the Mu’aththin (caller to prayer) had started announcing the Athaan (call to prayer) of the Maghrib Prayer. Hence, I ate some salad, but they later said that they were not sure as to whether they had really heard the Athaan or not, as we live away from the Mosque. However, that time was around the time of the Maghrib Prayer.

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.
 
Scholars have held different opinions regarding the ruling on the fasting person who ate or drank believing that the sun had set, but later discovered that he was wrong.
The majority of scholars are of the opinion that he has to make up for this day if he breaks the fast when he is uncertain as to whether the sun had set or not, and then later finds out that it did not set before he broke his fast. Many competent researching scholars from the four schools of jurisprudence supported this opinion, considering it the preponderant one because the basic principle is that it was still daytime, which is a fact that does not change unless there is certainty or a strong probability. In addition, the juristic rule states, “The doubt that is clearly incorrect has no bearing.”
However, Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him and some other competent researching scholars said that such a person does not have to make up for this day, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 33:5]
On the other hand, if you broke your fast thinking it was time (but were not certain) and you did not find out afterwards that you were wrong, then you should not make up for this day as stated by many scholars.
Consequently, you should not make up for this day, as you did not know whether you broke your fasting during day or not.
Allah Knows best.

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