“I Forgot I was Fasting!?” – Answered by Imaam Ibn Baaz
All praise is due to Allah, and may exaltation and safety be granted to Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who aid them. To proceed:
The great, contemporary scholar, ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz [d. 1420 AH], may Allah have mercy on him was asked:
[Q]: “What is the ruling for a person who forgetfully eats or drinks during the day [in Ramadhaan]?”
Imaam Ibn Baaz, may Allah have mercy on him, answered:
There is no harm on him, and his fast is correct. This is due to Allah’s, removed is He from imperfection, statement at the end of Surah al-Baqarah: ‘Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.’ [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 286].
And it has been authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah, may exalt his mention and grant him safety, that: “Allah, glorified is He from imperfection, said: ‘I have answered this supplication. (1)’
His fast is also correct due to what has been established on Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him; that the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety, said: ‘Whoever eats and drinks forgetfully while he is fasting, let him continue and complete his fast. Allah is the one who provided him with food and drink.’ [al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
This ruling also goes for forgetfully having intercourse. The stronger of two statements presented by the scholars is that the fast is considered correct. The proof is the aforementioned verse and the previously mentioned noble hadeeth.
Another evidence is the Messenger’s, may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety, statement: ‘Whoever forgetfully breaks his fast during Ramadhaan, he does not have to make up that day nor is there an expiation.’ (2)
This wording is general, and it includes intercourse and other things that break one’s fast, if one were to do them forgetfully.
(1) i.e. Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.
(2) Authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee, Jaami’ as-Saheeh, #6080.
(3) ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz, Tuhfatul-Ikhwaan, 116-117