Who is exempt from fasting in Ramadan

Hadith 1: It is reported in Sahihain from Ummul Mo’mineen A’isha
.She says, Hamza bin Amr Aslami used to keep fast in
abundance, so he asked Nabi Kareem صلى الله عليه وسلم if he should fast whilst on
journey, so He صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘If you wish to, then you may keep them, and if
you do not wish to, then you do not have to (i.e. you have the choice).’
Hadith 2: It is in Sahih Muslim from Abu Sa’eed Al Khudri . He
says, ‘On the 16th of Ramadaan we went out in Jihad with Rasoolullah
صلى الله عليه وسلم.Some from amongst us kept the fast whilst some did not. However,
neither did the ones who were fasting find fault in the ones who were
not fasting, nor did the ones who were not fasting find fault in those
who were fasting.’
Hadith 3: Abu Dawud, Tirmizi, Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah reported from
Anas bin Malik Ka’ab that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Allah has pardoned
(exempted) the Musafir (traveler) from half Namaaz (i.e. he will read
two Raka’ats instead of the four Fard), and He has pardoned
(exempted) the Musafir, a female who is suckling (her infant), and a
pregnant female from fasting (i.e. they have permission, and they do
not have to keep the fasts at that time, but they can discharge it
afterward).’

LAWS OF JURISPRUDENCE

Law 1: All the following are valid reasons due to which one is exempt
from fasting and if one does not fast in these circumstances, then one
is not sinful;
1. During a journey
2. During Pregnancy
3. Whilst suckling the infant (i.e. breastfeeding)
4. In Illness (which hinders one from fasting)
5. Old age
6. Fear of Death
7. Ikraah (where there is a real threat of one’s life etc being
endangered)
8. Harm to one’s intellect (state of mind)
9. In Jihad. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.157/158]

Law 2: A journey here refers to a Shar’i Journey (i.e. that which the
Shariah stipulates as a journey). In other words, to intend to go out on
a journey, the distance of which from here to there (the one place to
the other) is the distance of three days, even though the journey is for
some impermissible reason. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.158]

Law 3: If one traveled in the daytime (on a particular day), then to
break the fast of that day, for the journey of today is not a valid
reason. However, if he does break it, the Kaffarah is not necessary, but
he will be sinful. If he broke the fast before traveling, and then
embarked on the journey, then the Kaffarah is also necessary. If he
journeyed in the day and forgot something at home, and returned
home to collect it, and he broke his fast at his home, then Kaffarah is
Waajib. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.206/207]

Law 4: If a Musafir took up (permanent residence) before Zahwa e
Kubra and he has not as yet eaten anything, then it is Waajib for him
to make the Niyyat of fasting. [Jauhira]

Law 5: If a pregnant woman or one who is breastfeeding her infant
truly fears that her life or the life of the baby is in danger, then she is
permitted not to fast during this time, even though the one
breastfeeding the baby is the baby’s mother or her wet nurse, even if
she has taken up the job to feed the baby milk in Ramadaan. [Durr-e Mukhtar, vol.1, pg.159]

Law 6: If an ill person believes there is a predominant likelihood that
the illness will increase or that it will take longer for him to become
well, or if a healthy person believes there is a predominant likelihood
that he will become ill (if he fasts), or if a maid or male servant
believes that there is a predominant likelihood that they will feel such
severe weakness which they cannot bear, then in all these situations,
they are all permitted not to fast on that day. [Jauhira, Durr-e Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.159]

Law 7: In these cases, the condition is that of ‘Ghalib Gumaan’ (i.e. on
the basis of predominant likelihood). Simply assuming this, is not
sufficient. There are three categories of ‘Ghalib Gumaan’:
1. If the obvious signs of this are evident
2. If that person has personal experience (in this regard)
3. If a Muslim Physician who is Mastur, in other words, a non-Faasiq,
has informed him (or her) accordingly

If there are neither any signs (symptoms), nor does one have any
experience in this regard, or if a proper physician (as aforementioned)
has not advised him accordingly, but if he made Iftaar (broke the fast)
on the advice of a physician (doctor) who is an unbeliever or a Faasiq,
then Kaffarah is necessary. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.159]

