Kifah MustaphaRulings of Permissibility to Break Fast

by Sh. Kifah Mustapha

 

Travelers:

  1. Travelers have the permission to break their fast and should make up the missed days after Ramadan. Allah said: {yet if one among you is sick or is on a journey [such a person shall then fast] the same number of other days} 2:185.
  2. Although travelers have the permission to break their fast it is recommended to fast if no harm is caused to them, but if harm is caused then fasting is not recommended. Abu Saied Alkhudari (RAA) said, “We used to travel with the prophet (PBUH) during Ramadan for battles and among us were people who were fasting and people who were not. Neither fasting people felt (bad feelings,) against non-fasting people, nor non-fasting people felt (bad feelings) against fasting people.” Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and Muslim.
  3. Most scholars estimate the traveling distance for breaking the fast to exceed 80 kilometers (48 miles).
  4. Most scholars said that traveling has to be initiated before Fajer for people to break their fast on that day. The school of Hanabelah approved breaking the fast even if traveling was initiated after Fajer.

Ill people:

  1. Ill people have the permission to break their fast and should make up the missed days after Ramadan. Allah said: {yet if one among you is sick or is on a journey [such a person shall then fast] the same number of other days} 2:185.
  2. Some scholars considered the concept of sickness itself as a reason for sick people to break their fast regardless of the type of hardship related to that sickness. Most scholars related the permission to break the fast based on the hardship caused by that sickness.
  3. It is recommended to consult with a doctor for any kind of illness and use medical advice to determine whether to fast or break your fast during Ramadan.
  4. People with permanent illnesses who cannot fast can break their fast and pay Fidya (feeding one person for each day they missed).

Women during menstruation or after giving birth:

  1. During these periods women must break their fast and it is not permissible for them to fast.
  2. They are to make up the days they missed without paying Fidya. Aisha (RAA) said, “We used to menstruate at the time of the prophet (PBUH) and we were ordered to make up for fasting not for Salah.” Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.

Women who are pregnant or nursing their children:

  1. These women have the permission to break their fast, they are included under the ayah: {yet for those who are [hardly] able to endure it} 2:184.
  2. Most of the scholars said that they have to make up the missed days after Ramadan.
  3. It was narrated that Ibn Aabass and Ibn Omar allowed them to feed a needy person for each day without making up the days. Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi said, “Feeding needy people is permissible without making up days, for the mother will not have time to make up the days she missed. Almost a year of pregnancy, then nursing her child for almost a year or more and especially considering women who get pregnant immediately after that too, it will be hard for these women to make up what they missed.” [1]

Children & Mentally incompetent adults:

  1. These people can break their fast because they are not responsible for their actions. The prophet (PBUH) said, “The pen (documenting deeds) is lifted from: the mentally incompetent until they wake up (become sane), children until they reach puberty, and sleeping people until they wake up.” Hadith narrated by Ahmad, Abu Daoud and Tirmithi.
  2. These people do not need to make up the missed days or pay Fidya. Although children are not required to fast it is recommended to train children on fasting before puberty so they will be used to it. Al Rubaieh daughter of Muawith (RAA) said, “We used to train our children to fast by taking them to the masjid and making toys for them from wool and if someone cried we would give them the toys until Iftar time comes.” Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.

Elderly & People with jobs that require extreme physical labor:

  1. These people can break their fast and must pay Fidya for each day they missed. They are also included under the verse: {yet for those who are [hardly] able to endure it} 2:184.
  2. People with hard manual labor jobs like working in mines must make up the missed days first if they have days off from work or vacations before paying the Fidya.

[1]Fatwa from islamonline.org