According to Sahih Al-Bukhari 1936, the compensation for breaking the fast by having intercourse is to manumit a slave. If a person is not able to do so, then he or she must fast for two consecutive months. If a person is not able to fast for two consecutive months, then he or she must feed sixty poor people. If he or she is not able to feed sixty poor people, then he or she may give a basket full of dates in charity.

From the Bukhari's Sahih, it becomes obvious that these steps must be followed if a person breaks his or her fast by having sexual intercourse while fasting. However, it seems that there is a different command mentioned in Ibn Sa'ad Tabaqat Al-Kubra.

In Ibn Saad's Tabaqat Al-Kubra, volume # 2, page no. 275, it is stated:-

عن سعيد بن المسيب قال: خرج عمر بن الخطاب على أصحابه يوما فقال: أفتوني في شيء صنعته اليوم! فقالوا: ما هو يا أمير المؤمنين؟

قال: مرت بي جارية لي فأعجبتني فوقعت عليها وأنا صائم! قال: فعظم عليه القوم وعلي ساكت. فقال: ما تقول يا ابن أبي طالب؟ فقال: جئت حلالا ويوما مكان يوم! فقال: أنت خيرهم فتوى

Saeed bin Al-Musayyib narrated:

One day Umar bin Khattab paid a visit to his companions and told them that he has done something and he wanted a Islamic ruling about that particular matter. So they asked him, "O leader of the believers! What is the matter?" He replied, "Today a slave girl was passing by me, and I found her attractive, so I had intercourse with her even though I was fasting at that time." The companions disliked what he did. Ali (Radhi'allahu'anhu) remained silent, so Umar asked him if he has something to say about it. Ali (Radhi'allahu'anhu) replied, "You have done a halal act, so you can fast for equal number of days (i.e. compensate by fasting for equal number of days on which the fasts were broken). Umar said, "Your verdict is the best one."

Ibn Saad's Tabaqat Al-Kubra and Sunan al-Daraqutni

Please note that I found this narration in Urdu language and I have translated it, so I am not sure if this particular narration is accurately translated or not.

So what exactly is the compensation for breaking a fast by having intercourse intentionally? Is there any contradiction here? If no, then what is the correct explanation for the Hadith mentioned in Ibn Saad's Tabaqat Al-Kubra??

  • The narration whether authentic or not, is obviously about a voluntary fast. How can breaking an obligatory fast be called 'halal'? And it is agreed upon that the Kaffarah for intentionally breaking an obligatory fast through intercourse is freeing a slave or fasting for two months or feeding sixty people.
    – UmH
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


Note that Ibn Saad's Tabaqat is not really something known to have very authentic hadith. It is more of a history book, and the standards for authentication in history are very low.

I couldn't really find this narration when I tried to look for it, but I think the explanation is quite simple.

It refers to a nafl fast while the hadith in Bukhari refers to the fast of Ramadan. However, do note that the evidence that a broken nafl fast has to be repeated is considered weak by many scholars. Presumably then, your narration is also considered weak.

The Shafi'is and Hanbalis do not consider it necessary to repeat a nafl fast.

The Hanafis and Malikis, on the other hand, consider it obligatory to repeat a broken nafl fast.

See here: If a person starts to observe a naafil fast then breaks his fast, does he have to make it up? - IslamQA

Also, see here: Do you have to make up a broken optional fast?

  • @TheZ- Thanks for your answer, but I am not sure if this narration is referring to Nafl fast. This narration does not say it. This narration is indeed present somewhere in Ibn Saad's Tabaqat Al-Kubra but I do not know where it is. It is somewhere in volume 2.
    – Ren
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 20:06
  • @Ren The fact that it does not mention the well-known expiation for an obligatory fast as reported in Bukhari is in itself evidence that it talks about a nafl fast. Also, keep in mind, that this hadith has very little authenticity to stand on.
    – The Z
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 20:24

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