Muslims can quench thirst in Ramadan - Iranian cleric

2013-07-18 20:16
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Tehran - A decree by a senior Iranian cleric that Muslims can quench "extreme thirst" during the Ramadan fasting month has stirred debate in the Islamic republic's clergy, media reports say.

"Those who cannot bear extreme thirst can drink just enough water to quench it.

"This would not break their fast," said the fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Assadollah Bayat Zanjani, who is seen as close to reformers.

But his fatwa quickly came under fire from Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi.

He ruled out "fasting and drinking at the same time" and reiterated that any break in the fast had to be compensated for by fasting on some other day in the year.

Media reports also referred to decrees by supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani according to whom "a state of weakness or thirst does not merit a break in the fast".

But Zanjani, who is based in the holy city of Qom, said Islam allowed some breaks in fasting.

He said this would depend on "certain climatic and geographical conditions", given that in countries such as Iran Ramadan fasting can last up to 16 hours in summer.

Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan.

Read more on:    iran  |  ramadan
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