ADHD and the Rules of Fasting

16th April 2024


Question: I have a question for a friend. She has a 12 year old daughter who has ADHD with a very low IQ and she wanted to know the Islamic ruling for her daughter in regards to fasting. She started her periods recently and is now considered Balighah. She wanted to know whether fasting was still necessary for her or not.


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



Before clarifying the Islamic ruling of fasting for her daughter, ADHD must be first understood and its implications on worship. ADHD is the acronym for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder which is a neurodevelopmental disorder, a type of mental health condition that relates to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity in a person’s everyday life. According to many studies, it affects the part of the brain responsible for solving problems, planning, understanding others’ actions, and controlling our impulses. When that part of the brain is affected, ADHD patients struggle to focus on organizing and finishing specific tasks and to control their behaviour around others. The cause of it can be due to multiple reasons such as genetics and brain chemistry, being born prematurely or with low birth weights or with epilepsy or brain damage, environmental causes, brain injuries and so forth. ADHD is generally treated with medication, behavioural therapy or a combination of both.

ADHD symptoms can be broadly divided into two main categories;

  • Inattentiveness: short attention span, daydreaming, careless mistakes, forgetfulness, losing things, easily distracted, difficulty in listening or carrying out instructions, difficulty in organizing tasks and lack of attention to details.
  • Hyperactivity and impulsiveness: fidgeting or being unable to sit still, lots of physical movement or talking, acting impulsively or recklessly, interrupting conversations, agitation, impatience, mood swings and irritability.[1]

We learn from the aforementioned ADHD symptoms that their working memory is impaired causing to occasionally forget, have difficulty in remembering clear instructions and discharging them correctly. They are more likely to struggle in self-monitoring their tasks and occasionally show signs of mood swings and frustrations as of which, they require external support and reminders from others. This is not to suggest they are unable to distinguish between right and wrong nor unable to comprehend basic instructions. Rather they mainly struggle to maintain focus on fulfilling specific tasks and solving problems independently.

From the Shariah perspective, this resembles to somewhat sahw and khata; excessive mistakes and forgetfulness. For instance, forgetting that they are fasting, need reminding occasionally not to eat, become irritated due to long hours of fasting, struggle to remember the detail rules of fasting, intentions shifting and end up mistakenly breaking their fast before the iftar time or continuing eating after suhur ending.

Concerning the girl in question, so long as she can understand basic instructions, able to distinguish between right and wrong and communicate at the minimum level, she must observe the Ramadhan fasts because her intellectual sanity is still considered intact and possesses some element of strength to fast.[2] If she occasionally forgets she is fasting or becomes agitated then her parents must support her and occasionally remind her of her fasts. If she ends up breaking it due to forgetfulness then she may continue fasting without the need for Qadha, but if she remembered but broke it unintentionally due to her mental state then only Qadha is necessary, not Kaffarah.[3]

If her mental condition fluctuates occasionally between sanity and insanity but is not unremitting as in, occasionally she may behave insanely otherwise normally she can communicate and understand basic instructions then the obligation of fasting is not dropped. If it so happens that she becomes permanently insane in that her cognitive capacity becomes totally impaired to the extent she can no longer distinguish between right from wrong, not able to comprehend speech, her actions and words are disrupted and so forth then the obligation of fasting is dropped.[4]

The above clarifies the Islamic legal perspective and as a recommendation, the mother must consult an experienced upright Muslim therapist to help treat her mental condition and control her behaviour so to adequately manage her fasts. Parents must also ensure their daughter is taking the prescribed medicines upon the doctor’s advice outside of the fasting hours if possible.



