Does Committing Sins Break the Fast?

Fasting is an act of worship that aims at purifying the soul, reviving the conscience, strengthening faith and making a Muslim more pious. Allah, Exalted be He, says, (O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off evil). (Al-Baqarah 2:183). Therefore, the fasting Muslim has to avoid anything that would break or even impair his/her fasting.
The eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states: Valid fasting is that which purifies one’s soul and imbues goodness and righteousness into one’s heart, so that one may ward off evil, as conveyed in the words of Allah, Exalted be He, Who says: (O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil))(Al-Baqarah 2:183)
Thus, whoever fasts in Ramadan is obliged to refrain from saying or doing anything that is contradictory to the elevated manners expected from a fasting Muslim so as not to lose Allah’s reward for fasting and gain nothing but hunger, thirst, and deprivation, as explained in the Hadith, “Fasting is a kind of protection. So, when anyone of you gets up in the morning in the state of fasting, he should neither use obscene language nor do any act of ignorance. And if anyone insults him or quarrels with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.'” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Many a one who fasts obtains nothing from his fasting but hunger and thirst, and many a one who prays during the night obtains nothing from his night prayers but wakefulness.” (Reported by Al Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim, and is said to be authentic on the condition of Al-Bukhari.)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is also reported to have said, “Whoever does not give up false speech (telling lies and the like) and acting upon it, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari, Ahmad, and others.)
Ibn Al-`Arabi maintains: This Hadith indicates that whoever does not abandon such evil deeds will not be rewarded for his fasting, i.e. false speech (telling lies and the like) and acting upon it are blameworthy to an extent that exceeds all limits. Ibn Hazm is of the opinion that committing such sins invalidates one’s fasting, in the same way that the act of eating and drinking deliberately do. This was held by some of the Prophet’s Companions and followers.
Actually, I do not agree with Ibn Hazm. I believe that committing such sins during Ramadan renders one’s fasting useless, as it defeats the point of prescribing fasting. That is why early righteous Muslims abandoned idle talk and obscene language while fasting, the same way they abstained from food and drink.
`Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Fasting is not only to quit food and drink, but also to refrain from telling lies, falsehood, and idle talk.” `Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) was reported as having the same point of view. Jabir `Abdullah Al-Ansari also said: “When you fast, your eyes, ears, and tongue should abstain from falsehood and sins. You should avoid hurting your servant. Refrain from anything demoralizing, and portray a picture of tranquillity while fasting for the day, your behaviour on the day you are fasting should be better than other days.” Taliq ibn Qais reported that Abu Dharr said: “When you are fasting you should be on your guard (against wrong actions) as much as you can.” Then Taliq observed, he used to stay home and not to go out except for performing prayer. Abu Hurairah and his friends also used to stay in the mosque while fasting saying, “Let us keep our fasting pure.” It is narrated on the authority of Maimun ibn Mahran that quitting food and drink is the easiest task required for valid fast.
to put it briefly, when one commits sins while fasting, one is to be rewarded for fasting, and punished for the sins he committed, according to the following verse, (And everything with Him is measured.) (Ar-Ra`d 13:8) So, one is held accountable for each of his deeds separately, as is explained in another verse, (My Lord neither erreth nor forgetteth.) (Taha 20:52)
Let us reflect on the following Hadith concerning Allah’s reckoning His servants on the Day of Judgment in order to find the proper answer for this and the two preceding questions. At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad narrate on the authority of `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that one of the Prophet’s Companions came and when he sat down in front of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) he said: “Messenger of Allah, I have slaves who lie to me, deceive me and disobey me, and I revile and beat them. What do you think is my ruling as regards them?” Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) replied: “On the Day of Resurrection account will be taken of the extent of their deceit, disobedience and lying to you, and of the punishment you inflicted on them. If your punishment is less severe than deserved for their offences, it will be something extra to your credit. If it is exactly right (if it exactly makes up for their offences), it will count neither for you nor against you (you will neither be punished nor rewarded for it). But if your punishment was more severe than deserved for their offences, requital will be taken from you on their behalf for the excess.” The man went aside and began to shout and weep, so Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him if he did not recite the words of Allah, Exalted be He, (We shall place the just scales for the Day of Resurrection and no soul will be wronged in any respect, and even if there is only the weight of a grain of mustard-seed We shall bring it, and We are sufficient to take account.) (Al-Anbiya‘ 21:47) Hence, the man returned: “O Messenger of Allah, nothing is better for myself and these men (i.e. his slaves) than to leave them. I call you to bear witness that they are all free.