What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: If someone cannot fast due to his health deteriorating because when Ramadān falls in the summer, such person fears his illness further worsening due to the heat. The doctor has also said that if such patient fasts, his illness will deteriorate further, or that it will become a permanent condition. Can such a patient keep these fasts in the winter?

Questioner:  Umar from Holland


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

The saying of a non-Muslim, deviant or sinful doctor is not accepted in the eyes of Sharī’ah, nor can one leave the fard fast of Ramadān due to their saying. Just as it is stated in Fatāwā Shāmī,

“أَمَّا الْكَافِرُ فَلَا يُعْتَمَدُ عَلَى قَوْلِهِ لِاحْتِمَالِ أَنَّ غَرَضَهُ إفْسَادُ الْعِبَادَةِ”

[Radd al-Muhtār, vol 3, pg 464]

It is also difficult to find a Sunnī Muslim experienced doctor in your current country of residence. Thus, in this case, such patient is to take note of & observe his own feelings & experience; if the illness worsens when fasting, or he suffers unbearable pain, or the illness could become permanent from fasting, and it has a clear particular symptom, then such a patient should not fast. It is essential for one to do qadā’ i.e. make up these fasts later on when the illness goes away, thus one should make up these fasts once the illness is cured.

Likewise, in Holland, when the days become so short in the winter season, and one is not even able to feel hunger or thirst so much due to winter, then such patient can fulfil these fasts during such days. This is because this patient cannot fast in the summer due to an illness, hence fulfilling them is wājib. The ruling of making them up is when the patient’s health becomes better, such that he is able to fast, then he should make the fasts up. If someone becomes able to fulfil these in the winter, then he should fulfil these fasts in the winter.

This is because Allāh Almighty states regarding people who are excused [from fasting] to fast in other days other than Ramadān,

“فَعِدَّۃٌ مِّنْ اَیَّامٍ اُخَرَؕ یُرِیۡدُ اللہُ بِکُمُ الْیُسْرَ وَلَا یُرِیۡدُ بِکُمُ الْعُسْرَ۫”

{(And whoever is sick or on a journey (and does not fast)) should keep the same number of fasts on other days. Allāh desires ease for you and does not desire hardship for you}

[Sūrah al-Baqarah, v 185]

Just as it is mentioned in Radd al-Muhtār,

“أَمَّا لَوْ لَمْ يَقْدِرْ عَلَيْهِ لِشِدَّةِ الْحَرِّ كَانَ لَهُ أَنْ يُفْطِرَ وَيَقْضِيَهُ فِي الشِّتَاءِ”

[Radd al-Muhtār, vol 3, pg 472]

However, if the illness does not worsen by fasting in Ramadān, nor does one suffer from severe thirst which is outside the limits of being at an unreasonable level, then it is fard for such person to keep the fasts of Ramadān in the actual month of Ramadān. This person should not worry regarding a little amount of illness, rather he should prepare for fasting, and fasting actually guarantees healthiness – just as the Noble Prophet ﷺ has stated,

“صُوْمُوْ ا تَصِحُّوا”

“Fast; you will become healthy.”

[Durr al-Manthūr, vol 1, pg 440]

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 Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0677] Due to health reasons I cannot keep the long fasts in Summer, can I make them up in Winter instead?

Also see:

[Q-ID0787] Do I have to keep the Fast in Ramadan if I believe I may catch Coronavirus [COVID-19]?

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