What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is fasting necessary for people who are susceptible to Covid-19, like people who already have other ailments? Can they pay fidyah instead?
Questioner: Zayd from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Remember that mere doubt of catching a disease or Covid-19 in particular does not mean that the person is permitted to leave fasting. If a patient is able to fast, then it is necessary upon him to fast, as the fasting of Ramadan is fard qat’i (absolute obligation). Allah ﷻ commands regarding the fasting of Ramadan thus:
فَمَنۡ شَہِدَ مِنۡکُمُ الشَّہۡرَ فَلْیَصُمْہُؕ
Translation: “So those of you who witness the month must fast in it.” (Quran, 2:185)
There is a strict emphasis on fasting laid in the Prophetic narrations. 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
Translation: “Allah ﷻ has made four things obligatory in Islam. Whomsoever acts on three of them will not be benefited by them until he acts on all of them. They are Salah, Zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and Hajj.”
[Musnad Ahmad, hadith no. 17789]
Thus, we come to know that if anyone leaves the fast without a valid excuse, then there is a chance of his other deeds being rejected. Any Muslim who fears Allah ﷻ will not dare to leave the fast of Ramadan after listening to such warning. If, due to fasting, the ailment increases or the person suffers unbearable hardship or experience says that he might develop another disease, then it is allowed for him to skip fasting. It is necessary to make up for these fasts once he recovers. The fasts can also be made up during the winter season when the days are very short in the UK.
Allah ﷻ says regarding the making up of fasts by those who have missed them due to any legal excuse.
فَعِدَّۃٌ مِّنْ اَیَّامٍ اُخَرَؕ یُرِیۡدُ اللہُ بِکُمُ الْیُسْرَ وَلَا یُرِیۡدُ بِکُمُ الْعُسْرَ۫
Translation: “But the one who is sick, or is on a journey (should fast) as much from other days (as he missed). Allah intends (to provide) ease for you and does not intend (to create) hardship for you.” (Quran 2:185)
If the ailment does not increase due to fasting or the person does not feel unbearable hardship, then fasting is obligatory upon him. Moreover, fasting assures well-being of a person. The Prophet ﷺ stated:
صُوْ مُوْ ا تَصِحُّوا
Translation: “Fast and you will be healthy.”
[al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 1, pg. 440]
Diseased people have not been commanded to pay fidyah but they should wait until they recover from the disease and then make up the fasts. If they have paid the fidyah and later recovered, qada (make up) of the fasts is necessary upon them.
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-ID0787] Do I have to keep the Fast in Ramadan if I believe I may catch Coronavirus [COVID-19]?