[Allãh Knows Best]



Written and researched by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department




[1] What is ADHD: Everything you need to know about ADHD (2023), Available at: What Are ADHD Symptoms and How Do They Affects People? ( [accessed 10th April 2024]


Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) (2021), Available at: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) | Mental Health Foundation [accessed 10th April 2024]


Signs of Inattentive ADHD and How to Treat it (2024), Available at: Inattentive ADHD Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment ( [accessed 10th April 2024]


[2] Ibn Nujaym, Bahr Rāiq, Kitāb Sawm, vol 2, p. 277

وَفِي الْبَدَائِعِ وَأَمَّا الْعَقْلُ فَهَلْ هُوَ مِنْ شَرَائِطِ الْوُجُوبِ وَكَذَا الْإِفَاقَةُ وَالْيَقَظَةُ قَالَ عَامَّةُ مَشَايِخِنَا: لَيْسَتْ مِنْ شَرَائِطِ الْوُجُوبِ بَلْ مِنْ شَرَائِطِ وُجُوبِ الْأَدَاءِ مُسْتَدِلِّينَ بِوُجُوبِ الْقَضَاءِ عَلَى الْمُغْمَى عَلَيْهِ وَالنَّائِمِ بَعْدَ الْإِفَاقَةِ وَالِانْتِبَاهِ بَعْدَ مُضِيِّ بَعْضِ الشَّهْرِ أَوْ كُلِّهِ وَكَذَا الْمَجْنُونُ إذَا أَفَاقَ فِي بَعْضِ الشَّهْرِ

Kasān, Badā’i Sanāi, Kitāb Sawm, vol 2, p. 88

وَأَمَّا الْعَقْلُ فَهَلْ هُوَ مِنْ شَرَائِطِ الْوُجُوبِ وَكَذَا الْإِفَاقَةُ، وَالْيَقَظَةُ؟ قَالَ عَامَّةُ مَشَايِخِنَا: إنَّهَا لَيْسَتْ مِنْ شَرَائِطِ الْوُجُوبِ، وَيَجِبُ صَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ عَلَى الْمَجْنُونِ وَالْمُغْمَى عَلَيْهِ وَالنَّائِمِ لَكِنْ أَصْلُ الْوُجُوبِ لَا وُجُوبُ الْأَدَاءِ بِنَاءً عَلَى أَنَّ عِنْدَهُمْ الْوُجُوبُ نَوْعَانِ: أَحَدُهُمَا أَصْلُ الْوُجُوبِ وَهُوَ اشْتِغَالُ الذِّمَّةِ بِالْوَاجِبِ وَأَنَّهُ ثَبَتَ بِالْأَسْبَابِ لَا بِالْخِطَابِ، وَلَا تُشْتَرَطُ الْقُدْرَةُ لِثُبُوتِهِ بَلْ ثَبَتَ جَبْرًا مِنْ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى شَاءَ الْعَبْدُ، أَوْ أَبَى، وَالثَّانِي: وُجُوبُ الْأَدَاءِ وَهُوَ إسْقَاطُ مَا فِي الذِّمَّةِ وَتَفْرِيغُهَا مِنْ الْوَاجِبِ، وَأَنَّهُ ثَبَتَ بِالْخِطَابِ وَتُشْتَرَطُ لَهُ الْقُدْرَةُ عَلَى فَهْمِ الْخِطَابِ وَعَلَى أَدَاءِ مَا تَنَاوَلَهُ الْخِطَابُ، لِأَنَّ الْخِطَابَ لَا يَتَوَجَّهُ إلَى الْعَاجِزِ عَنْ فَهْمِ الْخِطَابِ وَلَا إلَى الْعَاجِز عَنْ فِعْلِ مَا تَنَاوَلَهُ الْخِطَابُ، وَالْمَجْنُونُ لِعَدَمِ عَقْلِهِ، أَوْ لِاسْتِتَارِهِ، وَالْمُغْمَى عَلَيْهِ، وَالنَّائِمُ لِعَجْزِهِمَا عَنْ اسْتِعْمَالِ عَقْلِهِمَا عَاجِزُونَ عَنْ فَهْمِ الْخِطَابِ وَعَنْ أَدَاءِ مَا تَنَاوَلَهُ الْخِطَابُ، فَلَا يَثْبُتُ وُجُوبُ الْأَدَاءِ فِي حَقِّهِمْ وَيَثْبُتُ أَصْلُ الْوُجُوبِ فِي حَقِّهِمْ، لِأَنَّهُ لَا يَعْتَمِدُ الْقُدْرَةَ بَلْ يَثْبُتُ جَبْرًا.

