6 Reason for who in travelling and Sick 4 excused from Fasting in Ramadan

What are the reasons for which one may be excused from fasting in Ramadan?

Praise be to Allaah.
  
 
One of the ways in which Allaah has made things easy for His
slaves is that He has only enjoined fasting upon those who are able to do
it, and He has excused those who are unable to fast for a legitimate shar’i
reason. The legitimate reasons for which one may be excused from fasting are
as follows:

1 – Sickness 

Sickness means everything that means that a person is not
healthy.

Ibn Qudaamah said: the scholars are agreed that it is
permissible for the sick person not to fast in general. The basis of that is
the aayah in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number
(should be made up) from other days”[al-Baqarah 2:184]

It was narrated that Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ (may Allaah be
pleased with him) said: “When this aayah was revealed –
‘And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old
man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person)
(for every day)’ [al-Baqarah 2:184 – interpretation of the meaning]

– those who wanted not to fast could do that, and pay the fidyah (i.e., feed
one poor person for each day). That remained the case until the following
aayah was revealed, i.e., the verse:

‘And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an
old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor
person) (for every day)’

[al-Baqarah 2:185 – interpretation of the meaning]
– so it abrogated it.”

The sick person who fears that fasting may make his sickness
worse or that it will slow down his recovery or damage a part of his body,
has the option of not fasting, and indeed it is Sunnah for him not to fast
and it is makrooh for him to complete his fast, because that may lead to his
death. So he has to be cautious and protect himself. Moreover, if the sick
person is very ill, that makes it permissible for him not to fast. But if a
healthy person fears difficulty or tiredness, it is not permissible for him
to break his fast, if all that happens to him when he fasts is that he
becomes tired.

2 – Travelling 

In order for traveling to result in a concession excusing one
from fasting, the following conditions must be met:

a-    
The journey must be long enough
that prayers may be shortened.

b-   
The traveler must not intend to
settle in the place to which he travels.

c-    
His journey must not be for any
sinful purpose, rather it should be for a sound purpose, according to the
majority of scholars. That is because being allowed not to fast is a
concession and relief that the sinner does not deserve on his journey,
because the purpose of his journey is to commit sin – such as one who
travels in order to commit banditry, for example.

Cancellation of the concession for traveling:

This concession of traveling is cancelled by two things:

(i)     When the traveler returns home
and enters his hometown, which is the place where he resides.

(ii)    When the traveler decides to
stay indefinitely, or for a lengthy period in one place, and the place is
fit for settling in. Thus he becomes a resident (or non-traveller), so he
should pray his prayers in full and not break his fast in Ramadaan, because
the rulings on travel no longer apply to him.



3 – Pregnancy and breastfeeding 

The fuqaha’ are agreed that pregnant and breastfeeding women
may break their fast in Ramadaan, on the condition that they think there is
a risk that they or their children may become ill or more ill, or be harmed
or may die. The evidence for this concession in their case is the aayah
(interpretation of the meaning:

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of
days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other
days”[al-Baqarah 2:185]

This does not refer to
merely being sick, for the sick person who will not be harmed by fasting is
not allowed to break the fast; here sickness is mentioned as a metaphor for
any situation where fasting when sick may cause harm. This is what is meant
by sickness here. That may be the case in pregnancy and when breastfeeding,
so these two cases are included in the concession of breaking the fast.

The
evidence that women in these cases are allowed not to fast is the hadeeth of
Anas ibn Maalik al-Ka’bi (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah has relieved the traveler of fasting and half of prayer, and He has
relieved the pregnant and breastfeeding woman of fasting.”



4 – Senility and old age 

Senility and old age refers to one who is old and has lost
his strength, or who is approaching death, so that every day he becomes
weaker, until he dies, or who is suffering from a terminal or incurable
illness and has no hope of recovery. The evidence that it is prescribed for
such people not to fast is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an
old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor
person) (for every day)”[al-Baqarah 2:184]

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that this
aayah has not been abrogated, and it applies to old men and old women who
cannot fast, so for each day they should feed one poor person.



5 – Intense hunger and thirst 

If a person is overtaken by intense hunger or unbearable
thirst, then he should break his fast and eat just as much as he needs to
ward off that hunger, then he should refrain from eating for the rest of the
day, and make up that fast later on.

The scholars added to intense hunger and thirst the fear of
weakness when meeting the enemy, or fearing or expecting an attack, such as
when one is surrounded. So if a fighter knows for sure or thinks it most
likely that there will be fighting because he is facing the enemy, and he
fears that fasting may make him weak when fighting, and he is not traveling,
then he may break his fast before fighting.

 
6 – Compulsion 

Compulsion means one person forcing another to do something
or not to do something against his will, by means of threats.


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