The Overworked, Old People Unable to Fast Ramadan and Sawm of Kidney Patients

The overworked: Do They Fast?
Q: Do workers who get extremely exhausted because of the nature of their work, and they have no other source of income, refrain from Sawm during Ramadan, and feed a poor person for each day of Ramadan they do not fast?

A: It is not permissible for a Mukallaf to break their Sawm during the daytime in Ramadan under the pretext that they are workers. However, if they suffer from great hardship that may force them to break their Sawm during the daytime, they are permitted to break their Sawm but only up to the point of relieving the hardship. After that, they have to resume abstention from the invalidators of Sawm until sunset and break their Sawm at the time all Muslims break it. However, they have to make up for such a day later.

Old people unable to fast Ramadan
Q: My mother, who is old and sick, has been unable to observe Sawm (Fast) during Ramadan for the last three years. What should she do?

A: If the reality is as you mentioned, she should feed a poor person for each day of Ramadan she missed during the last three years. The amount of food to be given should be half a Sa` (1 Sa` = 3 kg. approx.) of wheat, dates, rice, maize or any other local staple foodstuff.

Sawm of kidney patients
Q: I suffer from renal failure and have undergone two surgical operations. Doctors advised me to drink no less than 2.5 liters of water daily. They also warned me that fasting and abstaining from drinking water for three consecutive hours endangers my life. Am I to follow their advice, or should I, seeking Allah’s Support, observe Sawm despite their warning that there is an increased risk of developing a kidney stone? What should I do? What Kaffarah (expiation) I am liable for if I do not observe Sawm(Fast)?

A: If your health condition is as mentioned, diagnosed as such by efficient and skillful doctors, you are allowed to refrain from observing Sawm to protect your health and prevent further complications. If in the future your health improves and you recover your ability to fast, without difficulty, you have to make up for those missed days of Sawm.
However, if your disease continues and physicians decide that you are incurably susceptible to the risk of developing stones if you do not drink a sufficient quantity of water, you should feed a poor person for each day you do not fast.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ – sawm Fatwas


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