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Fasting in the Society

Today, we bring light to some of those questions with respect to Ramadan, in the hopes of clearing misconceptions about how we should interact with others in our society. 

We address questions from “Can I iftar with my non-Muslim neighbour?” to a question by a fellow Muslim revert trying to fast for the first time.

1. I understand that iftar (break fast) is an act of ibadah. If that is so, what is the legal ruling if I were to invite my non-Muslim neighbour for iftar?

Allah s.w.t. has never forbidden a Muslim from doing good deeds. In fact, Islam taught us to do and be good to our neighbour and show hospitality to our guest – be it a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

Rasulullah s.a.w once said:

"He who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him not harm his neighbour; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent"

Muslims are indeed encouraged to act kindly towards the non-Muslims.

In the Quran in Surah Mumtahanah 60:8 mentions

"Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly towards them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly."

In this case, there is no harm inviting your non-Muslim neighbours to join you for iftar as well as joining them for the iftar at the church. If you are inviting your neighbours over, it is only ethical that we take note of their dietary requirements, as part of showing respect to their beliefs.

2. My non-Muslim neighbour gave me a dish for Iftar and I am unsure if it is halal or not. How do I react to this?

It is the best of ethics as Muslims to thank anyone upon receiving a gift. Should you feel doubtful if the food is halal, you may consider giving it to a non-Muslim friend so as to prevent from any wastage of food. If they informed you that the food is halal, then you may proceed to eat the food without any worries.

3. I have just converted to Islam recently and this is my first Ramadan. I am excited to start fasting, but I worry that I might not be able to complete my fasting as it would be a challenging experience for me. What is your advice for me?

Alhamdulillah, we pray that Allah bless you with ease, peace and happiness with your newfound faith, and may He grant you steadfastness and resilience.

It is obligatory for all Muslim adults to complete their fasting, unless he has religiously-valid reasons to not do so.

Having said that, fasting can be quite a challenge, especially for those trying it for the first time. If you feel that you have given it your all in trying to complete your fasting for the day, but your body has yet to be accustomed to it and it makes you feel unwell; then you may decide to break your fast. Allah is Most Knowing and Most Forgiving. You can make up for the missed day at another time before the next Ramadan.

All answers were advised by the Office of Mufti (OOM). For a full listing of Ramadan FAQs answered by OOM, download the booklet here.

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