Important Tips for Fasting in the Month of Ramadhan ‘Part II’- Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali
We highly recommend Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali’s ‘Fiqh of Fasting which provides a excellent discourse on fasting according to the school of Imam Malik (ra)
When exactly when do we start fasting? Can we eat our ‘suhur’ after fajr if it is still dark outside? Shaykh Abdullah answers this question in this MP3 clip taken from his ‘Fiqh of Fasting’ session.
What do we do when fasting may affect our health. How should we approach this when our hearts yearn to fast for Allah’s sake…but we are ill, and fasting may harm us! Also…is it required for us to to eat the sahur for fast?
Question :A Sister I know from an Internet group has come down with a UTI (urinary tract infection) and her doctor has given her a medicine that requires being spaced out over the day, and being taken with lots of water. This means that if she follows the doctor’s instructions she cannot continue her fast.
Other Sisters are encouraging her to “shift” the times she takes her medicine so that she may “get the benefits of fasting.” It seems to me like this is extremism, because the Sister has a serious health problem that needs proper and prompt treatment, and that this could delay her recovery. Which is the proper course? To follow the doctor’s instructions, and make up the fast later, or to play around with the prescription timings and try to continue fasting? If the doctor has told her not to fast, does it then become haram for her to fast? What if the doctor is not a Muslim? I’ve told her she should follow her doctor’s instructions. Have I done something haram by doing this? I really worry about what she might do to her health if she doesn’t treat this infection properly from my own experience with what happens when such things are not treated.
Ustadh Abdullah’s Response:
Fasting is not an obligation on those who are sick. Rather, one can merely make up the days he/she missed from fasting at a later date as long as it is believed that one will eventually get over one’s illness. If a sick person fasts, the fast is valid. However, he/she doesn’t have to fast. Then, if it happens that a person is discouraged or prohibited by his/her doctor from fasting since fasting would prolong the cure, one should get the opinion of a second doctor who also concludes that fasting would damage the person’s health or prolong the cure.
Such doctors should be Muslims. But in the absence of Muslim doctors, the word of non-Muslim doctors would have to be accepted out of necessity.
Allah has made fasting binding on us. But He was also considerate enough to provided us with excuses and matters that would justify abandoning the fast for a time. Allah doesn’t place on us a burden greater than we can bear. But we can place one on ourselves that is
beyond our capacity to withstand. So when a person insists on fasting after being warned that it could harm them and prolong their cure, such an individual has entered the realm of extreme behavior, which will only lead to destruction.
Allah says in the Qur’an, ((And fear Allah the extent you are able)). And his Messenger (pbuh) said, “Bear the deeds that you can withstand. For verily the one who is cut off (al-munbatt), leaves no back (to be ridden), and he traverses no (amount of) land.” (Bukhari) He – peace be upon him – has also informed us that Allah loves that His licenses (rukhas) be accepted. And not fasting for the one who is sick is a license provided by the All-Compassionate Creator.
The Prophet has also told us that, “…None goes to extreme in the religion except that it will overwhelm him.” In the end I’ll say that if changing the times for taking the medicine and maintaining the fast is something authorized by the doctor as a legitimate alternative, then the sister should fast although she would still not be obliged to – and take the medicine at those times when she is not fasting.
Otherwise, she should follow the doctor’s instructions and save her health and her deen. Then all should know that anytime the interest of preserving one deen conflicts with the interest of preserving one’s life and physical well-being, the interest of preserving one’s life and physical well-being is placed over the interest of preserving one’s deen.
And from Allah comes all success.
My Question is regarding fasting. Is it obligatory to eat during Suhur for you Fast to be Valid.
Shaykh Abdullah’s response:
No. It is not obligatory for one to eat sahur (the pre-dawn meal) in order for the fast to be considered valid. But it is highly encouraged. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Eat sahur. For verily there is blessing in sahur.” (Sahih Muslim)
Click HERE for Part 1 of Important Tips for Fasting in the Month of Ramadan
Click HERE for Part 3 of Important Tips for Fasting in the Month of Ramadan
Click HERE for Part 4 of Important Tips for Fasting in the Month of Ramadan