Ramadan 2020: Doctor discusses fasting during pandemic
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During the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking when the sun is up. The idea is to discipline the body and mind, and focus on prayer and worship. Limiting luxuries for a month allows Muslims to reflect and start afresh after Ramadan, appreciating their lives more than they did before. Other than fasting, Muslims must abstain from a few other things. Can you kiss during Ramadan?
Who fasts during Ramadan?
Those who are fit and healthy and have reached puberty must fast for the entire month of Ramadan – only breaking the fast for the iftar meal when the sun sets.
Women who are on their periods cannot fast, and if they do it won’t count. They must make up for the days lost to a period later.
Older people and those who are too unwell to fast must perform fidiya, the act of feeding someone each day the fast is missed.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women can choose not to fast, but they must fast when they are able to or perform fidiya for each day they didn’t engage in Ramadan rituals.
What happens if you don’t fast?
If you deliberately miss or break a fast during Ramadan, you must pay penance or ‘kaffarah’.
To make up for it, you must continually fast for 60 days.
If you can’t do that, you must feed 60 people who are unable to afford to eat at a rate of £5 per person.
This adds up to £300 for each time you break the fast intentionally.
If you accidentally break a fast, it is okay.
Your fast is still valid if the break was unintentional and you forget that you are not allowed to eat or drink or are forced to do so.
If you make yourself vomit, you have also broken the fast.
READ MORE- Can you brush your teeth during Ramadan?
Can you kiss during Ramadan?
Yes, you can hug and kiss your partner during Ramadan.
Sex is allowed during Ramadam if you are married, but not during the fast.
Just like food and drink, your natural urges must be fulfilled when the sun sets.
Since Muslims are normally allowed to hug, kiss, and have sex, they can continue doing so when the fast is over for the day.
Islam doesn’t approve of extra-marital sexual relationships, but if you normally do that anyway you are expected to abstain during Ramadan.
It is believed that abiding these rules will lead to greater ‘taw’, which means consciousness of God.
If you do have sex during the fast, you must perform kaffarah.
What are you not allowed to do during Ramadan fasting period?
Eating, drinking, and having sex are the main activities that are off-limits during daylight hours, but there are a few other things you can’t do.
You are not allowed to chew gum during the fasting period, as this is seen as eating.
Many people shun the use of eyedrops, opting to use them just before dawn and straight away after sunset when the fast is lifted.
A particularly divisive rule is the belief of some scholars that using an inhaler for asthma breaks the fast.
Some say those with severe asthma should not fast until they can control their asthma, but others don’t see inhalers as an issue and continue to use them during fasting hours.
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What can you do during the fasting period
A whole range of myths about the rules of Ramadan circulate every year, and Express.co.uk is going to debunk them for you.
Even though you aren’t allowed to drink during daylight, you can still rinse your mouth and nose with a little water providing you don’t swallow it.
You can also brush your teeth, but you must not swallow the water.
You can also shower during the fasting period, but again you must not swallow any water.
The same goes for having a bath or going for a swim if you have a pool at home.
If you require injections for health reasons or nutritional purposes, that is fine.
You can also use a suppository- such as an enema or douche- during Ramadan fasting hours.
Surprisingly, you are allowed to taste food and rinse it away without swallowing it.
You are allowed to exercise, but particularly vigorous exercise is not recommended.
This is because you are unable to refuel your body with water or food, so exercising can be dangerous.
Light exercise, like a walk or gentle movement at home, is recommended to keep your blood circulating.
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