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ramadhan edition 80


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Among the issue that has been heatedly discussed on social media is the permissibility of a person who is not fasting to eat in public. They may be from among women who are menstruating, travelers, the sick and elderly people. Thus, in this series of Irsyad al-Fatwa Series Ramadhan Edition, we will present a detailed discussion on this issue.

People Who Are Given the Facilitation to Not Fast

The following we share the groups of people who are given the excuse by syara’ to not fast. They are:

First: Women who are experiencing post-natal bleeding (nifas) and menstruation.

Scholars have reached a consensus that it is haram for a menstruating woman to fast. If she still fasts, then her fast is invalid. Regardless whether it is an obligatory, sunnah, kaffarah or nazar fasting. It is wajib for her to replace her fast when she becomes pure again. This is in accordance with the statement of the Prophet PBUH:

أَلَيْسَ إِذَا حَاضَتْ لَمْ تُصَلِّ وَلَمْ تَصُمْ

"Isn't it true that a woman does not pray and does not fast on menstruating?"

Sahih al-Bukhari (1951)

Second: People who are sick

Sick people are given the facilitation to break their fast (to not fast). When he is healthy again, then it is wajib for him to replace his missed fast. This is according to the statement of Allah SWT:

أَيَّاما مَّعۡدُودَٰت فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَر فَعِدَّة مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

“So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. “

Surah al-Baqarah (184)

However, there are certain standards for the category of illnesses that it become permissible for a person to break his fast. Among them are:

  • It is a severe (heavy) illness of which if the person fasts it would increase the pain and suffering as well as prolong the recovery process.
  • If the sick person fasts then there will be masyaqqah (burden) for him.

Third: People who are travelling

People who are travelling are given the rukhsah (facilitation) to break their fast (to not fast). This is based on the statement of Allah SWT:

أَيَّاما مَّعۡدُودَٰت فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَر فَعِدَّة مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

“So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. “

Surah al-Baqarah (184)

According to this verse, people who are travelling are also given the facilitation to not fast. When he breaks his fast, it became an obligation for him to replace (qadha’) it on another day. However, the travel that would rule it permissible to break one’s fast must fulfil several criteria. Among them are:

  • It’s a long journey and there is masyaqqah (burden/hardship) to the traveller for him to continue his fast.
  • If a person who is travelling continue with his fast and this does not burden him, then it is prioritized for him to continue with his fast.

Is It Permissible for the Above Stated Groups of People to Eat Openly During the Day in Ramadhan?

This is the main issue that we are focusing on since it has been heatedly debated. Before we discuss this further, we would like to first share several stories that could be a lesson for us all.

First: The Messenger of Allah PBUH said:

أَنَا سَيِّدُ وَلَدِ آدَمَ وَلاَ فَخْر

“I am the leader of the sons of Adam, and it is no boast.”

Sunan Abu Daud (4308)

When commenting on this hadith, Sulthan al-Ulama al-Izz Ibn Abd al-Salam (w. 660 H) said: The Prophet PBUH said that the matter is not a boast is to reject bad presumptions of certain people when the Prophet PBUH is narrating about himself.

Although explaining the advantages Allah SWT has granted him is not an offence, the Prophet PBUH still stated that it is not a boast to avoid fitnah from befalling upon him.

Second: In a sahih hadith, the Messenger of Allah PBUH was seen walking alone together with a woman. At that moment two Ansari man passed by and when they saw him, they quickened their pace. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to them,

 عَلَى رِسْلِكُمَا إِنَّهَا صَفِيَّة بِنْت حُيَي فَقَالَا‏:‏ سُبْحَانَ اللَّه يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏!‏ ‏:‏‏"‏إِنّ الشَّيطَانَ يجَرِي مِن ابنِ آَدَمَ مَجْرَى الدَّم وَإِنِّي خَشِيْت أن يَقْذِفَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمَا شَرَّا

"Do not hurry. She is Safiyyah, daughter of Huyai, my wife." They said: "Subhan Allah (Allah is free from imperfection)! O Messenger of Allah! (You are far away from any suspicion)." The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Satan circulates in a person like blood (in the bloodstreams). I apprehended lest Satan should drop some evil thoughts in your minds."

Sahih Muslim (2175)

This hadith also shows that the Prophet PBUH tries his best to avoid any fitnah upon himself and the allegations or presumptions of others from his actions. Even when the act of being alone together with one’s wife is permissible, however, in order to avoid fitnah, the truth of the matter was explained.

Third: The story of Ibrahim al-Nakhaie and his student Sulaiman al-A’masy

It is narrated that Ibrahim al-Nakhaie was blind and his student, Sulaiman bin Mehran al-A’masy is short-sighted. One day, when both of them were walking together to the mosque Ibrahim said: “Sulaiman, it would be better if we walk on different paths to the mosque, for I fear that people who see us would say: Look the blind is being led by the short-sighted and they would talk about this behind our backs.”

Sulaiman said: “O my teacher, it is not wrong, for we will be rewarded for their sins (of backbiting us)?” Ibrahim answered: “No, we and them saved are better than when we are rewarded while they have sinned.” (See al-Muntazom fi Tarikh al-Muluk wa al-Umam by Ibn al-Jawzi, 7/22)

Look at the example of the great character showcased by Ibrahim al-Nakha’ie being responsible with his actions. It is perfectly fine for them to walk together to the mosque. However, thinking about the hearts and tongues of others that cannot be restrained from thinking and talking about the worse of things, they chose another way to avoid others. Maybe we would like to be rewarded as a result of people talking behind our backs but we didn’t realize that our own actions led to them backbiting or talking badly about us. This is disliked by Ibrahim al-Nakha’ie for he would like it best for both parties to be safe.

Fourth: Is it permissible for a person who has sighted the new moon of Syawal to not fast?

Narrated by Ibn Umar R.Anhuma, he said, I heard the Rasullullah PBUH said:

إِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُ فَصُومُوا وَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُ فَأَفْطِرُوا

“Observe fast when you see it (the new moon) and break fast when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal),”

Sahih Msulim (1080)

When commenting on this hadith, Imam al-Son’aani Rahimahullah said: If a person is certain that he observes the new moon for Syawal, then it is permissible for him to break his fast (to not fast) and it is best for him to hide this fact for the purpose of protecting other slaves (others) from having bad assumptions and commit sin. Refer Subul as Salam, al-Son’aani (2/422).


Lastly, in our opinion, it is permissible for a person who experiences a debilitation to not fast during the day in Ramadhan. It is prioritized if he eats in an area hidden from others to protect himself from fitnah and others from bad assumptions and sin. Hopefully, this explanation can be understood clearly. We pray to Allah SWT to accept all our deeds in this month of Ramadhan and subsequently make us from among the people of taqwa. Amin.