What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is it necessary for taxi drivers to fast? Should they fast even if they are to embark on a long trip and they would be risking their own and their passengers’ lives due to fasting? These are questions from the taxi drivers of South Wales, UK. 

Questioner: Inayat from Wales, UK


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

If a taxi driver intends to travel 57.5 miles (92km approx.) or more to another city and exits the inhabitation of his city, then he is legally considered a traveller. If such a traveller does not fast, then he will not be a sinner, because this ease is granted to him by his Lord ﷻ Himself. Allāh ﷻ states,

{فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ}

{So whoever is sick amongst you or on a journey (and he does not fast); so an equal number of fasts on other days (must be kept)}

[Sūrah al-Baqarah, 184]

However, all the fasts missed whilst travelling must be compensated for later, as Allāh ﷻ commanded while stating, فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ}}

To leave the fast of a particular day, it is necessary for a traveller to start his journey before the time for the Fajr prayer commences (i.e. at the time of Suhūr). If he commences his journey after the time for Fajr commences, then the fast of that day is fard (obligatory) upon him, leaving which will be considered a sin.

It is stated in the famous book of Hanafī jurisprudence, al-Durr al-Mukhtār,

يَجِبُ عَلَى مُقِيمٍ إتْمَامُ صَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ سَافَرَ فِي ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ یعنی فَلَوْ سَافَرَ بَعْدَ الْفَجْرِ لَا يَحِلُّ الْفِطْرُ

“It is wājib (compulsory) for a resident to fast for a particular day of Ramadān if he commences his journey on that day, i.e. if he starts his journey after the time for Fajr commences. In this case, it will not be permissible for him to leave the fast.”

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār ma’ Radd al-Muhtār, vol 1, pg 154]

If a taxi driver does not cover the stated distance to travel to another city or he does not start his journey before the time for Fajr commences, then fasting for that particular day of Ramadān is fard upon him. If he does not fast, then he will be a sinner. Compensating for missed fasts is wajib upon him.

If someone travels within the city and covers a distance of 57.5 miles on the meter of the taxi, then he will not be legally considered a traveller, even if he covers a distance of 5700 miles by roaming within the city. The Sharī’ah only considers a distance of 57.5 miles travelled between two cities.

Regarding those who say that due to fasting they will be risking their own lives and those of their passengers’, I would like to request them to reduce their workload but not miss the fasts. Moreover, it is not permissible during the month of Ramadān to do that work due to which one will become weak, or leave the fast or are likely to break it.

It is stated in al-Durr al-Mukhtār,

لَا يَجُوزُ أَنْ يَعْمَلَ عَمَلًا يَصِلُ بِهِ إلَى الضَّعْفِ فَيَخْبِزَ نِصْفَ النَّهَارِ وَيَسْتَرِيحَ الْبَاقِيَ

“It is not permissible, during the month of Ramadān, to do work that causes weakness or a probability of missing fasts. Thus, a baker must work until the afternoon and then rest for the remaining part of the day.”

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār, vol 3, pg 460]

This ruling applies for all those who do heavy work which might cause weakness. Thus, they must reduce their work so that they can fast.

Wealth becomes clean and safe from destruction after one pays Zakāh. Similarly, due to fasting, the body is saved from diseases and hence from destruction. Fasting is the Zakāh of the body. Thus, there is protection for one’s life in fasting, and not the danger of losing it.

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-ID0342] Can a Taxi Driver be excused from Fasting in Ramadan?

Also see:

[Q-ID0394] Are the earnings of a taxi-driver regarded as Halal?

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