In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
A Muslim is highly recommended to observe optional fast to draw himself closer to God. If a fasting person breaks his optional fast, he is neither required to pay an expiation nor to make up for it later. It makes no difference here how he breaks his optional fast.
Answering your question, Dr. Wael Shehab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:
Thank you for your question.
A Muslim is recommended to fast on some days—such as Mondays, Thursdays, the day of Arafah, etc.—in order to bring himself closer to Allah Almighty.
If a Muslim breaks an optional fast—with food, drinks, or sexual intercourse with one’s spouse—he is not liable to make any kaffarah (expiation). Also, he is not required to make up for it later.
In this context, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A person who observes an optional fast has the authority to either complete or break his fast.” (At-Tirmidhi)
However, it may be better for a fasting person not to break his optional fast to gain its great rewards.
May Allah accept your and our good deeds!
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.