Thursday 9 Shawwal 1445 - 18 April 2024

Does Thinking that Leads to Ejaculation Break the Fast?


In a European country during Ramadan, I experienced strong sexual provocation by means of thinking, which led to the emission of maniy (semen). Because I believed that my fast had been invalidated, I went ahead and masturbated. Do I have to make up the fast or offer any expiation?

Summary of answer

The majority are of the view that the fast is invalidated by deliberately looking until one ejaculates. For more, please see the detailed answer.

Praise be to Allah.

Fasting purifies the soul

The Muslim has to guard his hearing, his vision and all his faculties against doing that which Allah, may He be exalted, has forbidden to him. The basic principle is that fasting purifies the soul and is a shield that protects a person from falling into whims and desires. 

Ruling on ejaculation by thinking

The scholars differed as to whether the fast is invalidated by emitting maniy as a result of thinking. The Malikis said that it does invalidate the fast, but the majority of scholars did not regard it as invalidating the fast. 

It seems that they did not regard it as invalidating the fast because the individual has no control over it; it is something that crossed his mind that he could not ward off. But in the case of deliberately thinking and giving one’s imagination free rein with the aim of ejaculating, there is no difference – in that case – between that and deliberately looking at something for the purpose of ejaculating

The majority are of the view that the fast is invalidated by deliberately looking until one ejaculates. 

It says in al-Mawsu‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 26/267: 

“The Hanafis and Shafi`is are of the view that emission of maniy or madhiy as a result of looking or thinking does not invalidate the fast. But the more correct view according to the Shafi`is is that if one habitually ejaculates by looking, or one looks repeatedly and then ejaculates , that invalidates the fast. 

The Malikis and Hanbalis are of the view that the emission of maniy as a result of persistent looking invalidates the fast, because it is emitted as a result of an action that is enjoyed and that one could have put a stop to. 

With regard to ejaculation as a result of thinking , it invalidates the fast according to the Malikis, but according to the Hanbalis it does not invalidate it because it was difficult to avoid it.”

If the fast is spoiled, then you have to make up that day but you do not have to offer any expiation , because the expiation is only required of the one who spoils his fast by having intercourse

What you have to do is: 

  1. Repent from the sin of engaging in the secret habit
  2. Make up that day.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A