وَتَقْرِيرُ هَذَا الْأَصْلِ مَعْرُوفٌ فِي أُصُولِ الْفِقْهِ، وَفِي الْخِلَافِيَّاتِ، وَقَالَ أَهْلُ التَّحْقِيقِ مِنْ مَشَايِخِنَا بِمَا وَرَاءَ النَّهْرِ: إنَّ الْوُجُوبَ فِي الْحَقِيقَةِ نَوْعٌ وَاحِدٌ وَهُوَ وُجُوبُ الْأَدَاءِ فَكُلُّ مَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْأَدَاءِ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْوُجُوبِ وَمَنْ لَا فَلَا وَهُوَ اخْتِيَارُ أُسْتَاذِي الشَّيْخِ الْأَجَلِّ الزَّاهِدِ عَلَاءِ الدِّينِ رَئِيسِ أَهْلِ السُّنَّةِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ السَّمَرْقَنْدِيِّ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ –


[3] Fatawa Hindiyyah, Kitāb Sawm, vol 1, p. 202

(الْبَابُ الرَّابِعُ فِيمَا يُفْسِدُ، وَمَا لَا يُفْسِدُ) . وَالْمُفْسِدُ عَلَى نَوْعَيْنِ (النَّوْعُ الْأَوَّلُ مَا يُوجِبُ الْقَضَاءَ دُونَ الْكَفَّارَةِ) . إذَا أَكَلَ الصَّائِمُ أَوْ شَرِبَ أَوْ جَامَعَ نَاسِيًا لَمْ يُفْطِرْ، وَلَا فَرْقَ بَيْنَ الْفَرْضِ وَالنَّفَلِ كَذَا فِي الْهِدَايَةِ. وَلَوْ قِيلَ لِرَجُلٍ يَأْكُلُ إنَّك صَائِمٌ، وَهُوَ لَا يَتَذَكَّرُ فَالصَّحِيحُ أَنَّهُ يَفْسُدُ صَوْمُهُ هَكَذَا فِي الظَّهِيرِيَّةِ.

لَوْ أَكَلَ مُكْرَهًا أَوْ مُخْطِئًا عَلَيْهِ الْقَضَاءُ دُونَ الْكَفَّارَةِ كَذَا فِي فَتَاوَى قَاضِي خَانْ. الْمُخْطِئُ هُوَ الذَّاكِرُ لِلصَّوْمِ غَيْرُ الْقَاصِدِ لِلْفِطْرِ إذَا أَكَلَ أَوْ شَرِبَ هَكَذَا فِي النَّهْرِ الْفَائِقِ. وَالنَّاسِي عَكْسُهُ، هَكَذَا فِي النِّهَايَةِ وَالْبَحْرِ الرَّائِقِ.

 Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Sawmvol 2 p. 395

بَابُ مَا يُفْسِدُ الصَّوْمَ وَمَا لَا يُفْسِدُهُ الْفَسَادُ

وَالْبُطْلَانُ فِي الْعِبَادَاتِ سِيَّانِ (إذَا أَكَلَ الصَّائِمُ أَوْ شَرِبَ أَوْ جَامَعَ) حَالَ كَوْنِهِ (نَاسِيًا) فِي الْفَرْضِ وَالنَّفَلِ قَبْلَ النِّيَّةِ أَوْ بَعْدَهَا عَلَى الصَّحِيحِ بَحْرٌ عَنْ الْقُنْيَةِ إلَّا أَنْ يُذَكَّرَ فَلَمْ يَتَذَكَّرْ وَيُذَكِّرُهُ لَوْ قَوِيًّا وَإِلَّا وَلَيْسَ عُذْرًا فِي حُقُوقِ الْعِبَادِ