If most of the physicians of today are not unbelievers, ten (many) are
certainly Faasiq; otherwise to get a reliable (righteous) specialist
physician in this era is becoming very rare. Neither can one really rely
on their word and nor can one break one’s fast on their advice. You
will find that such physicians ask people to abstain from fasting due to
even very minor illnesses. They do not even realize in which illness
fasting will be harmful and in which illness it would not be.
Law 8: If a handmaid (baandi) does not get enough time to fulfill her
Faraa’id (obligatory prayers) due to being in the service of her master,
then this is not counted as a valid reason. She should fulfill her
Faraa’id, and she is not obligated to remain in his service for that
amount of time. For example, if the time of her Fard Namaaz is about
to expire, then she should leave her duties and fulfill the Fard, and if
she obeyed him and left her fast, then she must give Kaffarah. [Durr-e Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.160]

Law 9: If a female starts menstruating, or post-natal bleeding starts,
her fast will break, and if she becomes completely paak (cleansed)
from Haidh within the full ten days and nights, then in all such cases
she will keep the fast of the next day. And if she became paak within
fewer days, then if there is sufficient time until True Dawn in which
she can have her bath and after that only a limited amount of time
will remain, then too she must keep the fast for that day, and if after

she completes her bath, true dawn breaks, then there is no fast (for
that day). [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.207]

Law 10: A menstruating female or one in the condition of Nifaas has
the option of either eating in privacy or eating openly. It is not
necessary for her to remain like a fasting person. [Jauhira] However, it
is better for her to eat in privacy, especially for a female who is in
Haidh.

Law 11: If one is faced with hunger and thirst to the extent that there
is a real risk of annihilation, or there is fear of damage to one’s sanity
(mental state), then in such a case he/she should not fast. [Alamgiri,
vol.1, pg.207]

Law 12: If one was compelled to break the fast, he/she has the choice
(to either break it or not), and if he/she is patient, then there is great
reward in this. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.158]

Law 13: If one was bitten by a snake and his life is in danger, then in
this situation, he should break the fast. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.158]
Law 14: Those who have broken their fasts due to some Uzr (a valid
Shar’i justification/reason), then it is Fard upon them to keep the Qaza
of those fasts (once the Uzr has ended), and Tarteeb (sequence) is not
Fard in these fasts. Therefore, if one keeps Nafil fasts before these
fasts, the Nafil fasts are valid, but the ruling is that the Qaza fasts
should be kept after the Uzr has ended and before the following
Ramadaan comes. It has been mentioned in the Hadith, ‘If a person has
Qaza of the previous Ramadaan and he does not keep them, then the
fasts of his current Ramadaan will not be accepted.’ If one did not keep
the Qaza fasts, and the next Ramadaan came, he should still first keep

the fasts of the current Ramadaan and he should not keep the Qaza (at
this time). Even if a non-Mareedh (one who is not ill), or Musafir made
the Niyyat of Qaza, it will still not be regarded as Qaza, but they (those
fasts) will be regarded as the fasts of the current Ramadaan. [Durr-eMukhtar, vol.2, pg.160] That which is mentioned in the Hadith actually
means that even though the fasts will be regarded as discharged,
they will not be accepted until such time that the Qaza fasts are kept.
Law 15: If personally the Musafir (traveler), or the one traveling
with him (i.e. his travel companion) will not be harmed in any way by
fasting, then it is more virtuous for him to fast, otherwise it is better
(advisable) not to keep the fast. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.160]
Law 16: If these people (who did not keep fast due to some Uzr) die
due to the very same Uzr (reason which exempts them from fasting),
and they did not get sufficient time in which to keep the Qaza fasts,
then it is not Waajib upon them, to make a Wasiyat for the payment of
Fidya (before death), and if they still did make the Wasiyat, then it will
be fulfilled from one-third of their estate. However, if they had
sufficient time to keep the Qaza fasts but did not do so, then it is
Waajib for them to make a Wasiyat (for payment of Fidya). Also, if
they did not keep the fasts intentionally, then it is Waajib to a greater
extent to make this Wasiyat before leaving this world. If the person
did not make any Wasiyat and the guardian fulfilled this on his behalf,
then to do this is also permissible. However, it was not Waajib upon
the guardian to fulfill this (payment of Fidya). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2,
pg.160/161; Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.207]
________________________________________________________________________

Note: That which is mentioned in the Hadith actually means that even though the fasts will be
regarded as discharged, they will not be accepted until such time that the Qaza fasts are kept.

