• Jurists and announcing the beginning of the holy month of Ramadhan

    If any jurist whose opinions are followed – Marja’a al-Taqlid – has announced the beginning of the month of Ramadan, can all Shi’ahs in these regions start the fast?

  • Surahs to be read in Laylatul Qadr

    What is the significance of the duty – amaal – for the 23rd night of Ramadan? Why are Surahs Ankabut, Rum and Dukhan specifically recited on that night?

  • Fasting and smoking

    I know that smoking negates the fast, and write because, as I arrive and leave school, I have to pass a group of smokers. I hold my breath and try to pass them by as fast as possible, but sometimes I have to take a breath while I am still among them. That’s when I inhale some of their smoke. Does this invalidate my fast?

  • Moon sighting

    May one follow radio or television announcements that the moon has been officially sighted?

  • Fasting and sickness

    A woman who attends university every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. has low blood pressure and has therefore to take liquids throughout the day. This has meant that she has not managed to make up for all the days she did not fast last Ramadan. Although she did fast some days during the months of Rajab and Shaban, three with the dual intention of:a) it being recommended – mustahab – and b) making up for a day missed, she was still left with four days to make up when this Ramadan started. What should she do about these four days?

  • Fasting and prayers during travel

    A businessman has to regularly commute to a nearby city to attend the Coffee Auction held there each week. May he fast and offer full prayers – salat – while he is there, if he has to be there every week for more than six months of the year?

  • Fasting and the sunnah

    According to the sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) and Ahl al-Bayt w, when one is fasting is it better to: 1. Break the fast before offering Salat al-Maghrib. 2. Offer Salat al-Maghrib, break the fast and only then offer Salat al-Isha. 3. Offer Salat al-Maghrib as well as Salat al-Isha before breaking the fast.

  • Fasting and travel

    I have been unable to work out just how far one has to travel before the fast becomes invalid. The books state eight farsakh, equivalent to 28 miles (44 km). But here in Los Angeles we have to travel over 28 miles (44 km) almost every day. How do we determine if we need to leave after Dhuhr prayer or not? We want our fast to be valid but lack a clear understanding of what constitutes the traveller’s prayers – qasr.

  • Tobacco during fasting

    For many years it has been my habit, other than at prayer times, to keep tobacco pouched in my cheek for the whole day. If I do not do this I feel that I become absent minded and inefficient at work. Is it acceptable for me to continue doing this during the month of Ramadan, if I do not swallow it?

  • Fasting during travel

    If, during Ramadan I have to travel in the morning, should I fast or not?

  • Making up fasts

    I am 20 years old and have fasted since I was 10. Because my family discouraged my fasting when I was a nine year old, I asked our Islamic leader here what I should now do.He wanted to know if I was referring to my ninth Hijri or ninth calendar year. In his opinion I do not need to make up any days I did not fast at that age. However, I do really want to be sure and so ask you.

  • Breaking qadha fasts

    A man fondled his wife during his qadha fast, and ejaculated. As he did not intend this to happen, he wants to know what he should do?

  • Fasting and Sighting the Moon

    In the Caribbean and Latin America, Shi’ah Muslims are almost as confused as the Sunni majority. They cannot agree when the month of Ramadan begins and start the fast on different dates. Are we obliged to follow the jurist’s – Marja’a – announcement on the moon being sighted, or obliged to start fasting with the rest of the Muslims here?

  • Fasting during travel for work

    Work in the oil industry requires us to regularly change work location. For every six weeks’ work in the field, we are permitted three weeks’ home base duty. The work in the oil fields necessitates long journeys to distant areas where, because of the extreme heat, we remain for a maximum of 10 days. It is enormously difficult to maintain the fast during these short but inimical trips.I have not been able to fast in the month of Ramadan during these journeys, what should I do?