(وَقَوْلُهُ: إذَا أَكَلَ) شَرْطٌ جَوَابُهُ قَوْلُهُ الْآتِي لَمْ يُفْطِرْ كَمَا سَيُنَبِّهُ عَلَيْهِ الشَّارِحُ (قَوْلُهُ: نَاسِيًا) أَيْ لِصَوْمِهِ؛ لِأَنَّهُ ذَاكِرٌ لِلْأَكْلِ وَالشُّرْبِ وَالْجِمَاعِ مِعْرَاجٌ……… (قَوْلُهُ: إلَّا أَنْ يُذَكَّرْ فَلَمْ يَتَذَكَّرْ) أَيْ إذَا أَكَلَ نَاسِيًا فَذَكَّرَهُ إنْسَانٌ بِالصَّوْمِ وَلَمْ يَتَذَكَّرْ فَأَكَلَ فَسَدَ صَوْمُهُ فِي الصَّحِيحِ خِلَافًا لِبَعْضِهِمْ ظَهِيرِيَّةٌ؛ لِأَنَّ خَبَرَ الْوَاحِدِ فِي الدِّيَانَاتِ مَقْبُولٌ، فَكَانَ يَجِبُ أَنْ يَلْتَفِتَ إلَى تَأَمُّلِ الْحَالِ لِوُجُودِ الْمُذَكَّرِ بَحْرٌ.

قُلْت: لَكِنْ لَا كَفَّارَةَ عَلَيْهِ وَهُوَ الْمُخْتَارُ كَمَا فِي التَّتَارْخَانِيَّة عَنْ النِّصَابِ وَقَدْ نَسَبُوا هَذِهِ الْمَسْأَلَةَ إلَى أَبِي يُوسُفَ وَنَسَبَ إلَيْهِ الْقُهُسْتَانِيُّ فَسَادَ الصَّوْمِ بِالنِّسْيَانِ مُطْلَقًا وَلَمْ أَرَهُ لِغَيْرِهِ وَسَيَأْتِي مَا يَرُدُّهُ


[4] Mawsoo’atul Fiqhiyyah Kuwaitiyyah vol 16, p. 99

الْجُنُونُ فِي اللُّغَةِ: مَصْدَرُ جُنَّ الرَّجُل بِالْبِنَاءِ لِلْمَجْهُول، فَهُوَ مَجْنُونٌ: أَيْ زَال عَقْلُهُ أَوْ فَسَدَ، أَوْ دَخَلَتْهُ الْجِنُّ، وَجَنَّ الشَّيْءَ عَلَيْهِ: سَتَرَهُ. وَأَمَّا فِي الاِصْطِلاَحِ فَقَدْ عَرَّفَهُ الْفُقَهَاءُ وَالأُْصُولِيُّونَ بِعِبَارَاتٍ مُخْتَلِفَةٍ مِنْهَا:

أَنَّهُ اخْتِلاَل الْعَقْل بِحَيْثُ يَمْنَعُ جَرَيَانَ الأَْفْعَال وَالأَْقْوَال عَلَى نَهْجِهِ إِلاَّ نَادِرًا.

وَقِيل: الْجُنُونُ اخْتِلاَل الْقُوَّةِ الْمُمَيِّزَةِ بَيْنَ الأْشْيَاءِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَالْقَبِيحَةِ الْمُدْرِكَةِ لِلْعَوَاقِبِ بِأَنْ لاَ تَظْهَرَ آثَارُهَا، وَأَنْ تَتَعَطَّل أَفْعَالُهَا.

وَعَرَّفَهُ صَاحِبُ الْبَحْرِ الرَّائِقِ بِأَنَّهُ: اخْتِلاَل الْقُوَّةِ الَّتِي بِهَا إِدْرَاكُ الْكُلِّيَّاتِ.


Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq vol 3, p. 241

(قَوْلُهُ وَالْمَجْنُونُ) قَالَ فِي التَّلْوِيحِ: الْجُنُونُ اخْتِلَالُ الْقُوَّةِ الْمُمَيِّزَةِ بَيْنَ الْأُمُورِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَالْقَبِيحَةِ الْمُدْرِكَةِ لِلْعَوَاقِبِ، بِأَنْ لَا تَظْهَرَ آثَارُهُ وَتَتَعَطَّلُ أَفْعَالُهَا، إمَّا لِنُقْصَانِ جَبَلٍ عَلَيْهِ دِمَاغُهُ فِي أَصْلِ الْخِلْقَةِ، وَإِمَّا لِخُرُوجِ مِزَاجِ الدِّمَاغِ عَنْ الِاعْتِدَالِ بِسَبَبِ خَلْطٍ أَوْ آفَةٍ، وَإِمَّا لِاسْتِيلَاءِ الشَّيْطَانِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِلْقَاءِ الْخَيَالَاتِ الْفَاسِدَةِ إلَيْهِ بِحَيْثُ يَفْرَحُ وَيَفْزَعُ مِنْ غَيْرِ مَا يَصْلُحُ سَبَبًا.


Mawsoo’atul Fiqhiyyah Kuwaitiyyah vol 16, p. 101

فَالْجُنُونُ إِنْ كَانَ مُمْتَدًّا سَقَطَ مَعَهُ وُجُوبُ الْعِبَادَاتِ فَلاَ تُشْغَل بِهَا ذِمَّتُهُ، وَإِنْ كَانَ غَيْرَ مُمْتَدٍّ وَهُوَ طَارِئٌ لَمْ يَمْنَعِ التَّكْلِيفَ وَلاَ يَنْفِي أَصْل الْوُجُوبِ؛ لأَِنَّ الْوُجُوبَ بِالذِّمَّةِ، وَهِيَ ثَابِتَةٌ، وَلِذَلِكَ يَرِثُ وَيَمْلِكُ، وَإِنْ كَانَ غَيْرَ مُمْتَدٍّ، وَكَانَ أَصْلِيًّا فَحُكْمُهُ عِنْدَ مُحَمَّدٍ حُكْمُ الْمُمْتَدِّ؛ لأَِنَّهُ نَاطَ الإِْسْقَاطَ بِالْكُل مِنَ الاِمْتِدَادِ وَالأَْصَالَةِ، وَقَال أَبُو يُوسُفَ: حُكْمُهُ حُكْمُ الطَّارِئِ فَيُنَاطُ الإِْسْقَاطُ بِالاِمْتِدَادِ

Mawsoo’atul Fiqhiyyah Kuwaitiyyah vol 16, p. 99

وَالْفَرْقُ بَيْنَ الْجُنُونِ وَالْعَتَهِ، أَنَّ الْمَعْتُوهَ قَلِيل الْفَهْمِ مُخْتَلِطُ الْكَلاَمِ، فَاسِدُ التَّدْبِيرِ، لَكِنْ لاَ يَضْرِبُ وَلاَ يَشْتُمُ بِخِلاَفِ الْمَجْنُونِ.

وَصَرَّحَ الأُْصُولِيُّونَ بِأَنَّ حُكْمَ الْمَعْتُوهِ حُكْمُ الصَّبِيِّ الْمُمَيِّزِ، إِلاَّ أَنَّ الدَّبُوسِيَّ قَال: تَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ الْعِبَادَاتُ احْتِيَاطًا، وَقَال صَدْرُ الإِْسْلاَمِ: إِنَّ الْعَتَهَ نَوْعُ جُنُونٍ فَيَمْنَعُ أَدَاءَ الْحُقُوقِ جَمِيعًا .