Law 17: The Fidya for each fast is the same as the amount for Sadaqa
e Fitr. The Wasiyat will only be executed from one-third of the
(deceased’s) estate if the deceased has left some heirs. If there are no
heirs, and all that he is left will have to be used to discharge his Fidya,
then in this case it is necessary to use all of it for the Fidya. Similarly,
if only the husband or the wife is an heir (inheritor as per Shariah),
then one-third will first be removed, and then only will their (the
heirs) share of inheritance be given to them. After this, if anything is
still left-over, and if it can be used to pay off the Fidya, then it should
be spent for this purpose. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2,
pg.161]

Law 18: To make Wasiyat for the fasts is only Waajib for those fasts
which he was able to keep. For example, he was liable for ten Qaza, but
after the Uzr subsided, he only had the ability to keep five, and then
he passed away, then the Wasiyat for only five fasts is Waajib. [Durr-e Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.161]
Law 19: A person cannot fast on behalf of another person. [General
books, Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.207]

Law 20: If the heirs (of a deceased person) give the compensation for
Waajib I’tekaaf and Sadaqa e Fitr, then it is permissible to do so, and
the amount for this is the same which is for Sadaqa e Fitr. If they wish
to pay the Zakat (owed by the deceased), then they should payout
that which was Waajib (upon him). [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.163]

Law 21: If a Shaykh Al Faani, meaning such an old person whose age
is such that he will become weaker as the days go. If he is not able to
keep fast any longer, meaning that there is no real hope that he will
have sufficient strength to fast in the future, then such a person is

exempted from fasting, and it is Waajib upon him to give Fidya in lieu
of every fast, in other words, he should feed a Miskeen (needy person)
a full stomach of food for two meals, or he should give the amount of
Sadaqa e Fitr in compensation of each fast, to a Miskeen. [Durr-e Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.163/164]

Law 22: If such an old person (i.e. the Shaykh Al Faani) is not able to
keep fast in the summer months due to the hot weather, but he is able
to fast in the winter months, then he is permitted not to fast now, but
for him to keep the (Qaza) fasts for this (the missed fasts) in the winter
months is Fard upon him. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.136]

Law 23: If after giving the Fidya, he regains enough strength to be
able to fast, then the Fidya will count as Nafil Sadaqa, (and) He should
(now) keep the Qaza for those fasts. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.207]
Law 24: He has the right of either giving the Fidya for all the fasts at
the beginning of Ramadaan at once, or he may give it at the end,
and in this ‘Tamleek’ (to make someone Maalik) is not a condition, but
even Ibaahat (consent) is sufficient. It is also not necessary for one to
pay the amount of Fidya one has, to that number of Masakeen (i.e. it
does not mean that if he has five Fidyas, he has to give it to five
separate Miskeen), but one Miskeen can be given the Fidya of multiple
days. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.163]

Law 25: If one is liable for the Kaffarah of a (broken) oath1 or for
manslaughter2
, and he is unable to keep it due to old age, then in this
case there is no Fidya for this fast. If he is liable for the Fidya for
breaking a fast or for Zihaar3
, then in this case, if he is unable to keep
the fast, he should feed sixty Miskeen. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.207]

Law 26: If someone took a Man’nat (vow) that he will fast always, but
if he keeps the fast continuously (as he vowed), then he will not be
able to do any job, through which he may be able to earn a livelihood,
then (in such a case) he is permitted to make Iftaar (i.e. not too fast) for
the number of days that are necessary. And for every fast which he
misses, he should give Fidya, and if he does not even have the means
to do this, then he should make Istighfar (seek repentance). [Raddul
Muhtar, vol.2, pg.164]

Law 27: If a person kept a Nafil fast with intent, then breaking it will
make the Qaza necessary, and to fulfill this is Waajib. If he was under
the impression that he is liable for a fast and he thus started fasting,
and later he realized he is not liable for that fast, then in this case, if
he immediately broke the fast, he is not liable for anything, but after
knowing this, if he still did not break it, then he is now not permitted
to break it. If he does break it now, the Qaza is Waajib upon him.
[Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.164/165]

