Volume - VIII / CHAPTER - 1 / LESSON NO: 23 / PAGE 1of 2
CONDITIONS IN WHICH ONE CAN FORGO FASTING
Q.1: Under what circumstances can one forgo fasting?
A. One can forgo fasting in the following conditions without incurring a sin:
Journey, pregnancy, breast-feeding of a child, severe sickness, old age, fear of being killed, duress, fear of loss of the senses and "Jehaad" (religious war, holy crusade).
Q.2: What is meant by journey?
A. Journey means Shar'ee travel i.e. to set off on a journey for such a distant place,destination that is covered in three days if one walks on foot irrespective of adopting whatever mode of travel like plane etc. However, it is better for the traveller and his companions to fast during journey if it does not harm them otherwise non-observance of fast is better.
Q.3: Can one forgo fast or not if he plans to travel in the day?
A. If one plans to undertake a journey any time in the day he can not forgo fast of that day, for, it is not a valid excuse. He should observe fast. In case, he fasted and broke it before time during journey, in such situation Kaffaarah would not be due but he would be sinner and if he fasted and broke it before time prior to undertaking travel and then set off on a journey then Kaffaarah would also become due.
Likewise, if he travelled in the day and came back home to collect something which he had forgotten to carry with him and broke his fast before time at home, in such situation too Kaffaarah would be due.
Q.4: What injunction is there if a traveler stays somewhere before noon?
A. If a traveler makes intention of staying somewhere before meridian Shar'ee (the time by which intention of fast has to be made) and he ate or drank nothing by that time then he must intend for and observe fast as his journey is finished before the ceiling time of forming "Niyat" of fast.
Q.5: What injunction is there for a traveller who reaches his home after meridian?
A. If a traveller intends to stay somewhere or reaches his home after meridian Shar'ee and ate or drank nothing by that time, in such case he can not observe fast as the ceiling time of making intention has expired. However, he must spend the remaining part of the day as a fasting man.
Q.6: In which condition can one forgo his fast for illness?
A. If a sick man is sure that observance of fast will aggravate his disease or delay the recovery or a healthy man is certain that fast will make him sick or a servant/maid is sure that observance of fast will weaken him/her badly, in such cases fast of that day can be forgone.
Q,7: Can one forgo his fast or not for just a doubt of aggravation of disease?
A. A mere doubt or apprehension that observance of fast will worsen the condition of the sick is no excuse to forgo fast. One must be sure of it. For example, (1).there are some symptoms which lead to believe that observance of fast will aggravate his disease or (2).he has experienced such thing in the past or (3).an experienced Muslim doctor who is not involved in "Fisq-o-Fujoor" (sinfulness and debauchery) has advised to forgo fast otherwise his condition is sure to worsen.
If one broke his fast before time without facing any of these conditions on the advice of a doctor who is an unbeliever or "Faasiq" (sinner,transgressor) then Kaffaarah would also become due and in case, he forwent a fast then he would be sinner. Unfortunately, nowadays doctors advise their patients to forgo fast for just an ordinary disease without taking into consideration whether his disease warrants such advice or not. Advice of such doctors is not credible.
Q.8: What injunction is there if a woman has "Haiz-o-Nifaas" during fast?
A. If a woman has "Haiz-o-Nifaas" (menstruation or discharge of blood of childbirth) during fasting her fast would be spoilt and she will have to observe Qada thereof. Qada of obligatory fast is "Fard" and "Waajib" of Nafil fast.
Q.9: Will fast of a menstruating woman who becomes free from it in the day be in order or not if she makes intention of fast?
A. Being free from "Haiz-o-Nifaas" (menstruation and discharge of blood of childbirth) is must for a woman to observe fast. If a woman who has Haiz-o-Nifaas becomes free from it in the day before meridian Shar'ee and she forms Niyat of fast, her fast will not be in order irrespective of Fard or Nafil.
Q10: How should a menstruating woman spend remaining part of the day if she becomes free from it?
A. If a woman who has Haiz-o-Nifaas becomes from free it in the day, she should spend the remaining part of the day like a fasting woman.
Q11: Can a menstruating woman forms Niyat of fast or not if she becomes free from it before the dawn of Fajr?
A. If a woman who has Haiz-o-Nifaas becomes free from it after full ten days at such a time that night has run out leaving not even a few moments in which she could say "Al-Laahu Akbar" once, in such case observance of fast is Waajib. She should make intention of the fast and take bath as early as possible. And in case, she becomes free from Haiz-o-Nifaas before ten days but there is so enough time in finishing the night that she can take bath and say "Al-Laahu Akbar" before the dawn of Fajr then the observance of fast is Fard. (She should better take bath before dawn. If can not, then make intention of fast and take bath later but before Fajr prayer). But if the time left (in finishing the night) is not enough then fast will not be Fard. However, she should spend the day as a fasting woman and should not do such things that are opposed to fasting like eating and drinking.
Q12: At what stage of their life can old men and women forgo fasting?
A. It is permissible for such old men and women who are called "Shaikh-e-Faanee" by the Shari'ah (i.e. who are so emaciated by the old age that they can not observe fasts and there is also no hope of improvement) to forgo fasting. But it is compulsory for them to pay "Fidyah" (payment or feedig an indigent to relieve oneself of the obligation) for each fast.
Q13: Should a Shaikh-e-Faanee observe fasts in winter in lieu of summer or give Fidyah?
A. If an old man or woman can not observe fasts in summer but can in winter then he/she can forgo fasting in summer for observing in winter. He/She can not pay Fidyah in such case.
Q14: What injunction is there for the one who can not observe fasts owing to weakness?
A. "Real weakness" must be distinguished from that of "lack of courage". The first thing to this effect is that sometimes devil inveigles one into believing that he can not do such and such work. If he attempts to, he will be putting his life in peril. But when he takes courage to do the work seeking Allah's grace then he comes through with flying colours without the slightest damage to oneself. "Lack of courage" is nothing but a deception of Satan. Some people are there who do observe fasts even after 75 years of age and contrary to this some people who are under 70 can not do it because of weakness. Therefore, reality and unreality must be distinguished well from each other to save oneself from the devilish subterfuges.
Secondly, some people (faced with weakness) can not observe fasts in summer but can in winter. Such people can not pay Fidyah for their fasts but they should forgo fasts in summer and observe their Qada in winter.
Thirdly, some weak people can not observe fasts of the whole month (of Ramadaan) continuously but can do intermittently. Such people should observe as many fasts as they can in Ramadaan and observe Qada of the unobserved ones in winter.
Fourthly, a young or old who is so weakened by some disease that he can not observe fasts, can not pay Fidyah for his fasts but should wait for recovery. If he dies before recovery he should, when death is nigh, make a will for the payment of Fidyah.
In brief, Fidyah can be paid for fasts only when one can fast neither in summer nor in winter and neither continuously nor intermittently and that the excuse,reason due to which he can not observe fast must be genuine like old age which is an irreversible phenomenon. Some naive people think that every that person can pay Fidyah for his fasts who feels a difficulty in observance of fasts. It is not so at all. The facility of Fidyah is meant for Shaikh-e-Faanee only as expounded above.
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