Dos and don’ts during Ramadhan

By Isaac Ssejjombwe

The entire Muslim world is unanimous in the principal of fasting in the month of Ramadhan and considers it compulsory for every person who is physically capable.
There are important aspects of Ramadhan, some of which are applicable even after the blessed month, but the public does not know about. One such aspect is relationships.

In Islam, there is no such thing as boyfriend or girlfriend but in the holy month of Ramadhan, even if you have been illegally practising this, a woman is not supposed to visit her boyfriend even for simple reasons such as helping him out with house chores.
The couple must stay away from each other to avoid any temptation that may lead to intimacy which destroys Wudhu or purity of someone fasting.

Sexual intercourse
“During the day, married people are prohibited from sexual intercourse. This is only permitted at night, when the fast is over for the day or in the early hours of the day, before the fast starts,” says Sheik Umar Katongole from Kawempe.
The sheikh adds that when two people fall in love, they need to go to the mosque and carry out what is termed as ‘Nikah’ which is a legal contract between a man and a woman. “Both the bride and groom are to consent to the marriage on their own free will. With this consent, their marriage is considered valid in front of God.”

But even those who are married are only permitted to have intercourse at night, when the fast is over for the day or in the early hours of the day, before the fast starts. “Intercourse during the night in Ramadhan is permitted and is not forbidden, and the time when it is permitted lasts until the onset of dawn. When dawn comes, intercourse becomes forbidden,” said sheik Katongole.

The Quran says. “Lawful for you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach (sexual intercourse) to your wives. They are your garments and you are their garments. Allah knows what you used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now cohabit with them (your wives) and seek what Allah has ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread. Then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not cohabit with your wives while you are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah.” (Surah al-Baqarah, V: 187).

In case you engage in sexual intercourse with a woman in the holy month of ramadhan when you are not married, expiation (kafaarah) must be offered and this comes in three ways. The kafaarah is to free a slave; if that is not possible then the person must fast for two consecutive months; whoever is not able to do that must feed sixty poor persons. This is according to Prophet Muhammad.

According to, an online portal, hugging your spouse in itself does not invalidate the fast; we read in the sources that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to kiss his wife while fasting. We also read that once a person asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) “Am I allowed to kiss my wife while fasting?”
He replied, “Yes.” Hugging is comparable to kissing. “Having said this, however, you should abstain from such acts if you find yourself unable to control your desire, for as Muslims we must keep away from all such acts that may inadvertently lead to invalidating our fasts,” the site states.

In optional fasts, kissing and light touching are permitted so long as one does not engage in sexual intercourse. In obligatory fasts, one is allowed to do these only if one can control himself or herself. Breaking an obligatory fast through sexual intercourse is a serious offence, and it entails strict form of kaffarah (expiation), which includes fasting two months consecutively.
If one cannot do this, they must feed 60 poor people for a single day of fast.
Therefore, no one who is fasting should do such things if there is a genuine risk of overstepping the boundaries. If there is no such fear then light touching, or kissing among others when not accompanied by sexual desire, is permissible.

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