Law 28: If one did not intentionally break a Nafil Fast, but it broke
without any control, for example, if whilst fasting, a female got her
menstrual cycle, then in this case the Qaza must still be kept. [Durr-e Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.165]
Law 29: If one kept Nafil fast on anyone (or both) of the two Eids or
during the Ayaam-e-Tashreeq, then for him to complete that fast is
not Waajib and breaking it will also not make the Qaza Waajib.
________________________________________________________________________
1: The Kaffarah for a broken Oath (Qasm) is three fasts.
2: The Kaffarah for manslaughter (unintended killing) demands fasting for two months
3: The Kaffarah for Zihaar demands fasting for two months

In fact, it is Waajib (in such a situation) to break that fast, and if he had
taken a Man’nat to fast on any of those days, then in this case it is
Waajib to fulfill the fasts, but it cannot be done on those days (as to fast
on those days is forbidden). They should thus be kept on any other
day. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.165]

Law 30: To break a Nafil fast without a valid Uzr (i.e. a justification
stipulated by the Shariah) is impermissible. If the host does not
partake in the meal with the guest, it will offend the guest, or if the
a guest does not eat, then the host will feel offended, then this is
regarded as an Uzr to break the Nafil fast.
The condition is that one has the conviction that he will keep the Qaza for
that fast, and on condition that he breaks it before Zahwa e Kubra, and
not after that. One is permitted to break it after Zawaal if his parents
are upset (that he is fasting), and this too he may break before Asar.
He is not permitted to break it after Asar. [Alamgiri, vol.1, pg.208;
Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.166]
Law 31: If a person took a Qasm (oath) by saying that, if you do not
break your fast, then there is Talaaq upon my wife, then in such a
the situation, he should let his Qasm be positive, i.e. he should break the
fast, even if it is the Fast of a Qaza Fast.

Law 32: If a person was invited (for a meal) by one of his brothers,
then he is permitted to break the Nafil fast before Zahwa e Kubra.
[Durr-e-Mukhtar, vol.2, pg.166]

Law 33: A female should not keep the Nafil fast, the fast for a
Man’nat, and the fast of a Qasm (Oath) without the permission of her
husband, and if she has kept it, then the husband may ask her to break
it. However, if she breaks it, the Qaza is Waajib upon her, but even to
keep this Qaza, she needs to take the permission of her husband,
unless there is a separation between her and her husband. In other
words, if he gave her Talaaq e Baa’in, or if he died. However, if there is
no harm to the husband in her keeping fast, such as if he is on
a journey, or he is ill or he is in the state of Ihram, then in these
situations she is allowed to keep the Qaza without permission of her
husband, even if he does not allow her to keep it (she may). However,
even on these days, she cannot keep Nafil without his permission as
well. To keep the fasts of Ramadaan and the Qaza of Ramadaan, she
does not need to take her husband’s permission, and even if he forbids
her to keep them, she should still keep them. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul
Muhtar, vol.2, pg.167]

Law 34: With the exception of Faraa’id, even a bondswoman or a
a slave is not allowed to keep these without the permission of their
master. If the master wishes, he may ask them to break it. They may
keep the Qaza for this fast after being freed, or with the permission of
the master. However, if a slave is responsible for Zihaar with any
woman (i.e. when the husband compares his wife with a woman
within his prohibited relationship e.g. his mother or sister), then she
may keep the fasts of Kaffarah for this without the permission of the
husband. [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.176]

Law 35: If a servant or worker keeps a Nafil fast and will thus not be
able to fulfill his/her duties, so in this case, he requires the permission
of his employer or the one who appointed him to the job; and if he is
able to fulfill his duties (even whilst keeping the Nafil fast), then there
is no need to seek permission. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.176]
Law 36: A daughter does not have to take permission from her father,
a mother does not need to take permission from her son, and a sister
does not have to seek permission from her brother. If parents forbid
the son from fasting as there is a fear of him becoming ill, he should
obey the wishes of his parents. [Raddul Muhtar, vol.2, pg.167]

 

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