What do the scholars and muftis of the mighty Shari’ah say regarding the following matter, can we leave the Fasts if we have exams?
الجواب بعون اللك الوهاب،اللهم هدايةالحق و الصواب
The compulsory fasts of Ramadan cannot be missed due to exams. Furthermore, it would be incorrect to infer from this that Islam does not facilitate and provided ease for its followers. Allah Almighty Himself has stated in the Quran,
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
Translation: Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 286]
It is for this reason we find that Islam has permitted the leaving of obligatory fasts in numerous circumstances. For example, Islam allows for a traveller (of 57.5 miles or more) and an ill person to not fast whilst they are in this state, and instead, they may fast afterwards upon completion of the journey and recovering from their illness. In relation to this, Allah Almighty has stated in the Quran,
وَ مَنۡ کَانَ مَرِیۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰی سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّۃٌ مِّنۡ اَیَّامٍ اُخَرَ ؕ یُرِیۡدُ اللّٰہُ بِکُمُ الۡیُسۡرَ وَ لَا یُرِیۡدُ بِکُمُ الۡعُسۡرَ
Translation: And whomsoever is ill or on a journey, then they are to fast the same number in other days. Allah intends ease for you, and not hardship. [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 185]
Likewise, pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding are also permitted to miss the fasts of Ramadhan. This is conditional upon them fearing the loss of their life or the child’s life. Once they have the ability to do so, the missed fasts are to be kept.
As for leaving an obligatory fast of Ramadhan solely due to exams, this is not permitted. It is stated in a Hadith,
مَنْ أَفْطَرَ يَوْمًا فِي رَمَضَانَ مِنْ غَيْرِ مَرَضٍ، وَلَا رُخْصَةٍ، لَمْ يَقْضِ عَنْهُ صِيَامُ الدَّهْرِ كُلِّهِ، وَإِنْ صَامَهُ
Translation: A full lifetime of fasts cannot make up for missing one fast of Ramadhan without an illness or valid reason. [Musnad of Imam Ahmad, Hadith no. 10081]
Even those who are permitted to not fast have then been addressed by Allah Almighty in the verse,
وَ اَنْ تَصُوْمُوْا خَیْرٌ لَّكُمْ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُوْنَ
Translation: And to fast is better for you, if only you know. [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 184]
It is therefore by no means permissible for someone to leave a fast of Ramadhan due to exams. Instead, a fast should be kept, for it is possible that success is attained due to the blessings of the fast. Allah Almighty has stated,
وَ عَسٰۤی اَنۡ تَکۡرَهُوۡا شَیۡئًا وَّ ہُوَ خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ ۚ وَ عَسٰۤی اَنۡ تُحِبُّوۡا شَیۡئًا وَّ ہُوَ شَرٌّ لَّکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ
Translation: And it could be that you dislike something whereas it is better for you; and it could be that you love something whereas it is bad for you. And Allah knows, and you do not know. [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 216]
Allah knows best
Answered by Abu Hanzalah Khalid Tasneem Al-Madani
Translated by Atta ul Haq
Verified by: Mufti Abu Athar Muhammad Azhar Al-Madani
Read the original answer in Urdu here: [Q-ID0469] Can I miss my Fasts if I have exams?