When we talk about the things which break our fast, they are actually divided into two subdivisions which are in turn divided into two categories. Confused? Basically, we have four groups of things that break the fast, and these four are in pairs.
The first pair of categories deals with the ‘consequence’ of that which breaks the fast, and the other pair deals with the ‘method’ of the things that break the fast.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzān, may Allāh protect him, explained:
Things that break one’s fast are categories (consequence):
- That which breaks one’s fast and one must only make up the day
eg: menses, postpartum bleeding etc..
That which breaks one’s fast and one must make up the day and perform a kaffārah (i.e. expiation)
eg: sexual intercourse
Things that break one’s fast are other categories as well (method):
- That which breaks the fast by entering the body
eg: food, drink, nutritive injections etc…
That which breaks the fast by exiting the body
eg: blood, vomit, etc…
A point to note here is that I have only come across this particular classification from Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan حفظه الله alone. Other scholars also give a list of the nullifies of the fast, but they don’t necessarily categorize them like this. I found Shaykh Fawzan’s حفظه الله explanation much easier to understand though and hence the reason why I’m sharing.
I have not listed the exact things which breaks the fast here, just only the classification. The reason for this is because I already have a small series on the Nullifiers of the Fast on this blog. I will insha Allaah repost the old ones in the coming days and I also hope to add a few more things to it this year. May Allaah جل جلاله make it beneficial for you and me and make this deed sincere for His sake alone. Ameen.
A Concise Study Guide to Fasting During the Month of Ramadan (3rd Edition, 1434AH/2013)
Taken from the works of the great scholars Muḥammad b. Badral-‐Dīn Balbān [d.1083 AH], may Allāh have mercy on him, and Shaykh Dr. Ṣāliḥ b.Fawzān al-‐Fawzān, may Allāh protect him Rendered into the English language by Abū Ādam Jamīl Finch.