I committed the sin of having sex while fasting.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I committed the sin of having sex while fasting. I know the repentance for this is fasting 60 days or feeding 60 poor people. Being a girl i cannot fast 60 days due to my periods, also it is difficult for me fast continuously because i often feel week and have headaches. So i want to feed poor people. But it is inconvinient for me to send the money to my country, because i will have to give explanations to my parents. I am in UAE. I know places where i can donate some money, but how will i be sure the money will be used only for feeding poor? I mean the money can also be used to provide clothes and shelter. Is this also acceptable as a repentance for the sin i committed?
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Sex while fasting atonement
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Abu Hurairah reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (saws) and said: "I am destroyed, O Messenger of Allah (saws)!" The Prophet (saws) asked: "What has destroyed you?" He said, "I had intercourse with my wife during a day of Ramadan." The Prophet (saws) asked: "Are you able to free a slave?" He said, "No". The Prophet (saws) asked: "Is it possible for you to fast for two consecutive months?" He said, "No." The Prophet (saws) asked: "Is it possible for you to feed sixty poor people?" He said, "No." The Prophet (saws) said: "Then sit." A basket of dates was brought to the Prophet (saws) and he said to the man: ‘Give this in charity.’ The man said: "To someone poorer than us? There is no one in this city who is poorer than us!" The Prophet (saws) laughed until his molar teeth could be seen and said: "Go and feed your family with it!"
Related by the Muslim and Bukhari.
If one is unable to control one’s desires for any reason and were to perform the actual act of sexual intercourse with ones spouse while in the state of fasting, it would indeed be a grave sin in the Sight of Allah. The atonement for this sin as prescribed by the Messenger of Allah (saws) is that the person should either free a slave, or (if one is unable to do that) fast for two consecutive months, or (if one is unable to do even that) then feed sixty poor people! Such is the enormity of the sin and the atonement of having sexual intercourse with one’s spouse while one is in the state of fasting.
Your Question: Being a girl i cannot fast 60 days due to my periods, also it is difficult for me fast continuously because i often feel week and have headaches. So i want to feed poor people.
Dear and beloved Sister in Islam, the wisdom behind the ‘kaffarah’ or atonements prescribed in Islam for one who unintentionally or swayed by emotion transgresses the boundaries of their Lord in ignorance is so that one may realize and comprehend the enormity of their transgression, and manifest their sincere repentance through the prescribed atonement.
The good scholars and jurists in Islam are almost unanimous in their opinion that if one swayed by emotions, or in ignorance, or unintentionally transgresses one of the clear boundaries of Allah for which a form of ‘kaffarah’ or atonement has been prescribed in the Quran or the Sunnah; one must not try to choose the form of atonement which is the easiest or most convenient for them, but rather one must fear their Lord and His Day of Accounting, and strive to manifest their atonement and their repentance to their Lord by opting to fulfill their atonement in the chronological manner it is prescribed.
Beloved Sister, the first option prescribed in the atonement for having sexual intercourse with one’s spouse is to free a slave; but since slaves are not available in the times we live in, that option is not applicable to you.
The second option is to fast two consecutive months for your momentary but grave transgression. Your menses is not an issue at all, for you could simply continue your balance days of atonement fasting as soon as you are relieved of your natural periods.
Simply stating that one feels weak or develops head-aches is not strong enough a reason to choose the third option of feeding sixty poor people! Unless and until you are so weak or of an abject old age that you cannot even fast your obligatory fasts of Ramadan; or the headaches that you (might) develop because of continuous fasting is advised against by a qualified and God-fearing pious medical expert, it would only be akin to piety and righteousness in the Sight of Allah, and a manifestation of your guilt of the grave transgression committed, that you choose to offer your atonement in the form of fasting two consecutive months (bar your menses days). And Allah Alone Knows Best.
Your Question: But it is inconvinient for me to send the money to my country, because i will have to give explanations to my parents. I am in UAE. I know places where i can donate some money, but how will i be sure the money will be used only for feeding poor? I mean the money can also be used to provide clothes and shelter. Is this also acceptable as a repentance for the sin i committed?
Beloved Sister, if your health absolutely does not allow you to fulfill the second option of atonement for fasting two consecutive months, only then should you chose the third option of feeding sixty poor people; and not because this option is easy or convenient for you.
Beloved Sister, if you do chose the atonement option to feed sixty poor people, there is absolutely no compulsion or obligation in Islam regarding the place where the poor are to be fed. You may choose to feed them in your home country, or if you wish, in the land you live in; that is entirely upto you.
If you live in a muslim nation like the UAE, and know a charitable institution who accept donations, all you would need to tell them clearly that the funds you are providing is against the ‘kaffarah’ or ‘atonement’ and must only be spent only towards the feeding of sixty needy persons. The good charitable institutions are well aware of the laws of atonements as prescribed in the Quran and the Sunnah, and they will make sure that your money is spent only for what is intended.
Beloved Sister, when the atonement clearly defines that one must feed sixty poor people, the funds cannot be diverted to clothe or shelter the poor, for that would not fulfill the requirements of atonement.
Dear and beloved Sister in Islam, as easy and as convenient it might be for you to feed sixty people, as your humble brothers and well-wishers in Islam, our humble advice to you, if you truly comprehend the enormity of your transgression and sincerely wish to manifest your repentance to your Lord, is to opt to choose to atone for your sin by fasting two consecutive months; that would be closer to piety in the Sight of your Lord Most Merciful.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,