What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: I live in England and I am suffering from diabetes, due to which insulin injections need to be administered to me in short intervals of time. Is fasting fard (obligatory) upon me? The doctors here dissuade from fasting when suffering from this ailment, as the patient feels extremely thirsty much frequently.
Questioner: A brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Fasting in Ramadan is fard qata’i (absolutely obligatory). Allah ﷻ commands us to fast during Ramadan, and states,
فَمَنۡ شَہِدَ مِنۡکُمُ الشَّہۡرَ فَلْیَصُمْہُؕ
“So any one of you who is present that month should fast” [Surah al-Baqarah, 185]
The Hadith lays strict emphasis on fasting during this month. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ states,
أَرْبَعٌ فَرَضَهُنَّ اللهُ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ، فَمَنْ جَاءَ بِثَلَاثٍ، لَمْ يُغْنِينَ عَنْهُ شَيْئًا، حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ بِهِنَّ جَمِيعًا الصَّلَاةُ، وَالزَّكَاةُ، وَصِيَامُ رَمَضَانَ، وَحَجُّ الْبَيْتِ
“Allah ﷻ has obligated four things in Islam. If anyone acts on three of them, he will not be benefitted unless he acts on all of them. (They are) Salah, Zakat, Fasting and Hajj.”
[Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 29, hadith #17789]
Thus it is clear that if someone leaves fasting without any valid excuse, then it is feared that other deeds of his will be rejected. Any Muslim who fears Allah ﷻ will not dare to leave Ramadan fasts after hearing such warnings.
The statement of a doctor who is a disbeliever or heretic or transgressor is neither acceptable in the Sharia nor can one leave fasting because of his saying to do so. It is also very difficult to find a proficient Sunni Muslim doctor in your country. In this case, you must experience for yourself if the ailment increases or you face unbearable thirst due to fasting. If yes, then you can miss the fasts and compensate for them later when you get well (See: [Q-ID0477] I can’t Fast due to Diabetes, do I give fidyah?). In England, you may observe the missed fasts during the winter season as days are very short then and you may not feel much thirsty also. Allah ﷻ states regarding people who are excused from fasting,
فَعِدَّۃٌ مِّنْ اَیَّامٍ اُخَرَؕ یُرِیۡدُ اللہُ بِکُمُ الْیُسْرَ وَلَا یُرِیۡدُ بِکُمُ الْعُسْرَ۫
“Anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later.” [Surah al-Baqarah, 185]
If the ailment does not increase or you do not feel extremely thirsty, then fasting during the month of Ramadan is fard upon you. Moreover, fasting is the guarantor of good health. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ stated,
صُوْ مُوْ ا تَصِحُّوا
“Fast and you will become healthy.” [al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 1, pg. 440]
Remember that taking injections of insulin or any other medicine does not invalidate the fast. We have mentioned this in our fatwas. Regarding this issue, the famous principle of the Hanafi school is, “Anything that enters the stomach through a route invalidates the fast. If anything enters the stomach through the skin instead of a route, then it does not invalidate the fast.”
It is mentioned in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah,
وَمَا يَدْخُلُ مِنْ مَسَامِّ الْبَدَنِ مِنْ الدُّهْنِ لَا يُفْطِرُ
“Anything like oil, etc., that enters the body through the skin, does not invalidate the fast.” [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, vol. 1, pg. 203]
Similarly, while administering an injection, the medicine enters the body through the skin. This does not invalidate the fast.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath team
Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0349] I have Diabetes & receive insulin injections – do I have to fast?